Citation
The history of Gutta-Percha Willie

Material Information

Title:
The history of Gutta-Percha Willie the working genius
Cover title:
Gutta-Percha Willie
Creator:
MacDonald, George, 1824-1905
Hughes, Arthur, 1832-1915 ( Illustrator )
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Place of Publication:
London ;
Glasgow ;
Dublin
Publisher:
Blackie & Son
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
New ed., with nine illustrations by Arthur Hughes.
Physical Description:
vi, 212, 32 p., [9] leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Diligence -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Success -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Physicians -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Blacksmiths -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shoemakers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Education -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Carpenters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Mechanics -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1896 ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Ireland -- Dublin
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Summary:
Young Willie Macmichael, a blacksmith, shoemaker, carpenter, and mechanic, discovers a medicinal spring where he builds himself quarters and later a hospital.
General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
Statement of Responsibility:
by George Macdonald.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026856152 ( ALEPH )
ALH3861 ( NOTIS )
232624800 ( OCLC )

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| THE HISTORY OF
GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE.



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WILLIE’S HORSE-SHOEING FORGE,



THE HISTORY OF

GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE

THE WORKING GENIUS.

BY

GEORGE MACDONALD, LL.D.

Author of ‘“‘Ranald Bannerman ;” “ The Princess and Curdie;”
“At the Back of the North Wind;” &c.

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR HUGHES.

NEW EDITION.



LONDON
BLACKIE & SON, Liwirep, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C,
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN



CONTENTS.

CHAP, . PAGE
a x

I. WHO HE WAS AND WHERE HE WAS . . . I

{I, WILLIE’S EDUCATION . . . . 7

III. HE IS TURNED INTO SOMETHING HE NEVER WAS

BEFORE. . ; : ‘ . 19
IV, HE SERVES AN APPRENTICESHIP. ; - 28
V. HE GOES TO LEARN A TRADE . ; - 37

VI. HOW WILLIE LEARNED TO READ BEFORE HE KNEW
HIS LETTERS . ‘ . 7 “. «56
VII. SOME THINGS THAT CAME OF WILLIE’S GOING TO
SCHOOL . : : . . - 65

VIII. WILLIE DIGS AND FINDS WHAT HE DID NOT

EXPECT - 7 . 7 : - 76

IX, AMARVEL . . . . 5 . 86
X. A NEW ALARUM ° 7 7 ° » 96
XI. SOME OF THE SIGHTS WILLIE SAW . . - 107
XII, A NEW SCHEME 2 . ; . . 1t5

XIII, WILLIE’S NEST IN THE RUINS . e +. 122



vi Contents.

CHAP. : PAGE
XIV. WILLIE’S GRANDMOTHER. . ‘ - 130
XV. HYDRAULICS . : . : ; . 137
XVI. HECTOR HINTS AT A DISCOVERY, . . 146
XVII. HOW WILLIE WENT ON ; : : . 149
XVIII. WILLIE’S TALK WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER . . 160
XIX. A TALK WITH MR SHEPHERD : : . 164

XX. HOW WILLIE DID HIS BEST TO MAKE A BIRD OF

AGNES . : - 176

XNXI, HOW AGNES LIKED BEING A BIRD . ° . 186
XXII, WILLIE’S PLANS BUD - : , - 196
XXIII, WILLIE’S PLANS BLOSSOM. ’ : + 203,
XXIV. WILLIE’S PLANS BEAR FRUIT. : . « 207

ILLUSTRATIONS.

WILLIE’S HORSE-SHOEING FORGE . . . Lrontispiece.
MRS. WILSON’S STORIES . , 7 . Page 10
WILLIE WITH THE BABY. 7 7 7 - 34
WILLIE TAKEN TO SEE A WATER-WHEEL . 7 42
WILLIF TOLD HIS FATHER ALL ABOUT IT . : . 106
“THAT'S WILLIE AGAIN” . : 5 o » 143
WILLIE MAKES A BIRD OF AGNES . 7 . » 190

WILLIE’S DREAM 7 . 7 ° : © 202

este

ase





THE HISTORY OF
GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE.

CHAPTER 1.
WHO HE WAS AND WHERE HE WAS,

HEN he had been at school for about three

weeks, the boys called him Six-fingered- |

Jack; but his real name was Willie, for his father“
and mother gave it him—not William, but Willie,
after a brother of his father, who died young, and
had always been called Willie. His name in full
was Willie Macmichael. It was generally’ pro-
nounced Macmickle, which was, by a learned
anthropologist, for certain reasons about to appear
in this history, supposed to have been the original
form of the name, dignified in the course of time
into Macmichael. It was his own father, however,
who gave him the name of Gutta-Percha: Willie,
the reason of which will also show itself by and by.



2 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



Mr Macmichael was a country doctor, living in a
small village in a thinly-peopled country; the first
result’'of which was that he had very hard work,
for he had often to ride many miles to see a
patient} and that not unfrequently in the middle of
the night; and the second that, for this hard work,
he had very little pay, for a thinly-peopled country
is generally a poor country, and those who live in
it are poor also, and cannot spend much even upon
their health, But the doctor not only preferred’a
country life, although he would have been glad ‘to
have richer patients, and within less distances of
each other, but he would. say to any one who ex-
pressed surprise that, with his reputation, he should
remain where he was—“ What’s to become of my
little flock if I go away, for there are very few
doctors of my experience who would feel inclined’
to come and undertake my work, I know every
man, woman, and child in the whole country-side,
and that makes all the difference.” You see,
therefore, that he was'a good kind-hearted man,
and loved his work, for the sake of those whom he
helped by it, better than the money he received
for it. ‘

Their home was necessarily a very humble one—
a neat little cottage in the village of Priory Leas
—almost the one pretty spot thereabout. It lay
in a valley in the midst of hills, which did not look
high, because they rose with a gentle slope, and



| Who he was and Where he was, 3



had no bold elevations or grand-shaped peaks.
But they rose to a good height notwithstanding,
and the weather on the top of them in the winter-
time was often bitter and fierce—bitter with keen
frost, and fierce with as wild winds as ever blew.
Of both frost and wind the village at their feet
had its share too, but of course they were not so
bad down below, for the hills were a shelter from
the wind, and it is always colder the farther you
go up and away from the heart of this warm ball
of rock and earth upon which we live. When
Willie’s father was riding across the great moor-
land of those desolate hills, and the people in the
village would be saying to each other how bitterly
cold it was, he would be thinking how snug and
warm it was down there, and how nice it would be
to turn a certain corner on the road back, and slip
at once out of the freezing wind that had it all its
own way up among the withered gorse and heather
of the wide expanse where he pursued his dreary
journey. , :

For his part, Willie cared very little what the
weather was, but took it as it came. In the hot
summer, he would. lie in the long grass and get
cool; in the cold winter, he would scamper about
and get warm. When his hands were as cold as
icicles, his cheeks would be red as apples, When
his mother took his hands in hers, and chafed
them, full of pity for their suffering, as she thought



4 History of Gutta-Percha Wiltie.



it, Willie first knew that they were cold by the
sweet warmth of the kind hands that chafed them:
he had not thought of it’before. Climbing amongst
the ruins of the Priory, or playing with Farmer
Thomson’s boys and girls about the ricks in his
yard, in the thin clear saffron twilight which came
so early after noon, when, to some people, every
breath seemed full of needle-points, so sharp was
the cold, he was as comfortable and happy as if he
had been a creature of the winter only, and found
himself quite at home in it.

For there were ruins, and pretty large ruins ioe,
which they called the Priory. It was not: often
that monks chose such a poor country to settle in,
but I suppose they had their reasons. And I dare-
say they were not monks at all, but begging friars,
who founded it when they wanted to reprove the
luxury and greed of the monks; and perhaps by
the time they had grown as bad themselves, the
place was nearly finished, and they could not well
move it. They had, however, as I have indicated,
chosen the one pretty spot, around which, for a
short distance on every side, the land was tolerably
good, and grew excellent oats if poor wheat, while
the gardens were equal to apples and a few pears,
besides abundance of gooseberries, currants, and
strawberries.

The ruins of the Priory lay behind Mr Mac-
michael’s cottage—indeed, in the very garden—of



Who he was and Where he was. 5
which, along with the house, he had. purchased the
feu—that is, the place was his own, so long as he
paid a small sum—not more than fifteen shillings
a year, I think—to his superior. How long it was
since the Priory had come to be looked upon as
the mere encumbrance of a cottage garden, nobody
thereabouts knew; and although by this time I
presume archeologists have ferreted out every-
thing concerning it, nobody except its owner had
then taken the trouble to make the least inquiry
into its history. To Willie it was just the Priory,
as naturally in his father’s garden as if every gar-
den had similar ruins to adorn or encumber it,
according as the owner might choose to regard its
presence.

_ The ruins were of considerable extent, with re-
mains of Gothic arches, and carvings about the
doors—all open to the sky except a few places on
the ground-level which were vaulted, These being
still perfectly solid, were used by the family as
outhouses to store wood and peats, to keep the
garden tools in, and for such like purposes; In
summer, golden flowers grew on the broken walls;
in winter, grey frosts edged them against the sky.
I fancy the whole garden was but the space once
occupied by the huge building, for its surface was
the most irregular I ever saw in a garden. It was
up and down, up and down, in whatever direction
you went, mounded with heaps of ruins, over which



6 History of Guitta-Percha Willie.



the mould had gathered. For many years bushes
and flowers had grown upon them, and you might
dig a good way without coming to the stones,
though come to them you must at last. The
walks wound about between the heaps, and through
the thick walls of the ruin, overgrown-with lichens
and mosses, now and then passing through an
arched door or window of the ancient building. It
was a generous garden in old-fashioned flowers and
vegetables. There were a few apple and pear trees
also on a wall that faced the south, which were re-
garded by Willie with mingled respect and desire,
for he was not allowed to touch them, while of the
gooseberries he was allowed to eat as many as he
pleased when they were ripe, and of the currants
too, after his mother had had as many as she
wanted for preserves.

Some spots were much too shady to allow either
fruit or flowers to grow in them, so high and close
were the walls. But I need not say more about
the garden now, for I shall have occasion to refer
to it again and again, and I must not tell all I know
at once, else how should I make a story of it?



CHAPTER IL
WILLIE’S EDUCATION.

ILLIE was a good deal more than nine
years of age before he could read a single
word. It was not that he was stupid, as we shall
soon see, but that he had not learned the good of
reading, and therefore had not begun to wish to
read ; and his father had unusual ideas about how
he ought to be educated. He said he would no
more think of making Willie learn to read before
he wished to be taught than he would make him
eat if he wasn’t hungry. The gift of reading, he
said, was too good a thing to give him before he
wished to have it, or knew the value of it. “Would
you give him a watch,” he would say, “before he
. cares to know whether the sun rises in the east or
the west, or at what hour dinner will be ready ?”
Now I am not very sure how this would work
_ With some boys and girls. I am afraid they might
never learn to read until they had boys and girls
of their own whom they wanted to be better off
than, because of their ignorance, they had been.
themselves, But it worked well in Willie’s case,



8 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Wille.



who was neither lazy nor idle.. And it must not
be supposed that he was left without any educa-
tion at all. For one thing, his father and mother
used to talk very freely before him—much more
so than most parents do in the presence of their
children ; and nothing serves better for teaching
than the conversation of good and thoughtful
people. While they talked, Willie would sit lis-
tening intently; trying to understand what he
heard ; and although it not unfrequently took very
strange shapes in his little mind, because at times
he understood ‘neither the words nor the things
the words represented, yet there was much that he
did understand and make a good use of, For in-
stance, he soon came to know that his father and
mother had very little money to spare, and that
his father had to work hard to get what money
they had. He learned also that everything that
came into the house, or was done for them, cost
money ; therefore, for one thing, he must not ill-use
his clothes. He learned, too, that there was a great
deal of suffering in the world, and that his father’s
business was to try to make it less, and help people
who were ill to grow well again, and be able to do
their work; and this made him see what a useful
man his father was, and wish to be also of some
good in the world. Then he looked about him
and saw that there were a great many ways of
getting money, that is, a great many things for



Witlie’s Education, 9



doing which people would give money; and he saw
that some of those ways were better than others,
and he thought his father’s way the very best of all.
I give these as specimens of the lessons he learned
by listening to his father and mother as they talked
together. But he had another teacher.

Down the street of the village, which was.very
straggling, with nearly as many little gardens as
houses in it, there was a house occupied by several
poor people, in one end of which, consisting just of
a room and a closet, an old woman lived who got
her money by spinning flax into yarn for making
linen, She was a kind-hearted old creature—a
widow, without any relation near to help her or
look after her. She had had one child, who died
before he was as old as Willie. That was forty
years before, but she had never forgotten her little
Willie, for that was his name too, and she fancied
our Willie was like him, Nothing, therefore; pleased
her better than to get him into her little room, and
talk to him. She would take a little bit of sugar-
candy or liquorice out of her cupboard for him,
and tell him some strange old fairy tale or legend,
while she sat spinning, until at last she had made
him so fond of her that he would often go and stay
for hours with her. Nor did it make much differ-
ence when his mother begged Mrs Wilson to give
him something sweet only now and then, for she
was afraid of his going to see the old woman



10 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,

merely for what she gave him, which would have
been greedy. But the fact was, he liked hér stories
better than her sugar-candy and liquorice ; while
above all things he delighted in. watching the
wonderful wheel go round and round:so fast that
he could not find out whether her foot was making
it spin, or it was making her foot dance up and
down in that curious way. After she had explained
it to him as well as she could, and he thought he
understood it, it seemed to him only the more
wonderful. and mysterious; and ever as it went
whirring round, it sung a song of its own, which
was also the song of the story, whatever it was,
that the old woman was telling him, as he sat
listening in her high soft chair, covered with long-
faded chintz, and cushioned like a nest. For Mrs
‘Wilson had had a better house to live in once, and
this chair, as well as the chest of drawers of dark
mahogany, with brass handles, that stood opposite
the window, was part of the furniture she saved
when she had to sell the rest; and well it was, she
used to say, for her old rheumatic bones that she
had saved the chair at least. In that chair, then,
the little boy would sit coiled up as nearly into a
ball as might be, like a young bird or a rabbit in its
nest, staring at the wheel, and listening with two
‘ears and one heart to its song and the old woman’s
tale both at once.

One sultry summer afternoon, his mother not
(416)





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“WILLIE LIKED MRS, WILSON’S STORIES BETTER THAN
HER SUGAR CANDY.”



Willie’s Education. Il

being very well and having gone to lie down, his
father being out, as he so often was, upon Scramble
the old horse, and Tibby, their only servant; being
busy with the ironing, Willie ran off to Widow
Wilson’s, and was soon curled up in the chair, like
a little Hindoo idol that had grown weary of sitting
upright, and had tumbled itself into a corner.

. Now, before he came, the old woman had been
thinking about him, and wishing very much that
he would come; turning over also in her mind, as
she spun, all her stock of stories, in the hope of
finding in some nook or other one she had not yet
told him; for although he had not yet begun to
grow tired even of those he knew best, it was a
special treat to have a new one; for by this time
Mrs Wilson’s store was all but exhausted, and a
new one turned up very rarely. This time, how-
ever, she was successful, and did call to mind one
that she had not thought of before. It had not
only grown very dusty, but was full of little holes,
which she at once set about darning up with the
needle dnd thread of her imagination, so that, by ©
the time Willie arrived, she had a treat, as she
thought, quite ready for him.

I am not going to tell you the story, which was
‘about a poor boy who received from a fairy to
whom he had. shown some kindness the gift of a
marvellous wand, in the shape of a common black-
Hosa Walaa sticks which nobody could suspect



12 History of Gutta-Percha Wiltte.



of possessing such wonderful virtue. By means of
it, he was able to do anything he wished, without
the least trouble; and so, upon a trial of skill,
appointed by a certain king, in order to find out
which of the craftsmen of his realm was fittest to
aid him in ruling it, he found it easy to surpass
every one of them, each in his own trade. He
produced a richer damask than any of the silk-
weavers; a finer linen than any of the linen-
weavers; a more complicated as well as ornate
cabinet, with more drawers and quaint hiding-
places, than any of the cabinet-makers; a sword-
blade more cunningly damasked, and a hilt more
gorgeously jewelled, than any of the sword-makers ;
a ring set with stones more precious, more brilliant
in colour, and more beautifully’ combined, than
any of the jewellers: in short, as I say, without
knowing a single device of one of the arts in
question, he surpassed every one of the competitors
in his own craft, won the favour of the king and
the office he wished to confer, and, if I remember
rightly, gained at length the king’s daughter to boot.

For a long time Willie had not uttered a single
exclamation, and when the old woman looked up,
fancying he must be asleep, she saw, to her dis-
appointment, a cloud upon his face—amounting to
a frown.

“What’s the matter with you, Willie, my chick ?”
she asked. ‘“ Have you got a headache ?”



Willie’s Education. 13

“No, thank you, Mrs Wilson,” answered Willie ;
“but I don’t like that story at all.” ~

“T’m sorry for that. I thought I should be
sure to please you this time; it is one I never told
you before, for I had quite forgotten it myself till
this very afternoon. Why don’t you like it?”

“Because he was .a cheat. He couldn’t do the
things; it was only the fairy’s wand that did them.”

“But he was such a good lad, and had been so
kind to the fairy.”

_ “That makes no difference. He wasn’t good.

And the fairy wasn’t good either, or she wouldn’t
have set him to do such wicked things.”

“They weren’t wicked things. They were all
first-rate—everything that he made—better than
any one else could make them.”

“But he didn’t make them. There wasn’t one
of those poor fellows he cheated that wasn’t a
better man than he. The worst of them could do
something with his own hands, and I don’t believe
he could do anything, for if he had ever tried he
would have hated to be such a sneak. He cheated
the king, too, and the princess, and everybody.
Oh! shouldn’t I like to have been there, and to
have beaten him wand and all! For somebody
might have been able to make the things better
still, if he had only known how.”

Mrs Wilson was disappointed—perhaps a little
ashamed that she had not thought of this before ;



14 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,





anyhow she grew cross; and because she was cross,
she grew unfair, and said to Willie—

“You think a great deal of yourself, Master
Willie! Pray what could those idle little hands
of yours do, if you were to try ?”

“T don’t know, for I haven’t tried,” answered
Willie.

“Tt’s a pity you shouldn't,” she rejoined, “if
you think they would turn out so very clever.”

She didn’t mean anything but crossness when
she said this—for which probably a severe rheu-
matic twinge which just then passed through her
shoulder was also partly to blame. But Willie took
her up quite seriously, and asked in a tone that
showed he wanted it accounted for—

“Why haven't I ever done anything, Mrs
Wilson ?”

“You ought to know that best yourself,” she
answered, still cross. “I suppose because you
don’t like work. Your good father and mother
work very hard, 1’m sure. It’s a shame of you to
be so idle,”

This was rather hard on a boy of seven, for
Willie was no more then. It made him look very
grave indeed, if not unhappy, for a little while, as
he sat turning over the thing in his mind.

“Ts it wrong to play about, Mrs Wilson?” he
asked, after a pause of considerable duration.

“No, indeed, my dear,” she answered ; for during



Willie’s Education. » 15



the pause she had begun to be sorry for having
spoken so roughly to her little darling,

“Does everybody work 2”

“Everybody that’s worth anything, and is old
enough,” she added. ;

“Does God work?” he asked, after another
pause, in a low voice.

“No, child. What should He work for?”

“Tf everybody works that is good and old
enough, then I think God must work,” answered
Willie “But I will ask my papa. Am I old
enough ?”

“Well, you’re not old enough to do much, but
you might do something.”

“What could Ido? CouldI spin, Mrs Wilson ?”

“No, child ; that’s not an easy thing to do; but
you could knit.”

“Could 1? What good would it do?”

“Why, you could knit your mother a pair of
stockings.”

“Could I though? Will you teach me, Mrs
Wilson ?”

Mrs Wilson very readily promised, foreseeing
that so she might have a good deal more of the
little man’s company, if indeed he was in earnest ;
for she was very lonely, and was never so happy
as when he was with her. She said she would get
him some knitting-needles—wires she called them
—that very evening; she had some wool, and if



16 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



he came to-morrow, she would soon see whether he
. was old enough and clever enough to learn to knit.
She advised him, however, to say nothing about it
to his mother till she had made up her mind
whether or not he could learn; for if he could,
then he might surprise her by taking her something
of his own knitting—at least a pair of muffetees to
keep her wrists warm in the winter. Willie went
home solemn with his secret.

The next day he began to learn, and although
his fingers annoyed him a good deal at first by
refusing to do exactly as he wanted them, they
soon became more obedient; and before the new
year arrived, he had actually knitted a pair of
warm white lamb’s-wool stockings for his mother.
Iam bound to confess that when first they were
finished they were a good deal soiled by having
been on the way so long, and perhaps partly by
the little hands not always being so clean as they
might have been when he turned from play to
work; but Mrs Wilson washed them herself, and
they looked; if not as white as snow, at least as
white as the whitest lamb you ever saw. I will
not attempt to describe the delight of his mother,
the triumph of Willie, or the gratification of his
father, who saw in this good promise of his boy’s
capacity; for all that I have written hitherto is
only introductory to my story, and I long to begin
and tell it you in a regular straightforward fashion.



Willie’s Education. 17



Before I begin, however, I must not forget to
tell you that Willie did ask his father the question
with Mrs Wilson’s answer to which he had. not’
been satisfied—I mean the question whether God
worked; and his father’s answer, after he had sat
pondering for a while in his chair, was something
to this effect :—

“Yes, Willie; it seems to me that God works
more than anybody—for He works all night and
all day, and, if I remember rightly, Jesus tells us
somewhere that He works all Sunday too. If He
were to stop working, everything would stop
being. The sun would stop shining, and the
moon and the stars; the corn would stop growing ;
there would be no more apples or gooseberries ;
your eyes would stop seeing; your ears would
stop hearing ; your fingers couldn’t move an inch;
and, worst of all, your little heart would stop
loving.”

“No, papa,” cried Willie; “I shouldn't stop
loving, I’m sure.”

“Indeed you would, Willie.”

“Not you and mamma.”

“Yes; you wouldn’t love us any more ee if
you were dead asleep without dreaming.”

“That would be dreadful.”

“Yes it would. So you see how good God is
to us—to go on working, that we may be able to
love each other.”



18 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Withe,



“Then if God works like that all day long, it
must be a fine thing to work,” said Willie.

“You are right. It is a fine thing to work—the
finest thing in the world, if it comes of love, as
God’s work does.”

This conversation made Willie quite determined
.to learn to knit; for if God worked, he would
work too. And although the work he undertook was
a very small work, it was like all God’s great works,
for every loop he made had a little love looped up
in it, like an invisible, softest, downiest lining to
the stockings. And after those, he went on knit-
ting a pair for his father; and indeed, although he
learned to work with a needle as well, and to darn
the stockings he had made, and even tried his
hand at the spinning—of which, however, he could
not make much for a long time—he had not left
off knitting when we come to begin the story in
the next chapter.



CHAPTER III

HE 1S TURNED INTO SOMETHING HE NEVER WAS
BEFORE.

ITHERTO I have been mixing up summer

and winter and everything all together,

but now I am going to try to keep everything in
its own place.

Willie was now nine years old. His mother had
been poorly for some time—confined to her room,
as she not unfrequently was in the long cold
winters, It was winter now; and one morning,
when all the air was dark with falling snow, he ~
was standing by the parlour window, looking out
on it, and wondering whether the angels made it
up in the sky; for he thought it might be their
sawdust, which, when they had too much, they
shook down to get melted and put out of the way;
when Tibby came into the room very softly, and
looking, he thought, very strange.

“Willie, your mamma wants you,” she said;
and Willie hastened up-stairs to his mother’s room.
Dark as was the air outside, he was surprised to



20 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Wuilte.



find how dark the room was, And what surprised
him more was a curious noise which he heard the
moment he entered it, like the noise of a hedge-
hog, or some other little creature of the fields or
woods. But he crept gently up to his mother’s
bed, saying—

“ Are you better this morning, mamma ?”

And she answered in a feeble sweet. voice—

“Yes, Willie, very much better. And, Willie,
God has sent you a little sister.”

“Q-o-o-oh!” cried Willie. “A little sister!
Did He make her Himself?”

“Yes; He made her Himself; and sent her to
you last night.”

“How busy He must have been lately!” said
Willie. “Where is she? I should like to see her.
Is she my very own sister?”

“Yes, your very own sister, Willie—to love and
take care of always.”

“Where is she?”

“Go and ask nurse to let you see her.”

Then Willie saw that there was a strange woman
in the room, with something lying on her lap. He
went-up to her, and she folded back the corner of
a blanket, and revealed a face no bigger than that
of the big doll at the clergyman’s house, but alive,
quite alive—such a pretty little face! He stuod
staring at it for a while.

“ May I kiss her, nurse?”



Something he never was Before, _ 2i

“Yes—gently—quite gently.”

He kissed her, half afraid, he did not know at
what. Her cheek was softer and smoother than
anything he had ever touched before. He sped
back to his mother, too full of delight to speak.
But she was not yet well enough to talk to him,
and his father coming in, led him down-stairs again,
where he began once more to watch the snow,
wondering nowif it had anything to do with baby’s
arrival.

In the afternoon, it was found that the lock of
his mother’s room not only would not catch easily,
but made a noise that disturbed her. So his
father got a screwdriver and removed it, making
as little noise as he could. Next he contrived a
way, with a piece of string, for keeping the door
shut, and as that would not hold it close enough
hung a shawl over it to keep the draught out—all
which proceeding Willie watched. As soon as he
had finished, and the nurse had closed the door
behind them, Mr Macmichael set out to take the
lock to the smithy, and allowed Willie to go with
him. By the time they reached it, the snow was
an inch deep on their shoulders, on Willie’s cap;
and on his father’s hat. How red the glow of the
smith’s fire looked! It was a great black cavern
with a red heart to it in the midst of whiteness.

The smith was a great powerful man, with bare
arms, and blackened face, When they entered, he



22 History of Gutta-Percha Witlte.

and two other men were making the axle of a
wheel. They had a great lump of red-hot iron on
the anvil, and were knocking a big hole through
it—not boring it, but knocking it through with a
big punch. One of the men, with a pair of tongs-
like pincers, held the punch steady in the hole,
while the other two struck the head of it with
alternate blows of mighty hammers called sledges,
each of which it took the strength of two brawny
arms to heave high above the head with a great
round swing over the shoulder, that it might come
down with right good force, and drive the punch
through the glowing iron, which was, I should
judge, four inches thick. All this Willie thought
he could understand, for he knew that fire made
the hardest metal soft; but what he couldn’t at all
understand was this: every now and then they
stopped heaving their mighty sledges, the third
man took the punch out of the hole, and the smith
himself, whose name was Willet (and w/Z zt he
did with a vengeance, when he had anything on
the anvil before him), caught up his tongs in his
hand, then picked up a little bit of black coal with
the tongs, and dropped it into the hole where the
punch had been, where it took fire immediately
and blazed up. Then in went the punch again,
and again the huge hammering commenced, with
such bangs and blows, that the smith was wise
to. have no floor to his smithy, for they would



Something he never was Before, 23

surely have knocked a hole in that, though they
were not able to knock the anvil down halfway into
the earth, as the giant smith in the story did.

While this was going on, Mr Macmichael, per-
ceiving that the operation ought not to be inter-
rupted any more than a surgical one, stood quite
still waiting, and Willie stood also—absorbed in
staring, and gradually creeping nearer and nearer
to the anvil, for there were no sparks flying about
to make it dangerous to the eyes, as there would
have been if they had been striking the iron itself
instead of the punch.

As soon as the punch was driven through, and
the smith had dropped his sledge-hammer, and
begun to wipe his forehead, Willie spoke.

“Mr Willet,” he said, for he knew every man of
any standing in the village by name and profession,
“why did you put bits of coal into the hole you
were making? I should have thought it would
be in the way rather than help you.”

“So it would, my little man,” answered Willet,
with no grim though grimy smile, “if it didn’t take
fire and keep getting out of the way all the time
it kept up the heat. You see we depend on the
heat for getting through, and it’s much less trouble
to drop a bit of coal or two into the hole, than to
take up the big axle and lay it in the fire again,
not to mention the time and the quantity of coal
it would take to heat it up afresh,”



24 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.
“But such little bits of coal couldn’t do much ?”
said Willie.

“ They could do enough, and all that’s less after
that is saving,” said the smith, who was one of
those men who can not only do a thing right but
give a reason for it. “You see I was able to put
the little bits just in the right place.”

“T see! I see!” cried Willie. “I understand {
But, papa, do you think Mr Willet is the proper
person to ask to set your lock right ?”

“T haven’t a doubt of it,” said Mr Macmichael,
taking it out of his greatcoat pocket, and unfold-
ing the piece of paper in which he had wrapped it.
“Why do you make a question of it?”

“Because look what great big huge things he
does! How could those tremendous hammers set
stich a little thing as that right ?) They would knock
it all to pieces. Don’t you think you had better
take it to the watchmaker?”

“Tf I did, Willie, do you know what you would
say the moment you saw him at work ?”

“No, papa. What should I say?”

“You would say, ‘Don’t you think, papa, you
had better take it back to the smith?’”

“But why should I say that?”

“Because, when you saw his tools beside this
lock, you would think the tools so small and the
lock so huge, that nothing could be done between
them. Yet I daresay the watchmaker could set





Something he never was Before. 25



the lock all right if he chose to try. Don’t you
think so, Mr Willet ?”

“Not a doubt of it,” answered the smith.

“Had we better go to him then?”

“Well,” answered the smith, smiling, “I think
perhaps he would ask you why you hadn’t come to
me. No doubt he could do it, but I’ve got better
tools for the purpose. Let me look at the lock.
I’m sure I shall be able to set it right.”

“Not with that great biz hammer, then,” said
Willie.

“No; I have smaller hammers than that. When
do you want it, sir?”

‘Could you manage to do it at once, and let me
take it home, for there’s a little baby there, just
arrived ?”

“You don’t mean it!” said the smith, looking
~ surprised. “I wish you joy, sir.”

“ And this is the lock of the room she’s in,” con-
tinued the doctor.

“And you’re afraid of her getting out and flying
off again!” said the smith. “I will do it at once.
There isn’t much wrong with it, I daresay. I hope
Mrs Macmichael is doing well, sir.”

He took the lock, drew several screws from it,
and then forced it open,

“Tt’s nothing but the spring gone,” he said, as
he took out something and threw it away.

Then he took out several more pieces, and



26 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,

cleaned them all. Then he searched in a box till
he found another spring, which he put in instead of
the broken one, after snipping off a little bit with a
pair of pincers. Then he put all the pieces in, put
on the cover of it, gave something a few taps witha
tiny hammer, replaced the screws, and said—

“Shall I come and put it on for you, sir?”

“No, no; I am up to that much,” said Mr Mac-
michael, “I can easily manage that. Come, Willie,
I’m much obliged to you for doing it at.once. Good-
night.”

Then out they went into the snowstorm again,
Willie holding fast by his father’s hand.

“This is good,” said his father,. “ Your mother
will have a better day all to-morrow, and perhaps
a longer sleep to-night for it, You see how easy it
is to be both useful and kind sometimes. The smith
did more for your mother in those few minutes than
ten doctors could have done. Think of his great
black fingers making a little more sleep and rest
and warmth for her—and all in those few minutes!”

“« Suppose he couldn’t have done it,” said Willie.
“Do you think the watchmaker could?” = ~~

“That I can’t tell, but I don’t think it likely. We
should most probably have had to get a new one.”

“ Suppose you couldn’t get a new one?”

“Then we should have had to set our wits to
work, and contrive some other way of fastening the
door, so that mamma shouldn’t take cold by its



Something he never was Before, 27





being open, nor yet be disturbed by the noise of
it.”

“Tt would be so nice to be able to do every-
thing!” said Willie.

“So it would; but nobody can; and it’s just as
well, for then we should not need so much help from
each other, and would be too independent.”

“ Then shouldn’t a body try to do as many things
as he can?”

“Yes, for there’s no fear of ever being able to do
without other people, and you would be so often
able to help them. Both the smith and the watch-
maker could mend a lock, but neither of them could
do without the other for all that.”

When Willie went to bed, he lay awake a long
time, thinking how, if the lock could not have been
mended, and there had been no other to be had, he
could have contrived to keep the door shut properly.
In the morning, however, he told his father that he
had not thought of any way that would do, for
though he could contrive to shut and open the door
well enough, he could not think how a person out-
side might be able to do it ; and he thought the best
way, if such a difficulty should occur, would be to
take the lock off his door, and put it on mamma’s
till a better one could be got. Of this suggestion
his father, much to Willie’s satisfaction, entirely
approved,

(4186) Cc



CHAPTER IV.
HE SERVES AN APPRENTICESHIP.

ILLIE’S mother grew better, and Willie’s

sister grew bigger; and the strange nurse

went away, and Willie and his mother and Tibby,
with a little occasional assistance from the doctor,
managed the baby amongst them. Considering
that she had been yet only a short time at school,
she behaved wonderfully well. She never cried
except she was in some trouble, and even then you
could seldom have seen a tear on her face. She did
all that was required of her, grew longer and broader
and heavier, and was very fond of a lighted candle.
The only fault she had was that she wouldn’t give
Willie quite so many smiles as he wanted. As
to the view she took of affairs, she seemed for a long
time to be on the whole very well satisfied with life
and its gifts. But when at last its troubles began
to overtake her, she did not approve of them at all.
The first thing she objected to was being weaned,
which she evidently considered a very cruel and
unnecessaty experience. But her father said it



He Serves an Apprenticeship. 29



must be, and her mother, believing him to know
best, carried out his decree. Little Agnes endured.
it tolerably well in the daytime, but in the night
protested lustily—-was indeed so outrageously in-
dignant, that one evening the following conversa-
tion took place at the tea-table, where Willie sat
and heard it.

“Really, my dear,” said Mrs Macmichael, “I can-
not have your rest disturbed in this way another
night. You must go to Willie’s room, and let me
manage the little squalling thing myself.”

“Why shouldn’t I take my share of the trouble?”
objected her husband.

“ Because you may be called up any moment, and
have no more sleep till next night ; and it is not fair
that what sleep your work does let you have should
be so unnecessarily broken. It’s not as if I couldn’t
manage without you.”

“But Willie’s bed is not big enough for both of
us,” he objected.

“ Then Willie can come and sleep with
me.”

“But Willie wants his sleep as much as I do
mine.”

“ There’s no fear of him: he would sleep though
all the babies in Priory Leas were crying in the
room,” :

“Would IJ really ?” thought Willie, feeling rather
ashamed of himself.



30 ITistory of Gutta-Percha Wultlie.



“But who will get up and warm the milk-and-
water for you?” pursued his father.

“ Oh! I can manage that quite well.”

“Couldn't I do that, mamma?” said Willie, very
humbly, for he thought of what his mother had said
about his sleeping powers.

“No, my pet,” she answered; and he said no
more.

“Tt seems to me,” said his father, ‘a very clumsy
necessity. I have been thinking over it. To keep
a fire in all night only to warm such a tiny drop of
water as she wants, I must say, seems like using a
steam-engine to sweep up the crumbs. If you
would just get a stone bottle, fill it with boiling
water, wrap a piece of flannel about it, and lay it
anywhere in the bed, it would be quite hot enough
even in the morning to make the milk as warm as.
she ought to have it.”

“Tf you will go to Willie’s room, and let Willie
come and sleep with me, I will try it,” she said.

Mr Macmichael concedtad ; and straightway
Willie was filled with silent delight at the thought
of sleeping with his mother andthe baby. Nor be-
cause of that only; for he resolved within himself
that he would try to get a share in the business of
the night: why should his mother have too little
sleep rather than himself? They might at least
divide the too little between them! So he went to
bed early, full of the thought of waking up as soon



Fle Serves an Apprenticeship. 31



as Agnes should begin to cry, and finding out what
hecould do. Already he had begun to be useful in
the daytime, and had twice put her to sleep when
both his mother and Tibby had failed. And al-
though he quite understood that in all probability
he would not have succeeded if they hadn’t tried
first, yet it had been some relief to them, and they
had confessed it. -

But when he woke, there lay his mother and his
sister both sound asleep; the sun was_ shining
through the blind; he heard Tibby about the
house ; and, in short, it was time to get up.

At breakfast, his father said to him—

“Well, Willie, how did Agnes behave herself last
night?”

“So welll” answered Willie; “she never cried
once.”

“Q Willie!” said his mother, laughing, “she
screamed for a whole hour, and was so hungry
after it that she emptied her bottle without stop-
ping once. You were sound asleep all the time,
and never stirred.”

Willie was so much ashamed of himself, although
he wasn’t in the least to blame, that he could hardly
keep from crying. He did not say another word,
except when he was spoken to, all through break-
fast, and his father and mother were puzzled to
think what could be the matter with him. He
went about the greater part of the morning moodily



32 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Withe,



thinking ; then for advice betook himself to Mrs
Wilson, who gave him her full attention, and sug-
gested several things, none of which, however,
seemed to him likely to succeed.

“If I could but go to bed after mamma was
asleep,” he said, “I could tie a string to my hair,
and then slip a loop at the other end over mamma’s
wrist, so that when she sat up to attend to Agnes,
she would pull my hair and wake me. Wouldn't
she wonder what it was when she felt it pulling
her?”

He had to go home without any help from Mrs
Wilson. All the way he kept thinking with him-
self something after this fashion—

“Mamma won't wake me, and Agnes can’t; and
the worst of it is that everybody else will be just as
fast asleep as I shall be. Let me see—who zs there
that’s awake all night? There’s the cat: I think
she is, but then she wouldn’t know when to wake
me, and even if I could teach her to wake me the
moment Agnes cried, I don’t think she would be a
nice one to do it; for if I didn’t come awake with a
pat of her velvety pin-cushions, she might turn out
the points of the pins in them, and scratch me
awake. There’s the clock; it’s always awake ; but
it can’t tell you the time till you go and ask it. I
think it might be made to wind up a string that
should pull me when the right time came; but I
don’t think I could teach it. And when it came to



fle Serves an Apprenticeship. 33

the pull, the pull might stop the clock, and what
would papa say then? They tell me the owls are
up all night, but they’re no good, I’m certain. I
don’t see what I amto’do. I wonder if God would
wake me if I were to ask Him?”

I don’t know whether Willie did or did not ask
God to wake him. I[ did not inquire, for what
goes on of that kind, it is better not to talk much
about. What I do know is, that he fell asleep with
his head and heart full of desire to wake and help
his mother; and that, in the middle of the night,
he did wake up suddenly, and there was little Agnes
screaming with all her might. He sat up in bed
instantly.

“What’s the matter, Willie?” said his mother.
“ Lie down and go to sleep.”

“ Baby’s crying,” said Willie,

“Never you mind. I’ll manage her.”

“Do you know, mamma, I think I was waked
up just in time to help you. Ill take her from
you, and perhaps she will take her drink from me.”

“Nonsense, Willie. Lie down, my pet.”

“ But I’ve been thinking about it, mamma. Do
you remember, yesterday, Agnes would not take
her bottle from you, and screamed and screamed ;
but when Tibby took her, she gave in and drank it
all? Perhaps she would do the same with me.”

As he spoke he slipped out of bed, and held out
his arms to take the baby. The light was already



34 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

coming in, just. a little, through the blind, for it
was summer. He heard a cow lowing in the fields
at the back of the house, and he wondered whether
her baby had woke her. The next moment he had
little Agnes in his arms, for his mother thought he
might as well try, seeing he was awake. —

“Do take care and don’t let her fall, Willie.”

“That I will, mamma. I’vegother tight. Now
give me the bottle, please.”

“JT haven’t got it ready yet; for you woke the
minute she began to cry.”

So Willie walked about the room with Agnes till
his mother had got her bottle filled with nice warm
milk-and-water and just a little sugar. When she
gave it to him, he sat down with the baby on his
knees, and, to his great delight, and the satisfaction
of his mother as well, she stopped crying, and began
to drink the milk-and-water,

“Why, you ’re a born nurse, Willie!” said his
mother.

But the moment the baby heard her mother’s
voice, she forsook the bottle, and began to scream,
wanting to go to her,

“O mamma! you mustn’t. speak, please ; for of
course she likes you better than the bottle; and
when you speak.that reminds her of you. It was
just the same with Tibby yesterday. Or if you
must speak, speak with some other sound, and not
in your own soft, sweet way.”





































































































































































‘“*WILLIE SAT DOWN WITH THE BABY ON HIS KNEES, AND
SHE STOPPED CRYING,”



He Serves an Apprenticeship. 35
-A few moments after, Willie was so startled by
a gruff voice in the room that he nearly dropped
the bottle ; but it was only his mother following his
directions. The plan was quite successful, for the
baby had not a suspicion that the voice was her
mother’s, paid no heed to it, and attended only to
her bottle.

Mr Macmichael, who had been in the country,
was creeping up the stair to his room, fearful of
disturbing his wife, when what should he hear but
a man’s voice as he supposed! and what should he
think but that robbers had broken in! Of course
he went to his wife’s room first. There he heard
the voice plainly enough through the door, but
when he opened it he could see no one except Willie
feeding the baby on an ottoman at the foot of the
_ bed. When his wife had explained what and why
it was, they both laughed heartily over Willie’s sug-
gestion for leaving the imagination of little Agnes
in repose ; and henceforth he was installed as night-
nurse, so long as the process of weaning should
last ; and very proud of his promotion he was. He
slept as sound as ever, for he had no anxiety about
waking; his mother always woke him the instant
Agnes began to cry.

“Willie!” she would say, “Willie! here’s your
haby wanting you.”

And up Willie would start, sometimes before he
was able to open his eyes, for little boys’ eyelids



36 Listory of Gutia-Percha Willie,



are occasionally obstinate. And once he jumped
out of bed crying, ‘Where is she, mamma? I’ve
lost her!” for he had been dreaming about her.

You may be sure his mamma let him havea long
sleep in the morning always, to make up for being
disturbed in the night.

Agnes throve well, notwithstanding the weaning,
She soon got reconciled to the bottle, and then
Willie slept in peace.



CHAPTER VY.
HE GOES TO LEARN A TRADE,

IME passed, and Willie grew. Have my
readers ever thought what is meant by
growing? It is far from meaning only that you
get bigger and stronger. . It means that you become
able both to understand and to wonder at more of
the things about you. There are people who the
more they understand, wonder the less; but such
are not growing straight ; they are growing crooked,
There are two ways of growing. You may be
growing up, or you may be growing down; and if
you are doing both at once, then you are growing
crooked. There are people who are growing up in
understanding, but down in goodness, Itis a beau-
tiful fact, however, that you can’t grow up in good-
ness and down in understanding; while the great
probability is, that, if you are not growing better,
you will by and by begin to grow stupid. Those
who are growing the right way, the more they
understand, the more they wonder; and the more
they learn to do, the more they want todo. Willie



38 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,

was a boy of this kind. I don’t care to write about
boys and girls, or men and women, who are not
growing the right way. They are not interesting
enough to write about.

But he was not the only one to grow: Agnes
grew as well; and the more Willie grew capable of
helping her, the more he found Agnes required of
him. It was a long time, however, before he knew
how much ,he was obliged to Agnes for requiring
so much of him, /

She grew and grew until she was capable of a
doll; when of course a doll was given her—not a
new one just bought, but a most respectable old
doll, a big one that had been her mother’s when she
was a little girl, and which she had: been wise
enough to put in her trunk before she left her
mother’s house to go home with Mr Macmichael.
She made some new clothes for it now, and Tibby
made a cloak and bonnet for her to wear when she
went out of doors. But it struck Willie that her
shoes, which were only of cloth, were very unfit for
walking, and he thought that in a doctor’s family
it was something quite amazing that, while head
and shoulders were properly looked after, the feet
should remain utterly neglected. It was clear that
must be his part in the affair ; it could not be any-
body else’s, for in that case some one else would
have attended to it. He must see about it,

I think I have said before that Willie knew almost





He Goes to Learn a Trade. 39



everybody in the village, and I might have added
that everybody without exception knewhim. Hewas
a favourite—first of all, because his father was much
loved and trusted ; next, because his mother spoke
as kindly to her htisband’s poor patients as to the
richer ones; and last, because he himself spoke to
everybody with proper respect. Some of the
people, however, he knew of course better than
others. Of these Mrs Wilson we know was one.
But I believe I also mentioned that in the house in
which she lived there were other poor people. In
the room opposite to hers, on the ground-floor,
lived and worked a shoemaker—a man who had
neither wife nor child, nor, so far as people knew,
any near relative at all. He was far from being in
good health, and although he worked from morning
to night, had a constant pain in his back, which.
was rather crooked, having indeed a little hump on
it. If his temper was not always of the best, I
wonder what cleverest of watches or steam-engines
would go as well as he did with such a twist in z¢s
back? To see him seated on his low stool—in
which, by the way, as if it had not been low enough,
he sat in a leather-covered hole, perhaps for the
sake of the softness and spring of the leather—with
his head and body bent forward over his lapstone
or his last, and his right hand with the quick broad-
headed hammer hammering tip and down on a piece
of sole-leather; or with both his hands now meet-



40 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

ing as if for a little friendly chat about something
small, and then suddenly starting asunder as if in |
astonished anger, with a portentous hiss, you might
have taken him for an automaton moved by springs,
and imitating human actions in a very wonderful
manner—so regular and machine-like were his
motions, and so little did he seem to think about
what he was at. A little passing attention, a hint
now and then from his head, was sufficient to keep ©
his hands right, for they were so used to their work,
and had been so well taught by his head, that they
could pretty nearly have made a pair of shoes of
themselves; so that the shoemaking trade is one
that admits of a great deal of thought going on in
the head that hangs over the work, like a sun over
the earth ripening its harvest. Shoemakers have
distinguished themselves both in poetry and in
prose; and if Hector Macallaster had done so in
neither, he could yet think, and that is what some
people who write both poetry and prose cannot do.
But it is of infinitely more importance to be able
to think well than merely to write ever so well;
and, besides, to think well is what everybody ought
to be or to become able to do.

Hector had odd ways of looking at things, but I
need not say more about that, for it will soon be
plain enough. Ever since the illness from which
he had risen with a weak spine, and ever-working
brain, and a quiet heart, he had shown himself not



He Goes to Learn a Trade. . 41





merely a good sort of man, for such he had always -
been, but a religious man; not by saying much,
for he was modest even to shyness with grown
people, but by the solemnity of his look when a
great word was spoken, by his unblamable be-
haviour, and by the readiness with which he would
lend or give of his small earnings to his poor neigh-
bours. The only thing of which anybody could
complain was his temper; but it showed itself only
occasionally, and almost everybody made excuse
for it on the ground of his bodily ailments. He
gave it no quarter himself, however. He said once
to the clergyman, to whom he had been lamenting
the trouble he had with it, and who had sought to
comfort him by saying that it was caused by the
weakness of his health—

“No, sir—excuse me; nobody knows how much
Iam indebted to my crooked back. If it weren’t
for that I might have a bad temper and never
know it. But that drives it out of its hole, and
when I see the ugly head of it I know it’s there,
and try once more to starve it to death. But oh
dear! it’s such a creature to burrow! When I
think I’ve built it in all round, out comes its head
again at a place where I never looked to see it, and
it’s all to do over again!”

You will understand by this already that the
shoemaker thought after his own fashion, which is
the way everybody who can think does think.



42 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

What he thought about his trade and some other
things we shall see by and by.

