ELSIE AT THE WORLD'S FAIR
Author of "The Elsie Books," "The Mildred Books," Wanted, A Pedigree, etc., etc.
New York Dodd, Mead & Company Publishers
NOTE—The author desires to acknowledge her indebtedness to the "Chicago Record's History of the World's Fair," "The Historical Fine Art Series," published by H.S. Smith and C.R. Graham, for Historical Publishing Company, Philadelphia, and the "World's Fine Art Series," published by N.D. Thompson Publishing Company, St. Louis, Mo., for descriptions and statistics in regard to the White City and its exhibits.
Hugh Lilburn was very urgent with his betrothed for a speedy marriage, pleading that as her brother had robbed him and his father of their expected housekeeper—his cousin Marian—he could not long do without the wife who was to supply her place. Her sisters, Isadore and Virginia, who had come up from the far South to be present at the ceremony, joined with him in his plea for haste. They wanted to see her in her own home, they said, and that without remaining too long away from theirs. Ella finally yielded to their wishes so far as to complete her preparations within a month after the home-coming from the North.
The wedding was a really brilliant affair, and followed up by parties given by the different members of the family connection; but no bridal trip was taken, neither bride nor groom caring for it, and Hugh's business requiring his presence at home.
A few weeks later Calhoun Conly went North for his bride. Some festivities followed his return; then all settled down for the winter, Harold and Herbert Travilla taking up their medical studies with Dr. Conly, and Captain Raymond's pupils resuming such of their lessons as had been dropped for the time, though the wedding festivities had been allowed to interfere but little with them, as—with the exception of Marian, now Mrs. Conly—they were considered too young to attend the parties. A matter of regret to none of them except Rosie Travilla and Lucilla Raymond, and even they, though they would have been glad to be permitted to go, made no remonstrance or complaint, but submitted cheerfully to the decision of their elders.
A busy, happy winter and spring followed, bringing no unusual event to any branch of the family.
Max was frequently heard from, his father continuing to send him daily letters, several of which would be replied to together by one from the lad—always frank, candid, and affectionate, sometimes expressing a great longing for a sight of home and the dear ones there.
After receiving such a letter the captain was very apt to pay a flying visit to the Academy, in case there were no special reasons for remaining closely at home, sometimes going alone, at others taking one or more members of the family with him; his wife, if she could make it convenient to go, or one or more of his daughters, by whom the little trip and the sight of their brother were esteemed a great reward for good conduct and perfect recitations.
Both they and the lad himself looked forward with ardent desire and joyous anticipation to the June commencement, after which would begin the one long holiday Max would have during the six years of his course at the Academy.
The holidays for the home pupils began a day or two earlier, and a merry party, including, besides the captain and his immediate family, the rest of his pupils, with Grandma Elsie, her father and his wife, boarded the Dolphin and set sail for Annapolis to attend the commencement at the Naval Academy.
The weather was delightful, and all greatly enjoyed the little trip. On their arrival they found Max well and in fine spirits. The reports of both his studies and conduct were all that could be desired, and the home friends—his father in especial—regarded him with both pride and affection, and expressed much pleasure in the fact that he was to accompany them on the return trip.
Max dearly loved his home, and during the nearly two years of his absence from it had had occasional fits of excessive homesickness; more, however, for the dear ones dwelling there than for the place. So that he was full of joy on learning that every one of the family was on board the Dolphin.
No one cared to tarry long at Annapolis, and they set out on the return trip as soon as Max was free to go with them.
The lovely weather continued, there was nothing to mar the pleasure of the short voyage, the drive and ride that succeeded it—for the carriages and Max's pony, Rex, which he hailed with almost a shout of delight and hastened to mount, were found awaiting them at the wharf—or the arrival at their homes, Ion and Woodburn, which seemed to the young cadet to be looking even more beautiful than ever before.
"Oh, was there ever a lovelier place!" was his delighted exclamation as the carriage, closely followed by Rex, turned in at the great gates giving admission to the Woodburn driveway. "I thought that of it before I left, but it is vastly improved; almost an earthly paradise."
"So I think," said Violet. "It does credit to your father's taste."
"And yours," added her husband, with a pleased smile; "for have I not always consulted with my wife before making any alteration or adding what I thought would be an improvement? And has not the first suggestion come from her more than once?"
"Quite true," she returned, giving him a look of loving appreciation; "in fact, my dear, you are so ready to humor and indulge me in every possible way that I am half afraid to make a suggestion."
"Lest I should have too much pleasure in carrying it out?" he queried, with playful look and tone.
"Oh, certainly!" she replied with a musical laugh; "it would be a sad pity to spoil so good a husband."
"Father, may I ride over the grounds before alighting?" asked Max's voice in eager tones, just at that moment.
"If you wish, my son," the captain answered pleasantly. "But suppose you delay a little and let some of us accompany you?"
"Yes, sir; that will be better," was the prompt, cheerful rejoinder, and in another minute Max had dismounted at the door of the mansion, and stood ready to assist the occupants of the carriage to alight.
"Ah, I see you have been making some changes and improvements here, father," he said, glancing about as he entered the hall door.
"Yes, and in other parts of the house," said Violet. "Perhaps you might as well go over it before visiting the grounds."
"I am at liberty to go everywhere, as of old?" he returned, half in assertion, half enquiringly and turning from her to his father.
"Certainly, my son; it is as truly your father's house, therefore open in every part to you, as it was before you left its shelter for Uncle Sam's Naval Academy," replied the captain, regarding the lad with mingled fatherly affection, pride, and amusement.
"Thank you, sir," returned Max heartily. "Ah, Christine!" as the housekeeper, whom something had detained in another part of the house at the moment of their arrival, now appeared among them, "I'm pleased to see you again; looking so well, too. I really don't think you have changed in the least in all the time I have been away," shaking her hand warmly as he spoke.
"Ah, Master Max, sir, I can't say the same of you," she returned with a pleasant smile into the bright young face. "You are growing up fast and looking more than ever like your father."
"Thank you," laughed Max, his eyes shining, "you couldn't possibly give me a higher compliment than that, Christine."
"Ah, who shall say that I am not the complimented one, Max?" laughed the captain.
"I, papa," cried Lulu. "O Maxie, come upstairs and see the improvements there. You can look at the downstairs rooms and grounds afterward."
"Yes, run along, children," said their father, "and make yourselves ready for the tea table before you come down again."
"Yes, sir," they answered in cheerful tones, Max catching up little Ned as he spoke, and setting him on his shoulder. "Hold on tight, laddie, and your big brother will carry you up," he said, and one chubby arm instantly went round his neck, a gleeful laugh accompanying it as Max began the ascent, his sisters following, Violet and the captain presently bringing up the rear.
"Into our rooms first, Max," said Violet. "You, too, Lulu and Gracie, that you may hear what he has to say about things there."
"Thank you, Mamma Vi," returned Max. "I want to visit every room in the house and have all the family go with me if they like."
"You will find a few additions here and there to the furnishings, but no great changes anywhere, Max," said his father.
"I should hope not, sir, as things seemed to me pretty nearly perfect before I went away," returned Max in a lively tone, "I only wish every one of my mates had as sweet a home to spend his long vacation in, and as kind a father and friends to help him enjoy it."
"Ah, we may well pity the lad who lacks the blessings of a good home and affectionate parents," said the captain. "I can never forget how much they were to me in my boyhood."
"I think you must have forgotten how long I have been away, papa," laughed Max as they finished the circuit of the rooms on that floor, "for I have come upon a good many new things."
"Ah! well, they have been added so gradually that I did not realize how numerous they were," returned his father, adding, "Now you may as well go on to the upper rooms and tarry long enough in your own to make yourself neat for the tea table."
"Yes, sir;" and the lad hurried up the stairs, the captain, Lulu, and Grace following.
"Hurrah!" he cried joyously as he reached the open door of his own room, "why, this is lovely! prettier than ever, and it was like a room in a palace before compared to the one I share with Hunt at the Academy."
"Suppose you walk in and take a nearer view," said his father, and Max obeyed with alacrity, the others following.
"Mamma and papa said there was nothing too good for you, and so we all thought, Maxie," said Grace, Lulu adding, "Indeed we do all think so."
"Indeed, I'm afraid it is," returned Max, gazing admiringly at the beautiful carpet, the lace curtains looped back with wreaths of flowers, the fine engravings on the walls, the easy chairs, tasteful mantel ornaments, and the many other articles of adornment and convenience.
