FOUNDED BY J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.
Boston: DANA ESTES & COMPANY, 212, Summer Street.
Copyright, 1878, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1879, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1880, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1881, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1882, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1883, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1884, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1885, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1886, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1887, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1888, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1889, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1890, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1891, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1892, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1893, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1894, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1895, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1896, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1897, by Estes & Lauriat. Copyright, 1898, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1899, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1900, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1901, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1902, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1903, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1904, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1905, by Dana Estes & Co. Copyright, 1906, by Dana Estes & Co.
PRESSWORK BY COLONIAL PRESS; C. H. SIMONDS & CO. BOSTON, U.S.A.
About the Ash 250
About Topiaries 99
A Brave Answer 43
A Brave Lad 309
A Chinese Solomon 15
A Generous Act 99
A Gentle Donkey 378, 390, 398, 402, 410
A Good Comrade 159
A Hasty Judgment 375
A Humorous Punishment 70
A Hundred Years Ago 15, 54, 74, 107, 155, 179, 211, 250, 282, 307, 347
A Modern Wizard 394
An Artful Jack 162
An Eastern Puzzle 355
Anecdotes, 6, 30, 34, 43, 51, 66, 147, 179, 190, 218, 227, 235, 323, 341, 355, 371, 378, 382, 395, 407
An Intruder 269
A Pincushion Factory 91
Apples or Thistles? 267
A Seasonable Answer 11
A Silent Reproof 331
A Story of the Unforeseen 190
'As You Please' 277
A Turkey's Costly Diet 302
'A Will of Her Own' 279
A Wonderful Weighing Machine 203
Barnacles and Geese 238
Catching Birds under Water 323
Caught by a Tree 218
Chinese Physic 182
Clothed in Chatterbox 348
Conquered by Love 214
Conscience and the China Figures 178
Crebillon and the Rat 291
Crocodiles in Central Africa 75
Crowded Out 403
Curious Granaries 292
Cutting It Down 278
Elephants attacking a Granary 46
Ethel's Golden Offering 22
Eva's Kitten 333
Faithful to Duty. 83
Famous Roses 326
Feathered Friendship 53
Flowers and Colours 262
Flowers of the Night 118
Fred's New World 62
Forgetful Fanny 26
Gas-light Insect-hunting 395
Glimpses of Hedgehog Life 141
Graham's Last Practical Joke 162
Grey-skin's Adventures 221
Hare versus Pheasant 214
Haydn's Drum 34
His Master's Hat 15
How Gordon Kept Shop 238
How the Arabs Bake their Bread 357
How to Obtain Food 139
Huge Birds 403
In Harvard Museum 350
Iron-smelting in India 285
Jock's Collie 351
Long Lived 83
Long Tom's Gratitude 13
Marvels of Man's Making 2, 42, 78, 126, 148, 187, 218, 243, 282, 316, 405
Mary's Reward 77
May Day 175
Movable Roofs 253
'Mr. Harold' 349
Muriel's First Patient 327
Not Afraid 407
Not Guilty 251
Old Oxford Castle 230
Old Sarum 342
Olive and the Bees 109
One Thing at a Time 175
Peeps into Nature's Nurseries 11, 37, 59, 75, 100, 131, 134, 164, 203, 235, 275, 299, 339, 371
Ping-Kwe's Downfall 303
Plants with Signs 347
Ploughing in Syria 315
Puzzlers for Wise Heads 15, 51, 75, 115, 147, 179, 214, 254, 286, 323, 371, 395
Round the Camp-fire 19, 26, 34, 66, 82, 98, 130, 154, 194, 205, 226, 258, 338, 354, 386
Saved by a Gipsy 243
Sir Ralph Abercromby 174
Sowing and Reaping 18, 123
Spider Runners 382
Stories from Africa 30, 46, 58, 60, 106, 138, 170, 210, 242, 266, 290, 330, 362
Strange Nesting-places 324
Tabby's Ghost 389
Taking It Literally 132
Teaching Him a Lesson 410
Telegraph Wires in Central Africa 164
The Arbalist, or Crossbow 212
The Barberry 147
The Brave Countess 379
The Broken Promise 365
The Captain's Pudding 258
The Count and the Dove 254
The Cow-waggon 363
The Dead Watch 115
The Duck-billed Platypus 181
The Duke's Ruse 299
The First Tea 159
The Force of Labour 390
The Giant of the Treasure Caves 6, 10, 22, 30, 38, 47, 50, 63, 70, 74, 87, 94, 102, 110, 114, 123, 134, 142, 146, 157, 166, 172, 182, 186, 198, 202, 214, 222, 230, 234, 246, 254, 262, 270, 274, 286, 294, 298, 310, 314, 322, 334, 342, 346, 358, 367, 370, 382
The Groaning Tree of Baddesley 235
The Honest Sailor 122
The Hoof-mark on the Wall 171
The Kestrel's Eggs 196
The King of Persia 396
The Ladybird and the Caterpillar 306
The Last Time 3
The Leopard's Looking-glass 380
The Little Old Woman 373
Themistocles and the Greek Generals 331
The Misunderstood Poets 286
The Moles and the Mountain 54
The Multiplication Table 26
The Music of the Nations 21, 51, 69, 115, 147, 172, 195, 229, 261, 292, 324, 380
The New Zealand Glow-worm 334
The Penguin 277
The Picture-cleaners 139
The Policeman's Joke 301
The Prairie Dog 61
The Ptarmigan and Pine Marten 66
The Reward of a Genius 142, 151
The Riddle of the Year 155
The Rosemont Grotto and the Petchaburg Caverns 396
The Self-heal 267
The Sensible Hare 374
The Shadoofs and Draw-wheels of Egypt 43
The Sloth 93
The Soldier of Antigonus 291
The Story of Rock-salt 302
The Sugar Maple 294
The Symbols of Japan 214
The Timid Mouse 348
The Trials of Leckinski 306, 319
The Union Jack 348
The Way to Command 62
The Yak 125
Think This Out 222
'Those Horrid Boys' 207
Too Much for the Whistle 54
To the Rescue! 261
True Happiness 310
Umbrella Treason 18
Union is Strength 189
Well Repaid 355
Where there's a Will there's a Way 387
Wild Animals in Captivity 18
A Butterfly's Wing 207
A Mermaid's Song 182
A Studious Elf 235
A Tale of Bremen 101
A Thoughtless Daisy 351
Cloud Pictures 374
Fairy Pictures 163
Fire Pictures 258
For the Little Ones 159
Going to Bed 126
Little Things 62
Little Workers 190
Looking Up and Looking Down 299
Lying Awake at Night 115
Made Beautiful 379
Mr. and Mrs. Brown's Journey in the Family Coach 406
My Dreams 147
My Garden 291
Night and Day 396
No Harm Meant 6
Santa Claus 358
Santa Claus's Postman 171
Stop Thief! 227
The Almond and the Raisin 83
The Bee 54
The Daisy 75
The Disappointed Hen 26
The Disobedient Mouse 213
The Fairies' Night 363
The Fairy Queen's Gift 34
The Fountain 319
The Glow-worm 195
The Grumbling Rose 276
The Little Blind Linnet 254
The Moon-ship 70
The Mysterious Visitor 139
The Night before My Birthday 94
The Pedlar 407
The Princess has Come 286
The Shepherd Moon 131
The Singers Yet To Be 218
The Singing Bird 402
The String of Pearls 384
The Undecided Travellers 43
The Wrong Wind 18
Time Flies 257
Two Little Drops of Rain 326
Close on His Heels, Frontispiece
The Boy Doctor, facing p. 64
A Fight to a Finish, facing p. 128
Opportunity Makes the Thief, facing p. 192
'Chorus, Please!' facing p. 256
Tent Pegging, facing p. 320
A Brave Lad 309
A Chatterbox Costume 348
A Clay Grain Storehouse 293
A Contest with the Longbow 213
A Cow Waggon Encamped and on the March 364
'All went well at first' 392
'A Madi village being removed' 253
An Arab Bakery 357
'A native lay at the foot of a tree' 129
'A terrible sight met their view' 289
'A wren built its nest in the pocket' 325
'By waters still in sweet spring-time' 388
'Charlie Eccles half lay, half sat upon the ground' 97
'Colonel Smith emptied the glass' 361
'Concealment was impossible' 137
Crossbow and Arrows used for Sport 213
Egyptian 'Sakiveh' 44
Egyptian 'Shadoof' 44
'Fast Asleep!' 301
'Father, is that my present?' 377
'Give me back my money' 356
Grain Huts 293
'He finished by backing hard into the small wooden gate' 400
'He handed John an official paper' 180
'He has a winning tongue' 408
'He placed a sovereign on the counter' 121
'He placed the "drum" on a chair, and practised diligently' 33
'He ran out just as he was' 84
'Here is a nice little bit of work for you, my lad' 268
'He sat silent, waiting for the reply' 265
'He seized one of the ladders' 85
'He staggered forward and reached the landing' 240
'He swung himself off the ground' 329
'He was chaired all round Covent Garden' 156
'He was greeted by a jet of water' 152
'His shoulder caught me as he passed' 153
'Hold hard there!' 197
'I held a long stick for him to hook on' 93
'In his despair he clenched his fist' 4
Iron-smelting in India 285
'I say that he is a French spy!' 305
'Is the bird alive or dead?' 277
'I struck furiously at the brute' 385
'I struggled up' 260
'It became necessary to descend the shaft' 41
'It is only the masterful calf 269
'It's Captain Halliard!' 393
'I was received with joy' 205
'I will come with you at once' 365
'Just then a man on horseback appeared' 25
'King Louis leaped fully armed into the sea' 29
'Let me have a doll to play with' 208
'Lieutenant Fegan led a gallant resistance' 241
