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"SHE HAD BECOME THE SPIRIT OF THE STORM ITSELF." PAGE 23.
AND OTHER STORIES
Author of Short Stories for Short People "
" Echo-Maid, tell me true if ye have the pot o' gold ? "
E. P. DUTTON AND COMPANY
31 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET
E. P. DUTTON & CO.
tbc lntickerbocher press, 1 ew Borh
IS DEDICATED TO
THE ECHO-MAID I
IN THE LAND OF THE WEE-UNS 54
THE BIG LIGHT ON BURNING MOUNTAIN 122
A LEAP-YEAR BOY. 163
BY F. C. GORDON.
THE ECHO-MAID Fronspiece
"ECHO-MAID, TELL ME TRUE, IF YE HAVE THE
POT o' GOLD ? ". Title-age
"'TIS THE ECHO-MAID HERSEL'!".
SAM AND THE KING OF THE WEE-UNS .
THE PHOENIX .
RUDOLF AND THE PINE-NEEDLE DOG
"LISTEN AND TREMBLE! I AM THE KING OF THE
HOT-HOUSE FLOWERS .
THE FOOD GARDEN .
N the northern part of Scotland, on the side of
a lonely mountain, stood a small, weather-
beaten hut. Save for the sweet wild-roses that
clambered over it, so gray and low it was, that at a lit-
tle distance it was difficult to distinguish it from the
gray rocks around. Except for this one little house,
one could look to the top of the opposite mountain
lost in mist, or down to the ravine at its base, and
see no other habitation-nothing but the long
stretches of purple-gray heather. And but for the
tinkling of the sheep-bells, and the occasional wild
cry of a bird, no sound could be heard. Down
and beyond the mountain at the right, a faint blue
line was visible-the sea; and sometimes a low,
2 The Echo-Maid.
booming sound could be heard-the waves dash-
ing against the rocky coast.
In a field, at some distance above the cottage,
sat two children, a boy and a girl, talking earnestly.
About them grazed the Laird's sheep, while the
faithful collie "Sandy" kept them within bounds.
Sandy was kind, but firm, and every sheep there
knew that the collie's ideas as to just where they
should feed must be respected, or that unpleasant
consequences would follow.
"Tell again about the pirates, an' the pot o'
gold, Jamie," said the little girl, to her com-
"Well, ye see, Janet," began Jamie. "It was
many years ago, they was pirates, an' they cam'
o'er the sea, wi' a pot o' gold. They clomb o'er
the rocks an' cam' here wi' it, an' 'twas hereabout
they do say 't was hid. An' whoever'11 find it '11
be the rich man."
"An' where d' ye think 't was hid, Jamie ?"
"I think," said Jamie, looking about in a strictly
impartial manner, "they'll have put it there, on
Mount Enochan," and he pointed at the precipitous
The Echo-Maid. 3
frowning mountain opposite. "D' ye see that high
rock up there, wi' a clump o' trees ?"
The girl nodded.
"An' to the left, d' ye see a big black hole in
the rock ?"
"I do," said Janet. "'Tis the Echo-Maid's
"'Tis that, Janet, an' 'tis there I do be thinking'
that the gold is hid. I know 't is that's the place.
'T is the Echo-Maid herself' that's got the pot o'
gold, an' Janet, I '11 tell ye how I know," and here
Jamie's voice sank to an awed whisper. "She's
told me so herself mony's the time. Hark to it
The boy then stood up, and forming a sort of
trumpet with his two hands, shouted: "Echo-
Maid, have ye the pot o' gold ? "
And clear and distinct came the answer, Pot
"Is it still there ?"
"Still there," was the answer.
D' ye hear that, Janet ? said Jamie.
With tightly clasped hands and quickly beating
heart the little girl sat down again upon the rock,
and it was some time before she spoke. Then
she said :
"Jamie, d' ye think, if we asked the Echo-Maid,
she wad gie us the gold? "
"Mayhap she wad, but not for ten pots o' gold
wad I go up there," said Jamie, stoutly.
It wad make us rich, Jamie, and my poor
mither wouldna have to have scanty porritch any
more. Last night, d' ye know, she made me sup
all the porritch, an' said she had no hunger, but
well I know why she said that," and the tender-
hearted child wiped her eyes with her apron.
Jamie comforted her as well as he could.
It had grown late. The shadows had length-
ened on the moorland, and the gray mists were
rising from the valley below. The two children
rose, and with the help of the dog, rounded the
sheep into the rude fold. Then Jamie trudged his
way home to the village of Dunarroch, while Janet
went into the cottage.
Her mother met her at the door with a wan
smile. When Janet looked into her thin, pale face,
The Echo-Maid. 5
she threw her arms about her neck, and said : Oh,
Mither, Mither, could I but get the pot o' gold that
Jamie was tellin' me about Ye wad be happy
Mrs. McDonald smiled sadly. "'T wad tak'
but little gold to mak' me happy, Janet," she said.
But think no more on't, child. Your face is
flushed an' yer eyes bright. Ye stayed too late on
the moor. I hope ye ha'na taken cold. Come sup,
the porritch stands waiting."
"I dinna want the porritch," said Janet. "I
canna eat. I have no hunger."
"Then go to bed, child. 'T is the best place
This Janet did, and her mother, after listening
to her simple prayer, covered her warm and snug
in her little cot, and said:
I have been to Dunarroch to-day, Janet, an' I
heard news. I '11 tell ye about it in the morn."
"Tell it now, Mither," begged Janet.
Not to-night, child. Sleep is the thing for ye
now. I hope the dear child is na going to be ill,"
she said to herself. "What wad I do then ? What
wad I do? and burying her face in her hands, the
poor woman cried as if her heart would break.
" Ah, well," she said at last, "I '11 wait till I see
what the morn '11 bring."
Years ago, Mrs. McDonald had been cook at
Castle Dunarroch, and had married Thomas, the
groom. The old Laird and his Lady had been
very kind to the young couple, and all had at first
gone well with them. Then the old Laird died,
and his Lady and the young Laird, a mere boy, had
left the castle, and lived for years in Edinboro'.
A few years later Thomas, too, died, leaving his
wife and baby, Janet, alone. With her husband's
death the poor woman's troubles began. She had
the tiny hut and the little patch of ground rent-free,
and with the few potatoes she raised, and the occa-
sional day's work for the minister's and doctor's
families in Dunarroch, she barely managed to make
a scanty living. When Janet was old enough she
helped care for the Laird's sheep up among the hills,
and shared with Jamie Burns the few pennies she
got for it.
Meanwhile, the young Laird's mother had died,
The Echo-Maid. 7
and he himself had just married, and the news which
Mrs. McDonald had heard in Dunarroch that day,
was that he with his bride was coming back to his
castle the following afternoon. The house, which
had been closed for fifteen years, was once more to
be opened. And she, Mrs. McDonald, had been
bidden there to help the cook. She had been
shown a letter from the Laird himself, written to
the care-taker at the castle, in which he had
"Is Catherine McDonald alive and well? If
so, she must be bidden to the castle to help in the
cooking. I have never forgotten her scones."
"The dear lad," said Mrs. McDonald, wiping
her eyes. "Well do I remember his curly head,
popped into the kitchen, an' his 'One lill mo' scone,
Cat'rine ? "
Mrs. McDonald was much delighted at the
thought of seeing the young Laird again, and his
bonnie bride. She felt that her troubles were
"He 'l help me when he sees how 't is wi'
me. He was fond of my Thamas. T was Thamas
that taught him to ride," and comforted by the
thought of what the morrow would bring, Mrs. Mc-
Donald went to bed, and was soon fast asleep.
Meanwhile Janet, knowing nothing of this, was
not asleep, but lay on her cot in the corner, tossing
restlessly from side to side. Her little head was
filled with thoughts as to how she could help her
poor, anxious mother.
The pot o' gold. If I cud only get the pot o'
gold from the Echo-Maid," she said. "Jamie wad-
na go wi' me, an' I'm afeared to go alone. But
why should I be afeared? I cud tell the Echo-
Maid 't was for the mither's sake I cam', and 't was
for her I asked the gold, an' I 'm sure-I 'm sure
she'd gie it me. She canna ha' use for it herself. "
Here Janet thought a while, and at last said reso-
lutely: "I'll go. I'll go the morn," and with
these words on her lips, she fell asleep.
Before dawn, she rose, and quietly dressed her-
self. Then she went to the cupboard, which was
indeed bare, except for some cold porridge, and a
half loaf of coarse bread. Cutting the bread into two
pieces, she put one into the pocket of her jacket.
The Echo-Maid. 9
Then the child knelt reverently, and clasping her
Please God, let me find the gold for the dear
mither, an' please God tak' care o' me."
After this fervent little prayer, and a loving look
toward the dark corner, where her mother still
slept heavily, Janet stepped cautiously out, closing
the cottage door noiselessly behind her.
"I '11 tak' good care that the sheep dinna hear
me or they'll bleat; an' wake the mither," she said,
as she crept by the fold; for the sheep all knew
and loved the little maid.
"Jamie '11 have the care o' ye the day alone,
lammies, for I '11 not be back till night."
At that moment Janet heard a rustling in the
heather and a sound as of something rushing
quickly toward her Then something cold touched
her hand I Janet gave a little cry of fear, which
ended in a laugh, as she recognized in her pursuer,
Sandy, the collie-dog, whose ears had not been
deaf to the sound of his little mistress' footsteps.
"Ye canna go this time, Sandy. Go, mind the
sheep," she said. At this command, poor Sandy
slunk reluctantly away, stopping occasionally to
look back, ready to at once respond, should his
mistress change her mind. Janet, the cool morn-
ing air fanning her hot cheeks, walked on through
the dew-laden grass, till she reached the field where
she and Jamie had had their talk the day before.
It had now grown a little lighter, and she could
see dimly the frowning outlines of Mt. Enochan
towering above her, a black spot on its side mark-
ing the Echo-Cave.
