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VOL. I.—NO. 31. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, June 1, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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THE MORAL PIRATES.
BY WM. L. ALDEN.
"The truth is, John," said Mr. Wilson to his brother, "I am troubled about my boy. Here it is the first of July, and he can't go back to school until the middle of September. He will be idle all that time, and I'm afraid he'll get into mischief. Now the other day I found him reading a wretched story about pirates. Why should a son of mine care to read about pirates?"
"Because he's a boy. All boys like piratical stories. I know, when I was a boy, I thought that if I could be either a pirate or a stage-driver I should be perfectly happy. Of course you don't want Harry to read rubbish; but it doesn't follow, because a boy reads stories about piracy, that he wants to commit murder and robbery. I didn't want to kill anybody: I wanted to be a moral and benevolent pirate. But here comes Harry across the lawn. What will you give me if I will find something for him to do this summer that will make him forget all about piracy?"
"I only wish you would. Tell me what your plan is."
"Come here a minute, Harry," said Uncle John. "Now own up: do you like books about pirates?"
"Well, yes, uncle, I do."
"So did I when I was your age. I thought it would be the best fun in the world to be a Red Revenger of the Seas."
"Wouldn't it, though!" exclaimed Harry. "I don't mean it would be fun to kill people, and to steal watches, but to have a schooner of your own, and go cruising everywhere, and have storms and—and—hurricanes, you know."
"Why shouldn't you do it this summer?" asked Uncle John. "If you want to cruise in a craft of your own, you shall do it; that is, if your father doesn't object. A schooner would be a little too big for a boy of thirteen, but you and two or three other fellows might make a splendid cruise in a row-boat. You could have a mast and sail, and you could take provisions and things, and cruise from Harlem all the way up into the lakes in the Northern woods. It would be all the same as piracy, except that you would not be committing crimes, and making innocent people wretched."
"Uncle John, it would be just gorgeous! We'd have a gun, and a lot of fishing-lines, and we could live on fish and bears. There's bears in the woods, you know."
"You won't find many bears, I'm afraid; but you would have to take a gun, and you might possibly find a wild-cat or two. Who is there that would go with you?"
"Oh, there's Tom Schuyler, and Joe and Jim Sharpe; and there's Sam McGrath—though he'd be quarrelling all the time. Maybe Charley Smith's father would let him go. He is a first-rate fellow. You'd ought to see him play base-ball once!"
"Three boys besides yourself would be enough. If you have too many, there will be too much risk of quarrelling. There is one thing you must be sure of—no boy must go who can't swim."
"Oh, all the fellows can swim, except Bill Town. He was pretty near drowned last summer. He'd been bragging about what a stunning swimmer he was, and the boys believed him; so one day one of the fellows shoved him off the float, where we go in swimming at our school, and he thought he was dead for sure. The water was only up to his neck, but he couldn't swim a stroke."
"Well, if you can get three good fellows to go with you—boys that you know are not young scamps, but are the kind of boys that your father would be willing to have you associate with—I'll give you a boat and a tent, and you shall have a better cruise than any pirate ever had; for no real pirate ever found any fun in being a thief and a murderer. You go and see Tom and the Sharpe boys, and tell them about it. I'll see about the boat as soon as you have chosen your crew."
"You are quite sure that your plan is a good one?" asked Mr. Wilson, as the boy vanished, with sparkling eyes, to search for his comrades. "Isn't it very risky to let the boys go off by themselves in a boat? Won't they get drowned?"
"There is always more or less danger in boating," replied Uncle John; "but the boys can swim; and they can not learn prudence and self-reliance without running some risks. Yes, it is a good plan, I am sure. It will give them plenty of exercise in the open air, and will teach them to like manly, honest sports. You see that the reason Harry likes piratical stories is his natural love of adventure. I venture to predict that if their cruise turns out well, those four boys will think stories of pirates are stupid as well as silly."
So the matter was decided. Harry found that Tom Schuyler and the Sharpe boys were delighted with the plan, and Uncle John soon obtained the consent of Mr. Schuyler and Mr. Sharpe. The boys immediately began to make preparations for the cruise; and Uncle John bought a row-boat, and employed a boat-builder to make such alterations as were necessary to fit it for service.
The boat was what is called a Whitehall row-boat. She was seventeen feet long, and rowed very easily, and she carried a small mast with a spritsail. By Uncle John's orders an air-tight box, made of tin, was fitted into each end of the boat, so that, even if she were to be filled with water, the air in the tin boxes would float her. She was painted white outside, with a narrow blue streak, and dark brown inside. Harry named her the Whitewing; and his mother made a beautiful silk signal for her, which was to be carried at the sprit when under sail, and on a small staff at the bow of the boat at other times. For oars there were two pairs of light seven-foot sculls, and a pair of ten-foot oars, each of which was to be pulled by a single boy. The rudder was fitted with a yoke and a pair of lines, and the sail was of new and very light canvas. On one side of the boat was a little locker, made to hold a gun; and on the other side were places for fishing-rods and fishing-tackle. When she was brought around to Harlem, and Harry saw her for the first time, he was so overjoyed that he turned two or three hand-springs, bringing up during the last one against a post—an exploit which nearly broke his shin, and induced his uncle to remark that he would never rise to distinction as a Moral Pirate unless he could give up turning hand-springs while on duty.
Harry could row very fairly, for he belonged to a boat club at school. It was not very much of a club; but then the club boat was not very much of a boat, being a small, flat-bottomed skiff, which leaked so badly that she could not be kept afloat unless one boy kept constantly at work bailing. However, Harry learned to row in her, and he now found this knowledge very useful. He was anxious to start on the cruise immediately, but his uncle insisted that the crew must first be trained. "I must teach you to sail, and you must teach your crew to row," said Uncle John. "The Department will never consent to let a boat go on a cruise unless her commander and her crew know their duty."
"What's the Department?" asked Harry.
"The Navy Department in the United States service has the whole charge of the navy, and sends vessels where it pleases. Now I consider that I represent a Department of Moral Piracy, and I therefore superintend the fitting out of the Whitewing. You can't expect moral piracy to flourish unless you respect the Department, and obey its orders."
"All right, uncle," replied Harry. "Of course the Department furnishes stores and everything else for a cruise, doesn't it?"
"I suppose it must," said his uncle, laughing. "I didn't think of that when I proposed to become a Department."
The boys met every day at Harlem, and practiced rowing. Uncle John taught them how to sail the boat, by letting them take her out under sail when there was very little breeze, while he kept close alongside in another boat very much like the Whitewing. Harry sat in the stern-sheets, holding the yoke lines. Tom Schuyler, who was fourteen years old, and a boy of more than usual prudence, sat on the nearest thwart, and held the sheet, which passed under a cleat without being made fast to it, in his hand. Next came Jim Sharpe, whose business it was to unship the mast when the captain should order sail to be taken in; and on the forward thwart sat Joe Sharpe, who was not quite twelve, and who kept the boat-hook within reach, so as to use it on coming to shore. The boys kept the same positions when rowing, Tom Schuyler being the stroke. Uncle John told them that if every one always had the same seat, and had a particular duty assigned to him, it would prevent confusion and dispute, and greatly increase the safety of the vessel and crew.
It was not long before Harry could sail the boat nicely, and the others, by attending closely to Uncle John's lessons, learned almost as much as their young captain. So far as boat-sailing can be taught in fair weather, Harry was carefully and thoroughly taught in six or seven lessons, and could handle the Whitewing beautifully; but the ability to judge of the weather, to tell when it is going to blow, and how the wind will probably shift, can, of course, be learned only by actual experience.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
BY MARCIA D. BRADBURY.
Such a hubbub in the meadow! Such a rustling in the grass! "I feel injured," sighed the daisy, "Things have come to such a pass. To be worked in colored worsted, Ev'ry shade and line complete, Isn't very compliment'ry To a stylish marguerite."
"One might call it," said the poppy, In a tone of sleepy fun, "Flowers raised by crewel culture— Only, please, excuse the pun." "Oh, don't joke on such a subject," Said an innocent, rather low, While from sev'ral other quarters Came a disapproving "No."
"Really," laughed a sweet red clover, "I flushed up quite nervously When I saw a head on canvas So exceedingly like me. If the honey-bee had been there, He'd have buzzed about that leaf. Ah! I only wish he had been; 'Twould have served him right—the thief!"