When Willie entered his room, he greeted him
with a very friendly nod; for not only was he fond
of children, but he had a special favour for Willie,
chiefly because he considered himself greatly in-
debted to him for something he had said to Mrs
Wilson, and which had given him a good deal to
think about. For Mrs Wilson often had a chat
with Hector, and then she would not unfrequently
talk about Willie, of whose friendship she was
proud. She had told him of the strange question
he had put to her as to whether God worked, and
the shoemaker, thinking over it, had come to the
same conclusion as Willie’s father, and it had been
a great comfort and help to him.

“What can I do for you to-day, Willie?” he
said ; for in that part of the country they do not
say Master and Miss. “You look,” he added, “as
if you wanted something.” ,

“TI want you to teach me, please,” answered
Willie.

“To teach you what?” asked Hector.

“To make shoes, please,” answered Willie,

“Ah! but do you think that would be prudent
of me? Don’t you see, if I were to teach you to
make shoes, people would be coming to you to make
their shoes for them, and what would become of
me then?”



Fe Goes to Learn a Trade, 43



“But I only want to make shoes for Aggy’s doll.
She oughtn’t to go without shoes in this weather,
you know.”

“Certainly not. Well, if you will bring me the
doll I will take her measure and make her a pair.”

“But I don’t think papa could afford to pay for
shoes for a doll as well as for all of us. You see,
though it would be better, it’s not necessary that a
doll should have strong shoes. She has shoes good
enough for indoors, and she needn't walk in the
wet. Don’t you think so yourself, Hector?”

“But,” returned Hector, ‘I shall be happy to
make Agnes a present of a pair of shoes for her
doll. I shouldn’t think of charging your papa for
that. He is far too good a man to be made to pay
for everything.”

“But,” objected Willie, “to let you make them
for nothing would be as bad as to make papa pay
for them when they are not necessary. Please,
you must let me make them for Aggy. Besides,
she’s not old enough yet even to say thank you for
them.”

“Then she won't be old enough to say thank you
to you either,” said Hector, who, all this time, had
been losing no moment from his work, but was
stitching away, with a bore, and a twiddle, and a
hiss, at the sole of a huge boot,

“Ah! but you see, she’s my own—so it doesn’t

matter!”
(418) D



44 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

If I were writing a big book, instead of a little
one, I should be tempted to say not only that this
set Hector a thinking, but what it made him think

‘aswell. Instead of replying, however, he laid down
his boot, rose, and first taking from a shelf a whole
skin of calf-leather, and next a low chair from a
corner of the room, he set the latter near his own
seat opposite the window.

«Sit down there, then, Willie,” he said; adding,
as he handed him the calf-skin, “There’s your
leather, and my tools are at your service. Make
your shoes, and welcome. I shall be glad of your
company.”

Having thus spoken, he sat down again, caught
up his boot hurriedly, and began sires away as
if for bare life.

Willie took the calf-skin on his lap, somewhat
bewildered. If he had been asked to cut out a pair
of sevén-leagued boots for the ogre, there would
have seemed to his eyes enough of leather for them
in that one skin. But héw ever was he to find two
pieces small enough for doll’s shoes in such an
ocean of leather? He began to turn it round and
round, looking at it all along the edge, while Hector
was casting sidelong glances at him in the midst of
his busyness, with a curiosity on his face which his
desire to conceal it caused to look grim instead of
amused.



fe Goes to Learn a Trade. 45

Willie, although he had never yet considered ©
how shoes are made, had seen at once that nothing
could be done until he had got the command of a
manageable bit of leather ; he found too much only
a shade better than too little; and he saw that it
wouldn’t be wise to cut a piece out azywhere, for
that might spoil what would serve for a large pair
of shoes or even boots. Therefore he kept turning
the skin round until he came to a small projecting
piece. This he contemplated for some time, trying
to recall the size of Dolly’s feet, and to make up
his mind whether it would not be large enough for
one or even for both shoes. A smile passed over
Hector’s face—a smile of satisfaction,

“That’s it!” he said at last. “I think you’ll
do. That’s the first thing—to consider your stuff,
and see how much you can make of it. Waste isa
thing that no good shoemaker ever yet. could
endure. It’s bad in itself, and so unworkmanlike!
Yes, I think that corner will do. Shall I cut it off
for you?”

“No, thank you—not yet, please. I think I
must go and look at her feet, for I can’t recollect
guite how big they are. I’ll just run home and
look.” ‘

“Do you think you will be able to carry the
exact size in your head, and bring it back with
you?”

“Yes, I think IT shall.”



46 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“T don’t. I never could trust myself so far as
that, nearly. You might be pretty nigh it one way
and all wrong another, for you have to consider
length and breadth and roundabout. I will tell
you the best way for you to do. Set the doll
standing on a bit of paper, and draw a pencil all
round her foot with the point close to it on the
paper. Both feet will be better, for it would be a
anistake to suppose they must be of the same size.
That will give you the size of the sole. Then take
a strip of paper and see how long a piece it takes
to go round the thickest part of the foot, and cut it
off to that length. That will be sufficient measure-
ment for a doll’s shoe, for even if it should not fit
exactly, she won’t mind either being pinched a little
or having to walk a little loose.”

Willie got up at once to go and do as Hector
had told him; but Hector was not willing to part
with him so soon, for it was not often he had any-
body to talk to while he went on with his work,
Therefore he said—

“But don’t you think, Willie, before you set
about it, you had better see how I do? It would
be a pity to spend your labour in finding out for
yourself what shoemakers have known for hundreds
of years, and which you could learn so easily by
letting me show you.”

“Thank you,” said Willie, sitting down again.
“JT should like that very: much. I will sit and



He Goes to Learn a Trade, 47



look at you. I know what you aredoing. You are
fastening on the sole of a boot.”

“Yes. Do you see how it’s done?”

“I’m notsure. I don’t see yet quite. Ofcourse

-I see you are sewing the one to the other. I’ve
often wondered how you could manage with small
shoes like mine to get in your hand to pull the
needle through; but I see you don’t use a needle,
and I see that you are sewing it all on the outside
of the boot, and don’t put your hand inside at all.
I can’t get to understand it.”

“Vou will ina minute. You see how, all round
the edge of the upper, as we call it, I have sewn on
a strong narrow strip, so that one edge of the strip
sticks out all round, while the other is inside. To
the edge that sticks out I sew on the sole, drawing
my threads so tight that when I pare the edges off
smooth, it will look like one. piece, and puzzle
anybody who did not know how it was done.”

“T think I understand. But how do you get
your thread so sharp and stiff as to go through the
holes you make? I find it hard enough some-
times to get a thread through the eye of a needle;
for though the thread is ever so much smaller than
yours, I have to sharpen and sharpen it often before
Ican get it through. But yours, though it is so
thick, keeps so sharp that it goes through the
holes at once—two threads at once—one from each
side!”



48 FTistory of Gutta-Percha Wittie.



“Ah! but I don’t sharpen my thread; I puta
point upon it.”

“Doesn't that mean the same thing?”

“Well, it may generally ; but / don’t mean fie
same thing by it. Look here.”

“TI see!” cried Willie; “there is a long bit of
something else, not thread, upon it. What is it?
It looks like a hair, only thicker, and it is so sharp
at the point!”

“Can’t you guess ?”

“No; I can’t.”

“Then I will tell you. It is a bristle out of a
hog’s back. I don’t know what a shoemaker would
do without them. Look, here’s a little bunch of
them.”

“That ’s a very clever use to put them to,” said
Willie. “Do you go and pluck them out of the
pigs?”

“No; we buy them at the shop. We want a
good many, for they wear out. They get too soft,
and though they don’t break right off, they double
up in places, so that they won’t go through.”

“ How do you fasten them to the thread ?”

“Look here,” said Hector.

He took several strands of thread together, and
drew them through and through a piece of cobbler’s
wax, then took a bristle and put it in at the end
cunningly, in a way Willie couldn’t quite follow;
and then rolled and rolled threads and all over and



fle Goes to Learn a Trade. 49



over between his hand and his leather apron, till it
seemed like a single dark-coloured cord,

“There, you see, is my needle and thread all in
one,”

“And what is the good of rubbing it so much
with the cobbler’s wax?”

“There are several good reasons for doing that.
In the first place, it makes all the threads into one
by sticking them together. Next it would be worn
out before I had drawn it many times through but
for the wax, which keeps the rubbing from wearing
it. The wax also protects it afterwards, and keeps
the wet from rotting it. The waxed thread fills
the hole better too, and what is of as much con-
sequence as anything, it sticks so that the last
stitch doesn’t slacken before the next comes, but
holds so tight that, although the leather is very
springy, it cannot make it slip. The two pieces are
thus got so close together that they are like one
piece, as you will see when I pare the joined
edges,”

I should tire my reader if I were to recount all
the professional talk that followed; for although
Willie found it most interesting, and began to feel
as if he should soon be able to make a shoe him-
self, it is a very different thing merely to read about
it—the man’s voice not in your ears, and the work
not going on before youreyes, But the shoemaker
cared for other things besides shoemaking, and



50 History of Gutta-Percha Wille.



after a while he happened to make a remark which
led to the following question from Willie :—

“Do you understand astronomy, Hector?”

“No. It’s not my business, you see, Willie.”

“ But you’ve just been telling me so much about
the moon, and the way she keeps turning her face
always to us—in the politest manner, as you
said!” :

“T got it all out of Mr Dick’s book. I don’t
understand it. I don’t know why she does so. I
know a few things that are not my business, just as
you know a little about shoemaking, that not being
your business ; but I don’t understand them for all
that.”

“Whose business is astronomy then?”

“Well,” answered Hector, a little puzzled, “I
don’t see how it can well be anybody’s business
but God’s, for 1’m sure no one else can lay a hand
to it.”

“And what’s your business, Hector?” asked
Willie, in a half-absent mood.

Some readers may perhaps think this a stupid
question, and perhaps so it was; but Willie was
not therefore stupid. People sometimes appear
stupid because they have more things to think _
about than they can well manage; while those who
think only about one or two things may, on the
contrary, appear clever when just those one or two
things happen to be talked about.



He Goes to Learn a Trade, 51



“What is my business, Willie? Why, to keep
people out of the dirt, of course.”

“How?” asked Willie again.

“By making and mending their shoes. Mr Dick,
now, when he goes out to look at the stars through
his telescope, might get his death of cold if his shoe-
maker did not know his business. Of the general
business, it’s a part God keeps to Himself to see
that the stars go all right, and that the sun rises
and sets at the proper times, For the time’s not
the same any two mornings running, you see, and
he might make a mistake if he wasn’t looked after,
and that would beserious, But I told you I don’t
understand about astronomy, because it’s not my
business. I’m set to keep folk’s feet off the cold
and wet earth, and stones and broken glass; for
however much a man may be an astronomer and look
up at the sky, he must touch the earth with some
part of him, and generally does so with his feet.”

“ And God sets you to do it, Hector?”

“Yes, It’s the way He looks after people’s feet.
He’s got to look after everything, you know, or
everything would go wrong. So He gives me the
leather and the tools and the hands—and I must
say the head, for it wants no little head to make a
good shoe to measure—and it is as if He said to me
—‘ There! you make shoes, while I keep the stars
right.’ Isn't it a fine thing to have a hand in the
general business ?”



52 History of Gutta-Percha Weullte.



And Hector looked up with shining eyes in the
face of the little boy, while he pulled at his rosin-
ends as if he would make the boot strong enough to
keep out evil spirits.

“T think it’s a fine thing to have to make nice
new shoes,” said Willie; “but I don’t think I
should like to mend them when they are soppy
and muddy and out of shape.”

“Tf you would take your share in the general
business, you mustn’t be particular. It won’t do
to be above your business, as they say: for my
part, I would say delow your business, There’s
those boots in the corner now. They belong to
your papa. And they come next. Don’t you
think ft’s an honour to keep the feet of such a good
man dry and warm as he goes about from morning
to night comforting people? Don’t you think it’s
an honour to mend boots for Am, even if ny
should be dirty?”

“Oh, yes—for papa!” said Willie, as if his papa
must be an exception to any rule.

“Well,” resumed Hector, “look at these great
lace-boots, I shall have to fill the soles of them
full of hobnails presently, They belong to the
best ploughman in the parish—John Turnbull.
Don’t you think it’s an honour to mend boots for
a man who makes the best bed for the corn to die
in?”

“| thought it was to grow in,” said Willie.



He Goes to Learn a Trade, 53

“All the same,” returned Hector. “When it
dies it grows—and not till then, as you will read in
the New Testament. Isn’t it an honour, I say, to
mend boots for John Turnbull?”

“Oh, yes—for John Turnbull! I know John,”
said Willie, as if it made any difference to his
merit whether Willie knew him or not!

-“ And there,’ Hector went on, “lies a pair of
slippers that want patching. They belong to
William Webster, the weaver, round the corner.
They ’re very much down at heel too. But isn’t
it an honour to patch or set up slippers for a man
who keeps his neighbours in fine linen all the days
of their lives?”

“Ves, yes. I know William. It must be nice
to do anything for William Webster.”

“ Suppose you didn’t know him, would that make
any difference?”

“No,” said Willie, after thinking a little. “ Other
people would know him if I didn’t.”

“Ves, and if nobody knew him, God would
know him; and anybody God has thought worth
making, it’s an honour to do anything for. Believe
me, Willie, to have to keep people’s feet dry and
warm is a very important appointment.”

“Your own shoes aren’t very good, Hector,”
said Willie, who had been casting glances from
time to time at his companion’s feet, which were
shod in a manner that, to say the least of it, would



54 History of Gutta-Percha Wile,



have prejudiced no one in favour of his handiwork.
“Isn’t it an honour to make shoes for yourself
Hector?”

“There can’t be much honour in doing any-
thing for yourself,” replied Hector, “so far as I
can see. I confess my shoes are hardly decent,
but then I can make myself a pair at any time;
and indeed I’ve been thinking I would for the
last three months, as soon as a slack time came;
but I’ve been far too busy as yet, and, as I
don’t go out much till after it’s dusk, nobody
sees them.”

“ But if you should get your feet wet, and catch
cold?”

“Ah! that might be the death of me!” said
Hector. “I really must make myself a pair.
Well now—let me see—as soon as I have
mended those two pairs—I can do them all
to-morrow-—I will begin. And I’ll tell you
what,” he added, after a thoughtful pause, “if
you'll come to me the day after to-morrow,
I will take that skin, and cut out a pair of
shoes for myself, and you shall see how I do
it, and everything about the making of them;
—yes, you shall do some part of them your-
self, and that shall be your first lesson in shoe-
making.”

“But Dolly’s shoes!” suggested Willie,

“Dolly can wait a bit. She won’t take er death



He Goes to Learn a Trade. 55

of cold from wet feet. And let me tell you it is
harder to make a small pair well than a large pair.
You will do Dolly’s ever so much better after you
know how to make a pair for me.”



CHAPTER VI.

HOW WILLIE LEARNED TO READ BEFORE HE
KNEW HIS LETTERS.

HE next day his thoughts, having nothing

particular to engage them, kept brooding

over two things. These two things came together

all at once, and a resolution was the consequence.
I shall soon explain what I mean.

The one thing was, that. Hector had shown con-
siderable surprise when he found that Willie could
not read, Now Willie was not in the least ashamed
that he could not read: why should he be? It was
nowhere written in the catechism he had learnt
that it was his duty to be able to read; and if the .
catechism had merely forgotten to mention it, his
father and mother would have told him, Neither
was it a duty he ought to have known of himself—
for then he would have known it. So why should
he be ashamed?

People are often ashamed of what they need not
be ashamed of. Again, they are often not at all
ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, and



How Willie Learned to Read 57
will turn up their faces to the sun when they ought
to hide them in the dust. If, for instance, Willie
had ever put on a sulky face when his mother
asked him to hold the baby for her, that would
have been a thing for shame of which the skin of
his face might well try to burn itself off; but not
to be able to read before he had even been made
to think about it, was not at alla thing to be
ashamed of: it would have been more of a shame
to be ashamed. Now that it had been put into
his head, however, to think what a good thing
reading was, all this would apply no longer. It
was a very different thing now.

The other subject which occupied his thoughts
was this:

Everybody was so kind to him—so ready to do
things for him—and, what was of far more conse-
quence, to teach him to do them himself; while he,
so far as he could think, did nothing for anybody!
That could not be right; it could not be—for it
was not reasonable. Not to mention his father
and mother, there was Mrs Wilson, who had taught
him to knit, and even given him a few lessons in
spinning, though that had not come to much; and
here was Hector Macallaster going to teach him to
make shoes ; and not one thing that he could think
of was he capable of doing in return! This must
be looked into, for things could not be allowed to
go on like that. All at once it struck him that



58 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

Hector had said, with some regret in his voice, that
though he had plenty of time to think, he had very
little time to read; also that although he could
see well enough by candlelight to work at his
trade, he could not see well enough to read. What
a fine thing it would be to learn to read to Hector!
It would be such fun to surprise him too, by all at
once reading him something!

The sun was not at his full height when Willie
received this illumination. Before the sun went
down he knew and could read at sight at least a
dozen words,

For the moment he saw that he ought to leain
to read, he ran to his mother, and asked her to
teach him. She was delighted, for she had begun
to be a little doubtful whether his father’s plan of
leaving him alone till he wanted to learn was the
right one. But at that precise moment she was
too busy with something that must be done for his
father to lay it down and begin teaching him his
letters. Willie was so eager to learn, however, that
he could not rest without doing something towards
it. He bethought himself a littl—then ran and
got Dr Watts’s hymns for children. He knew
“How doth the little busy bee” so well as to be
able to repeat it without a mistake, for his mother
had taught it him, and he had understood it. You
see, he was not like a child of five, taught to repeat
by rote lines which could give him no notions but



flow Willie Learned to Read. 59



mistaken ones. Besides, he had a good know-
ledge of words, and could use them well in talk,
although he could not read; and itis a great thing
if a child can talk well before he begins to learn to
read.

He opened the little book at the Busy Bee, and
knowing already enough to be able to divide the
words the one from the other, he said to him-
self—

“The first word must be How. There it is,
with a gap between it and the next word. I
will look and see if I can find another How any-
where.” ;

He looked a long time before he found one; for
the capital H was in the way. Of course there
were a good many /ow’s, but not many with a big
H, and he didn’t know that the little 2 was just as
good for the mere word. Then he looked for doch,
and he found several doth’s. Of the’s he found as
great a swarm as if they had been the bees them-
selves with which the little song was concerned.
Busy was scarce; I am not sure whether he found
it at all; but he looked at it until he was pretty
sure he should know it again when he saw it.
After he had gone over in this way every word of
the first verse, he tried himself, by putting his
finger at random here and there upon it, and seeing
whether he could tell the word it happened to
ee Ge he could, and sometimes he

E



“2

60 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Wultte.



couldn’t, However, as I said, before the day was
over, he knew at least a dozen words perfectly well
at sight.

Nor let any one think this was other than a
great step in the direction of reading. It would be
easy for Willie afterwards to break up these words
into letters.

‘It took him two days more—for during part of

each he was learning to make shoes—to learn to

know anywhere every word he had found in that
hymn.

Next he took a hymn he had not learned, and
applied to his mother when he came to a word he
did not know, which was very often. As soon as
she told him one, he hunted about until he found
another and another specimen of the same, and
so went on until he had fixed it quite in his
mind.

At length he began to compare words that were
like each other, and by discovering wherein they
looked the same, and wherein they looked differ-
ent, he learned something of the sound of the
letters. For instance, in comparing the and these,
although the one sound of the two letters, ¢ and 2,
puzzled him, and likewise the silent e, he conjec-
tured that the s must stand for the hissing sound,
and when he looked at other words which had that
sound, and perceived an sin every one of them,
then he was sure of it. His mother had no idea



How Wille Learned to Read, 61

how fast he was learning ; and when about a fort-
night after he had begun, she was able to take him
in hand, she found, to her astonishment, that he
could read a great many words, but that, when she
wished him to spell one, he had not the least notion
what she meant.

“Isn't that a 0?” she said, wishing to help him
to find out a certain word for himself.

“T don’t know,” answered Willie, “It’s not the
busy bee,” he added, laughing ;—“I should know
him. It must be the lazy one, I suppose.”

“Don’t you know your letters?” asked his
mother,

“No, mamma. Which arethey? Are the rest
yours and papa’s?”

“Oh, you silly dear!” she said.

“Of course lam!” he returned ;—“ very silly!
How could any of them be mine before I know the
names of them! When I know them all, then
they ll all be mine, I suppose—-and everybody
else’s who knows them.—So that’s Mr B—is
it?”

“Yes. And that’s C,” said his mother.

“T’m glad to see you, Mr C,” said Willie, mer-
rily, nodding to the letter. “We. shall know each
other when we meet again.—I suppose this is D,
mamma. How d’e do, Mr D? And what’s this
one with its mouth open, and half its tongue cut
off?”



62 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

His mother told him it was E.

“ Then this one, with no foot to stand on, is Fe,
I suppose.”

His mother laughed; but whoever gave it the
name it has, would have done better to call it Fe,
as Willie did. It would be much better also, in
teaching children, at least, to call H, He, and
W, We, and Y, Ye, and Z, Ze, as Willie called
them. But it was easy enough for him to learn
their names after he knew so much of what they
could do,

What gave him a considerable advantage was,
that he had begun with verse, and not dry syllables
and stupid sentences. The music of the verse re-
paid him at once for the trouble of making it out
—even before he got at the meaning, while the
necessity of making each line go right, and the
rhymes too, helped him occasionally to the pro-
nunciation of a word.

The farther he got on, the faster he got on; and
before six weeks were over, he could read any-
thing he was able to understand pretty well at
sight.

By this time, also, he understood all the particu-
lars as to how a shoe is made, and had indeed done
a few stitches himself, a good deal of hammering
both of leather and of hob-nails, and a little patch-
ing, at which last the smallness of his hands was
an advantage.



Flow Willie Learned to Read. 63



At length, one day, he said to the shoe-
maker—

“Shall I read a little poem to you, Hector?”

“You told me you couldn’t read, Willie.”

“T can now though.”

“ Do then,” said Hector.

Looking for but a small result in such a short
time, he was considerably astonished to find how
well the boy could read; for he not merely gave
the words correctly, but the sentences, which is far
more difficult; that is, he read so that Hector
could understand what the writer meant. It is a
great thing to read well. Few can. Whoever
reads aloud and does not read well, is a sort of
deceiver; for he pretends to introduce one person
to another, while he misrepresents him.

In after life, Willie continued to pay a good deal
of attention not merely to reading for its own sake,
but to reading for the sake of other people, that is,
to reading aloud. As often as he came, in the
course of his own reading, to any verse that he
liked very much, he always read it aloud in order
to teach himself how it ought to be read; doing
his best—first, to make it sound true, that is, to
read it according to the sense; next, to make it
sound beautiful, that is, to read it according to
the measure of the verse and the melody of the
words.

He now read a great deal to Hector. There



64 History of Gutta-Percha Withe.





came to be a certain time every day at which
Willie Macmichael was joyfully expected by the
shoemaker—to read to him for an hour and a half
—beyond which time his father did not wish the
reading to extend.



CHAPTER VII.

SOME THINGS THAT CAME OF WILLIE'S GOING
TO SCHOOL.

HEN his father found that he had learned
to read, then he judged it good for him to
go to school. Willie was very much pleased. His
mother said she would make him a bag to carry his
books in; but Willie said there was no occasion to
trouble herself; for, if she would give him the stuff,
he would make it. So she got him a nice bit of
green baize, and in the afternoon he made his bag
—no gobble-stitch work, but good, honest back-
stitching, except the string-case, which was only
run, that it might draw easier and tighter. He
passed the string through with a bodkin, fixed it in
the middle, tied the two ends, and carried the bag
to his mother, who pronounced it nearly as well
made as if she had done it herself.
At school he found it more and more plain what
a good thing it is that we haven’t to find out every-
thing for ourselves from the beginning ; that-people
gather into books what they and all who went be-



66 flistory of Gutta-Percha Withe.



fore them have learned, so that we come into their
property, as it were; and, after being taught of
them, have only to begin our discoveries from where
they leave off. In geography, for instance, what a
number of voyages and journeys have had to be
made, and books to record them written; then
what a number of these books to be read, and the
facts gathered out of them, before a single map
could be drawn, not to say a geography book
printed! Whereas now he could learn a multitude
of things about the various countries, their peoples
and animals and plants, their mountains and rivers
and lakes and cities, without having set his foot be-
yond the parish in which he was born, And so
with everything else after its kind. But it is more
of what Willie learned to do than what he learned
to know that I have to treat.

When he went to school, his father made him a
present of a pocket-knife. He had had one before,
but not a very good one; and this, having three
blades, all very sharp, he found a wonderful trea-
sure of recourse. His father also bought him a
nice new slate.

Now there was another handy boy at school, a
couple of years older than Willie, whose father was
acarpenter. He had cut on the frame of his slate,
not his initials only, but his whole name and ad-
dress,— Alexander Spelman, Priory Leas. Willie
thought how nice it would be with his new knife



What came of Willie’s going to School, 67



also to cut his name on his slate; only he would
rather make some difference in the way of doing
it. .What if, instead of sinking the letters in the
frame, he made them stand up from the frame by
cutting it away to some depth all round them.
There was not much originality in this, for it was
only reversing what Spelman had done; but it was
more difficult, and would, he thought, be prettier,
Then what was he thus to carve? One would say,
“Why, William Macmichael, of course, and, if he
liked, Priory Leas.” But Willie was a peculiar little
fellow, and began to reason with himself whether
he had any right to put his own name on the slate.
“My father did not give me the slate,” he said,
“to be my very own, He gave me the knife like
that, but not the slate. When I am grown up, it
will belong to Agnes, What shall I put on it?
What’s mine’s papa’s, and what’s papa’s is his own,”
argued Willie —“/ know!” he said to himself at last.

The boys couldn’t imagine what he meant to do
when they saw him draw first a D and then an
O on the frame. But when they saw a C and
a T follow, they thought what a conceited little
prig Willie was!.

“Do you think you’re a doctor because your
father is, you little ape?” they said.

“No, no,’ answered Willie, laughing heartily,
but thinking, as he went on with his work, that he
might be one some day.



68 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



When the drawing of the letters was finished,
there stood, all round the slate, “Doctor Mac-
michaels Willie, The Ruins, Priory Leas.” ,

Then out came his knife. But it was a long job,
for Willie was not one of those slovenly boys that
scamp their work. Such boys are nothing but soft,
pulpy creatures, who, when they grow to be men, .
will be too soft for any of the hard work of the
world. They will be fit only for buffers, to keep
the working men from breaking their heads against
each other in their eagerness. But the carving was
at length finished, and gave much satisfaction—
first to Willie himself, because it was finished ; next,
to Alexander Spelman, Priory Leas, because, being
a generous-minded boy, he admired Willie’s new
and superior work; third, to Mr and Mrs Mac-
michael, because they saw in it, not the boy’s
faculty merely, but his love to his father as well;
for the recognition of a right over us is one of the
sweetest forms love can take. “/ am yours” isthe
best and greatest thing one can say, if to the right
person.

It led to a strong friendship between him and
Spelman, and to his going often to the workshop
of the elder Spelman, the carpenter.

He was a solemn, long-faced, and long-legged
man, with reddish hair and pale complexion, who
seldom or ever smiled, and at the bench always
looked as if he were standing on a stool, he stooped



What came of Willie’s going to School, 69

so immoderately. A greater contrast than that
between him and the shoemaker could hardly have
been found, except in this, that the carpenter also
looked sickly. He was in perfect health, however,
only oppressed with the cares of his family, and
the sickness of his wife, who was a constant invalid,
with more children her husband thought than she
could well manage, or he well provide for, But if
he had thought less about it he would have got on
better. He worked hard, but little fancied how
many fewer strokes of his plane he made in an hour
just because he was brooding over his difficulties,
and imagining what would be the consequences if
this or that misfortune were to befall him—of which
he himself sought and secured the shadow before-
hand, to darken and hinder the labour which might
prevent its arrival. But he was a good man never-
theless, for his greatest bugbear was debt. If he
could only pay off every penny he owed in the
world, and if only his wife were so far better as to
enjoy life a little, he would, he thought, be perfectly
happy. His wife, however, was tolerably happy,
notwithstanding her weak health, and certainly
enjoyed life a good deal—far more at least than
her husband was able to believe.

Mr Macmichael was very kind and attentive to
Mrs Spelman; though, as the carpenter himself
said, he hadn’t seen the colour of zs money for
years, But the Doctor knew that Spelman was a



70 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



hard-working man, and would rather have given
him a little money than have pressed him for a
penny. He told him one day, when he was lament-
ing that he couldn’t pay him even yez, that he was
only too glad to do anything in the least little bit
like what the Saviour did when he was in the
world—“a carpenter like you, Spelman—think of
that,” added the Doctor.

So Spelman was as full of gratitude as he could
hold. Except Hector Macallaster, the Doctor was
almost his only creditor. Medicine and shoes
were his chief trials: he kept on paying for the
latter, but the debt for the former went on accumu-
lating.

Hence it came that when Willie began to haunt
his shop, though he had hardly a single smile to
give the little fellow, he was more than pleased ;-—-
gave him odds and ends of wood; lent him what-
ever tools he wanted except the adze—that he
would not let him touch ; would drop him a hint
now and then as to the use of them; would any
moment stop his own work to attend to a diffi-
culty the boy found himself in; and, in short, paid
him far more attention than he would have
thought required of him if Willie had been his
apprentice,

From the moment he entered the workshop,
Willie could hardly keep his hands off the tools,
The very shape of them, as they lay on the bench



What came of Willie’s going to School, 7%



or hung on the wall, seemed to say over and over,
“Come, use me; come, use me.” They looked
waiting, and hungry for work. They wanted stuff
to shape and fashion into things, and join into
other things. They wanted to make bigger tools
than themselves—for ploughing the earth, for carry-
ing the harvest, or for some one or other of ten
thousand services to be rendered in the house or in
the fields. It was impossible for Willie to see the
hollow lip of the gouge, the straight lip of the
chisel, or the same lip fitted with another lip, and
so made into the mouth of the plane, the worm-
like auger, or the critical spokeshave, the hammer
which will have it so, or the humble bradawl which
is its pioneer—he could see none of them without
longing to send his life into theirs, and set them
doing in the world—for was not this what their .
dumb looks seemed ever to implore?

At that time young Spelman was busy making
a salt-box for his mother out of the sound bits of
an old oak floor which his father had taken up
because it was dry-rotted. It was hard wood to
work, but Willie bore a hand in planing the pieces,
and was initiated into the mysteries of dovetailing
and gluing. Before the lid was put on by the
hinges, he carved the initials of the carpenter and
his wife in relief upon it, and many years after they
used to show his work. But the first thing he set
about making for himself was a water-wheel.



72 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



If he had been a seaside boy, his first job would’
have been a boat ; if he had lived in a flat country,
it would very likely have been a windmill; but.
the most noticeable thing in that neighbourhood
was a mill for grinding corn driven by a water-
wheel.

When Willie was a tiny boy, he had gone once
with Farmer Thomson’s man and a load of corn to
see the mill; and the miller had taken him all over
it. He saw the corn go in by the hopper into the
trough which was the real hopper, for it kept con-
stantly hopping to shake the corn down through
a hole in the middle of the upper stone, which
went round and round against the lower, so that
between them they ground the corn to meal, which,
in the story beneath, he saw pouring, a solid stream
like an avalanche, from a wooden spout. But the
best of it all was the wheel outside, and the busy
rush of the water that made it go. So Willie
would now make a water-wheel. 2

The carpenter having given him a short lecture
on the different kinds of water-wheels, he decided
on an undershot, and with Sandy’s help proceeded
to construct it—with its nave of mahogany, its
spokes of birch, its floats of deal, and its axle of
stout iron-wire, which, as the friction would not be
great, was to run in. gudgeon-blocks of some hard
wood, well oiled. These blocks were fixed in a
frame so devised that, with the help of a few stones



























































































WILLIE IS TAKEN TO SEE A WATER-WHEEL.,



What came of Willie's going to School, 73
to support it, the wheel might be set going in any
small stream.

There were many tiny brooks running into the
river, and they fixed upon one of them which
issued from the rising ground at the back of the
village: just where it began to run merrily down
the hill, they constructed in its channel a stone-
bed for the water-wheel—not by any means for it
to go to sleep in!

It went delightfully, and we shall hear more of
it by and by. For the present, I have only to con-
fess that, after a few days, Willie got tired of it—
and small blame to him, for it was of no earthly
use beyond amusement, and that which can only
amuse can never amuse long. I think the reason
children get tired of their toys so soon is just that
it is against human nature to be really interested
in what is of no use. If you say that a beautiful
thing is always interesting, I answer, that a beauti-
ful thing is of the highest use. Is not a diamond
that flashes all its colours into the heart of a poet
as useful as the diamond with which the glazier
divides the sheets of glass into panes for our win-
dows? Anyhow, the reason Willie got tired of his
water-wheel was that it went round and round, and
did nothing but go round. It drove no machinery,
ground no grain of corn—“did nothing for zo-
body,” Willie said, seeking to be emphatic. So
he carried it home, and put it away in a certain



74 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,
part of the ruins where he kept odds and ends of
things that might some day come in useful.

Mr Macmichael was so devoted to his profession
that he desired nothing better for Willie than that
he too should be a medical man, and he was more
than pleased to find how well Willie’s hands were
able to carry out his contrivances; for he judged
it impossible for a country doctor to have too much
mechanical faculty. The exercise of such a skill
alone might secure the instant relief of a patient,
and be the saving of him. But, more than this, he
believed that nothing tended so much to develop —
common sense—the most precious of faculties—as
the doing of things with the hands, Hence he not
only encouraged Willie in everything he under-
took, but, considering the five hours of school
quite sufficient for study of that sort, requested
the master not to give him any lessons to do at
home. So Willie worked hard during school, and
after it had plenty of time to spend in carpenter-
ing, so that he soon came to use all the common
bench-tools with ease, and Spelman was proud of
his apprentice, as he called him—so much so, that
the burden of his debt grew much lighter upon his
shoulders,

But Willie did not forget his older friend, Hector
Macallaster. Every half-holiday he read to him
for a couple of hours, chiefly, for some time, from
Dick’s Astronomy. Neither of them understood



What came of Willie's going to School, 7%



all he read, but both understood much, and Hector
could explain some of the things that puzzled
Willie. And when he found that everything went
on in such order, above and below and all about
him, he began to see that even a thing well done
was worth a good deal more when done at the
right moment or within the set time; and that the
heavens themselves were like a great clock, order-
ing the time for everything.

Neither did he give up shoemaking, for he often
did a little work for Hector, who had made him a
leather apron, and cut him out bits of stout leather
to protect his hands from the thread when he was
sewing. For twelve months, however, his chief em-
ployment lay in the workshop of the carpenter.

(416 ) op



CHAPTER VIIL

WILLIZ DIGS AND FINDS WHAT HE DID NOT
BXPECT.

E had been reading to Hector Sir Walter
Scott’s “Antiquary,” in which occurs the
narration of a digging for treasure in ruins not
unlike these, only grander. It was of little conse-
quence to Willie that no treasure had been found
there: the propriety of digging remained the
same; for in a certain spot he had often fancied
that a hollow sound, when he stamped hard, indi-
cated an empty place underneath. I believe myself
that it came from above, and not from beneath; for
although a portion of the vaulted roof of the little
chamber had been broken in, the greater part of it
still remained, and might have caused a reverbera-
tion. The floor was heaped up with fallen stones
and rubbish.

One Wednesday afternoon, instead of going to
Hector, whom he had told not to expect him, he
got a pickaxe and spade, and proceeded to dig in
the trodden heap. At the first blow of the pickaxe



Digs bid Finds what he did not Expect. 77



he came upon large stones—the job of clearing
out which was by no means an easy one—so far
from it, indeed, that, after working for half an hour,
and only getting out two large and half a dozen
_ smaller ones, he resolved to ask Sandy Spelman
to help him. So he left his pickaxe with one point
fast between two stones, and ran to the shop.
Sandy was at work, but his father was quite willing ~
to let him go. Willie told them he was digging
for a treasure, and they all laughed over it; but at
the same time Willie thought with himself—* Who
knows? People fave found treasures buried in old
places like that. The Antiquary did not—but he
is only in a story, not in a high story” (for that
was Willie’s derivation of the word zstory), “The
place sounds likely enough. Anyhow, where’s the
harm in trying ?” .

They were both so eager—for Sandy liked the
idea of digging in the ruins much better than the
work he was at—that they set off-at full speed the
moment they were out of the shop, and never
slackened until they stood panting by the anchored
pickaxe, upon which Spelman pounced, and being
stronger than Willie, and more used to hard
work, had soon dislodged both the stones which
held it. They were so much larger, however, than
any Willie had come upon before, that they had
to roll them out of the little chamber, instead of
lifting them; after which they got on better, and



78 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



had soon piled a good heap against the wall out-
side. After they had had their tea, they set to
work again, and worked till the twilight grew dark
about them—by which time they had got the heap
down to what seemed the original level of the
floor. Still there were stones below, but what with
fatigue and darkness, they were now compelled to
stop, and Sandy went home, after promising to
come as early as he could in the morning and call
Willie, who was to leave the end of a string hang-
ing out of the staircase window, whose other end
should pass through the keyhole of his door and
be tied to his wrist.

He seemed to have hardly been in bed an hour,
when he woke with his arm at full length, and the
pulling going on as if it would pull him out of bed.
He tugged again in reply, and jumped out.

It was a lovely summer morning—the sun a few
yards up the sky; the grass glittering with dew ;
the birds singing as if they were singing their first
and would sing their last ; the whole air, even in
his little room, filled with a cool odour as of blessed
thoughts, and just warm enough to let him know
that the noontide would be hot. And there was
Sandy waiting in the street to help him dig for the
treasure! In a few minutes he had opened the
street door and admitted him. They went straight
to the scene of their labour.

Having got out a few more stones, they began



Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 79



to fancy they heard a curious sound, which they
agreed was more like that of running water than
anything else they could think of Now, except a
well in the street, just before the cottage, there was
no water they knew of much nearer than the river,
and they wondered a good deal.

At length Sandy’s pickaxe got hold of a stone
which he could not move, do what he would. He
tried another, and succeeded, but soon began to
suspect that there was some masonry there, Con-
tenting himself therefore with clearing out only the
loose stones, he soon found plainly enough that he
was working in a narrow space, around which was a
circular wall of solid stone and lime. The sound of
running water was now clear enough, and the earth
in the hole was very damp. Sandy had now got
down three or four feet below the level.

“Tt’s an old well,” he said. “There can be no
doubt of it.”

“Does it smell bad?” asked Willie, peeping
down disappointed.

“Not a bit,” answered Sandy.

“Then it’s not stagnant,” said Willie.

“You might have told that by your ears without
troubling your nose,” said Sandy. “Didn’t you
hear it running?”

“ How can it be running when it’s buried away
down there?” said Willie.

“ How can it make a noise if it isn’t running?”



80 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



retorted Sandy —to which question Willie at-
tempted no reply.

It was now serious work to get the stones up, for
Sandy’s head only was above the level of the
ground ; it was all he could do to lift some of the
larger ones out of the hole, and Willie saw that he
must contrive to give him some help. He ran
therefore to the house, and brought a rope which
he had seen lying about. One end of it Sandy
tied round whatever stone was too heavy for him,
and Willie, laying hold of the other, lifted along
with him. They got on faster now, and in a few
minutes Sandy exclaimed—

“ Here it is at last!”

“The treasure?” cried Willie. “ Oh, jolly !*

Sandy burst out laughing, and shouted—

“ The water !”

“Bother the water!” growled Willie. “But go
on, Sandy; the iron chest may be at the bottom
of the water, you know.”

“All very well for you up there!” retorted
Sandy. “But though I can get the stones out, I
can’t get the water out. And I’ve no notion of
diving where there’s pretty sure to be nothing to
dive for. Besides, a body can’t dive in a stone
pipe like this. I should want weights to sink me,
and I mightn’t get them off in time. I want my
breakfast dreadful, Willie.”

So saying, he scrambled up the side of the well,



Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 81
and the last of him that appeared, his boots,
namely, bore testimony enough to his having
reached the water. Willie peered down into the
well, and caught the dull glimmer of it through
the stones; then, a good deal disappointed, fol-
lowed Sandy as he strode away towards the
house, :

“You'll come and have your breakfast with me,
Sandy, won’t you?” he said from behind him,

“No, thank you,” answered Sandy. “I don’t
like any porridge but my mother’s.”

And without looking behind him, he walked right
through the cottage, and away home,

Before Willie had finished his porridge, he had
got over his disappointment, and had even begun
to see that he had never really expected to find a
treasure. Only it would have been fun to hand it
over to his father!

Allthrough morning school, however, his thoughts
would go back to the little vault, so cool and
shadowy, sheltering its ancient well from the light
that lorded it over all the country outside. No |
doubt the streams rejoiced in it, but even for them
it would be too much before the evening came to
cool and console them; while the slow wells in the
marshy ground up on the mountains must feel faint
in an hour of its burning eye. This well had always
been, and always would be, cool and blessed and
sweet, like--like a precious thing you can only



82 — Lfistory of Gutta-Percha Weilte.



think about. And wasn’t it a nice thing to have a
well of your own? Tibby needn’t go any more to
the village pump—which certainly was nearer, but
stood in the street, not in their own ground. Of
course, as yet, she could not draw a bucketful, for
the water hardly came above the stones; but he
would soon get out as many as would make it deep
enough—only, if it was all Sandy could do to get
out the big ones, and that with his help too, how.
was he to manage it alone? There was the
rub!

I must go back a little to explain how he came
to think of a plan.

After Hector and he had gone as far in Dr Dick’s
astronomy as they could understand, they found
they were getting themselves into what seemed
quite a jungle of planets, and suns, and comets,
and constellations.

“Tt seems to me,” said the shoemaker, “that to
understand anything you must understand every-
thing.”

So they laid the book aside for the present ; and
Hector, searching about for another with which to
fill up the remainder of the afternoon, came upon
one in which the mechanical powers were treated
after a simple fashion,

Of this book Willie had now read a good deal.
T cannot say that he had yet come to understand
the mechanical power so thoroughly as to see that



Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 83



the lever and the wheel-and-axle are the same in
kind, or that the screw, the inclined plane, and the
wedge are the same power in different shapes; but
he did understand that while a single pulley gives
you no advantage except by enabling you to apply
your strength in the most effective manner, a second
pulley takes half the weight off you. Hence, with
the difficulty in which he now found himself, came
at once the thought of a block with a pulley in it,
which he had seen lying about in the carpenter's
shop. He remembered also that there was a great
iron staple or eye in the vault just over the well;
and if he could only get hold of a second pulley,
the thing was as good as done—the well as good as
cleared out to whatever depth he could reach below
the water.

A\s soon as school was over, he ran to Mr Spel-
man, and found to his delight that he could lend
him not only that pulley but another as well. Each
ran in a block which had an iron hook attached to it,
With the aid of a ladder he put the hook of one of
the blocks through the staple, and then fastened the
end of his rope to the block. Next he got another
bit of rope, and having pulled off his shoes and
stockings, and got down into the well, tied it round
the largest stone within reach, loosely enough to
allow the hook of the second pulley to lay hold of
it. Then, as a sailor would say, he rove the end of
the long rope through this block, and getting up on



84 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



the ladder again, rove it also through the first block,
which he had left hanging to the staple. All pre-
parations thus completed, he stood by the well, and
hauled away at the rope. It came slipping through
the pulleys, and up rose the stone from the well as
if by magic. As soon as it came clear of the edge,
he drew it towards him, lowered it to the ground,
took off its rope collar, and rolled it out of the
doorway. Then he got into the well again, tied
the collar about another stone, drew down the
pulley, thrust its hook through the collar, got out
of the well, and hauled up the second stone.

In this way he had soon got out so many that
he was standing far above his ankles in the water,
which was so cold that he was glad to get out to
pull up every stone. By this time it was perfectly
explained how the water made a noise, for he saw
it escape by an opening in the side of the well.

He came at last to a huge stone, round which it
was with difficulty he managed to fasten the rope.
He had to pull away smaller stones from beneath
it, and pass the rope through under it. Having
lifted it a little way with the powerful help of his
tackle, to try if all was right before he got out to
haul in earnest, he saw that his knot was slipping,
and lowered the stone again so as to set it on one
end, leaning against the side of the well—when he
discovered that his rope collar had got so frayed,
that one of the strands was cut through ; it would



Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 85



probably break and let the stone fall again into
the well, when he would still more probably tumble
after it. He was getting tired too, and it was
growing very dusky in the ruins He thought it
better to postpone further proceedings, and getting
out of the well, caught up his shoes and stockings,
and went into the house.



CHAPTER IX.
A MARVEL,

ARLY the next morning Mr Macmichael, as

he was dressing, heard a laugh of strange
delight in the garden, and, drawing up the blind,
looked out. There, some distance off, stood Willie,
the one moment staring motionless at something
at his feet, the other dancing and skipping and
singing, but still looking down at something at his .
feet. His father could not see what this some-
thing was, for Willie was on the other side of one
of the mounds, and was turning away to finish his
dressing, when from another direction a peculiar
glitter caught his eye. .

“What can this mean?” he said to himself.
“Water in the garden! There’s been no rain;
and there’s neither river nor reservoir to overflow!
I can hardly believe my eyes!”

He hurried on the remainder of his clothes, and
went out. But he had not gone many steps when
what should he meet but a merry little brook
coming cantering down between two of the



A Marvel. 87



mounds! It had already worn itself a channel
in the path, He followed it up, wondering much,
bewildered indeed; and had got to a little turfy
hollow, down the middle of which it came bubbling
and gabbling along, when Willie caught sight of
him, and bounded to meet him with a radiant
countenance and almost inarticulate cries of de-
light,

“Am I awake, Willie? or am I dreaming?”
he asked. :

“Wide awake, papa,” answered Willie.

“Then what zs the meaning of this? You seem
to be in the secret: where does this water come
from? I feel as if I were in a fairy tale.”

“Tsn’t it lovely?” cried Willie. “I/’ll show you
where it comes from. This way. You’ll spoil
your boots there. Look at the rhubarb-bed ; it’s
turned into a swamp.”

“The garden will be ruined,” said his father.

“No, no, papa; we won’t let it come to that.
I’ve been watching it. There’s no soil carried
away yet. Do come and see.”

in mute astonishment, his father followed.

As I have already described it, the ground was
very uneven, with many heights and hollows, —
whence it came that the water took an amazing
number of twists and turns, Willie led his father
as straight as he could, but I don’t know how often
they crossed the little brook before they came to



88 History of Gutta-Percha Wittie,



where, from the old stone shaft, like the crater of
a volcano, it rolled over the brim, an eruption of
cool, clear, lucid water. Plenteous it rose and
overflowed, like a dark yet clear molten gem,
tumbling itself into the open world. How deli-
ciously wet it looked in the shadow!—how it
caught the sun the moment it left the chamber,
grew merry, and trotted and trolled and cantered
along !

“Ts this your work, Willie?” asked his father,
who did not know which of twenty questions to
ask first.

“Mostly,” said Willie.

“You little wizard! what have you been about?
I can’t understand it. We must make a drain for
it at once.”

“Bury a beauty like that in a drain!” cried
Willie. “O papa!”

“Well, I don’t know what else to do with it.
How is it that it never found its way out before—
somewhere or other ?”