"Your mamma and I have made some changes, improvements, as we thought," the captain said in gratified and affectionate tones, "hoping you would be pleased with then; and I rather think you are."
"Pleased, papa? I'm delighted!" cried Max. "The only drawback to my pleasure is the thought of the very short time I can stay to enjoy all this beauty and luxury."
"Yet I am sure my boy does not want to settle down here to a life of inglorious ease," remarked the captain in a tone of mingled assertion and enquiry. "I rejoice in the firm conviction that his great desire is to serve God and his country to the best of his ability."
"Yes, father, it is," said Max earnestly. "But," he added with a smile, "if you don't want me to love to be with you in this sweet home you should not make it so attractive and be so very kind and affectionate to me."
"My boy," the captain said with emotion and laying a hand affectionately on his son's shoulder, "there is never a day when I do not thank my heavenly Father for his gift to me of so good and dutiful a son."
"I don't know how any fellow could help being dutiful and affectionate to such a father as mine, sir," returned Max, his eyes shining.
By his own desire Max's vacation was spent at home and in its vicinity, with the occasional variety of a short voyage in his father's yacht, the Dolphin, which gave the lad opportunities for the display of the seafaring knowledge gained in the past two years, and adding to it from his father's store of the same, under that father's instruction.
They were generally accompanied by the whole Woodburn family, always by Lulu and Grace, Grandma Elsie, Rose, Walter, and Evelyn Leland.
Thus the weeks flew by very enjoyably and on swift wings, and the time came for Max's return to Annapolis. So the Dolphin was headed for that port and presently steamed away again, leaving the lad behind with a rather sad heart at the thought that years must pass before he could again spend even a brief season under his father's roof.
It is summer again, the summer of 1893, for two years have passed away since the occurrence of the events related in our former chapter. There have been few changes among our friends at Ion, Woodburn, and the other plantations belonging to the family connection, except such as time brings to all. The elder ones seem scarcely any older, but the younger ones are growing up. Elsie's sons, Harold and Herbert, are now practising physicians, still making their home at Ion, but having an office in a neighboring village; Rosie has attained her twentieth year and entered society; but Walter is still one of Captain Raymond's pupils, as are Lulu and Grace, now blooming girls of fifteen and seventeen, their father's joy and pride and as devotedly attached to him as ever.
Max is still a cadet in the Naval Academy, pursuing his course there in a manner altogether satisfactory to his father and friends. The captain thinks no man ever had a brighter, better son than his first-born, or one more likely to do good service to his country in his chosen profession. It seems hard at times, a sad thing to have to do without his boy, yet he never really regrets that Max has made choice of the naval service as his life work. He did, however, regret that Max would not be able to go to Chicago to visit the World's Fair, in which they were all much interested.
Some of the connection had attended the dedication ceremonies of the previous autumn, and nearly all talked of going to the formal opening, appointed for the first of May; among them Grandma Elsie, her father and his wife, Captain Raymond and his wife and family. The captain's plan was to go by water—in his yacht—up along the coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, through that up the river of the same name, through the Welland Canal and round Michigan by the great lakes to Chicago, and he invited as many as his vessel could well accommodate—including, of course, his wife's mother and grandparents—to be his guests for the trip.
The younger gentlemen and their wives all preferred going by rail as the speedier way, but Mr. Dinsmore, having no longer any business to attend to, and both he and his wife being fond of the sea and desirous of keeping with his eldest daughter, accepted the invitation promptly and with pleasure.
Mr. Ronald Lilburn, too, having a like taste as to his mode of travel, and no business engagements to hurry him, availed himself of the opportunity to make the journey by water. The other passengers were Evelyn Leland and Rosie and Walter Travilla.
Something, however, occurred to change their plans, and it was the latter part of June when they left home for their trip to the North. They had a pleasant voyage, making few pauses by the way, and reached their destination on Monday, the second day of July.
It was early in the evening when the Dolphin neared the White City; the little ones were already in bed and sweetly sleeping, but all the others had gathered on deck to catch the first glimpse of the fairy-like scene. They had passed the mouth of the Chicago River and were steaming on down the lake.
"Oh, papa, what is that?" asked Grace, pointing to a bright light in the water.
"A lighted buoy," he replied; "a spar buoy with an incandescent lamp of one hundred candle power. It is a wrought-iron cage at the end of a spar which is held in place by a heavy cast-iron anchor. You will see another presently, for there are thirteen between the river and the White City."
"To warn vessels to keep off shoals?" she asked.
"Yes," he said, and went on to explain how the electrical current was supplied, winding up with a promise to take her, and anyone else who wished to go, to the Electrical Building to gaze upon its wonders, and also for a ride in the electric launches. "But," he added, "I think there is nothing you will enjoy more than the sight of the electric lights which you will get presently in the Peristyle and the Court of Honor."
"Oh, I am very eager to see it all, papa!" she exclaimed.
"As we all are," said Lulu.
"Well, my dears, I think we can all go there at once and spend an hour or two; all but the little ones, who can be left in the care of their nurse." He turned enquiringly toward his wife and her mother as he spoke.
"Oh, yes," said Violet; "they will not be likely to wake, and Agnes will take good care of them."
"I think we are all probably ready to accept your invitation with pleasure, captain," Elsie said. "Surely none of us are fatigued—unless with lack of exercise."
"No, surely not," remarked Mr. Dinsmore, "and I, as well as Grace, am eager to see the beauties of that much talked of Court of Honor."
"I think we will find some other objects worthy of our attention before we reach even the Peristyle," remarked Captain Raymond.
"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Lulu, "there is another of those lights."
"I am so glad you brought us in the yacht, captain," said Evelyn; "for we can start out at once to see the sights—not being in the least fatigued with our long journey."
"And we have already a beautiful view of water and sky," remarked Grandma Elsie; "those sunset clouds are certainly lovelier than any work of man's hands."
"Yes, mamma; and they are beautifully reflected in the water," said Violet.
"But such things can be seen at home," Rosie remarked in a sprightly tone, "and I propose to give my particular attention to such as are to be found only in this part of the world and at the present time."
"What will there be worth looking at before we reach the Peristyle?" asked Walter, apparently addressing his query to no one in particular.
It was Captain Raymond who replied, "I hope to be able to point out to you presently some exhibits worthy of your attention," he said.
"Oh, yes; the battleship Illinois for one, I suppose."
"Yes; she will come into sight presently and we will have an outside view of her. Some day I hope to take all of you who may desire to go on board to have a look at her internal arrangements."
"You may put my name into that list, captain," said Mr. Lilburn. "I'm a bit too auld to take part in a fight, even in a righteous cause, but not for taking an interest in the means provided for ither folk."
"And I want to see it, too, though I hardly expect to ever make one of the crew of such a vessel," said Walter.
"And we girls will want to visit her also," laughed Rosie, "though I am very sure no one of us will ever form part of such a crew."
"Well, as my father has and my brother expects to, I shall be very much interested," said Grace.
"Especially as we shall have a retired officer to explain everything to us," added Lulu with a smiling look up into her father's face.
He returned the smile, then pointing southward, "Yonder it is," he said, "still too distant for a critical survey, but a better view will be afforded us presently, as we pass it."
As he spoke all eyes turned in that direction.
"Oh, what a big vessel she is!" exclaimed Grace, as they drew near enough to obtain a good idea of her size.
"Yes," returned the captain, "she is a full sized model, above water line, of our coast line battleships Oregon, Massachusetts, Indiana."
"Not a real ship, papa?"
"No; only a model: she is built of brick, on the bottom of the lake, and merely simulates a man-of-war."
"Only a model!" repeated Walter. "And how about her guns, sir? are they real?"
"Some of them are wood; but there are enough genuine machines on board to destroy almost anything of ordinary resisting power within three miles range. But I expect to go more into particulars when we pay our contemplated visit."
"I suppose she must have cost a good deal?"
"One hundred thousand dollars."
"How much this Fair is costing!" remarked Evelyn. "Do you think it will pay, captain?"
"I hope so," he returned cheerfully. "What is worth doing at all is worth doing well."
But they were drawing near their port, and there was much on both land and water to attract their attention. Presently they were in front of the beautiful Peristyle, gazing in awed admiration upon its grand Arch of Triumph, its noble colonnade and statuary, and catching glimpses here and there between its pillars of the beauties beyond.
