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VOL. I.—NO. 27. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, May 4, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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BY W. O. STODDARD.
The tide was just out on the Staten Island shore, and the water in the little cove below Mr. Drake's residence was as smooth as a pan of milk with the cream on.
Nothing in the shape of a ship ought to have tipped over in such water as that.
So Rob Drake had thought, but every time he shoved his new ship away from the flat rock at the head of the cove, over she went. First on one side, then on the other, it did not seem to make much difference which. She stood up well enough so long as Rob kept hold of her, but as soon as ever he let go, down she tumbled.
Rob was about twelve years old, and he believed he knew all about ships.
Did he not live on Staten Island, right across the bay from New York? Did he not go over to the city on the great ferry-boat every now and then, and see all the shipping at the wharves, and sail past all sorts of craft on the way there and back?
Some of them, he knew, came from almost all the countries in the world, and he had seen hundreds of them sail out of the harbor to go home again.
Of course Rob knew all about ships; but this one, on which he and Larry McGee had been whittling and working for a week, seemed determined to float bottom up.
What could be the matter?
"Larry, she's top-heavy."
"No, she ain't. It's ownly a sort of a thrick she's got. All she wants is practice."
Larry was Mr. Drake's hired man, and knew a little of everything, only he knew more about a horse than he did about any kind of sailing vessel.
"The boy's right, my hearty. She's more hamper than hull, and she's no ballast at all."
Rob and Larry looked behind them when they heard that. They had not heard him come along the sandy beach, they had been so busy, but there he was: a short, thin old man, with broad shoulders, dressed like a United States "man-o'-war" sailor, and with a wooden leg that was now punching its round toe deep into the sand.
"'Dade, sor," said Larry, "it's a good ship she is, av she wouldn't lie down that way."
"She's a ship, then? I'm glad to know that. It's a good sign for the boy that he's taken to ships. There's not many boys care for 'em nowadays."
"Why, of course it's a ship," said Rob, as he pulled his craft ashore and held her up to let the water drip from her wet sails. "Didn't you know what she was?"
"Old fellows like me don't know much nowadays. You've put in four masts, and a bowsprit at each end, and I couldn't tell just what she was."
"Oh," said Rob, "that's nothing. I saw a steamer with four masts the other day."
"There's no accounting for steamers, my boy. And I've heard men call 'em ships, too, that ought to have known better."
"Don't I know a ship?" proudly exclaimed Rob. "Can't I tell a schooner from a sloop, and a bark from a brig? I know. It's the masts and rigging make the difference."
"Well, now," said the old man, "you're a bright boy. What's your name?"
"Robert Fulton Drake."
The old man shook his white head solemnly, and took off his round Scotch cap. "Drake's a good name. There was a great sailor of that name once. He was an admiral, too. But Fulton—Robert Fulton—it's awful the mischief we owe to that man."
"Fulton? He a bad man?" said Rob, with all sorts of wonder in his face. "No, sir. He was a great man. He invented steamboats."
"So he did—so he did. More's the pity. Ships were ships till Fulton came. Now they're all great iron pots, and go by steam. No use for sailors now."
"Steam-ships have to have sailors."
"What for, my boy? Well, yes, they do have a few lubbers on board that they call sailors. And there are some ships left too—pretty good ones. But they don't have sailors nowadays like they used to. Robert Fulton spoiled it all. But I'm glad you like ships. Only you don't know how to make 'em. Come and see me some day. I'll show you."
"Where do you live?"
"Half a mile the other side of the ferry landing." He went on and gave Rob pretty full directions how to find his house; and Larry McGee added, quite respectfully,
"Ye're an owld sailor yersilf, sor?"
"Am I? Well, yes, I was once, before I lost my leg. The ships weren't all turned into iron pots then."
"Was it there ye lost yer lig?"
"There? Oh, you mean aboard ship? That's where it was, my hearty. Did you over hear of Mobile Bay?"
"I niver did, sor."
"I did," exclaimed Rob.
"Did you, then? I'm glad of that, my boy. Did you ever hear of a sailor named Farragut?"
"The great Admiral? Admiral Farragut? Oh yes, indeed. Father's got a picture of him, up in the rigging of a ship, with a telescope in his hand. He was a great fighter."
"You're the boy for me. Do you know about that picture? That was the old ship Hartford; and when the Admiral was up in the rigging there, with the bullets flying round him, I was down on deck, getting my leg shot off."
Larry McGee took off his hat right away.
"Wuz that so indade, yer honor? Wuz it for that ye got the goold shtar ye're wearin'?"
"Star? No, indeed. I got a pension, but I didn't get any star."
"But it's a foine one."
So it was, and it was fastened by a strong, wide blue ribbon to the old man's left breast. It looked like solid gold, and it was curiously lettered and ornamented.
"I'm proud of that, my man. And I got it that day too."
"How was it?" asked Rob, who had dropped his four-masted ship to listen.
"How was it? I'll tell you, my boy. It was Farragut himself. He was the best sailor ever trod a plank, and he hated steam and iron pots to the day of his death. He came to see me and the rest, in hospital, like the true sailor he was, and he'd a good word all around. I'd been one of the crew of his own gig, and before he went he put his hand in his pocket, and seemed to be feeling for something. Belike his hand had been in that pocket pretty often, those days, for it looked as if he couldn't find a thing. When it came out, though, it had a piece of gold in it. An old Spanish doubloon he'd carried for a pocketpiece—"
"That's a gold coin?" asked Rob.
"The biggest there is, except a double-eagle, only there's not many of 'em nowadays. And says he to me, says he: 'Good-bye, Jack Peabody. Most likely I'll never see you again. Keep that to remember me by. I don't think you'll forget the old ship, nor Mobile Bay.'"
"Troth an' the owld fellow was right there," said Larry McGee.
"So I took the doubloon, but I was too weak to say much, and when I got out of hospital I worked that bit of gold into this here star, with the Admiral's name on it, and the date, and Mobile, and all the other things I could think of. There's a picture of the old Hartford on the other side. She was a ship, she was."
Rob and Larry took a long and careful look at the star, and then the old man stumped away.
"How thim owld sailors does hate the shtamers!" said Larry.
"I don't care, the sailing ships are prettier."
"So they be, but the shtamers goes betther. How'd ye loike to wait for a wind whin yez wanted to go to the city, instid of shtamin' over in a ferry-boat?"
Rob talked with his father that evening, and showed him his four-masted ship with a bowsprit at each end.
"Rob, my boy, your old sailor friend is right. I think I'll take you over with me in the morning, and we'll walk up South Street, along the wharves, and I'll show you what he means."
"That's what I'd like."
"Wounded at Mobile Bay, was he? One of Farragut's men? I must hunt him up. Every American boy ought to touch his hat when he speaks of Farragut."
Mr. Drake was a little of an enthusiast about ships and sailors, and it was no wonder Rob took after him.
The next morning, when the great ferry-boat took over its biggest crowd of passengers, and ever so many teams and loaded wagons, Rob and his father were standing out in front by the railing, looking hard at every vessel they came near, and talking about them all.
When they landed in the city, they walked on from the ferry along South Street, which is lined on one side by warehouses, and on the other by docks and piers. The docks were all full of vessels, and the great bowsprits of the larger ships sometimes stuck halfway across the street to the buildings.
They were both so busy with the shipping that they hardly noticed anything on the other side of them, but suddenly Rob heard a cracked voice exclaim:
"Robert Fulton Drake. That was his name. Drake's a good one; but then— Fulton! I say, boy, look here!"
Rob looked, and so did his father.
There sat the old one-legged sailor, Jack Peabody, on the stone steps of one of the warehouses, with his bright gold star on his breast, and a cane in his hand.
Just beyond him, however, on the upper step, stood a beautiful model of a brig, with a hull about two feet long. She was completely rigged, sails and all.
"Look at that, sir. She'll float. She isn't top-heavy. No danger of her tipping over. Made her myself."
"Father," said Rob, "it's the very man. Don't you see the star? Oh, what a pretty brig!"
There was a card stuck at the brig's mast-head, with "For Sale" written on it.
Mr. Drake had a good many questions to ask, about Farragut, and sea-fights, and the "star" itself, before he came to the brig.
The old man's sailor dress was as neat as wax, and he did not look at all poor, but he said:
"I live with my son, sir. He's no sailor. He's only first mate of one of these iron pots of steamers they have nowadays. I've my pension too, sir, but I like to build 'em. Keeps me busy, sir. Ships is going out of date, sir. It does me good to put folks in mind of 'em. The price is five dollars, sir."
There were wooden ships of all sorts and sizes lying at their wharves, as far up and down the street as any one could see, but the old sailor seemed to forget all about them in his hatred of steam and steamers.
"Rob," said Mr. Drake, "I'll buy that for you. Take it right home. See if you can make one like it."
"May I swim it?"
"Of course you may, but you mustn't spoil it."
"Boy," said the old man, "put some lead on the bottom of that double-ender of yours. It'll stand up, if you ballast it well. That'll be two. When you make another, that'll be three—"
"Oh, I'll make a dozen!"
