ELLEN MONTGOMERY'S BOOKC-SHELF.
ELLEN MONTGOMERY S
THE AUTHOR OFTHEWIDE WIDE WORLD, OUEECHY \ .
~;. ? .
BY THE AUTHORS OF
" The Wide, Wide World," Queechy,"" The Two School Girls."
WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
ELLEN MONTGOMERY'S BOOKSHELF.
THOSE people who ever knew Ellen Montgomery, will
remember, perhaps, her friend, Miss Alice; and perhaps
remember, too, that in Miss Alice's bookcase at the par-
sonage, Ellen found a supply of pleasure for her reading-
time. There were Cook's Voyages, and Plutarch's Lives,
and divers other books-with which she used to delight her-
self, in those days when yet she was living with Miss
Fortune. All this was told about in the history of Ellen
which has been published. But it was not told in that
history, as indeed no book can tell quite everything, that
there were a few of Miss Alice's early childish books, for
which, as well as for the grander works mentioned above,
Ellen Montgomery had a great favour; and not Ellen
Montgomery alone, but Ellen Chauncey, also. When she
had once read them, Ellen by degrees gathered them all
down from the upper part of the bookcase, and stowed
them away by themselves, on a short shelf near the bot-
tom, where she could easily and at any time get at them;
IV ELLEN MONTGOMERY'S BOOKSHELF.
Miss Alice having cleared out for her the books that used
to stand there before.
And it fell out one time, that Mr. John, having brought
home a set of new books, was looking for a place to put
them, and happened upon the row of Ellen's favourites.
" What do these children's books down here, Alice ?" said
he, pulling them out; the place for these is at the top."
" Oh, stop, you mustn't, John," said his sister-" that is
Ellen Montgomery's Bookshelf." And Mr. John smiled,
and put the books back again in due order; though not so
well but that Ellen, the next time she came, found that
somebody had been meddling with them. For she had
left Mr. Rutherford's Children" at one end, and The
Christmas Stocking" next it; and now "The Christmas
Stocking" was at the end, and Casper" next, and Mr.
Rutherford's Children" in the middle.
It is possible, I suppose, that other children might like
what Ellen liked. But these books of hers cannot be
found now at any of the book-shops; so we will give out
the first volume of Mr. Rutherford's Children" (there
are several volumes) by way of trial; and if that is liked
well enough, "The Christmas Stocking;" and in time,
maybe, the whole bookshelf. I hope they will be liked,
because else the Bookshelf" will never be finished; and
unfinished things are disagreeable.
I am the friend of all Ellen Montgomery's friends,
I THINK it necessary to come to the help of the Public.
Lest Miss Wetherell should not have her dues, they are
giving her the dues of every one else;, and whatever my
hand may have to do on Ellen Montgomery's Bookshelf,"
there it is-even though a discerning Public" perceive it
not. No matter for that-I had as soon be behind the
books as before them; but must enter my protest against
facts which are no facts.
Therefore, kind Public, Messrs. Editors, and friends in
general, I propose this division of the volumes; by which
my sister and I will each in turn have written them all.
Whatever book or part of a book you particularly like,
thank Miss Wetherellfor it; and let all those pages which
are less interesting be charged to the account of
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
I. WHERE THEY LIVED
II. THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER
III. CHERRY AND DASH, AND WHERE THEY WENT.
IV. THE WET STRAWBERRIES
V. HEADACHE AND LOCUST FLOWERS
VI. WHAT SHALL I GIVE ?
VII. SYBIL'S BIRTHDAY .
VIII. CHICKENS AND EGGS .
IX. THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR
X. CATS AND CRACKERS
XII. A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL
XIII. THE CURIOSITY BOX
XIV. CHRYSSA AND HER COUSIN.
XV. GOING PLEASURING.
XVI. THE END OF THE SUMMER.
XVII. WINTER QUARTERS.
XVIII. WINTER DRESSES
XIX. HOUSE BURNINGS
XX. THE LEAF-CUTTER'S STORY.
XXII. THE CHIMNEY-SWEEP AND THE FISHERS 158
XXIII. SEEDS OF HAPPINESS
XXV. THE CARRIER PIGEON
XXVI. CHRYSSA'S FOUR VISITS
XXVII. TWO OR THREE THINGS
XXVIII. KITTY WHITEFOOT .
CARL KRINKEN; OR, THE CHRISTMAS
THE STORY OF THE THREE APPLES
,, ,, THE PENNY
,, ,, THE PURSE
,, ,, THE TWO SHOES
,, ,, THE PINE-CONE .
,,, THE HYMN-BOOK
,, ,, THE CORK BOAT
,, THE STOCKING ITSELF
ICEi TERS I. TO XVI.
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
WHERE THEY LIVED.
WILD-ROSE-LANE ran down from Dusty-turnpike to the
sea-shore, but, as you might suppose, it was a long dis-
tance between the two. No one who saw the clouds of
dust on the turnpike, or the sparkling of the blue water
of the sea, would think there could be a straight road
from the one to the other. To say the truth, the lane was
not straight. For a while after it left the turnpike its
course was pretty direct, but then you might have thought
that the lane was sometimes sociable and sometimes soli-
tary in its taste; for it would run off on purpose to meet
a queer-looking little brown house with ever so many
children, and pigs, and chickens, and a little black dog
that barked at everything but the lane; and then, as if
the lane itself were quite disgusted, it would take a short
turn into the cool quiet woods. It was a wonder it did not
stay there always.
A great many things lived by the side of this lane. And
first there were the wild roses, which grew finely and just
as they felt inclined-wandering about after the lane's ex-
ample., They climbed over the fence and hung down their
heads to look through it; and they laid their little red
cheeks on the rails, and on the posts, and sometimes on
the green bank below; only the buds stood up quite
straight to look about them. They were very plain common
roses, with four or five red petals and a great yellow centre;
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
but they were very sweet, nevertheless, and now and then
their perfume came up even to Dusty-turnpike.
Among the roses the little birds built their nests, and
lived there with the thorns to protect them. Nobody could
see the nests from the lane; only you could see the birds
lighting upon the roses, and then creeping into some little
place where there must have been something in the shape
of a house. The song-sparrows had bluish eggs, with brown
speckles all over; and the chipping-birds had light-blue
eggs, with dark spots at one end. Nobody ever disturbed
them, for the lane was very quiet; and when the rose-leaves
fell down upon the eggs, there was nothing to brush them
off but the wind, and that could hardly get in, the hedge
was so thick.
A great many butterflies lived in the lane; and the bees
did not live there exactly, but they came every day, and
then went back to the hive at night; and there were some
caterpillars too, but that there always will be where there
are butterflies, and the birds had the less trouble to get
their breakfasts. Only the little chipping-birds had a very
nice taste, and preferred bread; and they used to fly off to
Mr. Rutherford's house, and pick up the crumbs that were
shaken from the tablecloth and swept out of the door.
For Mr. Rutherford lived by the side of Wild-Rose-lane;
and he thought there were no butterflies so merry, and no
red-cheeked roses so sweet, as Sybil and Chryssa, his two
little daughters. They were not really his daughters,
though he called them so, and though he loved them; and
they loved him as if he had been their father, but he was
only their father's brother
Sybil and Chryssa were orphans. Before they were old
enough to know and feel the sorrow or the loss, God took
away both their parents from earth to heaven; and indeed
there was no reason to feel sorrow, for the children were as
well taken care of as they could be; and their father and
mother had loved God, and tried to serve Him while they
were here, and had prayed Him to forgive them for Christ's
sake; and the Bible says, that "whosoever believeth in
Him hath eternal life."
WHERE THEY LIVED.
Mr. Rutherford's house stood just by the side of the
lane. It was large and white, with a front piazza and a
back piazza, and a great many windows. From some of
these windows you could look far away, over green mea-
dows and streams of water, to where the sun used to set
in summer; but in winter it went down behind a clump of
pine-trees. In front of the house you could see very little
way-there was just the lawn and the hedge, and then on
the other side of the lane there were a great many cherry-
trees that stood up so straight that their heads seemed
to touch the sky. It was quite wonderful that the boys
who used to climb up after the cherries never seemed
All about the lawn in front of Mr. Rutherford's house
there were a great many flowers; and behind the house,
though there were no flowers, there was another green
lawn, which stretched away till it fell in with a grove of
locust-trees. Beyond the grove the hill was very steep,
and at the foot there stood the barns and carriage-house.
Farther still, outside the barn-yard, was the cow's green
meadow and the brook where the water-cresses grew.
Within doors it was no less pleasant. The drawing-
room was oval-shaped, and had three windows. Here
stood a little tea-table, a large old-fashioned mahogany
sofa with chairs to match, and two little benches-the
favourite seats of Mr. Rutherford's children. The paper
on the walls had a yellow ground, with large bunches of
green flowers; brass andirons stood in the open fireplace;
there were vases of artificial flowers on the mantelpiece,
and a great many flowers in the green carpet.
In the back parlour were two pantries, a brown carpet,
a sideboard instead of a sofa, and maple chairs instead of
mahogany. There were two benches here also, and on
one of these Chryssa seated herself the first day of her
arrival, and, looking up at the vases, said, Well, this is a
fine house !"
But, when I say her arrival, I mean only her return
home after a winter spent in town, when she was of that
happy age which forgets between autumn and spring. For
4 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
in this house had Chryssa spent the most of her short life,
and even Sybil could remember little of any other. Here
had Mr. Rutherford's children lived all the years that their
father and mother had been in heaven; and God had
watched over them, and kept them alive, and well and
happy. They did not always think who it was that took
such care of them, that gave them sleep at night, and let
them awake every morning to such pleasant days; they
did not know that God never forgot them-that He took
much better care of the two little helpless children than
their father and mother could have done; yet it was so.
And Mr. Rutherford's children were very happy. Plain
and simple as everything was at Rose-hill, Chryssa found
enough to admire; whether she studied the green lilies
of the valley on the drawing-room paper, or the many
colours in the drawing-room carpet; and in the garden
there was always something beautiful. To look at the
dark blue spider-flower and wonder whence came its name;
to find the little red and white poppies and the merry-
faced johnny-jumpers springing up in the gravel walk;
and, above all, to stand and watch the evening primroses
at sunset, and give them one of her gentle breaths when
they did not open fast enough, these were never-failing
The two children slept in a large room over the back
parlour, with only a closet between it and their aunt's
room. Their own room was the pleasantest, Chryssa
thought, for it had three windows; and she was very
fond of the great mahogany bedstead where they slept,
and of the polished brass andirons where she used to see
the odd reflexion of her own face, and the green wire
fender with its brass top-rail all studded with brass knobs,
like the turrets on a battlement.
It is evening in this room; and on the edge of the bed
kneels a very little child, while in front of her-standing
and making of her arms and herself a sort of barricade-
is a girl some years older. And what are they doing ?
The elder child is trying to teach the younger her first
prayer; and the baby-as I may almost call her-some-
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER. 5
what unwillingly, and with a very slight sense of the
meaning and importance of the words, repeats after her
sister, in her own broken English:
"Our Father which art in Heaven."
And this was the first thing that little Chryssa could re-
member about herself.
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER.
IT was summer weather, and Chryssa wore no stockings,
but only little high morocco shoes tied round the ankle.
Thus it happened one morning, that while Sybil still sat
on the floor busy covering her bare feet, Chryssa sprang
up, exclaiming, Ah, I have got done first !"
Good reason why," said Sybil; "you have no stock-
ings to put on. But I wonder what you call done,'-look
at your shoe-strings."
Because I don't know how to tie a bow-knot; and if
I tie them in a hard knot they'll never come out. Oh!
here is a little stone got into my shoe. Wouldn't it be
nice to wear bare feet?-so cool."
But nobody does, except poor children," said Sybil.
Oh yes," said Chryssa; the chickens have bare feet
-and the cats."
No, the cats have stockings," said Sybil; "fur stock-
How nice that would be," said Chryssa, laughing. I
wish I was a cat."
I don't wish you were," said Sybil, because then
I should be one too."
"Then we'd be two kittens," said Chryss"'s "with
whiskers and fur stockings."
"And claws," said Sybil.
No, we wouldn't have any claws," said Chryssa, be-
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
cause you know we shouldn't want to scratch anybody.
And we wouldn't have green eyes either. But oh, Sybil,
won't you show me how to tie a bow-knot ?"
And sitting down on the floor opposite her sister, the
two little feet were stretched out with the dangling shoe-
Now do you see ?" said Sybil. You make a loop of
this one so, and put the other round so, and- "
But I can't see so exclaimed Chryssa. You must
come close beside me."
Oh yes you can," said Sybil, as she drew the knot.
" Now you can tie the other one in the same way."
I can't-I don't know how. You must come here and
No, indeed," said Sybil, you can see perfectly well if
you will only take the trouble." And up she got and
began to brush her hair; while Chryssa sat looking at her
outstretched feet, the tied shoe and the untied shoe, with
a very doubtful face.
Why, Chryssa, what is the matter, that you look so
disconsolate?" said Mrs. Rutherford, as she threw open
the closet door and came in. There isn't a bit of fog
out of doors this morning: how comes there to be any in
What does the fog do ?" said Chryssa, looking up with
a brightened face.
"The fog makes the blue sky look grey and the sun
look dim, and everything else dark and uncomfortable."
Except the spiders' webs," said Chryssa. Ah, Aunt
Esther, you forget how bright they look with the dew-
drops on them."
Well, but are your eyelashes spiders' webs ?" said her
aunt, as she took Chryssa up on her lap.
No, indeed," said Chryssa, laughing and shaking her
head about; "but you see, Aunt Esther, I didn't know
how to tie a bow-knot, and Sybil wouldn't show me so that
I could learn."
"So that you would learn," said Sybil.
"There is a verse in the Bible," said Mrs. Rutherford,
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER. 7
who was quietly tying the other shoe, which says, Little
children, love one another.' "
Chryssa looked down at her shoes, and Sybil brushed
her hair more earnestly than ever.
I think there's a verse in the Bible for almost every-
thing," she said at last; "but then one never remembers
them at the right time. I can think of plenty of verses
Aunt Esther, did you ever learn the whole Bible by
heart ?" inquired Chryssa.
No, love, I never did."
"What an idea!" said Sybil. I don't believe anybody
I believe some people have done it," said her aunt.
"But without learning the whole Bible, Sybil, you and
Chryssa might learn one verse every day, and see how well
you can obey it."
That would be so nice," said Chryssa. "What verse
shall we learn to-day?-' Little children, love one an-
"Yes," said her aunt, smiling, "I think that will do
Chryssa jumped down from her seat, and then she
danced all the way down stairs, and into the garden to bid
the flowers good morning. Nothing could be more fresh
and lovely than they all were; and as she walked along
from mosspink to periwinkle, her admiration was too
great to be spoken; she could only fold her hands and
look at the beauties with a very grave little face indeed.
But by the time she had gone once round the lawn the bell
Oh, Aunt Esther !" she cried, as she ran in, there's
such a beautiful sweet-william out!-with pink stripes and
dark in the middle."
The family were all gathered in the back parlour for
prayers, but Chryssa was in no mood for anything quiet;
and though she did keep still until prayers were over, she
came singing to the breakfast-table, and while a blessing
was asked her eyes went out of the window
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
It so happened that one of the chipping-birds had
already come from the lane to get crumbs; and he hopped
about the piazza, and gave Chryssa a look out of his little
bright eyes that was quite irresistible. Chryssa laughed.
That was very naughty," said Mr. Rutherford, gravely
though gently, when he had concluded.
Chryssa coloured and hung her head.
I saw a bird in the piazza," she said, and it looked
at me, and I laughed."
We hold down our heads," replied her uncle, that
we may see nothing to make us forget that we are speak-
ing to God. We cannot expect him to bless us if we think
of something else while we ask for his blessing."
Chryssa understood and remembered, and never again
listened with open eyes.
Breakfast over, Mr. Rutherford began to make ready for
town, and the children ran off to do their part of the pre-
paration. This was to get the prettiest rose that could be
found on either of their own little monthly-rose bushes;
for they never forgot that their uncle liked to have one in
his button-hole as he drove down to the city; and there
was generally quite a consultation as to which rose was
the largest, and pinkest, and sweetest. This morning the
best was found upon Chryssa's bush, and she followed her
uncle to the willow-tree where the gig stood, with the rose
in her hand and some request in her mouth which was the
subject of a long confidential whisper.
"What were you talking about?" said Sybil, as Mr.
Rutherford drove off, and Chryssa came skipping back
from the willow-tree.
Oh, never mind-you mustn't ask. Suppose we go
and look for those queer flowers in the grass-and oh,
Sybil, let's watch the little bird on her nest; but we'll
find the flowers first."
The flowers grew on a long stalk here and there among
the grass. The grass was pretty tall now too, though not
ready for mowing; but these particular flowers that the
children were so fond of, were taller still, and lifted their'
purple heads above the green blades of grass modestly
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER. 9
enough, perhaps, but still in a very decided manner. The
flower itself was quite pretty, but the plant's chief attrac-
tion lay in the stem.
See, here is a fine one, Chryssa," said Sybil, when
they had run about for a few minutes. Chryssa stood
eagerly by to watch while her sister broke off the flower.
From the end of the stem came out some large drops
that looked like very thick milk : Sybil held that end in
the sunshine, and immediately the white drops began to
grow yellowish, then orange, and then of so deep a colour
that they looked more like molasses than milk. At this
point the flower was thrown away and a fresh one sought
The bees were humming around the white clover, and
the butterflies were flitting lazily about in a dainty sort of
a way; and the birds in the hedge sang as if their throats
were full of music. The children ran about till they were
tired, and then jumped into the long grass and lay down.
And the grass stood up straight on all sides of them, so
that all anybody could see at first was a broken place in
the grass; then they could find what looked like a picture
of Sybil and Chryssa in a pretty green frame.
How pleasant it is!" said Chryssa, shutting up her
eyes quite tight. I don't want to go in ever-do you?"
"I don't know," said Sybil. "I suppose I might, some
time or other. If it were tea-time-and we had straw-
berries for tea."
Oh, if it were tea-time," said Chryssa,-" but that's a
great way off. And I don't care about dinner much."
I wonder what the little bird's doing," said Sybil, and
how she gets on with her nest. Suppose we go and see."
Well, suppose we do," said Chryssa.