“T’ll soon show you that,” said Willie. “Ill
soon send it about its business,”

He had thought, when he first saw the issuing
water, that the weight of the fallen stones and the
hard covering of earth being removed, the spring
had burst out with tenfold volume and vigour; but
had satisfied himself by thinking about it, that the
cause of the overflow must be the great stone he



A Marvel, 89



had set leaning against the side the last thing
before dropping work the previous night: it must
have blocked up the opening, and prevented the
water from getting out as fast as before, that is, as
fast as the spring rose. Therefore he now laid
hold of the rope, which was still connected with
the stone, and, not aware of how the water would
help him by partly floating it, was astonished to
find how easily he moved it. At once it swung
away from the side into the middle of the well;
the water ceased to run over the edge, with a loud
gurgling began to sink, and sank down and down
and down until the opening by which it escaped
was visible.

“ Ah! now, now I understand !” cried Mr Mac-
michael. “It’s the old well of the Priory you’ve —
come upon, you little burrowing mole.”

“Sandy helped me out with the stones. I
thought there might be a treasure down there,
and that set me digging. It was a funny treasure
to find—wasn’t it? No treasure could have been
prettier though.”

“Tf this be the Prior’s Well, and all be true
they said about it in old times,” returned his
father, “it may turn out a greater treasure than
you even hoped for, Willie. Why, as I found
some time ago in an old book about the monas-
teries of the country, people used to come from
great distances to drink the water of the Prior’s



Full Text



















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| THE HISTORY OF
GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE.
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WILLIE’S HORSE-SHOEING FORGE,
THE HISTORY OF

GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE

THE WORKING GENIUS.

BY

GEORGE MACDONALD, LL.D.

Author of ‘“‘Ranald Bannerman ;” “ The Princess and Curdie;”
“At the Back of the North Wind;” &c.

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR HUGHES.

NEW EDITION.



LONDON
BLACKIE & SON, Liwirep, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C,
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN
CONTENTS.

CHAP, . PAGE
a x

I. WHO HE WAS AND WHERE HE WAS . . . I

{I, WILLIE’S EDUCATION . . . . 7

III. HE IS TURNED INTO SOMETHING HE NEVER WAS

BEFORE. . ; : ‘ . 19
IV, HE SERVES AN APPRENTICESHIP. ; - 28
V. HE GOES TO LEARN A TRADE . ; - 37

VI. HOW WILLIE LEARNED TO READ BEFORE HE KNEW
HIS LETTERS . ‘ . 7 “. «56
VII. SOME THINGS THAT CAME OF WILLIE’S GOING TO
SCHOOL . : : . . - 65

VIII. WILLIE DIGS AND FINDS WHAT HE DID NOT

EXPECT - 7 . 7 : - 76

IX, AMARVEL . . . . 5 . 86
X. A NEW ALARUM ° 7 7 ° » 96
XI. SOME OF THE SIGHTS WILLIE SAW . . - 107
XII, A NEW SCHEME 2 . ; . . 1t5

XIII, WILLIE’S NEST IN THE RUINS . e +. 122
vi Contents.

CHAP. : PAGE
XIV. WILLIE’S GRANDMOTHER. . ‘ - 130
XV. HYDRAULICS . : . : ; . 137
XVI. HECTOR HINTS AT A DISCOVERY, . . 146
XVII. HOW WILLIE WENT ON ; : : . 149
XVIII. WILLIE’S TALK WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER . . 160
XIX. A TALK WITH MR SHEPHERD : : . 164

XX. HOW WILLIE DID HIS BEST TO MAKE A BIRD OF

AGNES . : - 176

XNXI, HOW AGNES LIKED BEING A BIRD . ° . 186
XXII, WILLIE’S PLANS BUD - : , - 196
XXIII, WILLIE’S PLANS BLOSSOM. ’ : + 203,
XXIV. WILLIE’S PLANS BEAR FRUIT. : . « 207

ILLUSTRATIONS.

WILLIE’S HORSE-SHOEING FORGE . . . Lrontispiece.
MRS. WILSON’S STORIES . , 7 . Page 10
WILLIE WITH THE BABY. 7 7 7 - 34
WILLIE TAKEN TO SEE A WATER-WHEEL . 7 42
WILLIF TOLD HIS FATHER ALL ABOUT IT . : . 106
“THAT'S WILLIE AGAIN” . : 5 o » 143
WILLIE MAKES A BIRD OF AGNES . 7 . » 190

WILLIE’S DREAM 7 . 7 ° : © 202

este

ase


THE HISTORY OF
GUTTA-PERCHA WILLIE.

CHAPTER 1.
WHO HE WAS AND WHERE HE WAS,

HEN he had been at school for about three

weeks, the boys called him Six-fingered- |

Jack; but his real name was Willie, for his father“
and mother gave it him—not William, but Willie,
after a brother of his father, who died young, and
had always been called Willie. His name in full
was Willie Macmichael. It was generally’ pro-
nounced Macmickle, which was, by a learned
anthropologist, for certain reasons about to appear
in this history, supposed to have been the original
form of the name, dignified in the course of time
into Macmichael. It was his own father, however,
who gave him the name of Gutta-Percha: Willie,
the reason of which will also show itself by and by.
2 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



Mr Macmichael was a country doctor, living in a
small village in a thinly-peopled country; the first
result’'of which was that he had very hard work,
for he had often to ride many miles to see a
patient} and that not unfrequently in the middle of
the night; and the second that, for this hard work,
he had very little pay, for a thinly-peopled country
is generally a poor country, and those who live in
it are poor also, and cannot spend much even upon
their health, But the doctor not only preferred’a
country life, although he would have been glad ‘to
have richer patients, and within less distances of
each other, but he would. say to any one who ex-
pressed surprise that, with his reputation, he should
remain where he was—“ What’s to become of my
little flock if I go away, for there are very few
doctors of my experience who would feel inclined’
to come and undertake my work, I know every
man, woman, and child in the whole country-side,
and that makes all the difference.” You see,
therefore, that he was'a good kind-hearted man,
and loved his work, for the sake of those whom he
helped by it, better than the money he received
for it. ‘

Their home was necessarily a very humble one—
a neat little cottage in the village of Priory Leas
—almost the one pretty spot thereabout. It lay
in a valley in the midst of hills, which did not look
high, because they rose with a gentle slope, and
| Who he was and Where he was, 3



had no bold elevations or grand-shaped peaks.
But they rose to a good height notwithstanding,
and the weather on the top of them in the winter-
time was often bitter and fierce—bitter with keen
frost, and fierce with as wild winds as ever blew.
Of both frost and wind the village at their feet
had its share too, but of course they were not so
bad down below, for the hills were a shelter from
the wind, and it is always colder the farther you
go up and away from the heart of this warm ball
of rock and earth upon which we live. When
Willie’s father was riding across the great moor-
land of those desolate hills, and the people in the
village would be saying to each other how bitterly
cold it was, he would be thinking how snug and
warm it was down there, and how nice it would be
to turn a certain corner on the road back, and slip
at once out of the freezing wind that had it all its
own way up among the withered gorse and heather
of the wide expanse where he pursued his dreary
journey. , :

For his part, Willie cared very little what the
weather was, but took it as it came. In the hot
summer, he would. lie in the long grass and get
cool; in the cold winter, he would scamper about
and get warm. When his hands were as cold as
icicles, his cheeks would be red as apples, When
his mother took his hands in hers, and chafed
them, full of pity for their suffering, as she thought
4 History of Gutta-Percha Wiltie.



it, Willie first knew that they were cold by the
sweet warmth of the kind hands that chafed them:
he had not thought of it’before. Climbing amongst
the ruins of the Priory, or playing with Farmer
Thomson’s boys and girls about the ricks in his
yard, in the thin clear saffron twilight which came
so early after noon, when, to some people, every
breath seemed full of needle-points, so sharp was
the cold, he was as comfortable and happy as if he
had been a creature of the winter only, and found
himself quite at home in it.

For there were ruins, and pretty large ruins ioe,
which they called the Priory. It was not: often
that monks chose such a poor country to settle in,
but I suppose they had their reasons. And I dare-
say they were not monks at all, but begging friars,
who founded it when they wanted to reprove the
luxury and greed of the monks; and perhaps by
the time they had grown as bad themselves, the
place was nearly finished, and they could not well
move it. They had, however, as I have indicated,
chosen the one pretty spot, around which, for a
short distance on every side, the land was tolerably
good, and grew excellent oats if poor wheat, while
the gardens were equal to apples and a few pears,
besides abundance of gooseberries, currants, and
strawberries.

The ruins of the Priory lay behind Mr Mac-
michael’s cottage—indeed, in the very garden—of
Who he was and Where he was. 5
which, along with the house, he had. purchased the
feu—that is, the place was his own, so long as he
paid a small sum—not more than fifteen shillings
a year, I think—to his superior. How long it was
since the Priory had come to be looked upon as
the mere encumbrance of a cottage garden, nobody
thereabouts knew; and although by this time I
presume archeologists have ferreted out every-
thing concerning it, nobody except its owner had
then taken the trouble to make the least inquiry
into its history. To Willie it was just the Priory,
as naturally in his father’s garden as if every gar-
den had similar ruins to adorn or encumber it,
according as the owner might choose to regard its
presence.

_ The ruins were of considerable extent, with re-
mains of Gothic arches, and carvings about the
doors—all open to the sky except a few places on
the ground-level which were vaulted, These being
still perfectly solid, were used by the family as
outhouses to store wood and peats, to keep the
garden tools in, and for such like purposes; In
summer, golden flowers grew on the broken walls;
in winter, grey frosts edged them against the sky.
I fancy the whole garden was but the space once
occupied by the huge building, for its surface was
the most irregular I ever saw in a garden. It was
up and down, up and down, in whatever direction
you went, mounded with heaps of ruins, over which
6 History of Guitta-Percha Willie.



the mould had gathered. For many years bushes
and flowers had grown upon them, and you might
dig a good way without coming to the stones,
though come to them you must at last. The
walks wound about between the heaps, and through
the thick walls of the ruin, overgrown-with lichens
and mosses, now and then passing through an
arched door or window of the ancient building. It
was a generous garden in old-fashioned flowers and
vegetables. There were a few apple and pear trees
also on a wall that faced the south, which were re-
garded by Willie with mingled respect and desire,
for he was not allowed to touch them, while of the
gooseberries he was allowed to eat as many as he
pleased when they were ripe, and of the currants
too, after his mother had had as many as she
wanted for preserves.

Some spots were much too shady to allow either
fruit or flowers to grow in them, so high and close
were the walls. But I need not say more about
the garden now, for I shall have occasion to refer
to it again and again, and I must not tell all I know
at once, else how should I make a story of it?
CHAPTER IL
WILLIE’S EDUCATION.

ILLIE was a good deal more than nine
years of age before he could read a single
word. It was not that he was stupid, as we shall
soon see, but that he had not learned the good of
reading, and therefore had not begun to wish to
read ; and his father had unusual ideas about how
he ought to be educated. He said he would no
more think of making Willie learn to read before
he wished to be taught than he would make him
eat if he wasn’t hungry. The gift of reading, he
said, was too good a thing to give him before he
wished to have it, or knew the value of it. “Would
you give him a watch,” he would say, “before he
. cares to know whether the sun rises in the east or
the west, or at what hour dinner will be ready ?”
Now I am not very sure how this would work
_ With some boys and girls. I am afraid they might
never learn to read until they had boys and girls
of their own whom they wanted to be better off
than, because of their ignorance, they had been.
themselves, But it worked well in Willie’s case,
8 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Wille.



who was neither lazy nor idle.. And it must not
be supposed that he was left without any educa-
tion at all. For one thing, his father and mother
used to talk very freely before him—much more
so than most parents do in the presence of their
children ; and nothing serves better for teaching
than the conversation of good and thoughtful
people. While they talked, Willie would sit lis-
tening intently; trying to understand what he
heard ; and although it not unfrequently took very
strange shapes in his little mind, because at times
he understood ‘neither the words nor the things
the words represented, yet there was much that he
did understand and make a good use of, For in-
stance, he soon came to know that his father and
mother had very little money to spare, and that
his father had to work hard to get what money
they had. He learned also that everything that
came into the house, or was done for them, cost
money ; therefore, for one thing, he must not ill-use
his clothes. He learned, too, that there was a great
deal of suffering in the world, and that his father’s
business was to try to make it less, and help people
who were ill to grow well again, and be able to do
their work; and this made him see what a useful
man his father was, and wish to be also of some
good in the world. Then he looked about him
and saw that there were a great many ways of
getting money, that is, a great many things for
Witlie’s Education, 9



doing which people would give money; and he saw
that some of those ways were better than others,
and he thought his father’s way the very best of all.
I give these as specimens of the lessons he learned
by listening to his father and mother as they talked
together. But he had another teacher.

Down the street of the village, which was.very
straggling, with nearly as many little gardens as
houses in it, there was a house occupied by several
poor people, in one end of which, consisting just of
a room and a closet, an old woman lived who got
her money by spinning flax into yarn for making
linen, She was a kind-hearted old creature—a
widow, without any relation near to help her or
look after her. She had had one child, who died
before he was as old as Willie. That was forty
years before, but she had never forgotten her little
Willie, for that was his name too, and she fancied
our Willie was like him, Nothing, therefore; pleased
her better than to get him into her little room, and
talk to him. She would take a little bit of sugar-
candy or liquorice out of her cupboard for him,
and tell him some strange old fairy tale or legend,
while she sat spinning, until at last she had made
him so fond of her that he would often go and stay
for hours with her. Nor did it make much differ-
ence when his mother begged Mrs Wilson to give
him something sweet only now and then, for she
was afraid of his going to see the old woman
10 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,

merely for what she gave him, which would have
been greedy. But the fact was, he liked hér stories
better than her sugar-candy and liquorice ; while
above all things he delighted in. watching the
wonderful wheel go round and round:so fast that
he could not find out whether her foot was making
it spin, or it was making her foot dance up and
down in that curious way. After she had explained
it to him as well as she could, and he thought he
understood it, it seemed to him only the more
wonderful. and mysterious; and ever as it went
whirring round, it sung a song of its own, which
was also the song of the story, whatever it was,
that the old woman was telling him, as he sat
listening in her high soft chair, covered with long-
faded chintz, and cushioned like a nest. For Mrs
‘Wilson had had a better house to live in once, and
this chair, as well as the chest of drawers of dark
mahogany, with brass handles, that stood opposite
the window, was part of the furniture she saved
when she had to sell the rest; and well it was, she
used to say, for her old rheumatic bones that she
had saved the chair at least. In that chair, then,
the little boy would sit coiled up as nearly into a
ball as might be, like a young bird or a rabbit in its
nest, staring at the wheel, and listening with two
‘ears and one heart to its song and the old woman’s
tale both at once.

One sultry summer afternoon, his mother not
(416)


GGT] Y
Ly Ye

















































































































































“WILLIE LIKED MRS, WILSON’S STORIES BETTER THAN
HER SUGAR CANDY.”
Willie’s Education. Il

being very well and having gone to lie down, his
father being out, as he so often was, upon Scramble
the old horse, and Tibby, their only servant; being
busy with the ironing, Willie ran off to Widow
Wilson’s, and was soon curled up in the chair, like
a little Hindoo idol that had grown weary of sitting
upright, and had tumbled itself into a corner.

. Now, before he came, the old woman had been
thinking about him, and wishing very much that
he would come; turning over also in her mind, as
she spun, all her stock of stories, in the hope of
finding in some nook or other one she had not yet
told him; for although he had not yet begun to
grow tired even of those he knew best, it was a
special treat to have a new one; for by this time
Mrs Wilson’s store was all but exhausted, and a
new one turned up very rarely. This time, how-
ever, she was successful, and did call to mind one
that she had not thought of before. It had not
only grown very dusty, but was full of little holes,
which she at once set about darning up with the
needle dnd thread of her imagination, so that, by ©
the time Willie arrived, she had a treat, as she
thought, quite ready for him.

I am not going to tell you the story, which was
‘about a poor boy who received from a fairy to
whom he had. shown some kindness the gift of a
marvellous wand, in the shape of a common black-
Hosa Walaa sticks which nobody could suspect
12 History of Gutta-Percha Wiltte.



of possessing such wonderful virtue. By means of
it, he was able to do anything he wished, without
the least trouble; and so, upon a trial of skill,
appointed by a certain king, in order to find out
which of the craftsmen of his realm was fittest to
aid him in ruling it, he found it easy to surpass
every one of them, each in his own trade. He
produced a richer damask than any of the silk-
weavers; a finer linen than any of the linen-
weavers; a more complicated as well as ornate
cabinet, with more drawers and quaint hiding-
places, than any of the cabinet-makers; a sword-
blade more cunningly damasked, and a hilt more
gorgeously jewelled, than any of the sword-makers ;
a ring set with stones more precious, more brilliant
in colour, and more beautifully’ combined, than
any of the jewellers: in short, as I say, without
knowing a single device of one of the arts in
question, he surpassed every one of the competitors
in his own craft, won the favour of the king and
the office he wished to confer, and, if I remember
rightly, gained at length the king’s daughter to boot.

For a long time Willie had not uttered a single
exclamation, and when the old woman looked up,
fancying he must be asleep, she saw, to her dis-
appointment, a cloud upon his face—amounting to
a frown.

“What’s the matter with you, Willie, my chick ?”
she asked. ‘“ Have you got a headache ?”
Willie’s Education. 13

“No, thank you, Mrs Wilson,” answered Willie ;
“but I don’t like that story at all.” ~

“T’m sorry for that. I thought I should be
sure to please you this time; it is one I never told
you before, for I had quite forgotten it myself till
this very afternoon. Why don’t you like it?”

“Because he was .a cheat. He couldn’t do the
things; it was only the fairy’s wand that did them.”

“But he was such a good lad, and had been so
kind to the fairy.”

_ “That makes no difference. He wasn’t good.

And the fairy wasn’t good either, or she wouldn’t
have set him to do such wicked things.”

“They weren’t wicked things. They were all
first-rate—everything that he made—better than
any one else could make them.”

“But he didn’t make them. There wasn’t one
of those poor fellows he cheated that wasn’t a
better man than he. The worst of them could do
something with his own hands, and I don’t believe
he could do anything, for if he had ever tried he
would have hated to be such a sneak. He cheated
the king, too, and the princess, and everybody.
Oh! shouldn’t I like to have been there, and to
have beaten him wand and all! For somebody
might have been able to make the things better
still, if he had only known how.”

Mrs Wilson was disappointed—perhaps a little
ashamed that she had not thought of this before ;
14 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,





anyhow she grew cross; and because she was cross,
she grew unfair, and said to Willie—

“You think a great deal of yourself, Master
Willie! Pray what could those idle little hands
of yours do, if you were to try ?”

“T don’t know, for I haven’t tried,” answered
Willie.

“Tt’s a pity you shouldn't,” she rejoined, “if
you think they would turn out so very clever.”

She didn’t mean anything but crossness when
she said this—for which probably a severe rheu-
matic twinge which just then passed through her
shoulder was also partly to blame. But Willie took
her up quite seriously, and asked in a tone that
showed he wanted it accounted for—

“Why haven't I ever done anything, Mrs
Wilson ?”

“You ought to know that best yourself,” she
answered, still cross. “I suppose because you
don’t like work. Your good father and mother
work very hard, 1’m sure. It’s a shame of you to
be so idle,”

This was rather hard on a boy of seven, for
Willie was no more then. It made him look very
grave indeed, if not unhappy, for a little while, as
he sat turning over the thing in his mind.

“Ts it wrong to play about, Mrs Wilson?” he
asked, after a pause of considerable duration.

“No, indeed, my dear,” she answered ; for during
Willie’s Education. » 15



the pause she had begun to be sorry for having
spoken so roughly to her little darling,

“Does everybody work 2”

“Everybody that’s worth anything, and is old
enough,” she added. ;

“Does God work?” he asked, after another
pause, in a low voice.

“No, child. What should He work for?”

“Tf everybody works that is good and old
enough, then I think God must work,” answered
Willie “But I will ask my papa. Am I old
enough ?”

“Well, you’re not old enough to do much, but
you might do something.”

“What could Ido? CouldI spin, Mrs Wilson ?”

“No, child ; that’s not an easy thing to do; but
you could knit.”

“Could 1? What good would it do?”

“Why, you could knit your mother a pair of
stockings.”

“Could I though? Will you teach me, Mrs
Wilson ?”

Mrs Wilson very readily promised, foreseeing
that so she might have a good deal more of the
little man’s company, if indeed he was in earnest ;
for she was very lonely, and was never so happy
as when he was with her. She said she would get
him some knitting-needles—wires she called them
—that very evening; she had some wool, and if
16 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



he came to-morrow, she would soon see whether he
. was old enough and clever enough to learn to knit.
She advised him, however, to say nothing about it
to his mother till she had made up her mind
whether or not he could learn; for if he could,
then he might surprise her by taking her something
of his own knitting—at least a pair of muffetees to
keep her wrists warm in the winter. Willie went
home solemn with his secret.

The next day he began to learn, and although
his fingers annoyed him a good deal at first by
refusing to do exactly as he wanted them, they
soon became more obedient; and before the new
year arrived, he had actually knitted a pair of
warm white lamb’s-wool stockings for his mother.
Iam bound to confess that when first they were
finished they were a good deal soiled by having
been on the way so long, and perhaps partly by
the little hands not always being so clean as they
might have been when he turned from play to
work; but Mrs Wilson washed them herself, and
they looked; if not as white as snow, at least as
white as the whitest lamb you ever saw. I will
not attempt to describe the delight of his mother,
the triumph of Willie, or the gratification of his
father, who saw in this good promise of his boy’s
capacity; for all that I have written hitherto is
only introductory to my story, and I long to begin
and tell it you in a regular straightforward fashion.
Willie’s Education. 17



Before I begin, however, I must not forget to
tell you that Willie did ask his father the question
with Mrs Wilson’s answer to which he had. not’
been satisfied—I mean the question whether God
worked; and his father’s answer, after he had sat
pondering for a while in his chair, was something
to this effect :—

“Yes, Willie; it seems to me that God works
more than anybody—for He works all night and
all day, and, if I remember rightly, Jesus tells us
somewhere that He works all Sunday too. If He
were to stop working, everything would stop
being. The sun would stop shining, and the
moon and the stars; the corn would stop growing ;
there would be no more apples or gooseberries ;
your eyes would stop seeing; your ears would
stop hearing ; your fingers couldn’t move an inch;
and, worst of all, your little heart would stop
loving.”

“No, papa,” cried Willie; “I shouldn't stop
loving, I’m sure.”

“Indeed you would, Willie.”

“Not you and mamma.”

“Yes; you wouldn’t love us any more ee if
you were dead asleep without dreaming.”

“That would be dreadful.”

“Yes it would. So you see how good God is
to us—to go on working, that we may be able to
love each other.”
18 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Withe,



“Then if God works like that all day long, it
must be a fine thing to work,” said Willie.

“You are right. It is a fine thing to work—the
finest thing in the world, if it comes of love, as
God’s work does.”

This conversation made Willie quite determined
.to learn to knit; for if God worked, he would
work too. And although the work he undertook was
a very small work, it was like all God’s great works,
for every loop he made had a little love looped up
in it, like an invisible, softest, downiest lining to
the stockings. And after those, he went on knit-
ting a pair for his father; and indeed, although he
learned to work with a needle as well, and to darn
the stockings he had made, and even tried his
hand at the spinning—of which, however, he could
not make much for a long time—he had not left
off knitting when we come to begin the story in
the next chapter.
CHAPTER III

HE 1S TURNED INTO SOMETHING HE NEVER WAS
BEFORE.

ITHERTO I have been mixing up summer

and winter and everything all together,

but now I am going to try to keep everything in
its own place.

Willie was now nine years old. His mother had
been poorly for some time—confined to her room,
as she not unfrequently was in the long cold
winters, It was winter now; and one morning,
when all the air was dark with falling snow, he ~
was standing by the parlour window, looking out
on it, and wondering whether the angels made it
up in the sky; for he thought it might be their
sawdust, which, when they had too much, they
shook down to get melted and put out of the way;
when Tibby came into the room very softly, and
looking, he thought, very strange.

“Willie, your mamma wants you,” she said;
and Willie hastened up-stairs to his mother’s room.
Dark as was the air outside, he was surprised to
20 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Wuilte.



find how dark the room was, And what surprised
him more was a curious noise which he heard the
moment he entered it, like the noise of a hedge-
hog, or some other little creature of the fields or
woods. But he crept gently up to his mother’s
bed, saying—

“ Are you better this morning, mamma ?”

And she answered in a feeble sweet. voice—

“Yes, Willie, very much better. And, Willie,
God has sent you a little sister.”

“Q-o-o-oh!” cried Willie. “A little sister!
Did He make her Himself?”

“Yes; He made her Himself; and sent her to
you last night.”

“How busy He must have been lately!” said
Willie. “Where is she? I should like to see her.
Is she my very own sister?”

“Yes, your very own sister, Willie—to love and
take care of always.”

“Where is she?”

“Go and ask nurse to let you see her.”

Then Willie saw that there was a strange woman
in the room, with something lying on her lap. He
went-up to her, and she folded back the corner of
a blanket, and revealed a face no bigger than that
of the big doll at the clergyman’s house, but alive,
quite alive—such a pretty little face! He stuod
staring at it for a while.

“ May I kiss her, nurse?”
Something he never was Before, _ 2i

“Yes—gently—quite gently.”

He kissed her, half afraid, he did not know at
what. Her cheek was softer and smoother than
anything he had ever touched before. He sped
back to his mother, too full of delight to speak.
But she was not yet well enough to talk to him,
and his father coming in, led him down-stairs again,
where he began once more to watch the snow,
wondering nowif it had anything to do with baby’s
arrival.

In the afternoon, it was found that the lock of
his mother’s room not only would not catch easily,
but made a noise that disturbed her. So his
father got a screwdriver and removed it, making
as little noise as he could. Next he contrived a
way, with a piece of string, for keeping the door
shut, and as that would not hold it close enough
hung a shawl over it to keep the draught out—all
which proceeding Willie watched. As soon as he
had finished, and the nurse had closed the door
behind them, Mr Macmichael set out to take the
lock to the smithy, and allowed Willie to go with
him. By the time they reached it, the snow was
an inch deep on their shoulders, on Willie’s cap;
and on his father’s hat. How red the glow of the
smith’s fire looked! It was a great black cavern
with a red heart to it in the midst of whiteness.

The smith was a great powerful man, with bare
arms, and blackened face, When they entered, he
22 History of Gutta-Percha Witlte.

and two other men were making the axle of a
wheel. They had a great lump of red-hot iron on
the anvil, and were knocking a big hole through
it—not boring it, but knocking it through with a
big punch. One of the men, with a pair of tongs-
like pincers, held the punch steady in the hole,
while the other two struck the head of it with
alternate blows of mighty hammers called sledges,
each of which it took the strength of two brawny
arms to heave high above the head with a great
round swing over the shoulder, that it might come
down with right good force, and drive the punch
through the glowing iron, which was, I should
judge, four inches thick. All this Willie thought
he could understand, for he knew that fire made
the hardest metal soft; but what he couldn’t at all
understand was this: every now and then they
stopped heaving their mighty sledges, the third
man took the punch out of the hole, and the smith
himself, whose name was Willet (and w/Z zt he
did with a vengeance, when he had anything on
the anvil before him), caught up his tongs in his
hand, then picked up a little bit of black coal with
the tongs, and dropped it into the hole where the
punch had been, where it took fire immediately
and blazed up. Then in went the punch again,
and again the huge hammering commenced, with
such bangs and blows, that the smith was wise
to. have no floor to his smithy, for they would
Something he never was Before, 23

surely have knocked a hole in that, though they
were not able to knock the anvil down halfway into
the earth, as the giant smith in the story did.

While this was going on, Mr Macmichael, per-
ceiving that the operation ought not to be inter-
rupted any more than a surgical one, stood quite
still waiting, and Willie stood also—absorbed in
staring, and gradually creeping nearer and nearer
to the anvil, for there were no sparks flying about
to make it dangerous to the eyes, as there would
have been if they had been striking the iron itself
instead of the punch.

As soon as the punch was driven through, and
the smith had dropped his sledge-hammer, and
begun to wipe his forehead, Willie spoke.

“Mr Willet,” he said, for he knew every man of
any standing in the village by name and profession,
“why did you put bits of coal into the hole you
were making? I should have thought it would
be in the way rather than help you.”

“So it would, my little man,” answered Willet,
with no grim though grimy smile, “if it didn’t take
fire and keep getting out of the way all the time
it kept up the heat. You see we depend on the
heat for getting through, and it’s much less trouble
to drop a bit of coal or two into the hole, than to
take up the big axle and lay it in the fire again,
not to mention the time and the quantity of coal
it would take to heat it up afresh,”
24 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.
“But such little bits of coal couldn’t do much ?”
said Willie.

“ They could do enough, and all that’s less after
that is saving,” said the smith, who was one of
those men who can not only do a thing right but
give a reason for it. “You see I was able to put
the little bits just in the right place.”

“T see! I see!” cried Willie. “I understand {
But, papa, do you think Mr Willet is the proper
person to ask to set your lock right ?”

“T haven’t a doubt of it,” said Mr Macmichael,
taking it out of his greatcoat pocket, and unfold-
ing the piece of paper in which he had wrapped it.
“Why do you make a question of it?”

“Because look what great big huge things he
does! How could those tremendous hammers set
stich a little thing as that right ?) They would knock
it all to pieces. Don’t you think you had better
take it to the watchmaker?”

“Tf I did, Willie, do you know what you would
say the moment you saw him at work ?”

“No, papa. What should I say?”

“You would say, ‘Don’t you think, papa, you
had better take it back to the smith?’”

“But why should I say that?”

“Because, when you saw his tools beside this
lock, you would think the tools so small and the
lock so huge, that nothing could be done between
them. Yet I daresay the watchmaker could set


Something he never was Before. 25



the lock all right if he chose to try. Don’t you
think so, Mr Willet ?”

“Not a doubt of it,” answered the smith.

“Had we better go to him then?”

“Well,” answered the smith, smiling, “I think
perhaps he would ask you why you hadn’t come to
me. No doubt he could do it, but I’ve got better
tools for the purpose. Let me look at the lock.
I’m sure I shall be able to set it right.”

“Not with that great biz hammer, then,” said
Willie.

“No; I have smaller hammers than that. When
do you want it, sir?”

‘Could you manage to do it at once, and let me
take it home, for there’s a little baby there, just
arrived ?”

“You don’t mean it!” said the smith, looking
~ surprised. “I wish you joy, sir.”

“ And this is the lock of the room she’s in,” con-
tinued the doctor.

“And you’re afraid of her getting out and flying
off again!” said the smith. “I will do it at once.
There isn’t much wrong with it, I daresay. I hope
Mrs Macmichael is doing well, sir.”

He took the lock, drew several screws from it,
and then forced it open,

“Tt’s nothing but the spring gone,” he said, as
he took out something and threw it away.

Then he took out several more pieces, and
26 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,

cleaned them all. Then he searched in a box till
he found another spring, which he put in instead of
the broken one, after snipping off a little bit with a
pair of pincers. Then he put all the pieces in, put
on the cover of it, gave something a few taps witha
tiny hammer, replaced the screws, and said—

“Shall I come and put it on for you, sir?”

“No, no; I am up to that much,” said Mr Mac-
michael, “I can easily manage that. Come, Willie,
I’m much obliged to you for doing it at.once. Good-
night.”

Then out they went into the snowstorm again,
Willie holding fast by his father’s hand.

“This is good,” said his father,. “ Your mother
will have a better day all to-morrow, and perhaps
a longer sleep to-night for it, You see how easy it
is to be both useful and kind sometimes. The smith
did more for your mother in those few minutes than
ten doctors could have done. Think of his great
black fingers making a little more sleep and rest
and warmth for her—and all in those few minutes!”

“« Suppose he couldn’t have done it,” said Willie.
“Do you think the watchmaker could?” = ~~

“That I can’t tell, but I don’t think it likely. We
should most probably have had to get a new one.”

“ Suppose you couldn’t get a new one?”

“Then we should have had to set our wits to
work, and contrive some other way of fastening the
door, so that mamma shouldn’t take cold by its
Something he never was Before, 27





being open, nor yet be disturbed by the noise of
it.”

“Tt would be so nice to be able to do every-
thing!” said Willie.

“So it would; but nobody can; and it’s just as
well, for then we should not need so much help from
each other, and would be too independent.”

“ Then shouldn’t a body try to do as many things
as he can?”

“Yes, for there’s no fear of ever being able to do
without other people, and you would be so often
able to help them. Both the smith and the watch-
maker could mend a lock, but neither of them could
do without the other for all that.”

When Willie went to bed, he lay awake a long
time, thinking how, if the lock could not have been
mended, and there had been no other to be had, he
could have contrived to keep the door shut properly.
In the morning, however, he told his father that he
had not thought of any way that would do, for
though he could contrive to shut and open the door
well enough, he could not think how a person out-
side might be able to do it ; and he thought the best
way, if such a difficulty should occur, would be to
take the lock off his door, and put it on mamma’s
till a better one could be got. Of this suggestion
his father, much to Willie’s satisfaction, entirely
approved,

(4186) Cc
CHAPTER IV.
HE SERVES AN APPRENTICESHIP.

ILLIE’S mother grew better, and Willie’s

sister grew bigger; and the strange nurse

went away, and Willie and his mother and Tibby,
with a little occasional assistance from the doctor,
managed the baby amongst them. Considering
that she had been yet only a short time at school,
she behaved wonderfully well. She never cried
except she was in some trouble, and even then you
could seldom have seen a tear on her face. She did
all that was required of her, grew longer and broader
and heavier, and was very fond of a lighted candle.
The only fault she had was that she wouldn’t give
Willie quite so many smiles as he wanted. As
to the view she took of affairs, she seemed for a long
time to be on the whole very well satisfied with life
and its gifts. But when at last its troubles began
to overtake her, she did not approve of them at all.
The first thing she objected to was being weaned,
which she evidently considered a very cruel and
unnecessaty experience. But her father said it
He Serves an Apprenticeship. 29



must be, and her mother, believing him to know
best, carried out his decree. Little Agnes endured.
it tolerably well in the daytime, but in the night
protested lustily—-was indeed so outrageously in-
dignant, that one evening the following conversa-
tion took place at the tea-table, where Willie sat
and heard it.

“Really, my dear,” said Mrs Macmichael, “I can-
not have your rest disturbed in this way another
night. You must go to Willie’s room, and let me
manage the little squalling thing myself.”

“Why shouldn’t I take my share of the trouble?”
objected her husband.

“ Because you may be called up any moment, and
have no more sleep till next night ; and it is not fair
that what sleep your work does let you have should
be so unnecessarily broken. It’s not as if I couldn’t
manage without you.”

“But Willie’s bed is not big enough for both of
us,” he objected.

“ Then Willie can come and sleep with
me.”

“But Willie wants his sleep as much as I do
mine.”

“ There’s no fear of him: he would sleep though
all the babies in Priory Leas were crying in the
room,” :

“Would IJ really ?” thought Willie, feeling rather
ashamed of himself.
30 ITistory of Gutta-Percha Wultlie.



“But who will get up and warm the milk-and-
water for you?” pursued his father.

“ Oh! I can manage that quite well.”

“Couldn't I do that, mamma?” said Willie, very
humbly, for he thought of what his mother had said
about his sleeping powers.

“No, my pet,” she answered; and he said no
more.

“Tt seems to me,” said his father, ‘a very clumsy
necessity. I have been thinking over it. To keep
a fire in all night only to warm such a tiny drop of
water as she wants, I must say, seems like using a
steam-engine to sweep up the crumbs. If you
would just get a stone bottle, fill it with boiling
water, wrap a piece of flannel about it, and lay it
anywhere in the bed, it would be quite hot enough
even in the morning to make the milk as warm as.
she ought to have it.”

“Tf you will go to Willie’s room, and let Willie
come and sleep with me, I will try it,” she said.

Mr Macmichael concedtad ; and straightway
Willie was filled with silent delight at the thought
of sleeping with his mother andthe baby. Nor be-
cause of that only; for he resolved within himself
that he would try to get a share in the business of
the night: why should his mother have too little
sleep rather than himself? They might at least
divide the too little between them! So he went to
bed early, full of the thought of waking up as soon
Fle Serves an Apprenticeship. 31



as Agnes should begin to cry, and finding out what
hecould do. Already he had begun to be useful in
the daytime, and had twice put her to sleep when
both his mother and Tibby had failed. And al-
though he quite understood that in all probability
he would not have succeeded if they hadn’t tried
first, yet it had been some relief to them, and they
had confessed it. -

But when he woke, there lay his mother and his
sister both sound asleep; the sun was_ shining
through the blind; he heard Tibby about the
house ; and, in short, it was time to get up.

At breakfast, his father said to him—

“Well, Willie, how did Agnes behave herself last
night?”

“So welll” answered Willie; “she never cried
once.”

“Q Willie!” said his mother, laughing, “she
screamed for a whole hour, and was so hungry
after it that she emptied her bottle without stop-
ping once. You were sound asleep all the time,
and never stirred.”

Willie was so much ashamed of himself, although
he wasn’t in the least to blame, that he could hardly
keep from crying. He did not say another word,
except when he was spoken to, all through break-
fast, and his father and mother were puzzled to
think what could be the matter with him. He
went about the greater part of the morning moodily
32 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Withe,



thinking ; then for advice betook himself to Mrs
Wilson, who gave him her full attention, and sug-
gested several things, none of which, however,
seemed to him likely to succeed.

“If I could but go to bed after mamma was
asleep,” he said, “I could tie a string to my hair,
and then slip a loop at the other end over mamma’s
wrist, so that when she sat up to attend to Agnes,
she would pull my hair and wake me. Wouldn't
she wonder what it was when she felt it pulling
her?”

He had to go home without any help from Mrs
Wilson. All the way he kept thinking with him-
self something after this fashion—

“Mamma won't wake me, and Agnes can’t; and
the worst of it is that everybody else will be just as
fast asleep as I shall be. Let me see—who zs there
that’s awake all night? There’s the cat: I think
she is, but then she wouldn’t know when to wake
me, and even if I could teach her to wake me the
moment Agnes cried, I don’t think she would be a
nice one to do it; for if I didn’t come awake with a
pat of her velvety pin-cushions, she might turn out
the points of the pins in them, and scratch me
awake. There’s the clock; it’s always awake ; but
it can’t tell you the time till you go and ask it. I
think it might be made to wind up a string that
should pull me when the right time came; but I
don’t think I could teach it. And when it came to
fle Serves an Apprenticeship. 33

the pull, the pull might stop the clock, and what
would papa say then? They tell me the owls are
up all night, but they’re no good, I’m certain. I
don’t see what I amto’do. I wonder if God would
wake me if I were to ask Him?”

I don’t know whether Willie did or did not ask
God to wake him. I[ did not inquire, for what
goes on of that kind, it is better not to talk much
about. What I do know is, that he fell asleep with
his head and heart full of desire to wake and help
his mother; and that, in the middle of the night,
he did wake up suddenly, and there was little Agnes
screaming with all her might. He sat up in bed
instantly.

“What’s the matter, Willie?” said his mother.
“ Lie down and go to sleep.”

“ Baby’s crying,” said Willie,

“Never you mind. I’ll manage her.”

“Do you know, mamma, I think I was waked
up just in time to help you. Ill take her from
you, and perhaps she will take her drink from me.”

“Nonsense, Willie. Lie down, my pet.”

“ But I’ve been thinking about it, mamma. Do
you remember, yesterday, Agnes would not take
her bottle from you, and screamed and screamed ;
but when Tibby took her, she gave in and drank it
all? Perhaps she would do the same with me.”

As he spoke he slipped out of bed, and held out
his arms to take the baby. The light was already
34 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

coming in, just. a little, through the blind, for it
was summer. He heard a cow lowing in the fields
at the back of the house, and he wondered whether
her baby had woke her. The next moment he had
little Agnes in his arms, for his mother thought he
might as well try, seeing he was awake. —

“Do take care and don’t let her fall, Willie.”

“That I will, mamma. I’vegother tight. Now
give me the bottle, please.”

“JT haven’t got it ready yet; for you woke the
minute she began to cry.”

So Willie walked about the room with Agnes till
his mother had got her bottle filled with nice warm
milk-and-water and just a little sugar. When she
gave it to him, he sat down with the baby on his
knees, and, to his great delight, and the satisfaction
of his mother as well, she stopped crying, and began
to drink the milk-and-water,

“Why, you ’re a born nurse, Willie!” said his
mother.

But the moment the baby heard her mother’s
voice, she forsook the bottle, and began to scream,
wanting to go to her,

“O mamma! you mustn’t. speak, please ; for of
course she likes you better than the bottle; and
when you speak.that reminds her of you. It was
just the same with Tibby yesterday. Or if you
must speak, speak with some other sound, and not
in your own soft, sweet way.”


































































































































































‘“*WILLIE SAT DOWN WITH THE BABY ON HIS KNEES, AND
SHE STOPPED CRYING,”
He Serves an Apprenticeship. 35
-A few moments after, Willie was so startled by
a gruff voice in the room that he nearly dropped
the bottle ; but it was only his mother following his
directions. The plan was quite successful, for the
baby had not a suspicion that the voice was her
mother’s, paid no heed to it, and attended only to
her bottle.

Mr Macmichael, who had been in the country,
was creeping up the stair to his room, fearful of
disturbing his wife, when what should he hear but
a man’s voice as he supposed! and what should he
think but that robbers had broken in! Of course
he went to his wife’s room first. There he heard
the voice plainly enough through the door, but
when he opened it he could see no one except Willie
feeding the baby on an ottoman at the foot of the
_ bed. When his wife had explained what and why
it was, they both laughed heartily over Willie’s sug-
gestion for leaving the imagination of little Agnes
in repose ; and henceforth he was installed as night-
nurse, so long as the process of weaning should
last ; and very proud of his promotion he was. He
slept as sound as ever, for he had no anxiety about
waking; his mother always woke him the instant
Agnes began to cry.

“Willie!” she would say, “Willie! here’s your
haby wanting you.”

And up Willie would start, sometimes before he
was able to open his eyes, for little boys’ eyelids
36 Listory of Gutia-Percha Willie,



are occasionally obstinate. And once he jumped
out of bed crying, ‘Where is she, mamma? I’ve
lost her!” for he had been dreaming about her.

You may be sure his mamma let him havea long
sleep in the morning always, to make up for being
disturbed in the night.

Agnes throve well, notwithstanding the weaning,
She soon got reconciled to the bottle, and then
Willie slept in peace.
CHAPTER VY.
HE GOES TO LEARN A TRADE,

IME passed, and Willie grew. Have my
readers ever thought what is meant by
growing? It is far from meaning only that you
get bigger and stronger. . It means that you become
able both to understand and to wonder at more of
the things about you. There are people who the
more they understand, wonder the less; but such
are not growing straight ; they are growing crooked,
There are two ways of growing. You may be
growing up, or you may be growing down; and if
you are doing both at once, then you are growing
crooked. There are people who are growing up in
understanding, but down in goodness, Itis a beau-
tiful fact, however, that you can’t grow up in good-
ness and down in understanding; while the great
probability is, that, if you are not growing better,
you will by and by begin to grow stupid. Those
who are growing the right way, the more they
understand, the more they wonder; and the more
they learn to do, the more they want todo. Willie
38 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,

was a boy of this kind. I don’t care to write about
boys and girls, or men and women, who are not
growing the right way. They are not interesting
enough to write about.

But he was not the only one to grow: Agnes
grew as well; and the more Willie grew capable of
helping her, the more he found Agnes required of
him. It was a long time, however, before he knew
how much ,he was obliged to Agnes for requiring
so much of him, /

She grew and grew until she was capable of a
doll; when of course a doll was given her—not a
new one just bought, but a most respectable old
doll, a big one that had been her mother’s when she
was a little girl, and which she had: been wise
enough to put in her trunk before she left her
mother’s house to go home with Mr Macmichael.
She made some new clothes for it now, and Tibby
made a cloak and bonnet for her to wear when she
went out of doors. But it struck Willie that her
shoes, which were only of cloth, were very unfit for
walking, and he thought that in a doctor’s family
it was something quite amazing that, while head
and shoulders were properly looked after, the feet
should remain utterly neglected. It was clear that
must be his part in the affair ; it could not be any-
body else’s, for in that case some one else would
have attended to it. He must see about it,

I think I have said before that Willie knew almost


He Goes to Learn a Trade. 39



everybody in the village, and I might have added
that everybody without exception knewhim. Hewas
a favourite—first of all, because his father was much
loved and trusted ; next, because his mother spoke
as kindly to her htisband’s poor patients as to the
richer ones; and last, because he himself spoke to
everybody with proper respect. Some of the
people, however, he knew of course better than
others. Of these Mrs Wilson we know was one.
But I believe I also mentioned that in the house in
which she lived there were other poor people. In
the room opposite to hers, on the ground-floor,
lived and worked a shoemaker—a man who had
neither wife nor child, nor, so far as people knew,
any near relative at all. He was far from being in
good health, and although he worked from morning
to night, had a constant pain in his back, which.
was rather crooked, having indeed a little hump on
it. If his temper was not always of the best, I
wonder what cleverest of watches or steam-engines
would go as well as he did with such a twist in z¢s
back? To see him seated on his low stool—in
which, by the way, as if it had not been low enough,
he sat in a leather-covered hole, perhaps for the
sake of the softness and spring of the leather—with
his head and body bent forward over his lapstone
or his last, and his right hand with the quick broad-
headed hammer hammering tip and down on a piece
of sole-leather; or with both his hands now meet-
40 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

ing as if for a little friendly chat about something
small, and then suddenly starting asunder as if in |
astonished anger, with a portentous hiss, you might
have taken him for an automaton moved by springs,
and imitating human actions in a very wonderful
manner—so regular and machine-like were his
motions, and so little did he seem to think about
what he was at. A little passing attention, a hint
now and then from his head, was sufficient to keep ©
his hands right, for they were so used to their work,
and had been so well taught by his head, that they
could pretty nearly have made a pair of shoes of
themselves; so that the shoemaking trade is one
that admits of a great deal of thought going on in
the head that hangs over the work, like a sun over
the earth ripening its harvest. Shoemakers have
distinguished themselves both in poetry and in
prose; and if Hector Macallaster had done so in
neither, he could yet think, and that is what some
people who write both poetry and prose cannot do.
But it is of infinitely more importance to be able
to think well than merely to write ever so well;
and, besides, to think well is what everybody ought
to be or to become able to do.

Hector had odd ways of looking at things, but I
need not say more about that, for it will soon be
plain enough. Ever since the illness from which
he had risen with a weak spine, and ever-working
brain, and a quiet heart, he had shown himself not
He Goes to Learn a Trade. . 41





merely a good sort of man, for such he had always -
been, but a religious man; not by saying much,
for he was modest even to shyness with grown
people, but by the solemnity of his look when a
great word was spoken, by his unblamable be-
haviour, and by the readiness with which he would
lend or give of his small earnings to his poor neigh-
bours. The only thing of which anybody could
complain was his temper; but it showed itself only
occasionally, and almost everybody made excuse
for it on the ground of his bodily ailments. He
gave it no quarter himself, however. He said once
to the clergyman, to whom he had been lamenting
the trouble he had with it, and who had sought to
comfort him by saying that it was caused by the
weakness of his health—

“No, sir—excuse me; nobody knows how much
Iam indebted to my crooked back. If it weren’t
for that I might have a bad temper and never
know it. But that drives it out of its hole, and
when I see the ugly head of it I know it’s there,
and try once more to starve it to death. But oh
dear! it’s such a creature to burrow! When I
think I’ve built it in all round, out comes its head
again at a place where I never looked to see it, and
it’s all to do over again!”