"Will you? Why, then you'll have a navy. I hope they'll all float. Not all the ships they build nowadays make out to do that."
Rob hurried home with his brig, and he built his "navy," but it was just as the old sailor feared, not more than half of them would float.
BY MARY D. BRINE.
Oh, a jolly old place is grandpa's barn, Where the doors stand open throughout the day, And the cooing doves fly in and out, And the air is sweet with the fragrant hay;
Where the grain lies over the slippery floor, And the hens are busily looking around, And the sunbeams flicker, now here, now there, And the breeze blows through with a merry sound
The swallows twitter and chirp all day, With fluttering wings, in the old brown eaves, And the robins sing in the trees which lean To brush the roof with their rustling leaves.
O for the glad vacation time, When grandpa's barn will echo the shout Of merry children, who romp and play In the new-born freedom of "school let out."
Such scaring of doves from their cozy nests, Such hunting for eggs in the lofts so high, Till the frightened hens, with a cackle shrill, From their hidden treasures are fain to fly.
Oh, the dear old barn, so cool, so wide! Its doors will open again ere long To the summer sunshine, the new-mown hay, And the merry ring of vacation song.
For grandpa's barn is the jolliest place For frolic and fun on a summer's day; And e'en old Time, as the years slip by, Its memory never can steal away.
[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.
ASHORE AT MALTA.
Sailors have a proverb that Valetta Harbor is like a hen-coop—"no gittin' out when you're in, and no gittin' in when you're out." So thought Frank, as the steamer glided into a narrow channel between the two enormous forts of the outer harbor, through the embrasures of which scores of heavy cannon, high up over the mast-heads of the Arizona, looked grimly down. Other forts, almost equally huge and formidable, guarded the entrance to the inner harbor, which was so narrow that the three English iron-clads anchored within almost blocked it up, and it was a puzzling question how the Arizona was to pass them.
"We're bound to have a smash now," muttered Herrick, "unless that lubber of a pilot's kind 'nuff to fall overboard."
The poor Maltese speedily justified this bitter verdict. Two of the vessels were passed safely, but as they neared the third the pilot got flurried, and gave a wrong order. The next moment the Arizona came smash into the counter of the iron-clad, sweeping away the miniature flower garden which her captain had arranged along the stern gallery, overturning several guns, and, as Jack Dewey poetically phrased it, "playin' thunder and pitchforks generally."
Instantly the English boatswain's shrill pipe was heard, and a crowd of sturdy fellows in clean "whites" and bare feet came racing aft, and cleared away the wreck in a twinkling, not without a few rough-hewn jokes at "Yankee seamanship," which the Arizona's men repaid with interest.
"Just as well you've got no navy, if that's how you handle a ship," shouted one of the English.
"Better have none at all than one made out o' cracked tea-kettles," retorted Herrick, who never lost a chance of having a fling against steam.
The pilot, who had been shaking in his shoes at the mishap, now began to hope that it would all end in a laugh; but he was not to escape scot-free, after all. As the Arizona forged ahead, a rotten egg, flung through one of the iron-clad's open ports, hit him full on the forehead, and exploded over his whole face, like a bombshell, making such an object of him as his own father would scarcely have recognized.
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An American steamer does not touch at Valetta every day, and the Arizona soon had plenty of visitors. Most of the crew being busy, Frank was "told off" to act as showman, and for the first two days he had more than enough to do. From sunrise to sunset the decks were crowded with sight-seers of all ages and conditions—stiff, wooden-faced soldiers from the garrison; languid ladies, who looked much more at each other's bonnets than at the ship, and seemed to be always sitting down and never getting up; jaunty military officers, with uniforms as trim as their mustaches; huge red-whiskered sailors from the English men-of-war, who kept patting Frank on the head like a child, to his great indignation; and native Maltese, who seemed immensely astonished at all they saw, and chattered over everything like so many parrots. Some of these last mistook the white-painted iron of the engine for wood, and were seen trying to chip off pieces of it with their knives as mementos of the visit.
But when once he was off duty, Austin began to enjoy himself in earnest. There really seemed to be no end to the curious sights of the place—the steep, break-neck streets, almost like paved precipices; the tall, thick-walled, narrow-windowed houses, small fortresses in themselves; the shaven monks, who looked terribly hot in their heavy black robes; the slim, dark-eyed Greeks, with their jaunty red caps, and the gaunt, swarthy Moors scowling from under their huge white turbans; the queer little Maltese boats, with high prows and sterns, quaintly carved and painted; the files of donkeys plodding past under big baskets of fruit, with their bare-footed drivers yelling behind them; the huge forts built by the Knights of St. John (the former owners of Malta), nine thousand of whom had held them for eight months against thirty-five thousand Turks, during the great siege of 1565; and the stately English iron-clads, which seemed to be always exercising their men, or standing out to sea to bang at a floating mark with their big guns for hours together.
But there were other and even more striking sights than these. There was the old city of Citta Vecchia, with its ruined aqueduct. There was the Church of St. Paul (the first built on the island), the ceiling of which is covered with magnificent frescoes, while the floor is one mass of precious stones, worked into portraits of the great men who lay beneath it. There was a cave, said to have sheltered St. Paul after his shipwreck, and containing a fine statue of him. There was the garden of St. Antonio, which, in the glory of the dazzling Southern sunshine, seemed the most beautiful of all. There was the armory of the Knights of St. John, where Frank saw numbers of huge bows, battle-axes, and two-handed swords; quaint old cannon, made of copper tubes covered with coils of rope, which usually burst at the fifth shot; and last, but certainly not least, an enormous helmet, as heavy and almost as big as a wash-tub, said to have been worn by a gigantic knight of the order, who, after defending the gate of Fort St. Elmo single-handed against a whole battalion of Turkish Janizaries, had at length to be blown bodily away with cannon-balls.
Austin did not forget to visit the Catacombs, which fully bore out Herrick's description of them. Far and wide the earth was honey-combed with these gloomy galleries, in which, hundreds of years before, the Christians of Malta had found refuge, while everything above-ground was being wasted with fire and sword by the destroying rage of the Saracens. Crumbling stone crosses, rudely carved names, antique burial-places, seamed the gloomy walls in every direction, while the skulls and bones of men, women, and children lay under foot like shells upon the sea-shore. In the fitful glare of his torch, the long dark robe and white corpse-like face of the monk who acted as guide might well have passed for one of the dead about whom he told so many ghastly stories; and Frank was not sorry to find himself in the bright sunshine once more. But on looking round him, he saw with amazement that he was now right on the opposite side of the mountain, several miles from the spot where he had entered it. And then his monkish guide, by way of a satisfactory wind-up, proceeded to relate, in his most dismal voice, how a gay party of English naval officers descended into this gloomy maze to make a complete exploration of it, and were never seen again.
On the last night of their stay in Malta, the Arizona's officers and crew went in a body to the opera-house (a fine building of gray stone), to hear a young American singer in La Sonnambula. At first the Maltese seemed disposed to find fault with her; but all adverse demonstrations were speedily overwhelmed by the uproarious applause of the English and American sailors. Even when the heroine made a false step in her crossing of the bridge, and tumbled bodily on to the floor of the stage, the gallant blue-jackets applauded as lustily as if this were the best part of the performance, though Jack Dewey afterward observed that "'twas a bad sign of any craft to capsize that way in a calm."
Next morning they were off, but not without a "hitch" or two before starting. At the last moment, the man who had been hurt at Gibraltar had to be sent ashore invalided, and another hand shipped in his place. Then two of the firemen were found to be missing, and turned up just in time to scramble aboard in what the chief engineer called "a strictly unsober condition." One of them, who seemed to be in a quarrelsome humor, was beginning to shout and abuse every one, when Captain Gray suddenly appeared beside him.
"Stop that noise," said he, very quietly, "and go forward at once."
"Pretty tall talk, that," growled the brawler. "I ain't a-goin' for'ard for nobody. One man's as good as another."
The words were barely out of his mouth, when the "quiet" Captain's clinched fist flew right into it, with a shock that made his teeth rattle like dominoes, and sent him sprawling on his back.
"Put that man in irons, Mr. Hawkins, and pass him down 'tween-decks," said the Captain, walking aft as if nothing had happened.
"Ay, he's the one to settle 'em," muttered old Herrick, nodding approvingly. "I tell ye, Frank, my boy, it's as hard to git off any foolin' on our 'old man', as to git a 'pology out of a middy."
"How's that?" asked Austin, seeing by the twinkle of the old quartermaster's eye that there was a good story coming.
"Ah, don't ye know that yarn? Well, it's worth hearin', too; I got it from a Britisher last time I was here. Ye see, there was a young middy aboard one o' Nelson's ships in the old war, who was always in some scrape or other; and one day the third officer, Mr. Thorpe, got riled with him, and called him a confounded young bear.
"'Well,' says the mid, quick as winkin', 'if I'm a bear, you're not fit to carry bones to a bear, anyhow.'