So they got up and left their own little nests in the
grass, and went to the house and into the front parlour.
The window at which they placed themselves opened upon
the piazza, along the front of which roses and honeysuckles
stretched and twined themselves, supported by two or three
iron chains. Among the leaves and flowers by which the
chains were quite hidden, a little brown bird was building
10 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
her nest. The children stood perfectly quiet, hardly daring
to stir for fear of frightening her, and watched the pro-
gress of the work. The nest was nearly finished. Little
sticks, and twigs, and stalks of hay, were nicely plaited
together, to make a rough-looking little teacup-rough on
the outside, but within there were no twigs allowed to show
themselves, only dry grass; and now the bird brought long
horse-hairs and wove them in, to make the nest still softer.
Then she sat on the edge of the nest with her head a little
on one side, lost in doubt or admiration-Chryssa could
not tell which.
What do you suppose birdie is thinking of ?" said she,
Thinking how nice her nest looks, maybe," said Sybil.
" There she goes !"
She .was gone a longer time than usual, the children
thought, and they were talking very earnestly about the
reason; but when they looked again, there she sat on the
edge of the nest, and in her bill a little white feather. She
turned her head about two or three times, gave a little
low chirp, and then jumped down into the nest, feather
The nest must be almost done now," said Chryssa,
joyfully, because birdie is making her bed."
"Miss Chryssa," said Janet, who had come into the
room without being noticed, so busy were eyes and thoughts
with the bird. Miss Chryssa, here is something for you,
miss. Michael is just come home with the gig a minute
ago, and he brought it."
"For me ?" said Chryssa, "what can it be 1 Are you
sure it's for me, Janet?"
That's what Michael says, miss."
Do open it," Chryssa," said her sister.
Chryssa unfolded one corner of the parcel, and imme-
diately hugged it up to her breast with a face of great
"How very good !" she cried. Oh, I'm so glad 1
Uncle Ruth is too good !"
"But what is it?"
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER. 11
Why, you see," said Chryssa, "I asked him-but I
didn't think he'd do it to-day-to get a little silk hand-
kerchief for Aunt Esther; and then as soon as he got to
town he bought one and made Michael bring it home. Isn't
But what made you ask him ?"
"Because I heard her say she wanted one, and I
thought I should like to give it to her. And you see,"
continued Chryssa, as she undid the parcel, it's perfectly
beautiful! I like the colour so much-it's straw-colour;
and it's fringed too. Come, let's go and give it to her."
And they ran away up-stairs, where all the exclamations
of pleasure were again and again repeated.
The children had finished all their lessons and eaten
their dinner; and now the sun was sinking slowly down
in the west, and the long shadows lay across the lawn from
one side to the other. Everything looked a little weary
and quiet. The countrymen drove down the lane in their
waggons which had looked so spruce and clean when they
went to market in the morning; but now the wheels were
muddy, and the rest of the waggon splashed and soiled,
and the horses hung down their heads and trotted slowly
along; and even the countrymen looked tired, till they
remembered that they were going home to tea, and then they
touched their horses with the whip to make them go faster.
The chickens had finished their tea, and were sauntering
along to bed, but stopping to eat everything they found
by the way; and the birds were looking for a nice roosting-
place in the trees; and some of the flowers were folding
up their pretty leaves, while the evening primroses were
just beginning to open their eyes, which were too weak to
bear the sunlight. Up in the sky the clouds were bright
with red, and gold-colour, and purple, that did not look
as if they could ever sleep; yet they too would by-and-by
be grey and quiet like all the rest.
Sybil sat in the drawing-room window reading "Northern
Regions," and Chryssa stood by her side with Original
Poems" in her hand, but just then she was looking out of
the window. For the little bird seemed inclined to try
12 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
her feather-bed, and she had got into the nest and out
again about half a dozen times; fidgeting, and chirping,
and hopping about as if she did not know what to do with
herself. Chryssa watched her with great interest, then
she heard the gate at the foot of the lawn open and shut.
Sybil heard it too, and looked out.
There comes Mr. McIlvaine, Aunt Esther," she said.
Who is Mr. Mcllvaine ?" said Chryssa, standing up
on her toes to see the better.
Why, our minister, that preaches to us every Sunday,"
said Sybil, going back to Northern Regions."
Aunt Esther," said Chryssa, who was endeavouring to
make up her mind how she liked Mr. McIlvaine out of the
pulpit, do all ministers wear black clothes?"
"A great many of them-perhaps all.''
And do they all look so grave, as if they didn't feel
But Mrs. Rutherford had no time to answer this difficult
question, for the visitor came in and took his seat by the
Chryssa eyed him with some distrust: neither black
clothes nor grave looks quite suited her taste; and Mr.
Mclvaine was not destined this day to grow in her favour.
For a while she looked at him with a face as grave as his
own, and then going to the sofa, she began softly to slide
down hill" upon one of its round cushions; and her mind
being thus happily diverted from all sublunary affairs, she
was greatly astonished when Mr. McIlvaine suddenly turned
round and addressed himself to her.
How many eyes have you, Chryssa ?" said he.
Nobody could have mistaken the number of Chryssa's
eyes at that moment. The question was asked just when
she and the cushion had pleasantly reached the ground
together; but without making any attempt to regain her
place on the sofa, Chryssa sat still on the cushion, and
opening her eyes very wide indeed, answered:
"And how many ears ?" said Mr. Mclvaine, without
smiling in the least.
THE BIRDS, THE CRAVAT, AND THE MINISTER. 13
Chryssa thought for a minute, to make sure she had the
right number, and said, as before, Two, sir."
"And only one mouth, have you? How many ?"
The little mouth said very softly, One."
You have two eyes, and two ears, and only one mouth;
-then you should see a great deal, and hear a great deal,
and say very little."
Chryssa looked exceedingly mystified, but ventured no
reply, and the sofa cushion was left to take care of itself
for the rest of the visit; while she sat with her hands
folded, only resting herself now and then by changing
their position, and putting sometimes the right hand on
the top and sometimes the left, or by drawing a very soft
At last the visitor went away, and then the tongue began
to assert its rights.
Aunt Esther, was I making any noise?"
Not the least."
Then what made him say that to me?"
I suppose he thought it was a good thing for children
to know and remember."
You don't think so, Aunt Esther," said Chryssa,
leaning her arms upon Mrs. Rutherford's lap, and looking
up in her face. You like to have me talk and ask ques-
Yes, dear, always. But strangers mightn't like it so
well-they might call it troublesome."
I shall never ask him any," said Chryssa; and I
didn't, either. But, Aunt Esther, when I said there was a
little grease-spot on Mrs. Anable's frock, she said children
shouldn't have such sharp eyes."
Don't you think the tongue had something to do there,
Chryssa ?" said her aunt, smiling.
Yes," said Sybil, you know you are to see a great deal
more than you tell."
So I did," said Chryssa; "there were two grease-
spots. And I thought it was very kind to tell her of
"I have no doubt of your good intentions, my dear,"
14 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
said Mrs. Rutherford, but by-and-by you will understand
the difference between other people's business and your
own. And for the present try never to hear what you are
not wanted to hear, nor to say anything that will trouble
anybody; then your little ears and tongue will be in pretty
"And how about the eyes, Aunt Esther ?" said Sybil.
If our eyes are often lifted up to God for his help and
blessing, he will not let them go far-wrong," said her aunt.
"And then we shall look at ourselves with more knowledge,
and at our neighbours with more charity."
CHERRY AND DASH, AND WHERE THEY WENT.
THE carriage-house and barn stood, as I have said, at the
foot of the hill behind the house. The road wound round
through the trees, going pleasantly down all the while, till
it came to the barn-yard gate. Here were a number of
buildings-the carriage-house and harness-room, the barn,
the stable, and the cow-house. Round the barn-yard there
was quite a high wall.
Come, Chryssa," said Sybil, one afternoon, let's go
down and see Michael harness the horses."
Are we going to ride ?" said Chryssa. Because if
we are we must get ready."
Oh, we shall have time enough; I can get ready while
he's driving up the hill, can't you? We'll set off just
Well," said Chryssa, but we shall have to run very
Off they went, down the road and through the locust-
trees, till they came to a shady place near the top of the
wall. There they sat down.
Everything looked very pretty. The sun was just high
enough to throw a beautiful yellow light between the long
shadows, and the sky was perfectly blue, without the least
CHERRY AND DASH, AND WHERE THEY WENT. 15
bit of a cloud. Far down in the meadow they could see the
white cow lying down among the buttercups, and the red
cow standing up and switching her tail about to keep off
the flies; and it would seem that some flies had found their
way into the stable, for the horses stamped their feet now
and then with great energy. The chickens were picking
about the barn-yard, and sometimes an old hen would stoop
her head and go under the fence, and then stoop her head
and come back again. One hen, with buff-coloured feathers,
was rolling and kicking in a dusty corner, as if her object
was to get as dirty as possible.
What a hen !" said Chryssa. I never did like that
old yellow hen."
Your white hen has been there too," said Sybil;
"and there she goes again, see. I wonder where Speckle
Oh, there she is, down in the meadow by Whiteside,"
said Chryssa. I can just see her. How red her comb
Michael now came down the road and threw open the
great doors of the carriage-house, and drew out the
barouche into the road. Then he shut the doors again,
and went through a little door into the harness-room, and
coming out with a great load of leather and brass trappings,
he went off to the stable.
Now he'll have them out very soon," said Sybil. I
hear him. What do you suppose he means by Come up,
SI don't know," said Chryssa. Maybe one of them
was lying down."
And now the stable door opened, and a pretty brown
horse, bearing his half of the load of leather, came out, and
marched along through the gate, which Michael had left
open, till he came to the carriage, and then he stepped very
carefully over the.pole and took his place at the other side
"That's Cherry!" exclaimed both the children to-
gether. How pretty he looks I how nice he is! That's
just the way he always does. And there comes Michael,
16 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Michael put Dash in his place, and began to make all
fast; and then stroking his hand over Cherry, and giving
him one or two pats, he looked up and smiled at the
children, as much as to say, Did you ever see a better
brushed coat ?" and the children looked at the smooth,
shining horses, and the clean harness and carriage, and
the bright brass mountings, and smiled back their ap-
probation. Then they ran away to the house to get
In those days Sybil and Chryssa wore nankeen coats
with tight sleeves and two or three little round capes; or
if the weather was very warm, they put on white tippets
and long white sleeves made like a mitt at the hand.
These sleeves had strings at the top, which were pushed
under the short frock-sleeves and tied to the shoulder-
strap; in Chryssa's opinion it was a most ingenious system
of torture. She thought her frock-sleeve was never made
large enough for her arm and somebody's hot fingers be-
sides; and by the time she was fairly equipped she was in
a fidget all over. But these uncomfortable feelings soon
vanished when she was seated in the barouche and wheeling
round the lawn; and once through the gate and out on the
open road, with the fresh air and sweet sight and smell of
the wild roses in the hedge, it would have taken much more
than heat or uncomfortable sleeves to cloud her face. Some-
times she sat on the back seat among the cushions, and her
feet not within speaking distance of the floor; sometimes
both children were on the front seat together.
And there they would sit, watching the shadows of the
coachman and horses, of the carriage and their own little
selves, straw bonnets and all, as they danced up and down
the road-side, now on the grass, and now on the ground,
and now in the hedge, and wondering what made the horses'
legs so long and their bodies so short!
Once they went towards the sea-shore, and then the
water would come glimmering and sparkling through the
trees long before they reached it; and when they got
nearer, and Michael stopped the horses, the children could
hear the waves splash and break upon the beach with a
CHERRY AND DASH, AND WHERE THEY WENT. 17
sound that was enough to put one to sleep. Sometimes
" the shady road" was chosen, through the woodland,
where they rode in a beautiful softened light, with the long
shadowy trees thrown across from side to side, where the
squirrels ran races up and down the trees, and the wild
flowers grew in the deep shade, and the birds started from
their wayside nests at the sound of the carriage, and flut-
tered away and then back as the wheels rolled off.
And then the drive home-with rather more quietness
and soberness than they set out-the occasional drooping
of little eyelids-the thoughts that came up in little minds
about tea and radishes-the way the horses pricked up
their ears and trotted on, as they drew near the gate-the
stopping there, for Garret to swing back the great barriers
-the pause at the front steps-a pause of both body and
mind, as it were: how pleasant it all was And perhaps
if Chryssa happened to be particularly sleepy, she didn't
open her eyes at all till they got to the house, not even to
look at the great button-wood-trees by the gate, nor the
flowers that grew round the lawn, but sat quite still, her
little head nodding about, her ears just hearing the grating
of the wheels over the gravel stones, but her eyes not once
looking out to see whether they ran over the poppies and
johnny-jumpers as well, until Cherry and Dash stopped at
the front steps. It did happen, more than once, that Chryssa
failed to open her eyes even there, and that Mr. Rutherford
had to lift her out of the carriage and carry her into the
house and lay her on the sofa, a very sleepy little child in-
deed. And then Sybil would get a little soft blue shawl to
lay over her, and Mrs. Rutherford would shut the blinds a
little; and Chryssa knew nothing about that or anything
else till she found herself sitting on somebody's lap, and
trying very hard to open her eyes. But she usually smiled
long before that desirable point was attained, just to let
people know that she would wake up as soon as she could.
And when Sybil said, Come, Chryssa don't you want
some tea ?" Chryssa said, Yes-I think so"-and let her
head fall on Mr. Rutherford's shoulder again.
Even on Sunday the children had a ride, but that was
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
only to church; because Ferrytown was too far away for
them to walk. So they used to be ready very early, and
drive to church; and when they had all got out, Michael
took the carriage away to some safe place where Cherry
and Dash could be in the shade and out of harm's way,
while he went to church too.
Mr. Rutherford's pew was not like those you see now-a-
days. It was very large, and square; with high sides
painted white except at the top, where there was a ma-
hogany rail: at least the children thought it was mahogany,
but I presume it was only stained wood. There were dark
purple covered cushions all round the pew, that looked as
if a great many people had sat on them and worn them
down from their first freshness; and the purple was of so
very doubtful a shade, that one could hardly tell whether it
was red grown dark, or black grown light, or whether the
cushions had always been purple; and they looked too old
to remember anything about it themselves. And the
hymn-books did not seem a bit younger. There was no
doubt about their colour--for towards the top of the
covers and along the back there were spots of dark brown
leather that seemed almost as fresh as it had ever been;
but elsewhere it was worn to a soft light brown, and even
the gilt letters on the cover were not very distinct. Yet
still the children could read there, William Rutherford;"
and they were never tired of hearing their uncle say that
this book was given to their father when he was a little
boy; and that this other, so very much worn, which had
"Christian Rutherford" written on the fly-leaf, had be-
longed to his mother. There was no need to tell the
children to handle them carefully,-they would not have
turned down a leaf, or held either book except in both
hands, for anything in the world. These books seemed
to Chryssa so much older than the minister, that it was
quite wonderful. She couldn't always understand him very
well, and she used to think sometimes that she would
much rather read the hymn-books.
I mean to do it next time," she told Sybil one day.
"I think I could keep awake a great deal easier."
Oh no, you mustn't !" said Sybil, seriously.
CHERRY AND DASH, AND WHERE THEY WENT. 19
Why mayn't I ?"
"Because it isn't respectful," said Sybil. "Aunt Esther
told me once that when people are talking to you it is
very disrespectful not to listen to them."
But he isn't talking to me," said Chryssa.
Oh yes he is- he's talking to everybody in the
So, lest she should be disrespectful, Chryssa used to sit
up very straight and try to listen; and then she would slip
down off the cushion and sit on her mother's little foot-
bench; and when she found herself looking at the little
brass nails, and perhaps counting them, she would get
back on the seat again, and sit up straight as before. And
by-and-by she would forget all about the footstool, and the
minister, and being respectful, and then she could just feel
Mrs. Rutherford taking off her little straw hat and putting
her arm round her; and presently Chryssa was fast asleep,
with her head in Aunt Esther's lap, and her little feet
stretched out on the old purple cushion.
It happened one Sunday that, while she was asleep, it
began to rain; and when, at last, she sat up and looked
out of the church-door that was by the side of the pulpit,
there, to be sure, were rain-drops pattering down at a
great rate. Chryssa was very much surprised, and she
called out quite loud, Oh, it rains !" and then, when she
saw all the little girls in the next pew laughing and putting
up their books to hide their faces, she hung down her
head, and felt very much ashamed, and afraid she had done
something very disrespectful.
When they came out of the pew there were always
plenty of people to shake hands with, so that the going
down the aisle was a rather slow affair. There was one
lady in particulbA whom Chryssa used to notice, because
she was always there-in the same bonnet, and shawl, and
parasol, and the same curls inside of her bonnet, which
never got shaken down in the least; and she always came
forward, just at the same time and place, to shake hands
with Mrs. Rutherford: Chryssa thought she must be a
very good person.
20 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
The ride home was pleasant, though it was through the
hot sun; but the children had little green parasols, with
green fringe and white tops and handles, and, of course,
nobody could mind the sun under them.
When they reached home, Mrs. Rutherford used to let
the children lie down on the bed till dinner-time, if they
felt tired, and almost always they took a book to read.
Sometimes Sybil picked out an easy story in The Lady
of the Manor" for Chryssa, but generally she chose one of
her own little books, "The Millennium," or "Nathan
Dickerman," or Anna Ross." The "Millennium" was a
great favourite. Not that Chryssa could understand all
the talk about "wool, hair, and feathers," or some other
things there related, but she liked to read the description
of the beautiful feathers of the blue jay, and of the young
mountain ash (she thought their own couldn't be the right
kind), and of the basket covered with silver paper-the
children's walk to the village-and of their good friend :
she did.not wonder at all that the children loved him.
They never went to church in the afternoon; it was so
far that there was not time after dinner. But they had
Bible lessons at home, and there were hymns that Chryssa
liked to read and to learn, and sometimes she learned
verses in the Bible. Once, when she asked for something
to learn, Mrs. Rutherford told her to choose some verses
out of the ffth chapter of Matthew. Chryssa found the
place, and then she thought she would be very clever and
learn the whole chapter, so she began with great spirit,
but by the time she had learned eight or ten verses she
was as tired as a little child need be. Before tea both the
children used to read aloud to their uncle, and then he
would explain the chapters to them, and tell them about
their father and mother,-how they were willing to leave
all and go to Christ, and had wished but one thing for
their little children-that they might love and serve him
It happened one Sunday that Mr. Rutherford had a
headache all day and could not hear the reading, but when
Chryssa and Sybil came to bid him good night, he kept
TIE WET STRAWBERRIES.
hold of their hands and said, Who has read in the Bible
There was a minute's silence; then Chryssa said in her
grave childish way, "I have read six chapters;" and she
noticed and long remembered her uncle's peculiar smile,
though at the time she did not quite understand it.