You will understand by this already that the
shoemaker thought after his own fashion, which is
the way everybody who can think does think.
42 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

What he thought about his trade and some other
things we shall see by and by.

When Willie entered his room, he greeted him
with a very friendly nod; for not only was he fond
of children, but he had a special favour for Willie,
chiefly because he considered himself greatly in-
debted to him for something he had said to Mrs
Wilson, and which had given him a good deal to
think about. For Mrs Wilson often had a chat
with Hector, and then she would not unfrequently
talk about Willie, of whose friendship she was
proud. She had told him of the strange question
he had put to her as to whether God worked, and
the shoemaker, thinking over it, had come to the
same conclusion as Willie’s father, and it had been
a great comfort and help to him.

“What can I do for you to-day, Willie?” he
said ; for in that part of the country they do not
say Master and Miss. “You look,” he added, “as
if you wanted something.” ,

“TI want you to teach me, please,” answered
Willie.

“To teach you what?” asked Hector.

“To make shoes, please,” answered Willie,

“Ah! but do you think that would be prudent
of me? Don’t you see, if I were to teach you to
make shoes, people would be coming to you to make
their shoes for them, and what would become of
me then?”
Fe Goes to Learn a Trade, 43



“But I only want to make shoes for Aggy’s doll.
She oughtn’t to go without shoes in this weather,
you know.”

“Certainly not. Well, if you will bring me the
doll I will take her measure and make her a pair.”

“But I don’t think papa could afford to pay for
shoes for a doll as well as for all of us. You see,
though it would be better, it’s not necessary that a
doll should have strong shoes. She has shoes good
enough for indoors, and she needn't walk in the
wet. Don’t you think so yourself, Hector?”

“But,” returned Hector, ‘I shall be happy to
make Agnes a present of a pair of shoes for her
doll. I shouldn’t think of charging your papa for
that. He is far too good a man to be made to pay
for everything.”

“But,” objected Willie, “to let you make them
for nothing would be as bad as to make papa pay
for them when they are not necessary. Please,
you must let me make them for Aggy. Besides,
she’s not old enough yet even to say thank you for
them.”

“Then she won't be old enough to say thank you
to you either,” said Hector, who, all this time, had
been losing no moment from his work, but was
stitching away, with a bore, and a twiddle, and a
hiss, at the sole of a huge boot,

“Ah! but you see, she’s my own—so it doesn’t

matter!”
(418) D
44 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

If I were writing a big book, instead of a little
one, I should be tempted to say not only that this
set Hector a thinking, but what it made him think

‘aswell. Instead of replying, however, he laid down
his boot, rose, and first taking from a shelf a whole
skin of calf-leather, and next a low chair from a
corner of the room, he set the latter near his own
seat opposite the window.

«Sit down there, then, Willie,” he said; adding,
as he handed him the calf-skin, “There’s your
leather, and my tools are at your service. Make
your shoes, and welcome. I shall be glad of your
company.”

Having thus spoken, he sat down again, caught
up his boot hurriedly, and began sires away as
if for bare life.

Willie took the calf-skin on his lap, somewhat
bewildered. If he had been asked to cut out a pair
of sevén-leagued boots for the ogre, there would
have seemed to his eyes enough of leather for them
in that one skin. But héw ever was he to find two
pieces small enough for doll’s shoes in such an
ocean of leather? He began to turn it round and
round, looking at it all along the edge, while Hector
was casting sidelong glances at him in the midst of
his busyness, with a curiosity on his face which his
desire to conceal it caused to look grim instead of
amused.
fe Goes to Learn a Trade. 45

Willie, although he had never yet considered ©
how shoes are made, had seen at once that nothing
could be done until he had got the command of a
manageable bit of leather ; he found too much only
a shade better than too little; and he saw that it
wouldn’t be wise to cut a piece out azywhere, for
that might spoil what would serve for a large pair
of shoes or even boots. Therefore he kept turning
the skin round until he came to a small projecting
piece. This he contemplated for some time, trying
to recall the size of Dolly’s feet, and to make up
his mind whether it would not be large enough for
one or even for both shoes. A smile passed over
Hector’s face—a smile of satisfaction,

“That’s it!” he said at last. “I think you’ll
do. That’s the first thing—to consider your stuff,
and see how much you can make of it. Waste isa
thing that no good shoemaker ever yet. could
endure. It’s bad in itself, and so unworkmanlike!
Yes, I think that corner will do. Shall I cut it off
for you?”

“No, thank you—not yet, please. I think I
must go and look at her feet, for I can’t recollect
guite how big they are. I’ll just run home and
look.” ‘

“Do you think you will be able to carry the
exact size in your head, and bring it back with
you?”

“Yes, I think IT shall.”
46 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“T don’t. I never could trust myself so far as
that, nearly. You might be pretty nigh it one way
and all wrong another, for you have to consider
length and breadth and roundabout. I will tell
you the best way for you to do. Set the doll
standing on a bit of paper, and draw a pencil all
round her foot with the point close to it on the
paper. Both feet will be better, for it would be a
anistake to suppose they must be of the same size.
That will give you the size of the sole. Then take
a strip of paper and see how long a piece it takes
to go round the thickest part of the foot, and cut it
off to that length. That will be sufficient measure-
ment for a doll’s shoe, for even if it should not fit
exactly, she won’t mind either being pinched a little
or having to walk a little loose.”

Willie got up at once to go and do as Hector
had told him; but Hector was not willing to part
with him so soon, for it was not often he had any-
body to talk to while he went on with his work,
Therefore he said—

“But don’t you think, Willie, before you set
about it, you had better see how I do? It would
be a pity to spend your labour in finding out for
yourself what shoemakers have known for hundreds
of years, and which you could learn so easily by
letting me show you.”

“Thank you,” said Willie, sitting down again.
“JT should like that very: much. I will sit and
He Goes to Learn a Trade, 47



look at you. I know what you aredoing. You are
fastening on the sole of a boot.”

“Yes. Do you see how it’s done?”

“I’m notsure. I don’t see yet quite. Ofcourse

-I see you are sewing the one to the other. I’ve
often wondered how you could manage with small
shoes like mine to get in your hand to pull the
needle through; but I see you don’t use a needle,
and I see that you are sewing it all on the outside
of the boot, and don’t put your hand inside at all.
I can’t get to understand it.”

“Vou will ina minute. You see how, all round
the edge of the upper, as we call it, I have sewn on
a strong narrow strip, so that one edge of the strip
sticks out all round, while the other is inside. To
the edge that sticks out I sew on the sole, drawing
my threads so tight that when I pare the edges off
smooth, it will look like one. piece, and puzzle
anybody who did not know how it was done.”

“T think I understand. But how do you get
your thread so sharp and stiff as to go through the
holes you make? I find it hard enough some-
times to get a thread through the eye of a needle;
for though the thread is ever so much smaller than
yours, I have to sharpen and sharpen it often before
Ican get it through. But yours, though it is so
thick, keeps so sharp that it goes through the
holes at once—two threads at once—one from each
side!”
48 FTistory of Gutta-Percha Wittie.



“Ah! but I don’t sharpen my thread; I puta
point upon it.”

“Doesn't that mean the same thing?”

“Well, it may generally ; but / don’t mean fie
same thing by it. Look here.”

“TI see!” cried Willie; “there is a long bit of
something else, not thread, upon it. What is it?
It looks like a hair, only thicker, and it is so sharp
at the point!”

“Can’t you guess ?”

“No; I can’t.”

“Then I will tell you. It is a bristle out of a
hog’s back. I don’t know what a shoemaker would
do without them. Look, here’s a little bunch of
them.”

“That ’s a very clever use to put them to,” said
Willie. “Do you go and pluck them out of the
pigs?”

“No; we buy them at the shop. We want a
good many, for they wear out. They get too soft,
and though they don’t break right off, they double
up in places, so that they won’t go through.”

“ How do you fasten them to the thread ?”

“Look here,” said Hector.

He took several strands of thread together, and
drew them through and through a piece of cobbler’s
wax, then took a bristle and put it in at the end
cunningly, in a way Willie couldn’t quite follow;
and then rolled and rolled threads and all over and
fle Goes to Learn a Trade. 49



over between his hand and his leather apron, till it
seemed like a single dark-coloured cord,

“There, you see, is my needle and thread all in
one,”

“And what is the good of rubbing it so much
with the cobbler’s wax?”

“There are several good reasons for doing that.
In the first place, it makes all the threads into one
by sticking them together. Next it would be worn
out before I had drawn it many times through but
for the wax, which keeps the rubbing from wearing
it. The wax also protects it afterwards, and keeps
the wet from rotting it. The waxed thread fills
the hole better too, and what is of as much con-
sequence as anything, it sticks so that the last
stitch doesn’t slacken before the next comes, but
holds so tight that, although the leather is very
springy, it cannot make it slip. The two pieces are
thus got so close together that they are like one
piece, as you will see when I pare the joined
edges,”

I should tire my reader if I were to recount all
the professional talk that followed; for although
Willie found it most interesting, and began to feel
as if he should soon be able to make a shoe him-
self, it is a very different thing merely to read about
it—the man’s voice not in your ears, and the work
not going on before youreyes, But the shoemaker
cared for other things besides shoemaking, and
50 History of Gutta-Percha Wille.



after a while he happened to make a remark which
led to the following question from Willie :—

“Do you understand astronomy, Hector?”

“No. It’s not my business, you see, Willie.”

“ But you’ve just been telling me so much about
the moon, and the way she keeps turning her face
always to us—in the politest manner, as you
said!” :

“T got it all out of Mr Dick’s book. I don’t
understand it. I don’t know why she does so. I
know a few things that are not my business, just as
you know a little about shoemaking, that not being
your business ; but I don’t understand them for all
that.”

“Whose business is astronomy then?”

“Well,” answered Hector, a little puzzled, “I
don’t see how it can well be anybody’s business
but God’s, for 1’m sure no one else can lay a hand
to it.”

“And what’s your business, Hector?” asked
Willie, in a half-absent mood.

Some readers may perhaps think this a stupid
question, and perhaps so it was; but Willie was
not therefore stupid. People sometimes appear
stupid because they have more things to think _
about than they can well manage; while those who
think only about one or two things may, on the
contrary, appear clever when just those one or two
things happen to be talked about.
He Goes to Learn a Trade, 51



“What is my business, Willie? Why, to keep
people out of the dirt, of course.”

“How?” asked Willie again.

“By making and mending their shoes. Mr Dick,
now, when he goes out to look at the stars through
his telescope, might get his death of cold if his shoe-
maker did not know his business. Of the general
business, it’s a part God keeps to Himself to see
that the stars go all right, and that the sun rises
and sets at the proper times, For the time’s not
the same any two mornings running, you see, and
he might make a mistake if he wasn’t looked after,
and that would beserious, But I told you I don’t
understand about astronomy, because it’s not my
business. I’m set to keep folk’s feet off the cold
and wet earth, and stones and broken glass; for
however much a man may be an astronomer and look
up at the sky, he must touch the earth with some
part of him, and generally does so with his feet.”

“ And God sets you to do it, Hector?”

“Yes, It’s the way He looks after people’s feet.
He’s got to look after everything, you know, or
everything would go wrong. So He gives me the
leather and the tools and the hands—and I must
say the head, for it wants no little head to make a
good shoe to measure—and it is as if He said to me
—‘ There! you make shoes, while I keep the stars
right.’ Isn't it a fine thing to have a hand in the
general business ?”
52 History of Gutta-Percha Weullte.



And Hector looked up with shining eyes in the
face of the little boy, while he pulled at his rosin-
ends as if he would make the boot strong enough to
keep out evil spirits.

“T think it’s a fine thing to have to make nice
new shoes,” said Willie; “but I don’t think I
should like to mend them when they are soppy
and muddy and out of shape.”

“Tf you would take your share in the general
business, you mustn’t be particular. It won’t do
to be above your business, as they say: for my
part, I would say delow your business, There’s
those boots in the corner now. They belong to
your papa. And they come next. Don’t you
think ft’s an honour to keep the feet of such a good
man dry and warm as he goes about from morning
to night comforting people? Don’t you think it’s
an honour to mend boots for Am, even if ny
should be dirty?”

“Oh, yes—for papa!” said Willie, as if his papa
must be an exception to any rule.

“Well,” resumed Hector, “look at these great
lace-boots, I shall have to fill the soles of them
full of hobnails presently, They belong to the
best ploughman in the parish—John Turnbull.
Don’t you think it’s an honour to mend boots for
a man who makes the best bed for the corn to die
in?”

“| thought it was to grow in,” said Willie.
He Goes to Learn a Trade, 53

“All the same,” returned Hector. “When it
dies it grows—and not till then, as you will read in
the New Testament. Isn’t it an honour, I say, to
mend boots for John Turnbull?”

“Oh, yes—for John Turnbull! I know John,”
said Willie, as if it made any difference to his
merit whether Willie knew him or not!

-“ And there,’ Hector went on, “lies a pair of
slippers that want patching. They belong to
William Webster, the weaver, round the corner.
They ’re very much down at heel too. But isn’t
it an honour to patch or set up slippers for a man
who keeps his neighbours in fine linen all the days
of their lives?”

“Ves, yes. I know William. It must be nice
to do anything for William Webster.”

“ Suppose you didn’t know him, would that make
any difference?”

“No,” said Willie, after thinking a little. “ Other
people would know him if I didn’t.”

“Ves, and if nobody knew him, God would
know him; and anybody God has thought worth
making, it’s an honour to do anything for. Believe
me, Willie, to have to keep people’s feet dry and
warm is a very important appointment.”

“Your own shoes aren’t very good, Hector,”
said Willie, who had been casting glances from
time to time at his companion’s feet, which were
shod in a manner that, to say the least of it, would
54 History of Gutta-Percha Wile,



have prejudiced no one in favour of his handiwork.
“Isn’t it an honour to make shoes for yourself
Hector?”

“There can’t be much honour in doing any-
thing for yourself,” replied Hector, “so far as I
can see. I confess my shoes are hardly decent,
but then I can make myself a pair at any time;
and indeed I’ve been thinking I would for the
last three months, as soon as a slack time came;
but I’ve been far too busy as yet, and, as I
don’t go out much till after it’s dusk, nobody
sees them.”

“ But if you should get your feet wet, and catch
cold?”

“Ah! that might be the death of me!” said
Hector. “I really must make myself a pair.
Well now—let me see—as soon as I have
mended those two pairs—I can do them all
to-morrow-—I will begin. And I’ll tell you
what,” he added, after a thoughtful pause, “if
you'll come to me the day after to-morrow,
I will take that skin, and cut out a pair of
shoes for myself, and you shall see how I do
it, and everything about the making of them;
—yes, you shall do some part of them your-
self, and that shall be your first lesson in shoe-
making.”

“But Dolly’s shoes!” suggested Willie,

“Dolly can wait a bit. She won’t take er death
He Goes to Learn a Trade. 55

of cold from wet feet. And let me tell you it is
harder to make a small pair well than a large pair.
You will do Dolly’s ever so much better after you
know how to make a pair for me.”
CHAPTER VI.

HOW WILLIE LEARNED TO READ BEFORE HE
KNEW HIS LETTERS.

HE next day his thoughts, having nothing

particular to engage them, kept brooding

over two things. These two things came together

all at once, and a resolution was the consequence.
I shall soon explain what I mean.

The one thing was, that. Hector had shown con-
siderable surprise when he found that Willie could
not read, Now Willie was not in the least ashamed
that he could not read: why should he be? It was
nowhere written in the catechism he had learnt
that it was his duty to be able to read; and if the .
catechism had merely forgotten to mention it, his
father and mother would have told him, Neither
was it a duty he ought to have known of himself—
for then he would have known it. So why should
he be ashamed?

People are often ashamed of what they need not
be ashamed of. Again, they are often not at all
ashamed of what they ought to be ashamed of, and
How Willie Learned to Read 57
will turn up their faces to the sun when they ought
to hide them in the dust. If, for instance, Willie
had ever put on a sulky face when his mother
asked him to hold the baby for her, that would
have been a thing for shame of which the skin of
his face might well try to burn itself off; but not
to be able to read before he had even been made
to think about it, was not at alla thing to be
ashamed of: it would have been more of a shame
to be ashamed. Now that it had been put into
his head, however, to think what a good thing
reading was, all this would apply no longer. It
was a very different thing now.

The other subject which occupied his thoughts
was this:

Everybody was so kind to him—so ready to do
things for him—and, what was of far more conse-
quence, to teach him to do them himself; while he,
so far as he could think, did nothing for anybody!
That could not be right; it could not be—for it
was not reasonable. Not to mention his father
and mother, there was Mrs Wilson, who had taught
him to knit, and even given him a few lessons in
spinning, though that had not come to much; and
here was Hector Macallaster going to teach him to
make shoes ; and not one thing that he could think
of was he capable of doing in return! This must
be looked into, for things could not be allowed to
go on like that. All at once it struck him that
58 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

Hector had said, with some regret in his voice, that
though he had plenty of time to think, he had very
little time to read; also that although he could
see well enough by candlelight to work at his
trade, he could not see well enough to read. What
a fine thing it would be to learn to read to Hector!
It would be such fun to surprise him too, by all at
once reading him something!

The sun was not at his full height when Willie
received this illumination. Before the sun went
down he knew and could read at sight at least a
dozen words,

For the moment he saw that he ought to leain
to read, he ran to his mother, and asked her to
teach him. She was delighted, for she had begun
to be a little doubtful whether his father’s plan of
leaving him alone till he wanted to learn was the
right one. But at that precise moment she was
too busy with something that must be done for his
father to lay it down and begin teaching him his
letters. Willie was so eager to learn, however, that
he could not rest without doing something towards
it. He bethought himself a littl—then ran and
got Dr Watts’s hymns for children. He knew
“How doth the little busy bee” so well as to be
able to repeat it without a mistake, for his mother
had taught it him, and he had understood it. You
see, he was not like a child of five, taught to repeat
by rote lines which could give him no notions but
flow Willie Learned to Read. 59



mistaken ones. Besides, he had a good know-
ledge of words, and could use them well in talk,
although he could not read; and itis a great thing
if a child can talk well before he begins to learn to
read.

He opened the little book at the Busy Bee, and
knowing already enough to be able to divide the
words the one from the other, he said to him-
self—

“The first word must be How. There it is,
with a gap between it and the next word. I
will look and see if I can find another How any-
where.” ;

He looked a long time before he found one; for
the capital H was in the way. Of course there
were a good many /ow’s, but not many with a big
H, and he didn’t know that the little 2 was just as
good for the mere word. Then he looked for doch,
and he found several doth’s. Of the’s he found as
great a swarm as if they had been the bees them-
selves with which the little song was concerned.
Busy was scarce; I am not sure whether he found
it at all; but he looked at it until he was pretty
sure he should know it again when he saw it.
After he had gone over in this way every word of
the first verse, he tried himself, by putting his
finger at random here and there upon it, and seeing
whether he could tell the word it happened to
ee Ge he could, and sometimes he

E
“2

60 Flistory of Gutta-Percha Wultte.



couldn’t, However, as I said, before the day was
over, he knew at least a dozen words perfectly well
at sight.

Nor let any one think this was other than a
great step in the direction of reading. It would be
easy for Willie afterwards to break up these words
into letters.

‘It took him two days more—for during part of

each he was learning to make shoes—to learn to

know anywhere every word he had found in that
hymn.

Next he took a hymn he had not learned, and
applied to his mother when he came to a word he
did not know, which was very often. As soon as
she told him one, he hunted about until he found
another and another specimen of the same, and
so went on until he had fixed it quite in his
mind.

At length he began to compare words that were
like each other, and by discovering wherein they
looked the same, and wherein they looked differ-
ent, he learned something of the sound of the
letters. For instance, in comparing the and these,
although the one sound of the two letters, ¢ and 2,
puzzled him, and likewise the silent e, he conjec-
tured that the s must stand for the hissing sound,
and when he looked at other words which had that
sound, and perceived an sin every one of them,
then he was sure of it. His mother had no idea
How Wille Learned to Read, 61

how fast he was learning ; and when about a fort-
night after he had begun, she was able to take him
in hand, she found, to her astonishment, that he
could read a great many words, but that, when she
wished him to spell one, he had not the least notion
what she meant.

“Isn't that a 0?” she said, wishing to help him
to find out a certain word for himself.

“T don’t know,” answered Willie, “It’s not the
busy bee,” he added, laughing ;—“I should know
him. It must be the lazy one, I suppose.”

“Don’t you know your letters?” asked his
mother,

“No, mamma. Which arethey? Are the rest
yours and papa’s?”

“Oh, you silly dear!” she said.

“Of course lam!” he returned ;—“ very silly!
How could any of them be mine before I know the
names of them! When I know them all, then
they ll all be mine, I suppose—-and everybody
else’s who knows them.—So that’s Mr B—is
it?”

“Yes. And that’s C,” said his mother.

“T’m glad to see you, Mr C,” said Willie, mer-
rily, nodding to the letter. “We. shall know each
other when we meet again.—I suppose this is D,
mamma. How d’e do, Mr D? And what’s this
one with its mouth open, and half its tongue cut
off?”
62 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

His mother told him it was E.

“ Then this one, with no foot to stand on, is Fe,
I suppose.”

His mother laughed; but whoever gave it the
name it has, would have done better to call it Fe,
as Willie did. It would be much better also, in
teaching children, at least, to call H, He, and
W, We, and Y, Ye, and Z, Ze, as Willie called
them. But it was easy enough for him to learn
their names after he knew so much of what they
could do,

What gave him a considerable advantage was,
that he had begun with verse, and not dry syllables
and stupid sentences. The music of the verse re-
paid him at once for the trouble of making it out
—even before he got at the meaning, while the
necessity of making each line go right, and the
rhymes too, helped him occasionally to the pro-
nunciation of a word.

The farther he got on, the faster he got on; and
before six weeks were over, he could read any-
thing he was able to understand pretty well at
sight.

By this time, also, he understood all the particu-
lars as to how a shoe is made, and had indeed done
a few stitches himself, a good deal of hammering
both of leather and of hob-nails, and a little patch-
ing, at which last the smallness of his hands was
an advantage.
Flow Willie Learned to Read. 63



At length, one day, he said to the shoe-
maker—

“Shall I read a little poem to you, Hector?”

“You told me you couldn’t read, Willie.”

“T can now though.”

“ Do then,” said Hector.

Looking for but a small result in such a short
time, he was considerably astonished to find how
well the boy could read; for he not merely gave
the words correctly, but the sentences, which is far
more difficult; that is, he read so that Hector
could understand what the writer meant. It is a
great thing to read well. Few can. Whoever
reads aloud and does not read well, is a sort of
deceiver; for he pretends to introduce one person
to another, while he misrepresents him.

In after life, Willie continued to pay a good deal
of attention not merely to reading for its own sake,
but to reading for the sake of other people, that is,
to reading aloud. As often as he came, in the
course of his own reading, to any verse that he
liked very much, he always read it aloud in order
to teach himself how it ought to be read; doing
his best—first, to make it sound true, that is, to
read it according to the sense; next, to make it
sound beautiful, that is, to read it according to
the measure of the verse and the melody of the
words.

He now read a great deal to Hector. There
64 History of Gutta-Percha Withe.





came to be a certain time every day at which
Willie Macmichael was joyfully expected by the
shoemaker—to read to him for an hour and a half
—beyond which time his father did not wish the
reading to extend.
CHAPTER VII.

SOME THINGS THAT CAME OF WILLIE'S GOING
TO SCHOOL.

HEN his father found that he had learned
to read, then he judged it good for him to
go to school. Willie was very much pleased. His
mother said she would make him a bag to carry his
books in; but Willie said there was no occasion to
trouble herself; for, if she would give him the stuff,
he would make it. So she got him a nice bit of
green baize, and in the afternoon he made his bag
—no gobble-stitch work, but good, honest back-
stitching, except the string-case, which was only
run, that it might draw easier and tighter. He
passed the string through with a bodkin, fixed it in
the middle, tied the two ends, and carried the bag
to his mother, who pronounced it nearly as well
made as if she had done it herself.
At school he found it more and more plain what
a good thing it is that we haven’t to find out every-
thing for ourselves from the beginning ; that-people
gather into books what they and all who went be-
66 flistory of Gutta-Percha Withe.



fore them have learned, so that we come into their
property, as it were; and, after being taught of
them, have only to begin our discoveries from where
they leave off. In geography, for instance, what a
number of voyages and journeys have had to be
made, and books to record them written; then
what a number of these books to be read, and the
facts gathered out of them, before a single map
could be drawn, not to say a geography book
printed! Whereas now he could learn a multitude
of things about the various countries, their peoples
and animals and plants, their mountains and rivers
and lakes and cities, without having set his foot be-
yond the parish in which he was born, And so
with everything else after its kind. But it is more
of what Willie learned to do than what he learned
to know that I have to treat.

When he went to school, his father made him a
present of a pocket-knife. He had had one before,
but not a very good one; and this, having three
blades, all very sharp, he found a wonderful trea-
sure of recourse. His father also bought him a
nice new slate.

Now there was another handy boy at school, a
couple of years older than Willie, whose father was
acarpenter. He had cut on the frame of his slate,
not his initials only, but his whole name and ad-
dress,— Alexander Spelman, Priory Leas. Willie
thought how nice it would be with his new knife
What came of Willie’s going to School, 67



also to cut his name on his slate; only he would
rather make some difference in the way of doing
it. .What if, instead of sinking the letters in the
frame, he made them stand up from the frame by
cutting it away to some depth all round them.
There was not much originality in this, for it was
only reversing what Spelman had done; but it was
more difficult, and would, he thought, be prettier,
Then what was he thus to carve? One would say,
“Why, William Macmichael, of course, and, if he
liked, Priory Leas.” But Willie was a peculiar little
fellow, and began to reason with himself whether
he had any right to put his own name on the slate.
“My father did not give me the slate,” he said,
“to be my very own, He gave me the knife like
that, but not the slate. When I am grown up, it
will belong to Agnes, What shall I put on it?
What’s mine’s papa’s, and what’s papa’s is his own,”
argued Willie —“/ know!” he said to himself at last.

The boys couldn’t imagine what he meant to do
when they saw him draw first a D and then an
O on the frame. But when they saw a C and
a T follow, they thought what a conceited little
prig Willie was!.

“Do you think you’re a doctor because your
father is, you little ape?” they said.

“No, no,’ answered Willie, laughing heartily,
but thinking, as he went on with his work, that he
might be one some day.
68 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



When the drawing of the letters was finished,
there stood, all round the slate, “Doctor Mac-
michaels Willie, The Ruins, Priory Leas.” ,

Then out came his knife. But it was a long job,
for Willie was not one of those slovenly boys that
scamp their work. Such boys are nothing but soft,
pulpy creatures, who, when they grow to be men, .
will be too soft for any of the hard work of the
world. They will be fit only for buffers, to keep
the working men from breaking their heads against
each other in their eagerness. But the carving was
at length finished, and gave much satisfaction—
first to Willie himself, because it was finished ; next,
to Alexander Spelman, Priory Leas, because, being
a generous-minded boy, he admired Willie’s new
and superior work; third, to Mr and Mrs Mac-
michael, because they saw in it, not the boy’s
faculty merely, but his love to his father as well;
for the recognition of a right over us is one of the
sweetest forms love can take. “/ am yours” isthe
best and greatest thing one can say, if to the right
person.

It led to a strong friendship between him and
Spelman, and to his going often to the workshop
of the elder Spelman, the carpenter.

He was a solemn, long-faced, and long-legged
man, with reddish hair and pale complexion, who
seldom or ever smiled, and at the bench always
looked as if he were standing on a stool, he stooped
What came of Willie’s going to School, 69

so immoderately. A greater contrast than that
between him and the shoemaker could hardly have
been found, except in this, that the carpenter also
looked sickly. He was in perfect health, however,
only oppressed with the cares of his family, and
the sickness of his wife, who was a constant invalid,
with more children her husband thought than she
could well manage, or he well provide for, But if
he had thought less about it he would have got on
better. He worked hard, but little fancied how
many fewer strokes of his plane he made in an hour
just because he was brooding over his difficulties,
and imagining what would be the consequences if
this or that misfortune were to befall him—of which
he himself sought and secured the shadow before-
hand, to darken and hinder the labour which might
prevent its arrival. But he was a good man never-
theless, for his greatest bugbear was debt. If he
could only pay off every penny he owed in the
world, and if only his wife were so far better as to
enjoy life a little, he would, he thought, be perfectly
happy. His wife, however, was tolerably happy,
notwithstanding her weak health, and certainly
enjoyed life a good deal—far more at least than
her husband was able to believe.

Mr Macmichael was very kind and attentive to
Mrs Spelman; though, as the carpenter himself
said, he hadn’t seen the colour of zs money for
years, But the Doctor knew that Spelman was a
70 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



hard-working man, and would rather have given
him a little money than have pressed him for a
penny. He told him one day, when he was lament-
ing that he couldn’t pay him even yez, that he was
only too glad to do anything in the least little bit
like what the Saviour did when he was in the
world—“a carpenter like you, Spelman—think of
that,” added the Doctor.

So Spelman was as full of gratitude as he could
hold. Except Hector Macallaster, the Doctor was
almost his only creditor. Medicine and shoes
were his chief trials: he kept on paying for the
latter, but the debt for the former went on accumu-
lating.

Hence it came that when Willie began to haunt
his shop, though he had hardly a single smile to
give the little fellow, he was more than pleased ;-—-
gave him odds and ends of wood; lent him what-
ever tools he wanted except the adze—that he
would not let him touch ; would drop him a hint
now and then as to the use of them; would any
moment stop his own work to attend to a diffi-
culty the boy found himself in; and, in short, paid
him far more attention than he would have
thought required of him if Willie had been his
apprentice,

From the moment he entered the workshop,
Willie could hardly keep his hands off the tools,
The very shape of them, as they lay on the bench
What came of Willie’s going to School, 7%



or hung on the wall, seemed to say over and over,
“Come, use me; come, use me.” They looked
waiting, and hungry for work. They wanted stuff
to shape and fashion into things, and join into
other things. They wanted to make bigger tools
than themselves—for ploughing the earth, for carry-
ing the harvest, or for some one or other of ten
thousand services to be rendered in the house or in
the fields. It was impossible for Willie to see the
hollow lip of the gouge, the straight lip of the
chisel, or the same lip fitted with another lip, and
so made into the mouth of the plane, the worm-
like auger, or the critical spokeshave, the hammer
which will have it so, or the humble bradawl which
is its pioneer—he could see none of them without
longing to send his life into theirs, and set them
doing in the world—for was not this what their .
dumb looks seemed ever to implore?

At that time young Spelman was busy making
a salt-box for his mother out of the sound bits of
an old oak floor which his father had taken up
because it was dry-rotted. It was hard wood to
work, but Willie bore a hand in planing the pieces,
and was initiated into the mysteries of dovetailing
and gluing. Before the lid was put on by the
hinges, he carved the initials of the carpenter and
his wife in relief upon it, and many years after they
used to show his work. But the first thing he set
about making for himself was a water-wheel.
72 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



If he had been a seaside boy, his first job would’
have been a boat ; if he had lived in a flat country,
it would very likely have been a windmill; but.
the most noticeable thing in that neighbourhood
was a mill for grinding corn driven by a water-
wheel.

When Willie was a tiny boy, he had gone once
with Farmer Thomson’s man and a load of corn to
see the mill; and the miller had taken him all over
it. He saw the corn go in by the hopper into the
trough which was the real hopper, for it kept con-
stantly hopping to shake the corn down through
a hole in the middle of the upper stone, which
went round and round against the lower, so that
between them they ground the corn to meal, which,
in the story beneath, he saw pouring, a solid stream
like an avalanche, from a wooden spout. But the
best of it all was the wheel outside, and the busy
rush of the water that made it go. So Willie
would now make a water-wheel. 2

The carpenter having given him a short lecture
on the different kinds of water-wheels, he decided
on an undershot, and with Sandy’s help proceeded
to construct it—with its nave of mahogany, its
spokes of birch, its floats of deal, and its axle of
stout iron-wire, which, as the friction would not be
great, was to run in. gudgeon-blocks of some hard
wood, well oiled. These blocks were fixed in a
frame so devised that, with the help of a few stones
























































































WILLIE IS TAKEN TO SEE A WATER-WHEEL.,
What came of Willie's going to School, 73
to support it, the wheel might be set going in any
small stream.

There were many tiny brooks running into the
river, and they fixed upon one of them which
issued from the rising ground at the back of the
village: just where it began to run merrily down
the hill, they constructed in its channel a stone-
bed for the water-wheel—not by any means for it
to go to sleep in!

It went delightfully, and we shall hear more of
it by and by. For the present, I have only to con-
fess that, after a few days, Willie got tired of it—
and small blame to him, for it was of no earthly
use beyond amusement, and that which can only
amuse can never amuse long. I think the reason
children get tired of their toys so soon is just that
it is against human nature to be really interested
in what is of no use. If you say that a beautiful
thing is always interesting, I answer, that a beauti-
ful thing is of the highest use. Is not a diamond
that flashes all its colours into the heart of a poet
as useful as the diamond with which the glazier
divides the sheets of glass into panes for our win-
dows? Anyhow, the reason Willie got tired of his
water-wheel was that it went round and round, and
did nothing but go round. It drove no machinery,
ground no grain of corn—“did nothing for zo-
body,” Willie said, seeking to be emphatic. So
he carried it home, and put it away in a certain
74 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,
part of the ruins where he kept odds and ends of
things that might some day come in useful.

Mr Macmichael was so devoted to his profession
that he desired nothing better for Willie than that
he too should be a medical man, and he was more
than pleased to find how well Willie’s hands were
able to carry out his contrivances; for he judged
it impossible for a country doctor to have too much
mechanical faculty. The exercise of such a skill
alone might secure the instant relief of a patient,
and be the saving of him. But, more than this, he
believed that nothing tended so much to develop —
common sense—the most precious of faculties—as
the doing of things with the hands, Hence he not
only encouraged Willie in everything he under-
took, but, considering the five hours of school
quite sufficient for study of that sort, requested
the master not to give him any lessons to do at
home. So Willie worked hard during school, and
after it had plenty of time to spend in carpenter-
ing, so that he soon came to use all the common
bench-tools with ease, and Spelman was proud of
his apprentice, as he called him—so much so, that
the burden of his debt grew much lighter upon his
shoulders,

But Willie did not forget his older friend, Hector
Macallaster. Every half-holiday he read to him
for a couple of hours, chiefly, for some time, from
Dick’s Astronomy. Neither of them understood
What came of Willie's going to School, 7%



all he read, but both understood much, and Hector
could explain some of the things that puzzled
Willie. And when he found that everything went
on in such order, above and below and all about
him, he began to see that even a thing well done
was worth a good deal more when done at the
right moment or within the set time; and that the
heavens themselves were like a great clock, order-
ing the time for everything.

Neither did he give up shoemaking, for he often
did a little work for Hector, who had made him a
leather apron, and cut him out bits of stout leather
to protect his hands from the thread when he was
sewing. For twelve months, however, his chief em-
ployment lay in the workshop of the carpenter.

(416 ) op
CHAPTER VIIL

WILLIZ DIGS AND FINDS WHAT HE DID NOT
BXPECT.

E had been reading to Hector Sir Walter
Scott’s “Antiquary,” in which occurs the
narration of a digging for treasure in ruins not
unlike these, only grander. It was of little conse-
quence to Willie that no treasure had been found
there: the propriety of digging remained the
same; for in a certain spot he had often fancied
that a hollow sound, when he stamped hard, indi-
cated an empty place underneath. I believe myself
that it came from above, and not from beneath; for
although a portion of the vaulted roof of the little
chamber had been broken in, the greater part of it
still remained, and might have caused a reverbera-
tion. The floor was heaped up with fallen stones
and rubbish.

One Wednesday afternoon, instead of going to
Hector, whom he had told not to expect him, he
got a pickaxe and spade, and proceeded to dig in
the trodden heap. At the first blow of the pickaxe
Digs bid Finds what he did not Expect. 77



he came upon large stones—the job of clearing
out which was by no means an easy one—so far
from it, indeed, that, after working for half an hour,
and only getting out two large and half a dozen
_ smaller ones, he resolved to ask Sandy Spelman
to help him. So he left his pickaxe with one point
fast between two stones, and ran to the shop.
Sandy was at work, but his father was quite willing ~
to let him go. Willie told them he was digging
for a treasure, and they all laughed over it; but at
the same time Willie thought with himself—* Who
knows? People fave found treasures buried in old
places like that. The Antiquary did not—but he
is only in a story, not in a high story” (for that
was Willie’s derivation of the word zstory), “The
place sounds likely enough. Anyhow, where’s the
harm in trying ?” .

They were both so eager—for Sandy liked the
idea of digging in the ruins much better than the
work he was at—that they set off-at full speed the
moment they were out of the shop, and never
slackened until they stood panting by the anchored
pickaxe, upon which Spelman pounced, and being
stronger than Willie, and more used to hard
work, had soon dislodged both the stones which
held it. They were so much larger, however, than
any Willie had come upon before, that they had
to roll them out of the little chamber, instead of
lifting them; after which they got on better, and
78 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



had soon piled a good heap against the wall out-
side. After they had had their tea, they set to
work again, and worked till the twilight grew dark
about them—by which time they had got the heap
down to what seemed the original level of the
floor. Still there were stones below, but what with
fatigue and darkness, they were now compelled to
stop, and Sandy went home, after promising to
come as early as he could in the morning and call
Willie, who was to leave the end of a string hang-
ing out of the staircase window, whose other end
should pass through the keyhole of his door and
be tied to his wrist.

He seemed to have hardly been in bed an hour,
when he woke with his arm at full length, and the
pulling going on as if it would pull him out of bed.
He tugged again in reply, and jumped out.

It was a lovely summer morning—the sun a few
yards up the sky; the grass glittering with dew ;
the birds singing as if they were singing their first
and would sing their last ; the whole air, even in
his little room, filled with a cool odour as of blessed
thoughts, and just warm enough to let him know
that the noontide would be hot. And there was
Sandy waiting in the street to help him dig for the
treasure! In a few minutes he had opened the
street door and admitted him. They went straight
to the scene of their labour.

Having got out a few more stones, they began
Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 79



to fancy they heard a curious sound, which they
agreed was more like that of running water than
anything else they could think of Now, except a
well in the street, just before the cottage, there was
no water they knew of much nearer than the river,
and they wondered a good deal.

At length Sandy’s pickaxe got hold of a stone
which he could not move, do what he would. He
tried another, and succeeded, but soon began to
suspect that there was some masonry there, Con-
tenting himself therefore with clearing out only the
loose stones, he soon found plainly enough that he
was working in a narrow space, around which was a
circular wall of solid stone and lime. The sound of
running water was now clear enough, and the earth
in the hole was very damp. Sandy had now got
down three or four feet below the level.

“Tt’s an old well,” he said. “There can be no
doubt of it.”

“Does it smell bad?” asked Willie, peeping
down disappointed.

“Not a bit,” answered Sandy.

“Then it’s not stagnant,” said Willie.

“You might have told that by your ears without
troubling your nose,” said Sandy. “Didn’t you
hear it running?”

“ How can it be running when it’s buried away
down there?” said Willie.

“ How can it make a noise if it isn’t running?”
80 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



retorted Sandy —to which question Willie at-
tempted no reply.

It was now serious work to get the stones up, for
Sandy’s head only was above the level of the
ground ; it was all he could do to lift some of the
larger ones out of the hole, and Willie saw that he
must contrive to give him some help. He ran
therefore to the house, and brought a rope which
he had seen lying about. One end of it Sandy
tied round whatever stone was too heavy for him,
and Willie, laying hold of the other, lifted along
with him. They got on faster now, and in a few
minutes Sandy exclaimed—

“ Here it is at last!”

“The treasure?” cried Willie. “ Oh, jolly !*

Sandy burst out laughing, and shouted—

“ The water !”

“Bother the water!” growled Willie. “But go
on, Sandy; the iron chest may be at the bottom
of the water, you know.”

“All very well for you up there!” retorted
Sandy. “But though I can get the stones out, I
can’t get the water out. And I’ve no notion of
diving where there’s pretty sure to be nothing to
dive for. Besides, a body can’t dive in a stone
pipe like this. I should want weights to sink me,
and I mightn’t get them off in time. I want my
breakfast dreadful, Willie.”

So saying, he scrambled up the side of the well,
Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 81
and the last of him that appeared, his boots,
namely, bore testimony enough to his having
reached the water. Willie peered down into the
well, and caught the dull glimmer of it through
the stones; then, a good deal disappointed, fol-
lowed Sandy as he strode away towards the
house, :

“You'll come and have your breakfast with me,
Sandy, won’t you?” he said from behind him,

“No, thank you,” answered Sandy. “I don’t
like any porridge but my mother’s.”

And without looking behind him, he walked right
through the cottage, and away home,

Before Willie had finished his porridge, he had
got over his disappointment, and had even begun
to see that he had never really expected to find a
treasure. Only it would have been fun to hand it
over to his father!

Allthrough morning school, however, his thoughts
would go back to the little vault, so cool and
shadowy, sheltering its ancient well from the light
that lorded it over all the country outside. No |
doubt the streams rejoiced in it, but even for them
it would be too much before the evening came to
cool and console them; while the slow wells in the
marshy ground up on the mountains must feel faint
in an hour of its burning eye. This well had always
been, and always would be, cool and blessed and
sweet, like--like a precious thing you can only
82 — Lfistory of Gutta-Percha Weilte.



think about. And wasn’t it a nice thing to have a
well of your own? Tibby needn’t go any more to
the village pump—which certainly was nearer, but
stood in the street, not in their own ground. Of
course, as yet, she could not draw a bucketful, for
the water hardly came above the stones; but he
would soon get out as many as would make it deep
enough—only, if it was all Sandy could do to get
out the big ones, and that with his help too, how.
was he to manage it alone? There was the
rub!

I must go back a little to explain how he came
to think of a plan.

After Hector and he had gone as far in Dr Dick’s
astronomy as they could understand, they found
they were getting themselves into what seemed
quite a jungle of planets, and suns, and comets,
and constellations.

“Tt seems to me,” said the shoemaker, “that to
understand anything you must understand every-
thing.”

So they laid the book aside for the present ; and
Hector, searching about for another with which to
fill up the remainder of the afternoon, came upon
one in which the mechanical powers were treated
after a simple fashion,

Of this book Willie had now read a good deal.
T cannot say that he had yet come to understand
the mechanical power so thoroughly as to see that
Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 83



the lever and the wheel-and-axle are the same in
kind, or that the screw, the inclined plane, and the
wedge are the same power in different shapes; but
he did understand that while a single pulley gives
you no advantage except by enabling you to apply
your strength in the most effective manner, a second
pulley takes half the weight off you. Hence, with
the difficulty in which he now found himself, came
at once the thought of a block with a pulley in it,
which he had seen lying about in the carpenter's
shop. He remembered also that there was a great
iron staple or eye in the vault just over the well;
and if he could only get hold of a second pulley,
the thing was as good as done—the well as good as
cleared out to whatever depth he could reach below
the water.

A\s soon as school was over, he ran to Mr Spel-
man, and found to his delight that he could lend
him not only that pulley but another as well. Each
ran in a block which had an iron hook attached to it,
With the aid of a ladder he put the hook of one of
the blocks through the staple, and then fastened the
end of his rope to the block. Next he got another
bit of rope, and having pulled off his shoes and
stockings, and got down into the well, tied it round
the largest stone within reach, loosely enough to
allow the hook of the second pulley to lay hold of
it. Then, as a sailor would say, he rove the end of
the long rope through this block, and getting up on
84 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



the ladder again, rove it also through the first block,
which he had left hanging to the staple. All pre-
parations thus completed, he stood by the well, and
hauled away at the rope. It came slipping through
the pulleys, and up rose the stone from the well as
if by magic. As soon as it came clear of the edge,
he drew it towards him, lowered it to the ground,
took off its rope collar, and rolled it out of the
doorway. Then he got into the well again, tied
the collar about another stone, drew down the
pulley, thrust its hook through the collar, got out
of the well, and hauled up the second stone.

In this way he had soon got out so many that
he was standing far above his ankles in the water,
which was so cold that he was glad to get out to
pull up every stone. By this time it was perfectly
explained how the water made a noise, for he saw
it escape by an opening in the side of the well.

He came at last to a huge stone, round which it
was with difficulty he managed to fasten the rope.
He had to pull away smaller stones from beneath
it, and pass the rope through under it. Having
lifted it a little way with the powerful help of his
tackle, to try if all was right before he got out to
haul in earnest, he saw that his knot was slipping,
and lowered the stone again so as to set it on one
end, leaning against the side of the well—when he
discovered that his rope collar had got so frayed,
that one of the strands was cut through ; it would
Digs and Finds what he did not Expect. 85



probably break and let the stone fall again into
the well, when he would still more probably tumble
after it. He was getting tired too, and it was
growing very dusky in the ruins He thought it
better to postpone further proceedings, and getting
out of the well, caught up his shoes and stockings,
and went into the house.
CHAPTER IX.
A MARVEL,

ARLY the next morning Mr Macmichael, as

he was dressing, heard a laugh of strange
delight in the garden, and, drawing up the blind,
looked out. There, some distance off, stood Willie,
the one moment staring motionless at something
at his feet, the other dancing and skipping and
singing, but still looking down at something at his .
feet. His father could not see what this some-
thing was, for Willie was on the other side of one
of the mounds, and was turning away to finish his
dressing, when from another direction a peculiar
glitter caught his eye. .

“What can this mean?” he said to himself.
“Water in the garden! There’s been no rain;
and there’s neither river nor reservoir to overflow!
I can hardly believe my eyes!”

He hurried on the remainder of his clothes, and
went out. But he had not gone many steps when
what should he meet but a merry little brook
coming cantering down between two of the
A Marvel. 87



mounds! It had already worn itself a channel
in the path, He followed it up, wondering much,
bewildered indeed; and had got to a little turfy
hollow, down the middle of which it came bubbling
and gabbling along, when Willie caught sight of
him, and bounded to meet him with a radiant
countenance and almost inarticulate cries of de-
light,

“Am I awake, Willie? or am I dreaming?”
he asked. :

“Wide awake, papa,” answered Willie.

“Then what zs the meaning of this? You seem
to be in the secret: where does this water come
from? I feel as if I were in a fairy tale.”

“Tsn’t it lovely?” cried Willie. “I/’ll show you
where it comes from. This way. You’ll spoil
your boots there. Look at the rhubarb-bed ; it’s
turned into a swamp.”

“The garden will be ruined,” said his father.

“No, no, papa; we won’t let it come to that.
I’ve been watching it. There’s no soil carried
away yet. Do come and see.”

in mute astonishment, his father followed.

As I have already described it, the ground was
very uneven, with many heights and hollows, —
whence it came that the water took an amazing
number of twists and turns, Willie led his father
as straight as he could, but I don’t know how often
they crossed the little brook before they came to
88 History of Gutta-Percha Wittie,



where, from the old stone shaft, like the crater of
a volcano, it rolled over the brim, an eruption of
cool, clear, lucid water. Plenteous it rose and
overflowed, like a dark yet clear molten gem,
tumbling itself into the open world. How deli-
ciously wet it looked in the shadow!—how it
caught the sun the moment it left the chamber,
grew merry, and trotted and trolled and cantered
along !

“Ts this your work, Willie?” asked his father,
who did not know which of twenty questions to
ask first.