Loading a Military Crossbow 212
'Mag raised her shrill note of warning' 53
'Managed to upset a wooden watch-house' 108
'Mother, this chair was full of gold pieces!' 56
'Mr. Merry was just leaving the house' 389
Muriel's First Patient 328
'My partner being the lamp-post' 337
'No room for Jealousy' 404
'One at a time, they found themselves pinioned' 105
'One of the largest pounded upon the wall with his tusks' 45
Peeps into Nature's Nurseries (Illustrations to), 12, 37, 60, 76, 76, 100, 101, 132, 164, 165, 204, 233, 237, 276, 300, 340, 341, 372
'Piggy lifted the heavy lid to feed upon the cheese' 141
'Please, sir, will you—would you buy a pincushion?' 92
Ploughing in Syria 316
Plymouth Breakwater 188
Prairie Dogs 61
'Scores of angry bees came buzzing round her' 109
'See! A Matabele!' 193
'Set to the hardest and most menial work' 57
'She was floating away in the midst of the stream' 280
'Some one is lost in the snow, and Lassie knows it' 373
'Soon the two little mischief-makers were busy at work on the pictures' 140
'Stalked while I myself stalked the water-buck' 36
'Stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's bed' 177
'Stop thief!' 228
'The African beauty was greatly taken with Lander' 209
'The bear would eat and drink in a truly dignified fashion' 249
The Birmingham Water-works 317
'The carpenter took off his coat' 281
The Cooking Lesson 77
'The crowd drew him along in triumph' 308
'The dog darted after the bat' 16
'The dog gave the horse the turnip' 160
'The dog took kindly to her foster-children' 17
The Duck-billed Platypus 181
The Egg Poacher 65
The first Passenger to cross the Brooklyn Bridge 1
The first Railway Journey in England 80
The Forth Bridge 245
The Giant of the Treasure Caves (Illustrations to), 8, 9, 24, 32, 40, 48, 49, 64, 72, 73, 88, 96, 104, 112, 113, 124, 136, 144, 145, 157, 168, 173, 184, 185, 200, 201, 216, 224, 232, 233, 248, 256, 264, 272, 273, 288, 296, 297, 312, 313, 321, 336, 344, 345, 360, 368, 369, 384
The Great Eastern 149
'The great work was soon accomplished' 120
'The head of a snake thrust out close to him' 169
'The kitten at once began lapping' 333
'The lad emptied the pail over his employer' 133
'The luckless fugitives were dragged forth' 89
The Manchester Ship Canal 281
'The most wily and cunning black pig that ever made his escape' 192
'The motor came to a standstill' 401
The Music of the Nations (Illustrations to), 21, 52, 69, 116, 148, 172, 196, 229, 261, 292, 324, 380
'Then came the difficult task of bringing down the little lad' 13
The Nile Dam at Assuan 220
'The pike seized the stoat' 161
'The precious picnic-basket rolling down the turf' 376
'The promise of a thousand songs' 217
'There, still on the boulder, was Collie, barking' 352
'The thing exploded in the air' 225
'The third time he collapsed, and was pulled back 353
The Union Jack 348
'The weight of the two birds had the desired effect' 189
The Words of Command 117
'They began to examine the damaged axle' 332
'They were passing a field of ripe corn' 409
'They were playing with me as though I were a big mouse' 68
'This is a present which your uncle has sent you' 397
'Three yelping, delighted dogs' 28
'Throw your bad temper overboard' 304
'Tim pressed up the lid with his head' 412
Victoria Falls 128
'"Watch him!" said Douglas' 252
'What a feast I had!' 221
'What did the strange beast mean by gazing at him?' 381
'What do they want with me?' 320
'"What is the matter?" I asked him' 81
'Who's that that dares to serve me so?' 5
'Why don't you take off your hat to me?' 176
'Why not start, a round of story-telling?' 20
'"You have found me out," said the captain' 257
MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.
I.—THE BROOKLYN SUSPENSION BRIDGE.
When two large cities stand opposite to one another on the banks of a river, it is not likely they can do very well without a bridge to connect them. Yet the citizens of New York and Brooklyn were obliged to manage as best they could for a good many years before they had their bridge. There were many difficulties in the way. For one thing, the river is very broad; for another, the tall-masted ships ply up and down so frequently that it would never do to build anything which would obstruct their passage; and to overcome these difficulties would mean the expenditure of a vast sum of money. But the folk who earned their daily bread in New York and lived in Brooklyn grew thoroughly tired of spending chilly hours in foggy weather on the river-side piers, waiting for the ferry-boat to come and take them across, and at last they began an agitation which resulted in the Brooklyn Bridge.
The engineer who made the first design was Mr. John A. Raebling; but he did not live to see it carried into effect; for one summer day in 1869, when selecting the spot at which the great work should be begun, he met with an accident which caused his death a few days later. His son, Mr. Washington Raebling, then took the lead. Plans were carefully drawn and submitted to the Government, who, after much consideration, ordered that the bridge should be five feet higher and five feet wider. This apparently slight change added about 172,800l. to the cost of building, for little changes in big things mean more than big changes in little ones. The original cost was to be 10,800,000 dollars, or about 2,160,000l.; but in the end it amounted to nearly 3,100,000l.
Before we talk of the trouble and labour, let us look for a moment at the great things the engineers have accomplished.
The Brooklyn bridge is five thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine feet long and eighty-five feet wide. The huge cables that support it stretch like the strands of a monster spider-web from the tops of two towers, each two hundred and seventy-six feet high and standing one thousand five hundred and ninety-five feet apart. The above is the length of the central span; the two other spans, from the land to the towers, are each nine hundred and thirty feet long in addition. The roadway, one hundred and thirty-five feet above the river, is divided into five parts. The two outside ones are for vehicles, the middle one for foot passengers, and the remaining two for cable trams. The footway is eight feet higher than the others, so that an uninterrupted view is gained from it. The four cables supporting this heavy structure are anchored at both ends in blocks of masonry weighing sixty thousand tons each; so that there is little fear of their being dragged from their moorings. The bridge was opened amid a blaze of fireworks on May 24th, 1883.
On May 7th, 1870, the tower on the riverside at Brooklyn was begun, and completed just five years later; its companion on the opposite side was a year behind it. The foundations of these great towers lie in solid rock seventy-eight feet below the high-tide line on the New York side, and only a little less on the Brooklyn side.
The towers once completed, the task of laying the cables across from summit to summit engaged the thoughts of the engineers. This was no ordinary case of swinging a steel rope across a river, for the gigantic size and weight of the cables made it impossible to use ordinary means. First of all it would be necessary to make a communication from tower to tower. To accomplish this, one end of a coiled steel rope was carried to the top of the Brooklyn tower and passed over until it dangled into the river beneath. Here a steamboat dragged it across the river to the foot of the New York tower, where it was hauled up, and having been passed over the top, was carried down to the masonry anchorage already mentioned. Here it was wound round a revolving drum or pulley, and started back again to Brooklyn in the same manner, thus forming an endless band along which material could be carried by revolving the pulley at either end.
Though this rope was three-quarters of an inch in thickness, it was almost invisible to the people on the river, two hundred and seventy-six feet below. Yet it was the first 'stitch' in the great web, and thousands of eyes were turned towards it on August 25th, 1876, when the very first passenger crossed along it from shore to shore. This passenger was Mr. Farrington, one of the engineers. He wished to encourage his men by a good example, for over that terrible gulf it would soon be necessary for many of them to go. His seat was a small piece of board such as we use for a swing in a playground, and it was attached to the wire by four short ropes. The perilous journey took more than twenty minutes, and the people below watched almost breathlessly as the slender thread swayed up and down with the weight of the traveller. To their eyes it appeared at times as if he was soaring through the air unsupported, so thin was the line by which he hung.
And now the weaving of the cables began, and this was perhaps the most remarkable undertaking in the construction of the great bridge. To the endless band by which Mr. Farrington had crossed, there was fixed what is called a 'carrier.' This was to grip the end of the first wire (as the eye of the needle takes the thread); bear it across the river over the tops of the lofty towers; 'stitch' it to the New York shore (or anchorage) and bring it back again.