Then Janet, her heart beating wildly, put both
her hands to her mouth, and called loudly into the
Echo-Maid, tell me true if ye have the pot o'
Back came the answer distinct and unmistaka-
Have the pot o' gold."
"An' will ye gie the gold to Janet McDonald ?"
Here the gray mist rolled away from the cave,
and louder, clearer than before came the answer :
"Gie the gold to Janet McDonald."
Again the gray mist-wreaths hid the cave, but
The Echo-Maid. n
when Janet shouted, I '11 come for it !" the Echo-
Maid's voice, though faint, could yet be plainly
heard, as she said:
"Come for it!"
And then for a moment, Janet's heart sank, as
she looked at the lonely mountain before her. It was,
indeed, a terrible task that the timid little girl had
set for herself. No one had ever ventured to go
before. The way was well-nigh impassable-no
path, nothing to guide one-and then to face the
Echo-Maid herself-well, no one as yet had had
courage enough to undertake it.
"But I willna turn back now," said Janet
"She's told me that she has the gold, an' that
she'll gie it me. I must hurry on or the day '11
soon be here, an' I must be away from the dear
mither's call. I hope she willna worry, but if she
worries the day, she '11 be glad enough when I
come back wi' the pot o' gold."
Janet had first to cross the brook which flowed
down through the valley. It was now a shallow,
noisy stream, although the little girl had seen it
when it ran silently, sullenly along, when no one
could cross it in safety. Now, however, there was
not the slightest difficulty in doing so, and Janet
stepped lightly from stone to stone, scarcely wet-
ting her little pink toes. On the other side, she
stood a moment, looking at the frowning mountain
which towered above.
"This'll be the best way. Betune them twa
high rocks-no, that wouldna do. I canna get
over the edge, yonder. My way'11 be to go first
to yon grassy spot, an' there I '11 see which way is
The level, grassy spot reached, Janet found she
had no choice in the matter. There was but one
way up which it was possible for mortal to climb.
On every other side rose inaccessible walls of gray
That '11 be the way the pirates took, an' I think
I'll be able to do it, too," she said, and after a
crumb of the hard bread which, as she had had no
breakfast, tasted sweet, she started on her perilous
journey. Janet was used to being by herself, but
never will she forget the great loneliness of that
journey up Mount Enochan. The knowledge that
she was going where no foot had trod for so many
years, and to meet-she knew not what, was
enough to daunt the stoutest heart.
"It's for the mither, an' I asked God to tak'
care o' me," she said to herself, and went bravely
Often the way was so steep, that she was
obliged to pull herself up by the branches of trees.
Many times she fell, bruising, but fortunately not
injuring herself seriously.
At one time, the path, which was no path, took
a sudden turn to the left, bringing her to the edge
of a precipice, and she found herself looking down
on her home. She could see the familiar gray
cottage, and the field where Jamie and Sandy were
now minding the sheep-alone.
"How high up I must ha' came," she said.
"An' it seems that I canna be verra far frae the
The sun was by this time high over her head,
and Janet, feeling tired and dizzy, sat down to
rest. It was a beautiful spot, a wild, grand view
of moorland, with sea beyond. But the little girl
was too much absorbed in her undertaking to be
conscious of anything but its loneliness. Her
cheeks and hands were burning, and her head was
throbbing with a dull pain. She tried to eat a bit
of the bread in her pocket, but could not. She
felt a burning thirst, and looked about her for
water, but there was none there. Then, leaning
her hot head down on a cool stone, she closed her
eyes and fell fast asleep.
She was aroused from her heavy sleep by the
feeling that she was not alone, that someone was
near! Opening her eyes she saw no one, but
heard the sound of heavy, regular breathing, and
she then became conscious that some animal was
lying near her, his body pressed as close to her
back as it could possibly be. Her heart beat
quickly, while beads of perspiration stood on her
forehead. Turning her head cautiously, she
caught a glimpse of tawny, yellow fur.
It '11 be a lion I she said, shaking with terror.
Janet knew that lions were yellow, but she did not
know, poor little soul, that they never roam at large
through the Scottish Highlands.
I dinna want ter be e't by a lion," she moaned,
her breath coming in gasps. "Oh, God, send him
At that moment the supposed lion, finding that
the little girl was awake, jumped up, and barked
Oh, Sandy, Sandy," cried Janet. Ye fright-
ened me sair. An' ye did n't do as I bid ye. Ye
did n't go back, an' mind the sheep," but in her joy
and relief the child put her two soft little arms
round the dog's neck, and kissed him on his dis-
"An' now, Sandy, ye '11 go home at once,"
said Janet, sternly. But Sandy flatly rebelled. He
evidently thought that the little girl did not know
what she really did want.
"I worked very hard to get up here, and to
keep out of sight," he thought. "It took all my
collie-slyness to accomplish it, too. And she was
evidently glad-delighted to see me, so I shall
stay," and Sandy lay down again and winked his
bright eyes at his mistress while he furtively wagged
his tail. But it was of no use. Janet was firm, and
16 The Echo-Maid.
at last poor Sandy had to yield, and started slowly
for home, his reproachful eyes fixed upon his little
mistress to the last.
Then Janet rose, and although feeling dizzy and
far from well, went on, stumbling occasionally from
weakness. But she had been cheered by Sandy's
coming. Something of the awful loneliness of the
journey had been taken away. Another turn
brought her opposite the Echo-Cave. Putting her
hands to her mouth, Janet called:
"Echo-Maid, am I coming the right way?"
"Swiftly, clearly came the answer, "The right
The voice sounded kind," said Janet. "May-
hap the Echo-Maid may be a gentle maid. An' oh,
I hope, I hope she '11 be willing' to gie me the gold.
But she said she wad, an' when I tell her o' poor
mither, I know she '11 do it."
Up, up, and still up, climbed the child, stopping
sometimes for a moment's rest, for she was now so
high on the mountain, that she found it hard to
breathe. And at last, Janet knew that her journey
was ended, for she found herself standing by the
ledge, which she felt sure must form the side wall
of the Echo-Cave itself.
Echo-Maid she called softly, but there was
no answer. "I suppose she '11 be inside the cave,
an' I '11 ha' to enter it; but how ? For Janet saw
no way of entering, save from the front, swinging
herself round the wall, and into the cave. But there
was scarce foothold there, and brave as she was, she
shuddered when she looked down into the horrible,
yawning abyss below. She examined the place
"Now, if the wall be not too thick," she said,
"I mought hold by yon hanging vine, and swing
mesel' into the cave beyant. The vine is strong
enough, I know. An' if the wall prove thick, may-
hap I could swing mesel' down from the top o' the
cave, into it. But first I '11 try how thick the wall
is." So, holding the strong vine firmly with her
left hand, she stretched her right arm as far as it
would reach, and found to her joy, that the wall of
rock on that side, was not more than a foot in
width. Then 't would be an easy matter for her to
step on a narrow projecting bit of rock and swing
18 The Echo-Maid.
herself into the cave, steadying herself by the vine.
This she did, being careful not to look down, lest
dizziness should overcome her. And then Janet
found herself at last, standing in the cave of the
At first she could see nothing, the cave being
large and dark. Echo-Maid," she called, timidly.
Echo-Maid ? Who -calls the Echo-Maid ? "
answered a clear, sweet, low voice, and Janet gazing
into the darkness whence the sound had come, saw,
gliding towards her-the Echo-Maid herself !
And many a time since, but in vain, did Janet
try to describe the beauty and witchery of the maid.
A tall, slender, graceful figure, clad in floating gar-
ments of shadowy gray; long, floating gray-gold
hair, and large, wild, dark eyes, tender and inno-
cent, that looked now at Janet, wide open with
curiosity and astonishment.
Oh, Echo-Maid," said little Janet, tremulously.
"I'm Janet McDonald. I mind the Laird's sheep,
and I live in the bit gray cottage down below. An'
I '11 tell ye how 't was. Jamie, him that lives in
the village of Dunarroch, tol' me, how that long ago
the pirates brought the pot o' gold up o'er the rocks,
and left it here in the Cave o' the Echo-Maid-
your cave-me Leddy," and here Janet courtesied
low. "An' I thought, ye see, that mayhap you'd
be willing' to gie us some o' the gold. I thought
you couldna ha' much use for it yersel'. An'
mither needs it. Oh, Echo-Maid, an' ye could
know how sair the dear mither needs it, ye wad
gie some o't to us." Here Janet's voice broke, and
kneeling before the Maid, she stretched out both
arms toward her, and said, the tears streaming
down her sweet little face, "Dear Echo-Maid, ye
will gie us the pot o' gold, won't ye ? Won't ye ? "
The Echo-Maid gave no answer for some time,
but stood there still gazing in silent amazement at
Janet. At last she spoke, and her voice was like
sweet music to the child's ears :
"And you are a little girl," she said, "the first
I have ever seen. I have seen no one for many
long years, and glad, glad indeed am I that you
have come to me, Janet McDonald. For my life
is a lonely one. I hear them calling from below,
but I cannot talk with them. I can only repeat
20 The Echo-Maid.
what they say. Only once before has the foot of
mortal entered this cave, and that was more than
a hundred years ago."
"An' were ye alive then ? interrupted Janet.
I was then as I am now. We Echo-Maids
"An' are there more of ye, then ? '. asked Janet.
"I thought there was but one."
"More of us ? laughed the Maid. Where-
ever there are rocks and hills, there are Echo-Maids
-my sisters. This cave is my home. My care it
is to give back the words which are sent up from
below, repeating only what I hear."
"But, Echo-Maid," said Janet, "you are talk-
ing to me now."
"Ah, yes," said the Maid. "You came to me,
entered the cave. I can talk-if one comes to me.
But till now, no one has come, that is, not for many
years. More than a hundred years ago, on a wild,
dark night, some rough men came to my cave."