It was impetuous Lulu who broke the silence with an exclamation of delighted admiration and an eager request that they might land at once and get a nearer view of the fairy scenes that lay before them on the farther side.
The other members of their party, old and young, seemed scarcely less eager, and in a very few moments they were all pacing that grand colonnade to and fro, and gazing out delightedly now upon the blue waters of the lake and anon upon the fairy scene—the Court of Honor—on the inner side. And soon they hurried their steps thitherward.
"Oh, there," cried Lulu, "is the statue of our great republic! Is she not magnificent?"
"She is, indeed!" replied Grandma Elsie. "See in one hand she holds a pole bearing a liberty cap, in the other a globe, an eagle with outstretched wings resting upon it; that symbolizes protection, which she has ever been ready to extend to the oppressed of all the earth."
"She is a large woman," remarked Walter; "as she should be to adequately represent our great country. Grandpa, do you know her size?"
"I saw it stated the other day," replied Mr. Dinsmore. "Her face is fifteen feet long, her arms thirty feet, forefingers forty-five inches, and ten inches in diameter. Her cost was twenty-five thousand dollars; the gilding alone amounting to fourteen hundred dollars; quite an expensive dress for my lady."
"But we don't grudge it to her, papa," remarked Grandma Elsie pleasantly.
"No," he said; "nor anything else the liberty she represents has cost—in money or in life and limb."
"But what is her height, grandpa?" asked Rosie; "it should be very considerable to go with a face fifteen feet long."
"Sixty-five feet, and the pedestal on which she stands is thirty feet above water. There is a stairway inside which you can climb one of these days if you wish."
All were gazing with great admiration and interest upon the beautiful statue, though seeing it somewhat dimly through the gathering shades of evening, when suddenly the electric lights blazed out from all sides, causing an exclamation of surprise and delight from almost everyone in our party and from others who witnessed the wonderful and inspiring sight; words failed them to express their sense of the loveliness of the scene; that mighty statue of the Republic dominating the eastern end of the lagoon, that grandly beautiful Macmonie's Fountain at the other, its Goddess of Liberty seated aloft in her chair on the deck of her bark, erect and beautiful, with her eight maiden gondoliers plying the oars at the sides, while old Father Time steered the vessel, his scythe fastened to the tiller, Fame as a trumpet-herald stood on the prow with her trumpet in her hand, while in the gushing waters below sported the tritons with their plunging horses, the terraced fountain still lower with its clouds of spray showing all the colors of the rainbow, as did that of the smaller ones to the right and left.
And what a ravishing sight was that of the Administration Building with its corona of light, its dome, arches, and angles outlined with those brilliant lights, as were those of the Peristyle also, and of the grand structures between—Manufactures, Electricity, and Arts on the north side, Machinery and Agriculture on the south—and the beautiful fountains throwing spray of all the colors of the rainbow.
"What a magnificent sight!" "How lovely!" "How beautiful!" exclaimed one and another as they moved slowly onward, gazing from side to side.
"Let us go into the Administration Building," said Mr. Dinsmore.
All were willing, and they sauntered on toward it, still gazing delightedly as they went.
Reaching its doorway they paused for a few moments to look at the statue of Columbus, represented as landing with the Spanish flag in his hand, and to listen to the inspiring music of the bands; then passed on into the interior which they found as artistic and wondrously beautiful as the outside.
After feasting their eyes upon the lower part they took an elevator—of which there were six—and went up to the upper promenade, which they found also very beautiful, giving lovely views of the surrounding grounds. The vault of the dome was ornamented with allegorical paintings, some of them commemorating Columbus' discovery of America.
Looking out from the promenade under the dome they saw the Ferris Wheel, upon which they gazed with a good deal of interest.
"I must have a ride in that," said Walter emphatically, "and mamma, you will go with me, will you not?"
"Is it quite safe?" she asked, looking from her father to the captain.
"Oh, yes," they both replied, Mr. Dinsmore adding, "and I think we will all want to go once if not oftener."
"Go where, grandpa?" asked a familiar voice, and turning quickly about they found Harold and Herbert close at hand.
Then there was an exchange of joyous greetings, and enquiries were made concerning some others of the family connection who had come by rail.
The answer was that some of the little ones were in bed at the hotel where boarding had been taken by the party, and in charge of the faithful attendants brought from home, while the older ones were scattered about the Court of Honor and other portions of the Fair.
"We have been on the lookout for you," continued Harold, "and only a few minutes ago discovered the Dolphin lying at anchor down yonder on the lake. We had hoped you would be here sooner."
"Yes, we thought we should have been here weeks ago," replied his mother, "but as the delays were providential we did not fret over them."
"If you had fretted, mother, it would have been truly surprising, as I never knew you to do so about anything," Herbert said, smiling affectionately into her eyes.
"No, that was never one of her faults," remarked Mr. Dinsmore.
"No, indeed!" exclaimed Rosie. "But Harold, can you take us to the others? I am sure it would be pleasanter for us all to be together."
"I cannot promise certainly," he replied, "but if we walk about the Court of Honor we will come across each other finally, no doubt, as they will presently discover the Dolphin and look about here for you."
"Yes," returned his mother, "they will surely know that we could not persuade ourselves to go farther to-night than this bewitchingly beautiful Court of Honor."
Even as she spoke all were moving toward the elevator nearest them, and in a few moments they were again strolling along the shores of the lagoon, gazing with delighted eyes upon the fairylike scene—imposing buildings, playing fountains, the waters of the lagoon dancing in the moonbeams, and the pretty crafts gliding over them filled with excursionists whose merry voices and laughter mingled pleasantly with the music of the bands.
"Oh, this is just delightful, delightful!" exclaimed Lulu. "Father, dear, I hope you will let us stay a long, long while."
"I have not thought of fixing the time for departure yet," returned the captain, "and if our friends intend to go home in the Dolphin, as they came, there will be a number of voices entitled to a vote on the question. My wife for one," glancing down fondly upon the beautiful, graceful lady on his arm.
"Thank you, my dear," returned Violet. "I certainly feel no desire to start for home yet, dear and lovely as I esteem it."
"Oh, here they are!" cried a familiar voice at that instant, and the two sets of relatives had found each other. Glad greetings and kind enquiries were exchanged. Then they broke up into little groups and sauntered on through the beautiful scene till it was time to seek their resting places for the night, when, after making some arrangements for the sight-seeing of the next day, they bade good-night and hied them to their several places of temporary abode.
"On, we have a lovely view from here!" remarked Lulu as they reached the Dolphin's deck. "I'm not at all sleepy, papa; can't I sit here for a while?"
Grace was saying, "Good-night, papa."
He returned it with a fatherly caress, then answered Lulu's query.
"No, daughter; it is long past your usual hour for retiring, and as I want you to feel fresh and bright for to-morrow's pleasure, you, too, may bid me good-night and go at once to your berth."
"Oh, yes, sir, that will be the best, I know," she said, rising promptly from the seat she had taken, and with a loving look up into his face—for he was close at her side now. "What a happy thing it is for me that I have such a kind, wise father to take care of me!"
"A father whose strong desire it certainly is to make you and all his children as happy as possible," he said, laying a hand on her head and looking fondly down into her eyes. "Good-night, daughter, and don't hesitate to call me if anything should go wrong with you or Grace."
"Am I also under orders to retire, sir?" asked Violet with a mischievous smile up into his face, as Lulu bade good-night to the rest of the company and disappeared down the companion-way.
"Not from me," he said, pleasantly taking a seat at her side as he spoke. "Have I not told you many times that my wife does what she pleases? At least, if she fails to do so it is in consequence of no order from me."
"No; you have never given me one yet, and I believe I should like you to do so for once that I may see how it feels," she added with a low, musical laugh, slipping her hand confidingly into his.
"Perhaps you might not find it particularly agreeable," he returned, pressing the little hand tenderly in his. "But just to satisfy you I may try it one of these days. You are not disappointed in the Fair so far?"
"No, no, not in the least! Oh, how lovely it is! and what a beautiful view we have from here! How delighted our little Elsie and Ned will be with it all to-morrow. I hardly know how to wait for the time to come when I can see and share their pleasure."
But now the others were saying good-night and going down to their state-rooms, and the captain remarked laughingly that he thought the longed-for time would seem to come sooner if he and she should follow their good example.
"So it will," returned Violet, promptly rising and slipping her hand into his arm.