Suddenly through all this chatter Came a voice, like music's flow, From a little yellow violet Growing in the marsh below. All the flowers nodded silence As she said—a little pause— "What a foolish fuss, my field-mates, You have made with no real cause!
"Are they fragrant? Can you smell them? Though they are so bright and fair, Do the breezes, when they touch them, Carry incense on the air? When they fade, will hidden blossoms Take the places of those dead? Shooting stems and growing leaflets Crown the drooping plant instead?" And the others, well contented, When the violet's song was o'er, Tossed their pretty heads and said they Wouldn't worry any more.
A TREE ALBUM.
Many of our boys and girls, we venture to say, would like to know how to make a collection of specimens illustrating the trees of their own neighborhood and of other parts of the country. We hardly need remind them that the only way to get a complete knowledge and to enjoy the beauty of natural objects is to examine them closely, and find out all their little peculiarities. We may take long walks through the groves and woods, and spend a great deal of time there, and yet when we get home we may know very little about them. We might remember that we had seen a great many trees, but not be able to tell of what kinds they were, how their branches and leaves were shaped, how tall they were, or anything about them.
Now such knowledge is very pleasant to have, and will afford a great deal of pure enjoyment. The more we know about the beautiful trees, the more we will value them, and find entertainment in admiring them.
It is a good plan to bring home from our rambles small portions of them, so that we can examine them minutely at our leisure. The bark, the leaves, and the blossoms are the most important; they are what we look at to recognize a tree, and we should have specimens of each. The first necessary step is to find some way of arranging and preserving them. A good method is to get some pasteboard or stout paper, and cut it into sheets of convenient size—say eight inches long and five wide. Then a box will be needed to keep them in, so that they will not get lost or soiled. Give one sheet to each tree, and upon it paste a piece of the bark, a leaf, and a blossom. The bark should not be taken from the tree where it is too coarse and clumsy, but where it is nearly smooth and perfect, and gives the best idea of the tree; nor should too thin a piece be taken, as when it gets dry it may wrinkle up and crumble to pieces. It may be well to take off with the bark a thin layer of the wood to stiffen it and keep it smooth. A piece of bark about three inches long and two wide would be of a good size.
The blossoms will have to be pressed and dried before they are attached to the sheet. Take care to lay them so as to show the face and the inside parts as plainly as possible. It may be well in some cases to press two or more blossoms, laying them in different positions, so that every part can be seen.
The leaves will be easy, as they are mostly flat. If they are small, several may be taken, or a little twig. If the under side of the leaf is very different from the upper, or is remarkable for its hairs, or for any reason, one leaf should be placed with the under side upward. Care should be taken to do the pasting neatly, so that the sheet will look pretty, and the parts can be readily examined by the eye alone, or with a magnifying-glass or microscope, which reveals many interesting facts that can not be discovered by the eye unassisted.
In this way the trees can be studied at any time, even in winter, when the world outside is bare and dreary, and the evenings are long, and afford fine opportunity for such amusement. And what is more important still, the sheets prepared as we have shown can be sent through the mail to distant parts of the land, where the trees displayed on them do not grow, and are wholly unknown.
Thus our young readers, scattered over the United States and Canada and elsewhere, can supply each other with specimens, so that each may make up a collection from the trees growing over a very wide area.
Most trees are very long lived, and some are still living that are known to be hundreds of years old. Certain kinds of wood, too, seem almost incapable of decay if protected from the weather.
Probably the oldest timber in the world which has been used by man is that found in the ancient temples of Egypt, in connection with the stone-work, which is known to be at least four thousand years old. This, the only wood used in the construction of the temple, is in the form of ties, holding the end of one stone to another. When two blocks were laid in place, an excavation about an inch deep was made in each block, into which a tie shaped like an hour-glass was driven.
The ties appear to have been of the tamarisk or shittim wood, of which the ark was constructed—a sacred tree in ancient Egypt, and now very rarely found in the valley of the Nile. The dovetailed ties are just as sound now as on the day of their insertion. Although fuel is extremely scarce in the country, these bits of wood are not large enough to make it an object with the Arabs to heave off layer after layer to obtain them. Had they been of bronze, half the old temples would have been destroyed years ago.
If those among our young friends who are alive to the charms of nature will arrange some specimens of trees on the plan we have explained, and label the sheets with the common names of the trees, and the scientific names also, if they can find them out from their parents, we will be glad to hear from them, and will publish their letters in the Post-office Box, so that they can make exchanges with each other.
Very little folks, who may find it too hard to get the bark and the blossoms, can begin by making collections simply of the leaves. Be careful to cut the sheets exactly of the size we have mentioned, so that when laid together they will make a nice even pile like a book. And, remember, don't send them to us; only write, and let the Post-office Box know when you have them ready for exchange. We will publish the fact in the YOUNG PEOPLE, so that you can send the specimens to each other, and make up the collections among yourselves.
[Begun in No. 19 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, March 9.]
ACROSS THE OCEAN; OR, A BOY'S FIRST VOYAGE.
A True Story.
BY J. O. DAVIDSON.
FRANK GETS PROMOTED.
Frank Austin's duties as supercargo were soon over, and he decided to go ashore and look about him. The moment he was seen looking over the side, a clamor arose from the Chinese boats around the steamer, which reminded him of the chorus of monkeys and parrots at Gibraltar.
"Good boatee, my—no upset!"
"Fast sampan—no can catchee!"
"He good, my better!"
"Come see—here allee best sampan!"
Frank was confounded by the uproar, and not less so by observing that all the boatmen, and boat-women too (for there were plenty of the latter), seemed to be exactly alike, so that if he picked one, and happened to lose him, it would be no joke to find him again. As he stood hesitating, a good-looking Chinese girl hailed him from a neat little boat with a staring red eye painted on side of its bow.
"Hi! say! My namee Whampoa Sam; washee, keepee state-loom, row boat, can do all for two bob [fifty cents]. Come tly!"
Such a list of accomplishments was not to be resisted, and Austin at once took his seat under the stern awning. The young woman spread her sail, and turned the boat shoreward, steering it with an immense oar.
Away they went, past huge high-pooped junks that looked like monster rocking-chairs; past stately English steamers, beside which the little painted sampans seemed mere toys; past big clumsy rice barges, and trim gigs pulled by sturdy Western sailors. While threading her way through this maze of shipping as dexterously as any seaman, the girl found time to answer Frank's eager questions upon all that he saw, down to the staring eyes on the bow of her boat, which, as she explained, were meant to "help boatee see go straight, allee same man's eye." The mystery of her masculine name, which had puzzled Austin not a little, was also cleared up.
"My Whampoa Sam wife; Sam up Canton side now—can catchee more piecee dollar there. My row boatee till come back. Work boatee, my, allee same man. Choy! you no b'lieve? Bime-by pickaninny Sam row boatee too, muchee ploper. Look see!"
She pushed aside a plank, and hauled out of a box underneath it a little round-faced "four-year-old," so like a big doll that Frank almost took him for one, till he saw the child grasp the steering oar in his little pudgy hands, and actually steer the boat to shore.
"Well," thought our hero, "the Chinese may well be good boatmen, if they begin as early as that."
But he afterward learned that on the great Chinese rivers thousands of families live altogether in boats, each of which has an allotted place of its own. In Canton alone these floating streets have a population of 300,000, and it is common to see two-year-old children toddling about with small wooden buoys on their backs, fixed there by their careful mothers in case they should fall overboard, which they do, on an average, three or four times a day.
For several hundred feet around the great stone quay extended a perfect army of Chinese boats, clustering together like bees; but Mrs. Sam soon made her way through them, and Austin leaped ashore. He had hardly done so when a crowd of sturdy natives surrounded him, with ear-piercing screams, asking if he wished to "ride in chair." This being a new idea, he accepted at once, and presently found himself being carried off in a sedan-chair by four sinewy fellows, who went at a long swinging trot, like the "palanquin hamals" of British India.
Six more runners were speedily added, for the way now led up a street made entirely of stairs, like the "Hundred-and-one Steps" at Constantinople. Then out into the open country, and away toward the summit of Victoria Peak. Up, up, they went, poor Frank getting so bumped about that he was sorely tempted to get out and walk; but he reached the top at last, and saw the whole town, the harbor, and miles upon miles of the inland country out-spread below him like a map. The trip, when paid for, proved wonderfully cheap, though the reason given for this made Frank feel rather "cheap" himself:
"Large piecee man, two bob; small piecee man, like you, one bob. All right—chin-chin!"