("'Twas the pirates," whispered Janet.) "They
brought with them a vessel filled with round, yel-
low things," (" The pot o' gold," said Janet.) and
The Echo-Maid. 21
then they went away. From what they said, I
judged that they were coming again to take it away,
but all that night the heavy rain fell, and the thun-
der rolled from crag to crag, till I was hoarse with
throwing the sound back from my cave. And the
next day the rain fell, and the next, and then from
before my very door, earth, rocks, and trees were
torn away, leaving me here on the edge of this
precipice, and believing that no one could ever
again intrude on my solitude. And child, how did
you enter the cave? How did you do what I sup-
posed was not possible for mortal to do ? "
D' ye see yon vine hangin' down from the
top, an' covering the entrance a bit ?" asked Janet.
"Well, I caught hold o' that to steady mesel'
an' stepped on the bit ledge there, then put me
arm round the rock, an' drew mesel' in. But
Echo-Maid-tell me-the pirates that cam' here.
Where did they pit the pot o' gold ?" asked Janet.
"There," and the Maid pointed with her
"May I look? asked Janet, and walked fur-
ther into the cave. At first she could see nothing,
but groped blindly on. Then, her eyes having
become accustomed to the darkness, she searched
eagerly from side to side, but for some time could
find nothing. At last, behind a jutting point of rock
she stumbled against something. It was an iron
kettle which, she could dimly see, was filled with
something bright and shining. With great diffi-
culty she dragged this to the mouth of the cave,
where in the light she saw-what she had been
looking for-the pot o' gold !
The Echo-Maid stood near, looking at Janet
with interest and amusement.
Is it not pretty ? Would you like to play with
it?" she asked.
Oh, dinna ye mean to gie me some o' these ?"
"You may have them all," said the Maid,
smiling kindly at the little girl, who thanked her
with her heart full of gratitude.
Just then Janet noticed that the cave had become
strangely dark, and running to the entrance, she
looked out. The sky, so clear and blue but a short
time before, was now covered with angry, threaten-
The Echo-Maid. 23
ing clouds, which chased each other madly across
it. The sun, a red ball of fire, was sinking in the
sea. Then came a blinding flash of lightning, and
Janet appalled, retreated to the back of the cave.
"It '11 be a bad thunder-storm," she said, "an'
I must wait till it is o'er. It '11 bring me late
home, but I canna help it. Jamie an' Sandy must
drive down the sheep alone. The poor mither '11
be afeared for me, but she willna mind when she
sees the pot o' gold," and Janet smiled as she
thought of her mother's surprise and pleasure.
Then, sitting down on a rock, the little girl ate her
last piece of bread.
Meanwhile, the storm, instead of ceasing, as she
hoped, became more violent. The lightning flashed
almost without ceasing, while the crashing of the
thunder echoing from crag to crag, was deafening.
And the gentle Echo-Maid had changed. She had
become the Spirit of the Storm itself, and stood
there, her figure swaying from side to side, her
arms outstretched, calling-calling-calling Janet
trembled as she watched her, fearing-she knew not
After a long while, the lightning-flashes grew
less, the thunder rolled sullenly, but the rain fell
in torrents. Then the Echo-Maid glided to Janet's
side, and said in her sweet, low voice :
Were you frightened, little one ?"
Yes," said Janet, an' I fear me, I '11 have to
stay the night here, as I canna find my way in the
dark and the rain."
"Oh yes, you will stay," said the Echo-Maid.
Then, overcome by fatigue, Janet with one arm
tightly clasping the pot of gold, leaned her head
against the cold rock of the cave, and in spite of
the noise made by the rain, which was still coming
down in torrents, fell fast asleep. She had slept
for several hours, when she was aroused by a
strange, hoarse, rumbling noise. She started up
in alarm, at first not knowing where she was, and
listening in terror to the grinding, tearing sounds
which seemed to come from all sides at once.
The noise grew louder, and the cave rocked from
side to side. Louder, and louder yet, grew the up-
roar, ending at last in a mighty echoing crask,
which shook the very earth I Then followed
silence, broken only by the steady downpour of
"Echo-Maid !" screamed Janet, in terror.
" What was that? What has happened ?"
"Do not be afraid, little girl," said the reassur-
ing voice of the Echo-Maid. "The danger is
passed-we are safe. The rain has been falling for
hours. It has loosened the earth and stones and
part of the mountain has fallen. It has been a wild
storm. Rest now. In the morning we shall see."
But Janet had been too thoroughly frightened
to rest easily again, and fell into a troubled sleep
from which she was aroused by the loud cry of
" anet! Janet/"
"Yes, I am coming," she answered, still half
asleep, while the Echo-Maid glided quickly past
her to the entrance of the cave, and threw back
the call, anet Janet! "
Again came the cry, an agonized cry, from
Jane / Where are ye ?"
"Where are ye?" repeated the Echo-Maid.
But Janet, now fully aroused, sprang to her
feet, for she had recognized the voice of her
mother. Running to the front of the cave, she
was about to call, when the Echo-Maid turned
fiercely upon her, and waved her back.
"But, Echo-Maid," said poor little Janet.
"The mither calls. I must answer."
"No voice, but the voice of the Echo, must
answer from this cave," said the Maid, sternly.
And Janet, though longing to respond to her
mother's call, was obliged to obey. The calling
ceased, and the Maid, once more her gentle self,
turned and smiled at the little girl.
"An' now, Echo-Maid, I see that the storm is
o'er an' I must go," said Janet. "I must go at
Go ? said the Maid, in astonishment. "Are
you then going to leave me ? I thought you would
stay with me forever."
"Oh, no," said Janet. "I cam' here for the
pot o' gold."
"But I have given you the pot o' gold, and
will you not stay here and play with it and with
me?" asked the Maid, sadly.
Oh, I canna, I canna," said Janet. "I must
go. An' dear Echo-Maid, from the bottom o' my
heart I thank ye for the gold, an' for yer kind-
ness." And Janet dropped a courtesy. "It wad
mak' ye happy, indeed, cud ye but know what the
gold '11 do for us."
Then Janet tried to lift the pot, but finding it
much too heavy to carry, set it down again in
"Whatever '11 I do now ?" she said. "I canna
carry it down the mountain."
"Can you not throw the gold over the preci-
pice, as I throw back the words ?" suggested the
"Why yes, so I can," said Janet, "that 'll be
the way, an' when I get down I will gather it in
Finding the pot too heavy to empty all at once,
she knelt beside it, and gathering handful after
handful of the glittering gold, threw it down over
the cliff, until the pot was quite empty.
"An' now, dear Echo-Maid, I'll bid ye good-
bye," she said. "I '11 never forget ye. An' when
I 'm below, I '11 often call up to ye. An' ye will
"Will answer," said the Maid sadly.
"Good-bye, good-bye," said Janet, the tears
standing in her blue eyes.
"Good-bye," echoed the Maid. Then grasping
the vine firmly with her hand, Janet swung herself
to the other side of the wall of rock,-only to shrink
back into the cave again with a cry of horror !
Oh, oh she said, and sinking, a miserable
little heap on the floor of the cave, she covered her
face with her hands and cried aloud. The sight
that Janet had seen was enough to appall the stout-
est heart. For the path by which she had come,
had disappeared! Instead of the solid earth she
expected, she found herself looking into a yawning
abyss, a sheer smooth wall of rock, a precipice, down
which it would be impossible for any one to climb !
"Why do you weep? What has happened?"
asked the Echo-Maid.
"Oh, oh!" moaned Janet. "I canna go. I
can never go. The mountain has fell away.
Whatever shall I do? Whatever shall I do ? "
"Do? You will stay with me, little Earth-
Child I Stay with me always," said the Echo-
No, no," moaned Janet, if I canna get awa'
I shall die. I canna live in this cave wi' out food
an' water. An' I am so thirsty now, so thirsty an'
so hot and burning."
The Echo-Maid looked at her with troubled
eyes, for the necessity of food and drink she could
"An' the mither'll never know what became'
o' me," moaned Janet. "She'll never know how
I cam' to get the pot o' gold, an' how it 's lyin'
now for her under the trees. An' Jamie '11 ha'
to tend the sheep alone wi' Sandy. Poor Sandy,
I 'm sorry I sent him back," and here the child
threw herself down on the floor of the cave, sob-
For hours she lay there on the cold stone, mut-
tering to herself and moaning, but in the late after-
noon, when the sun shone slantwise into the cave,
the Echo-Maid came joyously to Janet, rousing her
with these words :
Earth-Child, listen. You can escape. There
is a way."
Janet, though weak and ill, started up at the
hope conveyed in these words.
"An' how? How can I escape ? she asked.
"Come," said the Maid, and Janet followed her
to the front of the cave.
"You told me, child, that with the help of this
vine, you swung yourself into the cave. Now, can
you not in the same way, by the aid of the vine,
let yourself down to the earth below ? "
Oh no, I canna," said Janet. "It wad break,
and I should be killed."
It cannot break," said the Echo-Maid. "I
have seen trees uprooted by the winter storms, and
the vine has swayed and bent, but never broken.
I have seen rocks hurled from their places by the
weight of snow and ice, but this vine has stood firm.
And look above where the gnarled roots have forced
their way into the cave itself. No human weight
could possibly dislodge them."
"An' wad the vine be long enough?" asked
The Echo-Maid. 31
"As I look down," answered the Echo-Maid, I
see far below, the swaying vine, till it is lost in a
sea of green, for tall trees rise to meet it."
An' ye think I could slide down by the vine,
till I met the trees, an' then let mesel' to the
ground," said Janet. "Well-I can but try, for
I know I canna stay here. An' I'll call up to ye,
Echo-Maid, when I 'm once safe below."