THE WET STRAWBERRIES.
To drive to the ferry for Mr. Rutherford, or to walk a
part of the way to meet the carriage, was a very common
expedition, and one much liked by the children. There
was always a little hurry and bustle about getting off so
as to be sure and be in time, and then the wheels rolled so
smoothly, and the horses trotted so fast, that even when
the dust blew and the sun shone into their eyes, nobody
minded it. For as Sybil said, they could turn their heads
toward the other side where the sun didn't shine, and as
for the dust-why they could wash their faces when they
got home: they were going to meet Uncle Ruth, and that
One day, as they went pleasantly along, Chryssa
Aunt Esther, please will you tell me about my little
waggon and about Sybil's going to Cleaveland?"
"Don't you recollect it, Chryssa? I thought your
memory went back as far as that."
Oh yes, I remember it very well, but I like to hear
you tell the story so much."
"I think she does tell it so much,'" said Sybil.
"Why, Sybil! I haven't heard it for a long time! not
since last winter, I am sure. And Aunt Esther always
tells it so nicely."
Well, then," said Mrs. Rutherford, it was fine sum-
Like this ?"
22 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
"Warmer than this; and Sybil had not been well, and
Mrs. Salisbury thought it would do her good to go to
I don't wonder she thought so," said Chryssa. It's
so pleasant at Cleaveland. And grandmamma came for
Sybil, didn't she ?"
Grandmamma came in the coach."
"She spent the day here-I remember that," said
Yes, she spent the day here, and after tea she was
going to take you away. But when the coach came to the
door, and you went down the steps with your bonnet on,
Chryssa began to cry and said you should not go-that
she would not let you."
"And what did Uncle Ruth do ?" said Chryssa.
Uncle Ruth took you up in his arms and tried to
comfort you, and told you that Sybil would be back in a
"And did I stop crying ?"
"No, you cried harder than ever, and declared she should
not go; and at last he promised that if she went, you
should have a little waggon to play with instead; and you
looked up and said, What, Uncle Ruth?' and then your
head went down again on his shoulder. But you listened
to what he said, and got a little more quiet, though there
were very big drops in your eyes as the carriage drove
Chryssa laughed heartily. "How very funny !" she
said. I wouldn't take a waggon for her now, though."
"No, you'd have to let me go without anything, I
should think," said Sybil.
And is that the same little waggon I've got now ?"
The very same."
What a nice one it is," said Chryssa; I love that
And now the salt breezes began to meet and refresh
them, for the carriage was approaching Ferrytown; and
presently Michael stopped, the horses by the little wharf
where the boat came in. She was not there yet, but they
THE WET STRAWBERRIES.
could see her paddling on towards them, and long before
she was near enough to let them see anybody, the children
were sure they saw Mr. Rutherford. The boat came
nearer and nearer, and then, to be sure, they did see him,
with a basket in his hand, standing there and smiling at
them. Then careless people began to jump ashore before
the boat was made fast; and the boatman fastened the
chain and began to wind it up on his great wheel; and
people, a little more careful than the first, jumped over the
great bar at the end of the boat. Then the bar was taken
away, and everybody hurried off to be out of the way of
the horses, who were very eager for their turn. And then
they came tramping out of the boat, making a great noise
and clatter, while Mr. Rutherford's horses were trotting
off to Rose-hill as fast as their feet could carry them. For
a few minutes the sharp sound of their shoes rang out
from the paving-stones of the main street of the little vil-
lage, and brought to the doors the few children that were
not already there. Meantime, the sun was getting lower
and lower, and shone into the carriage with pleasant
smiles that troubled nobody's eyes and lit up everybody's
cheeks-which indeed were bright enough already.
How nice those radishes look!" said Chryssa, as they
passed some shops where the long red bunches lay piled
They look better than they would taste, I suspect,"
said her aunt; "radishes are not always good at this time
What time of year is it ?"
To-morrow will be the first of June."
Will it ?" said Chryssa. Oh, then we shall have some
"What makes you think you will have strawberries
to-morrow ?" said Mr. Rutherford, with a smile.
Because, Uncle Ruth, when I asked Aunt Esther when
strawberries would be ripe, she said in June, and to-
morrow is June; and I mean to look for them very early
I am not sure that you will find any, however," said
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Mrs. Rutherford, for it will be only the first day of June,
and the weather has not been very hot."
"Well, I can look," said Chryssa. But, behold! when
the morning came there were rain-drops instead of straw-
berries; and they fell in such abundance that the children
could not set foot out of doors. It was an extraordinary
thing to see clouds and falling rain, and little streams of
water trickling down the window-panes on the first day of
June, Chryssa thought; and even Sybil watched the rain
two or three times as if she supposed it did not like to be
looked at, and would therefore remain in the clouds if she
remained at the window.
What do you think about it, Syb ?" said her sister,
jumping up to follow Sybil and put her little arms round
her. "Won't it clear up ?"
"It will not clear up for your looking, Chryssa," said
her aunt. If you come away from the window, and do
your lessons, the morning will seem much the shorter."
But, Aunt Esther, I have got strawberry in my lesson
to-day; and if I say it over and over till I can spell it, I
shall long for them worse than ever."
No worse than if you stand there and think it over and
"Well, what shall I read to-day, Aunt Esther ?"
"I think I shall find you something about the African
deserts, to teach you the value of clouds and rain."
Well!" said Chryssa again-" I don't believe it will
make me like it to-day, still."
Perhaps there are no strawberries ripe," said Sybil.
I mean to believe that; as the fox thought the grapes
"He was a very foolish fox, I think," said Chryssa.
"I dare say he didn't think so at all. Aunt Esther, do
you want me to be like the fox?-do you want me to
think there are no ripe strawberries ?"
No; I would rather see you bear patiently the thought
that there are; though I am by no means sure of the fact.
But it would be a pity if we could not be contented one
day more without strawberries."
THE WET STRAWBERRIES.
But perhaps it will rain to-morrow."
"Perhaps it will," said Mrs. Rutherford, looking up
with a very sunshiny, catching smile.
"Now, Aunt Esther, what makes you laugh ?"
"What makes you laugh ?"
"Why, because you look so funny," said Chryssa.
"But wouldn't it be sad if it should rain to-morrow ?"
"Why no, love-it would be good,-everything is good
that God orders. And now it would be good if my little
Chryssa-were to pick up that neglected geography which
lies on the floor, and make some use of it."
Lessons went on accordingly. Then came dinner; then
Chryssa began to copy a letter, while Mrs. Rutherford sat
by and directed.
Take care, Chryssa-you don't want that last letter."
But I thought you said, C, a, k,-"
C, a, is pronounced like the letter k; I did not mean
you to put that down too."
Will you please to scratch it out, then," said Chryssa.
"There's one good thing about making mistakes-it gives
me such a nice little rest." And then, shrugging up he,
shoulders, she said with a long breath:
"I'm so tired; and I haven't run about one bit to-day."
"That is the very reason you are tired. Come, you
shall not write any more: get Sybil to go and ride on the
wooden horse with you."
Sybil was soon found, and very ready for play of any
kind; so with one more hopeless look at the weather, the
children proceeded up-stairs to the garret,-their play-room
when the sky-roofed one had taken to itself an under roof-
ing of clouds or a wet floor.
The garret was large and light, with many little oval
windows, where the spiders flourished and flies met their
fate; and whose dusty panes gave a very gloomy view of
things. On one side of the garret a locked door shut off
various stored away articles from busy hands and eyes; on
another a ladder led up to a kind of open loft, the landing-
place on the way to the skylight. It was a queer-looking
dark region up there, with bits of lumber, old chairs, and
26 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
an immense piece of pitch pine poking themselves out
from the obscurity. Nobody ever went up there,--only
once Chryssa could remember seeing her aunt follow
Garret up the ladder when the kitchen chimney had
amused itself by making a bonfire, and everybody was
afraid that the roof would follow the example.
But down below, in the garret itself, all was bright
enough, despite the cobwebbed windows. In the middle
hung a fine swing, securely fastened to one of the beams;
close by stood the wooden horse; a hook and ring were on
one of the upright timbers; and at one end of the garret,
dolls and tin dishes marked out a more special play-room.
To-day the swing claimed first attention; and as the
wide seat would admit them both, Chryssa climbed in and
placed herself with her face towards the doll end of the
garret, while Sybil turned her looks in the opposite direc-
tion, and then making great efforts she touched the ground
with her toes again and again till the swing began to move,
after which a very little push kept it going fast enough.
And then they both began to sing:
"Swing, swing! as high as you can!
SHold fast of the rope and don't be afraid;
The rafter is wide,
And the rope is well tied,
And the knots and the stat are carefully made.
"Play, play! it's pleasant to play,
It's pleasant to laugh, and pleasant to sing.
And though it does rain,
We will not complain-
People ought to be happy without everything."
"How nice the dolls look !" said Chryssa, when they
had gone through the air once or twice in silence.
Yes, they look pretty well," said Sybil, with a con-
templative air. "I don't know either, Chryssa; it strikes
me that Miss Jenkins wants bleeding-just look at her
But they're always that colour," said Chryssa; "if you
were to bleed her ever so much you couldn't make her
THE WET STRAWBERRIES.
I don't care," said Sybil, I'm going to try."
And down she jumped, and seized Miss Jenkins, whose
arms where of a very decided pink kid.
"Now I shall take this big pin for a lancet," said Sybil,
"and you can hold that little wooden pail, Chryssa, instead
of a basin."
"But the little wooden pail's got beads in it," said
"Turn them out there into that tin box. Come !"
A few pointed applications of the pin to the pink kid
plainly showed what the inside of Miss Jenkins's arm was
made of, for some grains of bran began to sprinkle the
bottom of the little wooden pail, and the doll's arm did not
indeed grow less pink, but much less round and hard than
it had been before.
Her arms won't be alike now," said Chryssa. What
will you do with this one ?-it don't look pretty."
Oh, I don't know," said Sybil; "never mind. Stuff it."
How long they might have played and talked in the
garret is uncertain, for at this moment it received a most
unexpected visitor in the shape of a long sunbeam. During
their play the weather had been gradually improving, and
at length this one ray escaped from its cloudy prison and
lit up all in its way. The cloud, the wet tree-tops, the
glittering blades of grass, the dusty garret window and its
brown timbers, and the intent little faces that bent over
Miss Jenkins. Down went the doll, regardless of con-
sequences-down went both children to the parlour.
"What in the world is the matter?" exclaimed Mrs.
Rutherford, as Sybil burst in. Has Chryssa fallen out of
Oh no, ma'am, not at all; but don't you see that sun-
I see more than one; but what then ?"
Why, the strawberries," said Chryssa, her breath just
enough for those three words.
Strawberries! And how are you to get at them i
The grass is as wet as possible."
But they're not in the grass," said Sybil.
28 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
But they are in their own vines, which is just as bad."
And the sunbeam faded again.
"Well," said Mrs. Rutherford, after a little pause, I
believe I must try what I can do. Get my overshoes,
Sybil, and you, Chryssa, a basket."
"Mayn't I get two?" said Chryssa. "Mayn't I go
But this could not be; and as the next best thing, they
ran up and seated themselves on the stairs by the passage
window, to watch their aunt, and consider the question of
her bringing home the basket full, or half full, or empty;
also, whether she got a ripe strawberry every time she
stooped down, or whether her hand dived in among the
wet leaves to no purpose but that of a cold bath.
"I am sure she got one that time," said Chryssa.
"No, she didn't; I was watching the basket all the while."
But you can't see it."
"Yes I can; down there on the walk."
"Oh, I see," said Chryssa. "Perhaps she put one in
her mouth, then. Oh, I wish I was there !-that was one
-I saw it !"
How carefully Aunt Esther holds up her frock," said
Sybil; "it cannot get wet at all. There, she's coming
back; I dare say she's tired with poking about in those
wet beds. Don't go down yet, Chryssa; wait till she
gets under the window, and then we can look right into
the basket. Oh, dear! why does she stop to look at that
"It's very pretty, I'm sure," said Chryssa. "Oh,
let me open the window one minute-I must. Aunt
Esther, please bring me a May rose (they're June roses,
I think). Don't get your feet wet. Did you get any
No wonder she laughs," said Sybil. She can't scream
out answers to all your questions, child."
She nodded her head, though, if she did laugh," said
Chryssa. Oh, I can see the strawberries look, Sybil,
how red the basket is! She's got a great many I Come,
let's go." And away she ran.
HEADACHE AND LOCUST FLOWERS.
"Ah! please hold the basket down, Aunt Esther, be-
cause I can't see. How good you were to go! I'm so
much obliged to you. What a quantity you've got."
I did not bring your rose, Chryssa," said Mrs. Ruther-
ford; there was so much wet grass between me and the
rose-bushes that I thought it best not to venture."
I'm very glad you didn't, dear aunty; the strawberries
will do for one night, I should think. But shan't we keep
them till Uncle Ruth comes home, and then eat them all
"With all my heart. I don't think there are enough
to hurt us if we do eat them 'all together,' said her
Whether Chryssa thought that the words spoke some
doubt of the wholesomeness of strawberries in general, or
of these in particular, certain it is that she looked very
soberly into the little basket as she walked off to set it in
HEADACHE AND LOCUST FLOWERS.
AND for several days they were very busy and happy,
for the strawberries ripened fast, and little fingers and
baskets made frequent visits to the beds. But one morn-
ing-whether it was that she had been too much in the hot
sun, or had eaten too many strawberries, or both-Chryssa
got up with a headache.
"You couldn't have gone out much to-day, any way,"
said Sybil, "for it rained last night, and the grass is all
Well," said Chryssa, with a rather long breath, but I
wish my head didn't ache."
I tell you what," said Sybil, we'll go and sit in the
I don't think I want to go," said Chryssa.
30 31R. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
And I doubt very much whether you should go," said
"But, Aunt Esther, fresh air is good for a headache;
and I've got a great deal to tell you, Chryssa-you'd better
come. I'm going to take my pillow-case there to hem."
"Well, I'll go," said Chryssa, though rather doubtfully.
"Maybe it won't make my head any worse." And putting
on her sun-bonnet she went slowly down the flagged walk
to the bathing-house-a little square building with a window
and a door, and a green shower-bath overhead. Thither
Sybil's quicker steps had already brought her; and she was
sewing very busily when Chryssa came in and placed herself
on a bench at her feet.
"What did you want to tell me, Sybil ?" she said,
"What do you think ? Come, guess."
"Oh no, indeed I can't; you must tell me."
"Well, then, Mary says that her cousin has got ever so
many little kittens, and she says the next time she goes to
Canterbury she'll get us two."
Chryssa did smile, in spite of her headache.
I'm very glad I how nice it will be. You'll have one,
and I'll have the other. And oh, Sybil, what colour will
they be? Do you think they'll be both alike?"
I don't know. I told her not to get black ones if she
could help it, but I suppose she'll have to take what her
cousin gives her."
I'm very glad," said Chryssa again, as she sat pressing
one little hand on each side of her face, "but I must go
into the house, my head aches so. I can't stay here."
And I will go too," said Sybil; it's hot here, and then
you can lie down."
By the time they reached the parlour, Michael had got
back from town; and he came and stood in the parlour
door, and said very gravely :
Miss Errick is dead, ma'am."
There was a general exclamation, for this acquaintance
of theirs had been quite well when they last heard from
her But Michael could tell them no particulars; he had
HEADACHE AND LOCUST FLOWERS.
merely heard the news, and that Mr. Rutherford was to go
to the funeral that afternoon.
It would pass along the road, and, when it was first
seen from the windows, the children went down and stood
under the willow-tree, where they could watch the pro-
As they stood there, silent and sober, Garret came up;
and after standing by them a few minutes, he broke off a
willow twig, and sitting down on the dog-house, he began
to twist and weave a ring for Chryssa's middle finger.
Then he made one for Sybil, and then both children begged
him to teach them this new kind of goldsmith work. But,
by the time it was learned, Chryssa's head grew worse
again, and she grew pale, and was obliged to go up-stairs
and lie down on the bed.
The west windows were open, and as the child lay there
looking out and breathing the sweet air, she thought, in
most unphilosophical language certainly, that nothing out
of doors looked as if it had the headache. It was odd, too,
that this thought rather soothed her own; it was -like some
soft cool hand upon her hot forehead.
What smells so sweet, Aunt Esther ?" she said.
"The locust flowers."
Oh, are they out ?" said Chryssa, half raising herself;
" and I wanted so much to see them. What do they look
"Like the laburnum flowers, except in colour. Don't
you see something very white on that tree at the end of
the grove ?"
Yes," said Chryssa, sinking back, I think I do; but
the sun is so bright. Are there many flowers out ?"
"Not a great many; the trees are young yet."
"Won't you tell me about the flowers, Aunt Esther ?"
What shall I tell you ?" said her aunt, smiling. "They
are perfectly pure white, almost transparent, as pure as all
Christians will be when they come to heaven-' without
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.' And they are very,
very sweet; sending their perfume to a great distance.
And so, Chryssie, when God's children are what they ought
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
to be, when they love Him and do His will, all their influ-
ence is like the fragrance of those locust flowers. t' makes
the very name of Christian sweet; it spreads abroad through
the world, drawing everybody towards what is 'lovely and
of good report.' "
Did Uncle Ruth plant all those trees ?" said Chryssa,
after a little while.
And then she lay quite still for some time.
Tlere' Mr. Rutherford found her when he came home,
with her head on the pillow, and the warm sunshine falling
over her feet.
I am very sorry your head aches, my darling," he said,
bending down to kiss her.
Yes, Uncle Ruth. Oh, it will be better by-and-by."
"How pleasant it is to think that in heaven there will
be 'no more pain, nor sorrow, nor cryifig, nor any more
death,' said he.
Chryssa smiled, and a little flush came over her face.
"Papa never has headaches now," she said.