During his rambles through the town Austin saw many curious sights. He was shown through a native bank, where three Chinese "tellers" were standing ankle-deep in gold, and counting so rapidly that the ring of the coins sounded like one continuous chime. In another place a house was being built from the roof downward, and he was told that "rain come, walls muchee hurt, so put up roof first!"
Having now reached the farthest point of his voyage, Frank began to think about getting home again, and finding that all who had shipped on the Arizona were entitled, by the terms of their agreement, to a free passage in the next homeward-bound steamer, he went down to the company's office to get his ticket.
As he passed the open window a familiar voice from within caught his ear. It was that of his Captain, who was having a talk with the company's agent.
"I really don't know whom to send with this cargo," said the agent. "It must go in a day or two, and none of my clerks can be spared. Do you know of anybody, Gray?"
"Well, there's a young fellow who came out with me, that might do. He's rather young, certainly, but I put him in charge at Singapore, and he did very well. Hello! there he is. Austin!"
Frank entered, cap in hand.
"My lad," said the Captain, "we're sending a cargo of tin and opium to Canton, and you might take it up, unless you'd rather go home."
"I was thinking of going, sir," said Austin; "but if you have anything for me to do till I can get letters from home, I shall be very glad to do it."
"All right, my boy. Just look in here to-morrow morning, and we'll arrange it."
The next morning, sure enough, Frank received his appointment, and set sail up the river for Canton a few days later, with a handful of the Arizona's picked men for his crew, and old Herrick as his second in command—the latter remarking, with a grin, that "'twarn't a bad start for a youngster to begin his first v'y'ge as coal-heaver, and end it as Cap'n."
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Our hero's farther adventures in China—how he succeeded so well with his first cargo as to be at once intrusted with a second—how he received letters from home, reporting all well—how he studied the ins and outs of the "up-country" trade, and the ways of the Chinese, finding both very different from what he had imagined—and how he soon got a good appointment in the office, which he held for several years—would make too long a story to be told here. But he always bore in mind the last words of old Herrick, which were:
"Frank, my son, next time you meet a young feller wantin' to run away to sea, jist you tell him you've tried it yourself, and 'tain't so nice as it looks. If a lad goes to sea 'cause he's fit for it, and ain't 'fraid o' hard work, well and good; but if he goes 'cause he's quarrelled with his bread and butter, all along o' stuffin' his head with dime novels and sich like rubbish, I guess he'll end where you began—in the coal-hole. Now don't you forget them words o' mine." And Frank never did.
SETTING THE BROOK TO WORK.
BY WILLIAM O. STODDARD.
The brook had never done a stroke of work in its life. So long, at least, as Mart Benson could remember, it had gurgled across the foot of his father's garden, tumbling heels over head down the little fall in the middle, as if it knew it had got into some place that didn't belong to it, and was in a desperate hurry to get out.
Then it made a dive under the fence, into Squire Spencer's orchard, and then under another fence, and through a low stone archway across the river road.
That was the end of the brook, for the river let it right in without so much as saying, "How do you do?"
"It isn't more'n two feet across anywhere," said Mart to himself. "It isn't so much as that just above the fall, and it's a foot and a half below the top of the bank. I could make a dam there, and a flume."
Mart was a great whittler.
Mr. Jellicombe, the carpenter, used to say of him that when he wasn't whittling, it was because he had had to stop to sharpen his knife.
"Well," said Mart, in reply to that, "what's the fun of whittling with a dull knife? If you want a knife to cut straight and smooth, you've got to have an edge on it."
So there was always a pretty good edge on his, and it was curious what things he managed to carve out with it.
He had made a wooden chain out of a long square stick that Mr. Jellicombe brought to the house to mend a door frame with. He had made kites, walking-sticks, bats, wooden spoons and forks, a little wagon, and any number of other things, of which about all that could be said was that they gave him plenty of good whittling.
But Mart had been to the mill the day before, and had waited there two hours while his father was having a grist of corn ground. All those two hours had been spent by Mart with a shingle in one hand and his knife in the other, but at the end of them there was hardly a notch in the shingle, and Mart shut up his knife, and put it back in his pocket.
He had been watching the great water-wheel and the flume that brought the water to it from the pond. He had studied the dam, too, and had been thinking of the brook in his father's garden.
The more he looked at it now, the clearer he saw that it was high time for that brook to be doing something.
It was easy enough to gather flat stones and pile them in at the narrow place at the top of the fall. That was little more than a foot high, to be sure, but the dam would more than double it.
Then he begged a couple of old raisin boxes at the store where his father traded, and when the ends were knocked out of them, and they were firmly set in the top of the little dam, one behind the other, they made a good enough flume. The end of the foremost one stuck out beyond the stones, and the water came pouring from it beautifully.
It took all the rest of that day for Mart to get the brook penned in and compelled to run through the raisin boxes, for he had to keep on putting stones and sods and dirt behind the dam to strengthen it, as the water rose higher and higher. It would not do to make a pond of the garden, but so long as the brook did not overflow its banks it would do no harm. Sometimes it had run over in the spring, or after very heavy rain-storms.
The next day Mart hardly went near his new dam, and he was a very serious and busy boy indeed, considering that he was only thirteen.
A piece of wood had to be found first two and a half inches square, and about a foot and a half long. It took a great deal of work to shave down the four corners of that piece of wood till it had eight smooth sides all just alike. Then Mart was compelled to go over to Jellicombe's carpenter shop and put his piece of wood in a vise, so it would be held steady, while he took a saw and sawed a long groove, more than half an inch deep, in the middle of each one of those eight faces. Jellicombe told him he had done that job very well.
"Looks like a hub for something. Going to make a wheel this time?"
"I'll show you. May I take your inch auger and bore a hole in each end?"
"Go ahead. If you ain't kerful, you'll split yer timber."
Mart was careful then, but he had trouble before him. He had picked out a number of very straight shingles, and he was whittling away on these now as if he was being paid for it. He cut them down to six inches long, and shaved them at the sides, so that two pieces laid together were just a foot wide. With a little more whittling after that he fitted them all, one by one, into the eight grooves in his "hub," and his "water-wheel" was done. A proud boy was Mart, but he ought to have kept on being "careful."
"Look out!" said Mr. Jellicombe, as Mart rapped hard on one of the shingle pieces, to drive it in more firmly; but it was too late.
"Crack!" the hub was split from end to end.
"Got to go to work and make a new one," said Mart, ruefully.
"Guess I wouldn't. Just take a couple of two-inch screws, and screw that together again. It'll be stronger'n it was before."
That was a capital idea, and it only took a few minutes; to carry it into effect.
"Make your end pins of hard wood," said Mr. Jellicombe; "and shave 'em smooth. Then they'll run easy."'
That was easy enough, but one of those "endpins" was made of an old broom handle, and was more than a foot long.
"I see what you're up to," said the carpenter, with a grin. "You've made a right down good job of it, too. Grease your journals before you let 'em get wet."
Mart's "journals" for his end pins to run in were two holes he bored in a couple of boards. When these were stuck up on each side of the lower end of his flume, and the water-wheel was set in its place, Mart took off his hat and shouted,
"Hurrah! the brook's at work!"
So it was, for it was rushing fiercely through the two old raisin boxes, and down upon the wide "paddles" of Mart's wheel, and this was spinning around at a tremendous rate.
"You've done it!"
"Is that you, Mr. Jellicombe? I didn't know you'd come."
"You've done it. Now what?"
"Why, I'm going to put another wheel on this long end pin, and set another one above it, and put a strap over both of them."
"Oh, that's it. Going to make a pulley and band. All right. It'll run. There's plenty of water-power. But what then? Going to build a mill?"
"Guess not. All I care for is, I've set the brook to work."
"Why don't you make it do something, then, now you've found out how?"
"Don't know of anything small enough for a brook like that."
"I'll tell you, then. There's your mother's big churn, that goes with a crank. You whittle out a wheel twice as large as that, and set it a little stronger, and raise your dam a few inches, and you can run that churn."
"Hurrah! I'll do it!"
There was a good deal of busy whittling before Mart finished that second job, but before two weeks were over there was butter on Mrs. Benson's dinner table which had actually been churned by the brook at the bottom of the garden.
HOW THE SECRET WAS STOLEN.
Benjamin Huntsman, a native of Lincolnshire, England, was the inventor of cast steel. The discovery was kept a great secret, and as the success it obtained was very great, many efforts were made to find out how it was prepared.