"'What! what!' cries Thorpe—'mutiny, as I live! You whelp, I'll teach you to talk that way to me!' and off he goes to the Cap'n, and reports him for disrespect to his superior officer.
"Well, the Cap'n calls up Mr. Middy, and tells him this sort o' thing won't do nohow, and he must either 'pologize or leave the ship. So the mid takes off his cap with a reg'lar dancin'-school bow, and says, 'Mr. Thorpe, I said just now that you were not fit to carry bones to a bear; I was wrong, and willingly apologize, for I now see that you are fit to carry them.'
"'Sir,' begins the Cap'n, in a voice like a nor'east gale.
"'Oh, Cap'n Mayne,' says Thorpe (who warn't bright 'nuff to see the joke), 'if the young gentleman sees his error, and takes back his words, I'm satisfied.'
"'Well,' says the Cap'n, bitin' his lips to keep from laughin', 'if you're satisfied, I am; but catch me ever trying to get an apology out of a midshipman again!'"
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
BY EDWARD CARY.
In the last chapter I told you how Washington kept the British out of Philadelphia during the winter of 1776 and 1777. The next year the British came around from New York by water with a large and fine army. Washington's army was badly trained, and many of them were new men. A bloody battle was fought below Philadelphia, on the Brandywine Creek, and the Americans were divided and beaten. The British marched into Philadelphia, and in spite of all that Washington could do, staid there that winter, and the Americans went into camp at Valley Forge, some twenty miles away. It was a terrible winter, and often the soldiers were "barefoot and otherwise naked," as Washington wrote to Congress, and food was often very hard to get. Some members of Congress found fault with Washington for not attacking the enemy. He answered, "I can assure these gentlemen that it is a much easier and less distressing thing to draw remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fireside than to occupy a cold bleak hill, and sleep under frost and snow without clothes or blankets." During the winter Mrs. Washington came on from Virginia, and shared her husband's log-hut.
But after the long, hard winter at Valley Forge, the spring of 1778 opened with new hopes. The French government had signed a treaty with the United States, agreeing to aid them with men and money, and a fleet of French ships was sent to America. The British finding Philadelphia hardly worth the hard fighting it had cost, since they could not get far away from it, or hurt the American army very much while in the city, got ready to leave it and go back to New York. Washington followed hard after them, and a heavy battle was fought at Monmouth, in New Jersey, from which neither side gained a great deal. The British got back into New York, and Washington took his men up the Hudson, and kept them there, watching a chance to join in some attack with the French troops who came to Newport, in the State of Rhode Island.
For the next three years there was not any very hard fighting under Washington's own command, but his cares were scarcely less. He had to keep watch of all that was going on, and to have his army ready to strike at a moment's warning. Waiting and watching were tedious work. They tried his patience and his firmness. A weaker man would have given up, but Washington was not any more easily tired than he was frightened. He held steadily to his task, and tried hard to keep his countrymen, many of whom were weary of the war, up to their duty.
At one time the cause of liberty was nearly ruined by a traitor. General Benedict Arnold tried to sell to the British a fort at West Point, on the Hudson River. If the British could have got that, the States north and east of New York would have been cut off from the rest, and probably they would have all been conquered. Happily the plot failed. This was in 1780.
The next year Washington really closed the war by a splendid move. A large army of the British had been sent to Virginia, under Lord Cornwallis, in hopes to cut the troops who were farther south off from connection with the North.
Washington sent a gallant young French General, Lafayette, whom he loved and trusted greatly, to prevent this. Lafayette had a small force, but he was quick and brave and shrewd, and he managed to get the British shut up in Yorktown, near the Chesapeake Bay. There he learned that a French fleet, under Comte de Grasse, would soon arrive. He sent urgent word to Washington to come South right away.
Washington straightway marched, with nearly all his army, and most of the French troops, for Virginia. They arrived on the 14th of September, 1781, just in time. The French fleet sailed up the bay, the American and French troops came down on the land side, and between them they shut the British General in the little village of Yorktown, and there they laid siege to his army.
When they had got pretty close to the town, they had to drive the British from some redoubts, or walls of earth and stone, behind which they had planted their cannon. This was done by a party of Americans under the gallant Lafayette, and a party of French soldiers. They marched steadily up to the redoubts, and springing over the walls, under heavy fire, drove the enemy out with their bayonets. It was a brave assault, and successful, and it was the last hard fighting of the war. On the 19th of October, Lord Cornwallis, seeing that he could hold out no longer, surrendered his army prisoners of war. It was a great victory, and was won with less loss of life than there might have been if it had been less skillfully fought, for Washington had managed so quietly and so quickly that he had surrounded Lord Cornwallis with nearly twice as many troops as the British General had.
After the surrender at Yorktown, Washington returned North, and on his way stopped at his home at Mount Vernon. He had slept there on his journey southward, a few weeks before, for the first time in nearly seven years, and he had found it sadly injured in his absence. During his second visit, his wife's son, Mr. Custis, died, leaving a son and a daughter, whom Washington adopted as his own, and tenderly cared for as long as he lived.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
MAKING MAPLE SUGAR.
When in the early spring-time the snow and ice have been so softened by the ever-increasing warmth of the sun's rays as to put an end to coasting, skating, and other winter sports of the North, a new source of amusement, equally fascinating to the children, is provided. It is maple-sugar making, with all the delights of life in the camp, or "sugar bush," as it is more generally called.
When the heat of the sun is sufficient to melt the snow, it is also powerful enough to send the sweet sap of the rock and sugar maples rushing through all the delicate bark veins up toward the branches and twigs. At night, when the sun has set, and the air is full of a nipping frost, the sap does not run; so, as it must be collected during the daytime, the boiling is very often done at night.
As the first sap of the season is the sweetest and most abundant, the sugar-makers are on the ground and making ready their camps upon the first indications of "sap weather," as they call it. The sap runs, according to locality, from the last of February until late in April, and the sugar season lasts about four weeks in each place.
When the farmer thinks that sap weather is about setting in, he calls his boys together; they load the big kettles and camp material on the ox sleds, and start for the "bush," or grove of maple-trees, which is often many miles from the house. When they reach the maple grove, all hands find plenty to do. If it is a warm day, the trees must be immediately tapped, and a couple of boys are started off with a sled-load of iron spiles, each about six inches long, and a quantity of sap buckets or short wooden troughs that have been cut out during the long winter evenings. A slight cut is made through the bark of each tree, or an auger hole is bored, a spile driven in directly beneath it, and at the foot of the tree is left a trough so arranged as to catch the sap as it drips from the end of the spile.
While the trees are being tapped, the men left in camp have been busy enough building the rude shanties of logs and spruce boughs that are to shelter them while they remain in the bush, cutting quantities of fire-wood, and swinging the great kettles into place on the iron bar that rests on two forked posts solidly fixed in the ground. Sometimes great shallow pans of iron, set upon rude foundations of stone, are used instead of the kettles, and the shanty in which the men live is often a very permanent structure of logs, that can be used for many years.
Late in the afternoon the sleds, each carrying a large cask or hogshead, are sent around to the maple-trees, all the sap buckets are emptied, and finally the casks, full of what tastes like sweetened water, are drawn slowly back to camp. The sap is poured into the big kettles, the fires lighted, and the "syruping down" begins. The pans or kettles are kept constantly full from the barrels of sap standing near by, and sometimes the bubbling liquid boils over. When it does this, a bit of bacon is thrown in, and the troubled waters subside.
The boiling is continued until the watery sap has been changed into a rich syrup, when it is drawn off into casks for future use, or into other iron kettles to be boiled again until it becomes sugar. This second boiling must be done very carefully, or the syrup will become burned and spoiled. It is constantly stirred with a long-handled wooden paddle, and both eggs and milk are often thrown in to purify it. The scum that rises to the top is carefully removed, and thrown out on the snow, to the delight of the children, who watch for it to cool and partially harden. They call it "maple candy" or "taffy," and regard it as a treat.
When by testing on the snow, or in cold water, the syrup is found to have boiled long enough, it is run into moulds, where it cools into cakes of maple sugar, or the kettle is lifted from the fire, and its contents stirred and beaten as they cool, until they become coarse brown sugar that can be used in cooking.
A VOYAGE ON AN ICE-BLOCK.
BY DAVID KER.
The breaking up of the ice in Russia is always a fine sight to look at, even upon a small stream like the Neva at St. Petersburg, which is a mere brook compared with the great rivers of the South. As soon as the spring thaw sets in, all the wooden bridges are removed, and nothing checks the descending ice but the stone piers of the Nikolaievski Bridge, named after its founder, the Czar Nicholas. Every morning, while the show lasts, the balustrades of this bridge are lined with a crowd of eager spectators, looking as intently at the wonderful sight as if they had never seen it before.
And a wonderful sight it is indeed. Far as the eye can reach, the smooth, dark surface of the river is one great procession of floating masses of ice, of all shapes and sizes, moving slowly and steadily downward.