“Mostly,” said Willie.

“You little wizard! what have you been about?
I can’t understand it. We must make a drain for
it at once.”

“Bury a beauty like that in a drain!” cried
Willie. “O papa!”

“Well, I don’t know what else to do with it.
How is it that it never found its way out before—
somewhere or other ?”

“T’ll soon show you that,” said Willie. “Ill
soon send it about its business,”

He had thought, when he first saw the issuing
water, that the weight of the fallen stones and the
hard covering of earth being removed, the spring
had burst out with tenfold volume and vigour; but
had satisfied himself by thinking about it, that the
cause of the overflow must be the great stone he
A Marvel, 89



had set leaning against the side the last thing
before dropping work the previous night: it must
have blocked up the opening, and prevented the
water from getting out as fast as before, that is, as
fast as the spring rose. Therefore he now laid
hold of the rope, which was still connected with
the stone, and, not aware of how the water would
help him by partly floating it, was astonished to
find how easily he moved it. At once it swung
away from the side into the middle of the well;
the water ceased to run over the edge, with a loud
gurgling began to sink, and sank down and down
and down until the opening by which it escaped
was visible.

“ Ah! now, now I understand !” cried Mr Mac-
michael. “It’s the old well of the Priory you’ve —
come upon, you little burrowing mole.”

“Sandy helped me out with the stones. I
thought there might be a treasure down there,
and that set me digging. It was a funny treasure
to find—wasn’t it? No treasure could have been
prettier though.”

“Tf this be the Prior’s Well, and all be true
they said about it in old times,” returned his
father, “it may turn out a greater treasure than
you even hoped for, Willie. Why, as I found
some time ago in an old book about the monas-
teries of the country, people used to come from
great distances to drink the water of the Prior’s
90 Fistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,



Well, believing it a cure for every disease under
the sun. Run into the house and fetch me a jug.”

“Yes, papa,” said Willie, and bounded off.

There was no little brook careering through the
garden now—only a few pools here and there—
and its channel would soon be dry in the hot sun.
But Willie thought how delightful it was to be
able to have one there whenever he pleased. And
it might be a much bigger brook too, for, instead
of using the stone which could but partly block
the water from the underground way, he would
cut a piece of wood large enough to cover the
opening, and rounded a little to fit the side of the
well; then he would put the big stone just so far
from the opening that the piece of wood could get
through between it and the side of the well, and
so be held tight. Then all the water would be
forced to mount up, get out at the top, and run
through the garden.

Meantime Mr Macmichael, having gone to see
what course the water had taken, and how it had
left the garden, found that, after a very circuitous
route, it had run through the hedge into a surface
drain in the field, and so down the hill towards
the river.

When Willie brought him the jug, he filled it
from the well, and carried the water into his sur-
gery. There he put a little of it into several
different glasses, and dropping something out of
A Marvel, QI

one bottle into one glass, and something out of
another bottle into another glass, soon. satisfied
himself that it contained medicinal salts in con-
siderable quantities. There could be no doubt
that Willie had found the Prior’s Well.

“Tt’s a good thing,” said his father at breakfast,
“that you didn’t flood the house, Willie! One
turn more and the stream would have been in at
the back-door.”

“Tt wouldn't have done much harm,” said
Willie. “It would have run along the slabs in
the passage and out again, for the front door is
lower than the back. It would have been such
fun!”

“You mischievous little thing!” said his mother,
pretending to scold him,—“ you don’t think what
trouble you would have given Tibby !”

“But wouldn't it have been fun? And wouldn’t
it have been lovely—running through the house
all the hot summer day ?”

“There may be a difference of opinion about
that, Master Willie,” said his mother, “You, for
instance, might like to walk through water every
time you went from the parlour to the kitchen,
but I can’t say I should.”

Curious to know whether the village pump
might not be supplied from his well, Mr Mac-
michael next analysed the water of that also, and

satisfied himself that there was no connection be-
(418) G
92 History of Gutia-Percha Wiltte.

tween them. Within the next fortnight Willie
discovered that as often as the stream ran through
the garden, the little brook in which he had set his
water-wheel going was nearly dry.

He had soon made a nice little channel for it, so
that it should not get into any of the beds. He
laid down turf along its banks in some parts, and
sowed grass and daisy-seed in others; and when
he found a pretty stone or shell, or bit of coloured
glass or bright crockery or broken mirror, he
would always throw it in, that the water might
have the prettier path to run upon. Indeed, he
emptied his store of marbles into it. He was not
particularly fond of playing with marbles, but he
had a great fancy for those of real white marble
with lovely red streaks, and had collected some
twenty or thirty of them. He kept them in the
brook now, instead of in a calico bag.

The summer was a very hot anddry one. More
than any of the rest of the gardens in the village,
that of The Ruins suffered from such weather ; for
not only was there a deep gravel-bed under its
mould, but a good part of its produce grew on
the mounds, which were mostly heaps of stones,
and neither gravel nor stones could retain much
moisture. Willie watered it a good deal out of
the Prior’s Well ; but it was hard work, and did
not seem to be of much use.

One evening, when he had set the little brook
A Marvel. 93



free to run through the garden, and the sun was
setting huge and red, with the promise of another
glowing day to-morrow, and the air was stifling,
and not a breath of wind stirring, so that the
flowers hung their heads oppressed, and the leaves
and little buttons of fruit on the trees looked ready
to shrivel up and drop from the boughs, the
thought came to him whether he could not turn
the brook into a little Nile, causing it to overflow
its banks and enrich the garden. He could not,
of course, bring it about in the same way ; for the
Nile overflows from the quantities of rain up in the
far-off mountains, making huge torrents rush into
it faster than its channel, through a slow, level
country, can carry the water away, so that there is
nothing for it but overflow. If, however, he could
not make more water run out of the well, he could
make it more difficult for what did come from it
to get away. First, he stopped up the outlet
through the hedge with stones, and clay, and bits
of board; then watched as it spread, until he saw
where it would try to escape next, and did the
same; and so on, taking care especially to keep it
from the house. The mounds were a great assist-
ance to him in hemming it in, but he had hard
enough work of it notwithstanding ; and soon per-
ceived that at one spot it would get the better of
him in a few minutes, and make straight for the
back-door. He ran at once and opened the sluice
94 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.

in the well, and away the stream gurgled under-
ground,

Before morning the water it left had all disap-
peared. It had soaked through the mounds, and
into the gravel, but comforting the hot roots as it
went, and feeding them with dissolved minerals.
Doubtless, also, it lay all night in many a little
hidden pool, which the heat of the next day’s sun
drew up, comforting again, through the roots in
the earth, and through the leaves in the air, up
into the sky.

Willie could not help thinking that the garden
looked refreshed; the green was. brighter, he
thought, and the’ flowers held up their heads a
little better; the carrots looked more feathery,
and the ferns more palmy; everything looked, he
said, just as he felt after a good drink out of the
Prior’s Well. At all events, he resolved to do the
same every night after sunset while the hot weather
lasted—that was, if his father had no objection.

Mr Macmichael said he might try it, only he
must mind and not go to bed and leave the water
running, else they would have a cartload of mud
in the house before morning.

So Willie strengthened and heightened his bar-
riers, and having built a huge one at the last
point where the water had tried to get away, as
soon as the sun was down shut the sluice, and
watched the water as it surged up in the throat of
A Marvel. 95
ihe well, and rushed out to be eine in the toils
he had made forit. Before it could find a fresh
place to get out at, the whole upper part of the
garden was one network of lakes and islands.

Willie kept walking round and round it, as if it

had been a wild beast trying to get out of its cage,
and he had to watch and prevent it at every weak
spot; or as if he were a magician, busily sustain-
ing the charm by which he confined the gad-about
creature. The moment he saw it beginning to get
the better of him, he ran to the sluice and banished
it to the regions below. Then he fetched an old
newspaper, and sitting down on the borders of his
lake, fashioned boat after boat out of the paper,
and sent them sailing like merchant ships from isle
to blooming isle.
. Night after night he flooded the garden, ae
always before morning the water had sunk away
through the gravel. Soon there was no longer any
doubt that everything was mightily refreshed by
it; the look of exhaustion and hopelessness was
gone, and life was busy in flower and tree and
plant. This year.there was not a garden, even on
the banks of the river, to compare with it; and
when the autumn came, there was more fruit than
Mr Macmichael remembered ever to have seen
before.
CHAPTER X.
A NEW ALARUM.

ILLIE was always thinking what uses he
could put things to. Only he was never
tempted to set a fine thing to do dirty work, as
dull-hearted money-grubbers do—mill-owners, for
instance, when they make the channel of a lovely
mountain-stream serve for a drain to carry off the
filth from their works, If Dante had known any
such, I know where he would have put them, but I
would rather not describe the place. I have told
you. what Willie made the prisoned stream do for
the garden; I will now tell you what he made the
running stream do for himself, and you shall judge
whether or not that was fit work for him to require
of it.

Ever since he had ceased being night-nurse to
little Agnes, he had wished that he had some one
to wake him every night, about the middle of it,
that he might get up and look out of the window.
For, after he had fed his baby-sister and given her
back to his mother in a state of contentment, before
A New Alarum. / OF



getting into bed again he had always looked out
of the window to see what the night was like—not
that he was one bit anxious about the weather,
except, indeed, he heard his papa getting up to go
out, or knew that he had to go; for he could enjoy
weather of any sort and all sorts, and never thought
what the next day would be like—but just to see
what Madame Night was thinking about—how she
looked, and what she was doing. For he had soon
found her such a changeful creature that, every
time he looked at her, she looked at him with
another face from that she had worn last time.
Before he had made this acquaintance with the
night, he would often, ere he fell asleep, lie won-
dering what he was going to dream about; for,
with all his practical tendencies, Willie was very
fond of dreaming ; but after he had begun in this
manner to make acquaintance with her, he would
just as often fall asleep wondering what the day
would be dreaming about—for, in his own fanciful
way of thinking, he had settled that the look of
the night was what the day was dreaming. Hence,
when Agnes required his services no longer, he fell
asleep the first night with the full intention of
waking just as before, and getting up to have a
peep into the day’s dream, whatever it might be,
that night, and-every night thereafter. But he was
now back in his own room, and there was nothing
to wake him, so he slept sound until the day had
' 98 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



done dreaming, and the morning was wide awake.
Neither had he awoke any one night since, or seen
what marvel there might be beyond his window-
panes.

Does any little boy or girl wonder what there
can be going on when we are asleep? Sometimes
the stars, sometimes the moon, sometimes the
clouds, sometimes the wind, sometimes the snow,
sometimes the frost, sometimes all of them together,
are busy. Sometimes the owl and the moth and
the beetle, and the bat and the cat and the rat, are
all at work. Sometimes there are flowers in bloom
that love the night better than the day, and are
busy all through the darkness pouring out on the
still air the scent they withheld during the sunlight.
Sometimes the lightning and the thunder, some-
times the moon-rainbow, sometimes the aurora
borealis, is busy. And the streams are running all
night long, and seem to babble louder than in the
day time, for the noises of the working world are
still, so that we hear them better. Almost the
only daylight thing awake, is the clock ticking with
nobody to heed it, and that sounds to me very
dismal. But it was the Zooé of the night, the mean-
ing on her face that Willie cared most about, and
desired so much to see, that he was at times quite
unhappy to think that he never could wake up, not
although ever so many strange and lovely dreams
might be passing before his window. He often
A New Alarum, 99

dreamed that he had waked up, and was looking
out on some gorgeous and lovely show, but in the
morning he knew sorrowfully that he had only
dreamed his own dream, not gazed into that of the
sleeping day. Again and again he had worked his
brains to weariness, trying and trying to invent
some machine that should wake him. But although
he was older and cleverer now, he fared no better
than when he wanted to wake himself to help his
mother with Agnes, He must have some motive
power before he could do anything, and the clock
was still the only power he could think of, and that
he was afraid to meddle with, for its works were
beyond him, and it was so essential to the well-
being of the house that he would not venture put-
ting it in jeopardy.

One day, however, when he was thinking nothing
about it, all at once it struck him that he had an-
other motive powerat his command, and the thought
had hardly entered his mind, before he saw also
how it was possible to turn it to account. His
motive power was the stream from the Prior’s
Well, and the means of using it for his purpose
stood on a shelf in the ruins, in the shape of
the toy water-wheel which he had laid aside as
distressingly useless. He set about the thing at
once,

First of all, he made a second bit of channel for
the stream, like a little loop to the first, so that he
100 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



could, when he pleased, turn a part of the water
into it, and let it again join the principal channel a
little lower down. This was, in fact, his mill-race.
Just before it joined the older part again, right
opposite his window, he made it run for a little way
in a direct line towards the house, and in this part
of the new channel he made preparations for his
water-wheel. Into the channel he laid a piece of
iron pipe, which had been lying about useless for
years ; and just where the water would issue ina
concentrated rush from the lower end of it, he con-
structed a foundation for his wheel, similar to that
Sandy and he had built for it before. The water,
as it issued from the pipe, should strike straight
upon its floats, and send it whirling round. It took
him some time to build it, for he wanted this to -be
a good and permanent job. He had stones at
command: he had a well, he said, that yielded both
stones and water, which was more than everybody
could say; and in order to make it a sound bit of
work, he fetched a lump of quick-lime from the
kiln, where they burned quantities of it to scatter
over the clay-soil, and first wetting it with water
till it fell into powder, and then mixing it with
sand which he riddled from the gravel he dug from
the garden, he made it into good strong mortar,
When its bed was at length made for it, he took
the wheel and put in a longer axis, to project on
one side beyond the gudgeon-block, or hollow in
A New Alarum. tol



which it turned ; and upon this projecting piece he
fixed a large reel. Then, having put the wheel in
its place, he asked his father for sixpence, part of
which he laid out ona large ball of pack-thread,
The outside end of the ball he fastened to the reel,
then threw the ball through the open window into
his room, and there undid it from the inside end,
laying the thread in coils on the floor. When it
was time to go to bed, he ran out and turned the
water first into the garden, and then into the new
_channel; when suddenly the wheel began to spin
about, and wind the pack-thread on to the reel.
He ran to his room, and undressed faster than he
had ever done before, tied the other end of the
thread around his wrist, and, although kept awake
much longer than usual by his excitement, at
length fell fast asleep, and dreamed that the thread
had waked him, and drawn him to the window,
_where he saw the water-wheel flashing like a fire-
wheel, and the water rushing away from under it
in a green flame. When he did wake it was broad
day; the coils of pack-thread were lying on the
floor scarcely diminished ; the brook was singing
in the garden, and when he went to the window,
he saw the wheel spinning merrily round. He
dressed in haste, ran out, and found that the thread
had got entangled amongst the bushes on its way
to the wheel, and had stuck fast; whereupon the
wheel had broken it to get loose, and had been
102 Ltistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,
spinning round and round all night for nothing,
like the useless thing it was before.

That afternoon he set poles up for guides, along
the top of which the thread might run, and so keep
clear of the bushes. But he fared no better the
next night, for he never waked until the morning,
when he found that the wheel stood stocik: still, for
the thread, having filled the reel, had slipped off,
and so wound itself about the wheel that it was
choked in its many windings.. Indeed, the thread
was in a wonderful tangle about the whole machine,
and it took him a long time to unwind—turning
the wheel backwards, so as not to break the thread.

In order to remove the cause of this fresh failure,
he went to the turner, whose name was William
Burt, and asked him to turn for him a large reel or
spool, with deep ends, and small cylinder between.
William told him he was very busy just then, but
he would fix a suitable piece of wood for him on
his old lathe, with which, as he knew him to bea
handy boy, he might turn what he wanted for
himself. This was his first attempt at the use
of the turning-lathe ; but he had often watched
William at work, and was familiar with the way in
which he held his tool Hence the result was
tolerably satisfactory. Long before he had reached
the depth of which he wished to make the spool,
he had learned to manage his chisel with some
nicety. Burt finished it off for him with just a few
A New Alarum, 103



touches; and, delighted with his acquisition of the
rudiments of a new trade, he carried the spool
home with him, to try once more the possibility of
educating his water-wheel into a watchman.

That night the pull did indeed come, but, alas
before he had even fallen asleep.

Something seemed to be always going wrong!
He concluded already that it was a difficult thing
to make a machine which should do just what the
maker wished. The spool had gone flying round,
and, had swallowed up the thread incredibly fast.
He made haste to get the end off his wrist, and
saw it fly through the little hole in the window
frame, and away ae the rest of it, to be wound
on the whirling spool.

Disappointing as this was, however, there was
progress in it: he had got the thing to work, and
all that remained was to regulate it. But this turned
out the most difficult part of the affair by far. He
saw at once that if he were only to make the thread
longer, which was the first mode that suggested
itself, he would increase the constant danger there
was of its getting fouled, not to mention the
awkwardness of using such a quantity of it. If
the kitten were to get into the room, for instance,
after he had laid it down, she would ruin his every
hope for the time being; and in Willie’s eyes six-
pence was a huge sum to ask from his father. But
if, on the contrary, he could find out any mode of
104 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



making the machine wind more slowly, he might
then be able to shorten instead of ETRE the
string.

At length, after much pondering; he came to see
that if, instead of the spool, he were to fix on the
axis a small cogged wheel—that is, a wheel with
teeth—and then make these cogs fit into the cogs
of a much larger wheel, the small wheel, which
would turn once with every turn of the water-wheel,
must turn a great many times before it could turn
the big wheel once. Then he must fix the spool
on the axis of this great slow wheel, when, turning
only as often as the wheel turned, the spool would
wind the thread so much the more slowly.

I will not weary my reader with any further
detail of Willie's efforts and failures. It is enough
to say that he was at last so entirely successful in
timing his machine, for the run of the water was
always the same, that he could tell exactly how
much thread it would wind in a given time. Hav-
ing then measured off the thread with a mark of
ink for the first hour, two for the second, and so
on, he was able to set his alarum according to the
time at which he wished to be woke by the pull at
his wrist.

But if any one had happened to go into the
garden after the household was asleep, and had
come upon the toy water-wheel, working away in
starlight or moonlight, how little, even if he had
A New Alarum. * 105



caught sight of the nearly invisible thread, and had
discovered that the wheel was winding it up, would
he have thought what the tiny machine was about!
How little would he have thought that its business
was with the infinite! that it was in connection
with the window of an eternal world—namely,
Willie’s soul—from which at a given moment it
would lift the curtains, namely, the eyelids, and
let the night of the outer world in upon the thought
and feeling of the boy! To use a likeness, the
wheel was thus ever working to draw up the slide
of a camera obscura, and let in whatever pictures
might be abroad in the dreams of the day, that
the watcher within might behold them.

Indeed, one night as he came home from visiting
a patient, soon after Willie had at length taught
his watchman his duty, Mr Macmichael did come
upon the mill, and was just going to turn the water '
off at the well, which he thought Willie had forgotten
to do, when he caught sight of the winding thread
—for the moon was full, and the Doctor was sharp-
sighted.

“What can this be now?” he said to himself.
“Some new freak of Willie’s, of course. Yes; the
thread goes right up to his window! I dare say if
I were to stop and watch I should see something
happen in consequence. But I am too tired, and
must go to bed.”

Just as he thought thus with himself, the wheel
106 ee e Gutta-Percha Willie,





stopped. The next moment the blind of Willie’s
window was drawn up, and there stood Willie, his
face and his white gown glimmering in the moon-
light. He caught sight of his father, and up went
the sash.

“O papa!” he cried ; “T didn’t think it was
you I was going to see!”

“Who was it then you thought to see?” asked
his father.

«Oh, nobody t_only the o herself, and the
moon perhaps.”

“What new freak of yours is this, my boy?”
said his father, smiling.

“Wait a minute, and I’ll tell you all about it,”
answered Willie.

Out he came in his night-shirt, his bare feet
dancing with pleasure at having his father for his
midnight companion. On the grass, béside the
ruins, in the moonlight, by the gurgling water, he
told him all about it.

“Yes, my boy; you are right,” said his father.
“God never sleeps; and it would be a pity if we
never saw Him at his night-work.”































































































































eh mh
Kn) en

Hi i i | ns ey oD
a a ASSN

“ON THE GRASS, BESIDE THE RUINS, IN THE MOONLIGHT,
WILLIE TOLD HIS FATHER ALL ABOUT IT.”
CHAPTER XL
SOME OF THE SIGHTS WILLIE SAW.

FANCY some of my readers would like to
hear what were some of the scenes Willie
saw on such occasions. The little mill went on
night after night—almost every night in the summer,
and those nights in the winter when the frost wasn’t
so hard that it would have frozen up the machinery.
But to attempt to describe the variety of the pictures
Willie saw would be an endless labour.
Sometimes, when he looked out, it was a simple,
quiet, thoughtful night that met his gaze, without
any moon, but as full of stars as it could hold, all
flashing and trembling through the dew that was
slowly sinking down the air to settle upon the
earth and its thousand living things below. On
such a night Willie never went to bed again with-
out wishing to be pure in heart, that he might one
day see the God whose thought had taken the
shape of such a lovely night. For although he
could not have expressed himself thus at that time,
he felt that it must be God’s thinking that put it

all there.
(416) A
108 LTtstory of Gutta-Percha Willie.

Other times, the stars would be half blotted out
—all over the heavens—not with mist, but with
the light of the moon. Oh, how lovely she was!
—so calm! so all alone in the midst of the great
blue ocean! the sun of the night! She seemed
to hold up the tent of the heavens in a great silver
knot. And, like the stars above, all the flowers
below had lost their colour and looked pale and
wan, sweet and sad. It was just like what the
schoolmaster had been telling him about the
Elysium of the Greek and Latin poets, to which
they fancied the good people went when they
died—not half so glad and bright and busy as the
daylight world which they had left behind them,
and to which they always wanted to go back that
they might eat and drink and be merry again—
but oh, so tender and lovely in its mournfulness!

Several times in winter, looking out, he sawa
strange sight—the air so full of great snowflakes
that he could not see the moon through them,
although her light was visible all about them.
They came floating slowly down through the
dusky light, just as if they had been a precipitate
from that solution of moonbeams. He could hardly
persuade himself to go to bed, so fascinating was
the sight; but the cold would drive him to his
nest again,

Once the wheel-watchman pulled him up in the
midst of a terrible thunder-storm—when the East
Some of the Sights Willie saw. 109



and the West were answering each other with alter.
nate flashes of forked lightning that seemed to split
the black clouds with cracks of blinding blue, awful
in their blasting silence—followed by great, billowy,
shattering rolls of thunder, as loud as if the sky had
been a huge kettledrum, on which the clubs of
giant drummers were beating a terrible onset ; while
at sudden intervals, down came the big-dropped
rain, pattering to the earth as if beaten out of the
clouds by the blows of the thunder. But Willie
was not frightened, though the lightning blinded
and the thunder deafened him—not frightened any
more than the tiniest flower in the garden below,
which, if she could have thought about it, would
have thought it all being done only that she might
feel cooler and stronger, and be able to hold up her
head better.

And once he saw a glorious dance of the aurora
borealis—in all the colours of a faint rainbow. The
frosty snow sparkled underneath, and the cold stars
of winter sparkled above, and between the snow
and the stars, shimmered and shifted, vanished and
came again, a serried host of spears. Willie had
been reading the “ Paradise Lost,” and the part which
pleased him, boy-like, the most, was the wars of the
angels in the sixth book. Hence it came that the
aurora looked to him like the crowding of innu-
merable spears—in the hands of angels, themselves
invisible — clashed together and shaken asunder,
IIo LHistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



however, as in the convolutions of a mazy dance of
victory, rather than brandished and hurtled as in the
tumult of the battle.

Another vision that would greatly delight him
was a far more common one: the moon wading
through clouds blown slowly across the sky—espe-
cially if by an upper wind, unfelt below. Now
she would be sinking helpless in a black faint—
growing more and more dim, until at last she dis-
appeared from the night—was blotted from the
face of nature, leaving only a dim memorial light
behind her; now her soul would come into her
again, and she was there once more—doubtful
indeed: but with a slow, solemn revival, her light
would grow and grow, until the last fringe of the
great cloud swung away from off her face, and she
dawned out stately and glorious, to float fora space
in queenly triumph across a lake of clearest blue.
And Willie was philosopher enough to say to him-
self, that all this fainting and reviving, all this de-
feat and conquest, were but appearances ; that the
moon was her own bright self all the time, basking
contented in the light of her sun, between whom
and her the cloud could not creep, only between
her and Willie.

But what delighted him most of all was to catch
the moon dreaming.. That was when the old
moon, tumbled over on her back, would come
floating up the east, like a little boat on the rising |
Some of the Sights Wille saw, IIl



tide of the night, looking lost on the infinite sea!
Dreaming she must be surely !—she looked no-
thing but dreaming; for she seemed to care about
nothing—not even that she was old and worn, and
withered and dying,—not even that, instead of
sinking down in the west, into some deep bed of
dim repose, she was drifting, haggard and battered,
untidy and weak and sleepy, up and up into the
dazzling halls of the sun. Did she know that his
light would clothe her as with a garment, and hide
her in the highest recesses of his light-filled ceiling?
or was it only that she was dreaming, dreaming—
sweet, cool, tender dreams of her own, and neither
knew nor cared about anything around her? What
a strange look all the night wore while the tired old
moon was thus dreaming of the time when she
would come again, back through the vanishing and
the darkness—a single curved thread of a baby
moon, to grow and grow to a great full-grown lady
moon, able to cross with fearless gaze the gulf of
the vaulted heavens—alone, with neither sleep nor
dreams to protect her!

There were many other nights, far more commion-
place, which yet Willie liked well to look ott upon,
but which could not keep him long from his bed.
There was, for instance, the moonless and cloudy
night, when, if he had been able to pierce the dark-
ness to the core, he would have found nothing but
blackness, It had a power of its own, but one
112 fTistory of Guitta-Percha Willie.



cannot say it had much to look at. On such a
night he would say to himself that the day was so
sound asleep he was dreaming of nothing at all,
and make haste to his nest. Then again there was
the cold night of black frost, when there was cloud
enough to hide the stars and the moon, and yet a
little light came soaking through, enough to reveal
how hopeless and dreary the earth was. For in
such nights of cold, when there is no snow to cover
them, the flowers that have crept into their roots
to hide from the winter are not even able to dream
of the spring ;—they grow quite stupid and be-
numbed, and sleep outright like a polar bear or a
dormouse. He never could look long at such a
night.

Neither did he care to look long when a loud
wind was out—except the moon was bright; for
the most he could distinguish was the trees blowing
against the sky, and they always seemed not to
like it, and to want to stop. And if the big strong
trees did not like it, how could the poor little deli-
cate flowers, shivering and shaking and tossed to
and fro? If he could have seen the wind itself, it
would have been a different thing; but as it was,
he could enjoy it more by lying in bed and listen-
ing to it. Then as he listened he could fancy
himself floating out through miles and miles of
night and wind, and moon-and-star-light, or moony
snowflakes, or even thick darkness and rain; until,
“Some of the Sights Willte saw. “113



falling asleep in the middle of his fancy, it would
thicken around him into a dream of.delight.

Once there was to be an eclipse of the moon
about two o’clock in the morning.

“It’s a pity it’s so late, or rather so early,” said
Mr Macmichael, “You, Willie, won’t. be able to
see it.”

“Oh, yes, I shall, father,” answered Willie.

_“T can’t let you sit up so late. I shall be in the
middle of Sedgy Moor most likely when it begins
—and who is to wake you? I won't have your
mother disturbed, and Tibby’s not much to depend
upon. She’s too hard-worked to wake when she
likes, poor old thing,”

“Oh, I can be woke without anybody to do it!”
said Willie.

“You don’t mean you can depend on your water-
wheel to wake you at the right time, do you ?”

“Yes, I do, father. If you will tell me exactly
when the eclipse is going to begin, I will set my
wakener so that it shall wake me a quarter-of-an-
hour before, that I may be sure of seeing the very.
first of it.”

“Well, it wz be worth something to you, if it
can do that!” said Mr Macmichael.

“It’s been worth a great deal to me, already,”
said Willie. “It would have shown me an eclipse
before now, only there hasn’t been one since [ set
it going.”
_ 114 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



And wake him it did. While his father was
riding across the moor, in the strange hush of the
blotted moon, Willie was out in the garden beside
his motionless wheel, watching. the fell shadow of
the earth passing over the blessed face of the moon,
and leaving her pure and clear, and nothing the
worse,
CHAPTER XII.
A NEW SCHEME,

HAVE: said that Willie’s father and mother
used to talk without restraint in his presence.
They had no fear of Willie’s committing an indis-
cretion by repeating what he heard. One day at
dinner the following conversation took place be-
tween them.

“T’ve had a letter from my mother, John,” said
Mrs Macmichael to her husband. “It’s wonderful
how well she manages to write, when she sees so
badly.”

“She might see well enough—at least a great
deal better—if she would submit to an operation,”
said the doctor.

“At her age, John!” returned his wife in an
expostulatory tone. “Do you really think it worth
while—for the few years that are left her?”

“Worth while to see well for a few years!” ex-
claimed the doctor. ‘ Indeed, I do.”

“But there’s another thing I want to talk to
you about now,” said Mrs Macmichael. “Since old.
116 History of Gutta-Percha Witlie.



Ann’s death, six months ago, she says she has
been miserable, and if she goes on like this, it will
shorten the few days that are left her. Effie, the
only endurable servant she has had since Ann, is
going to leave at the end of her half-year, and she
says the thought of another makes her wretched,
“She may be a little hard to please, but after being
used to one for so many years, it is no wonder if she
be particular. I don’t know what is to be done.”

“TI don’t know, either—except you make her a ©
present of Tibby,” said her husband,

“John!” exclaimed Mrs Macmichael; and
“John” burst out laughing.

“You don’t think they ’d pull together?” he
said.

“ Two old people—each with her own ways, and
without any memories in common to bind them
together! I’m surprised at your dreaming of
such a thing,” exclaimed his wife.

“But I didn’t even dream of it ; I only said it,”
returned her husband. “It’s time you knew when
I was joking, wifie.”

“You joke so dreadfully like earnest!” she
answered,

“Tf only we had one more room in the house!”
said the doctor, thoughtfully.

“Ah!” returned his wife, eagerly, “that. would
be a blessing! And though Tibby would be a
thorn in every inch of grandmamma’s body, if they
A New Scheme. 117



were alone together, I have no doubt they would
get on very well with me between them.”

“T don’t ‘doubt it,” said her husband, still
thoughtfully.

“Couldn’t we manage it somehow, John?” said
Mrs Macmichael, half timidly, after a pause of some
duration. ,

“T can’t say I see how—at this moment,” an-
swered the doctor, “much as I should like it. But
there’s time yet, and we’ll think it over, and talk
about it, and perhaps we may hit upon some plan
or other. Most things may be done; and every-
thing necessary caz be done somehow. So we
won't bother our minds about it, but only our
brains, and see what they can do for us.”

With this he rose and went to his laboratory.

Willie rose also and went straight to his own
room, Having looked all round it thoughtfully
several times, he went out again on the landing,
whence a ladder led up into a garret running the
whole length of the roof of the cottage.

“My room would do for grannie,” he said to
himself; “and I could sleep up there. A shake-
down in the corner would do well enough for me,”

He climbed the ladder, pushed open the trap-
door, crept half through, and surveyed the gloomy
place.

“There’s no window but a skylight!” he said ;
and his eyes.smarted as if the tears were about to
118 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



rush into them. “What skaliI do? Wheelie will
be useless !—Well, I can’t help it; and if I can’t
help it, Ican bear it. To have grannie comfortable
will be better than to look out of the window ever
so much,”

He drew in his head, came down the ladder
with a rush, and hurried off to school.

At supper he laid his scheme before his father
and mother. .

They looked very much pleased with their boy.
But his father’ said at once—

“No, no, Willie. It won’t do. I’m glad you ’ve
been the first to think of something—only, unfor-
tunately, your plan won’t work. You can’t sleep
there.”

“T’ll engage to sleep wherever there’s room to
lie down ; and if there isn’t I’ll engage to sleep
sitting or standing,” said Willie, whose mother had
often said she wished she could sleep like Willie.
« And as I don’t walk in my sleep,” he added, “the
trap-door needn’t be shut.”

“Mice, Willie!” said his mother, in a tone of
much significance,

“The cat and I are good | . friends,” returned
Willie. “She’ll be pleased enough:to sleep with me.”

“You don’t hit the thing at all,” said his father.
“TI wonder a practical man. like you, Willie,
doesn’t see it at once. Even if I were at the ex--

pense of ceiling the whole roof with lath and plaster,
A New Scheme. 119



we should find you, some morning in summer,
baked black as a coal; or else, some morning in
winter frozen so stiff that, when we tried to lift you,
your arm snapped off like a dry twig of elder.”

“Ho! ho! ho!” laughed Willie; “then there
would be the more room for grannie.”

His father laughed with him, but his mother
- looked a little shocked.

“No, Willie,” said his father again ; “you must
make another attempt. You must say with Ham-
let when he was puzzled for a plan—‘ About my
brains!’ Perhaps they will suggest something
wiser next time.”

Willie lay so long awake that night, thinking,
that Wheelie pulled him before he had had a wink
of sleep. He got-up, of course, and looked from
the window.

The day was dreaming grandly. The sky was
pretty clear in front, and full of sparkles of light,
for the stars were kept in the background by the
moon, which was down a little towards the west.
She had sunk below the top of a huge towering
cloud, the edges of whose jags and pinnacles she
bordered with a line of silvery light. Now this
cloud rose into the sky from just behind the ruins,
and looking a good deal like upheaved towers and
spires, made Willie think within himself what a
grand place the priory must have been, when its
roofs and turrets rose up into the sky.
120 cory of Gutta- Percha Willie,



“ “They say a lot of people lived in it then!” he
thought with himself as he stood gazing at the
cloud. :

Suddenly he gave a great jump, and clapped his
hands so loud that he woke his father.

“Ts anything the matter, my boy?” he asked,
opening Willie’s door, and peeping in. .

“No, papa, nothing,” answered Willie. “Only
something that came into my head with a great
bounce !”

“ Ah !—Where did it come from, Willie ?”

“Out of that cloud there. Isn't it a grand
one?”

“Grand enough certainly to put many thoughts
into a body’s head, Willie. What did it put into
yours ?” :

“Please, I would rather not tell just yet,” an-
swered Willie, “ if you don’t mind, father.”

“Nota bit, my boy. Tell me just when you
please, or don’t tell me at all, I should like to
hear it, but only at your pleasure, Willie.”

“Thank you, father. I do want to tell you, you
know, but not just yet.”

“Very well, my boy. Now go to bed, and sleep
‘may better the thought before the morning.” __

Willie soon fell asleep now, for he believed he
had found what he wanted.

He was up earlier than usual the next morning,
and out in the garden.


A New Scheme. 121



“Surely,” he said to himself, “those ruins, which
once held so many monks, might manage even yet
to find room for me!”

He went wandering about amongst them, like
an undecided young bird looking for the very best
possible spot to build its nest in. The spot Willie
sought was that which would require the least
labour and least material to make it into a room.

Before he heard the voice of Tibby, calling
him to come to his porridge, he had fixed upon
one; and in the following chapter I will tell you
what led him to choose it. All the time between
morning and afternoon school, he: spent in the
same place; and when he came home in the even-
ing, he was accompanied by Mr Spelman, who
went with him straight to the ruins, There they
were a good while together; and when Willie at
length came in, his mother saw that his face was
more than usually radiant, and was certain he had
some new scheme or other in his head.
CHAPTER XIII.
WILLIE'S NEST IN THE RUINS.

HE spot he had fixed upon was in the part of

the ruins next the cottage, not many yards

from the back door of it. I have said there were
still a few vaulted places on the ground-level used
by the family. The vault over the wood-house was
perfectly sound and weather-tight, and, therefore, as
Willie and the carpenter agreed, quite safe to roost
upon. In a corner outside, and now open to the
elements, had once been a small winding stone
stair, which led to the room above, on the few.
broken fragments of which, projecting from the
two sides of the corner, it was just possible to
climb, and so reach the top of the vault. Willie
had often got up to look out through a small,
flat-arched window into the garden of the manse,
When Mr Shepherd, the clergyman, who often
walked in his garden, caught sight of him, he al-
ways came nearer, and had a chat with him; for
he did not mind such people as Willie looking into
his garden, and seeing what he was about. Some-
Witlie’s Nest in the Ruins. 123
times also little Mona, a girl of his own age, would
be running about ; and she also, if ‘she caught sight
of Willie, was sure to come hopping and skipping
like a bird to have a talk with him, and beg him to
take her up, which, he as often assured her, was all
but impossible. To this place Mr Spelman and
Willie climbed, and there held consultation whether
and how it could be made habitable. The main
difficulty was, how to cover it in; for although the
walls were quite sound a long way up, it lay open
tothe sky. But about ten feet over their heads they
saw the opposing holes in two of the walls where
the joists formerly sustaining the floor of the cham-
ber above had rested; and Mr Spelman thought
that, without any very large outlay either of time
or material, he could there lay a floor, as it were,
and then turn it into a roof by covering it with
cement, or pitch, or something of the sort, concern-
ing which he would take counsel with his friend
Mortimer, the mason.

“ But,” said Willie, “that would turn it into the
bottom of a cistern; for the walls above would hold
‘the rain in, and what would happen then? Either
it must gather till it reached the top, or the weight
of it would burst the walls, or perhaps break through
my roof and drown me.”

“Tt is easy to avoid that,” said Mr Spelman,
“ We have only to lay on the cement a little thicker

at one side, and slope the surface down to the other,
(416) I
124 Eistory of Gutta-Percha Wilhe,
where a hole through the wall, with a pipe in it,
would let the water off.”

“I know!” cried Willie. “That’s what they called
a gurgoyle!”

“T don’t know anything about that,” said the
carpenter; “I know it will carry off the water.”

“To be sure,” said Willie. “It’s capital.”

“But,” said Mr Spelman, “it’s rather too serious
a job this to set about before asking the doctor’s
leave. - It will cost money.”

“Much?” asked Willie, whose heart sank within
him. :

“Well, that depends on what you count much,”
answered Spelman, “All I-can say is, it wouldn’t
be anything out of your father’s pocket.”

“JT don’t see how that can be,” said Willie, “
Cost money, and yet be nothing out of my father’s
pocket! J’ve only got threepence ha’-penny.”

“Your father and I will tall about it,” said the
carpenter mysteriously, and offered no further in-
formation.

-“ There seems to be always some way of doing a
thing,” thought Willie to himself.

He little knew by what a roundabout succession
of cause and effect his father’s kindness to Spelman
was at this moment returning to him, one of the
links of connection being this project of Willie’s
own.

The doctor being out at the time, the carpenter


Willie's Nest in the Ruins. 125



called again later in the evening; and they hada
long talk together—to the following effect.

Spelman having set forth his scheme, and the
doctor having listened in silence until he had
finished—

“ But,” said Mr Macmichael, “ that will cost a.
good deal, I fear, and I have no money to spare.”

“Mr Macmichael,” said Spelman solemnly, his
long face looking as if some awful doom were
about to issue from the middle of it, “you forget
how much I am in your debt.”

“No, I don’t,” returned the doctor. “But neither
do I forget that it takes all your time and labour
to provide for your family ; and what will become
of them if you set about this job, with no return in
prospect but the satisfaction of clearing off of an
old debt?”

“It is very good of you, sir, to think of that,”
said the carpenter; “but, begging your pardon,
I’ve thought of it too. Many’s the time you’ve
come after what I’d ha’ called work hours to see
my wife—yes, in the middle of the night, more
than once or twice; and why shouldn’t I do the
same? Look ye here, sir. If you’re not in a
main hurry, an’ ’ll give me time, I'll do the heavy
work o’ this job after six o’clock o’ the summer
nights, with Sandy to help me, and I’ll charge you
no more than a journeyman’s wages by the hour.
And what Willie and Sandy can do by themselves
126 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.
—he’s a clever boy Sandy; but he’s a genius
Willie—what they can do by themselves, and that’s
not a little, is nothing tome. And if you’ll have
the goodness, when I give you the honest time, at
fourpence ha’penny an hour, just to strike that much
off my bill, 171] be more obliged to you than I am
now. Only I fear I must make you pay for the
material—not a farthing more than it costs me at
the saw-mills, up at the Grange, for the carriage ’ll
come in with other lots I #zust have.”

“It’s a generous offer, Spelman,” said the doc-
tor, “and Iaccept it heartily, though you are turn-
ing the tables of obligation upon me. You'll have
done far more for me than I ever did for you.”

“ T wish that were like to be true, sir, but it isn’t.
My wife’s not a giantess yet, for all you’ve done
for her,”

Spelman set to work at once. New joists were
inserted in the old walls, boarded over, and covered,
after the advice of Mortimer, with some cunning
mixture to keep out the water. Then a pipe was
put through the wall to carry it off—which pipe,
if it was not masked with an awful head, as the
remains of more than one on the Priory showed it
would have been in the days of the monks, yet did
it work as faithfully without it.

When it came to the plastering of the walls, Mr
Spelman, after giving them full directions, left the
two boys to do that between them. Although there
Willie's Nest in the Ruins. 127
was no occasion to roughen these walls by clearing
away the old mortar from between the stones, the
weather having done that quite sufficiently, and all
the preparation they wanted for the first thin coat
was to be well washed down, it took them a good
many days, working all their time, to lay on the
orthodox three coats of plaster. Mr Spelman had
wisely boarded the ceiling, so that they had not to
plaster that.

Meantime he was preparing a door and window
frames in the shop. The room had probably been
one of the prior’s, for it was much too large and
lofty for a mere cell, and had two windows, But
these were fortunately small, not like the splendid
ones in the chapel and refectory, else they would
have been hard to fill with glass.

“T’m afraid you'll be starved with cold, Willie,”
said his father one day, after watching the boys at
work for a few minutes. “There’s no fireplace.”

“Oh! that doesn’t signify,” answered Willie.
“Look how thick the walls are! and I shall have
plenty of blankets on my bed. Besides, we can
easily put a little stove in, if it’s wanted.”

But when the windows were fitted and fixed, Mr
Macmichael saw to his dismay that they were
not made to open. They had not even a pane
on hinges.

“This ll never do, Willie,” he said. ‘This is
far worse than no chimney.”
128 FTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



Willie took his father by the coat, and led him
to a corner, where a hole went right through the
wall into another room—if that can be called a.
room which had neither floor nor ceiling.

“There, father!” he said; “I am going to fit a
slide over this hole, and then I can let in just as
much or as little air as I please.”

“Tt would have been better to have one at least
of the windows made to open. You will only get
the air from the ruins that way, whereas you might
- have had all the scents of Mr Shepherd’s wallflowers
and roses.”

“As soon as Mr Spelman has done with the job,”
said Willie, “I will make them both to come wide
open on hinges; but I don’t want to bother him
about it, for he has been very kind, and I can do it
quite well myself.”

This satisfied his father.

At length the floor was boarded ; a strong thick
door was fitted tight; a winding stair of deal in-
serted where the stone one had been, and cased in
with planks, well pitched on the outside; and now
Willie’s mother was busy making little muslin cur-
tains for his windows, and a carpet for the middle
of the room.

In the meantime, his father and mother had both
written to his grandmother, telling her how Willie
had been using his powers both of invention and
of labour to make room for her, and urging her to
Willie's Nest in the Ruins. 129



come and live with them, for they were all anxious
to have her to take care of. But, in fact, small
persuasion was necessary, for the old lady was
only too glad to accept the invitation; and before
the warm weather of autumn was over, she was
ready to go to them. -

By this time Willie’s room was fubaied. All
the things from his former nest had been moved
into it; the bed with the chintz curtains, covered
with strahge flowers and birds; the old bureau,
with the many drawers inside the folding cover, in
which he kept all his little treasures; the table at
which he read books that were too-big to hold,
such as Raleigh’s History of the World and Jose-
phus; the old oblong mirror that hung on the wall,
with an outspread gilt eagle at the top of it; the
big old arm-chair that had belonged to his great-
grandfather, who wrote his sermons in it—for all
the things the boy had about him were old, and in
all his after-life he never could bear new furniture.
And now his grandmothers furniture began to
appear; and a great cart-load of it from her best
bedroom was speedily arranged in Willie’s late
quarters, and as soon as they were ready for her,
Mrs Macmichael set out in a post-chaise to fetch
her mother.
CHAPTER XIV.
WILLIE’S GRANDMOTHER.

ILLIE was in a state of excitement until
she arrived, looking for her as eagerly as
if she had been a young princess. So few were
the opportunities of travelling between Priory Leas
and the town where his grandmother lived, that he
had never seen her, and curiosity had its influence
as well as affection. Great, therefore, was his de-
light when at last the chaise came round the corner
of the street, and began to draw up in order to
halt at their door. The first thing he caught
sight of was a curious bonnet, like a black coal-
scuttle upside down, inside which, when it turned
its front towards him, he saw a close-fitting widow’s
cap, and inside that a kind old face, and if he could
have looked still further, he would have seen a
kind young soul inside the kind old face. She
smiled sweetly when she saw him, but was too
tired to take any further notice of him until she
had had tea.
During that meal, Willie devoted himself to a
Willie’s Grandmother, 131



silent waiting upon her, watching and trying to
anticipate her every want. When she had eaten
a little bread and butter and an egg, and drunk
two cups of tea, she lay back in her own easy
chair, which had been placed for her by the side of
the parlour fire, and fell fast asleep for ten minutes,
breathing so gently that Willie got frightened, and
thought she was dead. But all at once she opened
her eyes wide, and made a sign to him to come
to her.

“ Sit down there,” she said, pushing a little foot-
stool towards him. ,

Willie obeyed, and sat looking up in her face.

“So,” she said, “you’re the little man that can
do everything ?”

“No, grannie,” answered Willie, laughing. “I
wish I could; but I am only learning to do a few
things; and there’s not one of them I can do
right yet.”

“Do you know what they call you?”

“The boys at school call me Six-fingered Jack,”
said Willie.

“There!” said his grandmother. “I told you
so.”

“T’m glad it’s only a nickname, grannie; but if
it weren’t, it would soon be one, for I’m certain the
finger that came after the little one would be so
much in the way it would soon get cut off” .

“ Anyhow, supposing you only half as clever a
132 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



fellow as you pass for, I want to try you. Have
you any objection to service? I should like to
hire you for my servant—my own special servant,
you understand.”

“All right, grannie; here I am!” cried Willie,
jumping up. “ What shall I do first?”

“Sit down again instantly, and wait till we’ve
finished the bargain. I must first have you under-
stand that though I don’t want to be hard upon
you, you must come when I call you, and do what
I tell you.”

“Of course, grannie. Only I can’t when I’m at
school, you know.”

“T don’t want to be told that. And I’m not
going to be a tyrant. But I had no idea you were
such a silly! For all your cleverness, you’ve
positively never asked me what wages I would
give you.”

“Oh! I don’t want any wages, grannie. I “ke
to do things for people; and you’re my very own
grandmother, besides, you know.”

“Well, I suppose I must settle your wages for
you. I mean to pay you by the job. It’s an odd
arrangement for a servant, but it will suit me best.
And as you don’t ask any, I needn’t pay you more
than I like myself.”

“ Certainly not, grannie. I’m quite satisfied.”

“Meantime, no engagement of a servant ought
to be counted complete without earnest.”
Willie’s Grandmother. 133



“I’m quite in earnest, grannie,” said Willie, who
did not know the meaning of the word as his new
mistress used it.

They all laughed.

“J don’t see what’s funny,” said Willie, laughing
too, however.

But when they explained to him what earnest
meant, then he laughed with understanding, as
well as with good will.