Shall I read to you, Chryssa?" said her uncle, a
If you please, Uncle Ruth, if it won't tire you.
There is Idle Hours' on the bed; I tried to read, but it
hurt my eyes."
And Mr. Rutherford read the story of Little Zoe,"
and of her being sick, and such a good child. And by-
and-by Chryssa began to think that she was sick, and then
that she was a bee humming about that very bunch of
locust flowers on which the sun had shone so brightly;
and then-she opened her eyes and found that she had
been asleep, and that the sun was down and the tea-bell
ringing. And there on the bed lay the bunch of locust
Your head must be better," said Mrs. Rutherford,
smiling at the eagerness with which the child threw her-
self upon that sweet tribute from the woods.
Oh yes," said Chryssa. Oh, how sweet these are!
How could Uncle Ruth get them? I thought the tree
was too high."
WHAT SHALL I GIVE ?
That bunch was on the end of a bough that hung-
down within reach. But come, tea is ready."
And, lifting her off the bed, for she looked a little pale-
yet, Mrs. Rutherford brushed her hair till it looked some--
thing like a sunbeam itself, and then they went down to
May I eat any strawberries ?" said Chryssa, as she'
saw the heaped-up glass dish which stood on the table.
Not to-night, I think."
And going round to the corner of the table next her
aunt, Chryssa stood there with the locust flowers in onei
hand and a soda biscuit in the other, seasoning the second
with the first, and now and then casting a look at the:
WHAT SHALL I GIVE.
SYBIL's birthday was at hand; and some hearts were full
of expectation, and many heads of preparation, for its
coming. Company was invited, and rooms were arranged,
and white frocks were spotlessly done up. Moreover,
Aunt Esther made some of her sponge cake-such as
nobody else could make-at least so thought Chryssa, who
had watched the making, and baking, and icing, with per-
fect pleasure and content. It was such a big cake too-
the whole size of the baking-pan-little pound cakes bj the
side of it made small show; only the piece of citron in
each stuck up its head, as much as to say I am good,"
while everybody must admire the hearts, and diamonds,
and rounds, and ovals, in which they were baked. Then
the loaves of bread looked so brown, and smelled so sweet;
and china and glass dishes looked so pleasant and sociable
as they came out of the pantry. One would have supposed
they had been new gilt for the occasion, and had never
looked bright before.
Aunt Esther,"-said Sybil, the afternoon before the
important Tuesday, you won't forget my wreath ?"
34 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
What wreath ?"
"Why, you promised to make me a wreath for my
birthday," said Sybil, throwing down her book. "Don't
you remember ?"
"Mayn't I have a wreath too ?" said Chryssa.
"No, of course not," said Sybil. "You can have a
wreath on your own birthday; you don't want one on
mine; it would be foolish."
Chryssa looked a little disappointed.
"I don't see that, Sybil," said Mrs. Rutherford; "I
may as well dress Chryssa with flowers in honour of your
I.irth'iy, as the vases in the drawing-room. I can easily
make the wreaths of different flowers, and put some distin-
guishing mark upon yours, that nobody may doubt who is
the queen of the day."
I don't care about being a queen if there are too many
princesses," said Sybil. Ishan't have a wreath if every-
body else has."
But I'm not going to have one," said Chryssa. "Aunt
Esther's going to make only one for you."
",Or only two," said her aunt.
You needn't make two," said Sybil, significantly and
the subject was dropped for a few minutes. Then the dis-
contented little lady began again.
I think it's very stupid for two people to be wearing
wreaths. And why should Chryssa have one ? It isn't her
birthday-she has nothing to do with it."
Oh, Sybil !" said Chryssa. You know I always
enjoy it very much."
"Well, then, you'll be happy enough without a
That is neither kind nor wise," said Mrs. Rutherford.
"I don't care," was the reply; and Sybil's mood ended
in a flood of tears. Nor were hers the only tears, for very
sympathising and imploring drops were in Chryssa's eyes
as well. But they only aggravated Sybil's displeasure.
What are you crying for ?" she said. Aunt Esther
hasn't been scolding you-I do wish you wouldn't do
everything that I do."
WHAT SHALL I GIVE ?
Mrs. Rutherford looked at her watch.
We are going to walk on the high road, Sybil," she
said; if you wish to go, you must get ready at once."
She went up-stairs, followed by Chryssa, who had just
lingered one minute to beg her sister to come-" she
couldn't go without her."
And Sybil did come, but she was so long in putting on
her things that the others were half way to the gate before
she made her appearance. She stood in the hall door for
a moment, and then called out, Aunt Esther, won't you
come back and tie my bonnet ? It's in a knot, and it's too
I will tie it if you will come here," said her aunt.
"May I go back and do it ?" said Chryssa.
No," said Mrs. Rutherford. And after standing for a
moment as still on the walk as was Sybil in the hall door,
they turned and walked on, though Chryssa almost walked
backwards, so constant was her desire to watch the door.
But the same dismal-looking little figure stood there yet,
as long as she could see it.
Chryssa walked on with a very heavy heart, and two or
three little sighs were heard that were quite out of keeping
with the song of the birds in the hedge. She was thinking
what a pleasant walk they might have had; and now she
didn't want to walk at all, but would rather have been at
They had reached the road, and Chryssa's little feet
were going very thoughtfully along in the dust, when a
loud noise on the other side of the road made her start and
squeeze Mrs. Rutherford's hand with all her might. She
looked across. A little blue cloud of smoke was just blowing
away, and a little boy-neighbour of theirs was walking
along and looking at her. In his hand he held a little
brass cannon, and while Chryssa looked, it was loaded and
fired off.for the second time.
Now, the noise was certainly not very tremendous, and
Mrs. Rutherford assured Chryssa they were in no danger
of being shot, but the little cannon did full execution
nevertheless. Chryssa put Mrs. Rutherford between her
36 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
and the mischief-maker, and then she walked on in alter-
nate fear and fright; for the cannon was loaded and fired
just as fast as Master Theodore's fingers could manage
"Theodore," said Mrs. Rutherford, at length, "don't
you know that you frighten this little girl very much ?"
Theodore looked at her but made no answer, except that
a little smile on his face seemed to say he had suspected
as much before, and another discharge followed imme-
diately. Chryssa was forced to stand fire, till, to her
great joy, they turned a corner which Master Theodore
"Aunt Esther," said Chryssa, presently, "please don't
tell Mrs. Delue."
"Because-I don't know," said Chryssa, but I wish
you wouldn't. Oh, see! Aunt Esther, there comes the
carriage, and there's Henry too !"
Henry was there, in truth, and not long either; for in
some mysteriously quick way he was out of the carriage,
and had his arms round his mother's neck in all manner of
joy and delight.
And here's one of the young ones," he said, at length,
taking her up in his arms. "How do you do, Chryso-
coma? Are you glad to see me ?"
Yes, I'm very glad," said Chryssa, laughing. But
what makes you call me so ?"
I didn't call you so,' I called you Chrysocoma."
"Well, what does that mean?" said Chryssa, laying her
face close to his, by which means her hat fell off.
"Why, it means 'golden locks,'" said Henry, as he
jumped into the carriage, still holding her fast. You
look as if you had rolled your head about in the sun-
Chryssa laughed, and laid her head back against him
with an air of great content.
Harry, we're going to have two kittens," she said.
Two kittens why, we had'two before."
But mean real kittens."
WHAT SHALL I GIVE?
4 For me to play with ?"
No, not for you, for me and Sybil-at least, for Sybil
And at the thought of Sybil, Chryssa became grave
again, and her eyes fell. But only as far as the cushion,
for there they saw a thin package which looked suspiciously
like a book.
Take it up and open it, Chryssie," said Mr. Ruther-
ford, smiling. It's for you."
For me?" said Chryssa. Oh, thank you, Uncle
Ruth !" And her little fingers were soon busy with the
But, oh, you forgot!" she said, stopping short when
one knot was untied, "you forgot, Uncle Ruth-it isn't
my birthday, it's Sybil's."
"And can't people ever have presents except on their
birthdays ?" said her uncle, smiling.
Why, yes," said Chryssa, untying knot number two
and knot number three; "but I didn't expect it. But
haven't you got something for Sybil?"
We'll see when to-morrow comes ?"
And Chryssa untied the last knot with a better satisfied
look, which changed into one of great pleasure as she
beheld a little square blue Peter Parley's First Book of
History; especially as she felt quite sure that the brown
paper in her uncle's lap could contain nothing but a
They had a merry tea-drinking that night; even Sybil
laughed and talked almost as usual; though there was
now and then a shade upon her face that her uncle knew
must come from some unseen cloud. After tea, when the
others had gone out into the garden, and she yet stood
rather moodily by the window, Mr. Rutherford came and
sat down by her, and drawing her down upon his lap, he
kissed her, and asked her if she was glad to be so near
eleven years old.
I don't know, Uncle Ruth," said Sybil, her eyes filling
fast at his kind words-" I thought I should be glad."
"And how comes it that'you are not ?" said he, gently.
MR. RVTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
I don't know," said Sybil again, and still looking out
of the window. I believe I was cross to-day, and it isn't
pleasant to be cross on one's birthday, and I wish it was
any other day in the year, I'm sure."
But instead of trying to get rid of the day, hadn't we
better get rid of being cross ?" said her uncle.
"But I can't," said Sybil. You see, Uncle Ruth,
Aunt Esther promised to make me a wreath to wear to-
morrow; and then what must Chryssa do but want one
too. And Aunt Esther thinks she ought to have it, and
I say it's very stupid; and it makes me cross whenever I
think of it."
Well, let us leave that for a while," said her uncle,
"and go back to something you said a minute ago. Why
is it particularly disagreeable to be cross on one's birth-
day ? It is certainly so, but why?"
Because one ought to be particularly good, I suppose,"
"And why ought one ?"
Sybil hesitated, and her uncle spoke again.
There was once a child travelling along a road where
there were a great many toll-gates. Her home lay at the
end of the road, and all along, from gate to gate, the way
was sometimes pleasant and sometimes difficult; yet had
she written directions for her journey, which, if followed,
would 'make the rough places smooth,' and give her
always 'straight paths for her feet.' Now, these toll-gates
were in reality all at the same distance apart, yet they did
not seem so. For a while they seemed so far from each
other that it was quite an event to reach one, and quite an
amusement to pay the toll; and the little traveller marched
up with quick steps and laid down a book, or a plaything,
or some childish clothing. And the old man at the gate
always gave something in return; a few trifles at first,
with which the child was so pleased that she noticed not
one little light straw which the old man bound upon her
shoulders; and each one added another straw.
Several of these gates were passed, and yet the child
had hardly looked back; but one day it came into her
WHAT SHALL I GIVE ?
heart to stop and think; and sitting down just before the
next gate, she looked over all the road she had come. It
looked very small, and she had thought it so long.
That is the first gate, I remember,' she said to her-
self; and when I came to the next one it rained, and the
man gave me two straws to carry, and not much else.
And between that and the next one I was so very sick,
and it tired me to go on. But God let me live and not
die, and he has taken care of me every bit of the way.'
She turned then and looked forward over the road she
had to go. But she could not see much of it; she could
not even count the gates, though she thought she saw a
great many. And a wish came over her that God would
guide her past them as he had hitherto done; and then
she began to think within herself what she should lay
down at the next gate, for it was very near. Some
childish habit, or dress, or plaything, did not seem enough,
she was thinking less of herself now, for she thought of
these words, What shall I render unto the Lord for all
his benefits towards me ?' And remembering the disciples
who left all to follow Christ, she prayed that at this next
gate she might lay down every evil word and work, and
give herself wholly unto the Lord, to be His dear child,
His willing servant, for ever."
The last rays of the sun were falling upon Sybil's head
as her uncle spoke these last words, but she heeded them
not. Her head was upon his breast, and she was sobbing
out tears of sorrow and shame and better purposes. The
crossness was all gone now, and only a little sore pain
about her heart told that it had ever been.
Shall we lay down all this?" whispered her uncle;
"and take up and bear the name of Christ with earnest
prayer, and endeavour to be changed into His likeness ?"
We, Uncle Ruth ?" she said, looking up in some
"We, love. You at your gate, and I at mine."
But what have you to lay down, Uncle SRuth ?" said
Sybil. "Do people always lay down something ?"
"Always ; through their whole life. I have- laid down
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
many a thing at these gates, Sybil; a dear friend some-
times, and sometimes, I trust, a little of my own self-will.
Or, if not, remember this: if nothing evil is laid down,
then do we lose something good; if we are no nearer to
God than we were last year, then are we farther off; and
we have not merely lost the year, but we have fallen back
in our way to heaven."
And what does the man at the gate give you, Uncle
Ruth ?" said Sybil, laying her hand caressingly upon his
Different things," said he, smiling. ." Two little
daughters to love, and better hopes for them, and of them.
When he can find nothing else, he throws down a little
snow on my head."
Oh, Uncle Ruth he shall not!" and Sybil's arms
were clasped tight round her uncle's neck.
And do you like to look forward to the other gates ?"
she said presently.
I like to look over them. I am not careful about
their number now, dear Sybil, for the heavenly country is
better than this."
Sybil looked up and kissed him with very tremulous
I will try," she whispered; and then she broke from
him and ran up-stairs.
THE sun rose amid some rather doubtful-looking grey
clouds, but the wind soon swept them away-even while
Janet and her broom went through the parlours for the
last time. There was not a particle of dust nor of cloud to
be seen. And when the sun got higher and poured in its
bright light, everything looked clean,-as clean as Sybil
had prayed last night that her heart might be, and as she
hoped it had really become. Poor child I she did not
know how soon the world's dust would find its way in
again, or indeed how much there was yet remaining. Only
"he that is dead is freed from sin."
Come, children, get up !" clamoured Henry at their
door. The sun's up, though it isn't his birthday."
And I shan't get up, if it is mine," said the half-awake
I say, Sybil !" pursued Henry, "why didn't you come
to meet us last night ? I forgot to ask you."
"That's nobody's business," said Sybil. "I didn't
choose to come."
Don't let off all your fireworks this morning," said
Henry; I advise you. Keep them for to-night. They
don't make much show in such sunshine."
Sybil started up in desperation, but now opening her
eyes for the first time, the light they met silenced her.
What sunshine it was as if it came from the world be-
yond all those gates she must pass through. They were
very sorrowful eyes that she hid again in the pillow.
Then came another knock at the door.
"Where's Chrysocoma? Is she asleep too ?"
Oh no, she's not asleep,"said Chryssa, in a just audible
"Let her come forth then."
You'd better go, Chryssie," said Sybil, only don't
pick the flowers for our wreaths till I come."
Are we going to have wreaths ?" exclaimed Chryssa.
"At least I mean are you going to have one ?"
Yes, and so are you."
Chryssa bestowed two or three very thankful kisses
upon the back of Sybil's neck, and went off.
"Why don't Sybil come ?" was Henry's first greeting.
"I don't know," said Chryssa; "I think she is tired.
And she is not dressed."
That's a reason. But as to being tired, people are
always tired when they ought to get up."
But I am sure she is tired," said Chryssa; she looks
so. And I don't think she liked what you said about
42 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
I don't believe you did," said Henry, laughing. Ah,
Chrysocoma! I couldn't think what made you look so
grave at me this morning. But I won't tease her any
more, and I'll beg her pardon for that-if she ever gets
up so as to give me a chance."
After breakfast, the first thing was to pick flowers,
which the children did in no measured quantity; and
Chryssa having filled her basket, filled her little apron as
well, chiefly with poppies, for which the basket had found
My dear Chryssa !" said Mrs. Rutherford, "what am
I to do with so many poppies? If I were to put them
all in the dish there would be place for nothing else."
But the wreaths," said Chryssa.
But I don't believe poppy wreaths would be pretty."
"Oh, Aunt Esther, if you'd just been out on the gravel-
wallk, you'd have seen how pretty they looked."
In the gravel-walk, yes-but on your head?"
"If you have a poppy wreath, Chryssa," said Henry,
you'll have to sit in the corner all day and nod."
Chryssa looked very puzzled till her eyes got down to
her apron again,-then they brightened up.
Just look at this little red one, Aunt Esther-it's so
black in the middle; and here's another that's purple. I
don't know, I'm sure, what Harry means by nodding, but
I think they're beautiful."
You don't know what I mean by nodding ?" said
Henry; look here then, and I'll show you ;" which he did
till Chryssa nearly dropped the whole apron full of poppies
Well, if I put enough poppies in the vases you'll let
me make the wreaths as I like ?" said Mrs. Rutherford,
when Henry's head was persuaded to remain quiet.
Oh yes ; unless," said Chryssa, hesitating-" unless
you would put just this one poppy-bud in mine. See,
Aunt Esther, it's white, and the leaves aren't open yet."
That one was promised, and then Mrs. Rutherford began
to arrange dishes, and vases, and flower-tables; now and
then to lay aside some particularly pretty bud or leaf for
the wreaths. When the making of these came, it was
hard to tell whether the children were most pleased or
curious. It was pretty work. The flowers were so fresh
and smelled so sweet, and Mrs. Rutherford's hand was so
skilful. It was wonderful to see her fasten down the stems
so neatly, and then to see a leaf start up, as if by magic,
to cover the joining; while a white jessamine poked out
its head here and a rosebud there, just as if they had sense,
and knew where they were wanted. And satisfaction was
complete when, the hair on both little heads being nicely
brushed, the wreaths were put on and fitted exactly.
Chryssa thought Sybil's looked splendid," and took it for
granted that her own could not be far behind: the white
poppy-bud, at least, must look well.
It took some time to get used to such unusual adorn-
ments; there seemed to be danger of their falling off, for,
as Chryssa remarked, What could keep them on?" and
the first going down stairs was a very stately affair.
But both heads and wreaths were happily forgotten after
Their friends began to come about twelve o'clock, and
many of them brought Sybil some little present-a painted
pincushion or a basket. One or two were so thoughtful as
to bring Chryssa some trifle also, which, not being expected,
was particularly welcome. As for Sybil, she cared less
about them, having found her plate at breakfast loaded
with presents that she liked better-the brown paper
especially having contained a most beautiful book. But
she received the last arrivals graciously enough, and re-
turned to her book with new pleasure.
Many of the guests were grown-up people-as much out
of Chryssa's sphere as she was out of theirs; so, after
speaking to them all, she took possession of the only little
child of the party (who was, indeed, somewhat smaller than
herself), and took her out upon the lawn to see the flowers.