But the place to see this famous sight at its best is the Volga, which, with its two thousand miles of length, brings down ice enough to overwhelm a whole city. At times the force of the current piles it up, sheet over sheet, into huge mounds, the crashing and grinding of which, as they dash against each other, make the very air shake. When the river is "moving," as the Russians call it, he would be a bold man who should attempt to take a boat across it; for, once caught between two of these moving islands, the strongest boat on the Volga would be crushed like an egg-shell.
So, doubtless, think the group of peasants who are standing upon the river-bank, one bright March morning, a mile or two below the great manufacturing town of Saratov, watching the endless procession of ice-blocks sweep past. Strange-looking fellows they are, with their flat sallow faces and thick yellow beards, their high boots smeared with tar instead of blacking, their rough caps pulled down over their eyes, and their heavy sheep-skin frocks with the wool inside. But, queer as they look, they are a merry set, laughing and joking unceasingly, and enjoying the spectacle like a party of youths at a circus.
"Come, now, Meesha [Michael], here's an open course; let us have a race across!"
"All right, Stepka [Stephen]; and as you're a friend of mine, I'll give you a half-minute start."
And then follows a loud laugh, for a little fun goes a long way in Russia.
But a sudden shout from one of the men draws everybody's attention, and he is seen pointing to a huge sheet of ice some distance up the stream. On its smooth white surface lies a dark, shapeless lump, perfectly still; and guesses begin to fly from mouth to mouth as to what this can be.
"A block of wood, I think."
"A dog, more likely."
"Too big—must be a bundle of hay."
A handsome young fellow, lately arrived in that district from the North, presses to the front, and fixing his keen eyes for a moment upon the mysterious object, says, emphatically, "Tchelovek!" (a man).
"A man?" echo two or three of his companions. "He must be frozen, then, for he don't seem to move a bit."
"Feodor [Theodore] has the best eyes among us, though," puts in another. "If he says a man, why, a man it must be."
"And so it is," shouts one who has run a little way up the bank; "and he's alive, too, for I saw him move his head just now."
By this time the ice-block had come near enough to let the strange object upon it be plainly seen. It was the figure of a man in a sheep-skin frock, doubled up in a crouching posture.
"We must help him, lads," cries Feodor; "it won't do to let a man perish before our eyes."
"Ah, my boy," answers an old man beside him, shaking his gray head, "it's easy to say 'help him,' but how are we to do it? Crossing the Volga when it's moving is not like dipping a spoon in a bowl of milk."
"I'll try it, anyhow," says Feodor, resolutely. "God cares for those who care for each other. I'll just run and get out my boat."
But as he was starting off to do so, a shout from the rest made him turn his head, and he saw something that stopped him short.
Just abreast of the spot where they stood three or four small islets, or rather sand-banks, lay close together in the centre of the stream. The huge fragment of ice upon which the man was crouching, turned sideways by the current, had just run upon the end of one of these banks, where it stuck fast.
"Now's the time," shouted Feodor, springing forward; "not a moment to be lost. A rope and a pole—quick!"
He was obeyed at once; for these rough fellows seemed to feel instinctively that he was the man for the occasion, and had a right to take the command. He twisted one end of the rope around his left arm, and running a little way up the bank, threw the other end to those who followed him, grasped the pole in his right hand, and bounded like a deer on to the nearest ice-block, the in-drawn breath of the excited lookers-on sounding like a hiss amid the dead silence.
Had any artist been there to paint the scene, it would have made a very striking picture. The sky had darkened suddenly, and a cheerless gloom brooded over the sullen river with its drifting ice, and the bare sandy ridges on either side, and the helpless figure stranded upon the islet, and the daring man winning his perilous way over the treacherous surface, and the group of anxious watchers on the shore, while the wind moaned drearily through the leafless trees, like a warning of coming evil.
But Feodor was not the man to be frightened by any such fancies, and on he went in gallant style, springing lightly from block to block, while the ice creaked and groaned beneath his weight, and the water splashed up all around him. Twice a cry of dismay burst from his comrades, as the ice upon which he leaped gave way under his feet. Once his way was barred by a gap too broad to be cleared; but with his pole he drew a passing fragment within reach, stepped upon it, and went forward again.
But now came a new peril. The stranded mass of ice for which he was aiming, thus stuck fast in the midst of the stream, formed a kind of breakwater, behind which the smaller lumps began to accumulate; and several of these, driven by the current beneath the great sheet, forced one end of it up, while the other was held fast by the sand-bank. Such a strain was too great to be long endured. Just as Feodor was almost within reach of the helpless man, the ice-floe upon which the latter lay split in two with a deafening crash, and the pent-up masses behind, all breaking loose at once, came down upon Feodor like an avalanche.
"God help him, he's lost!" muttered an old peasant, clasping his hands.
But Feodor was not to be caught so easily. Quick as lightning he planted the end of his pole on the nearest block, and with one bound was safe upon the islet, just as the ice torrent went rushing and roaring past. The next moment his hand was on the shoulder of the prostrate man.
"Up with you, man!" roared he, shaking him violently; "up with you, quick!"
But the man never moved. Either cold or fright, or both together, had plainly rendered him quite helpless.
For an instant Feodor stood perplexed; and then he seemed to have made up his mind what to do. Planting his feet firmly upon the rough ice, he gave a powerful thrust with his pole, which pushed the block clear off the sand-bank; and another shove sent it fairly out into the stream.
"Now, lads," shouted he, to his friends on the bank, who still kept their hold of the connecting rope, "pull with a will."
The men, seeing at once what he meant to do, pulled at the rope with all their might, while Feodor guided the floating mass with his pole. More than once a huge block bore down upon him so swiftly that a fatal collision appeared certain; but the young hero's skillful hand and eye carried him through, and five minutes later the rescued man and his deliverer were both safe on shore.
"Bravo!" cried his companions, crowding eagerly around him.
"Bravo!" echoed a strange voice from behind; and it was then seen that a handsome sleigh had halted beside the group, in which sat a tall, soldier-like man in uniform, at sight of whom the peasants doffed their caps and bowed low.
"What's all this?" asked the new-comer.
The story was soon told, and the stranger's face lighted up with a glow of hearty admiration as he heard it.
"Well done, my brave fellow!" said he, handing Feodor a bank-bill for twenty-five rubles ($19). "It's poor enough pay for such a day's work, after all; but if ever you're in want of money, come to me, and you shall have it, and welcome."
And away went the sleigh before Feodor could recover from his amazement, which was not lessened when half a dozen of his comrades, all speaking at once, informed him that this liberal stranger was no other than the Governor of Saratov himself.
 The Russian word is "molodetz" (literally "fine fellow"), answering to our familiar "bully boy."
Dancing round the May-pole— Oh, the merry sight! Little lads' and lassies 'Neath the sunshine bright. On her throne of daisies, Blossoms in her hair, Laughing 'mid her blushes, Sits the May-Queen fair.
O'er the sunny meadow Clover blossoms grow; Through the dainty grasses Spring's sweet zephyrs blow. Buttercups and daisies Lift their pretty heads, And watch the violets peeping From their fragrant beds.
Oh, the merry May-time With its charming hours, With its skies so tender, And its dainty flowers! Dance away, my children, Round your little Queen; May's bright birthday honor With a "dance upon the green."
THE HAPPY CLUB.
A RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS.
Take six little girls about ten years old; add three or four nice little boys, and mix them with the girls, taking care not to stir them up too much. Then take—
But perhaps you will understand it better if I tell you just how we did it.
This is how it began: I have a little friend named Annie, who comes to see me every Saturday. She tells me "all about everything," and we have very good times together. One day she told me a story she had read in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE about a poor little girl who finds a doll in an ash barrel.
"I think it is a very nice story," said Annie, "and that lady says that we could all make pretty things for sick children if we wanted to. Oh dear! I wish I had lots and lots of money!"
"It does not always take much money to make pretty things," I said. "You can make six elephants for thirty cents."
"True elephants?" asked Annie, opening her blue eyes so wide that I was afraid of an accident.
"No," I said, "but very tame elephants, made of gray flannel, and with red saddle-cloths."
"Oh, I don't think they are pretty," she said.
Then I told her how I had once bought two elephants, a big one and a small one, and sent them to a sick little girl. And how, when I had gone to see her, she had said to me: "Them ollifans is too nice for anything, and they don't never bite me at all. The big ollifan is the mother, and she keeps me company; and the little one comes and puts his big nose under my chin to get warm. Oh, I just love them!"
After that I bought one more elephant, and killed him, and used his skin for a pattern, and made several other elephants, to be loved by little children.
"I know what I will do," said Annie; "I will make some kittens. Won't that be nice?"
I thought it might be very nice, if we could get a good pattern. And as she wanted to begin immediately, we looked in a box where I keep all sorts of remnants, and found a piece of red plush, which Annie declared "would be just the loveliest thing for a kitten."
As I had never seen a red kitten, I was a little doubtful; but since that time I have seen kittens red and pink and blue, and the children to whom they are given always fall in love with them at first sight.
But our kittens were not made in one day. We found it so difficult to cut a pattern that would "look like anything" that we had to send to a special artist in the city; and during the winter we spent a whole dollar for patterns of animals.