And that is what it did. This new wire (only one-eight of an inch thick—thinner, that is, than the first wire, on which Mr. Farrington had crossed) was two hundred miles long, and it had to perform the journey many hundred times before the first 'skein' was complete. Thus you will see that a single 'skein' stretched from shore to shore, consisting of nearly three hundred separate threads. These were bound tightly together at frequent intervals, and when a bunch of nineteen of them had been made, the first cable was ready for completion. But this was a matter of great difficulty. You will easily understand that it was necessary for every wire to do its share in bearing the weight of the bridge. Therefore, they must all be at an equal strain from tower to tower. Now you know that on a sunny day a bar of steel is longer than it is on a cloudy day, for the metal expands with heat. Consequently, when the sun came out to see what they were doing at Brooklyn, the wires upon which it shone became longer than those in the shadow behind them. Of course, in a short distance this would not be noticeable, but it made such a difference in the work we are describing, that the strength of the cable would have been greatly lessened had the strands been bound together in the sunshine, while some of the wires were slack, and some were tight. Even the wind interfered sadly; but by choosing dull, still days, when all the wires were subjected to the same temperature, they were at last successfully bound together.
Notwithstanding the perilous nature of this cable-weaving, it was attended by only one serious accident, and that was when one of the 'skeins' broke loose from the New York shore, and, leaping like the lash of a giant whip over the tower top, plunged into the river below. It narrowly missed the ferry-boats and other craft.
The effect of the temperature on such vast quantities of metal is shown in many ways. By shortening and lengthening the cables, it heightens and lowers the bridge, which is consequently slightly higher above the river in winter than it is in summer. At the tower-tops the cables rest on huge iron saddles, which are placed upon forty steel rollers, so that the cables may move more freely in expanding and contracting. Again, the bridge itself is not made in one piece, but is severed half-way across and provided with a sliding joint, so that all shall act obediently to the dictates of the ever-changing weather.
Thus you see there is more in building a bridge than appears to those who do not remember that a knowledge of nature's laws must guide the architect's hand when he is drawing his plans, and govern the engineer's tools when he is carrying those plans into effect.
THE LAST TIME.
'You might do it for me, just this once, Barton,' said Lopes in a tone of anxiety not often heard from a schoolboy. 'Your father is a rich man, and you can always get all the money you want from him, and if you will only lend me this, I will never borrow from you again. Do ask for the money at once!'
Barton looked much perplexed at this appeal, but he answered firmly: 'I can't do it, old fellow! I have given my word to my father never to be mixed up in any betting transaction, and I cannot ask him for money to go to a bookmaker.'
'Then I'm ruined!' said Lopes, passionately, 'and much you care, though you and I have been chums together ever since we first entered the school!' and in his despair he clenched his fist and seemed almost as if he were going to strike his friend.
Barton put up his arm to shield himself as he said in a low voice, 'Look out, Lopes; don't shout so! we don't want all the kids to know about this matter;' for just at this moment a trio of merry lads came round the corner of the Fives Court, whooping and shouting at the top of their voices. 'Come to the garden; we shall be quiet there, and can talk over matters, and see what can be done;' and Barton closed the book he had been studying and led the way to the nut-walk which was sacred to the Sixth Form.
Lopes followed gloomily. 'It's no good talking, if you won't help me,' he said as they reached the quiet path.
'But I want to help you,' said Barton, 'and I think I see a way out of this scrape.'
'Oh, do you?' said Lopes eagerly. 'If only I could pay off this man and have done with him, I would never bet again. I see now what a silly fool I have been. Tell me your plan, Barton.'
'Go and tell Mr. Arundel all about it. I don't believe bookmakers have any right to tempt boys like us to lay money on horses, and—— '
'Mr. Arundel! one of the masters! He would go and tell the Head straight off, and I should be expelled,' said Lopes bitterly. 'I thought you had some better plan than that!'
'Mr. Arundel is a gentleman,' said Barton quietly, 'and what you tell him in confidence will go no further, you may be sure of that; I believe he could help you.'
'I wish I could think so,' sighed Lopes. 'I can think of nothing, and settle to nothing with this debt on my mind.'
'Go to Mr. Arundel,' urged Barton. 'I know you will not regret it.'
'Well, I will,' at last said Lopes. 'I will go at once before my courage fails me.'
'I will come with you,' said Barton, taking his friend's arm.
'You are a good chap, Barton; you don't desert a fellow when he is down!' said Lopes gratefully. 'I wish I had taken your advice at first, and thrown the bookmaker's letter on the fire.'
* * * * *
There is no space here to tell of all Mr. Arundel said and did to help Lopes out of his ugly betting scrape. Though the master did not fail to show Lopes how wrongly he had acted, he had a real pity for the boy who had been so tempted by the bookmaker's letter, and he determined to let that gentleman know what he knew of him.
So a very strong letter was sent off by Mr. Arundel, telling the man that unless he released the schoolboy from all his so-called debts, he would have him publicly shown up and prosecuted for dealing with a minor.
By return of post came the desired release from the bookmaker, and Mr. Arundel handed it to the boy with a pleasant smile. 'You are free, Lopes; you will hear no more of this man, I can promise you, and you must promise me never to bet again.'
'I will—I do, sir! and thank you most deeply,' said Lopes earnestly. If this had reached my father's ears, it would have broken his heart. Oh, thank you so very much! You do not know how miserable I have been.'
Lopes kept his word, and that bet was his last one. He had learnt that honesty and straightforwardness get rid of any difficulties.
NO HARM MEANT.
Two puppies with good-natured hearts, but clumsy little toes, Were feeling rather sleepy, so they settled for a doze; But underneath the very ledge on which they chanced to be, A large and stately pussy cat was basking dreamily.
A short half-hour had hardly passed, when one pup made a stir, And stretching out a lazy paw, just touched the tabby's fur; 'Twas nothing but an accident, yet, oh! the angry wail! The flashing in the tabby's eye, the lashing of her tail!
'Who's that that dares to serve me so?' she cried with arching back. 'I'll teach you puppies how to make an unprovoked attack!' One puppy started to his feet with terror in his eyes, The other said, as soon as pluck had overcome surprise:
'I'm really very sorry, ma'am, but honestly declare I hadn't any notion that a pussy cat was there.' But just like those who look for wrong in every one they see, She left the spot, nor deigned to take the pup's apology.
The Spartan King Agis was asked shortly before a battle: 'How many soldiers can you bring into the field?'
'As many as will suffice to rout the enemy!' was the Spartan's curt reply.
THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.
By MRS. MULLIKEN.
'You don't think they will come to any harm?' said the young governess.
When Miss Leigh spoke in that plaintive tone, Lady Coke knew that she was tired out with the noise and wilfulness of her young pupils, and that a 'row,' as Alan called it, was likely to follow.
'No,' said Lady Coke, smiling; 'they are accustomed to the management of the boat, and Thomas shall go with them. He knows the coast well, and is a first-class boatman.'
Her nephew, Colonel De Bohun, laughed. 'He is A.1. at his oar, but very deficient as a gardener,' he said. 'Your kindness in keeping him, my dear aunt, is a marvel to us all.'
'His mother is very poor,' returned Lady Coke, with a sigh. 'I wish he were a better son to her. He is her great trouble, I fear.'
'And yet you are not afraid to trust the children with him,' murmured Miss Leigh, in surprise.
'He is quite to be trusted on the water!' replied Lady Coke, with some decision. 'Children must have something to do to carry off their extra energy, and—— '
'"A boy is the most difficult to manage of all wild beasts!" So, at all events, an old writer tells us,' said the Colonel, with a smile. 'I am afraid, Miss Leigh, you find the girls are not much better. You ought to be glad to get rid of our noisy pack of youngsters for an hour or two.'
'Oh, if you are not afraid,' began Miss Leigh, in an injured tone.
She considered that her anxiety on behalf of her pupils was not being properly appreciated, and felt hurt. But further conversation was cut short by the boisterous rush of four children round the corner of the shubbery.
'Thomas can come!' shouted the eldest boy, who was racing ahead of the noisy party. 'I just managed to catch him as he was sneaking off up the Wilderness.'
'What?' exclaimed the Colonel, surprised.
'Sneaking off!' repeated Lady Coke. 'Alan, what a way of speaking! What do you mean?'
'He ran away as soon as he saw we wanted him,' said Georgie. 'He tried to hide in the bushes, and I am sure he did not want us to see him.'
'He was sneaking off. We could all tell that,' added Marjorie, a tall, handsome girl of thirteen. 'But what does it matter? If he can come with us now, it is no business of ours what he was doing.'
Meanwhile, Estelle, a small, slender child of eleven, who looked much younger, was clinging to her great-aunt's hand, and murmuring continually, 'Are we going, Auntie? I do so want to go on the sea!'