One cold winter's night, while the snow was falling in heavy flakes, and Huntsman's manufactory threw its red glare of light over the neighborhood, a person of the most abject appearance presented himself at the entrance, praying for permission to share the warmth and shelter which it afforded. The humane workmen found the appeal irresistible, and the apparent beggar was permitted to take up his quarters in a warm corner of the building.
A careful scrutiny would have discovered little real sleep in the drowsiness that seemed to overtake the stranger; for he eagerly watched every movement of the workmen while they went through the operations of the newly discovered process.
He observed, first of all, that bars of blistered steel were broken into small pieces, two or three inches in length, and placed in crucibles of fire-clay. When nearly full, a little green glass, broken into small fragments, was spread over the top, and the whole covered with a closely fitting cover. The crucibles were then placed in a furnace, and after a lapse of from three to four hours, during which the crucibles were examined from time to time, to see that the metal was thoroughly melted, the workmen lifted the crucible from its place on the furnace by means of tongs, and its molten contents, blazing, sparkling, and spurting, were poured into a mould of cast iron. When cool, the mould was unscrewed, and a bar of cast steel was presented.
The uninvited spectator of these operations effected his escape without detection, and before many months had passed the Huntsman manufactory was not the only one where cast steel was produced.
A JOLLY DAY IN THE PARK.
BY F. E. FRYATT.
"Hip, hip, hurrah! to-morrow's my birthday, Miss Eleanor," shouted Harry Lewis, bursting into my garden like a young hurricane. "Cousin Jack's coming over from New York, Nell's got a holiday, and father says if you'll decide and go with us, we may have a jollification somewhere."
"How delightful! Of course I'll go, with the greatest pleasure. Suppose we choose Prospect Park?"
"Capital! Miss Eleanor, good-by; excuse haste. I'm off to tell Nell, and hurry mother with the birthday cake and the fixin's."
Old Prob predicted fair weather, and he was as good as his word, for the sun shone in the bluest of skies, and the morning was fresh and breezy, when Nell and I stepped into an open car, followed by Harry, Jack, and the family lunch basket.
Every one looked happy, and even the car horses trotted briskly along the broad avenue to the Plaza as if they knew we were anxious to be there.
Arrived at the Park, the two boys put their wise heads together, and gallantly agreed that I should be captain of the party, a decision they shortly after announced in an important manner.
"Follow your leader, then," said I, helping Nell into one of the large phaetons standing near the entrance.
"All right," responded Harry, as the whip cracked, and away dashed the horses in fine style.
Now we swept past velvety fields and wood-crowned hills; now we rolled softly under arches of tremulous green; then through miniature valleys between blossoming heights; now through shadowy forests, and away again beside open meadows.
"How lovely!" cried Nell, rapturously, as one moment we caught the glitter of a distant lake, the next the twinkle of a reedy pool overhung with hazel and alder bushes.
Even the boys were stirred to delight, when, crossing a rustic bridge, they could look down and see a dashing cascade tumble and foam over mossy precipices, till it reached a stony basin below, where it lay golden and clear as a topaz.
On and on we sped, past new wonders of blossoming groves and ferny hollows, to the end of our ride.
Which way to turn, after we left our basket at the Lodge, we knew not. Labyrinthine walks met us in every direction, leading to bowers and dells and wildernesses innumerable.
"Let us take the nearest," said I; and away we went, tripping it gayly, till the path ended unexpectedly at the loveliest bower imaginable, all hidden with clambering vines and shrubbery, from which peeped out a thatched roof, with two odd little peaks, surrounded by bird-houses.
Past its pretty arches, as we sat on the rustic seats, we could look upon acres of velvety meadow, dotted with wild flowers, and gay with groups of pleasure-seekers.
Near by, Madam Nurse trundled Miss Baby; yonder, a company of girls played at "bean bags"; further on, the croquet-players were busy with mallets and balls; while passing to and fro were troops of school-children making the most of their weekly holiday.
"Listen!" cried Nell, suddenly, as sounds of music were borne to us on the breeze.
"It's 'Nancy Lee'; go for it!" shouted Harry, leaping over the railing, and darting across the meadow.
"Come on; follow the sound, girls," cried Jack, bounding after him.
Nell and I take the path sedately, "hastening slowly," for we can not help stopping to listen to the soft twitter of the birds, to admire the golden laburnums; we even wait to let a sparrow hop leisurely down the walk before us.
We have had time to spare, for when we arrive in sight of the "merry-go-round" in its pretty pavilion, the musical history of Nancy Lee is still being repeated.
But a pretty vision greets us. Whirl, whirl, whirl, flies a magic ring of boys and girls, with their fluttering ribbons, bright eyes, and tossing curls.
Click, click, clash a score of shining blades, as the eager riders, with parted lips, lean forward and try to pick off the rings from a projecting bar.
Now the music begins to die away; the circle moves slower, and slower, and slower.
"Count your rings!" shouts the man in charge. "The biggest number wins the free ride."
"Sixteen, eighteen, twenty," calls out Harry, triumphantly, adding, as he spies Nellie, "There's my sister; give her a ride."
Nothing loath, Nell is strapped on a gray pony, and waits impatiently for the music. The seats fill, the organ sounds forth, "I'm called Little Buttercup," and away they float as light as feathers.
"It is well they're so merry," groans the poor horse beneath them in the cellar, as he treads his weary beat; "they'd find it a sad-go-round if we changed places."
The noon hour strikes; the merry-go-round man is mortal, and wants his dinner, which reminds us that it is time to send for the lunch basket.
Choosing a lovely spot under a spreading elm in the meadow, we lay the cloth, set out our luncheon, brew a pitcher of fine lemonade, and sit down, the merriest of merry parties.
In the midst of our entertainment four uninvited but welcome visitors make their appearance. Guess who they are.
A toad came first, and sat blinking at us with the funniest airs imaginable. Then a robin-redbreast and two sparrows edged their way up to our table with great caution, winked at us with bright eyes, concluded we were trustworthy, and ventured to peck at the crumbs we scattered for them.
Gathering up the remnants of our feast, we wended our way to a pretty summer-house overlooking a small lake, in which sported a multitude of gold-fish, a pair of swans, some geese, and a bevy of ducks with lovely rings of red, purple, and gold-green feathers about their necks.
Here Nell and the boys found fine sport throwing crackers into the water, and watching the ducks and fishes rush for them, but came away in high disgust because one old drake gave the ducks and fishes hardly any chance at all, but darted and dived and bobbed about so fast that he grabbed a dozen pieces to their one.
"Good-by, old greedy; hope you'll never come up again!" cried Jack, moving away, as the nimble fellow dove head-first till nothing but his funny tail flirted above the water.
A peep at the deer, pony-rides for the boys, and a drive in the goat-carriage for Nell, varied our ramble to the Aerial Skating Rink, which we found on the other side of the Park.
As we came in sight of the elevated square of asphalt pavement, with its gay cavalcade of skaters flitting to and fro inside the railings, the boys hurrahed with delight.
"It's perfectly glorious; let's try it," shouted Harry, bounding down the hill-side, followed closely by Jack.
"I could do that too," said Nell, imitating the movements of the skaters.
"You shall try," replied I; and a minute later we were inside the square, bargaining for a lesson on the odd three-wheeled triangular arrangement, with its horse's head and handled reins.
"Plant your feet firmly on this brace," said the instructor, showing Nell the iron bar; "hold the reins well in hand, bend your right knee, and strike out with your foot as if skating; now your left; and away you go."
Sure enough, off shot Nell, managing to keep up a tolerable speed, then slacking, then increasing, then coming to a dead halt, as Jack, shouting, "Clear the track!" bore down on her car, almost upsetting it.
"A miss is as good as a mile," screams Harry, flying by on the other side, with flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes.
"Strike out, little girl!" cries a lad, giving Nell's car a push, and sending her speeding along. In and out, around and about, they fly, like mimic charioteers, until, fairly exhausted, they are willing to stop, and go over to the Rotary Yacht, whose snow-white wings are visible from the hill-top.
A pleasant walk across the sloping meadow and along by the side of a small lake brings us to this novel boat, which is merely a great hollow ring of seats, with oars and rowlocks for calm, and sails for breezy, weather.
We step in and sit down; the wind, coming in soft puffs from the south, sends us floating around and around with a dreamy, restful motion that our tired little charioteers thoroughly appreciate as they lean back and trail their hands idly through the cool water.
"Come, come," said I at last, "wake up for our row on the lake, sleepers, and then heigho for home and supper!"