She went first to her mother's state-room, and the door being opened in answer to her gentle rap, "Are you quite comfortable, mamma, dear?" she asked. "Is there anything I can do or furnish to make you more so?"
"I am perfectly comfortable and I need nothing but a good night's rest, Vi, dear," was the smiling response. "Something which I want you to be taking as soon as possible. We find ourselves here surrounded by so much that is wondrously enticing to look at, that I fear we will be tempted to neglect needed rest, and so make ourselves ill."
"Ah, mamma, you and my husband are of one mind, as usual," laughed Violet, and then with a tenderly affectionate good-night they parted.
Both the captain and Lulu retained their old habit of early rising, and she joined him upon the deck the next morning just as the sun came peeping above the horizon.
"Good-morning, papa," she cried, running to him to put her arms about his neck and give and receive the usual morning caress. "Isn't this a lovely day? How we shall enjoy it at the Fair—that beautiful Court of Honor is just like the loveliest of fairylands."
"With which my eldest daughter is quite familiar, of course," he returned with amused look and tone, and smoothing her hair caressingly as he spoke.
"Well, I think I can begin to imagine now what fairyland may be like," was her smiling rejoinder. "Papa, mayn't I keep close at your side, going wherever you go?"
"That is exactly what I want you to do," he said. "I should be troubled indeed by losing sight of any one of my children, unless after putting him or her in the care of someone whom I could implicitly trust."
"I don't want to be in the care of anyone else, papa," she hastened to say.
"But it will be quite impossible to see everything here that is well worth looking at," he said, "and our tastes may differ greatly in regard to the things we care to examine."
"Still I care most of all to be with you, papa. I'm not afraid of getting lost, because I could easily find my way back to the Peristyle and wait and watch there for you and the rest, but I want to share in your enjoyment, and have you share in mine," laying her rosy cheek against his shoulder and lifting to his, eyes full of ardent affection.
"That is right," he said, smiling, and patting her cheek.
"Ah, here come your mamma, Gracie, and the little ones. You are early, my dear," to Violet as he handed her to a seat, took one at her side, drawing Grace to his knee for a moment's petting and fondling, then letting her give place to the younger two, both eagerly waiting for their turn.
"Yes," Violet replied, "we are all ready for an early start for the Fair."
"As I expected," he said pleasantly. "I have ordered breakfast to be on the table an hour earlier than usual, and if our guests appear in season we will have prayers before eating; so that we may be able to start soon after leaving the table."
"Judging by some slight sounds I have heard, I think they are all up and will join us presently," said Violet.
"Yes, mamma, I do believe we are all in a great hurry to get to the Fair," remarked her little Elsie. "Oh, papa, is that it over there where that arch is with all those pillars on each side of it?"
"And, oh, papa, what big ship is that?" cried Ned, catching sight of the Illinois. "I like ships, and I want to go there. Can't I?"
"I intend to take you there one of these days," his father answered.
Just then the rest of the party came trooping up from the cabin. Morning salutations were exchanged, family worship followed, and then breakfast, during which plans for the day were again discussed and further arrangements made.
They had scarcely left the table when Harold and Herbert appeared, bringing further plans and suggestions in regard to the sight-seeing, for they were anxious to help the newer arrivals—particularly their mother—to the greatest possible enjoyment of the day.
After a little discussion it was finally decided that they would go first to the Ferris Wheel, from which they would have a fine view of the whole extent of the White City. "Then to the Wooded Island, where we will probably find enough to keep us busy until dinner time," said Harold; "perhaps even longer."
"No matter if it should," said his grandfather; "since we are not hurried for time, we may as well let all get their fill of everything; and if some want to tarry longer than others we can break up into smaller parties."
"Yes, sir, I rather think we will find that the better plan, as our party is so uncommonly large."
It was large, but they were congenial and greatly enjoyed being together, sharing the same pleasures of sight and sound.
In another half hour they were all on shore enjoying a second view of the lovely Peristyle and Court of Honor, through which they passed on their way to the Ferris Wheel, the ride in which they found so delightful that at the earnest solicitation of little Ned they retained their seats during a second revolution. Then they left it and walked on to the Wooded Island.
"I want to take you to the Hunter's Cabin," said Harold. "See, yonder it is."
"What! that old log building?" exclaimed his sister Rose, catching sight of it among the trees. "Who cares to look at such a thing as that?"
"I do," he returned lightly, "since it is a museum and memorial of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett,—two historical characters who were very interesting to me in my youth,—and also gives one a very good idea of the manner of life of our Western pioneers forty or more years ago."
He led the way as he spoke, the others following. They found that the building consisted of one large room divided by a rope into two apartments, a public and a private one. There was a broad fireplace such as belonged to the dwellings of the pioneers of fifty or more years ago; there were beds and settees made of stretched skins, and skins of wild animals covered the floor; there were also tin dishes, candles, a stool made of a section of a log, and such cooking apparatus as was used in the kind of dwelling represented.
The cabin was occupied by a hunter who wore long hair and a wide-brimmed felt hat.
He was ready to answer questions, many of which were asked by the younger members of our party, who, as well as their elders, seemed much interested in this representation of pioneer life in the olden times.
"Where now?" asked Mr. Dinsmore as they left the Hunter's Cabin.
"I think Master Neddie here would enjoy a look at the ostriches," remarked Herbert, with a smiling glance at the rosy, happy face of his little nephew, who was trudging along with his hand in that of his father.
"Oh, yes!" cried the child in a tone of eager delight. "I should like to see them ever so much!"
"Then if no one objects, that is where we will go," said Harold, and as the only rejoinders from the other members of the party were those of assent, he led the way.
"Is it a very expensive entertainment?" asked Walter soberly.
"Costs all of ten cents apiece," replied Herbert. "An enormous sum, but one cannot expect to see Old Abe, General Grant, Jim Blaine, and Grover Cleveland for just nothing at all."
"Oh, uncle!" cried little Elsie, "are all those great men there? Oh, no, of course they can't be—'cause some of them are dead. I know it was dear, good Mr. Lincoln they called Old Abe, and that a wicked man shot him long, long ago; and that General Grant was sick and died."
"That is all true," returned her uncle, "but these fellows still wear their feathers, and are very much alive."
"Oh, I know now," laughed the little girl. "You mean the ostrich man has named some of his birds after those famous men." They were now on the northern side of Midway Plaisance, and presently reached the enclosure where the ostriches were. There were twenty-three, full-grown, all from California. The sight was an interesting one to both the grown people and the children, and all listened attentively to the remarks of the exhibitor, delivered in solemn tones, in regard to the habits of the birds. He spoke of the male bird as most kind and self-forgetful in his treatment of his mate, or mates, saying it was he who built the nest and obtained the food; also that he would sit on the eggs in the nest for sixteen hours at a stretch, while the mother did the same for only eight hours. He had other things also to tell of the domineering of the female over the male, which caused some merriment among the ladies and girls of our party; to the gentlemen also, though they pretended to highly disapprove. But all laughed together over the ridiculous movements of the flock in passing from one side of the grounds to another.
"What do they eat, papa?" asked Ned.
"Corn, grasses, seeds of various kinds," replied his father. "They swallow large stones too, as smaller birds swallow sand to help grind up the food in the gizzard, and, indeed, ostriches have been known to swallow bits of iron, shoes, copper coins, glass, bricks, and other things such as you would think no living creature would want to eat."
"They look very big and strong, papa," remarked the little boy, gazing at them with great interest.
"Yes; they are so strong that one can easily carry two men on his back."
"Is that what they are good for, papa?"
"That is one thing; and their feathers are very valuable. For that reason ostrich farms have been established for the raising of the birds, and have proved very profitable."
"Don't folks eat ostriches, papa?" asked Elsie.
"Sometimes a young one; and their eggs are eaten too. They are so large that each one is about equal to two dozen ordinary hen's eggs; to cook one they usually set it up on end over a fire, and having first broken a hole in the top, they stir it with a forked stick while it is cooking. The shells are very thick and strong and the Africans use them for water vessels."
"Do they have nests to lay their eggs in, like our chickens?" asked Ned.
"They do not take the pains in building a nest that most other birds do," replied his father, "but merely scoop a hole in the sand. One male usually appropriates to himself from two to seven females and each hen lays ten eggs—so it is supposed—all in the same nest, and each egg is stood up on end."
"It must take a big, big nest to hold them; such great big eggs as you say they are, papa!"