Then, grasping the stout vine firmly with both
little brown hands, Janet slides slowly, carefully,
down, down, down. She has reached the trees
now, and grasping the top branch of one firmly, and
loosening her hold of the vine, which sways back
against the rock, she lightly swings herself from
branch to branch, and is half way down the tree,
her journey almost ended, when the poor little
maid who has gone through so much in safety, and
with so stout a heart, is suddenly seized with an
attack of dizziness. Putting out her hand, she
tries in vain, to grasp the branch beside her to
steady herself. She misses it, and falls-heavily-
to the ground, where she lies unconscious. And
many days must pass before she is able to call to
the Echo-Maid, as she promised.
ON the morning of the day that Janet left the
house to search for the pot of gold, Mrs.
McDonald awoke and was surprised to find that it
was so late and that Janet had gone to the sheep-
fold, without calling her. Opening the cupboard
and finding that half the loaf of bread was gone,
Then Janet canna be ill the morn, as I feared
last night, she wad be." So, with a thankful heart,
she warmed the porridge for her own breakfast, and
hurried to her day's work at the castle. Passing
the sheep-fold, she noticed that it was empty.
"Jamie and Janet must ha' driven the sheep to
the hill," she thought
All day the good woman worked with no idea
of the trouble that was awaiting her at home. Late
The Echo-Maid. 33
in the afternoon, the young Laird and his bride
arrived at the castle.
On seeing Mrs. McDonald, the Laird said to
"Geraldine, you have often heard me speak of
Thomas McDonald. This is his widow."
They both spoke many kind words to Mrs.
McDonald, and she was greatly pleased when they
enquired for Janet, and said that some day they
would ride over the hill and see the little cot-
On her way home, Mrs. McDonald went through
the village of Dunarroch, and with the money she
had earned that day, bought a few little luxuries
for their supper, and a pair of shoes for Janet, that
she may be decent when the Leddy comes," she
said. Then, although tired with her day's work, she
walked briskly home with a light heart. As she came
over the hill, she noticed that the sky had become
overcast, and that the wind was rising. "There '11
be a storm the night," she said, and hurried on.
When she came within sight of the cottage she.
was surprised to see no light there. She opened
34 The Echo-Maid.
the door. "Janet?" she said. There was no
answer. The room was as she had left it in the
morning. No light-no fire. Janet had evidently
not been there.
At this moment, Sandy came in at the door,
Sandy," asked Mrs. McDonald, "where is she ?
where is Janet?" but the dog only answered by
another pitiful whine. Mrs. McDonald, now
thoroughly alarmed, walked out to the sheep-fold
and called loudly:
"Janet I Janet I" but the bleating of the sheep
and the sighing of the wind in the trees, was her
only answer. Then came a flash of lightning, fol-
lowed by thunder. The storm was coming.
Into the cottage she went again, and searched
everywhere for the child, whom she hoped to find
"I '11 go ask Jamie. He '11 know," she said at
last. So, followed by Sandy, the poor tired woman
ran the whole way back to Dunarroch, and burst
into the cottage where Jamie sat eating his supper.
"VWhere 's Janet ? she gasped.
"I dunno," said Jamie, his mouth full of
Was she na wi' ye the day ?"
No," said Jamie, an' she should ha' been.
She had no right to le' me to mind the sheep alone,
the whole day."
"She wasna wi' ye ? cried Mrs. McDonald,
seizing him by the arm. "Oh Jamie, Jamie,
then she 's lost. Janet's lost. I 've searched
over all, an' called till I 'm hoarse. Where will
she be ?"
Janet lost?" cried Jamie, springing to his
feet, all thought of supper forgotten. Not lost.
We 'll find her, Mrs. McDonald;" and calling to
his father, the three left the cottage. Two or three
neighbors joined them on the way, bringing torches.
" It '11 be a wild night for a bairn to be out on the
moor alone," said one to another.
Before they reached the McDonald cottage, the
storm burst upon them. Flash after flash of blind-
ing lightning followed by peal after peal of echo-
ing thunder. Reaching the cottage, they began
their search for Janet. Inside and out, then into
the sheep-fold they went, startling the animals
from their slumber. Then up into the grazing-
field, where the sheep had been through the day.
Here they called, Janetl Janet! but only the
echo responded Janet."
As they stood there listening, the drenching
rain came down upon them, extinguishing their
torches, and forcing them to go down again into
the cottage for shelter. The men, now thoroughly
alarmed for the safety of the child, sat by the fire,
whispering together, while two women who had
come up from the village forced poor Mrs. McDon-
ald to eat something and lie down, for in such a
storm they knew it was impossible to continue the
search. The hours dragged slowly on, broken
only by the sound of the rain, which fell in tor-
rents. The neighbors who had come, stayed at
the cottage through the night, poor Jamie, his head
buried in his hands, crying and dozing, alternately.
Sandy passed his time in going from one to
another, whining pitifully.
Suddenly, every one started to his feet in
alarm! What was it? What had happened?
From the opposite mountain was heard a strange,
hoarse, rumbling noise which grew louder and
louder, ending at last in a mighty crash, which
shook the little cottage to its foundation I
Then all was still, save for the howling of the
wind, and the downpour of the rain.
"It'll be a landslide on Mount Enochan," said
one of the men.
"A landslide?" cried Mrs. McDonald, "and
mayhap my Janet is there an' buried beneath it,"
and the poor woman ran wildly to the door.
"Are ye mad, Mrs. McDonald?" said one of
the woman, holding her back. "If ye couldna
find her in the light, what could ye do in the dark,
an' the pourin' rain? When the storm is o'er,
we '11 all go wi' ye, but now we can do naught."
Convinced, poor Mrs. McDonald sat down
again and waited, and at last, at daybreak, the rain
ceased. Then the women prepared a hurried
breakfast, but Mrs. McDonald, unable to eat a
mouthful, ran alone to the grazing-field, and called
"J anet anet / Where are ye "
38 The Echo-Maid.
From the Echo-Cave above came the answer
"Janet I Where are ye ?" but no other sound
was heard. Here, Sandy, who had been for some
time acting strangely, began violently tugging at
Mrs. McDonald's apron i
"What is it, Sandy, mon?" she asked. Then
an idea suddenly came to her.
"Mayhap Sandy knows where Janet is, and
wants me to follow him. Is it Janet, Sandy ?" she
asked. At this the dog wagged his tail, and
barked furiously. Hurrying down toward the cot-
tage, to tell them of the hint which Sandy had
given, Mrs. McDonald was met not only by those
she had left behind, but by almost the entire vil-
lage, including the young minister and the school-
master, who, hearing of the poor woman's trouble,
had come to offer help.
"Sagacity is given to the brutes. No doubt
the beastie knows where the child is. Let us fol-
low him," said the minister, when Mrs. McDonald
had told him of Sandy's strange behavior.
"Sandy, go find Janet," commanded Mrs.
The Echo-Maid. 39
McDonald, and the dog, with a joyous bark, led
the way down toward the ravine and brook, fol-
lowed by all. But the brook was not the peaceful
stream of yesterday, which the little girl had found
so easy to cross by the stepping-stones. Swollen
by the recent rains, it was now a brawling, turbu-
lent stream. Although Sandy had no difficulty in
crossing it, the others paused to discuss as to
whether 't were better to ford it here, or go down
a half mile to the bridge. Just then the sound of
a quickly galloping horse was heard, and in a few
moments the young Laird was among them.
"I have heard of your trouble, Mrs. McDon-
ald," he said, and have come to offer help."
I thank yer Honor," said the poor woman.
"We 're hopin' we 're on the right track now.
We're follerin' the dog. But the stream is so full
wi' the rain, that we canna get easy across."
The Laird took in the situation at a glance.
Those of you, who wish, can ford the stream,"
he said, "the others can go down to the bridge,
but I will take Mrs. McDonald over on my horse."
This was done, and they were soon safely on
the other side. Sandy darted eagerly on. He
fully expected to find his little mistress on the spot
high up on the mountain where he had reluctantly
parted from her, only the day before. Panting
with excitement, he jumped from rock to rock,
stopping every now and then to wait for the others.
He was nearing the spot, when, judge of the poor
faithful creature's surprise and disappointment,
when he found the way blocked.by a high, impass-
able wall of earth, rocks, and trees !
One by one the climbers reached the spot and
"'T is the landslide," they whispered, "an' if.
the bairn was there last night-" but no one fin-
ished the sentence.
"Why should she be on Mount Enochan?"
said one. "No one ever comes here, except, per-
haps the pirates, long ago."
The pirates / These words had suggested
an idea to Jamie, and he cried out:
"The pot o' gold 'T was the pot o' gold,"
and then the boy told the story. How, when he
and Janet had been minding the sheep, she had
The Echo-Maid. 41
asked him to tell her about the pirates. And when
he had told her that he thought the pirates had
put the gold into the Echo-Maid's Cave on Mount
Enochan, she had begged him to go with her and
ask the Echo-Maid for some of it for her mother,
who was so very poor. But he had told her he
was afraid to go, and Janet had seemed to be
afraid, too, an' I didna think, that she wad dare to
go alone. An' now," sobbed Jamie, I 'm afeared
she did go, an' oh, how I wisht I'd stopped her."
The boy's story and the conduct of the dog,
seemed to point to the truth of the idea that poor,
brave, little Janet had really gone up Mounts,
Enochan, and made the attempt to get the gold.
Mrs. McDonald accepted this idea as final.
She threw herself down on the ground and wept
in agony, for she fully believed that her child was
lying there, buried under the mass of earth. The
faithful dog, crouching by her side, licked her
hand in mute sympathy. Occasionally he would
look up towards the spot where he had last seen
his little mistress, and howl piteously. Woman
and dog were mourning their dead.
The Laird, greatly touched, now said :
My dear Mrs. McDonald, let us not yet give
up all hope. If Janet wished to reach the cave,
might she not have tried to climb up the precipice
at the front?"