'Here is Thomas,' said Colonel De Bohun, as the young gardener came towards the group, with a sulky expression on his red face.
'I want you to take the children out in the boat, Thomas,' said Lady Coke. 'I hope you are not particularly busy this afternoon?'
'I am at your service, my lady,' he replied. 'I will get—— '
'I will help you!' cried Alan, eagerly. 'We will have the boat ready in a jiffy.'
With an awkward touch of his cap, Thomas moved off, his sulky face revealing the wrath which was surging within. But no one was looking at him, nor was a second thought given to Alan's laughing assertion that he had been seen 'sneaking off up the Wilderness.' The wild joy of the children, and the many cautions as to their behaviour when on the water, which their elders impressed upon them, together with the preparations for the trip, made them all forget Thomas's queer manner. They were destined, however, before long, to remember it for many a day.
Colonel De Bohun made Alan fetch some cushions, that the boat might be made more comfortable for his cousin and his sister, and Lady Coke, drawing Marjorie aside, begged her to look well after Estelle, who was not so used to boating as she and her brothers were, and might endanger the safety of the young party by some sudden movement. Marjorie was to remember how easily a boat was upset.
Estelle had never till now lived near the sea-coast. Her life had been spent in the Highlands of Scotland, at her father's old castle, Lynwood Keep. Her uncle, Colonel De Bohun, had often begged the Earl of Lynwood to allow her to spend her holidays with her cousins, but the Earl could not bear to part with his little girl even for so short a time. Instead, he gladly welcomed the little cousins to Lynwood Keep, where Estelle was allowed to do everything she desired for their pleasure and entertainment.
The great sorrow of his life, the loss of his young wife when Estelle was five years old, had changed him completely. From being a cheerful, open-hearted, open-handed man, he had become silent and reserved, seldom seeing anybody, and keeping aloof even from his brother's children when they paid their yearly visit to Estelle, and the delights of her Highland home.
To only one person did he unbend. Estelle had become all in all to him. He felt he could not do enough for her. He must be both father and mother to the little motherless child, and to him she must look for everything. Except when she was at her lessons, he loved to have her with him, and wherever he went, on visits to his tenants, or walking over the property, she was always his little shadow, as well known and beloved as he. In the evenings they would sit together, talking over their uneventful day, or recalling that memory of wife and mother which was so sacred and so tender to them both, and which Lord Lynwood desired should never fade from his little girl's mind.
Such a life was by no means a healthy one for Estelle, as Lord Lynwood's aunt, Lady Coke, discovered during her visits to Lynwood Keep. She noticed how sensitive and excitable Estelle was growing. If Lord Lynwood came down in the morning looking worn and depressed, Estelle would watch him for a few minutes, and unconsciously put on the same look. Slipping her hand into his, and gazing up into his face with sympathetic eyes, she only increased his gloom; Lady Coke saw it, and felt sorry for them both. Any other child would have been spoilt by the indulgence which gratified every wish, but Estelle's gentleness and her great desire to be to her father all that her mother had been, prevented her from being either selfish or naughty.
She was not a strong child, and the accounts of her health and spirits which her governess, Mademoiselle Vadevant, gave Lady Coke, did not satisfy that dear old lady. She did not like to hear that Estelle was apt to cry on the slightest excuse; that she had no energy, no appetite; that she was listless in her play, never happy except when with her father, and soon grew tired with the least exertion. Every breath of wind appeared to give her a cold, and she slept badly. Lady Coke said little, but she thought deeply about all she heard and saw.
A few weeks after this visit of Lady Coke's, Lord Lynwood, to his great surprise, received a letter from a very influential quarter; his past services to the State were spoken of in the most flattering manner, and he was urged to accept office again. An appointment to the Court of Austria was offered to him in terms which made refusal almost impossible. Lady Coke was delighted when he showed her the letter, and warmly begged him not to throw away what had been offered to him in such a kindly spirit. She did not betray her own handiwork in the offer.
'It is the best thing that could have happened!' she exclaimed, smiling and pleased. 'The very best thing for you and Estelle.'
'Best for the child?' he repeated, blankly.
'Yes, even for Estelle,' replied his aunt, with decision. 'She ought to have many things which you cannot give her, with all your love; her mother would have understood. She must live in a warmer, sunnier climate. She ought to have the companionship of other children; some one to play with, and some one to work with as well as play.'
'Ah!' said the Earl, feeling as if a trap had been sprung upon him. 'And where is she to have all this?'
'Let her live with me,' replied Lady Coke, smiling. 'Her cousins are quite close, and she will be with them every day. I am sure you will soon see how greatly this plan will benefit the dear child, and will not grudge what will do her good.'
'I should not mind so much leaving her if she were with you,' admitted the Earl, after a long pause. 'But are you sure it will not be too much for you, dear aunt, to have so young a child with you always? Will she not tire you?'
'You little know how young I am still,' she interrupted with a merry laugh. 'I love the child, and you could not give me greater pleasure than by leaving her with me.'
The more the plan was talked over the more pleasant and possible it became, and when the Earl saw Estelle's delight on hearing that she was to share in Marjorie's lessons, and have her cousins to play with every day, he became reconciled to the parting with his little girl.
But when the day came for saying good-bye he almost repented. Estelle cried and clung to him till Lady Coke and Mademoiselle had great trouble in getting her away. They hurried her up to her room, where Mademoiselle gave her brilliant descriptions of how busy her father was going to be, and how happy she would be in his absence with her cousins. She would grow up to be a comfort to him, and must do all she could that he might not be disappointed in her on his return.
Then came the bustle of preparation for her own journey, and the excitement of her arrival at the Moat House. All three cousins were there to greet her, and she was welcomed with so many kisses, and such a chorus of delight, that for the moment everything else was forgotten. Each of the cousins had his or her favourite pet, or particular spot in the garden to show her, and Estelle felt herself at home at once.
Lady Coke's plan had worked well. The joy of the children, their perfect contentment when together, and Estelle's improved health and spirits were proof enough. The gardens of the two houses, which joined, the woods, the rocks, the sea, were more than enough to keep them all happy and occupied; and to Estelle was added the keen pleasure of an only child to whom everything was new.
(Continued on page 10.)
THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.
(Continued from page 7.)
An afternoon to be spent in rowing along that grand coast, in scrambling among the rocks, or visiting the numerous caves, was to Estelle the height of delight. As the boat pushed off from the sandy beach, and Thomas swung himself into the stern, she gazed about her in silent but deep enjoyment.
The sea was as smooth as glass. The sun shone clear and hot. The white sails of distant boats dotted the horizon. Beautiful as was the sea itself, however, her whole attention was given to the frowning cliffs which towered up in great headlands and boulders. Hovering about every ledge, or over the surface of the water, were white-winged gulls, diving or preening their feathers in the warm sunshine. Masses of jagged rocks stretched far out from land, making a wide sweep necessary in order to get round the Point. Steering was Marjorie's special duty, and long practice had made her very skilful in avoiding dangerous spots, and tacking against cross-currents. She it was, too, who begged Estelle not to jump about in the boat, and so imperil the lives of the party by her delight in the new world about her.
'Ripping, isn't it?' said Alan, joining in Marjorie's laugh at their little cousin's restlessness.
'Oh, it's lovely!' cried Estelle, eagerly. 'But, look, Alan! What is that dark patch in the cliff?'
'Oh, that isn't anything!' he returned. 'You will soon see a far bigger hole in the cliff than that. There are heaps of caves about here; some quite shallow like that one; others very deep and high and dark, and some—— '
'Some to which we have never been able to find the way,' interrupted Marjorie, as Alan hesitated. 'I know there used to be—— '
'Thomas,' said Alan, also interrupting, as he looked over his shoulder at the man behind him, 'do you know the way from the cliff into the Smuggler's Bay?'
'What makes you think that, sir?' asked the man, sullenly.
'You were a fisherman once, weren't you? At all events you went out with the fishing fleet as a boy,' said Marjorie, 'and Aunt Betty says you know the coast better than anybody.'
'And did you smuggle once?' demanded Georgie, looking up from the preparation of a bent pin for some attempts at fishing.
Thomas gave a hoarse laugh. 'What I know, I know,' he said, mysteriously. 'It isn't fit, and my lady would not like it, if I was to tell you all I know.'
'That means you know a great deal,' exclaimed Alan, triumphantly. 'Now I am sure of what I only guessed before. There is a way down, and I will find it out somehow without you telling me a word.'
Thomas's face reddened with anger at his meaning being caught up so quickly, but before he could reply Marjorie broke in.
'Tell me when to turn in,' she said, as they left the shelter of the headland, and the cool briny air fanned their cheeks.
The water was rougher, and the little boat danced upon the swell as they rounded the outlying rocks. Estelle was on the look-out for dangers, but Marjorie understood her business too well, and they glided along without even grazing a single jagged point. The gulls, startled from their perch on the heights by the approach of the boat, rose, flapping and shrieking. It seemed as if hundreds were circling about the rocks, only to settle down again as the little skiff drew away from them into the bay.