"Yes, and generally there are some to be found lying on the sand outside of the nest; perhaps laid there by hens who came to lay in it but found another in possession; one who had got there before them."
"I have often heard or read that the ostrich leaves her eggs lying in the sand to be hatched by the heat of the sun," remarked Evelyn.
"Perhaps she does in those very hot countries," said the exhibitor, "but not in California; though, as I've been telling you, she makes the male bird do the most of the setting."
"Maybe that's because the eggs are all his, but don't all belong to any of the females," laughed Walter.
"Perhaps that is it, sir," returned the man.
"Can they run very fast?" asked Neddie. "I should think they could with such great long legs."
"Yes," said his father, "the ostrich is supposed to be able to run at the rate of sixty miles an hour when it first sets out, but is not able to keep up that rate of speed very long. And it has a habit of running in a curve instead of a straight line. It is thus possible for men on horseback to meet it and get a shot at it."
"I think it's a great pity to shoot them when they are not even good to eat," remarked the little fellow in indignant tones. "Besides, they might save them to grow feathers."
"Yes," returned the exhibitor, "that's what we're raising them for in California."
"Papa, I'd like to have some," said Neddie as they walked away.
"Some what, son?"
"About how many?"
"Couldn't we have an ostrich farm?" asked the little fellow after a moment's consideration of the question.
"Well, not to-day, my son," returned his father with an amused look. "There will be plenty of time to talk it over before we are ready to go into the business."
"I think the little folks are getting tired," said Harold. "and yonder on the lagoon is a gondola waiting for passengers. Shall we take it?"
Everybody seemed pleased with the suggestion, and presently they were in the gondola gliding over the water. They found it both restful and enjoyable.
It was past noon when they stepped ashore again, and Ned announced that he was hungry and wanted something to eat.
"You shall have it, my son," said his father.
"And suppose we go to the New England Cabin for it," suggested Grandma Elsie.
They did so and were served with an excellent repast, handsome young Puritan ladies in colonial costumes acting as waitresses.
After satisfying their appetites they visited the other room of the cabin, which was fitted up as the living room of a family of the olden time. It had log walls, bare rafters overhead, a tall old-fashioned clock in a corner, a canoe cradle, a great spinning-wheel on which the ladies, dressed like the women of the olden times, spun yarn, and gourds used for drinking vessels. Some of the ladies were knitting socks, some carding wool, while they talked together, after the fashion of the good, industrious dames of the olden time they represented.
Our friends, especially the young girls, were greatly interested and amused.
"Suppose we visit some of the State buildings now," said Mrs. Dinsmore, as they left the cabin.
"Pennsylvania's in particular, my dear?" returned her husband. "Well, it is a grand old State; we could hardly do better than to show to these little great-grandchildren the famous old bell that proclaimed liberty to this land and all its inhabitants."
"So I think," she said. "Do not you agree with us, captain?"
"I do, indeed," he replied; "my older ones have seen the bell, but I want to show it to Elsie and Ned."
"It won't hurt any of us to look again at that old relic of the Revolution," remarked Walter, "and of course we want to see the building."
So the whole party at once turned their steps in that direction.
Arrived in front of the building they paused there and scanned the outside. All pronounced it very handsome.
"Its front seems to be a reproduction of Independence Hall," remarked Mr. Dinsmore; "it has its entrances and tower."
"Yes," said his wife, "I like that and the quarter-circling in of those front corners; those balconies, too."
"Is that the State coat-of-arms above the pediment over the front doors, papa?" asked Grace.
"Yes," was the reply; "and the statues on the sides are those of Penn and Franklin."
Just at that moment two women, evidently from the country, came sauntering along and halted near our party.
"What building 's that?" asked one of the other. "It's right nice-lookin', isn't it?"
"Yes; and don't you see the name there up over the door?"
"Oh, yes, to be sure! Pennsylvany! Goin' in, Elmiry?"
"Of course; that's the thing to do. Do you see? There's the old bell, at the door there, that they talk so much about. What they make such a fuss over it fur I don't know; it's ugly as can be and has a great crack in it; but it's quite the thing to talk about it and say you've seen it; so we must do like the rest."
"Yes, I suppose we must, though I don't see why anybody should, any more than you do," returned her companion. "It's ugly enough and certainly wouldn't bring first price if 'twas put up for sale. But just see what handsome fellows those policemen are that's got charge of it! Enough sight better-lookin' than it is."
With that the two went nearer, looked the old bell carefully over, then walked on into the building. While they talked merry, mischievous glances had been exchanged among the young people of our party.
"I wonder where they have lived all their days," laughed Walter, looking after them as they disappeared through the doorway.
"I hope they are not Americans! I'm ashamed of them if they are!" exclaimed Lulu. "The very idea of such ignorance!"
"Descendants of Tories, perhaps," said Rosie, laughing. "Do you know its story, Elsie? that of the old bell, I mean."
"Yes, indeed, Aunt Rosie! We've got a picture of it at home, and papa and mamma, and Lu and Gracie have all told me the story about it—how when those brave men had signed their names to that paper, it proclaimed liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; for it rang out to let the people know they had done it. Oh, papa, please show me those words on it."
"Yes," the captain said, "come nearer and you can see and read them for yourself."
The little girl obeyed with alacrity, and when she had read the inscription, "Wasn't it very strange, papa," she said, "that those words were put on it when nobody knew that it was going to proclaim liberty?"
"Yes, very strange indeed; and that proclamation has made it a very famous old bell."
"Is that the reason why they brought it here, papa?"
"Yes, for many people will see it here who will never get to Philadelphia to look at it."
"I'm glad for them that they can see it," she said with satisfaction. "Do they ring it when it's at its home in Philadelphia, papa?"
"No, my child; that great crack you see there has spoiled it for ringing, but it is highly valued and cherished for what it did in those days when our fathers had to risk everything to secure freedom for themselves and their children."
"They were good and brave men to do it; weren't they, papa?"
"They were, indeed, and deserve to be kept in loving remembrance because of their brave deed."
The rest of the party were standing near listening to the talk between the captain and his little girl; also regarding the old bell with interest, though nearly all of them had seen it before. But it was time for them to move on, for others were coming to view the old relic of Revolutionary days, and Mr. Dinsmore led the way into the interior of the building, the rest closely following.
They went all over it, finding much to admire, and Mrs. Dinsmore expressed herself as entirely satisfied with the building of her native State.
From there they went to the Woman's Building, hoping to find in it some, if not all the relatives who had come with Harold and Herbert to the Fair. And they were not disappointed, for Zoe and Edward hastened to meet them immediately on their entrance and led them into the nursery, saying they had their little ones there with their nurse, and intended leaving them in that pleasant place for a time while they themselves should be going about from one building to another.
"Uncle Horace is here with his wife and children; the Lelands also with theirs," added Zoe, as she led the way to where were gathered the group of little folks from Ion and its vicinity.
Pleasant greetings were quickly exchanged; the children were full of delight at sight of their relatives, whom they had not seen on the previous day—Grandma Elsie in especial, for they all loved her dearly.
But time pressed—there was so much to see—and after viewing with approval and admiration the arrangements for the comfort of its young occupants the older people left that apartment for others in the building; reconciling the little ones to a temporary separation by the promise that on their return all should go aboard the Dolphin and have their supper there; for the captain and Violet had given them all a cordial invitation to do so.
Taking with them those who were old enough to appreciate and enjoy the sight, they went into the Gymnasium, which they found furnished with every kind of machine and mechanical means for developing the muscles and increasing the strength of both boys and girls.
There were many children of both sexes engaged in the various exercises, and with evident enjoyment. Our friends, both older and younger, watched them for some time with interest.
Leaving there they visited in turn the court of the Woman's Building, the main hall, the east vestibule, the library, the Cincinnati parlor, the invention room, the nursing section, the scientific department, and the ethnological room.
All this took a good while, there was so much to see, examine, and admire.
The ladies showed a deep interest in the various exhibits of needlework, the embroideries from Siam, table covers and rugs from Norway, and the dolls dressed as brides; the fine lace-work and wood-carving from Sweden. There was needlework from France too, and there were large and very pretty vases from the same country.
Zoe was much interested in the dainty needlework for infant's clothes, the beautiful laces and ribbon flowers; and famous paintings reproduced in silk.