“So,” his grandmother went on, “I will give you
earnest, which, you know, binds you my servant.
But for how long, Willie?”

“Till you’re tired of me, grannie. Only, you
know, I’m papa and mamma’s servant first, and
you may have to arrange with them sometimes;
for what should I do if you were all to want me at
once?” ;

“We'll easily manage that. I’ll arrange with
them, as you say. And now, here’s your earnest.”

As she spoke, she put into his hand what Willie
took to be a shilling. But when he ances at it,
he found himself mistaken.

“ Thank you, grannie,” he said, trying not toshow .
himself a little disappointed, for he had had another
scheme in his head some days, and the shilling
would have been everything towards that.

“Do you know what grannie has given you,
Willie?” said his mother.

“ Yes, mother—such a pretty brass medal!”
134 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“ Show it me, dear. Why, Willie! it’s no brass
medal, child ;—it’s a sovereign!”

“No-o-o-of Is it? O grannie!” he cried, and
went dancing about the room, as if he would actu-
ally fly with delight.

Willie had never seen a sovereign, for that part
of the country was then like Holland—you never
saw gold money there. To get it for him, his
grandmother had had to send to the bank in the
county town. ‘

After this she would often give him sixpence or
a shilling, and sometimes even a half-crown when
she asked him to do anything she thought a little
harder than usual; so that Willie had now plenty
of money with which to carry out his little plans,
When remonstrated with by her daughter for giving
him so much, his grandmother would say—

“Look how the boy spends it!—always doing
something with it! He never wastes it on sweets
~—not he!—My Willie’s above that !”

The old lady generally spoke of him as if she
were the chief if not the sole proprietor of the boy.

“T’m sure I couldn’t do better with it,” she
would add; “and that you’ll see when he comes
to bea man. He’ll be the making of you all,”

“But, mother, you can’t afford it.”

“How do you know that? I can afford it very
well, I’ve no house-rent to pay; and Iam certain
it is the very best return I can make you for your
Willie's Grandmother. 135



kindness. What I do for Willie will prove to have
been done for us all.”

Certainly Willie’s grandmother showed herself
a very wise old lady. The wisest old ladies are
always those with young souls looking out of their
eyes. And few things pleased Willie more than
waiting upon her. He had a passion for being
useful, and as his grandmother needed his help
more than any one else, her presence in the house
was an endless source of pleasure to him.

But his father grew anxious. He did not like
her giving Willie so much money—not that he
minded Willie having or spending the money, for
he believed that the spending would keep the
having from hurting him; but he feared lest
through her gifts the purity of the boy’s love for
his grandmother might be injured, and the service
which at first had looked only to her as its end
might degenerate into a mere serving of her for the
sake of her shillings. ,

He had, therefore, a long talk with her about it.
She was indignant at the notion of the least danger
of spoiling Willie, but so anxious to prove there
was none that she agreed to the test proposed by
his father—which was, to drop all money transac-
tions between them for a few months, giving Willie
no reason for the change. Grannie, however, being
in word and manner, if possible, still kinder to him
than ever—and no wonder, seeing she could no
136 History of Gutta-Percha Withe,



more, for the present, let her love out at her
pocket-hole —and Willie having, therefore, no
anxiety lest he should have displeased her, he soon
ceased to think even of the change; except, in-
deed, sometimes when he wanted a little money
very much, and then he would say to himself that
he was afraid poor grannie had been too liberal at
first, and had spent all her money upon him;
therefore he must try to be the more attentive to
her now. So the result was satisfactory; and the
more so that, for all her boasting, his grandmother
had not been able to help trembling a little, half
with annoyance, half with anxiety, as she let the
first few of his services pass without the customary
acknowledgment.

“There!” she said one day, at length, trium-
phantly, to Mr Macmichael; “what do you think
of my Willie now? Three months over and gone, |
and where are your fears? I hope you will trust
my judgment a little better after this,”

“I’m very glad, anyhow, you put him to the
trial,” said his father. “It will do him good.”

“He wants less of that than most people, Mr
Macmichael—present company mo¢ excepted,” said
the old lady, rather nettled, but pretending to be
‘more so than she really was.
CHAPTER XV.
HYDRAULICS.

HE first thing Willie did, after getting his
room all to himself, was to put hinges on

the windows and make them open, so satisfying
his father as to the airiness of the room. Finding
himself then, as it were, in a house of his own, he
began to ask his friends in the village to come and
see him in his new quarters. The first who did so
was Mrs Wilson, and Mr Spelman followed.
Hector Macallaster was unwell, and it was a
month before he was able to go; but the first day
he could he crawled up the hill to the Ruins, and
then up the little winding stair to Willie’s nest.
The boy was delighted to see him, made him sit
in his great arm-chair, and, as the poor man was
very tired with the exertion, would have run to the
house to get him something ; but Hector begged
for a little water, and declared he could take
nothing else. Therefore Willie got a tumbler
from his dressing-table, and went to the other side
of the room. Hector, hearing a splashing and
138 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



rushing, turned round to look, and saw him with
one hand in a small wooden trough that ran along
the wall, and with the other holding the tumbler
in a stream of water that fell from the side of the
trough into his bath. When the tumbler was full,
he removed his hand from the trough, and the
water ceased to overflow. He carried the tumbler
to Hector, who drank, and said the water was
delicious.

Hector could not imagine how the running water
had got there, and Willie had to tell him what I
am now going to tell my reader. His grand-
mother’s sovereign and his own hydraulics had
brought it there.

He had been thinking for some time what a
pleasure it would be to have a stream running
through his room, and how much labour it would
save poor old Tibbie; for it was no light matter
for her old limbs to carry all the water for his bath
up that steep narrow winding stair to his room,
He reasoned that as the well rose and overflowed
when its outlet was stopped, it might rise yet
farther if it were still confined; for its source was
probably in the heart of one of the surrounding
hills, and water when confined will always rise as
high as its source. Therefore, after much medita-
tion as to how it could be accomplished in the
simplest and least expensive manner, he set about
it as follows.
fydrautics. 139



First of all he cleared away the floor about the
well, and built up the circular wall of it a foot or
two higher, with stones picked from those lying .-
about, and with mortar which he made him- |
self. By means of a spirit-level, he laid the top
layer of stones quite horizontal; and he intro-
duced into it several blocks of wood instead of
stones.

Next he made a small wooden frame, which, by
driving spikes between the stones, he fastened to
the opening of the underground passage, so that
a well-fitting piece of board could move up and
down in it, by means of a projecting handle, and
be a more manageable sluice than he had hitherto
had.

Then he made a strong wooden lid to the
mouth of the well, and screwed it down to the
wooden blocks he had built in. Through a hole
in it, just large enough, came the handle of the
sluice.

Next, in the middle of the cover, he made
a hole with a brace and centre-bit, and into it
drove the end of a strong iron pipe, fitting tight,
and long enough to reach almost to the top of the
vault. As soon as this was fixed he shut down
the sluice, and in a few seconds the water was
falling in sheets upon him, and flooding the floor,
dashed back from the vault, against which it rushed
ee top of the pipe. This was enough for the

4 K


14a History of Gutia-Percha Willie



present; he raised the sluice and let the water
escape again below. It was plain, from the force
with which the water struck the vault, that it would
yet rise much higher.

He scrambled now on the top of the vault, and,
examining the ruins, soon saw how a pipe brought
up through the breach in the vault could be led to
the hole in the wall of his room which he had
shown his father as a ventilator. But he would
not have a close pipe running through his room.
There would be little good in that. He could
have made a hole in it, with a stopper, to let the
water out when he wanted to use it, but that would
be awkward, while all the pleasure lay in seeing
the water as it ran. Therefore he got Mr Spelman
to find him a long small pine tree, which he first
sawed in two, lengthways, and hollowed into two
troughs; then, by laying the small end of one into
the wide end of the other, he had a spout long
enough to reach across the room, and go through
the wall on both sides.

The chief difficulty was to pierce the other wall,

for the mortar was very hard. The stones, how-
ever, just there were not very large, and, with
Sandy’s help, he managed it.

The large end of one trough was put through
the ventilator-hole, and the small end of the
other through the hole opposite; their second
ends met in the middle, the one lying into the
Hydraulics, 14!
other, and were supported at the juncture by a
prop.

They filled up the two openings round the ends
with lime and small stones, making them as tidy
as they could, and fitting small slides by which
Willie could close up the passages for the water
when he pleased. Nothing remained but to
solder a lead pipe into the top of the iron one,
guide this flexible tube across the ups and downs
of the ruins, and lay the end of it into the
trough.

At length Willie took his stand at the sluice, and
told Sandy to scramble up to the end of the lead
pipe, and shout when the water began to pour
into the trough. His object was to find how far
the sluice required to be shut down in order to
send up just as much water as the pipe could
deliver. More than that would cause a pressure
which might strain, and perhaps burst, their
apparatus.

He pushed the sluice down a little, and waited
a moment.

“Ts it coming yet, Sandy?” he cried.

“Not a drop,” shouted Sandy.

Willie pushed it a little further, and then knew
by the change in the gurgle below that the water
was rising in the well; and it soon began to spout
from the hole in the cover through which the
sluice-handle came up.
142 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“Tt’s coming,” cried Sandy, after a pause ; “ not
much, though.”

Down went the sluice a little further still,

“Tt’s pouring,’ echoed the voice of Sandy
amongst the ruins; “as much as ever the pipe can
give. Its mouth is quite full.”

Willie raised the sluice a little.

“ How is it now?” he bawled.

“Less,” cried Sandy.

So Willie pushed it back to where it had been
last, and made a notch in the handle to know the
right place again.

So the water from the Prior’s Well went career-
ing through Willie’s bed-chamber, a story high.
When he wanted to fill his bath, he had only to
stop the run with his hand, and it poured over the
sides into it; so that Tibbie was to be henceforth —
relieved of a great labour, while Willie’s eyes were
to be delighted with the vision, and his ears with
the sounds of the water scampering through his
room.

An hour or so after, as he was finishing off
something about the mouth of the well, he heard
his father calling him.

“Willie, Willie,” he shouted, “is this any more
of your kelpie work?”

“ What is it, father?” cried Willie, as he came
bounding to him.

He needed no reply when he saw a great pool


Le



“Fi He”
LS A WityVw ee Se

416
TIBBIE, LOOKING ON IN DISMAY, SAID, ‘‘ THAT'S WILLIE AGAIN.”
flydraulics. 143



of water about the back door, fed by a small
stream from the direction of the woodhouse.
Tibbie had come out, and was looking on in dis-
may.
' ©That’s Willie again, sir,” she was saying.
“You never can tell where he’ll be spouting
that weary water at you. The whole place ’ll
be a bog before long, and we’ll be all turned
into frogs, and have nothing to do but croak.
That well ’ll be the ruin of us all with cold and
coughs,”

“You'll be glad enough of it to-night, Tibbie,”
said Willie, laughing prophetically.

“A likely story!” she returned, quite cross.
* Tt’ll be into the house if you don’t stop it.”

“T’l soon do that,” said Willie.

Neither he nor Sandy had thought what would
become of the water after it had traversed the
chamber, There it was pouring down from the
end of the wooden spout, just clearing the tarred
root of the spiral stair, and plashing on the ground
clase to the foot of it; in their eagerness they had
never thought of where it would run to next.
And now Willie was puzzled. Nothing was easier
than to stop it for the present, which of course
he ran at once to do; but where was he to
send it?

Thinking over it, however, he remembered that
just on the other side of the wall was the stable
144. History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

where his father’s horses lived, close to the parson’s
garden; and in the corner, at the foot of the wall,
was a drain; so that all he had to do was to fit
another spout to this, at right angles to it, and
carry it over the wall.

“You needn’t take any water up for me to-
night, Tibby,” he said, as he went in to supper, for
he had already filled his bath.

“Nonsense, Willie,” returned Tibbie, still out of
temper because of the mess at the door. “ Your
papa says you must have your bath, and my poor
old bones must ache for ’t.”

“The bath’s filled already. If you put in
one other pailful, it’ll run over when I get into
it. ”

“Now, don’t you ois tricks with me, Willie. I
wont have any more of your joking,” returned
Tibbie,

Nettled at the way she took the information
with which he had hoped to please her, he left her
to carry up her pail of water; but it was the
last, and she thanked him very kindly the next
day.

The only remaining question was how to get rid
of the bath-water. But he soon contrived a sink
on the top step of the stair outside the door, which
was a little higher than the wall of the stable-yard.
From there a short pipe was sufficient to carry that
water also over into the drain.
Hydrautics, 145



I may mention, that although a severe winter
followed, the Prior’s Well never froze; and that,
as they were always either empty, or full of run-
ning water, the pipes never froze, and consequently
never burst.
CHAPTER XVL
HECTOR HINTS AT A DISCOVERY.

HE next day after Hector’s visit, Willie went
to see how he was, and found him better.

“JT certainly am better,” he said, “and what.’s
more, I’ve got a strange feeling it was that drink
of water you gave me yesterday that has done it.
I’m coming up to have some more of it in the
evening, if you ‘ll give it me.”

“As much of it as you can drink, Hector, any-
how,” said Willie. “You won't drink my cow
dry.” :

“T wonder if it could be the water,” said Hector,
musingly.

“My father says people used to think it cured
them. That was some hundreds of years ago; but
if it did so then, I don’t see why it shouldn’t now.
My mother is certainly better, but whether that
began since we found the well, I can’t be very
sure. For Tibbie—she is -always drinking at it,
she says it does her a world of good.”

“T’ve read somewhere,” said the shoemaker,
“that wherever there’s a hurt there’s a help; and
LTector Hints at a Discovery. 147



when I was a boy, and stung myself with a nettle,
I never had far to look for a dock-stalk with its
juice. Who knows but the Prior’s Well may be
the cure forme? It can’t straighten my back, I
know, but it may make me stronger for all that,
and fitter for the general business.”

“T will lay down a pipe for you, if you like,
Hector, and then you can drink as much of the
water as you please, without asking anybody,” ©
said Willie.

Hector laughed.

“Tt’s not such a sure thing,” he replied, “as to
be worth that trouble; and besides, the walk does
me good, and a drink once or twice a day is enough
—that is, if your people won’t think me a trouble,
coming so often.”

“ There’s no fear of that,” said Willie; “it’s our
business, you know, to try to cure people. I'll
tell you what—couldn’t you bring up a bit of your
work, and sit in my room sometimes? It’s better
air there than down here.”

“You’re very kind, indeed, Willie. We'll see.
Meantime, I’ll come up morning and evening, and
have a drink of the water, as long at least as the
warm weather lasts, and by that time I shall be
pretty certain whether it is doing me good or
not.”

So Hector went on drinking the water and
getting a little better.
148 Llistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



Next, grannie took to it, and, either from imagi-
nation, or that it really did her good, declared it
was renewing her youth, All the doctor said on
the matter was, that the salts it contained could
do no one any harm, and might do some people
much good; that there was iron in it, which was
strengthening, and certain ingredients besides,
which might possibly prevent the iron from in-
terfering with other functions of the system. He
said he should not be at all surprised if, some day
or other, it regained its old fame as a well of
healing,

Mr Spelman, in consequence of a talk he had
with Hector, having induced his wife to try it, she
also soon began to think it was doing her good.
Beyond these I have now mentioned, no one paid
any attention to the Prior’s Well or its renascent
reputation,
CHAPTER XVII.
HOW WILLIE WENT ON,

S soon as Willie began a new study, he began

trying to get at the sense of it. This caused

his progress to be slow at first, and him to appear

dull amongst those who merely learned by rote;

but as he got a hold of the meaning of it all, his

progress grew faster and faster, until at length in
most studies he outstripped all the rest.

I need hardly repeat that the constant exercise
of his mind through his fingers, in giving a second
existence outside of him to what had its first
existence inside him—that is, in his mind, made it
far easier for him to understand the relations of
things that go to make up ascience. A boy who
could put a box together must find Euclid easier
—the Second Book particularly—than one who had
no idea of the practical relations of the boundaries
of spaces; one who could contrive a machine like
his water-wheel, must be able to understand the
interdependence of the parts of a sentence better
than one equally gifted otherwise, but who did not
150 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



know how one wheel could move another. Every-
thing he did would help his arithmetic, and geo-
graphy, and history; and these and those and all
things besides, would help him to understand
poetry.

In his Latin sentences he found the parts fit into
each other like dove-tailing ; finding the terms of
equations, he said, was like inventing machines,
and he soon grew clever at solving them. It was
not from his manual abilities alone that his father
had given him the name of Gutta-Percha Willie,
but from the fact that his mind, once warmed to
interest, could accommodate itself to the pecu-
liarities of any science, just as the gutta-percha
which is used for taking a mould fits itself to the’
outs and ins of any figure.

He still employed his water-wheel to pull him
out of bed in the middle of the night. He had, of
course, to make considerable alterations in, or
rather additions to, its machinery, after changing
his bed-room, for it had then to work in a direction
at right angles to the former; but this he managed
perfectly.

It is well for Willie’s reputation with a certain,
and that not a small class of readers, that there
was something even they would call useful in several
of his inventions and many of his efforts; in his
hydraulics, for instance, by means of which he
saved old Tibby’s limbs; in his house-building,
How Willie went on. 151



too, by means of which they were able to take in
grannie; and, for a long time now, he had been
doing every little repair wanted in the house. Ifa
lock went wrong, he would have it off at once and
taken to pieces, If less would not do, he carried
it to the smithy, but very seldom troubled Mr
Willett about it, for he had learned to do small
jobs, and to heat and work and temper a piece of
iron within his strength as well as any man. His
mother did not much like this part of his general
apprenticeship, for he would get his hands so black
sometimes on a Saturday afternoon that he could
not get them clean enough for church the next day ;
and sometimes he would come home with little
holes burnt here and there in his clothes by the
sparks from the red-hot iron when beaten on the
anvil. Concerning this last evil, she spoke at length
to Hector, who made him a leather apron, like Mr
Willett’s, which thereafter he always wore when he
had a job to do in the smithy.

It is well, I say, that the utility of such of his
doings as these will be admitted by all; for some
other objects upon which he spent much labour
would, by most people, be regarded as utterly use-
less, Few, for instance, would allow there was any
value in a water-wheel which could grind no corn,
and was of service only to wake him in the middle
of the night—not for work, not for the learning of
a single lesson, but only that he might stare out of
152 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



the window for a while, and then get into bed again.
For my part, nevertheless, I think it a most useful
contrivance. For all lovely sights tend to keep
the soul pure, to lift the heart up to God, and
above, not merely what people call low cares, but
what people would call reasonable cares, although
our great Teacher teaches us that such cares are
unjust towards our Father in Heaven. More than
that, by helping to keep the mind. calm and pure,
they help to keep the imagination, which is the
source of all invention, active, and the judgment,
which weighs all its suggestions, just. Whatever is
beautiful is of God, and it is only ignorance or a
low condition of heart and soul that does not prize
what is beautiful. If I had a choice between two
mills, one that would set fine dinners on my table,
and one that would show me lovely sights in earth
and sky and sea, I know which I should count the
more useful.

Perhaps there is not so much to be said for the
next whim of Willie’s; but a part at least of what
I have just written will apply to it also.

What put it in his head I am not sure, but I
think it was two things together—seeing a soaring
lark radiant with the light of the unrisen sun, and
finding in a corner of Spelman’s shop a large gilt
ball which had belonged to an old eight-day clock
he had bought. The passage in which he set it up
was so low that he had to remove the ornaments
How Willie went on. 153





from the top of it, but this one was humbled that it
might be exalted.

The very sight of it set Willie thinking what he
could do with it; for he not only meditated how
to do a thing, but sometimes what to make a thing
do. Nor was it long ere he made up his mind, and
set about a huge kite, more than six feet high—a
great strong monster, with a tail of portentous °
length—to the top of the arch of which he attached
the golden ball. Then he bought a quantity of
string, and set his wheel to call him up an hour
before sunrise.

One morning was too still, another too cloudy,
and a third wet; but at last came one clear and
cool, with a steady breeze which sent the leaves of
the black poplars all one way. He dressed with
speed, and, taking his kite and string, set out for a
grass field belonging to Farmer Thomson, where he
found most of the daisies still buttoned up in sleep,
their red tips all together, as tight and close as. the
lips of a baby that won't take what is offered it—
as if they never meant to have anything more to do
with the sun, and would never again show him the
little golden sun they had themselves inside of
them. In a few minutes the kite had begun to
soar, slowly and steadily, then faster and faster,
until at length it was towering aloft, tugging and
pulling at the string, which he could not let out
fast enough. He kept looking up after it intently
154 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



as it rose, when suddenly a new morning star burst
out in golden glitter. It was the gilt ball; it saw
the sun. The glory which, striking on the heart of
the lark, was there transmuted into song, came
back from the ball, after its kind, in glow and
gleam. He danced with delight, and shouted and
sang his welcome to the resurrection of the sun, as
he watched his golden ball alone in the depth of
the air.

He never thought of any one hearing him, nor
was it likely that any one in the village would be
up yet. He was therefore a good deal surprised
when he heard the sweet voice of Mona, Shepherd
behind him; and turning, saw her running to him
bare-headed, with her hair flying in the wind.

“Willie! Willie!” she was crying, half-breathless
with haste and the buffeting of the breeze.

“Well, Mona, who would have thought of seeing
you out so early?”

“Mayn’t a girl get up early, as well as a boy? »
It’s not like climbing walls and trees, you know,
though I can’t see the harm of that either.”

“No more can I,” said Willie, “if they’re not too
difficult, you know. But what brought you out
now? Do you want me?”

“Mayn’t I stop with you? I saw you looking
up, and I looked up too, and then I saw something
flash ; and I dressed as hard as I could, and ran
out. Are you catching the lightning?”
How Willie went on, 155



“No,” said Willie;” something better than the
lightning—the sunlight.”

“Ts that all?” said Mona, disappointed.

“Why, Mona, isn’t the sunlight a better thing
than the lightning ?” said philosophical Willie.

“Yes, I dare say; but you can have it any
time.”

“That only makes it the more valuable. But
it’s not quite true when you think of it. You can’t —
have it now, except from my ball.”

“Oh, yes, I can,” cried Mona; “for there he comes
himself.”

And there, to be sure, was the first blinding arc
of the sun rising over the eastern hill, Both of
them forgot the kite, and turned to watch the great
marvel of the heavens, throbbing and pulsing like
a sea of flame. When they turned again to the
kite they could see the golden ball no longer. Its
work was over; it had told them the sun was
coming, and now, when the sun was come, it was
not wanted any more, Willie began to draw in his
string and roll it up on its stick, slowly pulling
down to the earth the soaring sun-scout he had
sent aloft for the news. He had never flown any-
thing like such a large kite before, and he found it
difficult to reclaim.

“Will you take me out with you next time,
Willie?” asked Mona, pleadingly. “I do so like

to be out in the morning, when the wind is blow-
(41P) L
156 History of Gutta-Percha Withe,





ing, and the clouds are flying about. I wonder
why everybody doesn’t get up to see the sun rise.
Don’t you think it is well worth seeing?”

“That I do.”

“Then you will let me come with you? I like
it so much better when you are with me. Janet
spoils it all.”

Janet was her old nurse, who seemed to think
the main part of her duty was to check Mona’s
enthusiasm.

“T will,” said Willie, “if your papa has no objec-
tion.”

_ Mona did not even remember her mamma. She
had died when she was such a little thing.

“Come and ask him, then,” said Mona.

So soon as he had secured Sun-scout, as he called
his kite with the golden head, she took his hand to
lead him to her father.

“He won't be up yet,” said Willie

“ Oh, yes, long ago,” cried Mona, “He’s always
up first in the house, and as soon as he’s dressed
he calls me. He’ll be at breakfast by this time,
and wondering what can have become of me.”

So Willie went with her, and there was Mr
Shepherd, as she had said, already seated at break-
fast.

“ What have you been about, Mona, my child ?”
he asked, as soon as he had shaken hands with
Willie.
flow Wilke went on, 157



“We’ve been helping the sun to rise,” said Mona,
merrily,

“No, no,” said Willie; “we’ve only been having
a peep at him in bed, before he got up.”

“Oh, yes,” chimed in Mona. “And he was so
fast asleep!—and snoring,” she added, with a comical
expression and tone, as if it were a thing not to be
mentioned save as a secret.

But Willie did not like the word, and her father
was of the same mind.

“No, no,” said Mr Shepherd; “that’s not
respectful, Mona. I don’t like you to talk that
way, even in fun, of the great light of the earth.
There are more good reasons for objecting to it
than you would quite understand yet. Willie
would not talk like that, Iam sure. Tell me what
you have been about, my boy.”

Willie explained the whole matter, and asked if
he might call Mona the next time he went out with
his kite in the morning. os

Mr Shepherd consented at once; and Mona said
he had only to call from his window into their
garden, and she would be sure to hear him even if
she was asleep.

The next thing Willie did was to construct a
small windlass in the garden, with which to wind
up or let out the string of the kite; and when the
next fit morning arrived, Mona and he went out
together. The wind blowing right through the


158 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



garden, they did not go to the open field, but
sent up the kite from the windlass, and Mona
was able by means of the winch to let out the
string, while Willie kept watching for the mo-
ment when the golden ball should catch the light.
They did the same for several mornings after,
and Willie managed, with the master’s help, to
calculate exactly the height to which the ball
had flown when first it gained a peep of the sun
in bed,

One windy evening they sent the kite up in the
hope that it would fly till the morning; but the
wind fell in the night, and when the sun came near
there was no golden ball in the air to greet him.
So, instead of rejoicing in its glitter far aloft, they
had to set out, guided by the string, to find the
fallen Lucifer, The kite was of small consequence,
but the golden ball Willie could not replace.
Alas! that very evening he had added a great
length of string—so much, that when the wind
ceased the kite could just reach the river, into
which it fell; and when the searchers at length
drew Sun-scout from the water they found his
glory had departed; the golden ball had been
beaten and ground upon the stones of the stream,
and never more did they send him climbing up the
heavens to welcome the lord of day.

Indeed, it was many years before Willie flew a
kite again, for, after a certain conversation with his
How Willie went on. 159



grandmother, he began to give a good deal more
time to. his lessons than hitherto; and while his
recreations continued to be all of a practical sort,
his reading was mostly such as prepared him for
college.
CHAPTER XVIII.
WILLIB'S TALK WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER.

NE evening in winter, when he had been

putting coals on his grannie’s fire, she told

him to take a chair beside her, as she wanted a
little talk with him. He obeyed her gladly.

“Well, Willie,” she said, “what would you like
to be?”

Willie had just been helping to shoe a horse at
the smithy, and, in fact, had driven one of the nails
—an operation perilous to the horse. Full of the
thing which had last occupied him, he answered
without a moment’s hesitation—

“T should like to be a blacksmith, grannie.”

The old lady smiled. She had seen more black
on Willie’s hands than could have come from the
coals, and judged from that and his answer that he
had just come from the smithy.

An unwise grandmother, had she wished to turn
him from the notion, would have started an objec-
tion at once—probably calling it a dirty trade, or
a dangerous trade, or a trade that the son of a pro-
Willie’s Talk with his Grandmother. 161



fessional man could not be allowed to follow ; but
Willie’s grandmother knew better, and went on
talking about the thing in the quietest manner.

“It’s a fine trade,” she said; “thorough manly
work, and healthy, I believe, notwithstanding the
heat. But why would you take to it, Willie?”

Willie fell back on his principles, and thought for
a minute.

“Of course, if I’m to be any good at all I must
have a hand in what Hector calls the general busi-
ness of the universe, grannie.”

“To be sure; and that, as a smith, you would
have; but why should you choose to be a smith
rather than anything else in the world?”

“ Because—because—people can’t get on without
horse-shoes, and ploughs and harrows, and tires for
cart-wheels, and locks, and all that. It would help
people very much if I were a smith.”

“T don’t doubt it. But if you werea mason you
could do quite as much to make them comfortable ;
you could build them houses.”

“Yes, I could. It would be delightful to build
houses for people. I should like that.”

“It’s very hard work,” said his grandmother.
“Only you wouldn’t mind that, I know, Willie.”

“No man minds hard work,” said Willie “TI
think I should like to be a mason; for then, you
see, I should be able to look at what I had done.
The ploughs and carts would go away out of sight,
162 fT ‘story of Gutta-Percha Willie.

but the good houses would stand where I had built
them, and I should be able to see how comfortable
the people were in them. I should come nearer to
the people themselves that way with my work.
Yes, grannie, I would rather be a mason than a
smith,”

“ A carpenter fits up the houses inside,” said his
grandmother. “ Don’t you think, with his work,
he comes nearer the people that live in it than the
mason does?” ‘

“To be sure,” cried Willie, laughing. “People
hardly see the mason’s work, except as they ’re
coming up to the door, I know more about
carpenter's work too. Yes, grannie, I ave settled
now; I’ll be a carpenter—there!” cried Willie,
jumping up from his seat. “If it hadn’t been for
Mr Spelman, I don’t see how we could have had
you with us, grannie, Think of that!”

“ Only, if you had been a tailor or a shoemaker,
you would have come still nearer to the people
themselves,” —

“I don’t know much about tailoring,” returned
Willie. “I could stitch well enough, but I couldn’t
cut cut. I could. soon be a shoemaker, though.
I’ve done everything wanted in a shoe or a boot
with my own hands already ; Hector will tell you
so. I could begin to be a shoemaker to-morrow.
That is nearer than a carpenter. Yes.”

“I was going to suggest,” said his grannie, “ that
Withe’s Talk with his Grandmother. 163



there’s a kind of work that goes yet nearer to the
people it helps than any of those. But, of course,
if you’ve made up your mind”

“Oh no, grannie! I don’t mean it so much as
that—if there’s a better way, you know. Tell me
what it is.”

“T want you to think and find out.”

Willie thought, looked puzzled, and said he.
couldn’t tell what it was.

“Then you must think a little longer,” said his
grandmother. ‘And now go and wash your
hands.”


CHAPTER XIX.
A TALK WITH MR SHEPHERD.

[* a few minutes Willie came rushing back from
his room, with his hands and face half wet
and half dry.

“Grannie! grannie!” he panted—“ what a stupid
Tam! How can a body be so stupid! Of course
you mean a doctor’s work! My father comes
nearer to people to help them than anybody else-
can—and yet I never thought what you meant,
How is it you can know a thing and not know it
at the same moment?”

“Well, now you’ve found what I meant, what do
you think of it?” said his grandmother.

“Why, of course, it’s the best of all. When I
was a little fellow, I used to think I should be a
doctor some day, but I don’t feel quite so sure of it
now. Do you really think, grannie, I could be a
doctor like papa? You see that wants such a good
head—and—and—everything.”

“Yes; it does want a good head and everything.
But you ’ve got a good enough head to begin with,
A Talk with Mr Shepherd. 165



and it depends on yourself to make it a better one,
So long as people’s hearts keep growing better,
their heads do the same. I think you have every
faculty for the making of a good doctor in you.”

“Do you really think so, grannie?” cried Willie,
delighted.

“T do indeed.”

“Then I shall ask papa to teach me.”

But Willie did not find his papa quite ready to
take him in hand.

“No, Willie,” he said. “You must learn a great
many other things before it would be of much use
for me to commence my part. .I will teach you
if you like, after school-hours, to compound certain
medicines; but the important thing is to get on at
‘school, You are quite old enough now to work at
home too; and though I don’t want to confine you
to your lessons, I should like you to spend a couple
of hours at them every evening. You can have the
remainders of the evenings, all the mornings before
breakfast, and the greater parts of your half-holi-
days, for whatever you like to do of another sort.”

Willie never required any urging to what his
father wished. He became at unce more of a
student, without becoming much less of a workman
—for he found plenty of time to do all he wanted,
by being more careful of his odd moments,

One lovely evening in spring, when the sun had
gone down and left the air soft, and balmy, and
166 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



full of the scents which rise from the earth after a
shower, and the odours of the buds which were
swelling and bursting in all directions, Willie was
standing looking out of his open window into the
parson’s garden, when Mr Shepherd saw him and
called to him—

“Come down here, Willie,” he said. “I want to
have a little talk with you.”

Willie got on the wall from the top of his stair,
dropped into the stable-yard, which served for the
parson’s pony as well as the Doctor's two horses,
and thence passed into Mr Shepherd’s garden,
where the two began to walk up and down to-
gether.

The year was like a child waking up from a
sleep into which he had fallen crying. Its life was
returning to it, fresh and new. It was as if God
were again drawing nigh to His world. All the
wintet through He had never left it, only had, as it
were, been rolling it along the path before Him;
but now had taken it up in His hand, and was
carrying it for a while; and that was how its birds
were singing so sweetly, and its buds were coming
so blithely out of doors, and the wind blew so soft,
and the rain fell so repentantly, and the earth sent
up such a gracious odour.

“The year is coming to itself again, Willie—
growing busy once more,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Yes,” answered Willie. “It’s been all but dead,
A Talk with Mr Shepherd. 167



and has come to life again. It must have had the
doctor to it.” -

“Eh? What doctor, Willie?”

“Well, you know, there is but One that could be
doctor to this big world,”

“Yes, surely,” returned Mr Shepherd. “And
that brings me to what I wanted to talk to you
about. I hear your father means to make a doctor _
of you,”

“Yes, Isn’t it good of him?” said Willie.

“Then you would like it?”

“Ves; that I should!”

“Why would you like it?”

“Because I must have a hand in the general
business.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Willie set forth Hector Macallaster’s way of
thinking about such matters,

“Very good—very good indeed!” remarked Mr
Shepherd. “But why, then, should you prefer
being a doctor to being a shoemaker? Is it be-
cause you will get better paid for it ?”

“JT never thought of that,’ returned Willie.
“Of course I should be better paid—for Hector
couldn’t keep a horse, and a horse I must have,
else some of my patients would be dead before
I could get tothem, But that’s not why I want
to be a doctor. It’s because I want to help
people.”
168 History of Gutta-Percha Witte.





“What makes you want to help people?”

“Because it’s the best thing you can do with
yourself,”

“Who told you that ?”

“T don’t know. It seems as if everybody and
everything had been teaching me that, ever since I
can remember.” —

“Well, it’s no wonder it should seem as if every-
thing taught you that, seeing that is what God
is always doing—and what Jesus taught us as
the law of His kingdom—which is the only real
kingdom—namely, that the greatest man in it is
he who gives himself the most to help other people.
It was because Jesus Himself did so—giving Him-
self up utterly—that God has so highly exalted
Him and given Him a name above every name.
And, indeed, if you are a good doctor, you will be
doing something of what Jesus did when He was
in the world.”

“Yes; but He didn’t give people medicine to
cure them.”

“No; that wasn’t necessary, because. He was
Himself the cure. But now that He is not present
with His bodily presence—now, medicine and ad-
vice and other good things are just the packets in
which He wraps up the healing He sends; and the
wisest doctor is but the messenger who carries to
the sick as much of healing and help as the Great
Doctor sees fit to send. For He is so anxious to
A Talk with Mr Shepherd. 169
PS AS A i ee
cure thoroughly that in many cases He will not
cure all at once.”

“How I should like to take His healing about!”
cried Willie—* just as the doctors’ boys take the
medicines about in baskets: grannie tells me they
do in the big towns, I should like to be the Great
Doctor’s boy!”

“You really think then,” Mr Shepherd resumed,
after a pause, “that a doctor’s is the best way of
helping people?”

“Yes, I do,” answered Willie, decidedly. “A
doctor, you see, comes nearest to them with his
help. It’s not the outside of a man’s body he .
helps, but his inside health—how he feels, you
know.”

Mr Shepherd again thought for a few moments.
At length he said—

“What’s the difference between your father’s
work and mine?”

“A great difference, of course,” replied Willie.

“Tell me then what it is?”

“TI must think before I can do that,” said Willie.
“It’s not so easy to put things in words !—You
very often go to help the same people: that’s
something to start with.”

“ But not to give them the same help,”

“No, not quite. And yet”

“At least, I cannot write prescriptions or com-
pound medicines for them, seeing I know nothing


170 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



about such things,” said Mr Shepherd. “But, on
the other hand, though I can’t give them medicine
out of your papa’s basket, your papa very often
gives them medicine out of mine,”

“That ’s a riddle, I suppose,” said Willie,

“No, it’s not. How is it your papa can come so
near people to help them?”

« He gives them things that make them well
again.”

“What do they do with the things he gives
them?”

“They take them,”

“How?”

“Put them in their mouths and swallow them.”

“Couldn't they take them at their ears?”

“No,” answered Willie, laughing.

“Why not?”

“Because their ears aren’t meant for taking them.”

“ Aren’t their ears meant for taking anything,
then?”

“Only words.”

“Well, if one were to try, mightn’t words be
mixed so as to be medicine?”

“T don’t see how.”

“If you were to take a few strong words, a few
persuasive words, and a few tender words, mightn’t
you mix them so—that is, so set them in order—as
to make them a good medicine for a sore heart, for
instance ?”
A Talk with Mr Shepherd. 171



“Ah! I see, I see! Ves, the medicine for the
heart must go in at the ears.”

“Not necessarily. It might go in at the eyes.
Jesus gave it at the eyes, for doubting hearts, when
He said—Consider the lilies,—consider the ravens.”

“At the ears, too, though,” said Willie; “just as
papa sometimes gives a medicine to be taken and
to be rubbed in both.”

“Only the ears could have done nothing with
the words if the eyes hadn’t taken in the things
themselves first. But where does this medicine go
to, Willie?”

“T suppose it must go to the heart, if that’s the
place wants healing.”

“ Does it go to what a doctor would call the heart,
then?”

“No, no; it must go to what—to what a clergy-
man—to what you call the heart.”

“ And which heart is nearer to the person him-
self?”

Willie thought for a moment, then answered,
merrily—

“Why, the doctor’s heart, to be sure!”

“No, Willie; you ’re wrong there,” said Mr Shep-
herd, looking, as he felt, a little disappointed.

“Oh yes, please!” said Willie; “I ‘m almost sure
I’m right this time.”

sf No, Willie; what the clergyman calls the heart

is the nearest ts the man himself.”
G46) M
172 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“No, no,” persisted Willie. “The heart you’ve
got to do with zs the man himself. So of course
the doctor’s heart is the nearer to the man.”

Mr Shepherd laughed a low, pleasant laugh.

“You’re quite right, Willie. You’ve got the best
of it. I’m very pleased. But then, Willie, doesn’t
it strike you that after all there might be a closer
way of helping men than the doctor’s way ?”

Again Willie thought a while.

“There would be,” he said, at length, “if you
could give them medicine to make them happy
when they are miserable.”

“Even the doctor can do alittle at that,” returned
Mr Shepherd; “for when in good health people are
much happier than when they-are ill”

“Tf you could give them what would make them
good when they are bad then,” said Willie.

“Ab, there you have it!” rejoined Mr Shep-
herd. “ That zs the very closest way of helping
men.”

. “But nobody can do that—nobody can make a
bad man good—but God,” said Willie.

“Certainly. But He uses medicines; and He
sends people about with them, just like the doctors’
boys you were speaking of. What else am / here
for? I’ve been carrying His medicines about for
a good many years now.”

“Then your work and not my father’s comes
nearest to people to help them after all! My
A Talk with Mr Shepherd, 173



father’s work, I see, doesn’t help the very man
himself; it only helps his body—or at best his
happiness: it doesn’t go deep enough to touch
himself, But yours helps the very man. Yours is
the best after all.”

“T don’t know,” returned Mr Shepherd, thought-
fully. “It depends, I think, on the kind of pre-
paration gone through.”

“Oh yes!” said Willie. “You had to go through
the theological classes. I must of course take the
medical.”

“That’s true, but it’s not true enough,” said Mr
Shepherd. “That wouldn’t make a fraction of the
difference I mean. There’s just one preparation
essential fora man who would carry about the best
sort of medicines. Can you think what itis? It’s
not necessary for the other sort.”

“The man must be good,” said Willie. “I sup-
pose that’s it,”

“That doesn’t make the difference exactly,”
returned Mr Shepherd. “It is as necessary for a
doctor to be good as for a parson.”

“Yes,” said Willie ; “but though the doctor were
a bad man, his medicines might be good.”

“Not by any means so likely to be!” said the
parson. “You can never be sure that anything a
bad man has to do with will be good. It may be,
because no man is all bad; but you can’t be sure
of it. We are coming nearer it now. Mightn’t the


174, LT1story of Gutta-Percha Withe.



parson’s medicines be good if he were bad—just as
well as the doctor’s ?”

“Less likely still, I think,” said Willie. “The
words might be all of the right sort, but they would
be like medicines that had lain in his drawers or
stood in his bottles till the good was all out of them.”

““You’re coming very near to the difference of
preparation I wanted to point out to you,” said Mr
Shepherd. “It is this: that the physician of men’s
selves, commonly called souls, must have taken and

_muast keep taking the medicine he carries about
with him ; while the less the doctor wants of his the
better.”

“T see, I see,” cried Willie, whom a fitting phrase,
or figure, or form of expressing a thing, pleased as
much as a clever machine—“I see! It’s all right!
I understand now.”

“ But,’ Mr Shepherd went on, “your father
carries about both sorts of medicines in his basket,
He is such a healthy man that I believe he very
seldom uses any of his own medicines; but he is
always taking some of the other sort, and that’s
what makes him fit to carry them about. He does
far more good among the sick than I can. Many
who don’t like my medicine, will yet take a little
of it when your father mixes it with his, as he has
a wonderful art in doing. I hope, when your turn
comes, yot will be able to help the very man him-
self, as your father does.”
A Tathk with Mr Shepherd. 175



“Do you want me to be a doctor of your kind,
Mr Shepherd ?”

“No. It is avery wrong thing to take up that
basket without being told by Him who makes the
medicine. If He wants a man to do so, He will let
him know—He will call him and tell him to do it.
But everybody ought to take the medicine, for
everybody needs it; and the happy thing is, that,
as soon as anyone has found how good it is—food
and wine and all upholding things in one—he be-
comes both able and anxious to give it to others,
If you would help people as much as your father
does, you must begin by taking some of the real
medicine yourself.”

This conversation gave Willie a good deal to
think about. And he had much need to think
about it, for soon after this he left his father’s
house for the first time in his life, and went toa
great town, to receive there a little further pre-
paration for college. The next year he gained a
scholarship, or, as they call it there, a bursary, and
was at once fully occupied with classics and mathe-
matics, hoping, however, the next year, to combine
with them certain scientific studies bearing less
indirectly upon the duties of the medical man.
CHAPTER XX,

HOW WILLIE DID HIS BEST TO MAKE A BIRD OF
AGNES,

Does the time he was at college, he did
often think of what Mr Shepherd had said
to him. When he was tempted to any self-indul-
gence, the thought would always rise that this was
not the way to become able to help people, espe-
cially the real selves of them; and, when amongst
the medical students, he could not help thinking
how much better doctors some of them would
make if they would but try the medicine of the
other basket for themselves. He. thought this
especially when he saw that they cared nothing
for their patients, neither had any desire'to take a
part in the general business for the work’s sake,
but only wanted a practice that they might make a
living. For such are nearly as unfit to be healers
of the body, as mere professional clergymen to be
healers of broken hearts and wounded minds, To
’ do aman good in any way, you must sympathise
with him—that is, know what he feels, and reflect
Flow Willie made a Bird of Agnes. .177



the feeling in your own mirror; and to be a good
doctor, one must love to heal; must honour the
art of the. physician and rejoice in it; must give
himself to it, that he may learn all of it-that he
can—from its root of love to its branches of theory,
and its leaves and fruits of healing.

He always came home to Priory Leas for the
summer intervals, when you may be sure there was
great rejoicing—loudest on the part of Agnes, who
was then his constant companion, as much so, at
least, as she was allowed. Willie saw a good deal
of Mona Shepherd also, who had long been set free
from the oppressive charge of Janet, and was now
under the care of a governess, a wise, elderly lady ;
and as she was a great friend of Mrs Macmichael,
the two families were even more together now than
they had been in former years.

Of course, while at college he had no time to
work with his hands: all his labour there must be
with his head; but when he came home he had
plenty of time for both sorts. He spent a couple
of hours before breakfast in the study of physio-
logy ; after breakfast, another hour or two either
in the surgery, or in a part of the ruins which he
had roughly fitted up for a laboratory with a bench,
a few shelves, and a furnace. His father, however,
did not favour his being in the latter for a long
time together; for young experimenters are com-_
monly careless, and will often neglect proper pre-


178 History of Guita-Percha Willie.



cautions—breathing, for instance, many gases they
ought not to breathe. He was so careful over
Agnes, however, that often he would not let her in
at all; and when he did, he generally confined
himself to her amusement. He would show her
such lovely things !—for instance, liquids that
changed from one gorgeous hue to another; bub-
bles that burst into flame, and ascended in rings of
white revolving smoke; light so intense, that it
seemed to darken the daylight. Sometimes Mona
would be of the party, and nothing pleased Agnes
or her better than such wonderful things as these;
while Willie found it very amusing to hear Agnes,
who was sharp enough to pick up not a few of the
chemical names, dropping the big words from her
lips as if she were on the most familiar terms with
the things they signified—phosphuretted hydrogen,
metaphosphoric acid, sesquiferrocyanide of iron, and
such like. —

Then he would give an hour to preparation for
the studies of next term; after which, until their
early dinner, he would work at his bench or turning-
lathe, generally at something for his mother or
grandmother ; or he would do a little mason-work
amongst the ruins, patching and strengthening, or
even buttressing, where he thought there was most
danger of further fall—for he had resolved that, if
he could help it, not another stone should come to
the ground, .
Flow Willie made a Bird of Agnes. 179

In this, his first summer at home from college,
he also fitted up a small forge—in a part of the
ruins where there was a wide chimney, whose vent
ran up along way unbroken: Here he constructed
a pair of great bellows, and set up an old anvil,
which he bought for a trifle from Mr Willett; and
here his father actually trusted him to shoe his
horses; nor did he ever find a nail of Willie’s
driving require to be drawn before the shoe had to
give place to a new one.

In the afternoon, he always read history, or tales,
ot poetry ; and in the evening did whatever he felt
inclined to do—which brings me to what occupied
him the last hours of the daylight, for a good part
of this first summer,

One lovely evening in June, he came upon Agnes,
who was now eight years old, lying under the
largest elm of aclump of great elms and Scotch
firs at the bottom of the garden. They were the
highest trees in all the neighbourhood, and his
father was very fond of them, To look up into
those elms in the summer time your. eyes seemed
to lose their way in a mist of leaves; whereas the
firs had only great, bony, bare, gaunt arms, with a
tuft of bristles here and there. But when a ray of
the setting sun alighted upon one of these firs it
shone like a flamingo. It seemed as if the surly
old tree and the gracious sunset had some secret
between them, which, as oftenas they met, broke ©
out in ruddy flame.
180 History of Gutta-Percha Willie,





Now Agnes was lying on the thin grass under
this clump of trees, looking up into their mys-
tery—and—what else do you think she was
doing ?/—She was sucking her thumb—her custom
always when she was thoughtful; and thoughtful
she seemed now, for the tears were in her eyes.

“What is the matter with my pet?” said Willie.

But instead of jumping up and flinging her arms
about him, she only looked at him, gave a little
sigh, drew her thumb from her mouth, pointed
with it up into the tree, and said, “TI can’t get up
there! I wish I was a bird,” and put her thumb
in her mouth again.

“ But if you were a bird, you wouldn’t be a girl,
you know, and you wouldn’t like that,” said Willie
—“at least J shouldn't like it.”

“Z shouldn’t mind. I would rather have wings
and fly about in the trees.”

