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VOL. I.—NO. 50. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, October 12, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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BY ELINOR VEY.
The first time I ever saw Coachy she was scratching about on the garden walk, kicking the dirt out in two ways behind her, and then nimbly hitching back a step or two and staring and pecking at the hole that she had made. Every little while she said something to herself in a comical drawling tone, standing on one foot, and looking up at me with curious eye, as if wondering who I was, and what in the world I was there for. But who was Coachy?—an old yellowish-brown hen, all tousled and sort of round-shouldered. As I was laughing quietly at this old hen scratching, and kicking, and pecking, and crooning about on the garden walk, it occurred to me to toss the least bit of a stone at her. So picking one up, I took aim, when, click! click! upon the porch I heard a pair of slippers. They were down the steps in no time, with their cunning toes pointing straight toward mine. I put that stone into my pocket, and took off my hat to "little slippers." They were blue as the softest blue sky—little slippers—and ever and ever so small. Mine had purple worsted flowers all over them, big flat heels, and were ever and ever so large. Inside those little slippers stood the sweetest mite of a lady the world ever saw; while inside old "flat heels" was the fattest and fondest Uncle John.
Bessie Rathbun's cheeks were about the color of an oleander blossom, her small red mouth was about the color of a cranberry, and her two wide-open eyes about the color of her slippers. Her hair hung in yellow fuzzy curls away down to the strings of her apron; and it always seemed to me there must be a gold dollar rolling off the end of each curl, each end was so round and gold yellow. Dainty Bessie!—and what do you suppose? Why, she was deep in love with that old brown hen. Many and many a time she had sent me scraps of news about her wonderful Coachy, and had wished and wished that I would come and see her for myself. So when, one day, a letter came from Bessie's father, asking me if I would please hurry over to Featherdale to take charge of his house, and his silver spoons, and his little daughter, while he took a journey with his wife to visit a sick friend, I just threw my papers and pens into my valise (I was writing a lecture then), jumped aboard the first train, and went. So here we were together, on a breezy bright June morning—Bessie and Coachy and I.
"There she is, uncle—there's my Coachy!" cried Bessie, as she slipped from my arms. "Come, darling, come;" and Coachy spread out her wings, and rushed toward her little mistress, who eagerly bent down and took her. She kissed her brown back, and from a snowy apron pocket gave her corn, and even while eating, this funny old hen brokenly hummed a tune.
"Let's go on the porch with her," said Bessie at last. So we settled on the porch, with Coachy nestling between us.
"She isn't what you may call a very handsome hen—now is she, Bessie?" laughed I.
But Bessie scarcely smiled. "If you knew something that I know," said she, "you wouldn't make fun of her."
"Why, she was a poor orphan chicken—an' a dog killed her mother—an' she had a dreadful hard time getting grown up as big as she is now. She's fallen into the well, an' had two of her toes froze off—"
"What! in the well?"
"No; in the winter," said Bessie, gravely. "And she's been so lonesome down here, without any other hens to talk to, that papa says she'll have to go out to the farm, where the other hens are, real soon, or she'll die."
"Is that so?" said I, feeling sorry and a trifle awkward.
The little maid smoothed the rumpled feathers this way and that. "Yes, that's so," she sighed. "Our farm is more'n a mile from here, but I'm going to let her go."
"You can see her very often, can't you?" I asked.
"Yes; but, oh dear!" and there was another kiss put upon the brown back. Perhaps that is what made Coachy look round-shouldered—carrying such a load of sweet kisses on her back.
Just at this moment Bridget came out, and picked up the door-mat. I have never known for certain what Bridget did to the door-mat. Maybe it was taken off somewhere, like a bad child, for a shaking. Anyway, she picked it up quickly, and went back to the kitchen. And right where the mat had lain—so near that we could reach out and take it—was a letter; and the letter was addressed, in big scrawling characters that looked very much indeed like "hen tracks," to
Miss Bessie Rathbun, Featherdale.
