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I. MERCIE SUNSHINE'S CHATS ABOUT ANIMALS.
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London: WARD, LOCK & Co., Salisbury Square, E.C.
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- I: ______i'
Happy on a holiday,
In the nursery at play.
te t taorp af a tnitetr Samilp,
BEING THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE
CHILDREN'S PICTURE ANNUAL.
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS.
WARD, LOCK, & CO., WARWICK HOUSE,
DORSET BUILDINGS, SALISBURY SQUARE, E.C.
CHAP. I. CONTAINING SOME ACCOUNT OF THE ALLEN
FAMILY, AND HOW THEY WENT OUT
BOATING ... ... ... ... ... 4
SII. SOMETHING ABOUT CRABS, AND HOW THE
STORM CAME ON ... ... ... ... 7
SIII. A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SEA ... 15
SIV. A VISIT TO PUFFIN'S COVE, AND ITS
CONSEQUENCES ... ... ... ... 2
V. ON PUFFIN ROCK-AND AFTER ... ... 31
SVI. A CONVERSATION AND AN INVITATION .., 40
SVII. SHOWING HOW THE ALLENS WENT ON A
VISIT TO AUNT CLARA'S HOUSE, AND
WHAT ADVENTURES THEY MET WITH
THERE ... ... ... .. ... 50
CIHAP. VIII. THE PICNIC IN DOWNTOWN WOODS, AND
WHAT HAPPENED TO IDA AND BERTIE
THERE ... ... ... ... ... 6
IX. SOMETHING ABOUT WOODPECKERS AND THE
AQUARIUM ON THE ROOF ... ... 77
X. A WALK ACROSS THE MOOR, AND WHAT
HAPPENED THERE ... ... ... ... 85
XI. GOING ABROAD -STORKS' NESTS--AVA-
LANCHES-GLACIERS-IN ITALY ... 95
XII. HOME AGAIN A MERRY CHRISTMAS -
CONCLUSION ... ... ... ... I19
CONTAINING SOME ACCOUNT OF THE ALLEN FAMILY, AND
HOW THEY WENT OUT BOATING.
R. and Mrs. Allen lived in a small watering place
on the coast of England. They had two sons
and two daughters, with whom we hope you
will soon become well acquainted.
Mr. Allen had retired from business, and had
settled in Paddlecombe. But his life was not by
any means an idle one. He was a very energetic
ai man and a very well informed one also. Mrs.
Allen was a kind, motherly and lady-like person,
beloved by her husband, their children, and numerous
friends. The children themselves were full of fun, but
very obedient and steady in their lives.
Evelyn, the eldest, was a tall girl of about twelve
2 A PICTURE BOOK
years old, very light and vivacious. Arthur, aged ten,
came next-then Ida, and Ernest was the youngest.
., -a -. -.,-
The children were all standing by their mother's chair
one fine morning, looking over a picture book, when Mrs.
-" -' P
"You have looked at this book so often, that I think
"Oh, mamma," exclaimed Evelyn, "how can we?
Yo aelokda hi oksootn ha hn
yo mgh a aslyteleah thr l aou i.
h am, xcamdEey, o cnw
GOING FOR A SAIL.
There are so many pictures-there are elephants, and lots
of other animals and birds."
"Yes," exclaimed Arthur, "and steam engines and
a lighthouse and -
There is a wreck," exclaimed little Ernest, "and a
ship sailing through the masts and sails on the water.
The poor men were drowned dead."
"Yes," said Ida, "quite dead, and wet to the skin
besides-and lots of things."
"No one could tell about half of them except papa,"
said Ida ; "he knows everything."
"Not everything," said Ernest: does he, mamma? "
"No, dear; no one knows everything but God. Papa
kpows a great many things, and so will you when you have
learned to read nicely and can teach yourself."
Shall I have four children to teach, too," said Ernest,
"as you teach us? "
"Perhaps you may, dear," replied Mrs. Allen, smiling-
"But here comes papa."
The door opened, and Mr. Allen appeared.
Hurrah, here's papa cried one.
"Will you-take us out in a boat, papa ? cried Ida,
Oh yes, and let us fish exclaimed Evelyn.
Or go for a sail," suggested Arthur, quickly.
Do not tear me to pieces," exclaimed Mr. Allen, as
the children all attacked him, taking his hands and jump-
ing- round him singing wild snatches of nursery songs.
A FISHING .PARTY.
"What does mamma say ?" he added, as he caught his
"Oh, George, I think a sail will be very pleasant if
there is not too much wind.",
It's quite calm," said Arthur.
"Not a catspaw,' said Ida, running to the window.
Then we cannot go sailing," said Mr. Allen.
"What are catspaws ? said Ernest. "How do cats
get out in the bay, papa ? "
"Tell him what a catspaw' is, Ida," said her father.
"It's a ripple," said Ida ; isn't it ? "
"In one sense, yes," replied Mr. Allen; "but it is a
ripple caused by the wind, so if there is not a' catspaw'
as you say we cannot sail, for there is no wind I suppose."
"Why are they called catspaws, papa?" persisted
"Because the effect of the wind on the still water just
ruffles the surface as the blow of a cat's paw might, quickly
withdrawn-it is just the effect of a puff of wind."
"Well, shall we go fishing?" said Evelyn-"I like
"I have no objection," said Mrs. Allen.
"Very well then, go along and get ready. We shall
set out in a quarter of an hour," said papa.
Immediately all the children hurried upstairs to put on
their hats and old jackets and dresses, and to find the
In ten minutes they were all ready; and calling "Nelson,"
the water spaniel, to accompany them, they all set out for
the beach, as happy as any family party in the whole
Ida took her papa's hand and skipped along beside him
joyously, Ernest threw stones for "Nelson" to fetch,
while Evelyn, Arthur, and Mrs. Allen walked along
quietly, chatting about the sea.
"Is water always blue, mamma? asked Evelyn.
"No, dear; pure water is colourless," replied Mrs.
Allen; but when we view it in a great quantity, it par-
takes of the colour of the atmosphere; but rain water is
the purest water on the earth."
"But rain water is not fit to drink, is it, mamma? "
"Yes, dear; as it falls it is, but we collect it in leaden
cisterns and other reservoirs, and it then absorbs or dis-
solves other things which render it unwholesome. God
gives us water quite pure from the clouds."
Why is sea water salt? asked Ernest, who had been
"I will tell you another time," replied Mrs. Allen. I
see papa and Ida are waiting for us, so come along."
They hurried down. Going a-fishing to-day, sir?"
said an old boatman. "Yes," replied Mr. Allen, and in a
few moments they had embarked with the old man, and
were pulling out into the bay to fish.
VIEW OF PADDLECOMBE FROM .THE'CLIFF.
=-~-~~.~--~ -- --~-~--- -zr zf--1
. OUT FISHING.
SOMETHING ABOUT CRABS, AND HOW. THE STORM
7 HEY rowed
out for some
when they "
7- had got into a
j place the boat-
Sman thought likely to afford good sport, the
grapnel was let down, the lines prepared, and the
children and Mr. Allen began to fish.
The sea was quite smooth. Mrs. Allen took out her
work and began to sew, but she was not long left in peace.
CATCHING A CRAB.
Oh, I've got a fish !" cried Ernest; "such a big one,
my line is so heavy !"
"Pull it up, my lad," said the boatman.
Ernest pulled and pulled, but the line came up very
slowly. "What a long way down it must be! he con-
tinued; "it must have been a long way beyond the
Ida laughed at this. You silly boy," she said, "how
could it be beyond the bottom of the sea? That is dry
It was now Ida's turn to be laughed at. Dry land! "
said Evelyn. "Why, Ida, how can land be dry under,
Ida blushed, laughed again, but said nothing more.:
A SOLDIER CRAB.
Meantime Ernest kept pulling up his line. I see it! "
he cried. Oh look here, why it's a great crab "
So it was. An immense crab had seized the bait, and
getting angry with the hook, had caught hold of the
line, and pinched it as hard as it could. It held so tightly
that Ernest drew it into the boat very easily. The
fisherman then disengaged it from the line, and threw it
into the well of the boat.
"He will do nicely for supper," said Mr. Allen.
"Are crabs dangerous, papa? asked Ernest.
"No," replied his father; they are quite .harmless, if
not molested; but if annoyed or attacked, they can pinch
"What are crabs ? said Arthur, Are they fish ? "
"No," replied Mr. Allen,
they are properly called crus-
tacea, like the lobsters and cray-
fish. The most curious kind is
,called the Hermit Crab, because
-he crawls into a shell and lives
there by himself."
"Why is it not content with its own shell?" asked
It has not got a proper shell, like other crabs; it is
soft and liable to be hurt, so the little creature crawls
away and hides itself inside a shell, and by a sort of
sucker which he possesses in his tail, he holds very tightly
GE TTING HOME.
to the shell, and then looks out of the front door to see
what he can eat."
But how can he get anything to eat? asked Ernest.
He puts his feet out; he has three pair of legs, so he
can walk about, dragging the shell after him. But if an
themy comes near him he jumps back into the shell and
goes as far back as he can,"
"Down to the kitchen I suppose," said Ida.
Yes, to the basement we may say, and he shuts his
door by putting his claw in the opening of the shell. One
claw is larger than the other, apparently for this very
"How wonderful are Nature's works!" said Mrs.