"No, yer Honor," was the answer, "'t is too
steep. There wadna be foothold there, even for
"But," said the Laird, "Janet is only a child
and without judgment. She might have tried
to climb up and have fallen back, and may be
lying there now. I will search there, anyway,"
So leaving his horse in care of Jamie's father, and
calling to Sandy, he started. And Sandy, hope-
less and unwilling, followed.
The others, believing further search to be use-
less, persuaded Mrs. McDonald to go home. In-
stead of fording the stream, they all walked slowly
down to the bridge which led to Dunarroch, leav-
ing Jamie and his father alone with the Laird's
The Laird, meanwhile, with Sandy at his
heels, walked on, directly toward the precipice
under the cave. As he approached and looked
up, he was appalled at its height.
They were right," he said. No one would
attempt to scale that wall."
At this point, Sandy suddenly stopped, and
stood as if turned to stone, his head up, his nose
sniffing the air! Then with a loud yelp, he
bounded forward and disappeared in a clump of
trees, at the foot of the precipice. The Laird, led
by the joyous barking of the dog, followed quickly,
and there-under the trees, with Sandy standing
beside her, licking her face-lay poor, little Janet
McDonald I Stooping over the unconscious figure,
the Laird found that she still breathed. She was
not dead. Lifting her up tenderly, and preceded
by the now frantically barking Sandy, he carried
her to the place where he had left his horse.
Jamie and his father, hearing the Laird's call,
and suspecting from Sandy's joyous bark, what
had happened, came eagerly forward to meet them,
with Selim-the horse.
"Is she dead?" called Jamie, when he saw
Janet lying in the Laird's arms.
44 The Echo-Maid.
"No, she is still living. Here, Angus," said
the Laird, speaking to Jamie's father, "hold the
child till I mount."
When the Laird was mounted, Angus placed
Janet in his arms, and Selim, who seemed to rec-
ognize the necessity for caution, stepped slowly
and carefully over the stones. The Laird feared
to cross the stream with his burden, though it was
a much nearer way.
"I must go down by the bridge," he said,
"but do you ford the stream, Angus, and tell the
good news to Mrs. McDonald, and do you,
Jamie, run across the short way to Dunarroch,
and tell the doctor to come at once to the cot-
When the Laird reached the cottage, with the
still unconscious Janet in his arms, he was received
with shouts of joy by all the village people, and
there was not a dry eye among them, when Janet
was restored to her mother's arms.
The doctor, who was already there, now came
forward, and ordered them all to go home and
leave the house quiet.
I will give ye the news of her, the night," he
For several days Janet lay on her little bed,
very ill. The Laird and his Lady came every day
to enquire for her, but were met always by the
same answer, "Still alive, but no better."
And one day, the village doctor told the Laird
that he would like to have one of the great doctors
from the city come to see the child, "for I fear,"
he said, "that the case is beyond my skill."
"The brave child shall have the best doctor in
Edinboro'," said the Laird, and he telegraphed to
Sir Andrew Anderson, who arrived the next day
at Dunarroch Castle. In the afternoon, he, ac-
companied by Lady Geraldine and the Laird came
to the cottage. Sir Andrew, to whom they had
told the story of Janet's search for the pot of gold,
was much interested in the brave little girl. The
village doctor was at the cottage to meet them,
and the two went inside while Lady Geraldine and
the Laird waited anxiously for the verdict.
Janet lay in her little white bed, restlessly toss-
ing from side to side. She looked at Sir Andrew
46 The Echo-Maid.
with wide-open, yet unseeing eyes, and stretching
out her arms to him, cried piteously:
Oh, won't ye gie me the pot o' gold ? 'T is
for the mither I ask it. She 's so poor. Ah,
't was so hard to get to the cave, an' could ye na
gie me a little ? The mither said 't wad tak' but a
little gold to mak' her happy."
In half an hour, Sir Andrew came out.
"Well?" said Lady Geraldine, breathlessly.
"The case is simply this," said Sir Andrew.
" The child is suffering from a fever, brought on
by several causes. In talking with the mother,
I find that they have been in actual want, and that
for some time past, they have not had sufficient
food to eat."
"Oh," groaned the Laird. "I knew nothing
of this. I was away."
"Mrs. McDonald says that Janet had not been
well for several days," continued the doctor, "and
these facts and the exposure to the storm on the
moor, have brought on this fever."
"And do you think," asked Geraldine, "that
she really did try to climb into the Echo-Cave ?"
"She may have done so, but be that as it may,
she probably wandered up and down the mountain
for hours, and she must have been lying under the
trees for a long time before the Laird discovered
her. Judging from her ravings, she thinks that
she has been in the cave, seen the Echo-Maid and
the gold. Her constant cry is: 'Gie it to me!
Gie me the gold !' "
Oh, Kenneth," said Geraldine, have you not
some gold pieces now in your pocket? Here give
them to me. I may put them into her hand, Doc-
tor?" and receiving his permission, Geraldine
glided to the bed.
"Gie me the gold," cried Janet.
"Yes, child, here is the gold," said Geraldine,
softly, putting it in her hands.
Then Janet, clasping it tightly, and looking up
into the beautiful face bending over her, framed in
its golden hair, said joyfully :
"'Tis the Echo-Maid herself Oh, thank ye.
Thank ye, Echo-Maid !" and almost immediately
fell into a quiet sleep, the first she had known since
she had been brought home.
That was an inspiration, Lady Geraldine," said
the doctor, as they drove back to the castle. "I
think now, that with the aid of your village doctor,
and with Mrs. McDonald's good nursing (and she
is evidently a capital nurse) the child may pull
through. Fine mountain and sea air and pure
water, what more could one wish? I would send
some of my-own patients here to get well, were
there any good house for them to go to."
And Janet did recover-recovered rapidly.
There was no lack of good food now at the cottage.
Lady Geraldine saw to that.
One day, when Janet was able to sit out of
doors, she told the whole story of her search for
the pot of gold from the beginning to the end to
the Laird and Lady Geraldine, who sat near her.
"An' now, I'm wearyin' to go an' pick up the
gold I threw down," she said.
So a few days later, Lady Geraldine, the Laird
and Janet went to the precipice, Janet seated on
Selim's back, for she was not yet strong enough to
walk so far. Before they reached the place, the
Laird said to her :
"Janet, suppose the gold is not there? "
Ah, but it must be there, yer Honor, for I
threw it down," she said.
"But it may not be there now," continued the
Laird, and if it be not, do not grieve. When
you come back I have something to tell you."
Then he lifted Janet from Selim's back, and with
quickly beating heart the little girl ran alone to the
place where she expected to see the gold.
But when she reached the spot she looked
eagerly around to find, alas, that there was no gold
there I Search as she would, not a piece could
she find. Then Janet sat down, and burying her
face in her hands, wept bitterly. And so the Laird
and Lady Geraldine (who had walked slowly after)
"Janet," said the sweet voice of Lady Geraldine.
The Laird has something to say to you, dear,"
and the little girl choked back her sobs to listen.
'T is for the mither I greet," she said.
"What I wish to say to you, Janet, is this," said
the Laird. You have not found the gold here, it
is true, but-now remember what I say-some
day, I promise that you shall have the pot o' gold,
and then you can give it to your mother."
"Then 't was you, yer Honor, that gathered up
the gold," said Janet.
"Well," said the Laird, smiling, That is my
secret, little girl."
Then they went home, Janet quite comforted.
Mrs. McDonald was needed now every day at the
castle, and as she could not leave the little girl alone,
it was proposed that she take her with her, and close
the cottage. This was done, and Jamie and Sandy
tended the sheep alone. Sandy slept in the fold
at night, and became sterner than ever with the
sheep. Janet was allowed to do no work, but was
told to run about and get well as fast as she
could. Mrs. McDonald was smilingly mysterious
these days, and for some reason Janet was for-
bidden to go to the cottage.
Then came a wonderful day-the happiest in
Janet's life. The day when she was nine years
old. Her mother, who had finished her work at
the castle, went back to the cottage in the morn-
ing, and in the afternoon Janet followed with the
The Echo-Maid. 51
Laird and Lady Geraldine. As they began to
ascend the hill, what was the child's amazement,
to see in the place of the little gray cottage, a
beautiful new house!
"What is that ? What does it mean ?" gasped
Janet, looking from Lady Geraldine to the Laird.
"Tell her," said the Laird.
"It means," said Lady Geraldine, smiling
kindly at her, "that the Laird and I have built
this house. Sir Andrew Anderson, the great
Edinboro' doctor, whom we had up to see you
Janet, when you were ill, was charmed with this
spot and wanted just such a place for some of
his patients to get well in, so we thought we
would build this house for that purpose. And
as your mother is such a good nurse and cook,
she is to have charge of it."
They drove first to the kitchen-door, where
Mrs. DcDonald stood smilingly awaiting them,
and then the four walked admiringly through
the house. Upstairs there were six pretty bed-
rooms and from the windows a fine view of Mount
Enochan, the valley, and sea beyond.
Oh, Mither, Mither !" cried Janet, throwing
her arms round her mother's neck. How kind
they are An' won't we tak' fine care o' their
beautiful new house ?"
"Come now, all of you," said the Laird
cheerily, as he led the way to the front of the
house, and out of the door. "I have something
outside to show you, Janet, and something to
say to you, too." So taking the little girl by
the hand, and followed by the others, he led her
out of the door and on to the grass at the front
of the house.
"Janet," he said. "You remember I told you
that some day you should have a pot o' gold' ?"
"Yes," said Janet.
Well, look up now, over the door, and read
the name of this inn."
And there, painted in large gold letters, on a
bright blue ground, Janet read :
"THE POT 0' GOLD."
"Yes," said the Laird, "and this pot o' gold,
little girl, is yours-your very own. Lady Ger-
The Echo-Maid. 53
aldine and I give it to you to-day-your ninth
"And Janet," said Lady Geraldine, "what will
you do with your pot o' gold ?'"
Give it to the mither/" cried Janet, running
to her mother's arms !
IN THE LAND OF THE WEE-UNS.