How we became a club happened in this way:
Annie was so delighted with the idea of making pretty things for other children that she spoke of it to several little girls, who said that they would like to make pretty things too. Then they came to see me, and after talking it over we decided to go to work at once, and to call ourselves "a club." We were to meet every Saturday, in my sitting-room, and I was to be president, secretary, treasurer, cutter, and general manager.
At first it was to be strictly a "ladies' club"; but Louis, Annie's little brother, said he "wanted to be a club too," and as he is a very nice boy, we took him in, and also two other boys who applied for admission. There are ten of us—six girls, three boys, and myself.
Now I will tell you what we do, and how we do it.
The club meets a little before eleven o'clock every Saturday morning. The members bring their lunches, and all the pennies, toys, pieces, picture-books, and new "good ideas" they have been able to collect during the week. We sit around a table in a bright sunny room, with a large bay-window filled with green plants. On each side of the window are book-cases, and behind the glass doors of one of these you can see beautiful dolls, kittens, dogs, elephants, and a variety of other works of art. These are our "pretty things," which were, most truly, "born to be admired." A deep locked drawer under the shelves contains the raw material from which our wonders are made, and in the southeast corner of it is safely hidden the bank in which our precious pennies are kept.
During the first half hour we work, make plans, and exchange ideas. Then comes the request, "Please tell us a story; tell us about when you were a little girl." And as I am a very obedient "manager," I do as I am told.
At half past twelve we go into the dining-room, where we have "a picnic in the woods." The big table represents a shady grove, the sideboard is a hill, a large ivy at one end of the room is a summer-house, and we sit on rocks and fallen trees. This gives us a little change of air, and, as everybody knows, change of air gives people a good appetite.
When our picnic is over, we go to work again, and as we are all in pretty high spirits, we are very funny and witty, if not very wise. We relate anecdotes, recite short "pieces," sing, guess riddles and conundrums, we play "our minister's cat," and other games, and, as Louis says, "we have jolly old times.".
Speaking of picnics reminds me of something that happened at our last meeting. The Saturday before, I had told my little friends about the French apple-tarts my grandmother used to make for me—"little pies," she called them. And as every member of the club wanted to know how they were made, I wrote nine short recipes, so that they would be sure to remember.
This gave me a good idea for "a secret."
When we went to the dining-room last Saturday, the children were surprised to find the table covered with a red cloth which was evidently hiding something.
Then I made a little speech: "We will not have a picnic to-day, but we will eat our lunch quietly on the top of our shady grove. Guess what I have for you."
"And guess what we have for you," answered nine little voices.
Instead of guessing, I lifted the cloth, while they opened their lunch-baskets. Then we all stared, and said, "Oh!"—a great big Oh!—for in a moment the table was all covered with apple-tarts, and in the middle of the tarts there was a large round apple-pie. You see, I had made the big pie for the children to eat, and several tarts to be taken home to their mothers; and they had all tried my recipe, and made tarts for the children, and some for me. So we had fifty-six tarts and the pie!
It would take too long to tell you everything about our little club; but so far it has been a success; and we have learned by experience how much pleasure can be given to others with a little trouble, and a great deal of goodwill.
As we shall not be able to do much sewing when the warm weather comes, we intend to do garden-work, and send plants and flowers to our little friends who have no gardens of their own. We are already making delightful plans for flower beds, hanging baskets, and window boxes, filled with nasturtiums, sweet-peas, and mignonette. And our plans look so beautiful on paper that I can almost smell the flowers.
And now do you not think that we were right to call our club the "Happy Club"?
A LETTER PROM A LAND TURTLE.
BY ALLAN FORMAN.
My young master said that he was going to write a letter to YOUNG PEOPLE about me, but Charley Bates just came in and asked him to go out and play, and I guess that he has forgotten all about it. My master don't know as much about me as I do myself, anyhow, and I have never told him anything, so I don't see how he could write. He has left me on his table, and I just looked over the edge, and it is 'most a mile high, I guess, so I won't try to get down. I'll take his pen and tell you some things about my life and adventures. You need not think that because I am only a turtle I have had no adventures.
I was born of an adventurous family. My great-grandfather was dropped by an eagle on the head of AEschylus, the Grecian poet, the eagle having mistaken the poet's bald head for a stone, and it is from my great-grandfather, who, as you see, was so closely brought into contact with one of the most learned heads of ancient Greece, I inherit my talent for literature. Another relation of mine, an uncle on my mother's side, was the principal in the great walking match which is so graphically described by AEsop. But enough of my family. I promised to tell you something about my life. I am so sleepy that I don't know as I can make it very interesting.
You see, we turtles stay awake all summer, and sleep all winter; we are hibernating animals, my master says. At first I thought that he meant that we were of Irish extraction, and as I am very proud of my Greek descent, the next time I saw the dictionary on the floor I found the word. If you don't know what it means, you had better look it out too: you will remember it better than if I told you.
My master read about a cousin of mine who lived for a time with a Reverend Mr. Wood, and ate bread and milk, and climbed on the footstool, and did all sorts of tricks; so he came and dug me out of the nice hole where I was asleep for the winter, brought me into his room, and before I was fairly awake thrust my head into a saucer of milk. Of course I would not eat. Then he tried to make me climb; but I was so bewildered that I drew in my head and shut up my shell. My master went out, saying, "Mr. Wood is a humbug, anyway." I waited till all was quiet, then I took a survey of the room. I began to feel hungry, as you may imagine, for I had eaten nothing since the first of November; so I crawled over to the saucer of milk, and drank it all. How I did laugh when my master came in and I heard him say, "That cat has been here and drunk all the turtle's milk"!
Since then he has watched me very closely. He gave me a piece of banana the other day, and it was very good. Sometimes he gives me a few earth-worms, of which I am especially fond; and there are four flies in the room—there were five, but I caught one and ate him: he was delicious. I mean to have the others before long. The way in which I catch them is this: I lie perfectly still in the sun, and when one comes along, I snap him. Flies are generally too quick for me, but I am very patient.
The first thing that I can remember is that I lived on a sand-bank with thirteen brothers and sisters. We used to eat flies and little insects then, and as we were very lively, we could catch them easily, and I think that the flies were more plenty. We grew very fast at first, and we soon wandered off, and were separated. For the next two years of my life I travelled, living near strawberry beds in the spring, then among raspberry and blackberry bushes, and finally in pear and apple orchards. I lived mostly upon insects, only taking a bite of strawberry or pear for a relish. I have heard my master say that I always picked out the best-looking pears to bite; but that is only fair, for if I did not eat up the insects, he would not have any best-looking pears at all, so I don't think that he ought to grumble.
It was in a pear orchard that one of the happiest events of my life took place. It was while eating pears that I met my Matilda Jane. Oh, she was the most lovely young turtle that you can imagine! Her beautifully rounded shell, with its delicate markings in black and "old gold," which was just then coming into fashion, her snake-like head and neck, and her beautiful bright yellow eyes, gave her the well-deserved name of "The Belle of the Village." We loved each other at the first, and for some time we were inseparable, until one morning, when my master's father was coming to the city, I was picked up, wrapped in a newspaper, and packed off to Brooklyn, that I might "kill the slugs in the garden," I heard my master say. For two weary years I lived alone in the garden, thinking only of my Matilda Jane. You can imagine my joy when, this fall, four more turtles were brought and placed in the yard, and one of them was my long-lost friend! I knew her immediately, from her having the letters "A. F., 1869," cut on her shell. Ever since that joyful meeting we have lived very happily together.
Of course we have troubles, like every one else, but they mostly arise outside our own household. There was one old turtle who used to put on airs because he had "Adam, year 1," cut on his shell; but my Matilda stopped his boasting by telling how she saw my master cut the name at the same time that he marked her. Old Adam, as we used to call him, sneaked off, and I have not seen him since.
I want to tell you one thing more, and then I will be done. Perhaps you don't know how the little turtles are born. The mamma turtle finds a quiet, secluded place where the soil is sandy; there she digs a hole, and lays from twelve to thirty eggs. The eggs are perfectly round, and about an inch in diameter. They do not have shells like birds' eggs, but they are covered with a coating like parchment. After she has laid her eggs she covers them up, and leaves them to be hatched by the heat of the sun. In about three weeks the young turtles make their appearance; they are not much larger than a silver fifty-cent piece. They are very lively, and are very cunning about hiding when any one comes near their home. They grow very rapidly, however, and in a short time wander away, as I did. I hope that you will all remember that turtles more than pay for the fruit that they eat by keeping your gardens free from worms and insects; and I trust that you will let your pet turtles sleep through the winter, and not keep them awake to study about them as my master has done.
Yours truly, LAND TURTLE.
FUN IN A CHINESE SCHOOL-ROOM.
BY WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS.
These five Chinese boys (except the one whose ear is being pulled) are having fine fun. The Fu-tse, or old teacher, has gone out of the room for a few minutes to fill his tobacco pouch. Let us look round and see what kind of school-rooms they have in China, and how the pupils study.