"Yes, indeed; everything you see is just suited to the
position which it has to fill in the universe, from the tiniest
created beings to the highest form of animal life-man."
_The conversation was here in-
S-- terrupted by Arthur, who exclaimed
S that he had caught two fish at
once. He was right, for two
-. codlings" were pulled into the
boat immediately after.
Then more fish were taken. Several sorts were captured
by the boatman, who took Evelyn's line when she was
tired; and then evening drew on.
It is time we went home," said Mrs. Allen. I think
SUSPICIOUS WEATHER. mz
those clouds look very suspicious; the wind and waves are
getting up too. It will be a rough night."
"We can sail home I think, sir, if you wish," said the
"Very] well," replied Mr. Allen. Lines in, boys, if
All the fishing lines were hauled in and reeled up in
their square frames. Meantime the fishermen arranged
the ballast of the boat and got ready the sail.
All this took time, and while these preparations were
being made, the clouds kept getting darker and darker.
A .HYM V
The wind began to blow in heavy squalls with great force,
and the boatman had some difficulty in pulling up the
Poor little Ernest began to feel afraid, as the spray from
the waves kept dashing into the boat; but his mother took
him on her knee and nursed him.
Papa held the sheet, as the rope of the sail is called, and
the fisherman steered.
They ran very quickly before the wind. Sometimes a
great wave came rolling after them, and curled over with
a loud hiss and roar, but did not come into the boat.
Arthur enjoyed the wind and the sea, but little Ernest
got more and more frightened as the spray dashed over the
boat. So his mother took him again upon her knee, and
sang to him the following little hymn, which perhaps you
may like to read and learn for yourselves :-
Though breezes blow and rend the sail,
And waves with hissing foam
Around us madly roar and swell,
Though darkest night has come-
We have no fear if God be near;
To save He will not fail;
Through all the storm we'll safely steer,
And weather out the gale.
Ii we have faith, where'er we be,
That God will be our guide,
We need not shun the wildest sea,
Nor fear the roughest tide.
So breezes blow and fill our sail,
Quite safely we shall steer;
To gain the shore we shall not fail,
For Thou, 0 God, art near !
This little hymn comforted Ernest.
enough to terrify bigger boys than he,
But the sea was
and indeed many
grown-up people would have been frightened. Yet those
four children were full of trust in God's help and in the
strength of their dear papa and mamma to do all that could
be done. They sat quite steadily, and said not a word, as
the good old fishing boat tore madly through the waves,
now bending over almost to the water and again plunging
forward while the foam hissed in white streaks alongside.
14 A CALM.
The evening had got so suddenly dark, that they knew
a storm must soon come on. And, indeed, as they neared
the shore a flash of lightning told them that a thunder-
storm was approaching. But they were now close to the
pier. Just as the rain began to fall they stepped safely on
shore, and ran home, where they changed their clothes and
sat down to tea, while the storm broke over the sea with
So ended the fishing expedition in Paddlecombe Bay;
they ate the old crab for supper, and found him very
good indeed. But the storm soon cleared away, and it
was quite moonlight when they went to bed.
A ROUGH SEA.
A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SEA.
EXT morning the sea was still rather rough.
The children went down to the beach and
watched the waves for a long time. They
caught several crabs and small fish in the
pools, and carried them home to put into their
aquarium, for their papa had permitted them to try
to make one, and in that way to study the habits
of the small marine animals that they were able to
collect. The large glass tanks which they used had
been erected on the leads over the drawing-room, lately *
built out from the house. There the children would pass
the morning studying the habits of the fish and anemones,
which they daily captured, and in supplying them with water
and suitable food.
There," said Evelyn, when they returned from the
beach; now I will give my fish fresh water."
"Salt water you mean," said Arthur.
"Fresh salt water," said Ida, is what Evelyn means
How can salt water be fresh, you foolish child," said
Arthur. "Fresh water is river water. Salt water is sea-
"Why is it salt, Arthur ? asked Ida.
Because-; well-I don't think I exactly know why. It
is salt, that's all."
"Let us ask mamma," said Evelyn; "she said she
would tell us some day."
So when they had put the tanks tidy and made the fish
happy, they went into the dining-room, where they found
"Well, dears," she said, "have you done your work
Yes, mamma," said Evelyn; but we want to ask you
something. You said you would tell us about the sea. Now,
why is it salt? "
WHY THE SEA IS SALT.
Mrs. Allen laid her work down in her lap, and considered
for a moment. At length she replied-
The Ocean is salt because of the presence of various;
salts in the water, such as iodine and bromine. There area
several other ingredients, but you are too young to under-
stand and recollect all of them."
But how did the salt get there ? asked Ida.
"That is a question no one can answer. All water-
COLOUR OF THE SEA.
contains some salt, and though in very small quantities,
salt from the land is being continuously carried into
the sea by rivers. Then the salt is left when the water
"What is evaporates' ? said Evelyn.
Is it a fish ? said Ernest.
They all laughed at this.
It means to pass away in vapour or mist," said Mrs.
Allen. The water is drawn up by the heat of the sun into
the air, where it forms clouds. These clouds descend again
Suppose the sea-water were not salt," said Ida; what
would happen then ?"
"If the change took place suddenly, the fish and other
creatures which inhabit the sea would die, and then they
would float on the surface and turn the water bad. So we
on earth would all die too."
"Tell us more about the sea, mamma," said Arthur.
"Why is it blue ?"
It is not always blue," replied Mrs. Allen; but as the
ocean absorbs all colours except that called ultra-marine,
that hue is most generally reflected from it, as you will at
once see. But a cloud, or sandbank, wind, or the rays of the
sun will give it a different colour. In some places, in the
,Gulf of Guinea-do you know where that is ? "
Yes," said Evelyn; it is off the west coast of Africa."
Quite right," replied her mamma. There the water is
HIOW IT IS COLOURED.
white, but at the. Maldive Islands the sea is dark, and in
other parts of the globe of a different colour."
There's the White Sea, the Red Sea, the Black Sea,
and the Yellow Sea too," said Ida.
"Yes," replied Mrs. Allen; but some of these seas are
coloured by millions of tiny animals, when
How very curious exclaimed the children.
"Yes; is not it ? And the sparkling that you have
observed on the sea is, as I have told you once before,
entirely due to the phosphor of these same tiny creatures,
a mass of which even would be quite invisible to our eyes."
"There are some advantages of the sea being salt which
we did not mention. If the sea were not salt it would be
more easily frozen, nor would it be so buoyant; so ships
could not float so easily on it as they do."
"What are tides, mamma ? "
Tides are the result of the moon's action at certain
times by the force of her attraction; so if it is high water at
two opposite sides of the earth, it is low water at the poles
at the same time."
Because as there is only a certain amount of water in
the earth, if it is increased in one place it must be
diminished in another."
Then there are currents which are most useful to the
earth, and the waves: all would have something to tell us,
but we cannot go into all those questions to-day. Some
other time I hope to be able to tell you something about the
Gulf Stream. Were it not for the currents, and tides, and
waves, the whole ocean would become quite a stagnant sea,
and the result would be that no one would be able to live
upon the earth."
Thank you, mamma," cried the children; and kissing
their kind mother, they ran upstairs to the schoolroom to
play, for it was just then their summer holidays.
PUFFIN'S CO FE,
A VISIT TO PUFFIN'S COVE, AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
H I should like an ice-bath, I am so warm,"
cried Arthur, as he came into the school-
"I should like some ice," said Ida; "I
wonder if Jane has got any !"
"Let us try," said Evelyn.
S "I know what I'll do," exclaimed Arthur; I
shall go and bathe in Puffin's Cove."
Mind the tide, then," said wise Evelyn;
GOING TO BATHE.
"you may be carried out to sea, and then what will papa
"Don't you be afraid," replied her brother. Girls are
always nervous. Will you come, Ernest? "
"I should like to go very much," said the boy; only I
am afraid papa wouldn't allow me."
Oh he will not mind if you do not bathe, you know.
You mustn't go into the water, of course."
I shall tell mamma when she comes in," said Evelyn;
"for I am quite sure that she will not approve of your
going out to the Puffin's Cove to-day."
"Why not to-day as well as any other day, you little
goose?" replied Arthur.
Because of the spring-tides, and because bathing is
very dangerous there," replied Evelyn.
'"Nonsense said Arthur; "we have often bathed there
before. Come along, Ernest; you needn't bathe, you know."
. Ernest allowed himself to be persuaded, merely stipu-
lating that he might take his fishing-tackle and basket, so
that he could amuse himself while Arthur bathed, and
afterwards if he felt inclined.
The boys set out together in high spirits. The day was
fine; a light breeze blew off shore, a few long fleecy
clouds were distinguishable far out at sea like long spider's-
webs in the sky. The sea was as smooth 'as glass, but
there was a ground swell" which broke heavily on the
shingle beach below the cliffs.
"Hurrah!" exclaimed Arthur, as he rapidly descended to
the sea-shore; this is something like a day. Isn't it hot.
just ? What a jolly dip I shall have! "
I hope I shall catch something," said Ernest. Which.
is the best place, Arthur ? "
Oh, by the Puffin Rock," replied his brother; at the
south side of the cove. I declare I will just bathe off it too,
so we can be close together. It can't matter."