Chryssa found it hard work. Little Emily knew none of
her old friends in the borders, nor seemed to wish to make
their acquaintance. She would not say whether she thought
the pink or the blue bachelor's-buttons were the prettiest;
44 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
she walked right over the poppies in the walk, pulled up
the johnny-jumpers, and was perfectly insensible to the
charms of love in a puzzle."
Chryssa was in despair.
Shall we go and see Garret mow?" she said, direct-
ing little Emily's eyes and ears towards Garret and his
The immediate answer was the deliberate march of Miss
Emily's red shoes over the border, taking moss pink and
what other trifles there were in her way. But when she
came a little nearer to Garret she stopped short, perfectly
sure that the scythe was to be employed to destroy her
peace and well-being; and when Chryssa, by the more
roundabout road, had reached her, she was crying in great
dismay. All comforting assurances were of no effect, and
Chryssa marched her off into the house again. Then she
herself came out to have a run among the cut grass, and to
watch the flying grasshoppers, with their pretty yellow
wings, and the birds that came all the way from the hedge
to pick up every one that was small enough.
Then Chryssa noticed the drooping white flower heads
that lay in the swathe.
What makes you cut down the daisies, Garret ?" she
said. "And here are some buttercups too. Oh, Garret!
that's too bad."
Why, Miss Chryssa, they ain't flowers; they're nothing
in life but weeds."
What makes weeds, I wonder ?" said Chryssa. Why
aren't they just as good as any flowers, Garret ?"
This was more than Garret could tell, so he shifted the
You see, Miss Chryssa, they grow among the grass so
-I couldn't let 'em stand if I wanted to. If I was to mow
round every bunch of daisies," he added, shaking his head,
"they'd be gone to seed by the time I got. through, and
you'd be grown up, Miss Chryssa."
No I shouldn't," said Chryssa, gravely. Uncle Ruth
says you mow very fast, Garret; and it would take me a
great while to grow up."
CHICKENS AND EGGS.
"Then we'll have a beautiful young lady here," said
Oh, I don't know," said Chryssa, who was braiding
three blades of grass with great intentness. Everybody
don't grow up pretty. Oh, I know what I'll do, I'll make
a leaf carpet." And away she ran to the bladder-senna-
It had large smooth leaves, and with a quantity of these
in her frock, and a tumbler of water by her side, Chryssa
was soon seated on the front steps making a carpet, for by
wetting the leaves she could make them stick together quite
Then came tea, when all the cakes, small and great,
made their appearance; and after tea the company went
CHICKENS AND EGGS.
"AUNT ESTHER," said Sybil, one day after dinner,
"may we go down to the garden and look for straw-
The strawberries are all gone, child, long ago."
Oh no, ma'am; I don't mean the Lafayettes, nor the
-the-what do you call them ?-the Chilis; but the little
Alpine strawberries that grow by Chryssa's garden. You
know they bear all summer."
Oh yes !" said Chryssa, jumping down from her chair,
"and then I can see if any of my damask roses are out.
May we, Aunt Esther ?"
If you won't stay too long. The sun is very hot."
"We won't stay too long," replied the young ones, as
they ran off.
The garden lay to the north of the house; and on either
side the gate, as you entered, were the two little plots of
ground which the children called their own. They were not
very full of flowers as yet, though from time to time Mr.
Rutherford brought home some roots or plants that he had
MR. RUTJHERrFORD'S CHILDREN.
found in the market, and placed them here. The last
arrival of this kind had been a bunch of golden buttons for
Chryssa, and a fine tuberose for Sybil, and these were
flourishing nicely. But Chryssa's chief delight was her
damask rose-bush, while Sybil took no small pride in a
little double-flowering almond. Early in the season this
had been covered with delicate blossoms, as if a light fall
of pink snow had rested there; and Chryssa's patience was
sorely tried, for her rose-tree at the same time presented
nothing but green leaves.
"I don't believe my rose-bush can have such pretty
flowers," she said, if it ever has any at all !"
But as the days passed on the almond flowers faded,
while on the other side of the walk some little rosebuds
made their appearance; at first green like the leaves, then
by degrees striped with dark red, as if it were the dress
of a little fairy who was trying very hard to get out; for
there was every day more and more red and less and less
green. To-day there was a rose open-not to its full ex-
tent, but in a beautiful half-blown state of sweetness.
Oh, it's lovely!" Chryssa exclaimed, in ecstasy. Did
you ever see anything so beautiful ?" And then carefully
taking hold of the stem she bent it down until nose as
well as eyes could have the benefit of it. Oh me,'how
I don't believe it's half so sweet as this," said Sybil,
who had betaken herself to the Alpine bed, and was now
holding up one of the berries.
Are there any strawberries ?" said Chryssa, suddenly
.letting go the damask rose, which flew back with such
energy that the bunch of bee-larkspur thought itself called
upon, and returned the visit the next time the wind set
"Are there any strawberries ?" repeated Chryssa, when
she had watched how the two neighbours knocked their
"Any? I think there are 1 Just look at all these red
ones," said Sybil, turning up the leaves; and there are
some white ones."
CHICKENS AND EGGS.
The strawberries were very tempting and sweet, and of
such a nice size, as the children remarked-" all ready cut
up into mouthfuls." It was very pleasant, too, this eating
first a red and then a white one, and all the talk about
which was best. Then suddenly Sybil jumped up and ut-
tered a loud scream.
Why, Syb, what in the world's the matter ?" exclaimed
Chryssa, when she had echoed the scream. Did you see
"No, indeed I didn't; but just when I was picking a
large white strawberry, a great ugly toad jumped out of the
leaves close by my hand; and it did startle me so! I
wonder if he thought I had no business to eat strawberries.
Ugh it makes a cold chill run all over me."
I wish a cold chill would run all over me," said
Chryssa, "for I'm very hot. But toads don't poison any-
I don't care," said Sybil, they're very ugly and dis-
agreeable. Come, let's go in. I don't want strawberries
if I can't have them without toads."
How you did scream!" said Chryssa, laughing.
"Well, so did you."
Oh well, because I didn't know what was the matter."
That was particularly wise, to scream for you didn't
Ah, but I screamed because you did, you know. I
thought there must be something the matter. I shouldn't
scream for the toad; I am sure I don't care that for him,"
said she, snapping her fingers.
I do wonder what's the use of toads," said Sybil; or
if they're only made to frighten people."
Think not," said Chryssa; they don't frighten me at
any rate; but I'll ask Uncle Ruth what they're good for,
if I don't forget."
When the beauty of roses and the ugliness of toads had
been much talked about to Mrs. Rutherford, Chryssa held
up the bunch of berries she had brought, and said, Now,
Aunt Esther, you shall have these strawberries upon one
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Not a hard one, I trust," said her aunt, smiling, for
certainly your berries look very tempting."
"Don't they !" said Chryssa. And just smell them;
now doesn't your nose confirm the report of your eyes, as
Sybil said to Uncle Ruth the other day ?"
Perfectly !" said Mrs. Rutherford. And now for
Now for conditions I want very much to know why
you call these Alpine strawberries, and where they grow,
and why the toads hide among them; and why my roses
are damask roses; I thought you said damask was some
kind of stuff like the cover of that big chair."
"For one condition you'd better say four," remarked
No. the condition is that I answer all these difficult
questions," said Mrs. Rutherford. Well, Chryssie, the
strawberries are called Alpine because it is said they grow
wild on the Alps."
The Alps !" repeated Chryssa; those are the very
high, big mountains in Switzerland, that always have snow
on them. I had them once for my geography question.
But what makes you say, It is said ?' "
"Because I have never been on the Alps myself, and
therefore know about them only from other people and
I don't believe they do grow there, then," said Chryssa.
How can strawberries live in the snow?"
They can live where the snow melts off in the summer;
and it is only the tops of the mountains that are white all
the year round."
I wish I could see them," said Chryssa; it must be
7ery funny to see strawberries and snow on the same moun-
tain. Oh, Sybil, we haven't looked for eggs to-day."
"I can't go now," said Sybil; I must read my Rollin."
Yes, I thought you wanted to read Rollin very much,
by the way you've been looking up and listening to me."
Suppose you give her nothing more to listen to, then,"
said Mrs. Rutherford. "What if you were to try how
much you can get interested in the boundaries of Ala-
CHICKENS AND EGGS.
Oh, Aunt Esther !" said Chryssa, laughing. Iknow
what you mean. Well, where's the atlas? But I don't
think I shall get interested at all, because you see it isn't
interesting. But I fancy I know them already. It's
bounded on the north by--"
Don't study aloud," said Mrs. Rutherford; "you will
But you have not told me about the toads, nor the
damask roses," said Chryssa, suddenly coming back from
the boundaries of Alabama.
We'll talk of them another time. I must be busy
now, and so must you."
And Chryssa did try to be busy and quiet, but it was
hard work, much harder than the boundary question. And
though she sat on the floor with the atlas in her lap, she
occasionally broke the silence by such ejaculations as
" High diddle diddle!" or a line of "The little kits about
the house," adding, in an under tone, I wish we had little
kits, I'm sure."
Miss Chryssa," said Janet, coming in while the western
boundary was in demand, Garret has found a hen with
ten little chickens, and he says, wouldn't you like to come
and put 'em in the coop, miss ?"
"Ten little chickens ?" screamed Chryssa, springing to
her feet, and dropping the atlas. "Where are they?
Where did he get them ? Oh yes, I should like it very
Garret's below, with the chcikens in a basket, miss."
Chryssa looked down at the atlas, and then up at her
aunt; but Mrs. Rutherford never raised her eyes.
I'll come in two minutes, Janet," she said, drawing a
long breath, and sitting down on the floor again; "tell
Garret to wait for me. I'll come just as soon as I can.
I've only got to find the capital of Alabama."
In two minutes it was found and stowed away in
Chryssa's head; the atlas was put back in the drawer, and
running down the steps, Chryssa skipped along the walk
to the locust grove, where she found the old hen in a
ZO MR. RITHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
What a pretty old hen !" said Chryssa, looking in.
But what makes her scream and poke her head through
the coop so?"
Garret, who had been sitting under the trees with the
basket of chickens, now came and looked at the old hen,
just as if he hadn't been watching her for the last ten
minutes, and said, "I suppose she wants her chickens,
Oh, where:are they ?" said Chryssa. "I'll give them
to her this minute."
But when she had cautiously lifted the cover of the
basket and peeped in, the chickens seemed quite too pretty
to part with.
Why can't I keep them in here, Garret ? and then I
'could play with them so nicely. Do you think the old hen
would care ? I don't believe she loves them half as well
as I do."
She loves them very much, miss," said Garret, shaking
his head. She just gave them all she could find to
.eat, and she flew at me like everything when I tried to
But she might have some other chickens," said
Chryssa, with a fresh peep into the basket. I dare say
we could find some ugly ones that would do very well for
She wouldn't have them, miss," said Garret; "most
hens will kill any strange chickens that come near them."
"Well, you shall have these, old hen," said Chryssa.
"Oh, what dear little soft things I and so fat. They're a
good deal prettier than if they had feathers. Let's see.
I'll put down this brown one first-no, the black one; I
like that least. There's only one black, and one brown,
and two grey, like the old hen; and how many-one, two
-don't run about so; I can't count you, chickies-one,
two, three, four, five, six white ones. There, now I hope
you are satisfied, old hen."
The old hen did seem to be satisfied, for after a few
turns up and down the coop, and a great deal of scratching
and clucking, she established herself in one corner, and
CHICKENS AND .EGGS.
spread out her wings to accommodate the chickens. They,.
crowding and struggling to get under her-now pushing
one another out, and.now in-at length made their mother
,cover a larger space than Chryssa would have thought
possible. She stood in.rapt attention. Suddenly the hen
got up and walked to the other corner, with the sleepy
chickens trooping after her; but when she had scratched
about for a little there, she returned and established her-
self once more in her old place. Soon all the chicks were
disposed of but one little grey one, which could by no,
means get under cover; but wisely resolving that his feet.
should be warm if his head was not, he jumped upon the
hen's back; and to .Chryssa's great delight, a white
chicken, who was, perhaps, in rather strait quarters, thrust
his head out through the feathers of the old hen's wing.
"I never saw such black eyes as he has!" thought
Chryssa, while her own grew very bright and big. And
then they were all quiet, except an occasional sleepy chirp
of remonstrance against the encroachments of a brother
chick, or a soft murmuring "Peep !" of pleasure. Even
the old hen shut her eyes and seemed to doze, opening
them now and then, however, to make sure that Chryssa
wasn't going to shoot her.
How long Chiyssa stood there with folded hands,
gazing into the coop, is uncertain. Garret had long since
gone to his work, and the sun was climbing higher and
higher into the tree-tops, and the chickens had dreamed a
perfect variety of things; yet she stood there, one foot
standing quietly by the side of the other foot, and the
wind blowing her little white apron to and fro; the empty
basket by her side; and those two little clasped hands
never' stirred from each other. A chipping-bird, as he
flew home to his nest, very nearly lighted upon her for
a little post, she stood so still.
And how long she would have remained there is also
very doubtful, if Sybil and the egg-basket had not come
running down the road.
Oh, there you are, Chryssie," said Sybil, "and the
chickens too, I suppose. Are they pretty ?"
52 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Oh, they're beautiful 1" said Chryssa, without stirring
It was agreed, however, that Sybil should see the brood
another time, "It would be such a pity to wake them
up;" and when Chryssa had eagerly told all she had seen
and heard, they proceeded to the barn.
"Where's Garret, I wonder ?" said Sybil; "you know
we want him to open the barn door and go up the ladder
Garret appeared at her call, and opened the door and
looked in the hayloft, but could find no eggs; then he
returned to his work.
It's odd there are none up there," said Sybil; "there
ought to be some; and there are only two in the nest on
the floor. I'll tell you what, Chryssa, it looks as if there
might be a nest up in that corner, in the hay behind that
old blue door, that looks as if it had been thrown there
on purpose. Do you see?"
"Yes, I see," said Chryssa, standing on tiptoe; "at
least I see the door. But you can't climb up there; shall
I call Garret?"
No, no; I want to go myself. I tell you I can climb
better than he can, this minute. Stop! I'll take out
these eggs for fear I should break them. Now, you stand
still; don't step on the pitchfork, or tumble out of the
Chryssa laughed and stood still, and her sister scrambled
up on the heap of hay.
Oh, Chryssa !" she exclaimed, as she put her head
behind the blue door, "here's a nest, and ever so many
eggs in it !"
"How many?" said Chryssa, wishing very much that
she was big enough to climb heaps of hay.
I don't know yet. There's eight, I believe; but you
know I must leave one for a nest-egg, so there are only
seven for us."
Well, that's a good many," said Chryssa, folding
her hands in a new position, and looking very much
CHICKENS AND EGGS.
Yes, indeed; and they're such big ones, too. There
must be more than one hen that has a nest up here, for-
some of the eggs are brown, and some are white."
I suppose they think it's a nice place," said Chryssa.-
" But now, Syb, take care of yourself coming down-the'
hay is slippery. Now, let me see; oh, what beauties! how
nice and white they look, all but that one, and that's as
brown as Aunt Esther said my neck would be-as brown
as an Indian. I thought you said some of them were
brown-there's only one."
"Well, one's some," said Sybil.
Is it ?" said Chryssa. Well, mayn't I look in that
other new nest that we made in the cowhouse yesterday ?
You took all the eggs out of this one."
I don't believe there's anything there," said Sybil, as
they crossed the barn-yard, "but you may look. Hens
don't always like the nests other people make for them."
So hens are people, are they ?" said Chryssa. Now
we'll see. Oh, let me open the door: I can. Oh yes,
here are two new eggs in the nest! I dare say Speckle
laid 'em-she's such a nice little hen. I wish I could take
"Well, take them, then," said Sybil, and I'll put in
this nest-egg out of the manger; the hens don't lay there
any more. Now let's make haste, Chryssa, it's time for
Uncle Ruth to be home, and you know he will bring the
fan to-night, so I want to meet him first."
"What sort of a fan will he get?" said Chryssa.
I don't know; but I asked him not to get one with
either a pink or a green ribbon, so that it needn't be like
Why, I should like it to have a ribbon like mine,"
said Chryssa; "you are so funny; you never want any-
thing if anybody has got something like it."
"There's the gig coming along the lane," said Sybil;
"take this basket, Chryssa; I must run."
But, Sybil !" called out little Chryssa, into whose hand
the basket was thrust, I want to run too; and I can't,
with the basket."
MR. RUTHERFORD' CHILDREN.
Pat, pat, went Sybil's feet along the walk, and presently
Chryssa began to run too; then she heard the eggs go
rattle, rattle, in the basket, in a very breakable sort of
way. She stopped and looked in; they were not broken
yet, but they might be. Then she set the basket down
under a locust-tree; no, that wouldn't do; somebody
might knock it over, or steal it. She took up the basket
again, her heart swelling and her lips trembling with the
disappointment, and walked on towards the house as fast
as she could; but with very faint hopes of getting there in
time to see the fan presented, much less unrolled. Sud-
denly Sybil came flying down the walk towards her again,
and catching the basket in one hand and Chryssa's hand
in the other, she began to run for the house; but carrying
the basket so steadily that the eggs did not say a word.
Neither did Chryssa, for she was too much out of breath;
and after all they got to the gate as soon as the gig did,
and Mr. Rutherford jumped out and walked with them.
Uncle Ruth," said Sybil, after the first greeting,
"have you got the fan?"
"What does that look like ?" said he, with a. smile, and
handing her a flat and very fan-like little parcel.
Oh, that must be it," said Chryssa; and as Mr.
Rutherford passed into the house, the children stood still
on the gravel-walk and opened the paper. There was the
fan, of dark grey feathers, and with a purple ribbon
fastened to the handle. It gave great satisfaction.
It's prettier than either of ours," said Chryssa, and
the ribbon's longer. I'm very glad! But oh, Sybil, hof
good you were to come back for me; because I never
should have got here if you hadn't."
No, I wasn't good," said Sybil; and I didn't go back
because I wanted to help you, so you needn't thank me for
it. If I had been good I shouldn't have left you in the
I think you were very good," said Chryssa, contentedly.