Estelle's quick eyes saw the great gap in the cliffs as they came nearer to the shore. It was forty or fifty feet above the beach, and from it a small stream of water flowed in a thin shower.
'That is the place Alan spoke of,' said Marjorie, as her cousin pointed to it. 'There are all sorts of stories about it, but I don't believe anybody knows much. Some say there used to be a passage to it from our old ruined summer-house, and smugglers were hauled up, and their treasure too, and nobody could find out what became of them.'
'It seems a tremendous height,' said Estelle, in a tone of awe.
'It was only used at high tide,' said Alan. 'There were the caves down below when the water was out. But here we are,' he added, as Thomas ran the boat up the beach. 'Come along, and I will show you the only cave worth looking at.'
The children were out of the boat in a moment, Georgie alone remaining behind the others to 'lend a hand,' as he called it, though hindering rather than helping Thomas to pull the boat out of reach of the tide.
'I can't think, Alan,' said Marjorie, when they had gone some way up the beach, 'how you could give yourself away to Thomas so.'
'What do you mean?' asked Alan, flushing, and inclined to be angry.
'About the path, of course. If there is one, and if he really believes that you intend to hunt for it, he is as likely as not to put all the hindrances he can in your way.'
'Why should he?'
'I don't know, but there was something in his face that made me think he had some secret, and a reason for keeping it. Let us make our own discoveries without—— '
'You will have just about a hour, perhaps a little less, before we must start back again, Miss,' said the voice of Thomas behind them.
Alan and Marjorie turned quickly. How much had he heard? He had evidently followed them, and Alan could not believe that it was merely to give a piece of quite unnecessary information, for they were within calling distance anywhere in that small bay.
'Are you not going to stay with us all the time?' he exclaimed, in a tone that showed a little annoyance.
'No, sir,' returned the man, with a wily smile, which somehow increased Alan's anger. 'I thought I would sit inside the cave a bit. It's hot in the sun.'
It sounded reasonable enough, and there was nothing to say against his doing as he wished, but both the elder children somehow distrusted him.
They were at the entrance of the cave by this time, and their attention was drawn away from the gardener by Estelle's fear of the gloomy shadows which loomed upon them as they entered. There was not much to see, and before long they came upon masses of broken rock and stones, up which Alan insisted on dragging Estelle, while Marjorie helped Georgie. At the top the cave narrowed into little more than a moderate-sized passage, but here it was so dark that progress was not easy. Estelle became frightened, and Georgie begged for a return to daylight. But this did not suit Alan at all.
'Stop a bit,' he said, striking a match. 'You sit here, you two, while Marjorie and I light up.'
He brought a piece of magnesium wire out of his pocket, and for a few moments the dazzling flame lighted up the cave till every corner stood out clear. Georgie was delighted, and Estelle wished it could always remain alight. Marjorie laughed at the remark, but the laugh died away in her throat the next moment; as the second bit of wire was flaming she distinctly saw a man's figure disappear behind a rock. A sudden terror seized upon her, making her feel she could not remain a moment longer in the cave. She had not seen enough to be certain whether it was Thomas or not, and the uncertainty startled her.
'We've been here long enough, Alan,' she said, hurriedly.
'Do try and give us some light while I get Georgie down the slope. Can you manage for yourself, Estelle?'
'What's the matter?' whispered Alan, as they reached the entrance to the cave once more. 'You know I have been round every bit of those rocks at the end of the cave,' he went on, after hearing all that Marjorie had to tell him, 'and not an opening did I find. I am sure Father had every passage closed, and unless Thomas has discovered where they were, and reopened them, what you saw must have been fancy. What could Thomas want here? There is no smuggling now.'
Meantime, Estelle and Georgie, glad to get once more into the daylight, were racing each other over the sands and into the numerous clefts in the cliffs, with shouts of laughter. Suddenly Estelle stopped, panting.
'It tires me so to run,' she said, with a little laugh of shame at her weakness. 'Shall we get the spades out of the boat and dig instead?'
Georgie readily agreed, and saying he would fetch them, set off down the slope. Estelle threw herself down on the soft sand, intending to rest till Georgie returned. All was very quiet and still in the bay; the gentle lapping of the waves as the tide rose was the only sound. As she glanced round her at the gulls and then towards the cave, where Alan and Marjorie still lingered, she became aware that the tide was coming in, and that Thomas was nowhere visible. She was always timid, and a real terror seized her now. With a frightened glance to see how near the boat was to the water, she sprang up and rushed over to where her cousins were standing.
'Alan! Marjorie!' she cried. 'See how high the sea is getting! Isn't it time to go back? Where is Thomas?'
In another minute that question was exciting all the children. They called to him, they searched the caves as well as it was possible for them to do, but Thomas was not to be found, nor was there any answer to their shouts.
(Continued on page 22.)
A SEASONABLE ANSWER.
A seasonable answer was given by the minister Cyneas to the ambitious Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, when that great conqueror began to speak of his designs (B.C. 280).
'Well,' said Cyneas, 'when thou has vanquished the Romans, what wilt thou then do?'
'I will then,' said Pyrrhus, 'sail over to Sicily.'
'And what wilt thou do when that is won?'
'Then we will subdue Africa.'
'Well, when that is effected, what wilt thou then do?' asked Cyneas.
'Why, then,' said Pyrrhus, 'we will sit down and spend the rest of our time merrily and contentedly.'
'And what hinders thee,' said Cyneas, 'that without all this labour and peril thou canst not now do so beforehand?'
PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.
I.—THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE COMMON FROG.
How is it that people as a rule have such a dislike for frogs? Many people, even those who live in the country, credit them with the power of spitting poison, and even those who do not share this belief, regard them as creatures to be shunned. Perhaps this short outline of the life-history of these poor creatures, so unjustly 'sent to Coventry,' may gain for them at least a favourable hearing. Frogs make most charming pets, and I am never without a few on my study table. From their lives these facts are taken.
Let us begin from the very beginning—the hatching out of the eggs. Frogs' eggs and birds' eggs are really not so unlike as they seem at first sight, for though the frog's eggs have no shell, yet, just as in the bird's egg, there are two essential parts to be distinguished—the formative material out of which the young frog grows and the yolk on which the growing animal feeds. By the untrained eye nothing more can be seen in the frog's egg than a small black ball enclosed within a clear jelly-like substance. At the time the egg is laid this outer jelly is hardly noticeable, but it soon swells up, and thus forms a soft, elastic covering to the growing frog, effectually protecting it from injury. This black ball, by the way, answers to the yellow yolk of the hen's egg: it differs from the yellow yolk in that it is colourless internally, and black externally. The black outside coat apparently serves to attract the heat of the sun, and thereby to bring about the hatching process, which the hen does by the warmth of her own body.
These eggs are furthermore remarkable in that they are laid, not one by one, as a hen lays, but in thousands, and in water, forming an enormous speckled mass. Take a portion of such a mass and watch it. Day by day you will see the black spot gradually assume a distinct shape (fig. 1, A): a little later a head and tail can be made out.
In a few hours more little black buds grow out on each side of the head, and these soon become branched. They are the future gills. At this time you will notice slight movements within this glassy cradle; and soon after this the young frog, or tadpole, as we must call him now, escapes; that is to say, as soon as he leaves his cradle he becomes a tadpole. At first he does nothing but hang on to bits of weed, or the broken remains of the covering of the egg, by a sticky substance formed by a special pair of suckers placed just behind the mouth, as shown in our illustration (fig. 2).
Soon signs of life become apparent in the shape of a slow curving of the body from side to side. In a very short time, however, these movements increase so rapidly that the tail can hardly be seen, and at last, in one of these violent wriggles he finds himself actually swimming! During all this time he has swallowed no food, but has lived on the remains of the egg within him; swallowing, indeed, has been out of the question, for as yet his mouth is sealed! But now, at last, the little jaws are unlocked, and he begins to eat ravenously, at first delicate green weed, and later, flesh, when it is to be had. I give my tadpoles small pieces of beef, but in the ditches where they swarm, animal matter is to be had in plenty as a rule.
The mouth at this time is a very different structure from that which is found in the adult frog: it is fringed by a pair of broad fleshy lips armed with rows of tiny horny teeth—a curious place for teeth; the mouth itself is furnished with a pair of teeth—also horny—resembling the beak of a parrot.