"Oh Arthur, ought you, do you think? Didn't papa .
say that Puffin Rock was very dangerous to dive from,
because of the current under water."
But Arthur turned a deaf ear to his younger brother's
remonstrance, and only replied, very rudely,
I am afraid that Arthur was not very polite to his little
-brother. But in this he made a great mistake, for it is no
reason because a boy is younger than you, or because you
know a person ever so intimately, why you should not be
polite to him. I trust all my young readers will remember
-that politeness to everybody, and to inferiors even more than
*equals or superiors, is the distinguishing mark of a lady or
gentleman, and a test'of good breeding.
Little Ernest made no reply to his brother's remark, but
walked on quietly. By this time they had gained
the shore, and were now plodding ankle deep in the
pebbly beach. They could not proceed very rapidly, but
at length they reached the extremity of the base of the large
cliff at the farther side of which was the Puffin's Cove. On
the side nearest the town was an old ruined castle, which
ON THE ROCK.
had stood for centuries, and which was a famous place for
picnics. By keeping along a rocky path to the left, and
coming quite round the headland you see in the picture on
page 23, you arrive at the Puffin's Cove, which is the shel-
tered nook you have in the illustration at the head of this
chapter. It is a very pretty place, but the tide sweeps in
and out very strongly, and it was considered very dangerous
at certain seasons.
But Arthur, like a great many boys,
thought he knew better than his papa.
Arthur could not realise the danger
because he did not perceive it, and he
quite forgot that his papa's experience
was a much safer guide than his unas-
sisted eyes. Even the difficulties of
climbing and the swell that broke on
the rock did not deter the headstrong
However, the boys clambered round the Puffin Rock
which is the curious cliff worn away by the waves into the
form of an arch. There Ernest quickly got ready his tackle
while Arthur sat down to get a little cooler before he
While he is preparing for his bath I may as well tell you
something about Puffin Rock. It was called Puffin Rock
originally from the immense numbers of birds ofthat species
,ivhich used to inhabit its craggy and precipitous sides. The
SEA BIRDS ON PUFFIN ROCK.--lPuge 27.
puffin is sometimes called the sea-parrot. It is about the
size of a jackdaw; the upper parts are dusky colour, the
lower part white. It wears a broad black band round
its neck, while the bill is red. They frequently lay their
eggs-only one each-in rabbit burrows, in the cliffs, or in
holes in the rocks, for they never make a proper nest, as
most other birds do. They do not remain in this country
during the winter, but all the summer they may be seen on
But though there were no puffins on the rock when
the young Aliens visited it, for those birds had quite
deserted it, yet there were other sea-birds which wheeled
around them, crying out at being disturbed.
By this time Arthur was undressed, and climbing down to
the edge, he jumped boldly into the sea. He was a good
swimmer, and could dive and float, for he had been well
taught at school, as well as obliged to practise swimming
when at home, for Mr. Allen was very desirous that all his
children should learn to swim. Thus it came to pass that
even Evelyn and Ida could sustain themselves in the
water, while their brothers, particularly Arthur, swam
So Arthur dived down from the rock, and Ernest watched
him. In a moment he rose and swam on his back, kicking
up his feet, and evidently enjoying himself immensely. He
turned then and swam in towards the rock, while Ernest went
on fishing, and pulled up a fine flat fish.
ARIHUR IN DANGER.
After a few moments, seeing Arthur still swimming, he
"Had not you better come in, Arthur? "
Then, to his terror and dismay, Arthur replied, gasping
out his words-
I cannot get in; something seems to be pulling me
back Oh what shall I do? "
.Even as he spoke the recollection of Evelyn's warning
words came to his mind, and he felt very sad to think that
perhaps he might never see her, or his kind papa and
mamma again. But he called out again-
Ernie, I cannot get in, help me "
Ernest was a brave boy, but at these terrible words and
his brother's pitiful cry his heart sank within him. Here
was what Evelyn had foretold. The under current was
pulling poor Arthur out to sea, and unless something was
speedily done to assist him there was no doubt that he
would be carried out and drowned. There was no time
To run back and fetch out a boat, and Ernest felt he
" SAVE ME, ERNIE."
could not swim strongly enough to be of any assistance to
his brother in such a current.
These thoughts passed through his little brain in a
moment; but all that time Arthur had been silently battling
with the current. The smooth calm sea looked so gentle,
but was really so treacherous. Not a wave, scarce a ripple
disturb id its surface; but underneath was the hidden power
which was sweeping the.poor boy slowly but' very surely to
the extremity of Puffin's Rock, and there no aid could reach
Oh! Ernie, save me, save me !" cried the struggling
lad, as he swam for his life.
He said no more. He knew, brave boy, that every word
spoken was so much floating power wasted. So he drew a
long breath and turned upon his back, as if in despair.
Ernest heard the cry. Suddenly an idea occurred to him.
Hauling in his fishing line as quickly as possible, he hastily
cut off the hooks. Then taking the leaded end he tied it
securely to the large square wooden reel upon which we
know sea-fishing lines are usually wound.
He hurried to the brink of the rock, and with all his force
he cast the reel as far as he could towards his brother.
The reel fell into the sea with a splash a little distance from
Arthur's head. It was very fortunate indeed that it did
not hit him, else he would have probably been stunned by
the leaden weight. It was carried towards him a little by
the current, so he managed to seize it, and in another second
SA VED /
he grasped the reel, which he fastened round his arm by a
few turns of the line. Ernest now pulled gently, while
Arthur, full of new courage, swam as strongly as he was
able, and the assistance thus rendered, though not great,
was sufficient with Arthur's efforts to overcome the current.
In a short time Ernest had the satisfaction to see his brother
drawing nearer the shore. He immediately crossed the
narrow neck of rock which divided the Puffin's Rock from
the main cliff, and standing at the very extreme edge, he
guided his almost exhausted brother close to land, and
was so delighted to clasp his hand once more. Arthur
climbed up, and then fell fainting and exhausted on the
narrow shelf of rock beside the brave young Ernest, who,
now the excitement was over, began to cry bitterly.
" WHERE ARE THE BOYS?"
ON PUFFIN ROCK--AND AFTER.
EANTIME there was some excitement at home
when tea-time arrived and the boys had not
returned. Mrs. Allen was not expected home
till half-past seven, as she was spending the
day with an old friend. Mr. Allen had gone to the county
town on business, so poor Evelyn and Ida were left to fret
and fume about their absent brothers till dusk, when Mrs.
Allen, accompanied by her husband, drove up from the
MRS. ALLEN'S ANXIETY.
Evelyn ran down to the gate as soon as she heard wheels
"Why, what is the matter, Evelyn exclaimed her
mother; "how white you look Are you ill ? "
No, mamma, only--" She could get no further, but
burst into a flood of tears.
The child must be ill," cried her mother, as she led her
quickly into the house. Evelyn, dear, what is it ? Has
anything happened to alarm you ? "
At this moment Ida ran in. Oh mamma Arthur-"
What of him ? said Mr. Allen, who came up as she
was speaking. What has he done now-spoiled your
"No, papa dear; but he has gone to bathe, and hasn't
Is that all, you silly children ? Has that made you cry,
"Yes, papa," sobbed Evelyn, blushing; "but I thought
Puffin's Cove was dangerous, and as they went away at
Puffin's Cove exclaimed Mrs. Allen. Oh papa
do you hear ? They may be drowned. Poor Ernest! "
Very disobedient Ernest," said Mr. Allen.
Oh, Ernest was not going to bathe. It was only Arthur.
Ernest went to fish."
Mr. Allen said nothing further, but walked quietly to the
door. Then hurrying down the back garden, he hailed the
THEY SAW THEM ROWING AWAY.--fge 34.
TO THE RESCUE.
flyman, who was walking his horse back from the front oi
the house, and jumped in.
To the boat slip," he said; "and as fast as you can."
The servant heard, and told Mrs. Allen.
The moon was rising as he got out of the cab and
accosted a boatman.
I want to go to Puffin's Rock at' once. My lads have
gone there to bathe, and have not returned yet. Launch
your boat, Wilkins, at once please."
'"That I will, Mr. Allen, sir, surely." In a few moments
they shoved off. Mrs. Allen and Evelyn, who had heard
from the servant whither Mr. Allen had gone, had hurried
down also, and just saw them rowing away.
Let us wait till they come back," she said.
So they waited, walking up and down in much anxiety.
There was plenty of light from the moon, and many of the
boatmen came and assured them there was no danger on
such a night. But though they meant to be kind, Mrs.
Allen could perceive that they spoke together frequently and
shook their heads, while another boat was manned volun-
tarily and pulled out to the buoyed channel," in hopes of
seeing Mr. Allen returning round the distant point.
Poor little Ernest sat for some minutes quite forgetful ot
everything around him, and Arthur lay curled up on the
narrow shelf of damp rock in a fainting fit. But before
long Arthur moved and uttered a cry. The sound recalled
NIGHT ON THE ROCK.
Ernest to himself, so, hastily wiping away his tears with his
hand, he went to his brother's assistance. But Arthur was
too exhausted to get up at once, so Ernest went to fetch
his clothes; for all this time Arthur was lying upon the cold
wet rock, with nothing but his swimming suit on.