“Tf you had wings you couldn’t have arms.”

“T’d rather have wings.”

“Tf you were a bird up there, you would be sure
to wish you were a girl down here. For if you
were a bird you couldn’t lie in the grass and look
up into the tree,”

“ Oh yes, I could.”

“What a comical little bird you would look
then—lying on your little round feathery back,
with wings spread out to keep you from rolling
‘over, and little sparkling eyes, one on each side of
How Witlie made a Bird of Agnes. 181



such a long beak, staring up into the tree!—Miaw!
Miaw! Here comes the cat to eat you up!”

Agnes sprang to her feet in terror, and rushed
to Willie. She had so fully fancied herself a bird
_ that the very mention of the cat had filled her
with horror. Once more she took her thumb from
her mouth to give a little scream, and did not put
it in again,

“O Willie! you frightened me so
—joining, however, in his laugh.

“Poor birdie!” said Willie. “ Did the naughty
puss frighten it ? Stwoke its fedders den.—Stwoke it
—stwoke it,” he continued, smoothing down her hair.

“But wouldn't it be nice,” persisted Agnes, “to
be so tall as the birds can make themselves with
their wings? Fancy having your head up there in
the green leaves—so cool! and hearing them all
whisper, whisper, about your ears, and being able to
look down on people’s heads, you know, Willie!
I do wish I was a bird! I do!”

But with Willie to comfort and play with her,
she soon forgot her soaring ambition. Willie,
however, did not forget it. If Agnes wished to
enjoy the privacy of the leaves up in the height
of the trees, why shouldn’t she? At least, why
shouldn’t she if he could help her to it. Certainly
he couldn’t change her arms into wings, or cover
her with feathers, or make her bones hollow so
that the air might get all through her, even into

!” she said
182 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.



her quills; but he could get her up into the tree,
and even something more, perhaps. He would
see about it—that is, he would think about it, for
how it was to be done he did not yet see.

Long ago, almost the moment he arrived, he had
set his wheel in order, and got his waking-machine
into working trim. And now more than ever he
enjoyed being pulled out of bed in the middle of
the night—especially in the fine weather ; for then,
in that hushed hour when the night is just melting
into the morn, and the earth looks as if she were
losing her dreams, yet had not begun to recognise
her own thoughts, he would not unfrequently go
out into the garden, and wander about for a few
thoughtful minutes.

The same night, when his wheel pulled him, he
rose and went out intothe garden. The night was .
at odds with morning which was which. An occa-
sional bat would flit like a doubtful shadow across
his eyes, but a cool breath of air was roaming
about as well, which was not of the night at all,
but plainly belonged to the morning. He wandered
to the bottom of the garden—to the clump of trees,
lay down where Agnes had been lying the night
before, and thought and thought until he felt in
himself how the child had felt when she longed to
bea bird. What could hedo tocontent her? He
knew every bough of the old trees himself, having
scrambled over them like a squirrel scores of times ;
flow Willie made a Bird of Agnes. 183



but even if he could get Agnes up the bare bole of
an elm or fir, he could not trust her to go scramb-
ling about the branches. On the other hand,
wherever he could go, he could surely somehow
help Agnes to go. Having gathered a thought or
two, he went back to bed.

The very next evening he set to work and spent
the whole of that and the following at his bench,
planing, and shaping, and generally preparing for
a construction, the plan of which was now clear in
hishead, At length, on the third evening, he carried
half a dozen long poles, and wheeled several
barrowfuls of short planks, measuring but a few
inches. over two feet, down to the clump of trees.

At the foot of the largest elm he began to dig,
with the intention of inserting the thick end of
one of the poles; but he soon found it impossible
to get half deep enough, because of the tremendous
roots of the tree, and giving it up, thought of a
better plan.

He set off to the smithy, and bought of Mr
Willett some fifteen feet of iron rod, with a dozen
staples. Carrying them home to his small forge,
he cut the rod into equal lengths of a little over
two feet, and made a hook at both ends of each
length. Then he carried them down to the elm,
and drove six of the staples into the bole of the tree
at equal distances all round it, a foot from the
ground; the others he drove one into each of the
184 History of Gutta-Percha Witlie,



six poles, a foot from the thick end; after which
he connected the poles with the tree, each by a
hooked rod and its corresponding staples, when
the tops of the poles just reached to the first fork
of the elm. Then he nailed a bracket to the tree,
at the height of an easy step from the ground, and
at the same height nailed a piece of wood across
between two of the poles. Resting on the bracket
and this piece of wood, he laid the first step of a
stair, and fastened it firmly to both. Another
bracket a little higher, and another piece of wood
nailed to two poles, raised the next step; and so
he went round and round the tree in an ascending
spiral, climbing on the steps already placed to fix
others above them. Encircling the tree some four
or five times, for he wanted the ascent easy for
little feet, he was at length at its fork. There he
laid a platform or landing-place, and paused to
consider what to do next. This was on the third
evening from the laying of the first step.

From the fork many boughs rose and spread—
amongst them two very near each other, between
which he saw how, by help of various inequalities,
he might build a little straight staircase leading up
into. a perfect wilderness of leaves and branches.
He set about it at once, and, although he found it
more difficult than he had expected, succeeded at
last in building a safe stair between the boughs,
with a hand-rail of rope on each side.
Flow Willie made a Bird of Agnes. 185



But Willie had chosen to ascend in this direction
for another reason as weil: one of these boughs
was in close contact with a bough belonging to one
of the largest of the red firs. On this fir-bough he
constructed a landing-place, upon which it was as
easy as possible to step from the stair in the elm.
Next, the bough being very large, he laid along it
a plank steadied by blocks underneath—a level for
the little feet. Then he began to weave a network
of rope and string along each side of the bough, so
that the child could not fall off; but finding this
‘rather a long job, and thinking it a pity to balk her
of so much pleasure merely for the sake of surpris-
ing her the more thoroughly, he resolved to reveal
what he had already done, and permit her to
enjoy it.

For, as I ought to have mentioned sooner, he
had taken Mona into his confidence, and she had
kept Agnes out of the way for now nearly a whole
week of evenings. But she was finding it more
and more difficult to restrain her from rushing off
in search of Willie, and was very glad indeed when
he told her that he was not going to keep the thing
a secret any longer.
CHAPTER XXI.
HOW AGNES LIKED BEING A BIRD.

UT Willie began to think whether he might

not give Agnes two surprises out of it, with

a dream into the bargain, and thought over it until
he saw how he could manage it.

She always went to bed at seven o’clock, so that
by the time the other people in the house began
to think of retiring, she was generally fast asleep.
About ten o’clock, therefore, the next night, just as
a great round moon was peering above the horizon,
with a quantity of mackerel clouds ready to receive
her when she rose a yard or two higher, Willie,
taking a soft shawl of his mother’s, went into
Agnes’s room, and having wrapped her in the shawl,
with a corner of it over her head and face, carried
her out into the garden, down to the trees, and up
the stair into the midst of the great boughs and
branches of the elm tree. It was a very warm
night, with a soft breath of south wind blowing,
and there was no risk of her taking cold. He
uncovered her face, but did not wake her, leaving
How Agnes Liked being a Bird. 187
that to the change of her position and the freshness
of the air. Nor was he disappointed. In a few
moments she began to stir, then half-opened her
eyes, then shut them, then opened them again, then
rubbed them, then drew a deep breath, and then
began to lift her head from Willie’s shoulder, and
look about her. Through the thick leaves the moon
was shining like a great white fire, and must have
looked to her sleepy eyes almost within a yard of
her. Even if she had not been half asleep, so be-
held through the leaves, it would have taken her a
while to make up her mind what the huge bright
thing was. Then she heard a great fluttering as
if the leaves were talking to her, and out of them
came a soft wind that blew in her face, and felt
very sweet and pleasant. She rubbed her eyes
again, but could not get the sleep out of them.
As last she said to Willie, who stood as still as
a stone—but her tongue and her voice and her
lips could hardly make the words she wanted them
to utter:

“Am I awake? Am I dreaming? It’s so
nice!”

Willie did not answer her, and the little head
sunk on his shoulder again. He drew the corner
of the shawl over it, and carried her back to her
bed. When he had laid her down, she opened her
eyes wide, stared him in the face for a moment, as

if she knew all about everything except just what
(446 ). N
188 Ltistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



she was looking at, put her thumb in her mouth,
and was fast asleep.

The next morning at breakfast, her papa out,
and her mamma not yet come down, she told Willie
that she had had such a beautiful dream !—that an
angel, with great red wings, came and took her in
his arms, and flew up and up with her to a cloud that
lay close by the moon, and there stopped. The
cloud was made all of little birds that kept fluttering
their wings and talking to each other, and the flut-
tering of their wings made a wind in her face, and
the wind made her very happy, and the moon kept
looking through the birds quite close to them, and
smiling at her, and she saw the face of the man in
the moon quite plain, But then it grew dark and
began to thunder, and the angel went down very
fast, and the thunder was the clapping of his big
red wings, and he flew with her into her mamma’s
room, and laid her down in her crib, and when she
looked at him he was so like Willie.

“Do you think the dream could have come of
your wishing to be a bird, Agnes?” asked Willie.

“T don’t know. Perhaps,” replied Agnes. “ Are
you angry with me for wishing I was a bird,
Willie 2”

“No, darling. What makes you ask such a
question?”

“Because ever since then you won’t let me go
with you—when you are doing things, you know.”
How Agnes Liked being a Bird. 189



“Why, you were in the laboratory with me yes-
terday!” said Willie.

“Yes, but you wouldn’t have me in the evening,
when you used to let me be with you always.
What are you doing down amongst ‘the trees
always now?”

“If you will have patience and not go near
them all day, I will show you in the even-
ing.”

Agnes promised ; and Willie gave the whole day
to getting things on a bit. Amongst other things
he wove such a network along the bough of the
Scotch fir, that it was quite safe for Agnes to walk
on it down to the great red bole of the tree. There
he was content to make a pause for the present,
constructing first, however, a little chair of bough
and branch and rope and twig in which she could
safely sit.

Just as he had finished the chair, he heard her
voice calling, ina tone that grew more and more
pitiful.

“ Willie !—Willie !—Willie !—Willie!”

He got down and ran to find her. She was at
the window of his room, where she had gone to
wait till he called her, but her patience had at last
given way.

“T’m so tired, Willie! Mayn’t I come yet?”

“ Wait just one moment more,” said Willie, and
ran to the house for his mother’s shawl.
190 LTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



‘As soon as he began to wrap it about her, Agnes
said, thoughtfully—

“Somebody did that to me. before—not long
ago—I remember: it was the angel in my
dream.” ,

When Willie put the corner over her face, she
said, “He did that too!” and when he took her
in his arms, she said, “He did that too! How
funny you should do just what the angel did in
my dream !”

Willie ran about with her here and there through |
the ruins, into the house, up and down the stairs,
and through the garden in many directions, until
he was satisfied he must have thoroughly bewildered
her as to whereabouts they were, and then at last
sped with her up the stair to the fork of the elm-
tree, There he threw back the shawl, and told her
to look,

To see her first utterly bewildered expression—
then the slow glimmering dawn of intelligence, as
she began to understand where she was—next the
gradual rise of light in her face as if it came there
from some spring down below, until it broke out in
a smile all over it, when at length she perceived
that this was what he had been working at, and
why he wouldn’t have her with him—gave Willie
all the pleasure he had hoped for—quite satisfied
him, and made him count his labour well re-
warded.


416
“WILLIE CARRIED AGNES UP THE STAIR INTO THE
GREAT BRANCIIES OF THE ELM TREE.”
flow Agnes Liked being a Birea. {Ql



“O Willie! Willie! it was all for me!—Wasn’t
it now?”

“Yes, it was, pet,” said Willie.

“Tt was all to make a bird of me—wasn’t it?”
she went on.

“Yes—as much of a bird as I could. I couldn't
give you wings, you know, and I hadn’t any of my
own to fly up with you to the moon, as the angel
in your dream did. The dream was much nicer—
wasn’t it?”

“T’m not sure about that—really I’m not. I
think it is nicer to have a wind coming you don’t
know from where, and making all the leaves flutter
about, than to have the wings of birdies making
the.wind. And I don’t care about the man in the
moon much. . He’s not so nice as you, Willie. And
yon red ray of the sun through there on the fir- .
tree is as good nearly as the moon.”

“Oh! but you may have the moon, if you wait
a bit. She'll be too late to-night, though.”

“But now I think of it, Willie,” said Agnes, “I
do believe it wasn’t a dream at all.”

“Do you think a real angel carried you really up
to the moon, then?” asked Willie.

“No; but a real Willie carried me really up into
this tree, and the moon shone through the leaves,
and I thought they were birds. You’re my angel,
Willie, only better to me than twenty hundred
angels.”
192, Liistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



And Agnes threw her arms round his neck and
hugged and kissed him.

As soon as he could speak, that is, as soon as
she ceased choking him, he said—

“You were up in this tree last night: and the
wind was fluttering the leaves; and the moon was
shining through them”

“ And you carried me in this shawl, and that was
the red wings of the angel,” cried Agnes, dancing
with delight.

“Yes, pet, I daresay it was. But arn’t you sorry
to lose your big angel?”

“The angel was only in a dream, and you’re
here, Willie. Besides, you’ll be a big angel some
day, Willie, and then you'll have wings, and be
able to fly me about.”

“But you'll have wings of your own then, and
be able to fly without me.’

“But I may fold them up sometimes—mayn’t I? ?
for it would be much nicer to be carried by your
wings—sometimes, you know. Look, look, Willie!
Look at the sunbeam on the trunk of the fir—
how red it’s got. I do wish I could have a
peep at the sun. Where can he be? I should
see him if I were to go into his beam there —
shouldn't I?”

“He’s shining past the end of the cottage,” said
Willie. “Go, and you’ll see him.”

“Go where?” asked Agnes.


How Agnes Liked being a Bird. 193



“Into the red sunbeam on the fir-tree.”

“T haven’t got my wings yet, Willie.”

“ That’s what people very often say when they ’re
not inclined to try what they can do with their
legs.”

“ But I can’t go there, Willie.”

“You haven't tried.”

“ How am I to try?”

“You’re not even trying to try. You're stand-
ing talking, and saying you can’t.”

It was nearly all Agnes could do to keep from
crying. But she felt she must do something more
lest Willie should be vexed, There seemed but
one way to get nearer to the sunbeam, and that
was to go down this tree and run to the foot of
the other. What if Willie had made a stair up
it also? But as she turned to see how she was
to go down, for she had been carried up blind,
she caught sight of the straight staircase between
the two boughs, and, with a shriek of delight, up
she ran,

“ Gently, gently! Don’t bring the tree down
with your tremendous weight,” cried Willie, follow-
ing her close behind.

At the end of the stairs she sprang upon the
bough of the fir, and in a moment more was sitting
in the full light of the sunset,

“OQ Willie! Willie! this zs grand! How good,
how kind of you! You 4ave made a bird of me!
194 fHistory of Gutia-Percha Willie,



What will papa and mamma say? Won't they be
delighted? I must run and fetch Mona.”

So saying she hurried across again, and down
the stair, and away to look for Mona Shepherd,
shouting with delight as she ran. In a few minutes
her cries had gathered the whole house to the
bottom of the garden, as well as Mr Shepherd and
Mona and Mrs Hunter. Mr Macmichael and all
of them went up into the tree, Mr Shepherd last
and with some misgivings; for, having no me-
chanical faculty himself, he could not rightly vatue
Willie’s, and feared that he might not have made
the stair safe. But Mr Macmichael soon satisfied
him, showing him how strong and firm Willie had
made every part of it.

The next evening, Willie went on with his plan,
which was to make a way for Bird Agnes from one
tree to another over the whole of the clump. It
took him many evenings, however, to complete it,
and a good many more to construct in the elm
tree a thin wooden house cunningly perched upon
several of the strongest boughs and branches. He
called it Bird Agnes’s Nest. It had doors and
windows, and several stories in it, only the upper
stories did not rest on the lower, but upon higher
branches of the tree. To two of these he made
stairs, and a rope-ladder to a third. When the
house was finished, he put a little table in the
largest room, and having got some light chairs
flow Agnes Liked being a Berd. 195

from the house, asked his father and mother and
grandmother to tea in Bird Agnes’s Nest. But
grannie declined to go up the tree. She said her
climbing days were over long ago.
CHAPTER XXII.
WILLIE’S PLANS BUD.

ITHER they were over, or were only be-
ginning ; for, the next winter, while Willie
was at college, grannie was taken ill; and although
they sent for him to come home at once, she had.
climbed higher ere he arrived. When they opened
her will, they found that she had left everything to
Willie. There was more than a hundred pounds
in ready money, and property that brought in about
fifty pounds a-year—not much to one who would
have spent everything on himself, but a good deal
to one who loved other people, and for their sakes
would contrive that a little should go a long
way.

So Willie was henceforth able to relieve his father
by paying all his own college expenses. He laid
by a little too, as his father wished him, until
he should see how best to use it. His father al-
ways talked about using, never about spending
money.

When he came home the next summer, he moved
Willie’s Plans Bud. 197



again into his own old room, for Agnes slept in a
little closet off her mother’s, and much preferred
that to a larger and more solitary room for herself.
His mother especially was glad to have him under
the same roof once more at night. But Willie felt
that something ought to be done with the room he
had left in the ruins, for nothing ought to be al-
lowed to spoil by uselessness. He did not, how-
ever, see for some time to what he could turn it.

I need hardly say that he kept up all his old
friendships. No day passed while he was at home
without his going to see some one of his former
companions—Mr Willett, or Mr Spelman, or Mr
Wilson. For Hector, he went to see him oftenest of
all, he being his favourite, and sickly, and therefore
in most need of attention. But he greatly improved
his acquaintance with William Webster; and al-
though he had now so much to occupy him, would
not be satisfied until he was able to drive the
shuttle, and work the treadles and the batten, -
and, in short, turn out almost as good a bit of
linen as William himself—only he wanted about
twice as much time to it.

One day, going in to see Hector, he found him in
bed and very poorly.

“My shoemaking is nearly over, Mr Willie)’ he
said. “But I don’t mind much;I’m sure to finda
corner in the general business ready for me some-
where when I’m not wanted here any more.”
198 flistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,



“Have you been drinking the water lately?”
asked Willie.

“No. I was very busy last week, and hadn’t
time, and it was rather cold for me to go out.
But for that matter the wind blew in through door
and window so dreadfully—and it’s but a clay
floor, and firing is dear—that I caught a cold, and
a cold is the worst thing for me—that is for this
poor rickety body of mine. And this cold isa bad
one.”

Here a great fit of coughing came on, accom-
panied by symptoms that Willie saw were danger-
ous, and he went home at once to get him some
medicine,

On the way back a thought struck him, about
which, however, he would say nothing to Hector
until he should have talked to his father and
mother about it, which he did that same evening
at supper.

“T’ll tell you what, Hector,” he said, when he
went to see him the next day—‘ you must come
and occupy my room in the ruins. Since grannie
went home I don’t want it, and it’s a pity to have
itlyingidle. It’s a deal warmer than this, and I’ll
get a stove in before the winter. You won’t have
to work so hard when you’ve got no rent to pay,
and you will have as much of the water as you
like without the trouble of walking up the hill
for it. Then there’s the garden for you to walk in
Willie's Plans Bud. 199



when you please—all on a level, and only the little
stair to climb to get back to your own room.”

“But I should be such a trouble to you all, Mr
Willie!”

“You ’d be no trouble—we’ve two servants now.
If you like you can give the little one a shilling now
and then, and she’ll be glad enough to make your
bed, and sweep out your room; and you know Tibby
hasa great regard for you, and will be very glad to
do all the cooking you will want—it’s not much, I
know: your porridge and acup of tea is about all.
And then there’s my father to look after your
health, and Agnes to amuse you sometimes, and
- my mother to look after everything, and”

Here poor Hector fairly broke down. When he
recovered himself he said—

“But how could gentle folks like you bear to
see a hump-backed creature like me crawling about
the place?”

“They would only enjoy it the more that you
enjoyed it,” said Willie.

It was all arranged. As soon as Hector was able
to be moved, he was carried up to the Ruins, and
there nursed by everybody, Nothiig could exceed
his comfort now but his gratitude. He was soon
able to work again, and as he was evidently
happier when doing a little towards the. gene-
ral business, Mr Macmichael thought it best for
him.


200 fTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



One day, Willie being at work in his laboratory,
and getting himself half-stifled with a sudden fume
of chlorine, opened the door for some air just as
Hector had passed it. He stood at the door and
followed him down the walk with his eyes, watch-
ing him as he went—now disappearing behind
the blossoms of an apple-tree, now climbing one
of the little mounds, and now getting up into
the elm-tree, and looking about him on all sides,
his sickly face absolutely shining with pleasure.

“ But,” said Willie all at once to himself, “why
should Hector be the only invalid to have this plea-
sure?”

He found no answer to the question. I don’t
think he looked for one very hard though. And
again, all at once, he said to. himself—

“ What if this is what my grannie’s money was
given me for?”

That night he had a dream. The two questions
had no doubt a share in giving it him, and perhaps
also a certain essay of Lord Bacon—“ Of Building,”
namely—which he had been reading before he
went to bed.

He dreamed that, being pulled up in the middle
of the night by his wheel, he went down to go into
the garden. But the moment he was out of the
back door, he fancied there was something strange
going onin his room in the ruins—he could not tell
what, but he must go and see. When he climbed
Willie’s Plans Bud. 201
the stairs and opened the door, there was Hector
Macallaster where he ought to be, asleep in his bed.
But there was something strange going on; fora
stream, which came dashing over the side of the
wooden spout, was flowing all round Hector’s bed,
and then away he knew not whither. Another
strange thing was, that in the further wall was a
door which was new to him. He opened it, and
found himself in another chamber, like his own;
and there also lay somie one, he knew not who, in a
bed, with a stream of water flowing all around it.
There was also a second door, beyond which was a
third room, and a third patient asleep, and a third
stream flowing around the bed, and a third door
beyond. He went from room to room, on and oa,
through about a hundred such, he thought, and at
length came to a vaulted chamber, which seemed
to be over the well. From the centre of the vault
rose a great chimney, and under the chimney was
a huge fire, and on the fire stood a mighty golden
cauldron, up to which, through a large pipe, Came
the water of the well, and went pouring in with a
great rushing, and hissing, and bubbling. From the
other side of the cauldron, the water rushed away
through another pipe into the trough that ran
through all the chambers, and made the rivers that
flowed the beds of the sleeping patients. And
what was most wonderful of all—by the fire stood
two angels, with grand lovely wings, and they made
202 fTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



a great fanning with their wings, and. so blew the
fire up loud and strong about the golden cauldron.
And when Willie looked into their faces, he saw
that one of them was his father, and the other Mr
Shepherd. And he gave a great cry of delight,
and. woke weeping.


WILLIE’S DREAM.
CHAPTER XXIII

WILLIE’S PLANS BLOSSOM.

N the morning, Willie’s head was full of his
dream. How gladly would he have turned it

‘into a reality! That was impossible—but might
he not do something towards it? He had long
ago seen that those who are doomed not to realise
their ideal, are just those who will not take the first
step towards it. “Oh! this is such a little thing’
to do, it can’t be any use!” they say. “And it’s
stich a distance off what I mean, and what I should
give my life to have!” They think and they say
that they would give their life for it, and yet they
will not give a single hearty effort. Hence they
just stop where they are, or rather go back and
back until they do not care a bit for the thoughts
they used to think so great that they cherished
them for the glory of having thought them, But
_ even the wretched people who set their hearts on
making money, begin by saving the first penny
they can, and then the next and the hext. And
they have their reward: they get the riches they

want—-with the loss of their souls to be sure, but
(418), 0
204 FTistory of Gutta-Percha Willie.

that they did not think of The people on the
other hand who want to be noble and good, begin
by taking the first thing that comes to their hand
and doing that right, and so they go on from one
thing to another, growing better and better.

In the same way, although it would have been
absurd in Willie to rack his brain for some scheme
by which to restore such a grand building as the
Priory, he could yet bethink himself that the
hundredth room did not come next the first, neither
did the third; the one after the first was the second,
and he might do something towards the existence
of that, .

He went out immediately after breakfast, and
began peering about the ruins to see where the
second room might be. To his delight he saw that,
with a little contrivance, it could be built on the
other side of the wall of Hector’s room.

He had plenty of money for it, his grannie’s
legacy not being. yet touched. He thought it all
over himself, talked it all over with his father, and
then consulted it all over with Spelman. The end
was, that without nearly spending his little store,
he had, before the-time came for his return to the
college, built another room.

As the garret was full of his grandmother's
furniture, nothing was easier than to fit it up—and
that very nicely too, It remained only to find an
occupant for it.


Willies Plans Blossom. 205

This would have been easy enough also without
going far from the door, but both Willie and his
father were practical men, and therefore could not
be content with merely doing good: they wanted to
do as much good as they could. It would not
therefore satisfy them to put into their new room
such a person—say, as Mrs Wilson, who could get
on pretty well where she was, though she might
have been made more comfortable. But suppose
they could find the sickly mother of a large family,
whom a few weeks of change, with the fine air from
the hills and the wonderful water from the Prior’s
well, would restore to strength and cheerfulness,
how much more good would they not be doing in
that way—seeing that to help a mother with
children is to help all the children as well, not to
mention the husband and the friends of the family!
There were plenty such to be found amongst the
patients he had to attend while at college. The
expense of living was not great at. Priory Leas, and
Mr MacMichael was willing to bear that, if only to
test the influences of the water and climate upon
strangers.

Although it was not by any means the best season
for the experiment, it was yet thoroughly success-
ful with the pale rheumatic mother of six, whom
Willie first sent home to his father’s care. She
returned to her children at Christmas, comparatively
a hale woman, capable of making them and every-
206 Lfistory of Gutta-Percha Willie,



body about her twice as happy as before. Another
as nearly like her in bodily condition and circum-
stances as he could find, took her place,—with a
like result; and before long the healing that
hovered about Priory Leas began to be known and
talked of amongst the professors of the college, and
.the medical men of the city.
CHAPTER XXIV,
WILLIE'S PLANS BEAR FRUIT.

HEN his studies were finished, Willie

returned to assist his father, for he had no

desire to settle in a great city with the ambition of

becoming a fashionable doctor getting large fees

and growing rich, He regarded the end of life as

being, in a large measure, just to take his share in
the general business,

By this time the reputation of the Prior’s Well
had spread on all sides, and the country people had
begun to visit the Leas, and stay for a week or ten
days to drink of the water. Indeed so many kept
coming and going at all hours through the garden,
that the MacMichaels at length found it very
troublesome, and had a small pipe laid to a little
stone trough built into the garden wall on the out-
side, so that whoever would might come and drink
with less trouble to all concerned.

But Willie had come home with a new idea in his’
head.

An old valetudinarian in the city, who knew
every spa in Europe, wanted to try that of
208 Listory of Gutta-Percha Willie.



Priory Leas and had consulted him about it.
Finding thatthere wasno such accommodation to be
had as he judged suitable, he seriously advised
Willie to build a house fit for persons of position, as
he called them, assuring him that they would soon
make their fortunes if they did. Now although, as
I have said, this was not the ambition of either
father or son, for a fortune had never seemed to
either worth taking trouble about, yet it suggested
something that was better.

“Why,” said Willie to his father, “shouldn’t we
restore a bit of the Priory in such a way that a man
like Mr Yellowley could endure it for a little
while? He would pay us well, and then we should
be able to do more for those that can’t pay us.”

“ We couldn’t cook for a man like that,” said his
mother.

“He wouldn’t want that,” said his father, “He
would be sure to bring his own servants.

The result was that Mr MacMichael thought the
thing worth trying, and resolved to lay out all his
little savings, as well as what Willie could add, on
getting a kitchen and a few convenient rooms con-
structed in the ruins—of course keeping as much as
possible to their plan and architectural character.
He found, however, that it would want a good deal
more than they could manage to scrape together
between them, and was on the point of giving up the
scheme, or at least altering it for one that would
Willie's Plans bear Fruit, 209



have been much longer in making them any return,
when Mr Shepherd, who had become acquainted
with their plans, and consequently with their
difficulties, offered to join them with the little he
had laid aside for a rainy day—which proved just
sufficient to complete the sum necessary, Between
the three the thing was effected, and Mr Yellowley
was their first visitor.

I am sorry to say he grumbled a good deal at
first at the proximity of the cobbler, and at having
to meet him in his walks about the garden; but
this was a point on which Mr MacMichael, who of
course took the old man’s complaints good-humour-
edly, would not budge, and he had ‘to reconcile
himself to itas he best might. Nor was it very diffi-
cult after he found he must. Before long they
became excellent friends, for if you will only give
time and opportunity, in an ordinarily good man
nature will overcome in the end. Mr Yellowley
was at heart good-natured, and the cobbler was
well worth knowing. Before the former left, the
two were often to be seen pacing the garden
together, and talking happily.

It is quite unnecessary to recount all the grada-
tions of growth by which room after room arose
from the ruins of the Priory. When Mr Yellowley
went away, after nearly six months’ sojourn, during
the latter part of which, so wonderfully was he
restored by the air and the water and the medical
210 History of Gutta-Percha Willie.

care of Mr MacMichael, he enjoyed a little shooting
on the hills, he paid him a hundred and fifty
pounds for accommodation and medical attendance
—no great sum, as money goes now-a-days, but a
good return in six months for the outlay of a
thousand pounds. This they laid by to accumulate
for the next addition, And the Priory, having
once taken to growing, went on with it. They
cleared away mound after mound from the garden,
turning them once more into solid walls, for they
were formed mainly of excellent stones, which had
just been waiting to be put up again. The only
evil consequence was that the garden became a
little less picturesque by their removal, although, on
the other hand, a good deal more productive.

Yes, there was a second apparently bad. conse-
quence—the Priory spread as well as grew, until it
encroached not a little upon the garden. But for this
a remedy soon appeared.

The next house and garden, although called the
Manse, because the clergyman of the parish lived
there, were Mr Shepherd’s own property. The
ruins formed a great part of the boundary between
the two, and it was plain to see that the Priory had
extended a good way into what was now the other
garden, Indeed Mr Shepherd’s house, as well as
Mr MacMichael’s, had been built out of the ruins.
Mr Shepherd offered to have the wall thrown down
and the building extended on his side as well—so
Willies Plans bear Frutt, 211



that it should stand in the middle of one large
garden.

My readers need not put a question as to what
would have become of it if the two proprietors
had quarrelled; for it had become less likely than
ever that such a thing should happen. Willie had
told Mona that he loved her more that he could
tell, and wanted to ask her a question, only he
didn’t know how; and Mona had told Willie that
she would suppose his question if he would suppose
her answer ; and Willie had said, “May I suppose
it to be the very answer I should like?” and Mona
had answered “ Yes” quite decidedly ; and Willie
had given her a kiss ; and Mona had taken the kiss
and given him another for it; and so it was all
understood, and there was no fear of the wall
having to be built up again between the gardens,

So the Priory grew and flourished and gained
great reputation; and the fame of the two doctors,
father and son, spread far and wide for the cures they
wrought. And many people came and paid them
large sums. But the more rich people that came,
the more poor people they invited. For they never
would allow the making of money to intrude upon
the dignity of their high calling. How should
avarice and cure go together? A greedy healer of
wen! Whata marriage of words!

The Priory became quite a grand building. The
chapel grew up again, and had windows of stained
212 History of Guitta-Percha Willie,



glass that shone like jewels; and Mr Shepherd,
having preached in the parish church in the
morning, always preached in the Priory chapel on
the Sunday evening, and all the patients, and any
one besides that pleased, went to hear him.

They built great baths, hot and cold, and of all
kinds—from baths where people could swim, to
baths where they were only showered on by a very
sharp rain. It was a great and admirable place

After the two fathers died, Mona had a picture
of Willie’s dream painted, with portraits of them as
the two angels.

This is the story of Gutta Percha Willie.




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and deserves to be classed with his Facing Death.” —Standard.

Captain Bayley’s Heir: A Tale of the Gold Fields of Cali-
fornia. By G. A. Henry. With 12 page Dlustrations by H. M.
Pacer. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“A Westminster boy who makes his way in the world by hard work, good

temper, and unfailing courage, The descriptions given of life are just what a
healthy intelligent lad should delight in.”—St. James’s Gazette.

In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in
Colorado, By G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by G. C.
Hiyprey. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Few Christmas books will be more to the taste of the Ingenuous boy than in
the Heart of the Rockies.” —Atheneum.

‘Mr, Henty is seen here at his best as an artist in lightning fiction.”—Academy.

“The volume is one of the most graphic that we have seen from My. Henty's
hand, and it is fully illustrated. It is a book to read and to recommend to boys
and girls.” —The Observer,

‘*A rousing story of adventure. ‘The heroes pass through a succession of
thrilling experiences; and, but for the comfortable conviction that it will all come
right in the end, the story would be highly disquieting to nervous readers. Mr.
Henty has this time surpassed himself in getting his characters into and out of
tight places.” —The Queen.

One of the 28th: A Tale of Waterloo. By G. A. Huyry.
With 8 page Illustrations by W. H. Overenn, and 2 Maps. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Written with Homeric vigour and heroic inspiration, It is graphic, pictur-
esque, aud dramatically effective . . . shows us Mr. Henty at his best and
brightest. The adventures will hold a boy of a winter’s night enthralled as he

we

rushes through them with breathless interest ‘from cover to cover’.”—Observer.
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, 7



BY G. A. HENTY.

“Wo more interesting boys’ books are written than Mr. Henty’s stories.”—
‘Daily Chronicle.

The Cat of Bubastes: A Story of Ancient Egypt. By
G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by J. R. WEe@UELIN.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“The story, from the critical moment of the killing of the sacred cat to the
perilous exodus into Asia with which it closes, is very skilfully constructed and
full of exciting adventures. It is admirably illustrated.”—Saturday Review.

Maori and Settler: A Story of the New Zealand War. By
G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by ALFRED Prarse, and
a Map. . Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Tt is a book which all young people, but especially boys, will read with
avidity.” — A theneeum.

“A first-rate book for boys, brimful of adventure, of humorous and interesting
conversation, and of vivid pictures of colonial life.”’—Schoolmaster.

-§t. George for England: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers.
By G. A. Henry. With 8 full-page Illustrations by Gorpon
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“A story of very great interest for boys. In his own forcible style the author
has endeavoured to show that determination and enthusiasm can accomplish mar-
vellous results; and that courage is generally accompanied by magnanimity and
gentleness.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

The Bravest of the Brave: With Peterborough in Spain.
By G. A. Henry. With 8 full-page Pictures by H. M. Pacer.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“My. Henty never loses sight of the moral purpose of his work—to enforce the
doctrine of courage and truth, mercy and lovingkindness, as indispensable to the
making of an English gentleman. British lads will read The Bravest of the
Brave with pleasure and profit; of that we are quite sure.” —Duaily Telegraph.

For Name and Fame: Or, Through Afghan Passes. By
G. A. Henry. With 8 full-page Illustrations by Gorpon Browne.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

‘‘Not only a rousing story, replete with all the varied forms of excitement of a
campaign, but, what is still more useful, an account of a territory and its inhabi-
tants which must for a long time possess a supreme interest for Englishmen, as
being the key to our Indian Empire.”—-Glasgow Herald.

A Jacobite Exile: Being the Adventures of a Young English-
man in the Service of Charles XII. of Sweden. By G. A. Henry.
With § page Illustrations by Paun Harpy, and a Map. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and at the
end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced breathless enjoyment
in a romantic story that must have taught him much at its close.”—Army and
Navy Gazette.
8 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



BY G. A. HENTY.

‘Ask for Henty, and see that you get him.”—Punch.

Condemned as a Nihilist: A Story of Escape from Siberia.
By G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by Water Paerr.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“The best of this year’s Henty. His narrative is more interesting than many
of the tales with which the public is familiar, of escape from Siberia. Despite
their superior claim to authenticity these tales are without doubt no less fic-
titious than Mr. Henty’s, and he beats them hollow in the matter of sensations.”
—National Observer.

Orange and Green: A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick.
By G. A. Henry. With 8 full-page Illustrations by Gorpon
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“The narrative is free from the vice of prejudice, and ripples with life as
vivacious as if what is being described were really passing before the eye. a
Should be in the hands of every young student of Irish history.”—Béelfast News.

Held Fast for England: A Tale of the Siege of Gibraltar.
By G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by Gorpon Browne.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Among them we would place first in interest and wholesome educational
value the story of the siege of Gibraltar. . . . There is no cessation of exciting
incident throughout the story.”—Athenewm.

In the Reign of Terror: The Adventures of a Westminster
Boy. By G. A. Heyry. With 8 full-page Illustrations by J.
ScuénBerc. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Harry Sandwith, the Westminster boy, may fairly be said to beat Mr. Henty’s
record. His adventures will delight boys by the audacity and peril they depict.
The story is one of Mr. Henty’s best.”’—Seturday Review.

By Sheer Pluck: A Tale of the Ashanti War. By GA.
Hewty. With 8 full-page Pictures by Gorpon Brownz. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Morally, the book is everything that could be desired, setting before the boys
a bright and bracing ideal of the English gentleman.”-—Christian Leader.

The Dragon and the Raven: Or, The Days of King
Alfred. By G. A. Henry. With 8 page Illustrations by GC. J.
STANILAND, R.I. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

‘A story that may justly be styled remarkable. Boys, in reading it, will be
surprised to find how Alfred persevered, through years of bloodshed and times
of peace, to rescue his people from the thraldom of the Danes. We hope the
book will soon be widely known in all our schools.”—Schoolmaster.

A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia.
By G. A. Heyty. With 8 page Illustrations by W. B. WoLuEn.

Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“All boys will read this story with eager and unflagging interest. The episodes
are in Mr. Henty’s very best vein—graphic, exciting, realistic; and, as in all Mr.
Henty’s books, the tendency is to the formation of an honourable, manly, and
even heroic character.”—Birmingham Post,
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. © 9



BY G. A. HENTY.

“Mr, Henty’s books are always alive with moving incident.”—Review of Reviews.

Facing Death: Or, The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of
the Coal Mines. By
G. A. Huyty. With
8 page Pictures by
Gorpon Browne.
Crown 8vo, cloth
elegant, olivine edges,
5s.

“Tf any father, godfather,
clergyman, or schoolmaster is
on the look-out for a good
book to give as a present toa
boy who is worth his salt, this
is the book we would recom-
mend.”—Standard.

A Chapter of Ad-

ventures: Or,
Through the Bom-
bardment of Alex-
andria. By G. A.
Henry. With 6 page
Illustrations by W.
H. Overgnp. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant,
3s. 6d. :
“Jack Robson and his two
companions have their fill of

excitement, and their chapter
of adventures is so brisk and



entertaining we could have Reduced Illustration from ‘‘ The Clever
wished it longer than it is.”— Miss Follett”

Saturday Review.

Two Thousand Years Ago: Or, The Aaventures of a Roman
Boy. By Professor A. J. Cuurcn. With 12 page Tlustrations by
Aprien Mart, Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“ Adventures well worth the telling. ‘he book is extremely entertaining as
well as useful, and there is a wonderful freshness in the Roman scenes and
characters.” —The Times.

The Clever Miss Follett. By J. K. H. Duxyy. With
12 page Illustrations by GurrruprE D. Hammonp. Crown 8vo,

cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“Just the book to give to girls, who will delight both in the letterpress and
the illustrations Miss Hammond has never done better work.”—Review of
Reviews.
10 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

BY ROSA MULHOLLAND.

Banshee Castle. By Rosa Munnotianp. With 12 page
Illustrations by Jonn H. Bacon. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant,
olivine edges, 6s.

“One of the most fascinating of Miss Rosa Mulholland’s many fascinating
stories. . . . The charm of the tale lies in the telling of it. The three
heroines are admirably drawn characters.”—Athenewm.

“Ts told with grace, and brightened by a knowledge of Irish folk-lore, making
it a perfect present for a girl in her teens.”—Vruth. ;

“The girls who do not like Banshee Castle must indeed be difficult to please.
It is one of those charming books that should set young girls building sunny
castles in the air of which the bright memory will last for many a day.”
—National Observer.

Giannetta: A Girl’s Story of Herself. By Rosa MunHonnanp.
With 8 page Illustrations by LockHarr Bogie. Crown 8vo, cloth
elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Giahnetta is a true heroine—warm-hearted, self-sacrificing, and, as «11 good
women nowadays are, targely touched with the enthusiasm of humanity. One
of the most attractive gift-books of the season.”—The Academy.

A Fair Claimant: Being a Story for Girls. By. Francus
ArRmstrone. With 8 page Illustrations by Gurrrupg D. Hammonn.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“As a gift-book for big girls it is among the best new books.of the kind. ‘The
story is interesting and natural, from first to last.”—Westnuinster Gazette.

The Heiress of Courtleroy. By Anne Beaty. With 8
page Illustrations by T. C. H. Casrix. -Crown 8vo, cloth elegant,
olivine edges, 5s.

“We can speak highly of the grace with which Miss Beale relates how the
young ‘Heiress of Courtleroy’ had such good influence over her uncle as to win
him from his intensely selfish ways.”—Guardian.

The White Conquerors of Mexico: A Tale of Toltec and
Aztec. By Kirk Munnror. With 8 page Illustrations by W. 8.
Stacey. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Mr. Munroe gives most vivid pictures of the religious and civil polity of the

Aztecs, and of everyday life, as he imagines it, in the streets and market-places
of the magnificent capital of Montezuma.”—The Times.

Highways and High Seas: Cyril Harley’s Adventures on
both. By F. Frayxrort Moors. With 8 page Illustrations by
ALÂ¥RED PearsE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“This is one of the best stories Mr. Moore has written, perhaps the very best.
The exciting adventures are sure to attract boys.’’—Spectator.
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 11



BY GEORGE MACDONALD.

A Rough Shaking. By Grorecz MacDoyanp. With
12 page Illustrations by W. ParKinson. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant,
olivine edges, 6s.

"One of the very best
books for boys that has been
written. It is full of mate-
rial peculiarly well adapted
for the young, containing
in a marked degree the
elements of all that is neces-
sary to make up a perfect
boys’ book.” —Teachers’ Aid.

At the Back of
the North
Wind. By Geo.
Mac Donatp. With
75 Illustrations by
ARTHUR HUGHES.
Crown 8vo, cloth ele-
gant, olivine edges,
5s.

“The story is thoroughly
original, full of fancy and
pathos. . . . We stand
with one foot in fairyland
and one on common earth.”
—The Times.

Ranald Banner-
* man’s Boy-
hood. By Gro.
MacDonatp. With Reduced Illustration from “A Rough Shaking”.

36 Illustrations by

Arruur Hueurs. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

«The sympathy with boy-nature in Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood is perfect.
It is a beautiful picture of childhood, teaching by its impressions and suggestions
all noble things.” — British Quarterly Review.

The Princess and the Goblin. By Grorem Mac Donaxp.

With 32 Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“Little of what is written for children has the lightness of touch and play of
fancy which are characteristic of George Mac Donald’s fairy tales. Myr. Arthur
Hughes’s illustrations are all that illustrations should be.” —Manchester Guardian.

The Princess and Curdie. By Grorez Mac Donaxp.
With 8 page Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“There is the finest and rarest genius in this brilliant story. Upgrown people
would do wisely occasionally to lay aside their newspapers and magazines te
spend an hour with Curdie and the Princess.”—Shefield Independent.








12 BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PHOPLH.



BY HARRY COLLINGWOOD.

The Pirate Island: A Story of the South Pacific. By
Harry Continewoop. With 8 page Pictures by C. J. Sranianp
and J.R. Writs. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

‘A capital story of the sea; indeed in our opinion the author is superior in some
respects as a marine novelist to the better known Mr. Clark Russell.”— The Times.

The Log of the ‘‘Flying Fish”: A Story of Aerial and
Submarine Adventure. By Harry Coriinewoop. With 6 page
Illustrations by Gorpoy Brownz. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“The Flying Fish actually surpasses all Jules Verne’s creations; with incred-
ible speed she flies through the air, skims over the surface of the water, and darts
along the ocean bed. We strongly recommend our school-boy friends to possess
themselves of her log.”— Atheneum.

For other Books by Harry Collingwood, see pages 21 and 22.

BY GEORGE MANVILLLE FENN.

Pe Mz. Fenn stands in the foremost rank of writers in this department. ”_ Daily
ews.

Quicksilver: Or, A Boy with no Skid to his Wheel. By
Grorce Manvitiz Fuyy. With 10 page Illustrations by Franx
Dapp. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“ Quicksilver is little short of an inspiration. In it that prince of story-writers
for boys—George Manville Fenn—has surpassed himself. It is an ideal book for
a boy’s library.”—Practical Teacher.

Dick o’ the Fens: A Romance of the Great East Swamp. By
G. Manvitir Fenn. With 12 page Illustrations by Frank Dapp.

Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“We conscientiously believe that boys will find it capital reading. It is full
of incident and mystery, and the mystery is kept up to the last moment. It is
rich in effective local colouring; and it has a historical interest.”—Times.

Devon Boys: A Tale of the North Shore. By G. Manvitie
Fenn. With 12 page Illustrations by Gorpon Browns. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“An admirable story, as remarkable for the individuality of its young heroes
as for the excellent descriptions of coast scenery and life in North Devon. It is
one of the best books we have seen this season.’’—A thenceum.

The Golden Magnet: A Tale of the Land of the Incas. By
G. Manvinte Feny. Illustrated by 12 page Pictures by GorDoN
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“There could be no more welcome present for a boy. ‘There is not a dull page
in the book, and many will be read with breathless interest. ‘The Golden Mag-
net’ is, of course, the same one that attracted Raleigh and the heroes of West-
ward Ho!”—Journal of Education.
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 13



BY GEORGE MANVILLE FENN.

“No one can find his way to the hearts of lads more readily than Mr. Fenn.”—
Nottingham Guardian.

In the King’s Name: Or, The Cruise of the Kestrel. By
G. Manvitie Fenn. IRMustrated by 12 page Pictures by Gorpon
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s.

“The best of all Mr. Fenn’s productions in this field. It has the great quality
of always ‘moving on’, adventure following adventure in constant succession. ”—
Daily News.

Nat the Naturalist: A Boy’s Adventures in the Eastern
Seas. By G. Manvinnun Fenn. With 8 page Pictures. Crown 8vo,
cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“This sort of book encourages independence of character, develops resource,
and teaches a boy to keep his eyes open.”—Saturday Review.

Bunyip Land: The Story of a Wild Journey in New Guinea.
By G. Manvitte Fenn. With 6 page Illustrations by Gorpon
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 4s.

“Mr. Fenn deserves the thanks of everybody for Bunyip Land, and we may ven-
ture to promise that a quiet week may be reckoned on whilst the youngsters have
such fascinating literature provided for their evenings’ amusement.”—Spectator.

Brownsmith’s Boy. By G. Maxvitie Feyy. With 6 page
Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“My. Fenn’s books are among the best, if not altogether the best, of the stories
for boys. Mr, Fenn is at his best in Brownsmith’s Boy.”’— Pictorial World.

*,* For other Books by G. ManvVILLE FENN, see pages 21 and 22.

BY ASCOTT R. HOPE.

Young Travellers’ Tales. By Ascorr R. Horz. With
6 Illustrations by H. J. Draper. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“ Possess a high value for instruction as well as for entertainment. His quiet,
level humour bubbles up on every page.” —Daily Chronicle.

“Excitement and cheerful enjoyment run through the book.”-—Bookman.