During this time these tiny little creatures bear a really close resemblance to the young of many fish. In both young fishes and tadpoles, for some time after leaving the egg, breathing is done by means of very delicate branching gills, standing out on each side of the head. One of these branches, highly magnified, is shown in fig. 3; at C (fig. 1) the gills are shown in their natural position. If you can manage to place a tadpole at this stage under the microscope, you will see the blood, in the shape of little oval discs, coursing through the blood-vessels of these gills. These breathing organs, however, are a source of danger, for they are easily injured, so that, in the tadpole, as in the fish, they are soon replaced by gills enclosed within a little chamber on each side of the head. Breathing now takes place by drawing water in at the mouth, passing it through the chambers and over the gills, and expelling it through a small hole which opens in the form of a short tube on the left side of the neck (shown in fig. 4), if a neck can be distinguished in an animal where the head passes insensibly into the body! But yet another change in the breathing apparatus takes place. During the time that the gills are being changed, a pair of lungs are being developed, and the first hint that they are growing is given by the frequent journeys to the top of the water for the purpose of sucking in air.
(Concluded on page 37.)
LONG TOM'S GRATITUDE.
'You are a silly, you are; fancy wasting a brand-new shilling on a circus kid!'
'Nonsense!' was the elder boy's answer; 'first you nearly get run over by dragging her away from the horse's hoofs, and then you go and give her all your pocket-money—I've no patience with you.'
Secretly, Dick Chilcote admired the plucky action, but he was too proud to say so. But Phil, knowing nothing of this, looked very downcast.
The two lads were standing in the road which overlooked the meadow where 'Bagster's World-renowned Circus' had put up its huge tent, the place having a fascination for them.
'Those sort of people,' went on Dick, who was a bit too fond of hearing his own voice, 'have no gratitude.'
'Haven't they, young master?' said a voice in their ears.
It was Tom Venner—otherwise known as 'Long Tom, the Stilt-walker'—who spoke.
'It strikes me they have, only they never get a chance of being quits. Look here, youngster'—this to Phil—'it was my little girl you saved, and one day, if ever I get a chance, I will show you that Long Tom is not ungrateful.'
Phil grew rosy, and more nervous than ever.
'What's your name, I'd like to know?' went on the man.
'Phil Chilcote,' answered the little lad. 'And what's yours, please?'
'Tom Venner, at your service,' was the reply. 'And now I must be off; but I shan't forget you.'
Shortly after this, the dinner-hour being near, the two boys wended their way homewards.
* * * * *
The night which followed this incident was exceptionally wild and stormy, and, for the first time within memory of living man, the whole of the lower part of the village of Radwell was flooded by the tide. The wild rush of waters had swept away the sea-wall as though it had been a mere plaything, and widespread destruction was the result.
It was a terrible night for man and beast, and Tom Venner, as he drove his caravan along the lonely road towards the adjoining town, found it a very difficult matter to make headway in the teeth of the warring elements.
Presently the clouds cleared away from the face of the moon, and then it was that a strange scene met the man's eyes. All the land to the right of him was one wide area of waters, upon which boats were making their way towards a higher level of land. Curiosity prompted him to drive nearer, and presently the sound of voices showed that one boat-load had reached dry land in safety. By the time Tom Venner was on the spot, a second craft had also come in.
'You have got Phil with you, of course,' he heard a man say. It was Mr. Chilcote who spoke, a strange ring of anxiety in his voice.
'No,' was the startled answer of a lady who was hushing a baby to sleep. 'Oh, Maurice, you don't mean to say you left him behind!'
'What!' ejaculated the man, hoarsely. 'Nurse said that he was with you. What shall we do?'
Well might Mr. Chilcote's heart fail, for his home was flooded all round, and in danger of collapsing altogether.
The mother of the little lad gave a cry of bitter distress, a cry which went to Tom's very heart. 'My Phil! my little Phil!' was all she moaned.
'Do you mean to say it's little Phil Chilcote in danger?' shouted Tom, his mind reverting to the only 'Phil' he knew.
'Yes,' was the reply from several voices.
'Then I will save him if mortal man can,' was the plucky response.
'But his window is out of reach, and the stairs are under water by this time,' said the poor mother, despairingly.
Then a brilliant thought struck Tom, and he told it at once to Mr. Chilcote. The result was that in a few moments Tom, with his stilts on either side of him, was being rowed by trusty oarsmen, one of whom was Mr. Chilcote himself, to the Manor House.
'That's the window, my man,' said Mr. Chilcote, when they reached the house; 'do you think you can manage it?'
'Aye, aye, sir,' was the reply. 'Don't you fear!'
But it was a more difficult task than even Tom Venner expected. However, his stilts were soon in working order, and whilst the watchers held their breath for fear, the man accomplished his task. Smashing a pane of glass, he roused the little sleeper, who, owing to the terrible mistake of a well-nigh distraught maid, had been left alone in the Manor House.
A frightened cry came from poor Phil's lips at the sound of the breaking glass. In a few words, however, the man calmed his fears, and explained what had happened. In another moment, little Phil was out of bed, and the window was unfastened by his trembling fingers.
'Have you got a bit of cord handy?' asked Tom Venner of the child.
'Yes; nurse's box-cord is here,' was the reply; 'I use it for my reins.'
'Oh, well, that will do—give it me, quick.'
Tom steadied himself on his stilts as firmly as he could, and then came the difficult task of bringing down the little lad. How he did it Tom could scarcely tell you himself, but certain it is that a few minutes later Phil was safe in his father's arms.
* * * * *
'I say, I am awfully sorry I talked all that rot about—about ingratitude, you know.' So said Dick Chilcote, looking with shamed eyes into Tom Venner's face.
'All right, young master, don't bother your head about that,' was the reply; 'it was a little mistake, that is all.'
Dick was too moved to answer, his ready speech having entirely failed him.
'As for mistakes,' went on Tom, as—the adventure being over—he prepared to mount his caravan, 'I have made plenty of them, and I shall be making another if I don't hurry up after the boss. Good-night to you, my lad.'
'Good-night,' echoed Mr. Chilcote; 'you will be hearing from me, my good friend, in the course of a day or two.'
And so Tom did—a letter which made him open his eyes to their widest extent. Not only did the envelope contain a letter of heartfelt thanks, but a good large cheque.
A CHINESE SOLOMON.
Foo Chow, a Pekin magistrate, once showed great wisdom and ingenuity in detecting a thief. A man was brought before him charged with stealing a small but very valuable jewelled table. The prisoner denied the charge. He said that he was weak and feeble with long illness. For that reason it was impossible for him to have carried off a piece of furniture.
The judge listened very gravely to his story. After hearing of the poor man's misfortunes, he professed great sorrow and sympathy for the sufferer.
'Go home and get cured,' said he kindly; 'and as you are poor, take with you that bag of cash'—heavy Chinese coins—'as a gift from this court.'
The prisoner bowed, quickly threw the heavy bag over his shoulder, and departed, while every one wondered. But he had hardly got outside the door of the court, when he was arrested. The judge remarked that if he could easily carry off a heavy sack of money, he would have no difficulty in stealing a light table.
H. B. S.
PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.
5 raised the 6-7-4-3-2-11-13 and looked out. The 1-2-5-8-3-2-5-13 was about to start. '2-8-5-6-11-9,' 5 cried, '3-4-5-2-8 and 10-12-11-8 lie before me. 4-2-5-8 13-12-10 lady at my shabby 6-12-2-3 2 13-2-10-5-12-13's eyes follow me. 11-13 this 6-7-4-3 8-9-10-11-13 letter my instructions are written; armed with 11-10 5 2-1 9 happy 1-2-13.'
C. J. B.
[Answer on page 51.]
A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
True Tales of the Year 1806.
I.—'THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL.'
Just a hundred years ago the well-known poem, 'The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast,' was published, and we reproduce it here because it is not always easy to get a copy of it nowadays, and some of our readers may never have seen it. The author, William Roscoe, was a noted historian and critic, and he wrote these verses to amuse his little son, Robert, who is supposed to be telling how he saw the wonderful ball. The lines about little Robert, however, were not in the poem as it was when it first appeared, and other alterations were made here and there. The poem soon became famous, and a great many imitations of it were written. It came to the notice, too, of King George and Queen Caroline, and they had it set to music to amuse the little Princess Mary.
Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast: The trumpeter Gad-fly has summoned the crew, And the revels are now only waiting for you. So said little Robert, and pacing along, His many companions came forth in a throng, And on the smooth grass, by the side of a wood, Beneath a broad oak, which for ages had stood, Saw the children of earth and the tenants of air To an evening's amusement together repair. And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black, Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back; And there was the Gnat, and the Dragon-fly too, And all their relations, green, orange, and blue. And then came the Moth, with her plumage of down, And the Hornet, in jacket of yellow and brown; Who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring, But they promised that evening to lay by their sting. Then the shy little Dormouse peeped out of his hole, And led to the feast his blind cousin, the Mole; And the Snail, with her horns peeping out of her shell, Came, fatigued with the distance, the length of an ell. A mushroom the table; and on it was spread A water-dock leaf, which their table-d'hote made. The viands were various, to each of their taste, And the Bee brought the honey to sweeten the feast. Then close on his haunches, so solemn and wise, The Frog from a corner looked up to the skies; And the Sparrow, well pleased such diversions to see, Mounted high overhead, and looked down from a tree. Then out came the Spider, with finger so fine, To show his dexterity on the tight line. From one branch to another his cobwebs he slung, Then quick as an arrow he darted along. But just in the middle, oh, shocking to tell! From his rope in an instant poor Harlequin fell. Yet he touched not the ground, but with talons outspread, Hung suspended in air at the end of a thread. Then the Grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring; Very long was his leg, though but short was his wing; He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight, Then chirped his own praises the rest of the night. With steps most majestic the Snail did advance, And he promised the gazers a minuet to dance; But they all laughed so loud that he drew in his head, And went in his own little chamber to bed. Then as evening gave way to the shadows of night, Their watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light: So home let us hasten, while yet we can see, For no watchman is waiting for you or for me. So said little Robert, and pacing along, His many companions returned in a throng.