Ernest had some little difficulty to repass the ledge which
separated the Puffin Rock from the mainland, as the tide had
risen slightly. He managed to obtain the clothes, however,
and returned, but it was a more difficult matter to induce
Arthur to rise and dress. Not only was the elder boy weak
and almost powerless, now that the great excitement-was
over, but he had not much room to move about on the-
There they remained. Night fell. The tide rose and
cut them off from the land. Sea-birds screamed around
them, and at length settled down to sleep. The moon rose
out of the sea, and shed a beautiful light around. Scarce a
ripple disturbed the surface of the water, but there was a
heavy swell which broke on the rock noisily.
"What will papa and mamma think? said Arthur.
"How very wrong of me to bathe here "
"Did you think you would die, Arthur?" asked Ernest
as he crept close to his brother.
Once I did, but somehow I was not very frightened,'"
"Oh, I should have been," said Ernest; "it is so
terrible to die and leave papa and mamma and all- "
At this moment a shout seemed to come across the water.
"Holloa! Rock, ahoy!"
What can that be?" exclaimed Arthur; let's look over
and shout. They have come to rescue us."
The boys crept to the edge and looked over the ledge.
Not far from the rock was a boat.
"Arthur! Ernest!" exclaimed a powerful voice, which
both the boys at once recognized as their father's.
Here we are," they shouted; all safe! "
"Thank Heaven muttered Mr. Allen. Then he cried
out; Can you get into the boat from the rock? "
I am afraid not, as the swell is so high; but we can get
down on the ridge perhaps."
"That will be best, sir," said the boatman; "we can
take them off the reef much easier."
Pull round then," said Mr. Allen.
The boat was impelled towards the narrow reef which
divided the mainland from the Puffin Rock, while Arthur
and Ernest scrambled down.
With some little difficulty they were pulled safely into
Mr. Allen said not- a word till they were near the landing
place. Just as they turned round the point and entered the
little bay he said, "You have had a very narrow escape, and
I hope it will be a warning to you both. I had intended to
punish you both severely, but as you have suffered so much
I will not add to your misery. Run home as fast as you
GcnTNG TOl THE RTSCIUEI.-P"Are 36.
can. I trust you have caught no cold, and will not sufter
further from your reckless conduct. But I fear I cannot
depend upon you in future, Arthur."
Arthur hung his head, and neither he nor Ernest said a
word. But as their papa kissed them both as he finished
.speaking, they thought he had forgiven them.
We can all imagine with what delight Mrs. Allen and
Evelyn saw the boat returning with the truant boys safe
-and sound. She quite forgot to be angry with them for
the terrible anxiety they had caused her, but as soon as
they landed she kissed them and embraced them, as if
they by their thoughtless behaviour had not grieved her
Now I hope all children will just think how by careless-
ness and thoughtlessness, or by selfishness in carrying out
their own ideas, they may often pain the most indulgent
parents. They do not mean to do wrong at all; they
simply do not think of the consequences. If our little friends
would sometimes consider whether they by acting in a
certain way will not grieve papa or mamma, I am sure they
would 'feel happier after. We have seen that Arthur did
no actual wrong in going to bathe. He was really good iri
preventing his little brother from bathing; but he fancied
he was able to do more than he could do. He despised his
papa's advice, and you see how he very nearly lost his life
by his rashness.
So they all returned home together very happily indeed;
but it was the very last time that Arthur ever went to bathe
alone in the Puffin's Cove.
Arthur escaped all cold or other evil consequences from
the exposure, but poor little Ernest was not so fortunate. A
few days after the adventure he began to cough, and the
doctor had to be called in. The brave little fellow got
worse, however, and was laid up in bed for a long time.
Evelyn, Ida, and Mrs. Allen nursed him tenderly, but it was
some weeks before he was pronounced out of danger.
At last, one beautiful summer day, the doctor gave him
permission to get up, but said to Mr. Allen that it would be
wiser if he took the boy away to a warmer climate for the
t -------- ----------- --- 1
A CONVERSATION AND AN INVITATION.
FTER much consultation it was decided that
Ernest should go abroad, but the exact locality
could not be determined. Mr. Allen was in
favour of Italy, while Mrs. Allen thought of
Sthe South of France. Ernest did not want to go at
all. Arthur was very. anxious to pass through
S Switzerland, while Evelyn and Ida thought the
Rhine would be beautiful.
Thus you see that all the children wanted different
things, but Mrs. Allen decided the question by asking the
doctor, who recommended a nice little town on the Mediter-
ranean, on the coast of France. So they made ready to set
out as soon as possible.
"Mamma," said Ernest; "is the Mediterranean as big
a sea as our sea here? "
No, dear; we are facing the ocean. The Mediterranean
is an inland sea, and has no tide, or very little."
No tide, mamma ? Is it always low water ? "
No, dear; but the entrances to the sea are so narrow
that the tide-waves in the ocean can scarcely affect the water
in the Mediterranean. Do you understand? "
I think so, mamma; but here are Evelyn and Ida."
"Well, Evelyn, why have you come in so soon ? "
It's raining," replied Evelyn; such great big drops "
"I wish it wouldn't rain," said Ida; "nasty wet stuff
coming just when we want to play."
"You should not say that, Ida dear; if it were not for the
rain we should be very badly off. Rain makes the grass and
the corn grow, and without rain we should have no fruit or
flowers," said Mrs. Allen.
"What makes rain, mamma ? said Ida.
Rain comes from the clouds, and is caused by the vapour
coming in contact with a colder air. For instance, when
we have been in the train you have felt the wet steam."
"Yes, often," said the children.
"Well, then, rain is caused in a similar manner by the
vapour or clouds coming down near the ground, and being
what is called condensed or compressed, and falling in
drops of water."
"But when we were ct with papa the other day, it rained
when there were no clouds at all," said Evelyn, triumph-
"That does sometimes happen," replied Mrs. Allen,
"when cold and warm currents of air meet in the upper
You have not told us what clouds are, mamma. What
makes clouds come? "
Clouds are vapour, just like mists or fogs, only they
occur much higher up. The mists rise, get pressed to-
gether by the cold air up in the sky, and appear as clouds.
Sometimes if the air is hot they rise, if cooler towards even-
ing they fall."
"Yes, we have seen them on the hills," said Ida.
"Yes, dear; mountains stop the clouds, and as the tops
are cold they condense them, and the clouds fall in rain."
It is very curious," said Ernest. How do you know
all these things, mamma ?"
By reading a little, and remembering something of
what I read. When you are old enough you can study the
clouds, winds, thunder, and lightning, and all the wonders
of the atmosphere."
"I am afraid of thunder," said Ida.
"You need not be," said Mrs. Allen: "it cannot hurt
"Not thunder, mamma? I thought it killed people."
"Lightning does," said Evelyn. "But what is
Something rolling in the sky, nurse says, when God is
angry," replied Ernest.
"Is that it, mamma? said Evelyn.
"No, dear; thunder is caused by the air rushing back to
its place after it has been disturbed by the lightning."
The lightning must be very strong to tear out the-air
like that, mamma."
It is, dear; and mind you never go under trees in a
thunderstorm, for it is a very dangerous place."
At this moment Mr. Allen and Arthur entered. "What
is a dangerous place ? he asked.
Mrs. Allen told him what she had been saying.
AN INVITA TION.
Quite right, mamma," he replied. "Now, where do
you think we have been, Evelyn ? "
"I'm sure I cannot tell, papa. Where ?"
"Guess," said her father.
Evelyn and the youngest children guessed every place
they thought likely to have been visited by their father, and
at last gave it up.
Do tell us," they exclaimed; "please do."
"We have been over to Aunt Clara's house, and she has
asked you all to go and spend the day there to-morrow."
Ernest too ? added Arthur, kindly.
"Oh, what fun!" cried the children. "Will Georgie
and Bertie be there, papa ? "
"Yes, of course," replied papa.
THE DISCONTENTED FRIENDS.
"And the pony? said Ida.
And the cocks and hens ? cried Ernest. "And the
pigeons and rabbits too ? "
How delightful! the children exclaimed.
I hope we shall go before breakfast. We must go,
whether it rains or not; mustn't we, mamma? .said Ida.
I. think you may, dears; but not till after breakfast,"
replied Mrs. Allen, smiling.
Hurrah, hurrah cried the children, and with a loud
shout, the elder ones ran into the garden, as it had ceased
Ernest wished very much to go also, but it was too
damp for him; so as he was very restless and impatient to
go, his mamma sat beside him, and told him the following
story. It is called
THE DISCONTENTED FRIENDS."
Once upon a time there lived in an ancient ruin a great
owl. This owl was very old, and so exactly the colour of the
ruin that it was very difficult to tell which was which,
particularly in the dark.
In the same ruin also lived a bat, which was on very
friendly terms with the owl, and often used to come and
take tea with her. It happened one evening when the two
friends were chatting together, that Martin, the swallow,
came in to see them, and after a while he said to the bat,
If I were you, I would not hang my head down like that;
THE OWL'S VISITOR.
nor," he continued, turning to the owl,
here all day, like you. Take a fly for the
into society, and see the world."
The owl hooted the suggestion at once.
"woald I mope
evening, and go
The bat still hung by his feet and said nothing. Perhaps
his ideas were a little upset by his position.
When the swallow had gone away, the bat came head
upwards for a moment, and said,
THE BAT'S ADVICE.
'I don't see why we shouldn't take his advice."
"You never see anything," said the owl, gruffly.