So they went in and gave Mrs. Rutherford her birthday
present, and she was quite as much surprised and pleased
as they had expected.
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR. 55
Uncle Ruth," said Chryssa, when she had taken hold
of his hand, and was walking up and down the drawing-
room with him after tea, did you get the ribbon because
you liked the fan, or the fan because you liked the ribbon?"
I think the ribbon had the most to do with my choice.
I had picked out a fan with a pink ribbon, but then I re-
membered Sybil's prohibition."
Oh, I wish you could have got that," said Chryssa,
"and then it would have been like mine. Is this fan as
pretty as that one ?"
"Quite as pretty."
"What nice things ribbons are," said Chryssa, after a
"Do you know what they are made of?"
"Why, no, Uncle Ruth; they look a little like Aunt
Esther's silk frocks, only they're softer."
"They are made of silk threads, as those frocks are;
and the silk threads are made by a worm."
"A worm, Uncle Ruth? Garret showed me some worms
the other day when he was digging, but they didn't look as
if they could make silk or anything else. They were very
Those were earthworms; the silkworms are short and
thick, and of a whitish colour."
And can they make ribbons ?" said Chryssa, wonder-
They make the silk threads from which ribbons and all
other silk things are woven. Some day I will take you to
Mir. Grandin's, and show you his silkworms, and then you
will understand more about it."
"Oh, thank you, Uncle Ruth!" And so it was settled.
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR.
SYBIL !" cried Chryssa, the minute she opened her eyes
next morning, did we find any eggs in that nest yester-
56 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
"What nest ?" said Sybil, very sleepily.
"Why, that new nest we made in the cow-house-don't
you know ?"
Why yes, child, of course we did. How can you.
forget so !"
"I didn't forget, but I thought that perhaps I'd
"Well, you didn't dream it-at least I don't know but
you dreamt it, but it's true; so I hope you are satisfied."
"We found two eggs, didn't we? I was thinking of
two nice white eggs."
And if you'd been thinking of twenty you needn't have
waked me up. Do go and leave me in peace and quiet."
"Ah, but you oughtn't to be quiet," said Chryssa.
"You'd better not go to sleep again, I can tell you, or
you'll be as late as you were yesterday. Come !-get up !"
Won't you go and feed your chickens, Chryssa ?"
"Oh, my chickens!-poor little things-I dare say
they're hungry. But I'm not ready yet, you see, so they
And then came an eager and determined splashing in
the basin, which would have told any person with one ear
open that Chryssa was washing herself; but both Sybil's
ears were more than half shut, therefore she took up a
"It doesn't rain, does it ?" she inquired, a little more
sleepily than before.
Why no!" said Chryssa, laughing merrily as she
rubbed her face with the towel. If you'd only open your
eyes you'd see that it doesn't. I wonder they don't get open
in spite of you, the sun's right on them. There! I do be-
lieve I heard one of the chickens cry this minute. Sybil, how
long do you suppose it will be before they get feathers ?"
How many feathers ?" said Sybil, who, between Chryssa
and the sun, was waking up in spite of herself." They'll
have some in a week, I dare say."
Well, I mean a great many feathers-wings and tail
and all, just as the old hen has. How long will it be
before they'll be as big as the old hen ?"
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR. 57
Oh, I don't know," said Sybil, turning over. How
can I tell? By the time the old hen's superannuated,
I should think."
Chryssa stood, with an intensely grave face, trying to
imagine what superannuated could mean; but Sybil's now
resolutely closed eyes gave no encouragement to further
questions, and, catching up her sun-bonnet, she ran down
to the kitchen. At least she was running down, when
Mrs. Rutherford called her.
Where are you going, Chryssa?"
"To get some Indian meal, Aunt Esther, to feed my
It's too wet for you now, dear; stay here till after
"But, Aunt Esther," said Chryssa, appearing at the
parlour door, my chickens must be very hungry."
I don't believe they're awake yet," said Mrs. Ruther-
ford. "What do you suppose would become of such little
chickens, if the old hen should let them go out in the wet
grass so early in the morning? No, no, you may be sure
she takes as good care of her chickens as I do of mine;
and see, here comes breakfast."
I don't think I'm a chicken at all," said Chryssa, laugh-
ing. Then you don't really think they're awake ?"
I don't suppose a single one of them has got his eyes
open. But where's Sybil-isn't she up ?"
She hasn't got her eyes open, either, I believe," said
Chryssa; and, jumping up-stairs, she not only awoke her
sister with the news that the coffee-pot was on the table,
but also slightly aroused her sister's displeasure by sundry
comparisons drawn from the supposed fact that the chickens
were yet slumbering. Whence Chryssa came to the wise
conclusion that it is -best not to say much to people until
they are broad awake.
I shall come home early this afternoon," said Mr.
Rutherford, as they sat at breakfast, "and we will drive
out to Grandin's. I promised Chryssa to show her his
What does he keep them for, Uncle Ruth ?"
58 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
"More for amusement than anything else, I believe."
"Oh, let us have some too," said Chryssa; "it would
be so nice to have the silk threads and make ribbon."
Mr. Rutherford smiled.
It takes more than silk threads to make ribbons," he
said; and perhaps when you have seen the worms you
will care less about having them. I think your chickens
are much prettier pets."
Thus reminded of her new charge, Chryssa got a saucer
and spoon and went off to the meal-tub; and when she had
carefully mixed as much as chickens with full-grown appe-
tites could require, she ran down to the locust grove, and
soon found, to her disappointment, that the old' hen was
able to eat much more than all the chickens put together.
However, they chirped over their tiny breakfast with a
satisfied air that was very pleasant as far as it went, and
Chryssa comforted herself with the hope that they would
have larger appetites in time.
The afternoon was very clear and pleasant. Mr. Ruther-
ford came home early as he had promised, and they set out
in high spirits for Mr. Grandin's-such high spirits, indeed,
that Chryssa not taking good care of her little parasol, a
jolt of the carriage flung it into the road, and in a moment
the wheel had passed over it. Well, it couldn't be helped;
but she thought that did not mend the matter much, and
her complacency was not fairly restored till she caught
sight of the rustic summer-houses, and smelled, or fancied
she smelled, the flowers in Mr. Grandin's garden.
They were very cordially received, and the garden was
very beautiful. Flowers-flowers-everywhere, and curious
trees and shrubs, and little white rabbits hiding their red
eyes behind prison bars, where Chryssa pitied them very
much. And as they walked about, Miss Grandin picked
all sorts of beautiful and sweet flowers for them, till all
Chryssa's fingers were too few to hold her share.
*Then they went into the house to see the silkworms.
Chryssa did not like them near so well as she expected.
They were large whitish-coloured things, with too many
feet for beauty, Chryssa thought, walking about and eating
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR. 59
leaves, and looking very comfortable and very ugly. What
could they have to do with pink ribbons ? And just as she
was thinkibi how well it was they were shut up, Miss
Grandin opened a little door in the frame, and taking out
a particularly large worm, laid it lovingly against her cheek.
Chryssa turned away in great disgust, and looked at a cage
of white mice, which seemed quite beautiful by comparison,
though in themselves she thought them very ugly and
"Why, Chryssa !" said Mr. Rutherford, when he came
in from the garden, I thought you wanted to see the silk-
I have been looking at them, Uncle Ruth, but I didn't
want to get them on me."
Miss Grandin laughed, and put the worm back and shut
the door; and then very unwillingly Chryssa came up to
the frame again.. But Mr. Rutherford wanted her to hear
all they were talking and telling about the worms, how that
in the first thirty days after one is hatched it eats sixty
thousand times its own weight of leaves, and increases
forty times in length, and nine thousand five hundred times
in weight. How it takes twelve pounds of cocoons to make
one pound of reeled silk; and this one pound makes four-
teen yards of excellent Gros de Naples.
"What is reeled silk ?" said Sybil.
"The cocoons are thrown into boiling water to destroy
the moth, and then they are stirred about with a bunch of
twigs till the twigs catch the ends of the silk threads, then
the threads are wound off upon a reel."
The cocoons were very pretty, Chryssa thought; but she
entirely disapproved of the boiling water.
"Why must they kill the moth, Uncle Ruth ?" she asked.
"Because it would eat its way out through the cocoon,
and so injure the silk."
How many threads would the moth cut ?" said Chryssa,
with an endeavour to get at the probable loss of letting it live.
"Properly speaking there is but one thread on each
cocoon, but as it is wound round and round, the moth in
eating its way out would cut this thread many times."
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
The balance between loss of life and of silk was easy to
strike in Chryssa's mind. Why couldn't they piece the silk ?
But that stuff looks so rough," said Sybil; not a bit
like threads of silk."
That is only the outer covering; the fine silk thread
I shouldn't think there would be much room for it,"
said Sybil. A very short thread would make that little
The cocoon is small, I grant you," said Mr. Ruther-
.ford, but so is the silk very fine; and the thread which
makes that little cocoon is about three hundred yards long,
spun double. It is very light, too, and ten thousand cocoons
do not generally yield five pounds of silk."
And here Mrs. Grandin (thinking, perhaps, that Chryssa
must be tired and bewildered with the long threads of silk)
opened a closet door, the inner surface of which was entirely
covered with butterflies, and beetles, and dragon flies, and
ichneumon flies, and chafers, of every size and colour, and
mixture of colour. What could make them stay here ?
Chryssa wondered, but she did not like to ask. So she
stood still and looked at the butterflies, and they stood
still too, there did not a wing flutter. They were not even
tempted by Chryssa's bunch of flowers, though she looked
down to see if none of them had transferred themselves.
Then Mrs. Grandin pointed to a large purple emperor
on the door, and began a long story of how she had been
walking in the garden to look at a new Amaryllis; how
the butterfly had alighted on her shawl; how the gardener
had cried out and she had chid him; and then how she
had skilfully covered her prize with a bell-glass. Chryssa
felt more and more puzzled. Would Mrs. Grandin really
catch a live butterfly and stick him up there ? and how
could she ? and were all the occupants of the door dead or
alive at that present moment? She couldn't tell, but
somehow the door didn't look so pretty to her now;
and she was just turning away to the white mice again,
when Mrs..Rutherford took leave, and they came away. No
sooner were they a1l in the carriage than Chryssa began:
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR. 61
"Uncle Ruth, what did make those butterflies stay on
that door ?"
They were fastened there."
"Fastened there ?"
"Yes; if you had looked a little closer you would have
seen a small pin thrust through each."
But I don't understand," saidChryssa, knitting her
brows with excess of perplexity; I thought she said that
big butterfly got on her shawl in the garden ?"
So she did; and it was there she caught him."
"But if he could fly about he wasn't dead."
"Certainly not; I believe none of the butterflies were
dead till they were pinned up to the door. People seldom
find dead butterflies in such good preservation."
Mrs. Grandin must be a nice woman!" said Sybil,
Some people are very fond of collecting insects," said
Mr. Rutherford, with a slight smile at Chryssa's speech-
less face; "and as they would not stay in the house
alive, these people take various ways of killing them.
Sometimes they are killed instantly, by being pierced with
a pin dipped in a very strong and poisonous liquid; some-
times they are merely fastened up to a door, and left to
die at their leisure. This, I believe, was the fate of those
you saw to-day."
But it's dreadfully cruel! Don't you think so, Uncle
Dreadfully cruel, indeed; but, unfortunately, there are
plenty of people in the world who are willing to do cruel
things for their own amusement."
I don't want ever to go there again," said Chryssa, who
really looked pale at the idea of such an unscrupulous
slaughter of butterflies.
"Not even to get such flowers ?" said Mr. Rutherford.
"Look at those roses and geraniums in your hand,
Yes, Uncle Ruth, they're very sweet, but I don't like
people that do so."
"I don't like the things they do," said her uncle,
62 MR. BUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
"but you must not judge the people too harshly. All are
not equally tender-hearted by nature, nor by education.
I do not suppose Mrs. Grandin had the least idea that
there was anything wrong or cruel in what we dislike so
I don't see why she should take the trouble to be cruel
for butterflies," said Sybil. I'm sure I wouldn't."
Oh, I would !" said Chryssa. If it wasn't cruel.I'd
get some too. They're such beautiful things!"
She sat for some time with her head a little on one side,
her hands with the beautiful bunch of flowers hanging list-
lessly down in her lap, and her eyes fixed on the road; but
not apparently thinking of it or its shadows, to which the
setting sun gave more and more length and distinctness
Chryssa !" said Mrs. Rutherford, are you asleep ?"
Oh no, Aunt Esther, I was thinking-don't butter-
flies ever die ? I mean, unless somebody kills them ?"
Yes, indeed; they are by no means immortal, nor even
very long lived."
Then if I found any dead ones I might keep them,
"To be sure. I don't think you would ever get so very
fond of them as to catch live ones too."
But what will you do with them, Chryssie ?" said
Mr. Rutherford. I doubt whether Aunt Esther would
care to have her closet doors ornamented in such a
Oh, I wouldn't put them on the doors, Uncle Ruth,"
said Chryssa, smiling. I'll put them in a box-if I get
You haven't got a box," said Sybil.
Yes I have; I've got a little tin box that had soda
powders in it-no, that's too small."
Well, when that is full you shall have another," said
But, Aunt Esther, I'm afraid that's too small for any-
"Don't you think itwould hold a beetle-or a lady-bug?"
Oh yes," said Chryssa, laughing, but I wasn't
THE SILKWORMS AND THE BUTTERFLY DOOR. 63
thinking of beetles; I was thinking of that big purple
"I fear you will not find such a one very soon, dear
Chryssie; they live in the tops of the high trees, and
seldom come down within reach of people's fingers."
"But if one died he might have to come down," said
Well, dear," said her aunt, smiling, "if one does, you
shall have a box for it."
You'll never want to sing I'd be a butterfly' again,
Chryssa," said Sybil.
Oh yes I shall," said Chryssa, "because, you know, if
I was a butterfly I would never let Mrs. Grandin catch me 1"
And she began to sing:
"Oh I'd be a butterfly-flitting about
From roses to lilies, now in and now out.
I'd flutter all day in the sun's pleasant ray,
And with butterfly brothers I'd merrily play.
"And I'd be a honey-bee-busy and bright
From sunrise at morning till dew-fall at night.
Sweet honey I'd store, till the season was o'er,
And the comb and the hive were too fall to hold more.
"Oh, I'd be the violet, modest and sweet!
And almost unseen in my shady retreat;
Yet there can be no doubt I should soon be found out,
For my perfume would spread itself all round about.
"And I'd be the lily that lives in the vale,
With tall leaves to shelter my flowers so pale.
I'd hang my head there with my sisters so fair,
And our breath should be borne on the soft summer air.
"But now, sir, you must not believe that we would
Be a butterfly, flower, or bee it we could.
Oh no! we agree that we rather had be
Just such little children as those you now see."
"Yes," said Mr. Rutherford, "and just such little
children as those wishes would make you. As light-hearted
as the. butterflies, as busy as bees-and seeking honey from
the best flowers-as modest and humble as the violet. And
how can you be like the lily ?"
The children did not speak, and then Mrs. Rutherford
looked up and said softly, That you k(ep yourselves un-
spotted from the world."
64 MR. RUTHERFORD'S OHILDBCEN.
CATS AND CRACKERS.
THE children were eating a lunch of bread and milk.
Seated by a little table behind the parlour door, they took
alternate spoonfuls out of the same bowl.
Do you like the crust or the soft best?" said Sybil.
I like the crust best."
"So do I. It's a pity we both like it best."
"Well," said Chryssa, "you take a mouthful of crust,
and then I'll take a mouthful of crust. That'll be fair."
So they ate away at the soft," and then Sybil would
say, "Now let us take some crust;" and a few bits of
crust were taken accordingly.
Why did we have lunch to-day ?" said Chryssa.
Because Uncle Ruth's coming home to dinner, so it'll
be late," said Sybil. And Aunt Esther says we may go
and see Betsy Donovan."
Oh, that'll be very nice !" said Chryssa. I like to
go there-don't you?"
Yes, pretty well," said Sybil. "Now, Chryssa, you
took crust twice running."
Did I ?" said Chryssa; "well, I didn't mean to do so.
I was thinking about Betsy Donovan, so I suppose I took
"Never mind, I don't care," said Sybil. You may
take two pieces more if you've a mind. But, Chryssa, if
I Betsy offers us any candy to-day, do not let us take it."
"' Why ?" said Chryssa; I like that candy very much.
Betsy gave me some twice, and I ate it all up. It tasted
just like cloves. I never saw such candy anywhere else:
why shouldn't we take it ?"
Because," said Sybil, Betsy keeps it to sell, and it
doesn't seem right for us to eat it. I knowit's very good,
but she might get a penny for every stick she gives us;
and she is poor."
Well, if that'I all," said Chryssa, I'll give her a
CATS AND CRACKERS.
penny for it to. I would have asked Aunt Esther for
one before, if you'd told me."
But Betsy wouldn't let us pay for it," said Sybil. I'm
sure she wouldn't. She's always very glad to give it to us,
but then I don't think we ought to take it."
Well, I won't, then," said Chryssa; but it's a great.
The children got ready, and set out with Janet to walk
to Betsy Donovan's little house. It was quite a long walk
from Mr. Rutherford's, but on a pretty, winding road, so
shady with trees and sweet with flowers, that most people
would have called it too short.
The house was very small, and as brown as summer
suns and winter storms could make it; for paint it had.
none, except upon the roof and the front door, and they were
both red. The front window displayed a variety of tempta-
tions to the passer-by to stop and spend his money, if he
had any; and if he had not, to stand outside and wish
that he had. And as Betsy's house stood by the sea-shore,
and a great many fisher-boys went that way, the grass
under the window was almost as well trodden and worn as
the boards of her little floor. For in the window stood
candies upon every little ledge, leaning some one way and
some the other; while spools of cotton, penny trumpets,
whistles, cigars, and scalloped gingerbread, were arranged
in what is commonly called tempting confusion" upon the
window and the window-sill.
There was only a little strip of grass by the house, and
then there came shore weeds, and the mere shore itself,
stretching down in sandy barrenness to where the wet feet
of the little waves came frolicking over the pebbles. Odd-
looking sea-birds, with long necks and legs, stalked about
over the sand, on which an old fish-boat or two lay drawn
up high and dry, out of reach of the tide. Everything
was very still this afternoon, and even a windmill that
stood off in the distance was as motionless as if it had no
arms, or didn't know how to use them. Andrew Donovan
was down on the shore mending his fishing-net, and Betsy
sat sewing on the step of the door.