HIS MASTER'S HAT.
Not long ago, a fine collie dog was running happily after an omnibus, on the top of which his master was seated. Every now and then the man turned round to encourage the dog, and at last, as he did this, a gust of wind blew off his hat, which went careering down the road by the side of the omnibus. Quick as thought, the dog darted after the hat, chased it and 'rounded it up,' as if it were a stray lamb or sheep, and by the time his master had descended from the top of the omnibus to get his lost property, the dog was waiting for him, wagging his tail, with the hat safely in his mouth.
WILD ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY.
Notwithstanding all the care which is now bestowed upon wild animals in our zoological gardens and menageries, nearly all of them suffer a little in some way or other by confinement. When we think of the great difference which exists between the surroundings natural to a free wild animal, and those of even the best zoological gardens, we cannot but be surprised that so many animals from all parts of the world can be kept alive and in good condition in a climate so changeable as ours. Every effort is made by the keepers to copy as far as possible the natural conditions to which each animal is accustomed.
It was usual, for instance, to deprive all the flesh-eating animals of one of the greatest travelling menageries of food during one day in each week. It was found by experience that the animals were healthier when they suffered periods of fasting like this, than they were when they were fed regularly every day without a break. The explanation of this was very simple. These animals, when they were living wild in the jungles, forests, deserts, or ice-fields, obtained all their food by hunting. When game was scarce or difficult to catch, they were compelled to go hungry; and this occurred so often as to be a natural condition to which they were well accustomed. When, therefore, they were placed in cages, and were fed as regularly, though not as frequently as human beings, their health was more or less impaired.
Animals in confinement often undergo slight changes even when no alteration in their appearance or falling-off in health is noticeable. Many of them, for instance, rarely have young ones, and even when they have, the young are seldom as healthy and robust as if born in a wild state. The keepers have frequently the utmost difficulty in rearing animals which are born in menageries and zoological gardens. Yet if these animals were born in their own countries and under natural conditions, they would grow up healthy and strong, without receiving any more care than a kitten receives from its mother.
An incident which occurred in the Zoo not long ago affords a striking illustration of these facts. A wolf had an ordinary family of eight young ones. The keepers, probably thinking that these were too many for the captive wolf to bring up alone, divided the family. Four of them were left with their mother, and four of them were placed in charge of a collie. The dog took kindly to her foster-children, and reared them successfully with her own. This was only what the keepers expected. But when they placed the young ones together again, and compared the collie's family with the wolf's family, they were surprised to find that the four which had been nurtured by the collie were stronger and better animals than their four brothers and sisters. The best explanation of this result is that the collie was living a healthy natural life, while the wolf, though to all appearance quite well, was not enjoying the full vigour which results from a free and active life.
W. A. ATKINSON.
Some little time ago, there was what the newspapers described as 'unrest' in the West African colony of Lagos; telegrams were dispatched between that country and Great Britain, governors and deputy-governors were interviewed, and it was with difficulty that a native war was averted. The cause of all this commotion was an umbrella!
Now, in our country, as we all know, an umbrella is looked upon as a harmless possession—but not so in West Africa. There, amongst most of the native tribes, the umbrella is regarded as an emblem of royalty, and its possession is strictly confined to the chief or king of the tribe.
Therefore the indignation was intense on the part of one of these kings, when he found an inferior chief setting up an umbrella of his own. The king at once took a journey to Lagos, to lodge a formal complaint of the chief's treasonable conduct with the British Governor.
* * * * *
An African king's umbrella is a very elaborate affair, and it often costs large sums of money. Most of the umbrellas for Ashanti and the Gold Coast are made in London, and are of gigantic size, some of them when open measuring ten feet across.
The coverings of these umbrellas are of coloured silk—the brighter the better, with very deep fringes. The largest umbrellas are carried over the heads of chiefs, by bearers, while other bearers steady the umbrella by cords attached to the uppermost parts.
One state umbrella had for its apex a silver eagle standing on two silver cannons, whilst another umbrella had a gold hen on the top, the hen being surrounded by numerous chickens, to represent the chief and his tribe.
A cheap umbrella for a small chief can be had for ten pounds, but such state umbrellas as we have described are not to be had for less than sixty or even seventy guineas.
THE WRONG WIND.
A breeze from the South made the rose-bushes quiver, And what did the South Wind say? 'I met with an accident, crossing the river, The ice-covered river, to-day.
''Twas frozen; and yesterday morning the skaters Were there in no end of a crowd, While Timothy Tubb in his scarf and his gaiters Was looking uncommonly proud.
'So, early this morning, on reaching the river, I looked at its surface and cried: If Tim, on that ice, can show skating so clever, Now why shouldn't I have a slide?
'But though I'm so light (oh, the thought makes me shiver), Crack! Bang! And from shore unto shore The water jumped out; I was half in the river, And don't mean to slide any more.
'Yet—isn't it strange?—in the coldest of winters Tim Tubb can go skating with glee; While bang! goes the ice, and it cracks into splinters 'Neath the foot of a South Wind like me.'
ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.
By HAROLD ERICSON.
I.—A SCRAMBLE WITH A BEAR.
On a splendid night in the cool of the year, three men sat out in the Veldt in South Africa, talking and laughing over their camp fire. A few Kaffir drivers and huntsmen were similarly engaged at a second fire at some little distance. The light of the burning wood revealed fitfully the shape of the great waggon in the background, and the sound of munching behind it told of the presence of the team of oxen which had dragged it northwards from Bulawayo. Later on, when they trekked up into the lion-zone, the district in which lions and other dangerous beasts might be expected to visit them by night, if the way were left open for them, it would be necessary to encircle their camp with a ring of thorn-bushes or some other obstacles; but at present the party was only on the way to the hunting grounds, and it was still safe to run the risks of lions.
The three men were all English, or at least British, and all fairly young. Their names were Captain the Honourable Edward Vandeleur, Bobby Oakfield, an Indian civilian on a year's furlough, and Ralph Denison, a rich young man with nothing to do except to indulge his love of sport, whether fox-hunting, salmon-fishing, grouse-driving, or, as now, big-game shooting in any part of the world where large beasts were to be found.
Vandeleur, commonly known as Teddy, seemed to be the chief speaker this night; he was, at the moment of our introduction to the party, explaining a suggestion which he had just made to his friends. This is what he said:—
'We are likely to have longish watches over our camp fires, and perhaps we may get a bit tired of conversation night after night, with nothing much to talk about; now why not start a round of story-telling, each to spin a yarn in turn, one every evening, unless we should happen to feel more inclined for a talk, in which case we miss a day. Anybody who can't think of a tale must pay a fine of a shilling, the winner to take the total at the end.'
'Yes, but who is the winner?' asked Oakfield, laughing, 'The one who tells the best yarns?'
'Oh, no! who would be judge? The one who has had to pay the fewest fines takes the prize,' Denison said with a laugh.
'Good old Teddy!' he cried, 'he has a large collection of yarns all ready up his sleeve, Bobby, and he wants our shillings! Well, you shall have them willingly, old chap, if you keep us amused! Start at once—go on!'
'Why not draw lots for first yarn?' suggested Bobby, and the others fell in with the suggestion.
So lots were drawn, and it fell to Bobby himself to entertain the company.
'Start away at once, old chap. I'm tired of talking, and longing for a nap,' laughed Denison. 'If he makes it too long, Teddy, have we the right to ask him to finish it "in our next?" He might go on all night.'
'Certainly, any story may be split; if any fellow can entertain us for two nights on end, why, so much the better!'
'Off you go then, Bobby,' said Denison—"once upon a time"—fire ahead!'
Bobby Oakfield sat silent for a few minutes.
'I believe you are inventing,' said the irrepressible Ralph: 'is that allowed, Mr. President?'
'Real experiences, as far as possible!' Vandeleur decided.
'Oh, it's real all right,' said Bobby; 'I was wondering whether to tell you first of a wolf adventure or a little meeting with a bear I once had—think I'll begin with the bear.'