“May be specially commended as stories of attractive power. This book is
certain to become a first favourite.”’—Dundee Advertiser.

“ A very amusing and interesting book. Boys are sure to like it—as we do.”—
Educational Review.

The Seven Wise Scholars. By Ascorr R. Horx. With
nearly 100 Illustrations by Gorpon Browneg. Cloth elegant, 5s.

“‘As full of fun as a volume of Punch; with illustrations, more laughter-
provoking than most we have seen since Leech died.”—Shefield Independent.

Stories of Old Renown: Tales of Knights and Heroes.
‘By Ascort R. Horr. With 100 Illustrations by Gorpon Browne.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“A really fascinating book worthy of its telling title. There is, we venture to
say, not. a dull page in the book, not a story which will not bear a second read-
ing.” —GQuardian,
14 BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR FOUNG PEOPLE.



The Universe: OrThe Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little.
A Sketch of Contrasts in Creation, and Marvels revealed and
explained by Natural Science. By F. A. Poucunr, u.p. With
272 Engravings ou wood, of which 55 are full-page size, and a
Coloured Frontispiece. Eleventh Edition, medium 8yo, cloth ele-
gant, gilt edges, 7s. 6d.; also morocco antique, 16s. ‘

“We can honestly commend Professor Pouchet’s book, which is admirably, as

it is copiously illustrated.”—The Times.
“Scarcely any book in French or in English is so likely to stimulate in the

young an interest in the physical phenomena.”—fortnightly Review.

BY ROBERT LEIGHTON.

Olaf the Glorious. By Roserr Leicnron. With 8 page
Iustrations by RatpH Pracock, and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth
elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“Is as good as anything of the kind we have met with. Mr. Leighton more
than holds his own with Rider Haggard and Baring Gould."—-The Times.

“Among the books best liked by boys of the sturdy English type few will take
a higher place than Olaf the Glorious. . . . Some of the descriptions of fights
are quite Homeric." —National Observer.

“This book will compare most favourably even with Mr. Rider Haggard’s
attempts to construct a modern Saga. . . . It is certain to be thoroughly
enjoyed by the boys.”—T'he Spectator. -

“The book will be spoken of as one for boys, but while it will meet the require-
ments of the most, fastidious of them, it will find no less appreciative readers
among men of all ages, . . . Asa story it is vigorous and engrossing, it will
leave on the mind of the more thoughtful reader a vivid impression of an age of
chivalry, as well as of battles on land and sea.”—Dundee Advertiser.

The Wreck of ‘‘The Golden Fleece”: The Story of a
North Sea Fisher-boy. By Rozurr Laicuron. With 8 page
Illustrations by Frank Branewyn. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant,
olivine edges, 5s.

‘This story should add considerably to Mr, Leighton’s high reputation. Ex-
cellent in every respect, it contains every variety of incident. The plot is very
cleverly devised, and the types of the North Sea sailors are capital.”—The Times.

The Pilots of Pomona: A Story of the Orkney Islands.
By Rozsrrr Luteuvon. With 8 page Illustrations by Joun Leten-

ron, anda Map. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“A story which is quite as good in its way as J'reasure Island, and is full of
adventure of a stirring yet most natural kind. Although it is primarily a boys’
book, it is a rea] godsend to the elderly reader.” —Glasgow Evening Times.

The Thirsty Sword: A Story of the Norse Invasion of
Scotland (1262-63). By Roserr Lerewron. With 8 page Illus-
trations by Atrrep Pzarsz, and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth ele-
gant, olivine edges, 5s.

“This is one of the most fascinating stories for boys that it has ever been our
pleasure to read. From first to last the interest never flags. Boys will worship
Kenric, who is a hero in every sense of the word,”—-Schoolmaster,
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 15

BY DR. GORDON STABLES.

To Greenland and the Pole. By Gorpon Srasuus, w.p.
With 8 page Illustra-
tions by G. C. Hinp-
LEY, andaMap. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, oli-
vine edges, 5s.

“His Arctic explorers have
the verisimilitude of life. The
adventures are actual experi-
ences. It is one of the books
of the season, and one of the
best Mr. Stables has ever writ-
ten.”— Truth.

“The story is very fascinat-
ing. . . . This is one of our
wuthor’s best, and it should
attract boys now that so many
of us try to realize what Arc-
tic exploration means,.”—7'he
Spectator.

“Brimful of vivacity and ex-
citing incident. . . . Boys
that are made of heroic stuff,
to use the Shaksperian word,
will delight in this sparkling
and rousing story of life in high
latitudes.’ — Saturday Re vier.



“The book is written in Dr.
Gordon Stables’ most captivat-
ing style, and our only fault
with it is that. a boy into whose
hands it falls may, perhaps,be }
only too ready to set off to the oe eee 3 BS

Rar ‘th in’ searc ROVON Ss, fs pe gee
Bap fore ee ae se Reduced Illustration from “To Greenland

the Pole”.





and

Westward with Columbus. By Gorpon Srasuus, m.n.,
Gu. With 8 page Illustrations by ALrrep Prarsg. Crown 8vo,
cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“We must place Westward with Columbus among those books that all boys
ought to read.”-—The Spectator,
“This is quite one of the best books for boys that we have seen this autumn.

It is the duty of every British and American lad to know the story of Christopher

Columbus.”—-School Guardian, ,

"Twixt School and College: A Tale of Self-reliance. By
Gorpon STABLES, C.M., 1.D., RN. With 8 page Illustrations by
W. Parkinson. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“One of the best of a prolific writer's hooks for boys, being full of practical
instructions as to keeping pets, and inculcates in a way which a little recalls Miss
Edgeworth’s ‘Frank’ the virtue of self-reliance.” —A thenewnt.
16 BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

BY G. NORWAY.

A Prisoner of War: A Story of the Time of Napoleon
Bonaparte. By G. Norway. With 6 page Illustrations by Rost.
Baryzs, A.R.W.S. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“We have greatly enjoyed 4 Prisoner of War.”—The Times.

‘More hairbreadth escapes from death by starvation, by ice, by fighting, &c.,
were never before surmounted. . . . Itisa fine yarn.”—The Guardian.

“ His work bears so strong an impress of truth that it reads like a real narrative
written by an actor in the events described.’’-—Standard.

“Henry Wynter is such a young hero as boys ever like to meet in with, and
from acquaintanceship with whom they will derive a real benefit. The manly
way in which he looks after his mother and sisters during his gallant father’s
incarceration in a French prison, will rouse the best spirit of every British boy
reader and render the well-told story a first favourite.”—Dundee Advertiser.

A True Cornish Maid. By G. Norway. With 6 page
Illustrations by J. Finnremorg. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“There is some excellent reading. . . . Mrs. Norway brings before the eyes
of her readers the good Cornish folk, their speech, their manners, and their ways
A True Cornish Maid deserves to he popular.” —A thenewm.

‘Among girls’ books the success of the year has fallen, we think, to Mrs. Norway,
whose 7'vue Cornish Maid is really an admirable piece of work. . . . The book
is full of vivid and accurate local colour: it contains, too, some very clever
character studies.”— Review of Reviews.

Hussein the Hostage: Or, A Boy’s Adventures in Persia.
By G. Norway. With 8 page Illustrations by Joun ScHéNBERG.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“ Hussein the Hostage is full of originality and vigour. ‘The characters are life-
like, there is plenty of stirring incident, the interest is sustained throughout, and
every boy will enjoy following the fortunes of the hero.”—Jowrnal of Education.

The Loss of John Humble: What Led to It, and What
Came of It. By G. Norway. With 8 page Illustrations by Joun
Scuénpere. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s.

“This story will place the author at once in the front rank. It is full of life
and adventure. He is equally at home in his descriptions of life in Sweden and
in the more stirring passages of wreck and disaster, and the interest of the story
is sustained without a break from first to last.”— Standard.

Under False Colours: A Story from Two Girls’ Lives.
By Saran Doupney. With 6 page Illustrations by G. G. Kin-
BURNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 4s.

“Sarah Doudney has no superior as a writer of high-toned stories—pure in
style, original in conception, and with skilfully wrought-out plots; but we have
Been soiitie from her pen equal in dramatic energy to this book.”—Christian

eader.

“This is a charming story, abounding in delicate touches of sentiment and
pathos, Its plot is skilfully contrived. It will be read with a warm interest by
every girl who takes it up.”—Scotsman., ‘
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 17



With the Sea King’s: A Story of the Days of Lord Nelson,
By F. H..Winprr. With 6 page Illustrations by W. 8S. Stacy.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 4s.

“Just the book to’put into a boy's hands. Every chapter contains boardings,
cuttings out, fighting pirates, escapes of thrilling audacity, and captures by corsairs,
sufficient to turn the quietest boy’s head. The story culminates in a vigorous
account of the battle of Trafalgar. Happy boys !°—7'he Academy.



Grettir the Outlaw: a Story of Iceland. By S. Barie-
GouLp. With 6 page Illustrations by M. Zeno ‘Dimmer, and a
Coloured Map. New Edition. Crown 8ve, cloth elegant, 4s.

‘‘Is the boys’ book of its year. That is, of céurse, as much as to say that it
will do for men grown _as well as juniors. It is told in simple, straightforward
English, as all stories should be, and it has a freshness, a freedom, a sense of sun
and wind and the open air, which make it irresistible.” National Observer.



Gold, Gold, in Cariboo: A Story of Adventure in British
Columbia. By Crive Purniiprs-Wotiry, With 6 page Illustra-
tions by G. C. Hinpiey. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“Tt would be difficult to say too much in favour of Gold, Gold, in Cariboo. We
have seldom read a more exciting tale of wild mining adventure in a singularly
inaccessible country. There isa capital plot, and the interest is sustained to the
last page,” —The Tumes.

A Champion of the Faith: A Tale of Prince Hal and the
Lollards. By J. M. Carnwern. With 6 page Illustrations by
Hersert J. Draper. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 4s.

“Will not be less enjoyed than Mr. Henty’s books. Sir John Oldcastle’s pathetic
story, and the history of his brave young squire, will make every boy enjoy this
lively story.”—London Quarterly.



BY ALICE CORKRAN.

Meg’s Friend. By Aurce Corxray. With 6 page Illustra-
tions by Rosgrr Fowner. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s, 6d.

“One of Miss Corkran’s charming books for girls, narrated in that simple
and picturesque style which marks the authoress as one of the first amongst
writers for young people.”—The Spectator,

Margery Merton’s Girlhood. By Atice Corxraw. With

6 page Pictures by Gorpon Browne. Cr. 8vo, cloth extra, 8s. 6d.
“Another book for girls we can warmly commend. There is a delightful
piquancy in the experiences and trials of a young English girl who studies
painting in Paris.”—Saturday Review.
Down the Snow Stairs: Or, From Good-night to Good-
morning. By Anion Corxran. With 60 Illustrations by Gorpon
Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 3s. 6d.

“A gem of the first water, bearing upon every page the mark of genius. It is
indeed a Little Pilgrim’s Progress.” —Christian Leader. B

11)
18 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



Sou’wester and Sword. By Hvew Sr. Lecrr. With 6
page Illustrations by Han Hurst. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 4s.

“As racy a tale of life at sea and war adventure as we have met with for some
time. There is no attempt at fine writing; it is from first to last a plain-sajling,
straightforward narrative, alive with incident and character. and stamped with
a veracity that suggests actual experience by the author of the things he de-
scribes. . . . Altogether it seems the sort of book that boys will revel in.”—
Atheneum.

“ Books as good-humoured, as good-natured, as vivacious and as full of animal
spirits as Sow wester and Sword are hard to find "— National Observer.

“Tf we mistake not, a new giant among tellers of adventure will be recognized
in Mr. St. Leger, whose book we commend hear tily to all wholesome boys. .
We have read no better boys’ book for years; nor any fuller of good effect.”
—Vanity Fair.



BY EDGAR PICKERING.

In Press-Gang Days. By Epvcar Picxzrtye. With 6
Illustrations by W. 8. Stacry. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“A rollicking tale of the sea; sure to be popular with boys.” —Athenceum.

“Tt is of Marryat, that friend of cur boyhood, we think as we read this
delightful story; for it is not only a story of adventure with incidents well con-
ceived and arranged, but the characters are interesting and well-distinguished.”
—Academy.

An Old-Time Yarn: Wherein is set forth divers desperate
mischances which befell Anthony Ingram and his shipmates in the
West Indies and Mexico with Hawkins and Drake. By Epear
Pickrertne. Illustrated with 6 page Pictures drawn by ALFRED
Parse. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“And a very good yarn it is, with not a dull page from first to last. There is
a flavour of Westward Ho! in this attractive book.”—Educational Review.

Silas Verney: A Tale of the Time of Charles II. By Epear
Pickxertne. With 6 page Illustrations by ALFRED Prarsz. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. ;

“Wonderful as the adventures of Silas are, it must be admitted that they are
very naturally worked out and very plausibly presented, Altogether this is an
excellent story for hoys.”—Saturday Review.

BY ANNIE E. ARMSTRONG.

Three Bright Girls: A Story of Chance and Mischanee.
By Anyiz E. Armsrrone. With 6 page Illustrations by W. Par-
KINSON. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“Among many good stories for girls this is undoubtedly one of the very best.
‘The three girls whose portraits are so admitably painted are girls of earnest,
practical, and business-like mood. Tver bright and cheerful, they influence other
lives, and at last they come ont of their trials and difficulties with honour to
themselves and lenefits to all about them.”—T'eachers’ Aid.

A Very Odd Girl: or, Life at the Gabled Farm. By Anwie
E. Armstrone. With 6 page Illustrations by 8. T. Dapp. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“The book is one we can heartily recommend, for it is not only bright and
interesting, but also pure and healthy in tone and teaching.”—The Lady.
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 19



BY C. J. HYNE.

The Captured Cruiser: or, Two Years from Land... By
C. J. Hyyg. With 6 page Illustrations by Frank Branewyn,
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“The two lads and the two skippers are admirably drawn. Mr. Hyne has
now secured a position in the first rank of writers of fiction for boys.”—Spectator.

Afloat at Last: A Sailor Boy’s Log of his Life at Sea. By
Joun C. Hurcuzson. With 6 page Illustrations by W. H.
OvEREND.. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“As healthy and breezy a book as one could wish to put into the hands of

a boy.”—Academy. .

Picked up at Sea: Or, The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek.
By J. C. Hurcuzson. With 6 page Pictures. Cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“The author's success with this book is so marked that it may well encourage him
to further efforts. The description of mining life in the Far West is true and accn-
rate.”—Standard.

Cousin Geoffrey and I. By Caronmwe Austin. With 6
page Illustrations by W. Parkinson. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.
‘Miss Austin’s story is bright, clever, and well developed.”—Saturday Review.

Brother and Sister: Or, The Trials of the Moore Family.
By Exvmaseru J. Lysacur. With 6 page Illustrations. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“CA pretty story, and well told. The plot is cleverly constructed, and the moral
is excellent.”—Athenewwm.

The Search for the Talisman: A Story ‘of Labrador.
By Heyry Frits. With 6 page Illustrations by J. Sondnpere.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“Mr, Frith's volume will- be among those most read and highest valued. The
adventures among seals, whales, and icebergs in Labrador will delight many a
young reader.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

Reefer and Rifleman: A. Tale of the Two Services. By
Lieut.-Col. Percy-Grovus. With 6 page Illustrations by Jouw
ScHénbeRG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“A good, old-fashioned, amphibious story of our fighting with the Frenchmen in
the beginning of our century, with a fair sprinkling of fun and frolic.”—Times,

Dora: Or, A Girl without a Home. By Mrs. R. H. Reap. With
6 page Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“Tt is no slight thing, in an age of rubbish, to get a story so pure and healthy
as this.”—The deademy.
20. BLACKIE & SONS BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



Life’s Daily Ministry: A Story of Everyday Service for
Others. By Mrs. E. R. Prrman. With 4 page Illustrations. Crown
8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. :

“Shows exquisite touches of a master hand, She depicts in graphic outline
the characteristics of the beautiful and the good in life.” —Christian Union.

Storied Holidays: A Cycle of Red-letter Days. By E. S.
Brooxs. With 12 page Illustrations by Howarp Pyre. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“Tt is a downright good book for a senior boy, and is eminently readable from
first to last.”—Schoolmaster.

Chivalric Days: Stories of Courtesy and Courage in the
Olden Times. By E. 8. Brooxs. With 20 Illustrations by
Gornon Browne and other Artists. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“We have seldom come across a prettier collection of tales, These charming
stories of boys and girls of olden days are no mere fictitious or imaginary sketches,
but are real and actual records of their sayings and doings.”—Litterary World.

Historic Boys: Their Endeavours, their Achievements, and
their Times. By E. 8. Brooxs. With 12 page Illustrations by

R. B. Brack and JoHN ScHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“A wholesome book, manly in tone, its character sketches enlivened by brisk
dialogue and high-class illustrations; altogether one that should incite boys to
further acquaintance with those rulers of men whose careers are narrated. We
advise teachers to put it on their list of prizes.”— Knowledge.

Dr. Jolliffe’s Boys: A Tale of Weston School. By Lewrs
Hoveu. With 6 page Pictures. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“Young people who appreciate Tom Brown's School-days will find this story a
worthy companion to that fascinating book. There is the same manliness of tone,
truthfulness of outline, avoidance of exaggeration and caricature, and healthy
morality as characterized the masterpiece of Mr. Hughes.” — Newcastle Journal,





The Bubbling Teapot. A Wonder Story. By Mrs. L. W.
Cuamenry. With 12 page Pictures by Water Sarrer.en.
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“Very literally a ‘wonder story’, and a wild and fanciful one. Nevertheless
it is made realistic enough, and there is a good deal of information to be gained
from it.”—The Times.

BY JENNETT HUMPHREYS.

Laugh and Learn: The Easiest Book of Nursery Lessons
and Nursery Games. By Jennett Humpureys. Profusely Ilus-
trated. Square 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d.

“One of the best books of the kind imaginable, full of practical teaching in
word and picture, and helping the little ones pleasantly along a right royal road
to learning.” —Graphic.
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 21



Thorndyke Manor: A Tale of Jacobite Times. By Mary
C. RowseLt. With 6 page Illustrations by Le Lusiiz Brookr.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“Miss Rowsell has never written a more attractive book than Thorndyke
Manor,” —Belfast News-Letter,

Traitor or Patriot? A Tale of the Rye-House Plot. By
Mary C. Rowsett. With 6 page Pictures by C. O. Murray and

C. J. STanmanpD, RI. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d.

“ Here the Rye-House Plot serves as the groundwork for a romantic love epi-
sode, whose true characters are lifelike beings.” —Graphic.



BLACKIE’S NEW THREE-SHILLING SERIES.
Beautifully lustrated and Handsomely Bound.

NEW VOLUMES.

Under Hatches: or, Ned Woodthorpe’s Adventures. By F.
Frankrort Moorz. With 6 page Illustrations by A. Foresrrer.
New Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s.

‘I'he story as a story is one that will just suit boys all the world over. The
characters are well drawn and consistent; Patsy, the Irish steward, will be found
especially amusing.”—Schoolmaster.

The Congo Rovers: A Story of the Slave Squadron. By
Harry Conrinewoop. With 6 page Illustrations by J. ScuénBEre.
New Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s.

“No better sea story has lately been written than the Congo Rovers. It is as
original as any boy could desire.”—Morning Post.

Menhardoe: A Story of Cornish Nets and Mines. By G.
Manvitir Feyn. With 6 page Illustrations by C. J. Sranmmanp,
R.I, Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

“They are real living boys, with their virtues and faults. ‘Che Cornish fisher-
men are drawn from life, and stand out from the pages in their jerseys and
sea-boots all sprinkled with silvery pilchard scales.”—Swpectator.

Yussuf the Guide: or, The Mountain Bandits. A Story of
Strange Adventure in Asia Minor. By G. Manvitte Fenn. With

6 page Illustrations by J. ScubnBeRc. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

“old with such real freshness and vigour that the reader feels he is actually
one of the party, shaving in the fun and facing the dangers.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

Robinson. Crusoe. With 100 Illustrations by Gorpon

Browne. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

*‘One of the best issues, if not absolutely the best, of Defoe’s work which has
ever appeared.”—The Standard.
22 BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



THREE SHILLING SERIES—Continued.

Gulliver’s Travels. With 100 Illustrations by Gorpow
Brownz. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

“Mr. Gordon Browne is, to my thinking, incomparably the most artistic,
spirited, and brilliant of our illustrators of books for boys, and one of the most
humorous also, as his illustrations of ‘Gulliver’ amply testify.’—Truth.

Patience Wins: or, War in the Works. By Guorce Man-
VILLE Fenn. With 6 page Illustrations. Cr. 8vo, cloth extra, 35.

“Mr. Fenn has never hit upon a happier plan than in writing this story of
Yorkshire factory life. ‘'he whole book is all aglow with life.”—Pall Mall Gazette

Mother Carey’s Chicken: Her Voyage to the Unknown
Isle. By G. Manvitte Fenn. With 6 page Tlustrations by A.
Forestier. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

“Undoubtedly one of the best Mr. Fenn has written. he incidents are of
thrilling interest, while the characters are drawn with a care and completeness
rarely found in a boys’ book.”—Literary World.

The Missing Merchantman. By Hazrry Contmwewoop.
With 6 page Illustrations by W. H. Overenp. Cloth extra, 3s.

“One of the author's best sea stories. ‘I'he hero is as heroic as any boy could
desire, and the ending is extremely happy.” —British Weekly.

The Rover’s Secret: A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons
of Cuba. By Harry CoLtinewoop. With 6 page Illustrations by
W. C. Symons. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s.

“ The Rover's Secret is by far the best sea story we have read for years, and is
certain to give unalloyed pleasure to boys.”—Saturday Review.

The Wigwam and the War-path: Stories of the Red
Indians. By Ascor1’R. Hops. With 6 page Illustrations, Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s.

“Is notably good. It gives a very vivid picture of life among the Indians,
which will delight the heart of many a schoolboy.”—Spectator.

Perseverance Island: or, The Robinson Crusoe of the 19th
Century. By Doveras Frazar. With 6 page Ilustrations.
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s.

“This is an interesting story, written with studied simplicity of style, much in
Defoe’s vein of apparent sincerity and scrupulous veracity; while for practical
instruction it is even better than Robinson Crusoe.” —Illustrated London News.

Girl Neighbours: or, The Old Fashion and the New. By
Saran Tytter. With 6 page Illustrations by ©. T. Garnanp.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s.

“ One of the most effective and quietly humorous of Miss Sarah ‘lytler’s stories.
it is very healthy, very agreeable, and very well written.”—The Spectator,
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 23



BY BEATRICE HARRADEN.

Things Will Take a Turn. By Bearricn Harrapun.
A New Edition, with 44 Illustrations by Joun H. Bacon. Crown
8vo, cloth elegant, 2s. 6d.

“ Perhaps the most brilliant is Things Wilt Take a Turn. . . , A tale of
humble child lite in East London. It is a delightful blending of comedy and
tragedy, with an excellent plot.”—Vhe Times.

“One of the most pathetic and touching stories for children that we have ever
met with. Little ‘Childie’ is so sweet and so utterly unselfish in her ways, and
her love and devotion to her grandfather are so deep; it makes one wish there
were afew more such Childies to be met within this world. The whole moral tone
of this book is so good that we would advise all parents to read it to their chil-
dven.”—Court Cireular.

“One of the most striking books of the present season. A very touching story,
full of unselfish teaching; is admirably told, and all ends well. In our opinion
such an arrangement is the ideal one for a child’s book.”—School Guardian.

The Whispering’ Winds, and the Tales that they Told. By
Mary H. Desennam. With 25 Illustrations by Paun Harpy.
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 2s. 6d.

“We wish the winds would tell us stories like these. It would be worth while
to climb Primrose Hill, or even to the giddy heights of Hampstead Heath ina
bitter east wind, if we could only be sure of hearing such a sweet, sad, tender,
and stirring story as that of Hilda Brave Heart, or even one that was half so
good. How Miss Debenham remembered all the winds told her is a puzzle;
but. there is no doubt that these stories are reported verbatim, just as they were
spoken, and there is also no doubt that they are all quite true.”— cadeny.

BLACKIE’S HALF-CROWN SERIES.

Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant.

Hammond’s Hard Lines. By Sxetron Kuprorp. Illus.
trated by Harorp Coprine. ‘

“The story is very clever and provocative of laughter.”—Standard. _ ‘

“Tt is just what a boy would choose if the selection of a story-book is left in
his own hand.” —School Guardian, tus

“4 capital story of schoolboy life, written with insight, humour, and skill.”—
The Educational News,

Duleie King: A Story for Girls. By M. Corprv-Suymour.
Illustrated by Gurrrupe D. Hammon,

An extremely graceful, well-told tale of domestic life. . . . The heroine,
Dulcie, is a charming person, and worthy of the good fortune which she causes
aud shares,” —Giecerdian.

Hugh Herbert’s Inheritance. By Carotie Ausrin.
With 4 page Dlustrations by C. 'l. Garnanp. New Edition.
Crown 8yo, cloth elegant, 2s. 6d.

“Will please by its simplicity, its tenderness, and its healthy interesting
motive. It is admirably written.’”—Scotsman.

Nicola: The Career of a Girl Musician. By M. Corsev-Suy-
mMour. TJlustrated by Gurrrupz D, Hammonp.

‘There is a great deal of quiet force and strength about the story. I can thor:
oughly and heartily recommend Nicola as a present for girls,"—Winter’s Weekly.
24 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



HALF-CROWN SERIES—Continued.



A Little Handful. By Harrier J. Scrzers.

“A very charming picture of a bright, lovable, mischievous boy, who hails from
the New World.”—School Guardian.

A Golden Age: A Story of Four Merry Children. By Ismay
Tuorn. Illustrated by Gorpon Browne.
“Ought to have a place of honour on the nursery shelf.”—The Athenceum.

A Rough Road: or, How the Boy Made a Man of Himself.
By Mrs. G. Linnaus Banks.

“Told with much simple force and that charm which belongs to one who has
known herself what a rough road is, and how to traverse it.”—.Winter’s Weekly.

The Two Dorothys. By Mrs. Herserr Marriy.
“A book that will interest aud please all girls.”—The Lady.

Penelope and the Others. By Amy Watron.

“This is a charming book for children. Miss Walton proves herself a perfect
adept in understanding of school-room joys and sorrows.”—Christian Leader.

A Cruise in Cloudland. By Heyry Farrru.

‘‘A thoroughly interesting story.”—St. James’s Gazette.

Marian and Dorothy. By Ayxiz E. Armsrrone

“This is distinctively a book for girls. A bright wholesome story.” —dcademy.

Stimson’s Reef: A Tale of Adventure. By C. J. Hynez,

“It may almost vie with Mr. R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Istand.”—Guardian.

Gladys Anstruther. By Lovisa Tuomrson.

“It is a clever book: novel and striking in the highest degree. ”’—Schoolmistress.
The Secret of the Old House. By E. Evzrerr-Grzzn.
“Tim, the little Jacobite, is a charming creation.”—Academy.
Hal Hungerford. By J. R. Hurcurnsoy, Ba.

“ Altogether, Hal Hungerford is a distinct literary success.” —Spectator.

The Golden Weathercock. By Juzia Gopparp.

“A cleverly conceived quaint story, ingeniously written.”—Saturday Review.

White Lilac: or, The Queen of the May. By Amy Watton.

“ Eyery rural parish ought to add White Lilac to its library.”—A cademy.
Miriam’s Ambition. By Everyy Everert-Green.

“Miss Green’s children are real British boys and girls.”—Liverpool Mercury.

The Brig ‘‘Audacious”. By Avan Cots.

“ Fresh and wholesome as a breath of sea air.”—Court Journal.
BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 25



HALF-GROWN SERIES—Continued.
The Saucy May. By Huyry Farrn.

“ Mr, Frith gives a new picture of life on the ocean wave. "_Shefield Independent.
Jasper’s Conquest. By Exizavery J. Lysacur,

“ One of the best boys’ books of the season.” —Schoolmaster.
Little Lady Clare. By Everyn Everert-Green.

“Reminds us in its quaintness of Mrs. Ewing's delightful tales.”—Liter. World.
The Eversley Secrets. By Evunyy Evererr-Green.

“ Roy Eversley is a very touching picture of high principle.”"—@uardian.
The Hermit Hunter of the Wilds. By G. Srazuzs, x.y.

“Will gladden the heart of many a bright boy.”—Methodist Recorder.
Sturdy and Strong. By G. A. Henry.

“ Ahero who stands as a good instance of chivalry in domestic life.” —The Einpire.

Gutta Percha Willie. By Guorcze Mac Donatp.

“Get it for your boys and girls to read for themselves.” —Practical Teacher.

The War of the Axe: Or, Adventures in South Africa. By
J. Prrcy-Groves.
“The story is well and brilliantly told.”—Literary World.
The Lads of Little Clayton. By R. Sreap.
“A capital book for boys.”—Schoolmaster.

Ten Boys who lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now.
By Jaye AnpREws. With 20 Iustrations.

“ The idea is a very happy one, and admirably carried out.”—Practical Teacher.

A Waif of the Sea: Or, The Lost Found. By Kare Woop.

“Written with tenderness and grace."—Morning Advertiser.

Winnie’s Secret. By Kars Woon.

“One of the best story-books we have read.”—Schoolmaster.

Miss Willowburn’s Offer. By Saran Doupyey.

“Patience Willowburn is one of Miss Douduey’s best creations.”—Spectator.
A Garland for Girls. By Louisa M. Aucorr.

«These little tales are the beau ideal of girls’ stories.”—Christian World.
Hetty Gray: Or, Nobody’s Bairn. By Rosa Munuoivanp.

“Hetty is a delightful creature—piquant, tender, and true.”—World.

Brothers in Arms: A Story of the Crusades. By F. Bay-
vorD Harrison.
“Sure to prove interesting to young people of both sexes.” Guardian.
Miss Fenwick’s Failures. By Esme Sruart.
‘A girl true to real life, who will put no nonsense into young heads.”—Graphic.

Gytha’s Message. By Euma Lesuie.

“This is the sort of book that all girls like.’—Journal of Education.
26 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



HALF-CROWN SERIES—Continued.
Jack o’ Lanthorn: A Tale of Adventure. By Huyry Fritu.
“The narrative is crushed full of stirring incident.”— Christian Leader.

The Family Failing. By Dariey Date.

“‘A capital lesson on the value of contentedness.”— Aberdeen Journal.

My Mistress the Queen. By M. A. Pauit.

“The style is pure and graceful, and the story full of interest.”—Scotsman.
The Stories of Wasa and Menzikoff.
Stories of the Sea in Former Days.
Tales of Captivity and Exile.
Famous Discoveries by Sea and Land.
Stirring Events of History.
Adventures in Field, Flood, and Forest.

“It would be difficult to place in the hands of young people books which
combine interest and instruction in a higher degree.” —Manchester Courier.



BLACKIE’S TWO-SHILLING SERIES.

Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant.

NEW VOLUMES.

The Gepeuie Baby: A Story for Boys and Girls. By
Karuieen Knox. Illustrated by Joun H. Bacon.

Sehool-Days in France. By An Oxp Grex. Illustrated
by W. ParKryson.

The Ravensworth Scholarship: A High School Story
for Girls. By Mrs. Henry Cruarxs, m.A. Illustrated by Joun H.
Bacon. 3

Queen of the Daffodils: A Story of High School Life. By
Lesiie Larne.

Raff’s Ranche: A Story of Adventure among Cow-boys and
Indians. By F. M. Houmzs.

An Unexpected Hero. By Eur. J. Lysaeur.

The Bushranger’s Secret. By Mrs. Hunry Cuarks, Ma.
The White Squall. By Jouy C. Hurcuuson.

The Wreck of the ‘‘Naney Bell”. By J.C. Hurcnzsoy .
The Lonely Pyramid. By J. H. Yoxart.

Bab: or, The Triumph of Unselfishness. By Ismay Tuorn,
Climbing the Hill, and other Stories. By Anyiz S. Swan,
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 27



TWO-SHILLING SERIES—Continued.

Brave and True, and other Stories. By Grucson Gow.
The Light Princess. By Gzorexu Mac Dowatp.
Nutbrown Roger and I. By J. H. Yoxauz.

Warner’s Chase: Or. The Gentle Heart. By Annie 8. Sway.
j j

: '





Sam Silvan’s Sacrifice. By Jussu Corman.

Insect Ways on Summer Days in Garden, Forest, Field,
and Stream. By Junyuvr Humeureys. With 70 Illustrations.

Susan. By Amy Watton.

A Pair of Clogs. By Amy Watroy.

The Hawthorns. By Amy Watron.
Dorothy’s Dilemma. By Caronmws Austin
28 BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



TWO-SHILLING SERIES—Continued.

Marie’s Home. By Carorinu Austin.

A Warrior King. By J. Evztyy.

Aboard the ‘‘Atalanta”. By Henry Friru.

The Penang Pirate. By Jouy C. Hurcusson.

Teddy: The Story of a“ Little Pickle”. By Jonn C, Hurcuuson.
A Rash Promise. By Cecr.ra Setpy Lownpzs.

Linda and the Boys. By Cxcizia Sznsy Lownpxs.

Swiss Stories for Children. From the German of Mapam
Jouanna Spyri. By Lucy WHEELockK.

The Squire’s Grandson. By J. M. Canuwett.
Magna Charta Stories. Edited by Anruur GILMAN, A.M.

The Wings of Courage; ann Tux Croup - Spinner.
‘Translated from the French of Gzorce Sanp, by Mrs. Corxran.

Chirp and Chatter: Or, Lessons rrom Fieip anp Tarun.
By Auice Banks. With 54 Tlustrations by Gorpon Brownx,

Four Little Mischiefs. By Rosa Munuouzayp.

New Light through Old Windows. By Grucson Gow.
Little Tottie, and Two Other Stories. By Tuomas Arcuur,
Naughty Miss Bunny. By Cuara Mutnowianp.
Adventures of Mrs. Wishing-to-be. By Auicu Corxray.
The Joyous Story of Toto. By Lavra E. Ricuarps.
Our Dolly: Her Words and Ways. By Mrs. R.H. Reap. 23s.
Fairy Faney’ What she Heard and Saw. By Mrs. Reap. 2s,

BLACKIE’S EIGHTEENPENNY SERIES.

With Illustrations. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant.

NEW VOLUMES.

Olive and Robin: or, A Journey to Nowhere. By the Author of
“Two Dorothys ”. :

Mona’s Trust: A Story for Girls. By Punenope Lustix.

Little Jimmy: A Story of Adventure. By Rev. D. Ricz-Jonus, M.A,

Pleasures and Pranks. By Isapenta Parson.

In a Stranger’s Garden: A Story for Boys and Girls. By
CONSTANCE CUMING.
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. 29.



EIGHTEENPENNY SERIES—Continued.

A Soldier’s Son: The Story of a Boy
who Succeeded, By ANNETTE Lys-
TER.

Mischief and Merry-making. By
ISABBLLA PEARSON.
Littlebourne Lock. By

F. BAYFORD HARRISON.

Wild Meg and Wee
Dickie. By Mary E.
RopEs.

Grannie. By ELIZABETH
J. LYSAGHT.

The Seed She Sowed.
By EMMA LESLIE.
Unlucky: A Fragment ofa
Girl's Life. By CARo-

LINE AUSTIN.

Everybody’s Business:
or a Friend in Need.
By Ismay THORN.

Tales of Daring and
Danger, By G. A.
HENTY.

The Seven Golden Keys.
By James E. ARNOLD.

The Story of a Queen.
By Mary C. ROWSELI.

Edwy: Or, Was he a
Coward? By ANNETTH
LYSTER.

The Battlefield Trea-
sure. By B.-BAYFORD
HARRISON.

Joan’s Adventures at
the North Pole. By
ALICE’ CORKRAN.

Filled with Gold. By J.
PERRET. :

Our General: A Story for
Girls, By ELIZABETH
J. Lysaern,

Aunt Hesba’s Charge
By ELIZABETH J. Ly-
SAGHT.

By Order of Queen Maude: A Story
of Home Life. By Louisa Crow.

The Late Miss Hollingford. By
Rosa MULMOLLAND.

Our Frank. By Amy Warton.

A Terrible Coward. By G. Man-
VILLE FENN.



Yarns on the Beach. By G. A.
HENTY.

Tom_Finch’s Monkey. By J. C.
HUTCHESON.

Miss Grantley’s Girls, and the Stories
she told them, By THOS. ARCHER.

The Pedlar and his Dog. By Mary
©. ROWSELL,



Town Mice in the Country. By
M. E. Francis.

Phil and his Father.
THORN.

Prim’s Story. By L. E. TIDDEMAN.

By Ismay

Reduced Specimen of the Illustrations,

Down and Up Again. By Gruason
Gow.

Madge’s Mistake. By ANNIE E.
ARMSTRONG.

The Troubles and Triumphs of
Little Tim. By Grua@son Gow.

The Happy Lad: A Story of Peasant
Life in Norway. By B. ByéRNson.

Into the Haven, By Annim §. Swan.

A Box of Stories. Packed for Young
Folk by Horace HAPPYMAN,

The Patriot Martyr, and other Nar-
ratives of Female Heroism.
380

BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.



LIBRARY OF FAMOUS BOOKS FOR
BOYS AND GIRLS.

In Crown 8vo.

Waterton’s. Wanderings
America.

Anson’s Voyage Round the World.
Autobiography of Franklin.
Lamb’s Tales from Shakspeare.
Southey’s Life of Nelson.
Miss Mitford s Our Village.
Two Years Before the Mast.

Marryat’s Children of the New
Forest.

Scott’s The Talisman.

in ne]

Illustrated.

Cloth extra, 1s. 6d. each.

The Basket of Flowers,
Marryat’s Masterman Ready.
Aleott’s Little Women.
Cooper’s Deerslayer.

The Lamplighter. By Miss Cum-
mins.

Cooper’s Pathfinder.
The Vicar of: Wakefield.
Plutarch’s Lives of Greek Heroes.

Poe’s Tales of Romance and Fan-
tasy.



THE SHILLING SERIES OF JUVENILES.

Square 16mo, Illustrated, and neatly bound in cloth extra.

NEW VOLUMES.
Only a Shilling. By M. CorBet-
SEYMOUR.
Sparkles. By Harriet J. Scripps.

Just Like a Girl. By PENELOPE
LESLIE.

Daisy and her Friends. By L. E.
TIDDEMAN.

Brave Dorette. By JULIA GODDARD.

Piecrust Promises. By W. L.
ROOPER.

Summer Fun and Frolic. By Isa-
BELLA PEARSON.

Little Aunt Dorothy. By JENNIE
CHAPPELL.
fhe Lost Dog. By Ascott R. Hopr.

The Rambles of Three Children.
By GERALDINE MOCKLER.

A Council of Courtiers. By Cora
LANGTON.

A Parliament of Pickles. By Cora -
LANGTON,

Sharp Tommy. By EL. J. Lysaeut.

Adventures of Nell, Eddie, and
Toby. By G. MOcKLER.

Freda’s Folly. By M.S. HAYCRAF?.

Philip Danford: A Story of School
Life. By JULIA GODDARD.

The Youngest Princess. By JENNIE
CHAPPELL.

Arthur’s Temptation.
LESLIE.



By EMMA

A Change for the Worse. By M.
HARRIED M. CAPES.

Our Two Starlings. By C. REDFORD.

Mr. Lipscombe’s Apples, By JULTA
GODDARD.

Gladys. By E. O'BYRNE.

A Gypsy against Her Will.
EMMA LESLIE.

How the Strike Began. By Do.

The Castle on the Shore, By Isa-
BEL HORNIBROOK.

An Emigrant Boy’s Story. By
Ascort R. Hopn.

Jock and his Friend.
LANGTON,

John a Dale. By Mary C. ROWSELL,
In the Summer Holidays. By JEN-.
NETL? HUMPHREYS.

Tales from the Russian of Madame
Kabalensky. By G. JENNER.
Cinderella’s Cousin. By PENELOPE.
Their New Home. By A. S. FEnn,

Janie’s Holiday. By C. REDFORD.
A Boy Musician: or, The Young Days
of Mozart.
Hatto’s Tower. By M. C. ROWSELL.
Fairy Lovebairn’s Favourites.
Alf Jetsam. By Mrs. GEO. CUPPLES.
The Redfords. By Mrs. G. CUPPLES.
Missy. By F. BAyrorD HARRISON.
Hidden Seed. By Emma LmsLin.
Tom Watkin’s Mistake. Do.

By

By Cora
BLACKIE & SON'S BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

31



SHILLING SERIES—Continued.

Ursula’s Aunt, By ANNIn 8. Fenn.

Jack’s Two Sovereigns. By ANNIE
S. PENN,

A Little Adventurer. By G. Gow.
Olive.-Mount, By Anyi 8. Fann,
The Children of Haycombe. Do.
Three Little Ones. By C. Laneron.

Two Little Brothers. By M. Har-
RIEL M, CAPES.

The New Boy at Merriton. By
JULIA GODDARD.
The Cruise of the ‘‘Petrel”. By

IF. M. HOLMES.

The Wise Princess. By M. HARRIEr
M. CaPEs.

The Blind Boy of Dresden.

Jon of Iceland.

Stories from Shakespeare.
Every Man in his Place.
Fireside Fairies and Fancies.

To the Sea in Ships.

Jack’s Victory: Stories about Dogs.
Story of a King.

Prinee Alexis: or, Old Russia.
Little Daniel: A Story of the Rhine.
Sasha the Serf: Stories of Russia.
True Stories of Foreign History.

THE NINEPENNY SERIES FOR CHILDREN.

Feap 8vo, Illustrated, and neatly bound in cloth extra.

NEW VOLUMES.
Toby. By L. E. 'lrpprman.
He, She, It. By A. pr V. Dawson.
The Carved Rox. By Noriry
CHESTER.
Darby and Joan. By EYHEL PEN-

ROSE.
My Aunt Nan. By E. Krye Hatt.

A Little English Gentleman. By
JANE DEAKIN.
The Doctor’s Lass. By L. bE. Trp-

DEMAN.

Spark and I. By ANNIE ARMSTRONG.

What Hilda Saw. By PENELOFE
LESLIE.

Little Miss Masterful.
‘TIDDEMAN.

A Sprig of Honeysuckle. 1
GHORGINA M. SQUIRE.

An Australian Childhood, By En.iEen
CAMPBELL.

Kitty Carroll.

A Joke for a Picnic.
RoopEr.

Cross Purposes, and The Shadows.
By GkorGE Mac DONALD.

Patty’s Ideas. By L. BE. TIDDEMAN.
Daphne. By E. O'BYRNE.

Lily and Rose in One.
S. LOWNDES.

Crowded Out. By M. B. MANWELL.
Tom in a Tangle. By T. Sparrow.

By I, 1.

By

ay

By 1. E. LIppEmMan,
By W. L.

By CECILIA



)

Things will Take a Turn. By
BEATRICE HARRADEN.

Max or Baby. By Ismay THORN.

The Lost Thimble. By Mrs. Mus-
GRAVE,

Jaek-a-Dandy. By E. J, Lysaeur.

A Day of Adventures. By CHar-
LOTTE WYATT. .
The Golden Plums.

The Queen of Squats.
HORNIBROOK,

Little Troublesome. Do.

Shucks. By Emma Lestiu.

Sylvia Brooke. By M. H. M. Carrs.

The Little Cousin. By A. 8. Fenn.

In Cloudland. By Mrs. Muserave.

Jack and the Gypsies. By Karn
Woop.

Hans the Painter.
ROWSELL. :

Sepperl the Drummer Boy. Do.

Fisherman Grim. Do.

My Lady May: and One Other Story.
By HARRIET BouLtwoop,

A Little Hero. By Mrs. Mus@rave.
Prince Jon’s Pilgrimage.
Harold’s Ambition: or, A Dream of

By F, Charen.
By ISABEL

By Many C.

Fame. By JENNIE PERRETT.
; Aboard the Mersey. By Mrs.

GEORGE CUPPLES.
A Blind Pupil. By ANNIE S. FENN.

Lost and Found. By Mrs. Carn
ROTHER.
32 BLACKIE & SON’S BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.



SOMETHING FOR THE VERY LITTLE ONES.

Mustrated. 64 pp., cloth. 6d. each. Little Tales for Little Folk. .

Tales Easy and Small. By Miss W. L. Roopmr. 2d. each.

: FRED'S RUN.

Old Dick Grey and Aunt Kate’s Way. NORA’S DARK LOOK.
Maud’s Doll and Her Walk. ELLA'S FALL.
a aa PATTY'S WALK.

n Holiday time. HONEST DOLLY.
Whisk and Buzz. | , LITTLE QUEEN PET.

THE SIXPENNY SERIES FOR CHILDREN.
Neatly bound in cloth extra. Each contains 64 pages and an Illustration.

NEW VOLUMES. Fairy Stories: told by PENELOPE.

Nobody’s Pet. By A. DEV. DAWSON. |. 4 New Year’s Tale, ByM. A. CURRIE.

Daisy’s Visit to Unele oaks Little Mop. By Mrs. CHARLES BRAY.

eee tt ak tee The Tree Cake, and other Stories.
feta ce aA * | Nurse Peggy, and Little Dog Trip.

Mrs. Holland’s Peaches. : Fanny’s King. By DARLEY DALE,

Marjory’s White Rat. Wild Marsh Marigolds. By D. DALE.

Grandmother’s Forget-me-nots. Kitty’s Cousin.

From over the Sea, Cleared at Last.

The Kitchen Cat. By AMY WALTon. Little Dolly Forbes,

The Royal Eagle, By L. THOMPSON. A Year with Nellie. By A. 8. FENN.

Two Little Mice. By Mrs. GArtick. | The Little Brown Bird.

A Little Man of War. The Maid of Domremy.
Lady Daisy. By Caroline Stewart. | Little Eric: a Story of Honesty,
Dew. By H. Mary WILSON. Uncle Ben the Whaler,

Chris’s Old Violin. By J. LockHart. | The Palace of Luxury.
Mischievous Jack. By A. CorKRAN. | The Charcoal Burner.

The Twins. By L. E. TrppEMAN. Willy Black: A Story of Doing Right.
Pet’s Project. By Cora LANGTON. The Horse and his Ways.



The Chosen Treat, By C. Wyart. The Shoemaker’s Present.
Little Neighbours, By A. 8. FENN. | Lights to Walk by.
Jim: A Story of Child Life. ' The Little Merchant.

Little Curiosity. By J.M.CALLWELL. Nicholina: A Story about an Iceberg.
Sara the Wool-gatherer.

A SERIES OF FOURPENNY REWARD BOOKS.
Each 64 pages, 18mo, Illustrated, in Picture Boards.



A Start in Life. By J. Lockyart. Papa’s Birthday. By W. L. Roorrr.
Happy Childhood. The Charm Fairy. By PENELOPE.
Dorothy’s Clock. Little Tales for Little Children.
Toddy. By.L. E. TIDDEMAN. Brave and True. By GrEG@sON Gow.
Stories about my Dolls. Johnnie Tupper’s Temptation. Do.
Stories about my Cat Timothy. Maudie and Bertie.

Delia’s Boots. By W. L. Rooper. The Children and the Water-Lily.
Clirnbing the Hill. By ANNIE S. By JULIA GODDARD.

© SWAN. ; Poor Tom Olliver. Do.

A Year at Coverley. By Do. Fritz’s Experiment.

Phil Foster. By J. LockKHART. Lucy’s Christmas-Box.





BLACKIE & SON, Lrmrrep., Lonpon, GLascow, anD DUBLIN