The little lady's eyes and mouth grew perfectly round; she gave a little scream, and Coachy, half scared, went hopping down the steps. I opened the letter, and this is what we found:
"MY DEAR MISTRESS,—You can't guess how sad I am at the thought of leaving you, even for a few short months; but I do believe my general health and spirits would be much improved if you would kindly take me out to the farm to spend the balance of the summer. I miss the Brahmas, and the Shanghais, and the Plymouth Rocks, and even the pert little Bantams, more than I can tell. I get very downhearted somehow, thinking of the merry times they must be having all together in the fields or on the old barn floor. You are very, very good to me, and I love you dearly; but oh! please take me back to the farm. I shall be so happy whenever you come out there to see me, and will thank you as long as I live. Answer soon.
"With one peck at your sweet lips,
"P. S.—Please don't ever hug me again as you did on the lawn last Sunday. I thought I should choke."
Bessie was smiling; still in the same moment she had to put up her hand and whisk something away from her cheek. I knew what it was—a tear.
"Uncle," she said, putting both hands into her apron pockets, "let's take Coachy to the farm to-morrow;" and we did.
Early next morning we drove out of town, the dear old hen in Bessie's arms, and Bessie and I in the phaeton. Bessie talked softly to her favorite all the way; and when we reached the farm, I have an idea that, in spite of the request in the postscript, Coachy was hugged as hard as she ever was hugged in her life. Down the lane we went toward a group of noisy fowls. The nearer we came to them, the harder was Coachy hugged. I began to be anxious. Her mouth was open, and each particular toe was standing out stiff and straight. Bessie's nose and lips were out of sight in the ruffled back, and Coachy had closed her eyes.
"Darling," said the little girl, steadily, "good-by," and she bravely dropped her pet beside the old companions.
We saw her shake herself, eye the others a moment, and walk quietly into the crowd.
The man who lived on Bessie's papa's farm was named Beck. We hunted all over for Mr. Beck to tell him there was a guest among the poultry; but he was not to be found. So we got into the carriage and started for home.
My little niece was silent during nearly all of our drive back to Featherdale. Her mind was still filled full of Coachy.
By-and-by, though, the cherry lips opened.
"Uncle John," she said, "do you s'pose there'll be room?"
"On the roost?"
"Why, plenty of it—plenty!" said the reckless Uncle John.
I was out of bed an hour before Bessie next morning to take a horseback ride. "Guess I'll go over to the farm," said I to myself, "and see how Coachy is doing." So off to the farm I cantered.
I hitched my horse to a post by the farm-house door, and walked out where the chickens were picking up a breakfast. I looked them all over, and—and—well, Coachy was not there.
Seeing a man coming down the path, and feeling quite sure it was Mr. Beck, I waited. A narrow-faced, fair-haired, frail-looking man—not at all like a farmer, I thought.
"Good-morning, Mr. Beck," said I.
"Morning," said Mr. Beck, looking puzzled.
"My name is Rathbun. I was just looking around for a hen I brought up from my brother's house yesterday. I don't seem to find her," I said, still peering about.
"Did you bring that hen?" asked the man.
I turned and looked at him then.
"That old yellowish-brown hen?" he went on.
"Yes," said I, sharply. "Why?"
"Why, I didn't know where she come from," he drawled. "She was cluckin' round the cows' heels while I was milkin', an' I took 'er an' chopped 'er head off."
It seems to me that for one whole minute I never drew a breath. I just stood there, dumb and glaring, till I was conscious the man was shrinking away from my eyes and clinched hands.
"What's the fuss?" said he.
"What's the fuss?" I roared. "Why, you confounded idiot, do you know what you've done? Do you know that you've killed Bessie Rathbun's pet hen?"
"Wa'al," he growled, with his hands in his pockets, "I didn't know whose hen it was."
"Well, that's a fine excuse, isn't it?—a fine excuse, Mr. Beck," I went on, hotly.
"Why, I wouldn't have touched 'er 'f I'd known 'er," argued Mr. Beck. "I didn't know where she come from."
"And that's your way, I take it—to lay hold and kill a thing when you don't know where it comes from. I wonder if you killed a horse as you came along. I tied one at your door ten minutes ago."
I walked off a few steps to calm myself a little. I thought of poor Bessie. Mr. Beck mumbled something, and started for the barn.