"I suppose you do, then, as you are only too wise," said
Too-witty," said the owl. I will go if you like; but
do you know the way? to-woo "
"No," said the bat; but we can inquire without."
Without what? said his friend, testily.
"Without the ruin I
mean outside," said the bat.
"Oh, very well," said the
owl; "we will go to that
glare over there: that must
be the world."
So the owl packed up a
few clean feathers, and they
They had not gone very far when the owl said,
"I smell a rat, or a mouse. Here he comes. It is a
mouse. I will eat him; but first he must show us the
So the owl addressed the mouse politely, Can you show
us the way of the world ? she said.
Oh replied the mouse, I am wholly ignorant of it.
I live in a small close burrow, and see very little indeed.
My little place is not far from Gloucester just now."
That must be the world. So lead us there," said the bat.
THE MOUSE'S NEST.
This is my nest," said the mouse, when they reached a
cellar lighted with gas, and in a corner was the mouse's
Do you build a nest as well as I ? asked the owl, with
"Not quite so well, I dare say," replied the mouse, timidly.
I mean just the same as I do," persisted the owl.
Not exactly the same," returned the mouse.
You stupid animal, you do build a nest ? "
Yes," replied the mouse.
"Then why couldn't you say so at once "
I did," replied the other.
I didn't perceive that you did," said the bat.
"Perhaps there is too much light," said the mouse
politely; I'm very sorry."
I hope so," said the owl. I do not like this place:
there is no fresh air; so I will eat you, and go into the
"Oh, please let me go," cried the mouse; "I will
never do so any more."
What have you done? asked the bat.
"Nothing," replied the mouse.
Then why do you ask pardon ? ".said the bat, severely..
I don't know," said the poor mouse; but if you do
not eat me this time I will be very clever."
I think you will," replied the owl; "for I intend to
devour you at once. Good-bye."
CONSEQUENCES OF BEING DISCONTENTED. 49
So she seized the poor mouse, and ate it up in one mouth-
ful. The last words the bat heard were, How taken in I
have been to be sure as the mouse disappeared down the
Nevertheless, that was a mouse of taste," said the owl;
"let us go on."
Is that silver ball up there the world ? ". asked the bat.
I suppose so; but I quite forgot to ask the way,'
replied the owl.
It's too late now, I suppose ?" suggested the bat.
Come along," said the owl; let us fly "
So they flew, and flew, and flew !
And then they got to a high mountain, where they
rested. Then they flew off again, and flew, and flew, till
they were out of sight, I suppose, for no one ever saw them
"So, you see," added Mrs. Allen, "if they had stayed
contented in the ruin, and had not been so anxious to go out
into the world, they might have been happy to this day."
"Thank you, mamma," said Ernest; I will be con-
tented in future." And then his mother kissed him, and he
turned round on the sofa and had a nice nap, for he was
not very well, and was soon tired.
SHOWING HOW THE ALLENS WENT 'ON A VISIT TO AUNT
CLARA'S HOUSE, AND WHAT ADVENTURES THEY MET
EXT morning the children were all up very early,
and anxious to get breakfast over as quickly as
possible, so that they might start off to their
Aunt Clara's house in good time.
The carriage was brought round for them at half-
past nine, and away they went in high spirits, under the
charge of Eliza and Emma, the two old servants. These
nurses had lived with Mrs. Allen's mother, and had
nursed Mrs. Allen herself when a child; so all my
readers will understand how much attached these kind,
AT AUNT CLARA'S.
good people were to the children with whom they had
lived for many years, almost ever since Arthur was born.
They drove merrily along, and in about an hour and a.
half they reached their aunt's gate-lodge. Here they
found their cousins Georgie and Bertie, who were waiting
their arrival. The children set up a loud hurrah as Georgie
and his brother climbed up into the waggonette and
greeted the occupants warmly, particularly the coachman,
"Oh, what fun exclaimed Georgie. I say, Arthur, I
know some jolly nests in our woods. I have waited for you
to go at the old rooks."
"I'm glad you girls have come," said Bertie. "We can,
have a picnic by the river."
"That will be very pleasant," replied Evelyn. "We shall'
be delighted if aunt will take us."
She'll take you fast enough," said Bertie. "Papa is.
at home to-day too, so I expect we shall have some cricket
in the afternoon."
I'm so glad exclaimed Ernest. I like cricket so.
"Do you ? said Georgie. "Then we'll have a.
regular match on the lawn this evening."
Chattering thus, they came to the end of the avenue, and,.
turning round the gravel sweep, drew up at the front door.
Their aunt had heard the noise of the carriage wheels,
and at once came out to meet the party.
THE ROOK'S NEST.
Here you are, then. I'm delighted to see you all.
Evelyn, dear, why didn't mamma come ? Boys, how
you have grown Is this my little Ida? Why, you are
quite a woman, dear! Your uncle has stayed at home to-
day on purpose to see you all; so we shall dine early, and
after dinner we can go through to the woods, and have tea
by the river."
As their kind aunt thus welcomed them, she assisted
them to alight from the waggonette. The servants also
got out, while Thomas the coachman was told to drive the
horses round to the stables, for the carriage would take
the children back in the evening.
They did not remain long in the house I can tell you.
Aunt Clara carried Evelyn and Ida off into the garden, to
see the flowers and to gather some fruit for their early
dinner. Arthur and Ernest went away into the woods,
with Bertie and his brother, to find some birds'-nests, for
Bertie had quite a collection of eggs hanging on strings
all around the walls of his room, and very pretty they
looked. He often went out birds'-nesting, but never took
more than two eggs out of the same nest, because his papa
would not permit him to take all the poor bird's eggs
away: one or two she would not miss so much.
The nest they wanted to get on this occasion was a
rook's nest; for though there were plenty of them in the
trees in the neighbourhood, Bertie and Georgie had never
succeeded in their attempts to climb so high.
THE ROOKS IN THE TREE.
They pursued their way across the fields, and at length
reached the grove in which the rooks had taken up their
Now," said Georgie, I think we can draw lots for who
.is to go up first, and if the first one fails we will try again."
So they drew lots-at least the three eldest boys did-and
the lot favoured Georgie.
Now look out," he said, as he took off his jacket, and
if you see any rooks returning let me know." He climbed
,up the tree nearly to the top, but when he got up he could
not reach the nests. They were so built at the very end of
the branches that he could not reach them, and the branch
-was too thin to bear his weight; so he called out, "I say,
Arthur, come up that next tree, and I think you will be able
to reach the nest, if I bend down the branch towards you."
Arthur accordingly ascended the next tree, and worked
his way along the branch. He was obliged to move very
-carefully, because if the branch broke he would fall down
to the ground, and most likely be killed. He was very
Cautious, and he and Georgie made sure they would be
.able to get the eggs, when suddenly Bertie and Ernest
called out, Take care of that branch "
But now the boys in the trees were so close to the nest,
-that they did not like to give up the eggs, and they leaned
,over, but just as Georgie got his hand into the nest, which
'was quite empty, he overbalanced himself, and fell off the
A DANGEROUS POSITION.
Arthur uttered a loud scream as he saw his cousin fall; but
Georgie was a strong boy. He caught a branch in one hand,
and by holding it tightly he managed to save himself from
hurt. But his clothes caught on a twig, and there he hung
suspended up in the tree, quite unable to help himself.
He was in a very dangerous position, and he might
have been severely hurt, had not the branch fortunately
broken, though without actually separating from the tree
all at once. The consequence was that he fell, but without
any great violence, into the lower part of the tree, and
alighted on a thick limb, where he was able to cling until
Bertie and one of the keepers, who had heard their voices,
came to his assistance. Arthur also helped him, and at
length the wounded Georgie was put safely on his feet at
the foot of the tree. He was not much hurt after all.
ERNEST IS LOST.
When the boys found that Georgie was not really
wounded, and that the fright and torn clothes with a few
scratches were the worst that had happened, they missed
"What can have become of him ?" cried Arthur. I
hope he has not gone near the river."
Or into the meadow," exclaimed Bertie, for the cow
is very cross. Since her calf was taken away, she has been
Oh do let us look for him," said Arthur. Mamrr
told me to take care of him. I shall be so sorry if he gets
into any mischief."
They all hurried off as fast as they could, but now
Georgie began to feel very stiff from the effects of his
tumble from the tree, and he could not walk very fast. So
the other boys left hir. to follow, and hurried off to the
Ernest was not within call, but they found the reeds and
long grass at the side trodden down. These marks made
them think that Ernest had been wandering along the
bank, so they hurried on, and at last, as they were looking
round, they caught sight of something floating in the water.
It came nearer and nearer. The boys felt quite cold
with fear. They hoped it was not what it appeared to be.
Slowly it came floating on-on-on towards them. It
caught in a weed and ran right against the bank. They
saw it plainly now. It was Ernest's straw hat !
THE SWA N
Arthur uttered a loud cry. Oh Ernest is drowned,"
he exclaimed. "Bertie, Bertie, what shall we do! and
the poor boy began to cry bitterly.
But Bertie was older than Arthur, and though he cried
a little too at the thought of losing poor little Ernest, of
whom they were all so fond, and who loved them all so
dearly, still he did not stop searching for him.
Perhaps he may have only lost his hat," said Bertie.
" Come along, let us try to find him."