The boys in this case are all of one family, and the old gentleman is their private tutor. He is white-bearded and shaven-pated, and has rather long finger-nails, as the fashion is in China among those who do not have to work with their hands. Long finger-nails with them are like white hands and tapering fingers among us.
The floor of the room is of stone set in squares like a checker-board. It is very pleasant and cool in summertime, and in all weathers the lads keep on their velvet and maple-wood shoes. These are thick-soled and warm, slightly turned up at the end, but do not "draw" the feet, as our leather or rubber shoes do. The three younger boys wear embroidered coats. All except the "baby" have plaits of hair on the side of the head; but the little fellow, who is not yet six years old, still wears the very young child's circle of hair.
Every day or so their heads are neatly shaved; and when they are twelve years old, there will be a family party, and each one will lose his boyish locks, and begin to raise a "pigtail," or queue, which hangs down his back. Then they will feel as proud as our boys when they sport their first attempt at a mustache.
The walls of the school-room are plain, but are not complete without the usual picture of the bamboo swaying in the wind or soughing in the moonlight. The Chinese have thousands of stanzas and ditties of which the graceful bamboo is the subject.
Notice the tables: they are of hard polished wood, with colored marble tops. The seats are of round hollow wood, with leather tops. They look like ginger jars with paper covers. On these the boys sit while tracing the characters which we see on real Chinese tea boxes (for those made in New York are almost always upside down, as if they had turned a somersault). Every boy must learn from two hundred to ten thousand of these characters, and many years of hard study are required. Their books, ink-stones, brush-pens, water-pot, and pen-rests are all on the table. They use "India" ink, and write with a brush.
In learning their lessons the scholars study out loud, and a Chinese school-room is a very noisy place, and worse than the buzzing of many bee-hives.
When a boy has learned his lesson he comes to the teacher, and then "backs his book"; that is, he hands his book to the instructor, and then turns his back, so as not to see the page or face of the teacher, and then recites. At the same time he holds out two of his fingers, first of one hand and then of the other, beating them up and down alternately, like a music leader beating time.
The boys in the picture have become tired of so much sitting; so, as soon as the cat leaves the room, the mice begin to play. One of them mounts the table, taking the master's wooden seat with him. On this he poses himself, foot over knee, and dons Fu-tse's hat, on which is the crystal button and horse-hair plume, of which all dignified men are very proud. He quickly anchors the huge goggle spectacles astride his nose, with the aid of the guy-ropes around his ears, seizes the empty pipe in one hand, and with fan in the other, calls out to the oldest boy to "back his book."
The big boy begins to see-saw his fingers up and down, and to bawl out his lesson, but quickly turns round to see the fun. The next oldest boy is pulling the ears of "the baby," who squeals out, while the boy on the floor, who pretends to be in disgrace, and can not rise, calls on the teacher to speak to the mischievous urchin.
But the old Fu-tse has heard the squealing and the racket, and is hurrying along the corridor to see what is the matter.
What will be done? There will be no rattan or ruler used, or ears boxed, but each one will receive a lecture on propriety, and an extra lesson. The bigger boys will be ordered to learn fifty new characters, and the smaller ones will each have a longer copy to write after school.
MOTHER GOOSE'S MAY PARTY.
BY AGNES CARR.
It was May-day, and the sun popped out of bed early that morning to wake up the little birds and flowers, that they might clear their throats, and wash their bright faces in dew, by the time the old woman had swept the cobwebs from the sky, and left a beautiful blue roof over Gooseneck village; for they knew it was the 1st of May, and that dear old Mother Goose, who taught the Kindergarten, or infant school, was going with all her little scholars to have a May party under the trees in the merry green wood.
And the children knew it too, and they were all on hand bright and early—Tommy Green and Johnny Stout, Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo-peep, Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue in a brand-new suit of clothes, and Goldilocks with her yellow hair flying in the wind, Tom, the Piper's son, and poor Simple Simon, the dunce of the school, with many others that we have known and loved—and all brought baskets filled with good things for their dinner.
"Oh, won't we have fun!" said Margery Daw to Jacky Horner. "I hope you have got something nice in that big basket of yours."
"Yes, indeed," said Jack. "Cook made me a lovely pie, and stuffed it just full of plums. I will try and pull one out for you;" and he lifted up the napkin over the basket, and was trying to break a hole in the pie-crust, when Mother Goose came in, and seeing him, said, "Here, here, Master Jack! keep your fingers out of the pie. I never saw such a boy. He sticks his thumb into everything, from Christmas pies to inkstands."
"Oh, Mother Goose, do let us start!" shouted the children.
"Yes, yes, my dears, very soon. We are only waiting for Contrary Mary. I have sent Nimble Dick for her; and here they come now."
Sure enough, there was heard a jingling of bells, and in danced Mary, quite contrary, with her fingers covered with rings, and her apron filled with flowers from her garden, with which to make a wreath for the May-Queen.
And now they all started, walking two and two, with Mother Goose at the head, holding the youngest scholar, Baby Bunting, tight by the hand, for fear he should fall down and tear his new rabbit-skin overcoat, while Tom, the Piper's son, played "Over the hills and far away" on his pipe, and all the little folks danced and skipped along to the gay tune.
When they reached the pleasant wood, they were all glad to sit down on the green moss and rest awhile; and Mother Goose said, "The first thing is to choose a May-Queen: now who shall it be?"
"Goldilocks!" "Goldilocks!" shouted the children, for they all loved the dear little girl with pretty hair and sweet blue eyes.
"Oh, no, no!" said Goldilocks, and she hid behind Tommy Tucker.
But they made her come out and sit on a throne formed of Miss Muffet's tuffet, scattered over with wild violets and May-flowers, which grew all around; and Contrary Mary put a beautiful crown of "roses and lilies and daffadown-dillies" on her golden curls, and she looked just the dearest little May-Queen in all the world.
Then all the children joined hands, and danced round the throne, singing,
"Hail to the Queen of May On this our festal day! Gay flowers we'll bring, Sweet blossoms of spring, To crown our Queen of May."
The little Queen then gave each one a flower, and let them kneel and kiss her tiny white hand; and then they scattered through the woods, and played "Oats, peas, beans," tag, and other games, until Little Boy Blue blew a blast on his horn, which meant "Come to dinner"; and when they all came running back at the call, they found Mother Goose had a table-cloth spread on the grass, and all the biscuits, cake, and fruit from their baskets set out on green leaves, while in the centre stood Jack Horner's pie, a bowl of curds and whey that Miss Muffet brought, and a plate of strawberry tarts sent by the Queen of Hearts; and Jack and Jill were bringing a pail of nice cold water from the spring.
How hungry they all were, too, and how good everything tasted! while they had such a laugh at little Miss Muffet, who screamed and ran away when a great daddy-long-legs walked across the table.
They ended the feast with the plum pie, which the little Queen cut, and gave every one a piece; and they all said it was so nice. Jack Horner felt quite proud, and thought he was a bigger boy than ever.
After everything was eaten up, Margery Daw and Little Bo-peep washed the dishes, while Little Boy Blue went fast asleep under the fence, and Mother Goose told all the little ones a story, until the cobwebs began to come over the sky, and the sun whispered to the little birds and flowers it was time to shut their peepers for the night, when they started for home, Goldilocks the Queen riding in the middle of the procession on big John Stout's shoulder; and when they bade their teacher a tired but happy good-night, all said they had had the nicest kind of a day, and hoped next year Mother Goose would give them another May party.
SOUTH NORWALK, CONNECTICUT.
I have two large Maltese cats—one nine and the other three years old—a dog, and a parrot. The oldest cat is named Meow, and the other Maltie Beeswax. We called him that, because he sticks so. If he gets in our laps, there is no getting rid of him. He will jump through my hands held three feet high. The parrot does not talk much, because it is tongue-tied. She calls "papa," and screams when she wants to get out of her cage. The dog Spry is the cunningest of all. His body and color are like a black and tan; but his nose is shaggy, like a Scotch terrier, which makes him look very funny. He will sit up, and clap his paws together, and say patty-cake. The way he does it he growls, whines, and barks while some one else says the words. If he don't like what is given him to eat, we only have to say, "Give it to me," and he will eat it all up rather than let any one else have it.
M. F. LE C.
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SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA.
I am eight years old. My home is near the sea. There are a great many visitors here in the summer, and they bathe in the surf. We have no snow here. The hills are already covered with green (April 4), and soon there will be a great many wild flowers. My teacher reads stories to us from HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
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On the 23d of March I picked some willow "pussies." They were the largest I have ever seen here. I think it was very early for them up in this cold country.
MAY L. B.
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BENTON, NEW YORK, April 10, 1880.
I found the first trailing arbutus in full bloom to-day. It was very fragrant and pretty. We take YOUNG PEOPLE, and like it very much. I have a pet rabbit that is pure white.
LOUISE D. T.
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FORT KLAMATH, OREGON, April 1, 1880.