* * * * *
This is the story of my first bear (began Bobby); the first I ever went out to hunt, I mean, though as a matter of fact he had more right to call me 'his first man,' than I to dub him 'my first bear,' for I fancy he was nearer getting me than I him. Which of us was most frightened, I hardly care to say! He must have been terribly alarmed if he suffered more than I did!
It was during one of my visits to Russia, and the season was early autumn. I was staying with a cousin, who was either part or sole proprietor, I forget which, of a big 'shoot,' some twenty miles out of town; and one day he received a letter which we both thought rather funny. It was from the head-keeper of the shooting club, and read something like this:—
'Most merciful lord' (my cousin was not a lord, but that's a detail; he would have made a very good one, I dare say), 'if your lordship's heart contains pity for humble fellow-creatures who are in distress, listen and be merciful. A bear has appeared here and is eating the uncut corn of the peasants. We have tried him with the usual methods, but they have proved useless. Come down and save us, merciful, for the appetite of the beast is very large; there is room in him for the whole of our harvest, therefore come quickly.'
'What are the usual methods?' I asked my cousin, and he replied with a laugh that probably the man meant that the elders of the village had pronounced a curse against the animal, or perhaps the guaharka of the district, the 'wise woman,' had woven a spell, for these pagan customs survive even in Christian Russia.
'I'm afraid I'm too busy to go just at present,' said my cousin; 'I suppose you could not take on the business for me, could you?'
Well, I had not the slightest objection; indeed, I was delighted with the prospect.
'What am I to do?' I asked; 'hide myself in the standing corn and ambush him?'
'Leave it to old Michael, the keeper.' said my cousin. 'I will wire that you're coming to-morrow, I can telegraph within three miles of the lodge, and the message will be sent on.'
So my preparations were hurried forward, and I was ready and anxious to be off early on the following day.
'Be kind to my dogs,' said my cousin; 'there are three of them there, red setters, beauties—Michael keeps them for me; have them into the room and pet them a bit, if you don't mind, for they have a dullish time down there, and I like them to see English folk now and then—it does them good!'
(Concluded on page 26.)
THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.
I.—THE 'KING' AND 'OU' OF THE CHINESE.
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, Confucius declared that 'Music gives finish to the character, which has first been established by its rules of proficiency.' Moreover, he said, 'Wouldst thou know if a people be well governed, and if its manners be good or bad, examine the music it practises.'
When we reflect that the speaker was the most famous sage of the Chinese, to whom temples are built in every town of the vast empire of China, and to whose memory the Emperor himself offers homage twice a year at the Imperial College in Pekin, we may understand what weight his opinions have carried in his own country.
Long before his time, however, music had been studied there as a science. It was imported by the first invaders of the Celestial Empire, who hailed from the borders of the Caspian Sea. The Yellow Emperor, or Huang Ti, who reigned two thousand seven hundred years before the Christian era, established a fixed base note from which musical instruments were to be measured, much as in the modern musical system we take a key-note and found our chords and scales upon it. The connection between musical and State affairs was so business-like in those days that the precedence of the various classes was fixed according to the musical grade: F, the base note of the oldest known scale, represented the Emperor; G, the Prime Minister; A, the loyal subjects, and so on.
Five hundred years later another Emperor, of a practical turn of mind, ordered that music should follow the sense of the words, and be simple and free from affectation, and he appointed a censor to see that his instructions were carried out. The latter, 'Couci' by name, declared that when he played upon his 'king,' the animals ranged themselves before him spell-bound by his melody.
We hear elsewhere of another ancient musician of China, whose music was 'so sweet that the very stars drew near to listen.' Later on in the history of the world we find this idea of the effects of music on animals and stars entertained both in Greece and India. The attention of the starry bodies can only be regarded as a beautiful myth, but the writer of this paper personally tested the animal love of music some years ago, when surrounded by a formidable herd of wild cattle in the Rocky Mountains.
The instrument known as 'king,' from which Couci drew such delightful sounds, is of very ancient date, and is made of a stone called 'yu,' which is of many colours, and looks like marble, being probably a form of agate intermixed with iron. The wonderful clearness and purity of the tone are supposed to result from long exposure to the sun and air.
'Yu' is most valuable when of whey colour; then light blue, dark yellow, orange, dark red, and pale green follow in order of merit. In all the colours it is essential that the stones be free from streaks or flaws of any kind. One of the chief attractions of the 'king' is that it always retains its pitch, not being influenced by cold, heat, damp, or dryness.
In construction the 'king' consists of sixteen stones hung in two rows of eight in an ornamental frame. Nowadays these stones are cut in oblong shape of varying thickness, tuned by slicing narrow shavings off the back and ends; but in former days they were fashioned like fishes, animals, or other quaint devices. The art of making 'kings' was lost for many centuries, but about 32 B.C. a specimen was fished up from the bottom of a pond which served as a model, and now every temple of importance has its 'king,' just as every church with us has its organ of some kind or other.
A smaller instrument of the same kind is also used in religious ceremonies, the 'the king,' made of one large block of 'yu,' suspended from an upright. It is played like the real 'king,' by being struck with a special stick or plectrum, and the tone, though less varied than that of the larger instrument, is equally deep and full.
Another curious Chinese instrument is the 'ou,' which is made of wood, and fashioned like a crouching tiger. It is hollow, and along its back run metal teeth, which are played with a small stick or brush. The 'ou' stands on a hollow pedestal, also of wood, which serves as a sounding board and increases the tone.
ETHEL'S GOLDEN OFFERING.
'Granny,' said Ethel Day, one Sunday, 'there was a lady in our seat at church that I never saw before. She was not very grandly dressed, but she must have been as rich—as rich as the king.'
'Why do you think so, Ethel?' asked Granny, smiling at the child's eagerness.
'Because, when the plate was passed to her—for the collection, you know—she put in a piece of gold money—real gold, I am sure it was. Oh! I should like to be rich enough to give as much as that.'
Granny was silent for a minute or two; she seemed to be thinking of something pleasant. 'I know of a golden offering that my little Ethel could make, if she were willing,' she said presently.
'Tell me what it is then, Granny: I shall be sure to be willing,' cried Ethel.
'The money the lady gave,' went on Granny, 'was for the poor sick people in the hospital. Look out of the window, Ethel, and you will see another kind of gold—a kind not counted so precious, perhaps, but really quite as beautiful.'
Ethel looked out: she only saw the flowers in her own garden. Lovely autumn flowers they were, for Ethel's father was a gardener, and he often gave his little daughter choice roots, or cuttings, for her plot of ground. But Ethel was accustomed to the sight of her flowers: dear as they were to her, and yellow as gold though they might be, Granny surely did not mean to compare them with the lady's half-sovereign.
That was Granny's meaning, however. 'There is a sick woman in the village,' she told Ethel, 'who cannot go to the hospital. She is so ill that, although she may live many years, she can never be cured, and so they cannot take her in. Because her illness has lasted so long, people have almost forgotten to be kind to her. I have been thinking, Ethel, that if you could spare a bunch of your flowers for poor Mary Ansell, it would be a real golden offering.'
It was Ethel's turn to be quiet now; her flowers were her most cherished possessions, and to pick a good bunch for Mary Ansell would make her little garden look bare and shabby. Granny knew that; she knew that Ethel's flowers would, in their way, be quite as costly a gift as the lady's golden coin.
But she was not much surprised, on the following morning, to find the best and brightest of the blossoms gone, and when next she went to see Mary Ansell, the poor woman still had the flowers in a jug by her bedside.
'You cannot think how it cheered me up,' said the invalid. 'That dear little girl, with her bright face, and the posy in her hands, was like a sunbeam coming in. She did me as much good as a mint of money.'
'Ah!' thought Granny, who knew how much real self-sacrifice must have been in the gift, 'I felt sure that Ethel too could make a golden offering.'
C. J. BLAKE.
THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.
(Continued from page 11.)
'What will become of us if Thomas has gone away?' asked Estelle. 'Does the sea cover the beach very quickly? Will there be time for him to come back, or can we get away without him?'
'No, no,' cried Georgie, clinging to Marjorie; 'we can't go in the boat without Thomas! We shall all be drowned. Oh, I don't want to be—— '
'Shut up!' exclaimed Alan, impatiently. 'We are not drowned yet, and we are not going to be. You are frightening Estelle with your noise. It is all right, Estelle. Don't you be afraid. I can get the boat back all right with Marjorie's help if Thomas is not here in time. But there is no danger for an hour yet.'
'All the same, we had better find Thomas,' said Marjorie.
Neither she nor Alan had any serious belief in there being much mystery about Thomas's movements. They liked to imagine themselves in romantic positions, and were fond of weaving stories about any little event that attracted them. But the gardener's sudden disappearance, together with what Marjorie had seen in the cave, did seem strange.
'There's only one way of finding him,' remarked Alan, after he and Marjorie had stared at each other in silence for some moments. 'You see, he is nowhere in the cave. Now, what do you think has become of him?'