Arthur then saw what a brave boy Bertie was. So he
dried his tears quickly, and ran beside him along the river's
bank, calling Ernest as loudly as they could.
They got no answer to their shouts for some time, till on
turning a corner of the stream, they thought they heard a
voice calling for help. They shouted "Ernest again,
and to their great joy a cry came back: Oh Arthur,
Arthur, help me Come quick "
All right," shouted Arthur; where are you? "
"Here," screamed the lad, and pushing through the
bushes Arthur and Bertie saw poor Ernest standing on a
great stone on a small island about
ten yards from the bank, brandishing /"
a stick to ward off the attacks of
an angry swan which was attempting
But just as Ernest spoke his foot
slipped, the swan hit the boy's legs
ERNEST IN TROUBLE.
with his great wings, and over went poor Ernest into the
river. The swan was so surprised at the sudden disap-
pearance of the boy, that he did not attempt to defend
himself from Bertie and Arthur, who beat him off very
quickly, and soon pulled Ernest out. But they couldn't help
laughing at him.
Ernest was very much frightened, and of course was wet
through. This was most unfortunate.
How did you get here? asked Arthur; and why
did you tease the swan ? "
I didn't mean to tease him," said
'.-'---2- Ernest, as he wrung the water from his
clothes. "He came after me because
V. I went near his nest."
"But what shall we do about your
clothes? Mamma will be so angry,
and you were particularly told not to
I go near the river, you know."
"Let us go to the keeper's cottage
and have them dried," said Bertie.
-"I'll fetch your hat." He told them
in what direction the cottage lay, and
before they reached it he overtook
The keeper's wife was very kind. She put Ernest
between warm blankets, gave him some nice hot stuff to
drink, and dried his clothes in a very short time. This
was fortunate, as they dined at two o'clock. It struck two
as they left the cottage. They were almost afraid to go
home and tell their uncle and aunt what had happened;
but they knew they must tell the truth, so they hurried to
the house as fast as they could, and got in just as the
dinner-bell was ringing.
BOILING THE KETTLE.-Pq~e 63.
THE PICNIC IN DOWNTOWN WOODS, AND WHAT HAPPENED TO
IDA AND BERTIE THERE.
HAT is the matter, Ernest ? asked his
aunt, as the boys entered the dining-room.
"Nothing, aunt, thank you," he replied,
"What have you boys been about? said
Mr. Ellerton. "Some mischief, I suppose. Eh,
"I am afraid we have, uncle," repliedArthur,
demurely; but it was only fun, you know "
TO DOWNTOWN WOOD.
I have heard all your nonsense from.George. He won't
try to take a rook's nest again in a hurry. Besides, you
ought to have known it was too late for eggs."
Oh yes; I shall try next year, papa," retorted George.
"A tumble is nothing."
If you had broken your arm or leg," said Mrs. Ellerton,
"you would have thought a tumble a good deal. I wish,
papa, you would tell the boys not to run such risks. Birds'-
nesting is cruel, besides."
"Very well, mother dear," replied Georgie; "we will
take care in future. But when shall we go to the
woods ? "
We must arrange about our picnic tea. You would
like that, Evelyn, would you not?"
Oh yes, aunt; it will be delightful," replied Evelyn.
Shall we go right into the wood," asked Ida, "and see
Ida is very anxious to see a woodpecker," said Evelyn,
The conversation soon became general; and greatly to
the. satisfaction of Ernest and Arthur, no questions were
asked about Ernest's adventure with the swan, of which
even George was ignorant.
In the course of the afternoon the hamper was packed
with the tea and cakes, and such fruit as could be procured
from the gardener; and at length the whole party set out
in the waggonette. Mrs. Ellerton also brought Emma,
LA YING THE CLOTH.
and the little baby cousin for a drive; so they made quite
a large party, and Arthur sat on the box beside Thomas.
They drove through the park and along the road till
they reached Lord Downton's grounds, and by the side of
the Downton river they were going to have tea. A very
pretty spot was chosen. Bertie, with Ida and Evelyn,
volunteered to get sticks and make up the fire. Arthur
ran and filled the kettle with water at the river, while
George and Ernest laid the cloth. Baby was sent home
in the carriage with Emma, and it was to bring her and
Mr. Ellerton back, while Mrs. Ellerton remained to look
after the children.
SThe sticks were
'' *-soon collected, and
then Ida said, "I do
so want to see a
woodpecker. Do they
really peck the
Oh yes," replied
SBertie. Come with
me. I dare say if we
are quite quiet we
shall soon hear one."
Then Ida and Ber-
tie went rambling far
| into the wood. When
they had got a good
,A,, distance, they stop-
ped quite still and
listened. After waiting some time they heard a sound of
tapping at regular intervals.-
"Hush!" said Bertie. Now, Ida, come here very
Ida came as she was directed, and by advancing without
noise for a little distance, she was enabled to perceive a
IN THE WOOD.
bird hanging to the trunk of a tree, and hitting it with his
The bird had already made quite a hole, which the
children supposed was the opening to the nest. Suddenly
*Ida trod upon a stick; it creaked loudly, and the
Oh I am so sorry," exclaimed the little girl. I've
frightened it away. What a pretty bird it is "
"Never mind," said Bertie. "We shall .see it again
some day. Let us go back now."
They sauntered quietly through the wood, chatting about
their games and school tasks, when all at once Bertie
I don't think this can be the way," he said.
Oh Bertie said Ida. "What do you mean ? "
I'm afraid said Bertie, "that I've come wrong. I've
lost my way, Ida."
What shall we do?" exclaimed Ida, now greatly
alarmed. "Aunt will be so frightened. It will soon be
evening, won't it?"
Oh, there's plenty of time," said Bertie; "don't you
be frightened, Ida. They are sure to come and look for
us. We'll get home all right."
Bertie was a brave boy to speak so boldly to his little
cousin, although he knew he had quite lost his way, and
was a little afraid too. But he would not show fear. So
be said, I'll tell you what we'll do. We will go right
through the wood, and not keep to any path. Don't you
remember we had the sun behind us ? He is now at our
side; so if we turn our faces to the sun and go straight on
we shall get back to the river, don't you see? I've reid
of people doing so: they always get home safe." 1
"But the babes in the wood died," said Ida, in a
trembling voice; and robins had to cover them up."
"Yes; but they were left by a wicked uncle. You
have a good uncle," said Bertie, laughing. "The robins
shall not bury us. Come along."
He clasped his cousin's hand tightly, and, without
giving her time to think, hurried into the wood. They went
right on towards the sun, but did not appear to be getting
any nearer the river. However, they pushed through the
bushes and scrambled over boughs, and logs, till the sun
dipped behind the trees,
There is the sunset," cried Ida. Now we are really
lost! Oh poor mamma will be so sorry."
Will you sit down and rest a little," said Bertie, while
I climb this tree? Perhaps I shall see something to
Ida sat down as she was bidden, while the brave Bertie
climbed the tree as high as ever he could go. Up, up, he
went, quite out of sight; and as he did not come down again
immediately, Ida began to think he had deserted her, and.
she began to cry.
Everything around her was perfectly still and quiet. A
SOME BIRDS CAME HOPPING ABOUT.-Page 68.
NO THING TO EA T
little rabbit popped up its head out of its burrow, and
hearing no noise ran almost close to Ida's feet. Ida saw
it, and forgot her fears. Then some birds came hopping
about on the branches, and a thrush sang so beautifully on
a tree close by, that the little girl listened with delight,
and thought no more about the danger, till Bertie came
down from the tree, and frightened the rabbit away. Then
all the dangers she had fancied came into her head again,
and she felt inclined to cry once more.
I cannot see anything," said Bertie, except tree
tops. I am very sorry I ever brought you here. We
must wait, I suppose, till some one comes."
"Are you not very hungry? said Ida. I am."
"Not very," said Bertie. But I have a biscuit in my
pocket. Here it is."
Ida took it, and was about to eat it, when it occurred to
her that Bertie had no more.
But you have none for yourself, Bertie, have you ?"
Never mind," said Bertie. I'm not so hungry as you
Share: eat it up."
No, you must have half. Mamma says I must never be
greedy-so there." She broke the biscuit, and gave him
one piece, and ate the other portion herself-very slowly
too, as if to make the most of it. Bertie put his portion in
For some time the children sat together without speaking.
At length Ida said,
"LET US SAY OUR PRAYERS."
Bertie, shall we say our prayers ? Perhaps God will
help us out of the wood if we ask Him."
Bertie had been thinking the same thing, but, like many
other boys, was ashamed to say his prayers in public or
before other people. This is a very wicked feeling, and we
must all remember that if we will not honour God before
men, He will not honour us, or listen to our prayers, if we
are ashamed to confess our trust in Him. But Bertie was
glad that Ida had asked him, and he said "Yes" at once
So the children knelt down in the wood, at the foot of
the tall tree, and repeated the prayers they had been
taught. Bertie adding a little simple supplication that
God would please protect them from danger, and take
"WE SHALL DIE, BERTIE!"
them safely home. Ida said "Amen," and then they sat
down again, hand in hand, to think a little.
It was now getting dark, and Ida began to be seriously
alarmed. She began to sob loudly, and Bertie could do
nothing to comfort her. He sang her some pretty hymns,
and at last even a funny song, to try and cheer her; but it-
was no use. He was terribly hungry now, but didn't like
to eat the biscuit for fear Ida might want it. What shall
I do ? he thought; it will soon be too dark to see a path.