I like YOUNG PEOPLE better and better all the time, and it seems as if Tuesday was longer coming than any other day in the week, because that is the day I get my paper. The snow is so deep that the mail-carrier has a hard time getting 'way out to this fort to bring us our letters and papers, and it is almost night sometimes before he gets here. I told you that I had a little brother and a dog to play with, and a pair of snow-shoes to go about the country on, so I send you a sketch that, looks just like us when we are out on the parade-ground playing.
SOPHIE L. W.
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DUNKIRK, NEW YORK.
I am six years old. I can read the letters in "Our Post-office Box" myself. I have three little sisters. Helen and Ethel like to look at the pictures in YOUNG PEOPLE, and hear the stories read. I have a pet dog. His name is George William. He has a bad trick. He steals eggs, and will drive the hens off the nests to get them.
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I wish to thank the children through YOUNG PEOPLE for sending me so many nice presents since I wrote. A great many of those who have written to me have inquired my age. I am sixteen, but I have been to school only two years in my life. When I was between seven and eight years old, I was taken sick, and six years ago my feet were taken off. Since then I have been at school nearly two years, and before I was taken sick I had learned to read a little. I am not as well educated as I would be if I had been well, like other boys. My home is in Edna, Polk County, Minnesota. When I wrote before, I was staying with a friend in Crookston.
ELMER R. BLANCHARD.
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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN.
I tried Puss Hunter's little recipe too, but I put frosting on my cake. I made a mistake, and put it in a jar with dried beef. When I treated a slice to the folks, they laughed at me, and said it tasted as if it was flavored with ham. I like YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like the little letters best of all.
MAY W. (10 years).
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BELLERIVE, SWITZERLAND, April 5, 1880.
I noticed in YOUNG PEOPLE of March 16 that it was time to look for violets and anemones. I wish to tell you that I have already found them here, and also the "pussies." I am fourteen years old, and I am at school here in Vevey, on Lake Geneva.
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FOX LAKE, WISCONSIN.
Here is a recipe for water cookies that my sister asked me to send to Puss Hunter for her cooking club: One cup of sugar; one-half cup of butter; one-half cup of water; caraway seeds; flour enough to make it very stiff. Roll very thin, and sprinkle with sugar after putting the cookies in the pan.
H. F. P.
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BAILEY'S MILLS, FLORIDA.
I am staying now on Lake Miccosukie, which is ten miles long and from two to three miles wide. About two miles from the lake the outlet sinks into the ground. The Miccosukie Indians once lived here. There is a large live-oak where they used to dance around their scalp pole at the green-corn feast. I have some pieces of pottery and arrow-heads; some are very pretty. General Jackson fought the Indians here, and drove them across the lake. There is an Indian mound near here which has large trees growing on the very top. I wonder who made it, and what for. The trees here are in full leaf, and many are in bloom (April 13). The orange-trees are filled with fruit.
WILLIE L. B.
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I am ten years and five months old. I read YOUNG PEOPLE every week. The answer to the "Personation" in No. 24 is Queen Charlotte of England, wife of George the Third. She was married in 1761, and died in 1818. The town in which I live is named for her. It was incorporated by the Colonial Legislature in 1762. Two miles southeast of this town is Monticello, the former residence and now the burial-place of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, and former President of the United States. One mile southwest from here is the University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson. When I am old enough I hope to become a student there.
HARRY A. G.
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I once had a gray fox, but one night he got loose, and a dog killed him. Last spring I bought a 'coon, and kept him all summer. He was very cunning, but my fox was the best. He would play hide-and-seek with me for hours. Will you please tell me what minnows eat, and must I change the water every morning and evening? Sometimes I leave the water unchanged for days, and the fish seem livelier. I caught them in a ditch.
WILLIS E. L.
Minnows may be fed the same as gold-fish (see YOUNG PEOPLE No. 6). Once a day is sufficient to change the water, although if you have certain kinds of water-plants in your globe or aquarium, the water may go unchanged for days, and still remain pure.
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I am a little girl only ten years old. I live on a farm in Cherokee County, Georgia. Last summer I began to make a collection of insects, but did not succeed very well. Will you please tell me what is the best way to kill and preserve them?
KATIE R. P.
The best method of catching butterflies and insects is with a net, which can be made in the following manner: Take a common barrel hoop, and slit off a strip about a quarter of an inch wide. Of this make a hoop about a foot in diameter, and fasten it with wire to a light rod about a yard long. Then take a round piece of mosquito netting about three-quarters of a yard in diameter, and bind it firmly to the hoop. Insects captured with a net do not get broken as if caught rudely with the hand. When your treasure is secured, gather the net in your hand, thus confining the insect in a very small space. Then dose it carefully with a few drops of ether, which should be poured on the head. This will probably kill the insect at once; but should it a few moments later show any signs of life, another drop will finish it. The advantage of ether is that it evaporates quickly, and leaves the color and texture of the insect uninjured. The best way to mount your specimens is to have thin pieces of cork glued to the bottom of your case, to which the insect is fastened by a long slender pin stuck through its body. If you have no corks, soft pine wood will do. You must mount your specimen and arrange its wings and feelers immediately, as it soon becomes stiff and brittle, and will break if handled. The great enemies of a collection of insects are mice and moths. Mice will ruin the result of a whole summer's work in a single night if they can get at it. But a little care and forethought will guard against the ravages of these mischievous destroyers.
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I had a young wild rabbit that grew so tame I could let it out in the yard to eat grass and clover. It would also eat bread and milk out of a dish. I liked it very much. When I caught it I put it in a wire cage, and fed it, and it soon got tame, and played around the kitchen most of the time. I am sorry to say that my little sister squeezed it to death. I am twelve years old, and I live on a farm one mile west of Kenosha. I have three brothers and three sisters, and I am the oldest of them all. Five of us go to school in Kenosha.
E. B. C.
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HORACE C. W.—See YOUNG PEOPLE No. 18, page 232.
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MATTIE L.—There are so many good books of the kind you require, that it is difficult to say which is "best."
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A. H. E., and OTHERS.—We receive a very large number of puzzles from our youthful correspondents. If no answer accompanies them, they are not examined. If the solution is one we have already published, it can not be used again. Good puzzles are always welcome, but even after being accepted, they may wait weeks before their turn comes to be printed.
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"SUBSCRIBER," CLEVELAND.—The composition for making ink-rollers consists of glue and molasses, the proportions varying from about two pounds of glue in summer to one pound in winter for one quart of molasses. The glue should be soaked about half an hour. The water should then be poured off, and the glue heated until it melts. Then pour in the molasses, and stir it well. It should now be boiled slowly for about an hour before it is poured into the mould, which should be well oiled. You will find it much more difficult than at first appears to make a good ink-roller, and it will be as cheap in the end for you to buy them. If you take proper care of one, it will last a long time. Do not wash it immediately after use, as that tends to make it harder. When it appears clogged with ink, rub it with oil an hour before you wish to use it, and scrape it clean with the back of a knife.
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OLAF T.—As we can not examine your telescope, it is difficult to tell where the trouble lies. Possibly the diameter of your tube is too small for the increased size of your glass.
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W. T. CHAFIN.—The authorship of the Arabian Nights is unknown. Antoine Galland, who was employed by Colbert to collect manuscripts in the East, first made the work known in Europe about the end of the seventeenth century. From internal evidence the middle of the fifteenth century has been fixed upon as the probable period of the composition of these wonderful tales.
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R. E. S. VANSANT.—There are about 38,000 distinct words in the English language. About 23,000 of these are of Anglo-Saxon origin. The vocabulary of the new edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary contains about 118,600 words, including derivatives, compounds, etc.; 3000 or 4000, however, are all that are in common use for oral or written communication. The Old Testament contains 5642 different words, Milton uses about 8000, and Shakspeare about 15,000. Only about 300 words are in ordinary use for telegraphic business messages.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
My first is in lost, but not in found. My second is in earth, but not in ground. My third is in no, but not in yes. My fourth is in doubt, but not in guess. My fifth is in stir, but not in mix. My sixth is in set, but not in fix. My seventh is in ocean, but not in land. My eighth is in rise, but not in stand. My whole is a modern painter's name, Emblazoned high on the roll of fame.
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First, an adverb of time. Second, to possess. Third, without end. Fourth, a Roman Emperor.
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I am composed of 18 letters. My 10, 2, 18, 17 is indisputable. My 4, 3, 14, 8, 15 is a color. My 1, 8, 7 is a boy's name. My 13, 5, 9, 8 is a flower. My 16, 12, 6 is arid. My 6, 5, 11 is a pronoun. My whole is a noted event of the Revolutionary war.
W. R. S.
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My first is in joy, but not in sorrow. My second is in lend, but not in borrow. My third is in fast, but not in slow. My fourth is in whiff, but not in blow. My fifth is in whole, but not in half. My sixth is in heifer, but not in calf. My seventh is in song, but not in hymn. My eighth is in hoop, but not in rim. My ninth is in fancy, but not in whim. My hidden whole, when it is found, Is the name of a statesman much renowned.
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In merit. A song. A boy's name. A part of the body. In merit.
M. E. N.
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A promenade. A Swiss canton. A feast. Fidelity. To enlighten. To compute. Answer—Primals form the first name and finals the second name of a celebrated man of the sixteenth century.