"Mr. Beck," I called after him, "what have you done with her?"
"Where is she—Coachy—the hen?"
He pointed with his thumb toward the barn, and went in.
I thought he would be out in a minute. As he did not appear, I followed to the door, and looked in. I could neither see nor hear the man: he had vanished.
It was a hint for me to go, certainly. With a troubled heart I rode slowly back to town, and as I rode I pondered, asking myself what I should say to Bessie. Should I tell her Coachy was lost? "Get on, pony," I said at length; "we must tell her the truth."
Upon entering the driveway I noticed Bessie in the garden picking flowers. She saw me, and beckoned; but I could not go to her then. I unsaddled the horse, led him into his stall, and fed him, and then I stole into the house. A box was standing at one corner of the porch, with a perch, and a nest, and a little trough for corn, and a little cup for water. It was waiting to go to the farm.
I was drinking a cup of coffee when Bessie came skipping into the breakfast-room. When she saw trouble in my face she put away her smile, and crept softly up to me. She told me she had been hunting and hunting for me. She rubbed her pink cheek against my whiskers, declaring that she couldn't make me out at all. She said it was time now to go to the farm.
"Bessie dear," I said, as I took her hand, "I wouldn't go up to the farm to-day."
Surprise came over her face; then trouble with surprise. "Why, uncle?" she said, softly.
"It isn't nice at the farm," I went on, vaguely; "don't go. I just came from there. Don't go, Bessie."
"Why, uncle?" she said again, softly—"why, uncle?" Then all in a breath her fingers bound themselves tight about mine. "Did you see my Coachy?—did you see her?" she hurriedly asked.
I stooped and held the little form just one moment, then said, "No," and then, somehow, I told her.
I did not have a great deal to tell; she guessed over half; and then what a shivering, sobbing little burden it was that I held in my arms!
I don't believe I will try to tell you how she cried, or all she said, as we sat in the parlor that forenoon; it might make me cry to talk it over. Her tiny pocket-handkerchief soon got wet through, and she had to have my great big purple silk one; and more than once did I hear her moan, "Oh, Coachy is dead! my Coachy is dead!" When at last she strove to dry her eyes—poor, swollen eyes—it was truly a difficult matter. At first it seemed of no use to try, for again and again they would fill up, and spill the tears over her cheeks. We had to go and bathe them finally, and then Bessie walked into the kitchen and brokenly told Bridget the news.
A moment later I found her in the hall, tying on her hat. "I must go and bring her home," she said, hurriedly.
She was out of the house, and had called on Dennis to harness the horse, before I had time to consider.
"Dear Bessie, won't you stay here, and let me bring her home alone?" I coaxed.
"No! no! no!" she cried; and so we started together.
"Don't cry, dear," I was saying, as we drove into the farm-yard—her cheeks were all wet again—"don't cry, dear."
When I knocked at Mr. Beck's door, a voice called out, "Come in."
I opened the door, and found Mrs. Beck. I told her we had come to take Coachy home.
Mrs. Beck walked a little toward her hot cook-stove before she spoke:
"Well, we'll give her a live one to take home. I'm certain she can't take the dead one."
"Can't take her!—why?"
"I've got her a-boiling," answered Mrs. Beck.
Boiling!— Coachy boiling! I had been there all this while and hadn't smelled chicken. I felt like talking to Mrs. Beck; but I didn't. I shut my teeth, made her a slight bow, and went out to Bessie.
"I haven't got her, darling."
She was back among the cushions, with her hands over her eyes.
"Haven't got her?"
"No, and I can't get her."
"Why, we must get her!" she cried, straightening up. "Why can't we get her?"
"Why," said I, gently as I could—"why, they are—cooking her."
Bessie's cheeks flamed. In less time than it takes to tell it she sprang from the carriage, burst open the kitchen door, ran against a toddling boy, blindly knocked him over, and faced Mrs. Beck.
"How did you dare do such a thing!" she almost screamed, seizing the astonished woman by her dress skirt. "She's mine! my own Coachy! and I'll carry her home in a pail!"
Jumping on a stool, she reached up to a shelf of tin-ware. Grasping a good-sized pail, she pulled it from its place in such a hurry that half a dozen milk-pans were dragged off with it. Clattering like crazy things they whirled to the floor.