We must not stop here under this tree all night. There
must be some way out." Don't cry, Ida," he said aloud.
"Let us get up and find a way out before it gets quite
"We can't," sobbed Ida; we shall die here and be
covered up by robins."
Bertie tried to laugh, but failed. Oh no," he cried,
" no robins shall cover us up, I can tell you, we are too
big. Listen didn't you hear a dog barking? "
Ida ceased sobbing, and listened. I think I did; and
then she whispered, "But suppose it is a giant's dog come
to eat us! "
Giants don't live in Downton Wood," said Bertie,
manfully, though he did not like to think about them at
all. There is the dog again. Let us call out."
The two young voices shouted in chorus, and at length
a loud Holloa came back.
Here we are," shouted the children; "come quick! "
THE GIPSY MAN.
As they called out a terrier dog
ran out of the bushes and began to
bark furiously at them, and in
another moment a great tall man
pushed the shrubs aside, and stood
looking at them in a very unpleasant
Come off, Jack," he said to the
dog; and you two young'uns, you
come along o' me."
"Who are you ? said Bertie,
"Never you mind," said the man;
"you come with me and you'll see."
"Lie down, Jack," he added to the
But Bertie clasped Ida all the tighter, and refused to get
up. The man, seeing'the children were well dressed, made
up his mind to rob them of their clothes and little trinkets
when he got them back to his tent; for he was a gipsy.
Bertie also had a,watch and chain.
I'll take ye out of this wood, if ye like," he said.
Oh! will you? exclaimed Ida, jumping up; "you are
a good man, and I'll give you a kiss."
She put up her innocent little face to kiss the-man in
such a trusting and confiding manner, that the rough
wicked gipsy was actually conquered by the little child.
OUT OF THE WOOD.
Something in her manner reminded him of his own little
child: she once was pretty and good, like little Ida, but had
grown up wicked and a thief. The gipsy man looked at
the sweet face for a moment, and just touching the pale
soft little cheek, he said,
Nothing shall hurt you, missie, this blessed night, and
Rough Robin says it. So I'll- take care of ye both, you
may depend. Come along, don't be afraid."
I'm not afraid now," said Ida. "I'm sure you're a
good man. Are you not ? "
God bless ye for that, missie. I'm not good, but I'll do
ye no harm. Now, mister ? "
This was addressed to Bertie, who immediately came
close to Ida, and took her disengaged hand.
Let us go," he said. I think the man is good."
The gipsy said not a word, but strode on till he came to
a path : this he followed. It led into a cart track. The
cart track led to a cottage, where there was a gate.
"I aren't go farther" he said; but nowyou are safe.
Good night, little missie; good night, young master.
Don't forget Rough Robin."
"Indeed we won't exclaimed Ida, and she put up he
face again. Thank you very much."
It is very kind of you," said Bertie; and if you will
come to our house-Mr. Ellerton's, you know-papa will
thank you too, and give you money if you want any."
The gipsy touched Ida's; forehead with his- lips, only
" HERE YOU ARE /"
nodded to Bertie, called his dog, but made no answer.
Then suddenly turning round, he hastened away as fast as
he could go back into the wood again.
Of course you will imagine that all this time there was
a great deal of anxiety amongst the picnic party at the
sudden disappearance of Bertie and Ida. Evelyn was quite
alarmed, and even Mrs. Ellerton, who was not usually
nervous, did not like the children's long protracted absence.
When Mr. Ellerton arrived, on horseback, she told him her
fears, and he rode through the wood; but owing to the
foolish children having left the beaten tracks, he missed
them, though he must have passed close to them.
Evening was now closing in. The tea-party snatched a
hasty meal, for the sake of the other children. Mr. Ellerton
sent off two men to search the wood, while he rode to the
gamekeeper's cottage, which stood at the distant corner of
the park, near the gate leading to the high-road.
As he rode up he heard voices-children's voices, and in
a moment Bertie and Ida stood before him. Now that they
were safe, his first impulse was to scold them well; but
recollecting that they had probably been greatly alarmed
and must be very tired and hungry, he checked his hasty
Well, you are a pretty pair of geese he exclaimed, in
a good-humoured tone. We have had a nice search for
you. Bertie, what do you mean by taking your cousin off
like this, eh ? "
THEY DROVE UP THE AVENUE.-Pa.rC 75
We went to see a woodpecker," said Bertie, and got
lost. "I'm very sorry indeed."
Oh, please don't scold Bertie, uncle! exclaimed Ida;
he has been so good and kind, and wanted to fight the
man for me."
"What man ? exclaimed Mr. Ellerton. "But never
mind now. Here, jump up, Ida; now, Bertie." Mr. Ellerton
dismounted and helped the children on to the saddle.
Then telling them to "hold tight," he trotted alongside
the horse to the park gates, where they found Mr. Ellerton's
carriage waiting, as he had arranged.
Ida and Bertie were overwhelmed with kisses, and then
gently scolded, and petted again, and fed. The result of
this treatment was that Ida first cried, and then went to
sleep, while Bertie told his mother the whole adventure,
and got praised for his courage, and rebuked for leaving
the party in the first instance.
But all annoyance was soon forgotten when they drove
up the avenue, and the dogs came out to meet them, and
barked joyously behind the carriage. After a substantial
meal the young Allens were packed into the waggonette
again, and driven home under the guardianship of Emma
arid Eliza, and you may be sure their mamma was very
glad to see them all back safely. Even little Ernest did
not appear any the worse for his tumble in the stream,
thanks to the kindness of the woman at the lodge.
WOODPECKERS, WRYNECK, AND CUCKOO.
SOMETHING ABOUT WOODPECKERS, AND THE AQUARIUM ON
OME days after the picnic the weather set in
very wet, and the children could not get out.
They accordingly applied themselves to their
studies all the morning, although it was
Supposed to be still holiday time; but Mrs. Allen
did not like them to be quite idle even during the
They sat in the small room they called the school-
room with their mamma.
I cannot do this sum," said Ida. Why will people
make me do arithmetic? It is a bother."
Ida, dear, you should not talk like that. Bring me the
slate. What is the sum? "
A RARD SUMi
"A man walks three miles in one hour, and I have
to find out how many times he will walk round a field
880 yards square in two hours and a-half. That's
"I think it is very easy," said Evelyn.
Then perhaps you would like to do it for me," said
Come, come, little girl, don't be cross. It is not a
difficult sum," said Mrs. Allen.
"Mamma," interrupted Ida, do tell me about wood-
peckers. You said you would, and I did see one the other
"Wait till you have done your sum," said her mamma.
Id rather hear about woodpeckers," pleaded Ida.
"Nonsense," replied Mrs. Allen. Let us see, the field
had four equal sides, each 880 yards."
Which is just half a mile," said Evelyn. "I'm sure
that's easy enough."
I see," said Ida; he had four half-miles to go; that
is two miles. I can do it now. Thank you, Evelyn."
So she sat down, and in a short time exclaimed, I have
done it, mamma. The answer is three times and three-
quarters. Now tell me all about woodpeckers. Why do
they peck wood ? "
To get the insects from the bark; and sometimes to
hollow out their nests. They dig down quite deep into a
tree, about two feet generally, where it is decaying, because
the wood is softer there. The hole is larger at the end
than at the beginning. It is very hard work indeed, I assure
you, and they get up very early in the morning to do it."
Do they lay their eggs in the hole? asked Ida.
Yes; on the chips that have fallen in. They do not
make a pretty circular nest like the goldfinch. Sometimes
the woodpeckers lay their eggs in a deserted hollow of a
tree; sometimes they begin a nest, and if alarmed leave it
unfinished, and do the work all over again."
Does it take them long, mamma? "
"About three weeks, I believe," said Mrs. Allen.
"They work very hard when they do work, but they do
not work all day."
They leave off for lunch and dinner, I suppose," said
Evelyn. But it must be very hard work pecking a hole
in a tree, when they might just as well make a nest in the
"They follow the instincts God implanted in them,'
replied Mrs. Alien. It is no doubt for some wise reason
which we do not understand. Most likely because the food
best suited for their young is found in the tree."
"Thank. you, mamma," said Ida. I do like to hear
about birds, beasts, and fishes. Can you tell us any
more ? "
It has left off raining, mamma," cried Arthur, running
into the room; may we go out? "
It is too da.mp'just now to go out in the garden, but
THE A Q UARIUM.
you may go up to your aquarium presently, if you choose,
and then we can see the new sea-anemones and the other
things the boatman brought yesterday."
Oh, yes; and then you can tell us all about them,"
said Evelyn. That will be nice."
"I don't want to do that," said Arthur, as he went out
of the room.
"Papa will tell you, I dare say," replied Mrs. Allen. I
cannot go out on the wet roof to lecture on anemones."
Ida flew off to the library to bring up her papa to tell
them about the new arrivals, and Mr. Allen very good-
naturedly agreed' o go out with them. So they put on
THE NE WT
thick shoes and their hats, and all went out upon the flat
roof, where the aquarium had been established.
"Now," said Mr. Allen, "which of these animals are
the new arrivals? "
The newts and the spider, papa. I think there are
some anemones, but I cannot see them. Here are some
new plants though."