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Of course she was very glad to see the children, and
provided them at once with the very best and smallest
chairs that she had. And the next thing was to take
down two sticks of that very yellow-striped candy from the
window, and give one to Sybil and one to Chryssa. And
they could no more have helped eating it than they could
have helped wishing for it-Betsy put it into their hands,
and would hear no word of refusal. She would also have
made them eat some of the scalloped gingerbread, but it
was most resolutely declined. As neither of the children
was partial to gingerbread, this was the easier done.
And so they sat there for a while with great satisfactibn-
Janet and Betsy talking, and Sybil and Chryssa perched
up on their chairs eating the yellow-striped candy.
Then came two little ragged boys for something out of
the window-a scalloped gingerbread-which they imme-
diately divided, and two bunches of queer little red rolls
of something. Chryssa watched these commodities deli-
vered and the pennies received, with great interest.
"What sort of candy was that, Betsy ?" she inquired,
as Mrs. Donovan came back to her seat.
"It wasn't candy at all, love-it was just fire-crackers."
"Fire-crackers 1" said Chryssa, "what's fire-crackers ?
Oh, Sybil what's that?"
A queer little pop outside the door called forth this
last exclamation; and then there was another pop, and
another, and then a whole succession of them, coming so
fast that Chryssa was almost too frightened to ask
What is it? it's very disagreeable-I'm afraid of it."
"It's only the fire-crackers," said Betsy. They won't
hurt you-they don't hurt anybody."
But I don't like them at all," said Chryssa, drawing
close to her sister, who sat up quite straight and coura-
geously, though not liking the crackers herself. I wish
they'd stop-what makes those boys do so ?"
They are for the fourth of July," said Betsy; they
bought them on purpose to fire them off."
But it isn't the fourth now," said Sybil.
CATS AND CRACKERS.
No, miss, but the boys isn't particular about the time,
so they have the crackers."
"But what shall we do ?" said Chryssa, "we -can't get
home. Why must they do that for the fourth of July ?
I wish they wouldn't."
They've gone off a bit now," said Janet, looking out
between the sticks of candy and scalloped gingerbread.
I think we can get away before they come back again."
And saying good-bye in great haste to Betsy, the two
children ran off from the house so fast, that Janet could
not come up with them until they stopped at what they
thought a safe distance.
Let's gather some flowers to take home," said Sybil,
when they were in the wood road again. See, here are
"And here are buttercups, and some great big white
No, they're only great big bunches of white flowers,"
"Oh!" said Janet, "don't pick that, Miss Chryssa.
"Elder's nothing but a weed-the farmers' boys all cut
them down. And with all the pinks and poppies you've
got at home, too."
I don't care," said Chryssa; I like these very much,
they're so sweet. And the pinks we've got now aren't
sweet a bit, and the poppies never are. I think poppies
would be too pretty if they were sweet. This isn't sweet
either, but it's pretty."
A green vine, with bunches of purple flowers and green
and red berries, was twining in and out the fence, and
clambering over a branch of the elder.
"Don't pick that," said Sybil, "it's poison. Maria
Delue says it's nightshade."
Here are nice flowers," said Chryssa, running up to
tall blackberry-bush that had put forth its white stars
somewhat late in the season.
Yes, and nice thorns, too," said Sybil. You'd better
come away. Don't you remember the fox that tried to get
through the bramble hedge ?"
68 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
"I wish I had all those stories," said Chryssa, quitting
the blackberry. "I like them so much-all about the
foxes, and the cocks, and the iron pots."
Well, I'll tell you something," said Sybil. "I knew
you wanted that book, and so I asked Uncle Ruth to get
it for you."
Oh, how good you are!" said Chryssa. "Do you
think he'll get it to-day ?"
I can't tell-maybe, and maybe not. Some days he's
too busy to think of anything. Come, let's sit down here
and rest, and I'll tell you a story."
Oh, do !" said Chryssa, running to seat herself on a
stone; that will be so nice."
"Well, then, once upon a time- "
But what makes you always say, Once upon a time
there was' ?" said Chryssa. Why don't you say, There
Oh, because I don't want you to suppose it's a true
story," said Sybil. There is,' means something true,
you know, and once upon a time' stories may be true or
not. But there is a great deal of truth in this one, only
it's not all true. There was once a little worm crawling
about on an oak-leaf. And there were half a dozen
other little worms that were his brothers and sisters. And
they used to go up and down the leaf, and when they had
eaten the most of it up they went to another. Then every
night they all slept in a great soft web where the dew
could not get at them. One day, somebody told this first
"Who told him ?" said Chryssa.
"Oh, I don't know," said Sybil. Somebody told him
that he must spin a little house for himself, and shut him-
self up, and'stay there for ever so long."
"Was he to die ?" asked Chryssa.
"No, he shouldn't die, but he must stay there for a
long time, and then he should come out again. But he
never could be a little worm any more."
"What should he be, then ?" said Chryssa.
"Why, he should be a butterfly, with golden wings and
CATS AND CRACKERS.
bright eyes; and he should fly about all the day long, and
call at the flower-houses and eat honey."
"Well, that was a great deal better," said Chryssa.
"I don't like little worms-much."
"He didn't think so," said Sybil. "He thought he
would rather be a worm, and he was very sorry to think
he never should crawl about on oak-leaves any more."
"And did he spin his house, and live there, and come
out a butterfly ?"
"Yes," said Sybil, "he was obliged."
"Well," said Chryssa, "when he was a butterfly, did he
find any of the other little worms that had turned into
butterflies too ?"
I don't know," said Sybil. Yes, I suppose so. Of
course he did."
Why, Sybil," said Chryssa, who had been thinking
very gravely for two minutes, you've made this all up
from what Aunt Esther was talking about yesterday I
heard her say that people do not die when we say they
die, any more than a worm dies when it turns into a
I saw a worm and a butterfly both on a rose," said
Sybil, and it made me think of it. I was thinking how
papa and mamma are watching for us, and wondering that
we don't long to come to heaven."
By this time they were rested, and walked on. It so
happened that Mr. Rutherford did remember Chryssa's
book that very day, and the first thing he gave her, after
a kiss, when she got home, was a nice little dark brown
volume, full of pictures, and with ".Esop's Fables," in
gilt letters, on the back.
I hardly know whether it is a very nice copy, dear,"
he said, but I found it not easy to get one at all."
Chryssa's thanks were few, for, upon opening the book,
such a delightful mixture of "foxes, and cocks, and iron
pots," caught her eye, that there was nothing for it but
to sit down at once and begin to read.
But she was not half through the foxes before Mrs.
Rutherford said it was too dark to read.
70 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Come down to the garden with me," she said, and
see how your flowers grow."
In one minute, Aunt Esther," said Chryssa.
But by the time she had finished the last speech the
bramble made to the fox, thinking to herself how funny
it would have been if the blackberry had talked so to her,
Mrs. Rutherford was half way down the green slope.
Chryssa went hop, skip, and jump, to overtake her, and
in her haste tumbled over, and was near demolishing a
little toad, which, however, got off with no very serious
See the consequence of running so fast," said Mrs.
Rutherford; you have almost killed that poor little
A word thoughtlessly spoken!
Poor Chryssa the idea of running over or hurting any-
thing was bad enough, but an implied possibility that it
might have been avoided, made matters still worse. She
bestowed several very tender looks upon the toad, and
would have given him any assistance in her power; but
whenever she even thought of taking him from the grass
to the gravel-walk, the toad hopped off in the most un-
thankful manner. So Chryssa at last followed her aunt,
carefully enough this time, and wondering within herself
if she was never to run fast any more, or if toads were to
be always in the way-or, as it has been more poetically
expressed, if the world was not wide enough for her and
the toads too I"
She looked at the flowers with a very sober face, and
though she answered all Mrs. Rutherford's remarks about
them, her thoughts were on the slope with the unfortunate
and ungrateful little toad. Chryssa had really felt quite
hurt by his turning the cold shoulder to her in such a
From these sorrowful thoughts she was at last happily
aroused by the sight of some one coming up from the
gate; it was Mary, just returned from Canterbury.
It was plain that she had something wrapped up in her
apron, and in a moment both children were running. Sybil
CATS AND CRACKERS.
dashed through the grass, but Chryssa, remembering the
toads, went round by the gravel-walk; and by the time
Mary had reached the willow-tree, both little breathless
runners were there too. She set down her basket, and
unrolling her apron, she showed two little kittens, fast
asleep, and pretty and soft enough almost to justify the
children's exclamations. Both were grey and white.
But how shall we know which is which ?" said
Chryssa. Oh, I'll tell you; this one has got two grey
ears, and that one has got one white ear. Now you
"Well, I'll take grey ears," said Sybil.
"Then I'll take white ear," said Chryssa. I like it
just as well. Now, kitty, don't scratch me. Poor kitty!"
she exclaimed, in some doubt, as the kitten, clinging to
Mary's apron with all its might, wrinkled up its nose and
mewed most piteously. "What's the matter? I won't
"'Twouldn't hurt her if ye did, I guess," said Mary.
"Here, I'll put 'em in yer aprons," said she, disengaging
the kittens with what seemed no very gentle pull. There,
now take 'em off and put 'em to bed."
But where were they to sleep ?
The children said up-stairs, but Mrs. Rutherford said
down, and down it was; though many were the fears that
the kittens would take cold in a basket of hay on the
kitchen hearth. And the next question was what they
should be called, for to go to sleep to dream of unnamed
kittens was impossible.
After much deliberation, Sybil, to whom the matter was
referred, named her own, Bess, and the other, Cupid; and
then, after one farewell pat, and a minute's silence to see
" if they were purring," the two kittens who slept up-stairs
72 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
THERE were few people that came oftener to Rose-hill
than Mrs. Salisbury; and she was the children's grand-
mother. Whenever her coach was seen coming along the
lane, there was great calling and rejoicing from one to the
other, and great desire to hear some of grandmamma's
stories over again; and, it must be confessed, some curiosity
to know what was in grandmamma's basket. There was
also a great deal of interest connected with the crimped and
puffed borders of her caps; and though Chryssa had been
told about fifty times how they were done, she always forgot,
and asked again, or perhaps she liked to hear Mrs. Salis-
bury's description. If the old lady had a favourite of the
two children, it was certainly Sybil; but this seemed to
Chryssa quite proper and natural, for she was the oldest,
and knew so much the most; and she never drew any other
inference from the relative size of their workboxes or papers
of candy. But she was very much surprised one day when
Mrs. Salisbury said, Chryssa, I want you to go back with
me to Cleaveland."
Want me,?" she said, jumping up off the floor. Is
Aunt Esther going ?"
No, nobody is going but you. Grandpapa made me
promise to bring him one of his pets, and Aunt Esther and
Sybil will come to-morrow or next day. Will you go ?"
This morning ?" said Chryssa, doubtfully. No, grand-
mamma, I don't think I can."
Well, will you go this afternoon ? Come," she added,
seeing that Chryssa looked more dismayed than pleased,
" don't you want to see grandpapa and Brutus ?-and you
shall have a little bed all to yourself in my room."
The little bed was a great temptation-it was, moreover,
very flattering to be asked; and in spite of some undefined
misgivings at her inmost heart, Chryssa consented to go in
the afternoon, and having once consented, she would not
draw back. It would be very foolish, she thought, and un-
kind, too, when she was so much wanted. For Chryssa
was very particular about people's feelings. Many a time
her aunt's arm thrown over her at night when they were
sleeping together, was a heavier weight than her little body
could bear quite pleasantly; but she would have been
crushed rather than say she found such a token of Aunt
Esther's love uncomfortable.
So Chryssa consented to go to Cleaveland; and im-
mediately after an early dinner the coach came to the door.
Mrs. Salisbury had already gone down the steps, and
Chryssa was following, when suddenly she turned round
and ran up again.
Oh, Aunt Esther," she said, drawing Mrs. Rutherford
to one side of the hall, will you please give me a verse for
Her aunt looked down at her, and smoothed away the
hair from that little upturned face.
It must be a short one," said Chryssa, because, you
know, if I couldn't remember it, I mightn't know where to
And stooping to kiss her once more, Mrs. Rutherford
Our Father which art in Heaven.'
Look up to Him, Chryssie, and rest upon Him, a great
deal more than you do upon me. You are not going away
Before the scale of pleasure or pain had fairly descended
(perceptibly at least) in Chryssa's mind, she was in the
coach and outside the gate.
There was no doubt about it then. Into the scale which
held her going away from home, Chryssa threw all manner
of thoughts and recollections, imaginations, too, till it went
down, and down, and down. Before they reached the high
road, Mrs. Salisbury chanced to look at her little companion,
and saw that though she was perfectly quiet and silent, the
tears were running down her cheeks as if their fountain
74 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
My dear Chryssa !" she said, "what is the matter ?
Are you ill ?"
Chryssa might have answered that she never cried for
being ill, but she only shook her head.
Don't you want to go with me? Do not cry, love,
and I will tell Tim to turn, the minute we get to the road.
I would not take you on any account, if you don't want
No, Chryssa would not consent, to turn back; she was
steady in her resolve to go on; and by dint of rubbing her
eyes very hard, at last made them understand what was
expected of them; though whenever she tried to smile, tears
would come first. But if her face could have been seen
when no one was looking at it, Mrs. Salisbury would have
given Tim the order to turn without more ado.
The drive was long. How long it seemed to Chryssa
when her heart flew back-when she thought how happy
they all were at home !-but it ended at last; though it
was too dark for her to see much besides the old chimneys
against the evening sky, and the white gate through which
they passed and wheeled round to the front of the house.
Oh, how sweet the honeysuckles are !" said Chryssa,
sitting up straight on the broad, thick cushion of the coach,
roused at last by the perfume which came wafted in through
the window. And when Mr. Salisbury came out and lifted
her from the carriage, and made the old mastiff carry her
on his back across the piazza and into the hall, she felt
quite cheered. And then, when she was in the old parlour,
taking off her things and looking about, she brightened up
Tea was just getting ready; and not only was there the
pleasant sound of cups and saucers and spoons, but a most
agreeable smell of toast and smoked beef, and above all of
green tea, through the apartment.
Chryssa walked round the table, admiring the little silver
peacocks on the cover of the sugar-bowl and the teapot-lid,
as she had often admired them before, and comparing the
device on the spoon-handles with that on their own spoons
and forks at Rose-hill. On the whole, she preferred the oak-
leaf to the shell, and had no doubt but R was a much
prettier letter than S. And so for a while matters went on
But when all the old well-known objects had been exa-
mined, and tea was over, and the table cleared, Chryssa's
face began to take up its former gravity; and after some
vain efforts to amuse and brighten her up, Mrs. Salisbury
proposed that she should go to bed.
They went up-stairs, and there sure enough was the little
bed, as nice and white as could be. Chryssa was really
pleased, for she had never in her life slept by herself..
"Is this where Sybil slept ?" she inquired.
Yes," said Mrs. Salisbury, this is the very same bed.
And I shall be in this other bed, close by you, and will get
you anything you want."
Chryssa thought if that were the case she would have
Aunt Esther and Sybil there directly; but she was in no
mood to talk, and went to bed as fast as possible, without
stopping to say her prayers. Not that she forgot it; but
Mrs. Salisbury did not ask her to kneel at her lap as Mrs.
Rutherford would have done, and a new maid was there
whom she had never seen, and altogether Chryssa felt
strange and uncomfortable; and getting into her little bed,
she hid her face and prayed there-not without a good many
tears. She knew they had prayed for her that night at
home, for her uncle never forgot to mention Sybil when she
was away, and she felt quite sure he would not forget
Chryssa; but here nobody had prayed for them, or seemed
to think of praying at all. She wondered what could be
the reason; and then she went to sleep and dreamed again
the old dream about the bee and the locust flowers. Mean-
time her grandmother had gone down stairs, and the new
maid sat by the window, looking out. But when Mrs.
Salisbury came up again, and looked at the little sleeper
in her white bed, the yet wet cheek and eyelashes made
her think it would be some strong reason which should
make her bring Chryssa alone to Cleaveland a second
Morning brought brighter prospects-when does morn-
76 MR. RUTTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
ing not brighten all within as well as without ? and when
Chryssa awoke, her little heart turned a pirouette the very
first thing, and she thought it was doubtful, whether any-
body could ever shed tears for anything. So she lay in her
little bed with all manner of pleasantness. First it was
highly probable that Aunt Esther would come to-day; or
if not, Sybil might come, or her uncle ; or at all events they
would all come to-morrow. Then she had an indefinite
number of things to do to-day, to get ready for them, and
no less than three distinct topics of conversation already
stored up, that were to be revealed to no one but Sybil.
And over and through all, there was that undefined sense
of gladness, which seems to ride into this world from heaven
direct, upon the early sunbeams.
A little noise at her side made her turn her head; it was
only Mrs. Salisbury snoring. Chryssa wondered very much
how anybody could snore or sleep such a fine morning; and
getting out of bed very softly, she began to dress herself.
She was accustomed to do this, and always put her clothes
in nice order on a chair at night, with her shoes and stock-
ings under it on the floor, that she might know just where
to find them. But when she was dressed, and had paid her
respects to the old-fashioned washstand in the corner,
Chryssa began to feel lonely again, and to wish that some-
body else would wake up. And then she remembered her
verse; and she knelt down and prayed that her Father in
heaven would always love her and make her his child.
Then she went and stood at the window, and watched
the busy swallows that were fluttering and twitting about
their nests under the eaves of the piazza. .
Chryssa !" Mrs. Salisbury called out from the bed,
"come away, child-don't stand there, you'll tumble out."
Oh no, grandmamma," said Chryssa, but coming away
at the same time, I wasn't leaning out at all; and there's
the roof of the piazza, too."
No matter," said Mrs. Salisbury; if you fell out, you
might roll down. Go down stairs, dear, and I'll come
So Chryssa went one step at a time down the broad
stairs, which gave no creaking acknowledgment of such
little feet; stroked the great white cat that walked through
the hall and away from her with the air of a person at
home; and finally herself walked into the parlour.