IN the village of Lanwyn, on the coast of Corn-
wall, lived a boy whose name was Samuel.
His father was a miner-an overseer-who each day
with other miners, went down into the earth to dig
out tin, and as he went to his work almost before
the sun began his, he scarcely knew day by sight.
But it had not been always so, for, as a lad and
young man, Mr. Carroll had been a sailor, and
many were the tales of adventure which he told to
his boy, Sam. Nor was that all, for the father had
in spare moments managed to make a good sailor
of the boy, and on his eleventh birthday gave him
for his very own, a fine, broad, safe boat. It was
not a new one, but after Mr. Carroll had mended,
In the Land of the Wee-Uns. 55
put in a new bowsprit and painted it, it certainly
looked as if it were. The name-Aurora-Sam
chose himself, and his father painted it on the stern.
The black letters stood out proudly: A Roarer,
and I think Mr. Carroll, Sam, and all their friends
preferred that way of spelling it to any other.
One day early in June, Sam went for an after-
noon's sail. He took his supper with him, as he
did not intend to return till high tide, at eight.
His mother felt no anxiety, for the day was mild,
and Sam was a good sailor. He could also swim,
and had with him a life-preserver. The boy sailed
out of the little land-locked harbor, toward the open
ocean beyond. He always felt relieved when his
boat shot out between the two high rocks which
guarded the narrow entrance, because the mine in
which his father worked extended far out under the:
bay, and it gave him an uncomfortable sensation,
to feel that he might be sailing over his father's
The A Roarer sailed on for an hour or more.
Then the wind which had been steady, suddenly
died away, the water became like glass, and the
56 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
boat lay there peacefully, unworthy her name ; but
even A Roarer can do nothing in a dead calm.
Sam looked about in every direction, but saw no
welcome ripple. On the horizon a long, murky line
marked the recent passage of an ocean-liner, but
no boat save his own was in sight on the empty,
glassy sea. It was terribly hot-Sam bathed his
face and hands, and then-I regret to say-did what
no boy should do when alone in a boat-fell fast
asleep, the sheet held tightly in his hand. He
slept for more than an hour. The mischievous
breeze in the meantime only waiting, apparently,
until the boy was sound asleep, sprang up and
filled the A Roarer's sail. Ah, ha," laughed the
waves, as they slapped against her sides, and
slapped against her sides, and faster and faster
the boat flew onward.
Suddenly Sam was aroused from his dangerous
sleep, by hearing a shrill cry. In an instant the
boy was fully awake, and looking up, found him-
self within a few feet of a group of pointed jagged
rocks toward which he was rapidly sailing I In
another moment he would have been dashed
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
against them, but he succeeded in bringing the
boat about just in time.
"A pretty close shave that," said a wee voice,
and then Sam looked up, and saw to his amaze-
ment, standing on one of the rocks, a tiny man,
not more than ten inches high. Rubbing his eyes,
he looked again, for he thought he must be dream-
ing. No, there stood the little figure, sharply out-
lined against the sky beyond. Lowering the sail,
the boy took his oars, and rowed cautiously near
the rock on which the little man was standing.
"Where did you come from? he asked.
"From my kingdom below," was the astonish-
ing answer; and the small figure was drawn proudly
erect till it was fully ten and a half inches high.
"I am a King, and who are you ?"
"Just a plain boy," said Sam. "I came from
Lanwyn, the village over there."
"What village? Over where?" asked the little
"There, behind me," said Sam, and turning,
was about to point it out, when he discovered that
there was no land in sight 1
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
About him on every side was water, nothing
but water. Sam's heart sank, when he realized
how far he must be from his home.
"Where am I?" he gasped.
"At the entrance to my kingdom," said His
"And may I come up on those rocks ?" asked
Sam, who hoped that from that height he might
be better able to see the land. At this, the Little
King seemed greatly alarmed, but said politely,
" I shall be delighted, Giant. That is, if you are
quite sure you are a gentle giant? "
Sam, though much amused at being called a
giant, said that he had always been considered
very kind and gentle. Then he remembered with
remorse that only the day before he had broken
his sister's doll. "That is, I mean to be so," he
At this, the Little King, who had awaited the
answer in anxiety, smiled pleasantly.
Fasten your ship here," he directed, pointing
to a sharp rock which was conveniently near the
bow. This Sam did, and was soon upon the ledge
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
eagerly scanning the horizon. Greatly to his re-
lief he could see land, although he judged it
must be some distance away. His Little Majesty
begged to be taken up, and was greatly excited on
being lifted to Sam's shoulder, where he stood
balancing himself, and holding firmly to the boy's
ear. After satisfying himself as to the direction in
which he was to sail, Sam began to examine the
ledge upon which he stood. This he found formed
a circle around a black, yawning abyss, into which
the boy looked with growing horror!
"My kingdom is down there," said the Little
King. "I wish you could visit it, but 't is against
Sam felt relieved to hear of this excellent law,
but, of course, he did not say so.
Do you really live in that hole ? he enquired.
"I do, Giant, but it is not a hole. Sit down
and I will tell you about it."
This Sam did, and the Little King, perching
himself fearlessly on the boy's knee, said:
"You are now on the top of a hollow moun-
tain, an extinct volcano."
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
"I remember," interrupted Sam, "hearing my
father say that in this direction, many years ago,
rocks were visible for a few hours, but that they
have never since been seen."
Your father was right," said the King, for
the mountain top is far under water-usually, but
this is an unusual day.
"It is, indeed," said Sam, heartily.
"Now," continued the King. "I own this
mountain, and am the monarch of a people who
live in it-the Wee-uns.' My kingdom is below,
inside the mountain, and bounded by its walls.
'Tis very large, for the mountain is many miles in
circumference. We are protected from the ocean
above by a heavy glass roof. Once in fifty years,
in half-century tide, the water recedes from the
abyss, and leaves these rocks standing high and
dry for a few hours. We then throw up a rope-
ladder, and by its means I climb here and sit
awhile. Then when the tide begins to rise, I
hurry down the ladder, and go into my kingdom,
shutting the door behind me, before the water
dashes down upon us. There is no danger of
In the Land of the Wee-Uns. 61
our being engulfed by it, for our country is, as
I said, roofed with glass, formed by the melting of
certain rock, while the mountain was burning ages
ago. When this cooled it formed a beautiful,
thick roof. I wish I could show it to you. But
if you look down, I think you may be able to see
the lights shining through it." Sam lay flat on his
face, and crawling to the edge of the pit looked
down, and sure enough, could see far, far below,
many twinkling lights. Just then the Little King
gave a loud cry, and began to jump up and down
"Look, look!" he screamed, and pointed out
Sam looked, then looked again, and his heart
sank like lead, for at some distance from him, and
drifting rapidly away, was his boat-A Roarer!
She was drifting so fast that there was no chance
for him to swim to her.
The water must have begun to rise, and have
slipped the rope off the rock," shouted the King.
"Poor Giant, poor Giant. You will be drowned I
No, you shall not be drowned, I will save you!
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
This time I will break the law. Come with me-
down to the land of the Wee-uns."
Go with you down there and not come up
again for fifty years ? cried the boy. I can't.
"You must, 't is your only chance for life.
But how can I get you down? Think you the
rope-ladder will bear your weight? Come, look
at it, and hurry, hurry, there is no time to lose.
The waters are rising rapidly, and in a few mo-
ments more will be upon us."
Sam saw that this was so, and that his only
chance to escape drowning was as the King had
said, to go down with him to his kingdom below.
To his surprise, on examining the rope-ladder
which was swaying back and forth over the abyss,
Sam, who, being a sailor, of course, knew a
good deal about ropes, found that it was strong
enough to bear his weight. The King descended
first, while Sam waited, gazing nervously at the
ever-rising water. My poor mother and father,"
he thought, they will think when A Roarer is
found, that I am drowned." Suddenly an idea
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
came to him. Taking his water bottle from his
pocket, he quickly emptied it, tore a scrap of paper
from an old letter, and with shaking hand scribbled:
Mother-Father-I 'm not drowned. Am all right. Will
return if possible. No time explain.
And indeed this was so, for when Sam had
stuffed the scrap of paper into the bottle, corked
it, and thrown it far into the sea, the water was
within a few inches of his feet.
Hearing a faint call from the Little King below,
he ran quickly to the rope-ladder, and slid gradu-
ally down, hand over hand. He could not, of
course, use the ladder as a ladder, as the rungs
were too near together, but they served as rests
for his hands, and prevented them from slipping.
So, clasping the rope with hands and legs, he went
down, down, down into the inky blackness. He
had no time to be afraid; he only remembered
that above him was death, while under him lay the
one chance of life. It became lighter as he reached
64 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
the glass roof, and heard the warning cry of the
Little King, "Hurry, hurry. Not a minute to lose."
He realized the truth of this, for just then the
first wave dashed over the rocks above, drenching
them with salt spray, and almost drowning the
poor Little King, who ran wildly toward the roof-
door, calling to Sam, This way. This way.
Sam, who had now reached the glass roof, hur-
ried quickly after him, falling once on the wet,
slippery surface. Another, and yet another wave
dashed over the rocks before Sam reached the
door. The King had already gone through, and
the instant he saw the boy, shouted, "Come in,
head first, Giant. We will pull you through."
Sam did as he was bid, and was relieved to
find that though with great difficulty, the little
people (and there seemed to the dazed boy to be
millions of them) did succeed in pulling him
through the round opening, shutting the door
with a "bang" behind him. And just in time,
too, for crashing, roaring, tumbling, down came the
water, shutting out the upper world for fifty years !
SAM'S appearance had caused great excite-
ment in the country, and the little people
from far and near, were hastening to get a look
at the monster giant, who had come among them.