"I was only fooling, Miss Eleanor; I'm fresh as a lark," cried Harry, leaping nimbly out on the platform.
"So am I," said Jack, lending a hand to Nellie.
"The Rotary Yacht will do for a rest, but this is what I call life," exclaimed Harry, as later he and Jack, with even sweep of the oars, sent our pretty boat skimming over the waters of the lake.
Now we sped around curving shores, and past grassy capes; now we skirted fairy islands and reedy shallows; then under hollow bridges, that gave back jolly echoes to Nell's laughter and the dip of the oars.
"Quick, quick—quick, quick," screamed a bevy of ducks, hurrying to shore, as we rounded a woody bend in the lake, and came upon them with a rush that sent the water in diamond showers over their backs.
"Tirra-la, tirra-la," whistled a wood-thrush in the grove; "tirra-la, tirra-la," answered another.
"Ah! that's a warning, children; he sings at sunset. See the light shooting gold green through the trees; that means that our happy day is over. And there's another sign; look over your right shoulder—the new moon."
"Tu-whit, tu-whoo, good-night to you," hooted an owl, as we turned our boat homeward.
"Don't be alarmed; we are going," sighed Harry, half sad that the jolly day at Prospect Park was ended.
A BATTLE ON THE BUFFALO RANGE.
Between the half-breeds who form a large portion of the population of the settlements of the Northwest, along the Red River of the North, and their neighbors, the Sioux, exists a bitter enmity. Peace is seldom declared between them, and when parties of Sioux and half-breeds meet, bloody battles are the result.
Although the half-breeds are more civilized than the Indians, and live in villages, generally near the forts or trading posts, they depend largely upon buffalo-meat for their winter food, and upon buffalo-robes, for which the traders give them guns, powder, shot, blankets, tea, coffee, sugar, and other necessaries and luxuries of their life. To obtain this meat and these robes they organize grand buffalo hunts every summer and fall, each of which lasts for several months, and in which hundreds of men engage. The hunters travel from their homes to the distant hunting grounds on horseback; but they take with them long trains of very curious-looking ox-carts, in which the women and children, who go with their husbands and fathers on these long trips, ride, and in which the buffalo-meat and hides are carried home.
The ox-carts, or "Pembina buggies," as they are often called, are very strong and clumsy, and are made entirely of wood, generally by their owners. The wooden wheels, turning on the ungreased wooden axles, make the most horrible creaking and groaning; and when, as is often the case, several hundred or a thousand of these carts are in one train, the noise they make can be heard for miles.
Each cart is drawn by a single ox, attached to the rude shafts by a simple and home-made harness of rawhide, with the aid of which the patient beast draws a load of a thousand pounds for hundreds of miles, at the rate of twenty or thirty miles a day.
As they approach the buffalo range, where they expect to find their game, the hunters know that at any moment they may run across hunting parties of the Sioux, and for them they keep a sharp look-out night and day.
Some years ago a brave hunter by the name of Jean Bedell, whose home was in Pembina, joined one of these great hunting parties, taking with him his wife and their little child, a baby of but a few months old. The party to which Jean belonged was so large that they had but little fear of Indians, and did not guard against being surprised by them as carefully as usual.
One morning as the brigade broke camp, and the long line of carts moved slowly away toward Devil's Lake, which could be seen gleaming in the distance, and near which the hunters felt sure they would find buffalo, Jean Bedell found that a portion of his harness had given out, and he must stay behind and mend it. He had just finished his task, and started on after the carts, the groaning and screeching of which could still be heard in the distance, when other and more terrible sounds, borne clearly to his ear, caused him to come to a sudden halt.
The sounds that so startled him were quick shots, almost as steady as volleys of musketry, and the terrible yell with which the Sioux charges upon his enemy. Far down the valley the hunter could see sharp flashes of fire pierce the cloud of dust that hung over the train of ox-carts, and the dark mass of Sioux warriors charging down the hill-side, lashing their ponies, firing and yelling as they went.
Alone, and cut off from his companions, with his wife and baby to protect, Jean Bedell had nothing to do but lie down, with his trusty rifle in hand, powder and bullets by his side, and wait, determined to sell his life as dearly as possible if worst came to worst.
For hours the hunter watched the fight, while his wife crouched in the bottom of the cart, with her baby in her arms. He could see that the carts had been formed in a semicircle, and from behind them his comrades withstood charge after charge of the Indians, who would dash up to the barrier of heavy carts, pour in a volley, and sweep away beyond rifle range, until their own guns were reloaded.
At last, late in the afternoon, the battle came to an end. The Indians, finding it impossible to drive the hunters from behind their barrier, suddenly withdrew, and taking their dead with them, disappeared over the hill down which they had dashed in the morning. They might make another attack, but for the present all was safe, and Jean Bedell might rejoin his friends. When he reached them, he found that though they were rejoiced to have driven off the hated Sioux, their joy was mingled with much sorrow, for there were many dead to be buried, and many wounded to be cared for. Among the dead were several of the little children, to whom stray bullets had found their way; and when Jean Bedell and his wife saw the poor little bodies, they were very thankful that, on account of a broken harness, their own darling baby had been kept at a safe distance from the terrible battle.
[Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 24, April 13.]
THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
BY EDWARD CARY.
I have said that the work which President Washington had to do was quite new to the country. The people had been used to having all their affairs attended to in their own States. None of the States was very large. Some of them were very small, compared with what the States are now, so that the public men in each were known by a greater part of the people than they now are. Then distance seemed greater than it does now. It took nearly as long to go from Boston to New York as it now does to go from Boston to California; there was no telegraph any more than there were railways and steam-boats, and news travelled as slowly as men did themselves. You can see that it was harder for people in Georgia or New Hampshire to know what was going on in New York than it is now for people in Oregon or Florida to know what is being done in Washington. Where there is ignorance there is always more distrust and doubt. Men found it not easy to give up public business to a Congress, far away, that they did not know much about. Washington set himself earnestly at work to try and have things done so carefully, so honestly, and so wisely, that the people would learn to trust the national government, and live happily under it.
The national government had been meant especially to do three things: First, to raise money and pay the debts of all the States; second, to see that the country was rightly dealt with by other countries, and that other countries were justly treated by our own; and third, in a general way to do for the common good what no one State could do by itself.
The government has now for nearly a hundred years done this work very well, and that fact is largely due to the way George Washington began it. He was President for eight years.
It would not be easy to tell all the things he did in that time which have had a good effect ever since, but it will be well to remember a few of the principal ones. He always insisted on the full and honest payment of the public debt, that is, of money borrowed by the government to carry on the war, and so forth. He believed that a nation must keep its word as much as a man must, if it expects other people to deal fairly with it.
In order that the government might pay its debts, it was necessary for it to get money from the people by taxes, and President Washington showed very early that no man or set of men were to be allowed to refuse to pay a fair share of these taxes, as fixed by law.
The people chose the Congress, and the Congress decided how the taxes should be paid. When that was done, there must be no further dispute about paying. If the people did not like the laws Congress made, they could elect men to Congress who would change the laws, but until the laws were changed in this way, they must be obeyed.
A large number of persons in the State of Pennsylvania refused to pay a tax ordered by Congress, called an excise tax, which was a certain sum on every barrel of whiskey made in the country. When Washington learned of this, he sent word to these people that if they did not obey the laws, he should have to compel them to; and as they took no notice of this warning, he got together an army of 16,000 men, and sent it into the State. This soon settled the trouble, and there has never been any attempt, on a large scale, to resist a tax law in the United States since then.
It is easy to see that Washington knew better than to do such a thing by halves. He sent so large an army that to fight against it was hopeless, and so there was no fighting.
It would have been well for the country if this wise example had always been followed.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE CHILD SINGER.
BY LAURA FITCH.
In a narrow dirty street in the most miserable part of the great city of London, a group of children were playing beside the gutter. They were all dirty and ragged, and the faces of many were old and worldly-wise. One little girl, however, though her dress was as torn and soiled as that of any of the other dwellers in the filthy street, had a pretty childish face. She was a bright-looking little one, with matted brown hair hanging in tangled curls that had never known a brush, and a pair of sweet dark eyes looking out trustfully into the uninviting world around her. She stood a little apart from the others, leaning against the doorway of a rickety tenement-house, humming softly to herself.
A rough-looking boy in the group by the gutter, hearing her low tones, called out, "Louder, Nell; sing something."