They found the Italian exhibits also, especially the laces of the queen,—valued at one hundred thousand dollars,—worthy of particular attention. Yet perhaps not more so than some from Mexico, including a lace-edged handkerchief crocheted out of pineapple fibre; and the very delicately beautiful wood-carving, so delicate as to be called etching.
There were embroideries and laces from other countries also—Austria, Spain, Belgium, Ceylon.
As they came near the exhibit from Germany Lulu exclaimed in an undertone.
"Oh, papa, what is that woman doing?"
"We will go nearer and see if we can find out," replied the captain. The woman sat at a table and they found that she was making bent iron-work into candle-holders, inkstands, hanging lamps, etc., and it was very interesting to watch her as she did so.
There was a good deal of leather work also in Germany's exhibit, shown in screens and tables.
But when they had all looked their fill they found it was nearly tea time, so they hurried back to the nursery, where they had left their little ones, and soon they were all on the Dolphin, where an excellent supper was awaiting them.
They were hungry enough to enjoy it greatly. Everyone was weary with the day's excitement and exertion, poor Grace—still far from strong, though perfectly healthy—so much so that by her father's advice she went directly from the table to her bed.
The others sat for an hour or more upon the deck enjoying a friendly chat and a view of some of the beauties of both the lake and the Fair; then were about to bid good-night and return with their little folks and nurses to their hotel.
"Wait a little," said the captain. "I am sorry I cannot furnish comfortable lodgings for the night for so many, but I can take you to the city, and so shorten your journey by land to your hotel. I have ordered steam gotten up and we can start in another half hour."
His offer was received with hearty thanks and the plan carried out to the great contentment of all concerned. The Dolphin then returned to her old anchorage.
Violet had gone down into the cabin to put her little ones in bed and Lulu promptly seized the opportunity to take possession of the vacated seat by her father's side. He smiled and stroked her hair with caressing hand. "I fear my little girl must be very tired with all the standing, walking, and sight-seeing of the day," he said.
"Pretty tired, papa, yet I should like to go back to that lovely Peristyle for an hour or two if you would let me."
"Not to-night, daughter; as soon as we have had prayers you must go immediately to bed."
"Your father is wise, Lulu; I think we are all weary enough to obey such an order as that," remarked Mrs. Dinsmore.
"And I found out years ago that papa always knows what is best for me," returned Lulu cheerfully. "Besides he's so dear and kind that it is just a pleasure to be controlled by him," she added, laying her head against his shoulder and lifting to his, eyes full of ardent affection.
"I agree with you, Lu," said Evelyn, "for in all the years that he has been my teacher I have always found that he knew what was best for me."
"Take care, girls, that you don't make my biggest and oldest brother conceited," laughed Rosie.
"There's not the least bit of danger. Nothing could make papa that!" exclaimed Lulu rather indignantly.
"Hush, hush!" her father said, laying a finger on her lips. "Rosie does but jest, and your father is by no means sure to be proof against the evil effects of flattery."
"I think he is," said Rosie, "and I was only jesting, Lu; so don't take my nonsense to heart."
"No, I will not, Rosie; I ought to have known you were but jesting, and I beg your pardon," Lulu said, and her father smiled approvingly upon her.
"Cousin Ronald," said Walter, "can't you make some fun for us to-morrow with your ventriloquism?"
"Oh, do, Cousin Ronald, do!" cried the girls in eager chorus.
"Well, well, bairns," returned the old gentleman good-humoredly, "I'll be on the lookout for an opportunity for so doing without harming or frightening anyone—unless there might be some rascal deserving of a fright," he added with a low chuckle, as if enjoying the thought of discomfiting such an one.
"Which I don't believe there will be," said Walter, "for everybody I saw to-day looked the picture of good nature."
"Yes," said his mother, "and no wonder; the thought has come to me again and again, when gazing upon the beauties of that wonderful Court of Honor, especially at night when we have the added charm of the electric lights and the fountains in full play, if earthly scenes can be made so lovely what must the glories of heaven be! Ah, it makes one long for the sight of them."
"Oh, mamma, don't, don't say that," murmured Rosie in low, tremulous tones; taking her mother's hand in a tender clasp, for they were sitting side by side, "we can't spare you yet."
"The longing is not likely to hasten my departure, dear," replied the sweet voice of her mother, "and I am well content to stay a while longer with my dear ones here if the will of God be so."
"Oh!" exclaimed Lulu, suddenly breaking the momentary silence, "to-morrow is the Fourth, the glorious Fourth! I wonder what is going to be done here to celebrate it?"
"I presume it will be celebrated in much the usual way," replied Mr. Dinsmore. "To-day's papers say there have been great preparations on the part of Exposition officials and exhibitors, and that there are to be a number of patriotic addresses delivered in different parts of the grounds. Also there will be, without doubt, a great display of bunting, abundance of fire crackers, the thunder of cannon and so forth."
"And we, I suppose, will pass the day on shore doing our part in the business of celebrating our nation's birthday," remarked Rosie.
"Why, of course," said Walter. "Such patriotic Americans as we are would never think of neglecting our duty in that line."
"No, certainly not," replied his mother, with a smile; "we are all too patriotic not to do our full share to show our many foreign guests how we love this free land of ours, and how highly we value her liberties."
"I propose," said the captain, "that we spend the day on shore, first consulting the morning papers as to where we will be likely to find the smallest crowd or the best speaker, and after hearing the oration we will doubtless find abundance of amusement in the Court of Honor and Midway Plaisance."
"And perhaps Cousin Ronald can and will make some fun for us," remarked Walter, giving the old gentleman a laughing, persuasive look.
"Ah, laddie, you must not expect or ask too much of your auld kinsman," returned Mr. Lilburn with a slight smile and a dubious shake of the head.
At that moment Violet rejoined them, the short evening service was held, and then all retired to rest, leaving further discussion of the morrow's doings to be carried on in the morning.
Everybody was ready for an early start the next morning and Harold and Herbert were waiting for them in the Peristyle. Some time was spent there and in the Court of Honor, then in the Midway Plaisance. Watching the crowds was very amusing—the wild people from Dahomey wearing American flags around their dusky thighs, the Turks, the Arabs, and men, women, and children of many other nations all in their peculiar costumes, so different from the dress of our own people.
Then the hundred thousand flags, very many of our own with their stripes and stars, and those of perhaps every other nation that has one to display—were flung to the breeze, while bands from Cincinnati and Iowa, from Vienna, Suabia, and Arabia had all got together and were playing Yankee Doodle.
There were besides many curious bands of Oriental musicians—some of them making great but futile efforts to play our national airs—producing sounds that were by no means delightsome to the American ear; not half so pleasing as the sight of the multi-colored flags decorating the huts and castles of foreign architecture.
It turned out to be a day of pleasant surprises. As they neared the end of the Plaisance they came suddenly and unexpectedly upon Chester and Frank Dinsmore and Will Croley, the old college mate of Harold and Herbert, whom none of them had seen since the summer spent together on the New England coast several years before.
All were delighted; cordial greetings on both sides were exchanged, and scarcely were these over when in a lady passing by Grandma Elsie recognized, with a little cry of joyous surprise, her old time friend and cousin, Annis Keith.
"Annis! oh, how glad I am to see you!" she exclaimed.
"Elsie! my dear, dearest cousin!" cried Annis in return, as they grasped each other's hands and looked with ardent affection each into the other's eyes. "Oh, how delightful to have come upon you so quickly! I was wondering if I could ever find you in all this crowd, and to have fairly stumbled upon you almost the first thing after leaving the cars is most fortunate."
"Yes; for us as well as you, Annis," Mr. Dinsmore said with a smile, offering his hand as he spoke. "Are you just from Pleasant Plains?"
"Yes, sir; we left there this morning, and but a moment since stepped off the train that brought us—nearly all the family of brothers and sisters with their children."
"Why, yes, to be sure, here are Mildred and the doctor and—well, really Charley,"—shaking hands with Mildred and her husband—"I will have to be introduced to all these younger folks."
There was quite a crowd of them—young, middle-aged, and elderly, for the families had been increasing in numbers, the younger ones growing in size, and all in years.
All wanted to be together for a time, the older ones to be able to talk freely of absent dear ones and other family matters, the younger to make acquaintance with each other.
"Suppose we take a car in the Ferris Wheel," suggested Harold Travilla; "we can then have a ride, a grand view of the Fair grounds, and a chat, all at one and the same time."
Everyone seemed to favor the proposition and without further discussion they all started in that direction.