How pleasant that old parlour was on a fine morning, it
would be hard to tell any one who had never seen it. Two
windows opened upon the piazza. Between them hung an
old-fashioned mirror, its round frame set with so many knobs
of gilding that you might have thought there were a dozen
Chryssas in the room, from the number of little faces
Opposite this mirror were two doors-the one leading to
the kitchen department, the other the entrance to a large
closet. A pleasant place that closet was, with its brown
stone cake jars, and glass pickle jars, and white earthen
jars of peaches, and purple glasses of crab-apples. The
hall door was on a third side of the room, and the fireplace
and two more windows on the fourth. Several old family
portraits, of Chryssa's great-great-grandfathers and
mothers, hung upon the walls; and a clock of very un-
certain age ticked in the corner.
It was a favourite maxim with Mr. Salisbury that a fire
was too pleasant a thing to be given up at any time of
year; and on this morning, as on every other of the three
hundred and sixty-five, the fireplace held coals and ashes
and two or three sticks of wood, and an insinuating little
flame; though the amount of the two last articles varied
with the season.
On one side of the chimney stood an old mahogany work-
table, a mahogany chair with leather-covered cushion, and
a mahogany footstool. The leather was of no particular
colour except that of Time's bestowing; only in one
corner could Chryssa's eyes find out a small spot of blue;
and she often thought how splendid the chair must have
been in the days of its glory. Beneath the work-table was
a very small brass-nailed trunk.
Mr. Salisbury's chair, with its three or four large square
cushions, had the other corner of the fireplace, and he him-
self had the chair.
MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
There he sat, reading the newspaper when Chryssa came
in; and Brutus lay on the rug, and agreed to all his
master's notions about the fire. For Brutus had grown
old too; and was no longer in so frisky a mood as he used
to be when Sybil was a little child; when she used to walk
round him with most fearful and respectful admiration,
and say, Poor little dog poor little dog he won't hurt
She might have walked over him now, and he would
hardly have raised his head. When Chryssa bid him good
morning he only beat the floor pretty hard with his tail.
The breakfast-table was set with blue India china, and
the peacock tea-service; the humming-birds fluttered
about the honeysuckles on the piazza; the swallows
twittered round their nests; and the sun sent his long
glad beams, past birds' and bees and flowers, through the
front windows of the old parlour, till they rested upon the
breakfast-table and Chryssa. No wonder they all looked
"Well," said Mr. Salisbury; "good morning. Have
you slept off the blues ?"
Oh yes," said Chryssa, "but I didn't know I had any.
What are blues, grandpapa ?"
Blues ?" said he, looking at her over his spectacles.
"Why, blues-are not precisely reds. You've heard of
rose-colour, haven't you ?"
Oh yes," said Chryssa again. My damask rose is
rose-colour. But what makes those swallows come into
the piazza so ? And what are they doing ?"
Doing, indeed !" said Mr. Salisbury, looking over his
spectacles again, but out of the window this time, and with
very different eyes. "Why, they're building under the
piazza-roof. I've had the nests knocked down half a dozen
times, and I think they are built up all the faster."
Had the nests knocked down ?" exclaimed Chryssa.
"To be sure. Just see what a mess they make," he
added, as a bit of mud fell from the loaded beak of a
swallow. And only look in that corner where the last
one was knocked down, and see how dirty the paint is."
But if there was a nest there the paint wouldn't look
dirty, would it ?" said Chryssa.
No, I suppose it wouldn't," said Mr. Salisbury, but
the nest would."
"Oh, I think they're so pretty 1" said Chryssa.
"Those mud nests ?"
"Oh yes, grandpapa, I think they're beautiful. And
there is a bird inside of one, looking out. How funny his
eyes look !"
About as funny as yours do, I think," said Mr. Salis-
bury. Well, the nests shall stay, if you like them."
Oh, may they ?" said Chryssa. Andwon't you knock
down any more ?"
"Not one. The swallows may thank you for it."
I'm sure I thank you, very much, grandpapa," she
answered. I'm 'so gladthe nests may stay. It's such a
pity the swallows should have so much trouble for nothing."
Breakfast was now' ready, and they sat down to the
table; but to Chryssa's sorrow again, her grandmother
began to pour out the coffee, and Mr. Salisbury gave her
some potato, without one word of thanks to the Giver of all
good; but just as if the fine morning, and breakfast, and
all their happiness, had come by chance. She had never
been there without her uncle before, and did not know the
habit of the family. Chryssa felt very much puzzled, and
tasted her tumbler of-milk, and set it down again, feeling
not quite sure whether she ought to begin her breakfast.
What's the matter, Chryssa ?" said Mrs. Salisbury;
"the milk isn't sour, is it ?"
Oh no," said Chryssa, "it's very good."
"Then why don't you drink it?" said Mr. Salisbury.
" Drink it up, and have some more."
Because I haven't thanked God for it yet," said Chryssa,
folding her hands gravely together; "and Aunt Esther
says I ought to always thank everybody for everything.
She does, if it's ever so little."
Mr. Salisbury swallowed his coffee and set down the
"Wife, give me another," he said. Why, Chryssa,
80 MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
people don't return thanks till after breakfast, that I ever
"Oh, but Uncle Ruth always asks a blessing," said
Chryssa, and he says that is one way of thanking God."
"Well," said Mr. Salisbury, as I'm half through my
breakfast you may as well begin yours, and you can talk
about this another time."
After breakfast Mrs. Salisbury got ready to go out and
walk in the garden, and Chryssa watched her with much
pleasure. It was always very amusing to look at her grand-
mother's prunella shoes-so very different from her own
little kid ones; and Mrs. Salisbury's sun-bonnet, so perfectly
white, so beautifully quilted, was worth anybody's atten-
tion. An old green silk parasol, antique and faded,
completed the outfit; and if the parasol could have been
changed into blue satin, it is doubtful whether it would
have suited Chryssa so well, or in her opinion have kept
off the sun so effectually. She had a kind of reverence for
both articles; and could not feel hot while the one was
upon her grandmother's head, and the other held over her
And in this attire they walked round the garden and
visited the pigs-Mrs. Salisbury very busy with her own
plans and arrangements, but often ready to hear Chryssa
talk; and Chryssa, quite able to be amused in silence
whenever it was needful.
Then they came into the house, and sat down on a little
flight of steps that led from the kitchen to the laundry, to
shell the peas for dinner.
Have you got any little chickens, grandmamma ?" said
Yes, dear, a good many: you shall see them after
dinner. We've got two broods of bantams."
"What are bantams ?" said Chryssa.
They are little white chickens with feathered legs.
They look as if they had on some of your frilled trousers."
Chryssa was much pleased with the prospect of seeing
" such funny chickens;" and the peas being all shelled,
she went to wash her hands and get ready for dinner.
A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL.
A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL.
NoT even a visit to the bantams, and a promise of a pair
to take home with her, could keep Chryssa's heart at rest
all the afternoon. For Aunt Esther had said that per-
haps she and Sybil would come to-morrow," and it was
"to-morrow," and perhaps is a very unquieting thing.
But though eyes and ears were on the watch for a
carriage, none came-except imaginary ones; and the
frequent coming of these was not to be endured without
growing sad. Chryssa's face became as decidedly in
twilight as did all the objects out of doors; and the little
sigh now and then told that her heart had too much pent
up within it.
At last, just as the candles were lit, Mr. Salisbury came
into' the room with a letter in his hand.
Wife," said he, "' do you know anybody in this neigh-
bourhood named Nerissa Botherford ?"
"Oh, I'm sure it's for me!" said Chryssa. "You
don't read it right, grandpapa, that's all. Please give it
to me !"
Oh-I see !" said Mr. Salisbury. Maybe it is-
'Miss Chryssa Rutherford'-that's it. But you can't
read the first word."
"Ah, but please to read it to me !" and the tearful
words were not to be trifled with. Mr. Salisbury sat
down by the little stand, put on his glasses, and read as
"'DEARl CHRYssA,-How are you all? Was not grand-
papa very much surprised to see you?' (No, not a bit.)
' I suppose you play with shells a great deal. Do you
want to come home ? Don't you want to see Aunt Esther
and all of us very much?' (Not she!) 'We manage
some way or other to go on very pleasantly without you.'
Upon my word," said Mr. Salisbury, looking over his
spectacles at Chryssa, "she don't deserve to have her
MR. RUTMIERrORD'S CHILDREN.
letter read. I think I'll put it in the fire, and you and I'll
Oh no, please don't !" said Chryssa.
"Well, I would, if it was my letter. However-' We
manage to get along very pleasantly without you, but I
have not played with dolls once since you went away.
Yesterday I brought up-Cuper, Caterpillar '-What the
mischief's this ?"
It must be Cupid," said Chryssa, laughing and crying
together. That's my kitten."
Oh, Cupid-' I brought up Cupid and Bess, and
warmed a cushion for them; and they were here the
greatest part of the morning.' (That's one way to bring
up kittens!) 'I sucked one of those oranges grandmamma
gave me, and then played with the skin.'
Wife," said Mr. Salisbury, laying the letter on the
table and his spectacles on the letter, I wish you would
take care what you give those children. Here's Sybil
sucking oranges, and then playing with the skin I It's no
wonder she looks pale. What's the matter, Chryssa? I
don't see much to laugh at. And here's more of the same
kind.-' I made some maple sugar fine, and then partly
dried it. Aunt Esther was going to write to you, but she
is washing hard '-what on earth does that mean? Can't
she get a washerwoman ?"
Oh, it can't be that, grandpapa," said Chryssa,
" because, you know, she never does wash."
"Well, then, I'll wipe my spectacles and look again-
it's 'sewing hard to be able to come to Cleaveland to-
morrow evening or Thursday morning. Cupid is this
morning lying on the green cloth.' (She'd much better be
in the barn.) I am curing myself of sucking my tongue,
but you must not go and beg for me. Give my love and a
kiss to all, not forgetting yourself. Aunt Esther says she
does not know what to do without you.
Your affectionate sister,
"' SYBIL RUTHERFORD.
Well, there's some sense in the end," said Mr. Salis-
bury, as he folded up the letter; but how you're to kiss
A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL.
yourself, I don't know. I suppose I may deliver that mes-
sage. Now, what shall I do with this ?"
Chryssa stretched out her hand for the letter, nor did
they part company the whole evening. Sometimes she-
would try to spell out a sentence or two, and sometimes she-
was quite satisfied to see the outside of it, folded up in her-
"Grandmamma," she said, a little before bedtime, "if
you're not very busy, would you please tell me about the time
when you used to go to eat clams, when you were a little-
To be sure I will," said Mrs. Salisbury; and she took:
Chryssa on her lap and began:
When I was a little girl, about as old as Sybil, I used
to go to school and have a holiday every Saturday. And
sometimes, when all the girls had been very good and had
learned their lessons well, our mothers used to give us leave,
to have what we call a pic-nic."
That was to go and eat clams ?" said Chryssa.
"Yes, that was what we meant by it. So then the first.
thing was to go down to the shore and see old Carlin..
Old Carlin was a fisherman, and he had a beautiful little-
boat which he called the Mayflower. And he was a very
nice, careful man, and very good to us if we behaved our-
selves; so that our mothers knew we might be trusted.
with him. And we used to go on Saturday morning and
ask old Carlin if he would take us to Snipe Island ini
the afternoon; and perhaps he would say that the tide,
would not do for Snipe Island, but he would take us to
Shell Island; and he would say we must be sure and come
by four o'clock, and not keep him waiting.
Then at four o'clock we were all there, and each girl
had her basket. Some brought tea and coffee, and some
brought milk and sugar, and cake and bread, and cold ham,
and butter, and pepper and salt, and a clean tablecloth,
and a tea-kettle, and cups and saucers, and plates, and
gridiron. And the Mayflower was all ready too; and when
all the children and baskets were nic ly stowed away, we
84 MBR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
Then when we got to the island we used to run about,
and play at tag, and pick up shells, while old Carlin was
How did he get them ?" asked Chryssa.
"Why, he used to take a spade and dig them out of the
mud, or wade in the water and pick them up. And when
he had got enough, he would call out, Come, girls !-it's
time for supper.'
And the boys all stopped their play, and ran to pick
up driftwood and make a fire, and the girls filled the tea-
kettle from the beautiful little spring, and put it on to
"What was driftwood ?" said Chryssa.
It was wood that had fallen into the sea, and drifted
and tossed about for a great while, till some high tide threw
it up on the shore,-and then it lay there in the sun and
became as dry as could be. And when we had made the
fire, we put up two cross sticks and a straight one across,
and on that we hung the tea-kettle. Then, when there
were plenty of red-hot coals, we put our gridiron down, and
roasted the clams, and then we had tea."
It tasted good, didn't it ?" said Chryssa.
Indeed it did And when we had eaten enough, we
washed up all the cups and packed our baskets, and then
went to play again. And when the sun was just dipping
into the sea, old Carlin would call out:
Come, girls !-it's time to go home.'
"And then we all stopped play and got into the May-
flower again, and reached home just before it was quite
dark-tired enough, I can tell you."
By this time Chryssa was tired too, and so near asleep
that she almost forgot to bid Mr. Salisbury good night.
Sybil had made a bright suggestion about the shells,
and next morning Chryssa begged that she might have
them to play with.
Their play with shells was very peculiar. The children
named them after a fashion of their own, calling some pigs,
and some elephants, and some cows, as any fancied resem-
blance directed. And when the back of a large shell had
A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL.
been slightly waxed, a little shell could be made to stay
thereon, and so ride about in triumph.
So, after breakfast, Mrs. Salisbury took a bunch of
keys from her bag-where they had rubbed and jingled
about till every key was as bright as a looking-glass-and
proceeded up-stairs to what was called the spare room.
It was furnished in a peculiar style.
The chairs were of some light yellow wood, curiously
cut and carved on the back into various figures and devices
-the centre-piece of this open work being always some
animal. It was Chryssa's delight to go from one chair to
another, admiring the stag's head always thrown back,
and the cow's tail always laid round upon one side, and
the tiger, the elephant, and the wild boar, always display-
ing their own peculiar marks of ferocity; until, from lean-
ing so long upon the cane chair-bottoms, her elbows were
so deeply indented and honeycombed as to be.in themselves
matter of curiosity.
The bureau in this room was just. as unlike all other
bureaus as the chairs were unlike all other chairs. Old
dark wood, most carefully inlaid with two other and lighter
coloured kinds, suited well the carved drawers and dove-
tailed top; and the bureau's contents were the best of all.
It always seemed to Sybil and Chryssa a true conjuror's
bag, from which their grandmother brought forth curiosi .
ties that had no rivals elsewhere, and no limit but her will.
Coins, engravings, scent-bottles, pretty boxes, sweet-
smelling nuts, shells, pictures, stones,-too many things,
indeed, to be mentioned, were here stowed away; and it
was from one of these bureau-drawers that Mrs. Salisbury
now took a large box of shells, and carried it down into
the parlour for Chryssa's amusement.
But it was like the king who bought Punch, and when
he got him home found that Punch was nothing by him-
self. What were the shells to Chryssa without Sybil ?-
and how could she play with them? She could, to be
sure, put a pig on an elephant and push them about; but
if the pig fell off, there was nobody to laugh, and if it
stuck on, there was nobody to admire. She was soon tired
86: MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN.
of the shells, and asked for the billiard-balls-two or three
odd ones which seemed to have rolled into the house no
one knew how, on purpose for playthings. Mrs. Salisbury
got out the balls from her work-table drawer, and Chryssa
sat down on the floor to roll them.
But it was poor sport to send the ball off to the corner
of the room, and then get up and go after it;-she had no
heart to slide down on the great chair cushions,-what
should she do ? Her eye fell upon the little brass-nailed
trunk; and begging for the key, Chryssa pulled out the
trunk, and began to examine and arrange its contents.
Tapes, thread, needles, and buttons were unfolded and
refolded;-for the fifty-first time, at least, Chryssa looked
at the old-fashioned thread-case which was used in revolu-
tionary years, and heard her grandmother tell how scarce
everything was then; and how she had often hemmed a
cambric handkerchief and a brown towel with the same
At the bottom of the trunk lay a little package, nicely
pinned up in white paper, containing some of Sybil's
attempts at painting. Curious drawings they were; little
baskets such as nobody ever saw, filled with flowers that
nobody ever heard of. But their colours were bright, and
Sybil painted them, reason enough for their interest in
Chryssa's eyes; and when she had looked and talked
herself tired, Mrs. Salisbury took her up on her lap and
Fell fast asleep,"
till Chryssa fell asleep too, out of pure sympathy.
What waked her up? She didn't know at first, when
she started up and rubbed her eyes, only she thought she
had been dreaming of riding to church. But it was very
dark in the room, and she couldn't see anything distinctly,
till at that moment candles came in, and then she saw that
Mrs. Salisbury was smiling at her; and looking round,
there stood Sybil, and Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford were just
behind. Oh, how glad Chryssa was! and her spring to
them told them so instead of words-indeed, as words
A LETTER AND AN ARRIVAL.
could not. She was too happy that evening, and talked
away like a little cricket. How gladly she shared her
little white bed with Sybil, how charmingly they played
with shells the next day Sybil decided that the box
wanted putting in order; and they emptied all the diffe-
rent kinds of shells into separate little saucers, and
dislodged the runaway little shells which had lodged
in cracks and corners, and put them with their proper
kind. To be sure the job was rather long and tedious,
but it was done at last, and well done.
There were other amusements. Before breakfast
Chryssa had espied a peacock's feather in one of the
trees before the house; and after several trials Mr.
Rutherford had brought down the prize. And then he
balanced the long slender thing on his forefinger, to
Chryssa's great delight.
How could it get up in that tree, Uncle Ruth?" she
"I suppose the peacock roosted there last night."
What, up in that tree?"
Yes; in fine weather they always roost in the tree-
tops; and when it is going to rain they choose some of
the lower branches."
"But what made the peacock leave it there?" said
I suppose it dropped out of his tail," said Mr.
I hope he don't want it," said Chryssa, as she stroked
the long feather, "for I like to have it very much."
He must do without it," said her uncle. We should
be puzzled to put the feather back again, or to find the
right bird. And a peacock's tail feather is not much of a
curiosity to himself, Chryssie."
They went back to Rose-hill that day. The two ban-
tams in the coach-box, in a most. uncomfortable state of
mind-the children full of pleasure and talk. There was
only one thing to be regretted--Chryssa had left her
feather at Cleaveland.
But as she remarked, she could get it next time."