The child obeyed; with her hands clasped, and her eyes fastened on the speck of blue sky to be seen between the roofs of the tall, smoky houses, she burst into a song. No wonder that the other children stopped their noisy play, and listened. It was not their ignorance of music that made the singing seem beautiful to those little street vagabonds. There was in the clear voice of the child singer a strange, wistful tone, of which she herself was unconscious, but which held the listener spell-bound.
Nell had been born and bred in those low surroundings. She had never seen the inside of a church, or heard other music than the whining tones of a street organ, yet there was in her the very soul of music. She lived in a wretched garret, with a dirty, slouchy woman whom she called aunt, and loved as only a child or a woman can love one from whom she receives no sign of affection. Miserable as such a life was, it might have been worse.
One day Nell's aunt was brought home on a shutter; she had been run over by a carriage, and instantly killed.
Now Nell was indeed destitute; no money, and no friends but her rough neighbors. But these, though rough, were not hard-hearted; they would have given her money, but they had none themselves, except what they earned or stole each day. So they told her, if she wanted her aunt buried properly, she must go out at night and sing, in which way she would very likely earn enough, as people would pity so young a child.
So that night poor little Nell set out on her work of love. She walked till she reached the broad streets and handsome houses that form the London which the world knows. Here she sang. In the clear silent night the childish voice rang out, and the hour and the stillness made its wistful tones sound wild and weird. Up one street and down another the little figure went singing, while its heart seemed breaking. A strange excitement bore her up, and she felt no fatigue.
Her pathetic appeal was not in vain; it seemed to touch the hearts, and, what is more difficult, the pockets, of all who heard her. When midnight came, she thought of stopping only because most of the houses had closed for the night, and there was little more to be obtained. So she took her last stand in front of a fine old house in Kensington Square, in whose windows lights were still burning. It was the home of Barech, the great musician. As the tones of Nell's voice broke on the stillness of the night, he paused in the work he was doing, and after a moment rose and threw open the window. With amazement he saw the little childish figure standing in the light of the street lamp, and while his artist's ear drank in the wonderful tones with delight, his fatherly heart filled with pity for the desolate child. When Nell ceased, he called to her, and descending, opened the door and took her in.
From that moment Nell was no longer destitute, no longer friendless. In Barech she had found a friend who never deserted her. Captivated by her voice, he took the little waif into his heart and home, and thenceforth she was protected, cared for, and educated. And he was amply rewarded when, in after-years, the fame of Helen Barech spread over England. No one then ever dreamed that the great singer began her career years ago, one dark night, under the stars, a little outcast singing for money to bury her dead.
"HE'S MY FRIEND."—A TRUE STORY.
BY AUNT FANNY.
Charley was the son of a young, rich, and beautiful widow, who lived in one of the splendid up-town hotels of New York city. His mother was a very busy woman, for she was a manager of the "Children's Retreat," the "Children's Relief," the "Old Ladies' Mitigation Society," and ever so many other charities, and these took up so much of her time that her own poor little half-orphaned Charley was left pretty much to himself; for Lizzie, his nurse, spent most of her time laughing and talking with the other servants.
So Charley amused himself running up and down the stairs, and taking trips with the elevator man, who was very fond of the bright little fellow.
One day Charley wandered down the wide stairs, and along a corridor or hall. He was throwing up a little ball and catching it as he went. At the end of the hall he saw through an open door another flight of stairs, very narrow, and rather dark. It was the stairs for the servants' use.
"Hallo!" cried Charley, "here are some more stairs," and like the learned monkey that let nothing escape him on his travels, down the stairs went the boy on a voyage of discovery.
When he came to the bottom, which was far below the level of the street outside, he walked along to an open door, and saw something which dimpled his face all over with smiles; for, standing like a heron on one leg, leaning against the wall opposite the door, was another boy. He was twirling a little paper windmill fastened to a stick; his great black eyes were dancing with glee, and as he laughed he showed two rows of snow-white even teeth. At a stationary wash-tub was a big woman washing clothes, and singing softly to herself, "'Way down in ole Virginny."
Neither of them saw Charley, so, by way of introducing himself, he said, "Hallo, boy."
The woman turned quickly round, and exclaimed, "Why, honey, whar did yer come from?"
"I came down stairs; may I come in?" asked Charley, adding, quickly, "I want to play with that boy."
"Course you can; come right in," said the black woman, for she was nearly as black as ink, but there was a sweet, honest expression in her broad face, and a welcoming tone in her voice, which brought Charley quickly in, with a little laugh, to the side of the other boy.
And he—oh, how black he was! but as clean and neatly dressed as soap and water and nice clothes could make him, for Juliet, his mother, loved her little son, and she took good care that his manners were as nice as his clothes. He held out his hand to Charley, and, making a queer little bow, said, "How do you do, sir? I hope you are very well." Then he twisted one leg tighter than ever round the other, and gave a vigorous twirl to his paper windmill.
"Hey! I like that," said Charley. "Let me try to do it."
"Oh yes," said the other, "but this is the best way—to hold it straight out, and run fast."
So Charley took the windmill, and both boys went scampering and galloping round the room, the windmill flying round famously, until the boys were quite out of breath.
"What's your name?" asked Charley, as they were resting together in a large old rocking-chair.
"George Washington Johnson. What's your name?"' asked the black boy, in return, rocking the chair as hard as he could.
"My name is Charley Lee. I like you. Will you be my friend?"
"Oh yes; will you be mine?"
"Yes, and we'll play together every single day."
Just then Juliet went away with a great basket of clothes, to hang them up in a room where they were quickly dried by steam; and Charley, taking George's hand, said, "Come up stairs with me, and take a ride in the elevator."
What a blissful invitation for George! They tumbled up stairs in their delightful hurry, ran through the door into the broad hall, to the elevator, and the moment it appeared, Charley cried out,
"Oh, Mike, open the door; George wants to ride up and down with me; he's my friend."
"Oh, he's your friend, is he?" said Mike, puckering up his eyes at George Washington; "and a very pretty color he is, too. Well, step in, Snowball."
"His name isn't Snowball; it's George Washington," said Charley.
The elevator man laughed, and the two boys got closer together in a corner, pretending that it was a balloon, and they were sailing up and down in the air; and there they sat, in a state of perfect happiness.
The two boys never quarrelled. George had a sweet disposition, and was ready to do anything Charley proposed. They loved each other dearly, and many were the slices of bread and butter, spread thickly over with molasses, to which the two friends were treated by the good-natured washer-woman. They never sat down to eat them; oh no! they capered, and danced, and burst out laughing when they tumbled over a broomstick or a bench, and seemed to grow rosier and fatter every day. That is, Charley grew rosier, and George's smooth black skin grew shinier, which was the same thing—for him.
The little black boy was often permitted by his mother to go out toward Fourth Avenue, and run over one of the high arched bridges which covers the Fourth Avenue Railroad, and he did not think he was doing wrong when one day he asked Charley to go too.
"Oh yes, I will," he cried, in a great state of delight.
As soon as they arrived at the bridge, they began chasing each other over it; and then Charley said:
"Oh, George, let's play that we are travellers, hunting for a whale. I heard my mamma talking about one that was on ex-ex-exedition down by the river. She said that it was 'most a mile long."
"Goody!" cried George. "What a mons'ous whale!"
So the boys ran down the street toward the East River a long, long way, and presently they got to some rocks, upon the top of which were a number of miserable wooden houses called shanties.
Geese, pigs, chickens, and a forlorn, starved-looking dog were poking about for something to eat. Near by was a great heap of coal ashes. Some bad-looking boys were raking the ashes up into a sort of mound on top of the heap; but a moment after, they ran away to see an organ-grinder and a monkey which had come upon the rocks. Charley and George would have run too, had not their ears caught the sound of a stifled piteous mewing, which seemed to issue out of the very middle of the ash heap.
"What's that?" asked both boys at once.
"Mew! me—ew!" came again from the ashes.
"It's a cat!" exclaimed Charley; "and it is inside of those ashes. I do believe those boys thought it was dead, and buried it. Let's hurry and dig it out."
Charley and George worked hard, but they had nothing but their hands to work with, and they threw the ashes all over their clothes; but the piteous mewing came quicker and louder, and in a few moments the gray head of a live kitten popped out of the ashes; then two gray paws, and soon the whole kitten was liberated.