Those plants,' my dear Ida, are your sea-anemones.
They are called so because they look like the flowers
after which they are named. Now what shall I tell you
The newts, please, papa, first; then the spiders, then
Stop, stop cried Mr. Allen, one lecture will do for
to-day. We will commence with Mr. Newt. He is in the
fresh-water tank of course. The newt is a very common
animal, and is found in almost every ditch. Some people
call him the 'eft.' He is very greedy indeed, and will
devour tadpoles at a great rate; he will also eat his
younger friends. Look at his golden eyes, see how active
he is! "
He is like a little crocodile, papa."
"Yes, something; but there is a very curious circum-
stance connected with him, and that is, he can reproduce
his arms or legs."
How do you mean, papa? Get new ones ?"
Yes; if you were to cut off that little fellow's leg, and
THE WA TER SPIDER.
leave only the stump, the limb would grow again, and he
would have a new leg soon."
Is that really true, papa; or are you only joking? "
It is quite true, dear. But a French gentleman once
made a very cruel experiment. He cut nearly the whole
of the head off a newt with a pair of scissors, and put the
poor animal into a tank. The poor newt actually lived
for three months wiltout its head! What do you think of
Oh, papa! exclaimed both the girls.
Indeed it did, and even then it only died from neglect.
So if it had been taken great care of even without a head,
it might have lived longer. Newts are extremely hard to
kill, you perceive."
That is most curious. I suppose its tail would grow
again if cut off, would it ? "
Certainly; you can try if you like."
Oh, dear no! cried Ida, shuddering. I would not
do so for the world."
But here is a very curious animal, which I do not think
you have noticed. It is the water spider, or diving
spider. It weaves its web under water, you see. Look,
Evelyn. See how it has fastened it to the stems of those
plants, and made a sort of bell-shaped tent for itself.
That is its house, and inside that webbed tent it waits
concealed until some little insect is caught, when it darts
out and secures it."
OXYGEN AND CARBON
"But, papa, how can it breathe under
water; it does not appear to have come
-_-_-_____ up for air ?"
"Ah that is one of its most wonder-
ful attributes. It possesses a private
supply of air. Underneath the body it
Sis provided with two skins. Between
these skins it carries a supply of fresh
"'< air, so it can breathe under water.
When the supply is exhausted, the spider goes up to the
surface, takes in more air, and down it goes again. If you
intend to put any fish in this new tank, I would advise you
to take out the spiders, for they will be quickly devoured
if you do not remove them."
But you must take great care to keep the water clear,
else you will deprive the inhabitants of the oxygen; but at
the same time you ought to have a few plants to absorb
the carbon which the animals breathe. A good water-
snail or two will clear off any decayed vegetable matter.
I will try and get you one."
"But why must we have oxygen and carbon too?"
asked Evelyn. ." Carbon is not good to breathe, is it? "
Do you not know, that to sustain the life of all plants
carbon is necessary ? To sustain the life of animals oxygen
is necessary? When an animal breathes he takes in
oxygen and respires, or gives out, carbon. This carbon
in the form of a gas goes to help the plants, while they,
when acted on by light, give away oxygen, which helps the
animals to live. Now do you understand why it is good
for animals and plants to be together ? They help each
other, and thus nature is balanced."
It is most extraordinary," said Evelyn, "how every-
thing in the world seems to be beautifully fitted with just
the very thing it requires."
The more you study the beautiful handiwork of the
Creator, the more you will be impressed by the wonderful
skill and providence displayed, even in what appear to be
the plainest things. In the more intricate forms of nature,
and in the exceedingly minute creations, our imagination
is scarcely sufficient to grasp the marvellous perfection of
workmanship that has formed the tiny beings we can
scarcely see, and millions we cannot see at all, but which
live and enjoy life unseen by us."
It seems impossible, papa; does it not? "
"Yes, to our finite minds it does. I have finished my
lecture. It is quite fine now; shall we go for a walk ? "
Oh, yes; let us take Nelson for a swim in the moor
Very well. Come along, Ida," said Mr. Allen.
Ida followed her sister into the house, and in a few
moments they were ready. Nelson also was delighted at
the prospect of a swim in the ponds on the moor. So a
happier party you could scarcely have met that afternoon
than,the Allens were.
A WALK ACROSS THE MOOR, AND WHAT
HE clouds had all cleared away, and the day
was now beautifully fine. Mr. Alien and his
two daughters crossed over the picturesque
expanse of moorland which extended behind the
Village of Paddlecombe for miles. It is a most
Delightful spQt. There are several ponds in the
Portion near Paddlecombe, and into these Nelson
jumped after a stick, and enjoyed himself immensely.
If they did not throw the stick, he would jump around Mr.
Allen and bark, and then dash into the water and back
again, saying as plainly as he could, Do give me another
swim." Then when he came out, he would run close up
to Ida or Evelyn with the stick in his mouth, lay it down,
and then shake the water from his curly coat, so that the
girls were quite wet at last.
Once when Nelson came out of the water he caught
sight of a rabbit, and before any one knew what he was
after, he rushed away over the moor. But the rabbit got
safely into his burrow, and Master Nelson came back look-
ing very guilty, for he knew he had done wrong. So he
would not come close to Mr. Allen, but kept away, looking
up every now and then to see if his master was angry. At
last he took courage, and came up to lick his hand, as if to
beg pardon. His master then patted his head, and said,
Good dog forhe knew that the poor dog only followed
his instinct, though he knew that he ought not to have
chased the rabbit. When Nelson heard Mr. Allen say
Good dog! he was delighted; for he saw he was
forgiven, and he jumped about with joy and barked loudly.
He was such a good dog that he had his likeness taken
one day by a travelling photographer, and here is Nelson's
Before I continue my narrative, I must tell you a story
about Nelson; for he was a most useful dog, and very
When he first came to the Allens' house, the family lived
in a provincial town, where Mr. Allen was then practising
as a doctor. He had of course often to be out at night,
and at one time went to the same house very regularly, at
the same time in the evening, to attend a patient suffering
from fever. Mrs. Allen and the young children were away
in the country. One evening when Mr. Allen came out of
the house, he found Nelson sitting on the steps, and
apparently very anxious about something. The dog pulled
at the legs of his trousers, licked his hands, whined, and
made such a fuss, that his master began to think there
made such a fuss, that his master began to think there
must be something wrong. So he decided to walk home
at once. The dog was delighted, and ran on before, bark-
ing, turning round, and then running on again, as much
as to say, Make haste." Mr. Alien hurried faster, and in
a very short space of time arrived at home. There was
quite a crowd round the house, which appeared to be on
fire. Mr. Alien soon found out that the lazy stable-man
had gone to sleep in the straw, knocked over his lantern,
which had set fire to the litter, and now the stable was
burning furiously. The horse and brougham were saved,
and Mr. Allen was able to direct the measures taken for
saving his property, which was not much injured. But he
might have lost a great deal, if the wise Nelson had not
run after him, for none of the people could tell where he
was, though a messenger was sent round to all his patients'
houses. The sagacious dog went direct to the house, and
brought his master home quickly, and in time to be of
great use. Was not Nelson a clever dog?
But now Ida and Evelyn very nearly got into trouble, as
they walked over the moor. They were both very fond of
wild flowers and ferns, so they frequently lagged behind
their papa to pick or uproot them. Nelson went gambolling
between the parties. Sometimes he darted on after Mr.
Allen, and then rushed back to Evelyn or her sister.
Every now and then some bird would rise up, when Nelson
would give a bark of defiance and run off, as if he would
catch it. This continued for some time, until they reached
AN AD VENTURE.
a farm. Here Mr. Allen stayed to see a horse he had
some intention to purchase, while the girls roamed about
the fields and collected flowers.
After some time, and just as Mr. Allen was taking leave
of the farmer, Nelson came rushing up in a great state of
L7 177 Ns
excitement, barking furiously, and without waiting for a
moment, dashed away again across the field. Mr. Allen,
knowing the animal's sagacity, ran after him, accompanied
by the farmer's eldest son. In a few moments they
encountered Ida crying.
".Is anything the matter? asked Mr. Allen; "where is.
EVELYN IN DANGER.
Oh she's in the pond, do run and help," sobbed Ida.
" I sent Nelson to tell you."
The young farmer did not wait to hear any more, bur
darted to the pond by a side-path which he knew.
In a few seconds he reached the water, and only just in
time. He found Evelyn hanging from a branch over the
pool, clutching the tree tightly with both hands, but quite
unable to move. Her strength was almost exhausted. In
another moment she must have relinquished her hold and
fallen into the pond, where she might have been drowned
before assistance could reach her.
Nelson was standing on the edge of the pool, his eyes
fixed upon his young mistress, ready to aid her should she
fall. When Evelyn saw the young man approaching, she
gave a loud scream for help. He at once plunged knee
deep into the pool, waded to her assistance as quickly as
possible, and received the young girl into his arms, just as
her strength failing she dropped fainting on his shoulder.
Mr. Allen came up by the time the farmer had carried
his youthful burthen to the bank. Laying her down care-
fully, her father took the readiest means to restore her to
consciousness, and in a few moments she opened her eyes.
Nelson gave tokens of the liveliest joy, and licked her face,
as if he thought that would recover her more quickly.
When she was well enough to explain howshe got into
such a position, she told her father how the accident had