So when Sam had recovered himself somewhat,
and looked about, he found himself surrounded
by thousands of little people, all of about the
same size as the King. None of them spoke,
but gazed and gazed at him with white, frightened
faces. Then his friend, the King, appeared. He
had removed his wet garments, and was arrayed
in the tiniest ermine robes of state, while on his
head was the wee-est, "royalest" crown imagina-
able. He was preceded by two boys, dressed in
bright scarlet, who walked before him drumming on
two wee drums, and shouting in very shrill voices:
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
Make way I Make way for the King of the
The crowd fell back, and his Little Majesty
stalked solemnly on, till he reached Sam.
Lift me," he commanded and in such a right
royal way, that the boy instantly obeyed, placing
the little creature on his knee.
"My people," said the King. "Be not afraid.
This Giant, monster though he is, is my friend,
and while he remains with us, is to be treated
as such. He is a Giant, that, of course, you see,
nor do I attempt to deny it. But I have talked
long with him in the upper world, and have found
him gentle and kind. Being so much larger, of
course, he must contain more gentleness and
kindness than one of us."
"Reasonable, most reasonable, Sire," mur-
mured the crowd. But one old man objected,
Kind he may be now, Sire. But is he kind
always? that is the question. Is he always kind
as we now see him ?"
And this was repeated again and again by the
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
crowd, who had evidently been talking the matter
over among themselves.
"If not," continued the old man, "may we
not be introducing a second Phoe-"
"Ssssh," said the King, warningly.
Nevertheless, he looked anxiously at Sam,
who said, "Little people, I can only say that I
was a kind, good boy at home, and I will try to
be more than ever so, while I am with you."
"Hurrah! Hurrah!" shouted all the mites
together. When the excitement was over, the
King told the story of what had happened to poor
Sam. How he had gone away from home, for
a pleasant afternoon's sail, and of his falling
asleep, and drifting to the crater-rocks. How he,
the King, had told him where to fasten his boat,
and having done so, how it had drifted away, leav-
ing him a prisoner. "It was my fault. Never
forget that," said the poor Little King. "I have
separated the poor boy from his family, who are
probably at this very moment searching for him.
Now, as the Giant-boy is here, all we can do is
to treat him kindly, and to supply, as far as
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
we are able, all his wants. What say ye, my
"That we will, Sire," shouted the little people,
enthusiastically, and to show their willingness and
loyalty, they one by one bowed low to Sam.
This ceremony over, Sam thanked the King
for his kindness, and was left to himself. Then the
poor boy began to think over the situation. His
only hope was that he might make a little boat,
and, going up with the King the next time he went
above, drag it after him and launch it. But he
must wait fifty years for this-for fifty years he
was banished from the world above. He would,
if he lived, be an old man when he again got his
liberty. His father and mother would both be
dead-he should never see them again. Throw-
ing himself flat on the ground, poor Sam sobbed
as if his heart would break.
An hour later darkness fell, and before long
silence reigned throughout the kingdom. All the
next day the boy thought only of his sad condi-
tion, and refusing food, sat upon the ground and
wept. The little people were much troubled, and
In the Land of the Wee-Uns. 69
in the afternoon the King appeared alone, and
spoke with the boy.
"I have been talking matters over with my
council," he said, "and this is our decision, Giant.
It is but natural that you should weep, but if you
weep much more you will become ill. Now, do
you think you would want to cry for more than
Sam could n't help smiling a little as he ad-
mitted that one week ought to be enough for
almost any grief.
That 's so. That's so," said the Little King.
"That being the case, I have appointed a crying-
guard for you."
A what ?" gasped Sam.
"Some men," explained the King, "whose
sole duty it shall be to cry for you. They are
good, hard-working, enthusiastic men, too. You
see," and here the King seated himself by the
boy, and crossed one little leg over the other, my
idea is to have one man cry for one day, and an-
other for another day, and so on, and, as there are
seven of them, that will give you a good solid
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
week's crying. And Giant, I have given orders
to have them do the crying in your presence, so
that you shall be quite satisfied. If any man
neglects his duty, just let me know."
Then without waiting for Sam's consent, the
Little King rose, and full of delighted importance,
Early the next morning a solemn little man
made his appearance. He was dressed entirely
in black, and carried a large bag. This bag he
opened, and from it took a handkerchief, which he
placed on the ground before him. Then another
and another he took out, till there were several
dozen in the pile. Then bowing low to Sam, he
seated himself, and said, Shall I begin, Sir ?"
Sam, who, although the tears were scarcely, as
yet, dry on his own cheeks, had been watching
these elaborate preparations with much amuse-
ment, nodded, and the small man began. Oh,
how he cried I How the big tears rolled down
his cheeks, while heavy sobs convulsed his little
frame. Meanwhile, Sam, overcome by his appear-
ance and the absurdity of the whole thing, began
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
to laugh. Instantly the man stopped his lamenta-
"Why do you laugh, Giant?" he demanded.
"I laugh because I am pleased," answered Sam.
Oh," said the little man, mollified. Every-
one says I am a pleasing Weeper," and he again
lifted up his voice and wept with renewed energy.
In about an hour the Little King appeared.
"How is he getting on ?" he whispered.
Finely," said Sam. "I don't believe any one
could do better."
The King seemed gratified. "He is a good
man," he admitted.
"Your Majesty," said Sam. "I am beginning
to be hungry. I should like something to eat and
drink. Cannot the man be trusted to go on weep-
ing if we leave him?"
Oh yes," whispered the King. "He does n't
need to be watched at all. I only suggested your
doing so for your own satisfaction. Perhaps you
would like to have him go with us and weep on
the way ? "
But Sam said he was quite content to leave the
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
weeper behind. Then he and the Little King
walked away, the King very happy at seeing the
boy had again begun to take an interest in life.
As for Sam, heavy-hearted as he felt, he had made
up his mind to keep his grief to himself, and to be
as brave and cheerful as possible. When they had
walked a sufficient distance from the noisy weeper,
the Little King said: "Sit here, Giant, and they
shall bring you food. And while you eat I will tell
you something of the country of the Wee-uns. It
is, as I told you, situated in the inside of this big
mountain. Ages and ages ago, it is said that there
was a raging fire here. What became of it, I don't
know. I suppose it burnt itself out, leaving only
a pile of ashes, and the empty shell of the moun-
tain. Within the memory of man, however, this
country has always been green and fertile as it is
now. You ask what became of the ashes ? Ah,
Giant, I know, but I will not pain you by telling
At this moment, ten Wee-uns appeared, carry-
ing trays on which were dishes containing food and
drink. Sam ate and drank eagerly of the delicious
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
food, although everything was strange to him.
When he had satisfied himself, he said: First tell
me, your Majesty, how you get light into your
kingdom ? In the upper world we get ours from
"And here," said the King, "we get ours from
the sun-fish It is better, too, for when it rains
your sun refuses to shine, while our sun-fish
does n't mind the weather-the wetter it is, the
better he shines. We have made a contract with a
certain company of sun-fishes to supply light to
this country for five thousand years; and so far
they have done well. Their light is steady and of
good quality. It takes ten fishes to light the whole
"And at night? asked Sam.
At night, of course, we don't want such a
bright light, and so we use star-fishes," said the
"And what were the twinkling lights I saw
when I looked down here from the rocks above? "
"When half-century tide comes, and the water
recedes, my people hang up glass globes filled with
74 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
water, in each of which is a star-fish, which makes
a very satisfactory light, during my absence," ex-
plained the King. "We tried once the experiment
of lighting our land by electricity. Our plan was,
you see, to place a glass tank, filled with electric
eels, directly over the roof of our country, and they
were to give us electric light. But it failed, I am
sorry to say, it failed You see, the eels positively
refused to go into the tanks. But the idea was a
good one, and so was the name: 'The Eelectric
Eelluminating Co.' The name was my own idea.
Neat, was n't it ? Neat and tasty' as the boy
said when he swallowed the mustard-pot. That
joke is my own, too-witty, is n't it ? and here
the Little King laughed so heartily that his crown
fell off. This recalled him to a sense of his dig-
nity, and he hurriedly put it on again, looking
around to see if any one had noticed the incident.
The King now proposed a walk through the
country, and suggested that he be carried on the
boy's shoulder, "for you see," he explained, "it
takes me several days to go around my kingdom
but you can accomplish it in as many hours."
AS long as Sam lives, he will never forget
that first walk through the land of the Wee-
uns, with his Little Majesty perched upon his shoul-
der. Over miniature hills and through miniature
valleys he strode, by wee gaily painted houses, not
bigger than bird-houses, and all imbedded in bright
flowers, which filled the air with perfume. The
kingdom proved to be much larger than Sam had
supposed. Directly in the middle was the King's
palace, a beautiful little building of white marble
with curved pillars of exquisitely carved walrus
tusks. Indeed, the whole structure was one mass
of superb carving. Seated at the entrance of the
palace were the King's wife and daughter. The
Princess was the most exquisite little creature Sam
had ever seen. The dearest little hands and feet,
76 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
the sweetest little mouth, and two long braids of
golden hair, hanging to her dainty little heels.
What would he not have given to take this fasci-
nating mite home to his sister for a living doll, to
replace the one he had broken ?
After Sam had been presented to the Queen
and Princess, the King and he resumed their walk,
continuing until they reached the rugged, sloping
walls of the mountain itself.
"Put me down here," commanded his Little
Majesty. Sam obeyed and the King, with pride,
called the boy's attention to the band of exquisite
carving on the rock, which extended to about two
feet above the ground. Sam gazed in astonish-
ment, for the work was really marvellous, looking
like a flounce of heavy, gray lace. The Little King
was pleased at his evident admiration. The
Wee-uns have always known the art of carving,"
he said. "It has been handed down from father
to son. This band of carving on the rock which,
by the way, extends entirely round the country,
except where the Phoe-ahem!" said the King,
interrupting himself. As I was saying, this band
In the Land of the Wee-Uns. 77
of carving was begun in the reign of my great,
great grandfather, and finished in the early part of
mine. I have often wished that the band had ex-
tended up a bit farther, but it was not considered
safe to make the ladders much longer."