"Oh, you poor little thing!" said Charley, trying with soft pats to get the ashes out of its fur, while George took out of his pocket a queer little pocket-handkerchief, six inches square, with A B C all round the edge, and a portrait of his great namesake in the middle, and said, in a tender tone, "Here, poor kitty, let me wipe your nose; don't cry any more;" and he wiped it so softly that it really seemed to comfort the afflicted little creature.
"Let's run home with it," said Charley.
"And give it some milk," said George.
"And wash it clean," said Charley.
"And dry it in the steam-room," said George.
No sooner said than done. Charley carried the kitten one block, and then George the next, and so on in turn, until at last they got back to the hotel, and rushed down into the laundry, where Juliet was beginning to feel worried at their long absence.
"La sakes!" she cried, when she saw the plight they were in, "whar have you ben gone? Why, you look jes like ole Bobby de ash-man. Whar you get dat ar cat? Why, George Washington! you's a disgrace to your raisin'! How you spec' I'se gwine' to make you look genteel if you cum home dat ar way?"
"Oh," said George, rolling his eyes at his mother—"oh, we've had such s'prising 'wenters; we went to see a whale."
"Whale! is dat what you call a whale?" said Juliet, pointing to the poor little kitten, which he was hugging tight to his breast.
Then Charley spoke up, and when Juliet had heard of the "surprising adventures," she was sorry she had been the least bit cross with the kind-hearted little fellows. To make up for it, she gave the kitten a saucer of warm milk, and taking off the soiled clothes of the boys, and washing their faces and hands, she put two funny little night-gowns upon them, and popped them into her bed, which was in a little room next to the laundry. Then she caught up their clothes—for there was no time to be lost—and popped them into a tub of hot water, with plenty of soap, and in ten minutes they were just as clean as soap, water, and hard rubbing could make them.
Then she wrung them out with a will, shook them out with a flourish, and running into the steam-room, hung them upon a horse—a clothes-horse, of course. In ten minutes more they were dry enough to iron, and she polished them with the hot and heavy irons at such a rate that they fairly shone, and she shone too.
When the boys were called, and Juliet put on their clothes again, they looked cleaner, brighter, and happier than ever.
The kitten was adopted as a friend too, and had soon shook and licked itself clean, and it lived a very comfortable life down in the laundry.
One day, for a wonder, Charley's mother staid at home. She was expecting a call from her lawyer, Judge Spencer, upon some business. When he came he had a long talk with Charley.
Presently Charley said: "I want to tell you something. I've a friend; his name is George."
"Only one friend?" asked the Judge, laughing.
"But he's my 'tic'lar friend," explained Charley. "May I bring him to see you? He's real nice."
"Does he live in the hotel?" asked Charley's mother, who had never heard of him.
"Oh yes," replied Charley, "and he and I have a love-aly kitten—we take care of it."
"Well, bring him in—the kitten too," said the good Judge; "that is, if your mother consents."
"Oh, certainly," said Mrs. Lee.
So Charley rushed down the narrow stairs, and found George playing with the kitten, and looking as neat and clean as a new pin.
"Come, George, come up with me to mamma's parlor. Judge Spencer is there; he wants to see you, and the kitten too."
They went up stairs, and softly opening the door of the parlor, and holding George's hand tightly, Charley walked quickly up to the Judge and said, "Here's my friend; he can't help being black!"
For one moment astonishment kept Charley's mamma and the Judge silent. Then the good man held out his hand to the black boy, and taking Charley on his knee kissed him tenderly. That warm, loving kiss told Charley that the Judge understood it all. His face grew radiant, his eyes rested affectionately on his friend, and then he leaned toward George, and put the beloved kitten in his arms. "You hold it now," he said.
With a cautionary wave of his hand, the Judge prevented Mrs. Lee from reproving Charley for his choice of a friend; then he sent them into the next room, and had a long talk with the widow, the result of which was that, after inquiring about George, and finding how good his "raisin'" was, as Juliet called it, Charley was still permitted to play with him. And to this very day (for all this has happened within a few months) if you ask Charley Lee who George Washington Johnson is, he will answer at once, "He's my friend."
THE SOLEMN OLD LADY.
BY W. L. PETERS.
There was once a wee boy With an excellent face. Who was seen every Sunday At church in his place; And there this wee boy was accustomed to stare At a solemn old lady with lavender hair, Who used to sit opposite to him.
But when the long service Was over at last, He would wait at the Vestibule door till she passed; And then she would stop on her way from the pew, And propound a conundrum, which he never knew, For she asked him the "drift of the sermon."
By-and-by, when the little boy's Manhood came round, The whole world an unanswered Conundrum he found. And he can no more answer it now, I declare, Than he could the old lady with lavender hair, Who used to sit opposite to him.
SMITH'S HILL, CALIFORNIA.
I live on the east branch of Feather River, in California. I go to school in a school-house made of logs. The scholars are all Germans and Indians. Swallows generally come here in February, but this year we did not see any till the 9th of March. I saw a picture of the snow-flower in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 7. It grows on the hills near my home, and blooms in June. Lupin and larkspur and many other flowers also grow here. I am seven years old.
LOU R. K.
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I am twelve years old, and I live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, about four thousand feet above the sea-level, with my aunt and uncle. The snow is two feet and a half deep (April 11), and I can not look for willow "pussies" myself, but this afternoon my uncle was out over the snow, and he found some, which I send you. These are the first I have ever seen. A few days ago there was a flock of robins in our back yard, and they went skipping and hopping about quite happy. I have a pigeon, and his name is Bob. When I hold out my hand to him with wheat in it, he will come and eat, and when he has eaten all the wheat, he will turn around and fight me. Can you tell me why the 1st of April is called All-fools' Day?
MARY A. R.
The origin of April-fools' Day is unknown. If you have YOUNG PEOPLE No. 18, read the answer to Zella T., in the Post-office Box.
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My uncle subscribed to YOUNG PEOPLE for a New-Year's present to me, and I do not believe he could have found a paper I would have liked better if he had hunted all over the United States. But I can not enjoy it alone, so when I get all through reading it, I send it to a little friend. I only moved to California eight months ago. I have twenty-two real dolls, and every one has a change of under-clothing and several dresses. I have one hundred and ten paper dolls. They all have names, and a history, which I know by heart. I send you some pressed California flowers and fern. I am twelve years old.
JEANNIE K. P.
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I am ten years old. I have no pets now, but I had a Newfoundland dog named Nero, and a pussy named Major. On the 14th of April I was in the woods, and I found two buttercups. They were the first wild flowers I have seen this year.
CLARENCE E. L.
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I live in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, on the banks of the Sandusky River. This is a very historical country. It was named after a tribe of Indians called the Wyandottes, who burned Colonel Crawford at the stake on the 11th of June, 1782. In the southern part of this town is a tree called the "Big Sycamore." It is sixteen feet in diameter, and about one hundred and fifty feet high. It has several limbs that are from five to eight feet in diameter. I have some pet ducks I think a great deal of, and a sheep named Dick, that follows me everywhere.
WILLIE B. G.
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SYRACUSE, NEW YORK.
We have three little canary-birds. They can feed themselves, and mamma has put them in another cage. Their names are Yellowtop, Sport, and Baby. The mother bird has made a new nest, and this morning she has two eggs in it. If Daisy Balch will softly stroke her bird through the wires of the cage every evening at dusk, he will soon allow her to put her finger inside the cage, and will peck at a little sugar on the end of her finger, and will no doubt perch on it. All this will need patience. I like the "Tar Baby" story so much, and "Mother Goose's May Party."
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NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK.
I live on the Niagara River, three miles and a half above the falls. I go to school at Niagara Falls village, and have walked nearly all winter in all kinds of weather, although it is nearly four miles. I have a little wild rabbit—black, white, and brown. I had two, but the other ran away. We have a white cat and kitten. The cat came to us nine years ago, when it was a little bit of a thing. It stands on its hind-legs when it wants something to eat, and never scratches. We have a water-spaniel named Music. He does not like to hear any one play the piano in a minor key.
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I am ten years old. I like to read YOUNG PEOPLE. The Post-office Box letters are nice. Katie R. P. says she collects insects. So does my papa. He puts lumps of cyanide of potassium, bought at the druggist's, in a bottle, and mixes plaster of Paris with water until it is like dough, and then pours it over the potassium. When it dries, the bottle is ready for use. Five cents' worth lasts a season, and is cheaper than ether, papa says, and works better. When the butterflies are dead, he spreads them on a board to dry, spreading their wings carefully and evenly, and holding them in place with pins. Papa has butterflies all the way from China. He has as many as five hundred kinds. He raises them just as people do chickens, right from the egg. He calls the worms his pets—great green ones. I get food for them. They eat lots. He calls worms larvae, which he says means baby butterflies.