Arriving at the place they climbed a broad stairway very much like the approach to an Elevated station.
"This way, ladies and gentleman," said a man in a blue coat, pointing to a doorway between two knotted beams, and they passed into a sunshiny room with two rows of chairs at each side. There were windows all about it barred with iron.
"This is one of the cars," remarked Captain Raymond, in answer to an enquiring look from Annis, and he and the other gentlemen of the party busied themselves in seeing the ladies comfortably seated, then took possession of chairs as near them as might be.
Other people were coming in, and in a very few moments the car was in motion, the click of a latch having told that they were locked in.
Some of our party who were trying the wheel for the first time looked a trifle pale and alarmed as the movement began, and one or two of the girls asked low and tremulously if it were certainly quite safe.
"Yes, I am entirely sure of that," replied Harold with his pleasant smile; "but don't look out of the windows just yet."
"You are not at all frightened, I see," said Chester Dinsmore in a low tone to Lulu, having contrived to secure a seat close at her side.
"Oh, no, indeed!" she returned. "This is my second trip and I hardly felt at all timid even the first time, because my father had assured us it was perfectly safe, and I have entire confidence in his opinion and his word."
"I don't know any man whose word or opinion I would be more ready to take," returned Chester, giving her a look that seemed to say he would be no less willing to take the captain's daughter, were the opportunity afforded him.
But Lucilla did not notice the look, for she was already gazing out of the window and thinking of nothing but the prospect from it.
"Oh, look, Chester!" she said eagerly, "This gives us such a grand view of the Plaisance. It is the second time our party have made this trip—no, not that—the second time we have been in these cars; we went round twice that day, and I hope will go at least as often to-day. Presently, when we get to the highest part the people down below will look like the merest black dots and the houses like toy ones."
"Yes," he returned, "it is a trip worth taking. I should not have liked to miss it."
"Nor should I," said Lucilla. "I think of asking papa to bring us here several times more."
"In that case I hope I may be permitted to be one of the party every time, for it is a fine sight indeed."
"Are you and Frank new arrivals?" she asked.
"Yes, we got into the city last evening. We would have hunted up your party at once, but did not know just where to look for you."
"We are making the yacht our home," she returned, "and it is anchored for the greater part of the time at no great distance from the Peristyle. We spend our nights on it, but so far our days have been passed in visiting different parts of the Fair."
"And you haven't seen everything in it yet?" he queried laughingly.
"No, indeed! I heard someone estimate the other day that it would take more than forty years to do that."
"And in a few months the vast majority of the sights will be withdrawn," he said with a half sigh; "so we will have to content ourselves with seeing a few of such things as interest us most. How long will you stay?"
"I don't know; that depends upon the decisions of the higher powers; in other words of the older people. How long do you?"
"Perhaps two or three weeks. It will depend probably upon how we enjoy ourselves."
"Then you will be likely to stay a good while, I think," she returned. "There! we are at the top of the wheel, and is not the view magnificent?"
They made the circuit a second time, then seeing that very many people were awaiting an opportunity to fill their places in the car, they vacated them and wandered elsewhere about the Fair grounds for a little.
Then Grandma Elsie expressed a desire to visit the building of her native State—Louisiana—and invited all in the party to go with her and dine there as her guests. All accepted the invitation with apparent pleasure and immediately turned their steps thitherward.
"Where is it?" someone asked, and Harold answered: "At the northern curve of the horseshoe formed by the State sites around the Fine Art Galleries and just west of the Missouri building. It is not a long walk."
"Ah," exclaimed Grandma Elsie when they caught sight of their destination, "see those trees in front laden with moss from our Southern bayous! The sight almost carries one back to the old days at Viamede."
"Yes; that and the foliage generally, which is of the tropical order," remarked her father in reply; "see, the cacti are conspicuous. And I like the simple style of the building with its galleries and verandas."
"And the site is a fine one," remarked the captain, "not far from the cable car entrance and fronting the Art Palace."
"Shall we dine first and then look at the exhibits?" asked Grandma Elsie. "I want to give you all a real Southern dinner, hoping it may prove agreeable to your palates."
"I presume we can stand it for once, mother dear," returned Herbert, and the rest of the party seemed equally willing.
They passed in and were presently regaling themselves with gumbo soup, opossum, and various other dishes peculiar to the part of the country represented by the building and its appurtenances, being served by cooks and waiters directly from the plantations of the river country.
Then, having satisfied their appetites, they spent some time in examining the relics on exhibit in the building.
One of these was a picture of the Madonna by Raphael. There was also an exhibition of carvings done by women, which excited both admiration and surprise, and in one of the rooms was some richly carved furniture from the State museum at Baton Rouge, which had once belonged to Governor Galvez.
They went next to the Florida building, which was a reproduction of old Fort Marion, whose foundations were laid in 1620, the year of the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts.
The captain mentioned that fact, then asked: "Do you know, Grace, how long that fort was in building?"
"No, papa," she replied, "can you tell us?"
"It took one hundred and fifty years of toil by exiles, convicts, and slaves to construct the heavy walls, curtains, bastions, and towers of defence. Its bloodiest days were more than a century before our Civil War, in which it did not take a very prominent part."
"Where are the curtains, papa?" asked little Elsie. "I don't see any."
"It is the name given to that part of the rampart which connects the flanks of two bastions," replied her father.
"And it was here that the Apaches were imprisoned," remarked Walter.
"Yes," returned his mother, "and a most gloomy prison it must have proved to them, used as they were to the free life of the mountains, prairies, and forests."
Some little time longer was spent in viewing the tropical plants and trees that adorned the exterior of the fort, then they passed inside and examined the many beautiful things to be seen there.
Their next visit was to the headquarters of the State of Washington, where they were much interested in the display of her native woods and the rockery built of native ores, showing pure streaks of gold and silver, so illustrating the mineral wealth of the State.
"Where next?" asked Mr. Dinsmore as they passed out.
"Papa, I'm so tired," little Elsie was saying at the same moment, in a low aside to her father.
"I, too," added Ned, overhearing her. "Please can't we take a ride now?"
"Surely," said Grandpa Dinsmore, overhearing the request. "I invite you all to try an electric boat on the lagoon."
No one seemed disposed to decline the invitation; some time was spent on the water, then on the Intramural Railway. After that the whole party, at the invitation of Violet and the captain, went aboard the yacht, still lying in the lake at no great distance from the Peristyle, and partook of a supper which was no unpleasant contrast to the enjoyable dinner with which Grandma Elsie had provided them.
The little folks were ready for bed, on leaving the table; the older ones rested for a time on the Dolphin's deck, chatting together while enjoying the sunset, then they returned to the Court of Honor, to revel in its beauties as seen by the witchery of the electric light.
Morning found them all rested, refreshed, and eager to spend another day amid the beauties of the Fair. They started early, as on the previous day, found Harold and Herbert with the other young gentlemen friends waiting for them in the Peristyle, spent a little time enjoying its beauties and the never wearying view it afforded of the lake on the one side, and the Court of Honor on the other, then at the earnest solicitation of the little ones they again entered an electric launch and glided swiftly along the quiet waters of the lagoon.
"Let us go to the Transportation Building," proposed Rosie as they landed again. "I want to see that golden doorway, and have not the least objection to passing through it and examining things inside."
"As no one else has, I presume," said her grandfather. "No doubt we shall find a great deal there worthy of examination."
"Yes, sir; much more than we can attend to in one visit," replied Harold, leading the way, as everyone seemed well pleased to carry out Rosie's suggestion.
They had heard and read of the beautiful golden doorway and viewed it with interest and satisfaction.
"It is very, very beautiful," said Grandma Elsie, "a nest of arches covered with silver and gold."
"And that border is lovely, lovely!" exclaimed Rosie; "such delicate tracery!"
"Papa, is it solid gold?" asked little Elsie, who was clinging to her father's hand on one side, while Ned had fast hold of the other.
"No, daughter," the captain replied, "not solid, though there is a good deal of both gold and silver covering the other and cheaper materials." Then he called her attention to a relief on the left side of the arch, showing an ox-cart with its clumsy wheels dragging slowly along through heavy sand, the travellers in it looking most uncomfortable.
"That, children," he said, "is the way people used to travel years ago when I was a little fellow, such as you are now, Neddie boy; and this"—going to the other side of the arch and pointing to the contrasting relief—"shows how we travel now. See, it is a section of a palace-car; some of the people reading, others gazing from its plate-glass windows, and a porter serving them with luncheon."