W. F. B.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 24.
Birds of a feather flock together.
G arli C E nigm A O pa L M imi C E m U T oi L R oulea U Y e S
R U L E R U N I T E L I T H E E T H E L R E E L S
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Decapitated Charade, on page 328—Prelate.
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A Personation, on page 328—Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of George the Third of England.
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Favors are acknowledged from Gracie Allen, John W. Gebhart, Grace Whitney, Walter Vassar, Erne Werner, Edna Hamilton, Charles H. O., E. D. Jennings, Adella B., S. A. S., Maud M., James A. S., J. M. Wolfe, Maggie Taylor, Inez, Fred Lewis, J. B. La Rue, S. B. Pray, Nell B. MacD., Susie Leavens, L. W.
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Correct answers to puzzles are received from Louise Goff, May Burt, Vanderbilt Olmstead, Fannie and Florence M., G. W. Raymond, Lulu Pearce, Susie Benedict, Camilla W. M., Birdie Randolph, Eva Castle, Elsina Murphy, Cora M. Kay, Barrett Eastman, "North Star" and "Little Lizzie," Carrie March, J. MacClintock, Bertha Collom, G. C. Macintosh, Alice Hammond, A. A. True, Percy MacGeorge, William D. G., Katie and Frankie L., Edward C., Jennie H., Fred Brown, Willie MacInnes, H. K. Pryer, Maude and Morton H., Lulu A. G., Alice B., Fred C., Nellie D.
In answer to Wiggle No. 10, given in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 21, more than three hundred drawings have been sent in. Nearly one-third of these were correct answers to the Wiggle. Of the remainder a variety have been selected, and are published on page 376. With them is also given new Wiggle No. 11. The following list is of those who furnished drawings to the Wiggle, but who did not happen to catch our artist's idea:
Wildrake, P. Schmauss, Herbert A. Donalds, Virgil Cuming, Percival Kile, H. E. S. or E. H. S., Miss Stoddard's Friend, Emma R. Bullock, P. A., Mark Manly, C. B. A., Sadie, F. Johnson, John Miller, Atkinson, Charley Jacquemin, H. Starrett, Ned Burgess, Minnie K., Eva M. Prichard, Tom Ascat, W. P. H., W. W. N., Leon M. Fobes, Mamie B. Luck, G. B. Wendell, Jun., Mary Parker, W. G. Howard, H. H. Gottsleben, Harry Austin, Edith Worden, James B. Curtis, L. D. Denison, L. N. B., W. E. Sutliff, E. J. B., A. Hussey, Millie B. Suter, J. L. B., J. H. M., B. H. Smith, Lottie A. Cheshire, Nannie Hays, C. H. S., Anna H. Wierum, J. R. Glen, W. J. Baird, E. H. Baird, A. D. F., Charlie S. S., Minnie S. Moore, Josie Vail, Bessie Swain, Frank Freeman, Frank Richards, J. A. C., Etta Rice, B. W., S. W., Maggie Locke, J. F. S., B. P. W., Robert Hoyt, Joseph A. Calley, G. F. Tilton, Myron Vorce, Walter I. Swanton, Nellie Tompkins, Anna Morrison, Helen Hilder, Celetta M. G., W. Seymour, Charles Conner, William Haskill Spiller, Winthrop, J. T. S., Charlie Huntington, Harry B. Poinier, H. M., F. Johnson, G. B. A., H. L. B., S. W., B. W., Maggie Locke, May Sowans, Helen Wilder, Joseph H. Calley, Robert Hoyt, B. P. W., J. F. S., Herbert C. Chievers, J. A. C., Minnie S. Moore, Charlie S. S., Frank Richard, W. H. Baird, F. C. Roumage, J. R., Fanny, Dick, Jennie, Sam, Joe, R. B., Racy Smelt, Daisy Wood, William Winslow, Percy F. Jamison, F. G. R., Hobart Walker, Bessy F., B. E. S., Harold Strebeigh, Katrina Tancre, Willie Dibbler, Clara Jaquith, Ernest Tompkins, J. S. Simmons, G. A. Page, Lucie J. Ruprecht, Charlotte and Sophy McLean, Charley Robbins, Susie C. Hallock, Theo. F. John, Fannie A. Hartwell, M. Trowbridge, Dorsey Coate, Ripley C. Anthony, Carrie S. B., Bertie Valentine, Jack Guyton, Carl Parcells, Harry Swanton, Sadie Cooke, Johnnie Cooke, Charlie Cooke, Arthur E. Trainer, E. L. Burchard, Bessie C. Hull, Loren Boree, R. E. Stroud, Bessie, Charles H. Luther, Bessie Longnecker, Arabella, C. J. A., Louise D. Blake, Maud Hull, Morton Hull, Harry R. Bartlett, J. H. Bartlett, Jun., Lora Scudamore, Fanny H., Julia D. Stryker, Johnny Truller, Mitty, Harry, Arthur M. Morse, Nora S. H., Bessie McLachlin.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates—payable in advance, postage free:
SINGLE COPIES $0.04 ONE SUBSCRIPTION, one year 1.50 FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, one year 7.00
Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the Number issued after the receipt of order.
Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid risk of loss.
The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
THE ROYAL MIDDY,
A Sailor Suit of fine English Blue Serge, a very light weight fabric, consisting of blouse and pants. The blouse has a wide sailor collar, with anchor worked in corners, buttons to correspond. Handsomely bound with wide worsted binding.
Sizes, 2-1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6 yrs. Prices, $6.00, $6.25, $6.50, $6.75, $7.00.
Same style, in brown or blue Flannel or Ladies' Cloth.
Sizes, 2-1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6 yrs. Prices $2.75, $2.90, $3.05, $3.20, $3.35.
Mailed or expressed to any part of the United States on receipt of price.
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Ladies living at a distance, who cannot come to our establishment in person, will find full illustrations, descriptions, and prices of our Ladies' and Misses' Suits, Boys' Clothing, Underwear, Infants' Wear, Millinery, Shoes, &c., in our "FASHION QUARTERLY," the Spring Number of which is now ready—a volume of 114 pages, containing the best literary matter and the best Exposition of Spring styles offered to the public. Mailed free on receipt of 15 cents.
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Eighth Ave., between 24th and 25th Sts.
FINE TROUT TACKLE.
We offer a fine 3 Joint Fly Rod, 15 yard Brass Reel, 100 ft. Linen Line, 3 Flies, 3 Hooks to gut, & Leader, complete, by express for $5.00; by mail, postpaid, $5.50; sample Flies by mail, postpaid, 10c. each; per doz., $1.00; complete Catalogue Free.
PECK & SNYDER, Manufacturers,
124 and 126 Nassau St., N. Y.
Harper's New and Enlarged Catalogue,
With a COMPLETE ANALYTICAL INDEX, and a VISITORS' GUIDE TO THEIR ESTABLISHMENT,
Sent by mail on receipt of Nine Cents.
HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE, N. Y.
R. SIMPSON, 132 Nassau Street, N. Y.
All those in the following list have caught our artist's idea, and have sent in Wiggles of chickens resembling his:
Millie B. Stiler, R. Starrett, Alfred Strenlie, Birdie Selden, G. Dudley Kyte, C. B., Willie H. Spiller, Bertha A. Fahys, Gertie and Will, F. S. March, George W. Beatty, Charlie Huntington, Edith Worden, C. F. Teed, May Sowans, F. Victor Myers, J. L. B., C. Nick W., Annie Jones, Hobart Nichols, A. H. S., Philip P. Gruger, Frank L. Brewer, F. B. Ham, B. H. Smith, Jun., Harold Strebeigh, Sarah, Hugh C. Smyth, Hobart Walker, Arthur Bingham, Jennie Graves, Harry Moore, Bessy Norton, Eddie Warren, Frank M. Richards, S. P. Higgins, Vallie Moss, Howard Rathbone, Bertie Shallenberger, Mannie E. Hartwell, Gardener H., B. C. Vrooman, Gertrude M. F., A. L., John Swanton, A. L. Pearse, M. E. S. Kenyon, A. C. Pearsons, A. H. C., John Moody, Maude Buckner, F. B., W. P. H., S. and C. McL., Lawron Hooper, M. H. Winand, Bert C. Sale, Adde A., L. F. Watson, O. Basquin, Gracie Allen, C. L. S., J. T. Hill, Metz. Hayes, Edward Chamberlin, R. L. Jones, Marcel Ferrand, 'Ittle Freddie, Harry B. McGraw, C. H. S., Three Groves, T. A. C., Jamie K. Pirkins, H. F. P., F. T. Johnson, Gerald Dillon, D. J. Reinhart, J. T. Ingrhram, Jun., Poor, G. Frank Jacquemin, Alice M. A., Frankie, Irving, A. V. H., T. F. Reese, Mab, H. and B., Paul McKean, Annie E. Coombs, Frank H. Richardson, T. T., Louis How, Arthur N. Thompson, Stuart P. Shears, J. MacAllen.