That butterfly Bessie F. had was the Danais, papa thinks. Butterflies are all foreigners, and have queer names I don't understand. The worm of the Danais is found on milkweed, papa tells me. It does not spin a cocoon, but forms a chrysalis—a handsome green sack that looks like an ear-drop, with gold and black spots on it.
WALTER H. P.
It is scarcely safe to recommend the handling of cyanide of potassium, in any form whatever, to our young readers, as it is one of the most terrible of poisons, and works much mischief and suffering by merely coming in contact with a slight cut on the finger.
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I live on the top of a cliff almost two hundred feet high. The scenery is beautiful. You can see for a distance of twenty miles in almost every direction. There is an old field on our farm in which papa thinks the Indians fought a battle, because there are so many flint arrow-heads there. My brother and I are saving them, because we like to have them in our room.
I caught seven woodchucks with my dog. I am fourteen years old, and own a horse of my own. I bought her about two years ago. I have a goat that I work in a wagon I made myself. In autumn and winter I go to school, and in spring and summer I work on the farm, which I like pretty well. There are several caves on our farm. In one of them I have been in over a hundred yards. I like to read all of the letters in YOUNG PEOPLE'S Post-office Department.
JOHN H. B.
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JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY.
I have been intending to write to the Post-office Box ever since I began to take YOUNG PEOPLE, which papa gave me for a Christmas present. I have a pet cat, which I call Fluff, after the kitty I read about in the Christmas number. My Fluff is very much like that kitty, only she never went to church in her owner's muff.
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I see most of your little correspondents live in the far North and West, and I thought you might like to hear from a little Southern girl, who likes YOUNG PEOPLE very much. I am nine years old. I have no sister, and but one brother. My papa is a doctor, and is often from home; so when Buddie and I are at school, mamma is alone. I love to go to school. I have two cats—Muldrow and Dumpie. I will write about our beautiful birds next time.
D. R. H.
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RIDLEY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA.
I am trying to collect a cabinet of curiosities, and have quite a lot of things already. I have pieces of celebrated foreign buildings, English street-car tickets, Lake George diamonds, the rattle of a rattle-snake, and other things.
I think the "Letter from a Land Turtle" is very interesting. I had a young water turtle that I could cover with a two-cent piece. I saw a very funny ants' bed the other day. It was an oyster shell, with the edges all covered with sand, except on one place, where the ants went in. I think it must have been a very cozy house. Will you please tell me something about the habits of ants?
C. B. F.
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AUBURN, NEW YORK.
I have no pets, but we have a nice flower garden. One of the boy correspondents of YOUNG PEOPLE asked if we had ever seen a tarantula, or California spider. We have one five or six inches long, preserved in alcohol. My uncle sent it to us from Nevada. He says the webs are so strong that people use them for thread.
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I would like to exchange pressed wild flowers with some little girl living in the East. I would like some small bouquets for a scrap-book. We have a great variety of beautiful wild flowers here. I have one sister and two brothers. My pet is a sheep. She will leave the herd to come to me. She eats bread, and tobacco too, when the shepherd gives it to her. Her name is Susie.
MABEL SHARP, Buchanan, Fresno County, California.
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NEW YORK CITY.
I am a great admirer of Shakspeare. I have just finished reading Macbeth. I have seen Edwin Booth play Hamlet. My mother has read aloud to me King Richard III. and many others of these plays. I am also very fond of history. I first read Peter Parley's Universal History, next Dickens's Child's History of England, and since many other books of historical tales. I am now reading Guizot's Popular History of France. There are six large volumes, and I have finished the third volume to-day.
I think you will be interested to hear about my Bible. It is the elegant "Illuminated Bible" which was "published by Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff Street," just before the fire, which destroyed all the plates of "sixteen hundred historical engravings." I read in it every Sunday, and almost every morning. I have read the Old Testament in course to the end of Chronicles, and I am pretty familiar with the rest of the Bible.
I was paralyzed when I was sixteen months old, and have not the use of my right hand. As yet I can not write well with my left. I am twelve years old.
S. CASSIUS E.
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JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY.
My sister Gertie and I had each a small turtle. They were kept in a glass globe in the house all winter, and about a week ago we put them out in the yard in a large pan. To-day, when I went out to see them, mine was dead. Can anyone tell me what was the matter with it? They both had plenty of raw meat and earth-worms. The water was changed every day, and there were large stones for them to crawl up upon. We put the other turtle back in the glass globe in the house.
Turtles prefer to bury themselves in the mud, and sleep all winter. Perhaps had you allowed your turtle to follow its natural instincts, it would not have died.
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I am seven years old. I want to tell all the boys who read YOUNG PEOPLE that I live where they catch those big whales. My uncle goes in a vessel after them. He has killed nine this spring. The largest one was over sixty feet long, and made fifty barrels of oil. They shoot the whales with a bomb-lance.
FREDDIE R. A.
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I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I think it is a very interesting paper. I am living in Benton now, and very soon I will have a little dog, a lamb, and a pig. Some of you that live up North will think a pig is a very strange pet; and yet when you think that the pig is white and clean, then perhaps you would like him better. Perhaps I shall have a canary-bird and a kitten, but I am not sure. To-morrow I am going to see somebody weave a carpet. I have to study history and French every day except Saturday and Sunday. I like to study them when they are easy enough.
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I found hepaticas on the 7th of April, and anemones a little later. Violets, shooting-stars, Solomon's-seal, wild geranium, and jack-in-the-pulpit are in blossom now (May 14), as well as other wild flowers. I have seen woodpeckers, orioles, lots of robins and blue jays, brown thrushes, and bluebirds. When I was going out in the yard this morning I saw several chipmunks.
ALICE C. L.
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PROSPERITY, SOUTH CAROLINA.
I live down in "Dear old South Carolina." We have a nice flower garden, and there are plenty of flowers in blossom already. It has been very warm this winter. I did not start to wearing shoes till nearly Christmas, and I pulled them off again on my birthday, which was the 4th of March.
My father is an editor, and we get a great many papers to read. I am very much interested in "Across the Ocean." I used to live up in the snow, on the banks of the Potomac.
J. W. H.
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I live in the city, but I have got some chickens, and am very much interested in them. I have raised some; but there is an old cat that has eaten eleven of them, and I can not kill her. I have pigeons too, and have raised a good many. I read a letter in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 13 from a little boy who hatched a chicken by putting the egg in ashes. I wish he would tell me how he kept the egg warm.
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
I have tried Nellie H.'s recipe for sugar candy, and I found it very nice indeed. I intend to try Puss Hunter's recipe for cake, and I will let her know my success.
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ELMIRA, NEW YORK.
Here is a recipe for chocolate caramels for the cooking club: One cup and a half of sugar; one cup of grated chocolate; one cup of milk; one cup of molasses; a piece of butter the size of an egg; one tea-spoonful of vanilla. Let the mixture boil twenty minutes, and then pour it in buttered tins to cool.
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FORT UNION, NEW MEXICO.
I am nine years old. I do not go to school, but I study at home, and I can write pretty well. I tried the recipe that Nellie H. sent, and it was very nice. I tried it several times. I had a canary once, but it died, and papa buried it under a tree.
MARGARET R. MACN.
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Fannie A. Hartwell and Bertha C. M. send recipes for doll's cup-cake for Puss Hunter's cooking club, but as they are almost the same as the one from Bessie L. S., printed in Post-office Box No. 28, we do not repeat them. The domestic inclinations of these little housekeepers of the future are very pleasing, and we hope other little girls will send recipes for the cooking club, which should certainly be encouraged.
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GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN.
I will be ten years old in July. I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I think there never was such a nice little paper. We have live cherry-trees, and they are all in bloom (May 7). We live near the lake, and my little brother and I play on the shore almost every day. They are launching two large steamers to-day. Papa, mamma, and I went out fishing not long ago; we did not catch even one fish, but we enjoyed the sail very much. I am going to the woods to-morrow, and will send "Wee Tot" some wild flowers. I have a pet kitty and a little Skye terrier, and every one likes to see them play together.
I am eleven years old. I take HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like the Post-office Box best of all. I have two pet pigeons. They are very tame, and fly to me when I go out; I never feed them except out of my hands. I would like to exchange pressed flowers with any little girl.