I never saw anything so beautiful," said Sam,
"and I am sure no country in the world was ever
surrounded by anything of the sort" (which was
Indeed?" said the King, who was evidently
Your Majesty," said Sam, "an idea has just
come to me. I shall probably live here among
you for many years, and of course, I want to work,
too. Now, why can't I act as a ladder for your
workmen ? I will stand near the wall, and they
can climb on me, and go on with their carving,
bringing up the band as high as you like. And
perhaps, if they are willing to teach me, I can do
some of the first rough work for them. They used
to think at home that I whittled beautifully."
The King clapped his tiny hands in delight,
and that evening after the sun-fishes had gone,
78 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
and the star-fishes shone softly through the glass
roof above, filling the whole place with their mel-
low light, the King called his subjects together,
and from Sam's knee, now his favorite throne, told
them of the boy's plan. It was received with wild
enthusiasm, and the carpenters were given orders
at once, to make two benches which, suspended
by a rope, were to hang from the Giant's neck.
The carvers did not get to their work for two
weeks, as the benches had to be made, and some
of their tools for working on the rock, were bro-
ken, and had to be mended.
So, in the two weeks, Sam had time to get
well acquainted with the Wee-uns and their coun-
try. He found the little people fascinating. They
were the best tempered, most loving little creatures
imaginable, never quarrelling, and always trying to
help each other in every way. If Sam had only had
his father, mother, and sister with him, he would
have been a very happy boy. They were all ex-
tremely kind to him, and tried in every way to make
him feel that it was a pleasure rather than a burden
to them to have him there. This was not only on
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
account of their king's commands, or because they
felt that had it not been for him, the boy would
never have come to them, but from real kindness
of heart and sympathy with his sad situation.
It was no easy matter to supply the "Giant"
with food, but they never let Sam suspect this, and
he ate their loaves of bread, each one but a mouth-
ful for him, with calmness of mind. The Wee-uns
did not have meat, and so did n't eat any. They
had a great many other good things, however, and
Sam, who had a fine appetite, enjoyed them all.
For drinks they had water, and a most delicious
sea gruel-unlike anything that is, or can be made,
in the upper world. The Wee-uns women had
made for Sam a mattress stuffed with dry grass,
so that his nights were more comfortable than they
had been at first.
It had been a most difficult matter to find a
place in the village, long and level enough for him
to lie on in comfort. He was very uncomfortable
the first night, and found the next morning that
his left leg had been resting on the chimney of the
public library At last with the King's help a suit-
8o In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
able spot was chosen, but in lying down to try it, it
was found that the schoolhouse was in the way.
"Giant," said the King, "if you can lie bent
for a few nights I will have it moved over there."
Will your Majesty allow me to move it ?"
asked Sam, and without more ado, he lifted the
little structure, and placed it quickly and firmly on
the spot which the King had indicated. The King
and the people stood there with mouths wide open
from astonishment at the Giant's strength. But, as
it happened, Sam forgot that there might be people
in the schoolhouse. There were. It was filled
with children, as school was going on at the time,
and after the building was set down again, poor
little white frightened faces kept appearing at the
windows. Sam apologized for his thoughtlessness,
but it took hours before they recovered from their
After this incident, if any one in the country
wanted to move, he applied to Sam, and in a
twinkling, without bother of packing, his residence
was placed where he wished to have it. And it
really seemed as if every one wanted to move, for
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
a month later, scarcely a house was to be found in
its original position. Not only in this way did
Sam make himself useful, but if any one wanted a
tree moved, no matter how big it was, he had but
to say the word, and up it came, as if the roots
had been buttered.
On one of Sam's walks, he almost stepped on
a child, not seeing it at all, so after that a little
chair was fastened on each boot, in which sat a
Wee-un, who accompanied him always, wherever
he went. Each Wee-un was provided with a horn
on which he blew vigorous, mighty blasts to warn
people that the Giant was coming.
During his first week in the country, Sam went
each morning to look at the little Weepers, who
were still sobbing and shrieking enthusiastically in
his behalf. He had told the King, after seeing the
first man cry, that he was quite willing to take the
will for the deed and not trouble the other six to
finish out the week; but the King said he could
not countermand the order. The others would be
greatly offended if he did. You see," he con-
fessed, not only are the men themselves extremely
82 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
sorry for you, but I am to give a prize to the man
who does the best work."
So for seven days the King and Sam watched
each morning for an hour, and in the end the
prize, a big sea fruit pie, was given to one of the
little Weepers. Sam, in addition, gave each a
bright colored marble, which he fortunately hap-
pened to have in his pocket. This gift pleased
them immensely, and people came from far and
near to look at the strange glass globes which the
Giant had given.
ONE day Sam was walking with the Little
King when he heard a hoarse, roaring
noise, which greatly alarmed him.
"What is that, Your Majesty?" he enquired.
The King was much amused at Sam's evident
"Don't be afraid, Giant," he said. "That is
only our air pipe, which we keep stored at one end
of the country and once a year put up through the
round opening in the roof. First, the bad used-up
air escapes through it, and then I push a lever, and
down rushes the fresh air which lasts us for twelve
months." (The kind-hearted little King did not
tell the boy that he had given orders this year to
take in a double quantity, on account of the Giant's
presence.) "We only do this once a year and in
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
summer, for my subjects prefer the warm, bright,
summer air," he added.
Sam, expressing a wish to see the pipe,
walked with the Little King till he stood near.
The roaring of the air in the pipe had now become
deafening, and Sam's two little foot-guards had
hard work to make the men who were working
on it, hear the warning horn-blasts. His Majesty
shrieked into Sam's ear, "Put me down. It is
time, I see, for me to push the lever."
The boy lifted him carefully down, and in a
most unkingly way his Majesty scampered to the
pipe. Sam then knelt down, and saw him push
a lever at one side. Instantly the roaring ceased.
In a moment the fresh air will come rushing
in," said the King.
I don't understand how it is done," said
No," said the King, "I fear it is too compli-
cated for any one to understand-unless, indeed,
he has royal blood in his veins. Have you royal
blood in your veins, Giant?"
"No," confessed the boy.
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
Not even one drop? asked His Little Maj-
esty, anxiously. "Well then, I fear that you will
never be able to understand this matter thoroughly
in detail. You can, however, understand that the
bad air goes, and the fresh air comes and-" Here
his Majesty's voice was drowned by the rush of the
oncoming air. Oooooh how it roared. Sam,
looking up through the roof, could see the big pipe,
swaying from side to side, in huge coils, like an
immense, impossible serpent. He walked on with
the King, and when they were far enough from
the deafening roar to hear each other speak, he
asked how long the pipe was.
I don't know exactly," was the answer.
" They used to keep it coiled round the kingdom
till we found it interfered with the carvers."
"Do you ever let it out to its full length?"
asked the astonished boy.
"Indeed, we do. I often let it skirt the shores
of foreign countries, for I think 't is a good thing
for us all, to occasionally have the benefit of a
decided change of air, don't you ? *
"Yes," answered Sam, absently, for he was
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
thinking of something. "Your Majesty," he then
said, an idea has suddenly come to me. What
you have just told me may explain something that
has puzzled men of all countries for years past.
Sailors and men on shore have often seen what
they took to be a huge snake, writhing and cir-
cling in the water. It is so tremendously big,
that they fly from it in terror. It is called the
'Sea-Serpent,' and those who have not seen it
laugh at those who have, for the stories they tell
of the creature's size are so incredible. Now, I
think that the great Sea-Serpent about which we
have heard so much, is neither more nor less than
your long black air-pipe And Sam laughed
heartily, while the Little King almost rolled from
the boy's shoulder, so great was his merriment.
The following morning, Sam began his work
as a walking ladder. The benches were hung
about his neck, and a swarm of Wee-uns crawled
up and took their places. Then cautiously the
boy walked the few steps to the spot on the wall
where the work was to begin, the foot-guards toot-
ing their little horns merrily, and the people on
In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
the ground and the carvers themselves shouting
Sam stood for an hour while the little men
worked, then rested, ate dinner, and stood for an-
other hour in the afternoon. At first it was tire-
some, but he soon became accustomed to it, and
was glad to think that he was doing anything for
this kind, loving, little people. At last, as he
suggested, they taught him to do some of the
rough, heavy work himself, preparing the way for
the exquisite finish, which they added. Their
carving was a never-ending wonder and delight
to the boy, and his loudly expressed admiration
was very pleasing to them.
They had grown extremely fond of him, and
he was becoming at least contented, although his
heart was heavy indeed when he thought of his.
dear father and mother, his loved sister and his
And so days, weeks, and months slipped away.
The days busy with work and the evenings spent
in pleasant talk together; Sam, hearing the his-
tory of the Wee-uns as far back as they knew
88 In the Land of the Wee-Uns.
it, and the Wee-uns themselves listening open-
mouthed to his stories of the upper world. Many
things were absolutely strange to them, which he,
having seen all his life, took as a matter of course.
He taught them much, for they were eager to learn.
In after years, Sam often recalled those evenings,
and again fancied himself seated there, the King
on his knee, and surrounded by the eager little
people, who sat in silent, interested rows, listen-
ing to his stories, while the star-fishes twinkled
softly over their heads.
ONE night, Sam could not sleep, and as he
lay there in the stillness, he thought of
his father and mother, till one by one the big tears
rolled down his cheeks, and he cried as if his heart
Now, the Little King happened to be restless,
too, and walking near the boy's bed, heard his
sobs. Hastening to him, he climbed up and gen-
tly stroked his hand, saying, Giant, dear Giant,
are you grieving for your home ?"
The boy said Yes," but added that no one
could be kinder than the dear Wee-uns, and that
were it not for his people he should be very happy
"Well, Giant," said the Little King, wiping
the sympathetic tears from his own eyes, "let us