"Yes, papa; that's the way we travel when we don't go in the Dolphin or in our carriage, and it's a great deal nicer than that ox-cart," said Elsie.
"Oh, papa, there are some words up there!" exclaimed Ned, pointing up to a higher part of the arch. "Please read them."
"I will, son," replied the captain, "though I think you are hardly old enough to fully understand them. This"—pointing it out—"was written by Macaulay, of whom you will learn more when you are older: 'Of all inventions, the alphabet and the printing-press alone excepted, those inventions which abridge distance have done the most for civilization.' This other is by Lord Bacon: 'There are three things which make a nation great and prosperous: a fertile soil, busy workshops, and easy conveyance for men and goods from place to place.' Those words are put upon this building because in it are shown the different modes of travel in different countries—on the sea also—at different times."
They stood for some little time longer examining into the details of that wondrously beautiful doorway, noticing the splendor of the arches and pylon, the stairway on each side, the roof of the pavilion and all the other beauties.
"It is very beautiful, and a great satisfaction to have seen it," remarked Mr. Dinsmore at length, "but perhaps it would be as well for us to go on into the inside of the building now, reserving further examination of this golden doorway for some future time."
With that he passed in, the others following.
Many of the exhibits there were more interesting to the older members of the party, especially the gentlemen, than to the ladies and younger people; locomotives and trains of cars such as were in use at different periods of time, showing the vast improvement in their construction since steam was first put to that use, models of vessels teaching the same lesson in regard to increased convenience and comfort of travel upon the water.
"Oh, there is the Victoria—that grandest of battleships, sunk only the other day in collision with her sister ship, the Camperdown!" exclaimed Herbert. "See what a crowd of men and women are gazing upon it!"
"Oh, yes," said Rosie, "I remember reading a description of it in the papers. One of England's finest battleships, was she not?"
"Yes," said Captain Raymond, drawing near and examining the model with interest; "she was a grand vessel, the pride of the British navy. I should like to have seen her and am glad to have the opportunity to examine even a model. Ah, what a sad accident it was! especially considering that it sent to the bottom of the sea her entire crew of nearly four hundred men and officers."
"Oh, it was dreadful, dreadful!" said Grace in tearful tones. "Especially because they had no time to think and prepare for death."
"Yes, that is the saddest part of all," sighed Grandma Elsie.
Our friends presently moved on, and all, from Grandpa Dinsmore down to little Ned, found many objects that interested them greatly. But the most attractive thing of all to the young folks—because of the story connected with it—was Grace Darling's boat. It was the captain who pointed it out to his children.
"Who was she, papa? and what did they put her boat here for?" asked little Elsie.
"She was the daughter of William Darling, the lighthouse keeper on Longstone, one of the Fame Islands."
"Where are they, papa?"
"In the North Sea, on the coast of Northumberland, the most northern county of England. They form, a group of seventeen islets and rocks, some of them so small and low-lying as to be covered with water and not visible except when the tide is low; and the passage between them is very dangerous in rough weather.
"Two of the islands have each a lighthouse, and it was in one of those that Grace Darling and her father lived.
"In 1838 a vessel called the Forfarshire was wrecked among those islands. William Darling, from his lighthouse, saw it lying broken on the rocks, and sixty-three persons on it in danger of drowning. His daughter Grace, a girl of twenty-two, begged him to go and try to rescue them. It was a very dangerous thing to attempt, but he did it, she going with him.
"Both father and daughter were very strong and skilful, and by exerting themselves to the utmost they succeeded in saving nine of the poor wrecked creatures who were crouching there on the rocks in momentary expectation of being washed off by the raging waves and drowned. They bore them safely to Longstone."
"And that made Grace Darling famous," remarked Lulu.
"Yes," said her father. "Many people, many of the great and wealthy, went to see the brave girl who had thus risked her own life to save others, and they heaped upon her money and valuable presents; so that she was no longer poor. But she did not live long to enjoy the good things bestowed upon her. She died of consumption about four years after her famous adventure."
"What a pity, papa! wasn't it?"
"For those who loved her, yes; but not for her, if she was ready for heaven. Do you think it was?"
"No, sir, 'cause it is the happy land where Jesus is, and nobody is ever sick or sorry or in pain. But I don't want to go there yet; I'd rather stay a good while longer here with you and mamma."
"I want you to, darling, if such be God's will," he returned low and tenderly, bending down to press a fatherly kiss on her round, rosy cheek. "Your father would hardly know how to do without his little Elsie."
She looked up into his face with shining eyes. "We love each other, don't we, papa?" she said with satisfaction. "Mamma too, and brothers and sisters, and grandma, and—oh, all the folks."
"Where now?" asked Grandma Elsie as they left the Transportation Building.
"I want to show you the German castle," answered Harold. "It is here on the Midway Plaisance, and is a reproduction of a castle of the middle centuries. It is viewed by most people who have read of moat-surrounded castles with great curiosity and interest."
"There is a German village connected with it, is there not?" she asked.
"There is, mamma, and I think you will all enjoy looking at both it and the castle."
"Oh, I am sure we shall if it is a faithful reproduction of the old castles of feudal times that we have read of!" exclaimed Rosie.
"It is said to be," returned Harold, "and is considered very curious and interesting."
"Is there a moat about it, Uncle Harold?" asked Grace.
"Yes; and a drawbridge and portcullis."
"Oh, what is that?" asked little Elsie.
"A framework of timbers crossing each other, pointed on the lower edge with iron and hung by chains in grooves in the chief gateway of the castle, so that on the sudden appearance of an enemy it could be let down to keep him out more quickly than the drawbridge could be raised to prevent his crossing the moat, or the gates shut."
"And what is a moat?"
"A ditch or canal. But you shall see one presently, and a portcullis also."
"Oh, I'm so glad we came here to the White City!" cried Elsie, skipping along by her father's side; "it's so lovely and there are so many curious things to see."
"Yes, it is a pleasant way of gaining knowledge; pleasanter than learning lessons and reciting them to papa; is it not, daughter?" asked the captain, smiling down into the bright little face.
"Yes, sir; but that's not a hard way, either, 'cause my papa is so kind, and loves me and makes the lessons easy."
They soon reached the castle, crossed the moat by the drawbridge, passed through the arched gateway, under the portcullis, the young folks, and indeed the older ones also, gazing at it with much curiosity, and entered a spacious hall, the walls of which were hung with bows and ancient weapons, and armor such as was worn by warriors of feudal times.
From the hall was an entrance to a museum, where were shown many articles interesting as having belonged to those old times when the homes of knights and barons were such castles as this.
When they had looked their fill at all these they left the castle for the village surrounding it, which consisted of reproductions of very old German houses with small porticos and sharp gables.
These covered three or four acres of ground and were built around a court, in the centre of which was a music stand where a band of twenty musicians, in white uniforms and military caps, were almost constantly playing upon their instruments, making such delightful music that crowds of people flocked to hear them.
Our friends enjoyed it greatly, and for a time did nothing but stay there and listen while watching the players and the crowd.
But the children began to show signs of weariness and the captain, Violet, Grandma Elsie, and several of the others rose and moved on with them into a cottage which stood in the back part of the grounds.
It was a picturesque-looking building and there were a number of Germans in and about it, many of them evidently sight-seers like our friends. It was furnished in truly German style, with quaint old-fashioned mantels, holding old pieces of bric-a-brac, and quaint dishes and cabinets hanging on the walls.
One room on the left as they entered seemed to be attracting particular attention, and they presently turned to it, paused an instant at the open door, then walked in, the captain and Violet with their two little ones leading the way.
The principal objects in the apartment were two wax figures, life size, representing a man and woman seated at a table apparently dining together.
Our party stood for a moment silently gazing, then Mr. Lilburn and Walter Travilla followed them into the room, though hardly seeming to belong to their party.
Catching sight of the figures at the table, Walter nudged the old gentleman, gave him a significant, laughing glance, then stepping forward addressed the waxen man in a serious tone as though he thought him a living person.
"Excuse me, sir, but I am a stranger here and would like to ask a little information in regard to what may be seen that is really worth looking at."
At that there was a general laugh among the other spectators, and an exchange of glances that seemed to say he must be either very blind or extremely simple.
Walter did not seem to notice, however, but went on: "Are the upper floors open to visitors, sir? and are there refreshments served there, or in any other part of the building?"