"Put my Coachy in there!—put her in!" she commanded, setting the pail down hard on the stove, and twisting the cover off.
Such a din I never heard. Those tin pans banged and rattled, Bessie's voice piped high, the boy on the floor broke into a hoarse scream, and our horse shied and started for home.
"Whoa! whoa!" I shouted, leaping off the steps, and bringing him round into place again.
Turning to go back to the tragedy in the house, I nearly collided with Bessie. She was running out with the pail in her hand, and with all the Beck children following. Thrusting it upon me, she hurried into the carriage; then reaching after it, she wrapped it in the lap-robe, and leaned back with a sigh of relief.
During the few minutes that it took us to rattle home I wondered what was to be done with poor Coachy. I didn't have long to wait. I led the horse into the stable, and as I was returning I discovered my little girl sitting on the grass by a rose-bush, with what we had brought at her feet.
In a trembling voice she asked me if I would please find a shovel. I found one, and soon stood obedient beside Bessie and the pail.
"Right here, Uncle John," she whispered, flattening the tender grass beneath the rose-bush with her two dimpled hands—"right here where the sun shines."
So we dug a grave, and poured in that hot dinner. In it went, gravy and all—white meat, dark meat, legs, wings, and wish-bone!
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Some months went by, and Uncle John came to Featherdale again. As he strolled through the garden in his purple-flowered flat-heeled slippers the morning after his arrival, he came to a little lonely mound. A small white board with scraggly letters on it stood there now. Uncle John stooped down, held aside the grass, and read, "Coachy," and "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us."
BAPTIZING COPTIC BABIES.
BY SARA KEABLES HUNT.
You have often witnessed the ceremony of infant baptism, when some sweet baby friend of yours has been brought forward to be christened, and have thought it a beautiful sight, as it indeed is; but the babies that I am going to tell you about now were less fortunate in their birth, for they were born of Egyptian parents—children of the Nile.
Would you like to hear of the strange ceremony?
We had been sailing all day, and at twilight had moored our diahbieh to the bank near a Coptic village. The Copts are said to be the native Egyptians, and pride themselves very much on their antiquity. As we looked out through the brilliant sunset tints that were flushing all the Nile Valley, the walls of an ancient convent rose before us, sharp and well defined in the clear atmosphere, its usual gloom banished by the bright and gorgeous coloring of the Egyptian sunset.
Somebody said, "There is to be a service in the old convent to-night; shall we go?"
It had been a monotonous day, and the walk and change looked attractive; so we were soon scrambling up the steep bank, and walking swiftly toward the old convent walls. The town consisted of a collection of square brown huts, their flat roofs covered with the nests of countless pigeons that are always swarming and cooing around every Egyptian dwelling-place. Quantities of water-jugs lay piled together by the side of the road, waiting to be sent down the river. As we came out into the open field, and on to the narrow beaten path which is raised slightly above the level to keep in the water of the inundation, we threw back our hats, and turned our faces to the glory of the sky and the cool refreshing breeze. All the air was sweet with growing grain. Away in the west the Libyan hills seemed quivering with the flush of the sunset, and the whole plain was wrapped in a glow of light. A short walk brought us to the church, and following the crowd which was rapidly assembling, we mingled with them and obtained seats.
The convent is a lofty inclosure, the roof formed by numerous small domes numbering nearly two hundred. Within is a small open court, an ordinary-sized church surrounded with many small chapels, and the apartments of the monks. Cleanliness is not one of the virtues of the Copts, so we may expect to find everything dirty and in need of repair.
I shall not tire you with a long account of the general services, of the clashing of cymbals and the loud voices of the priests, of the Coptic prayers and long masses, of the blessing of the water when the priest stirred it with a long stick as he prayed, then, dipping a cloth into it, applying it to the wrists, insteps, and foreheads of all the men who came forward to receive it. Time would not permit me to describe this in detail; but the baptism of the children, which immediately followed in another part of the church, was a novel though pitiful sight, and one that will make you realize what a blessing it is to be born in an enlightened land.
The women's department is separated from that of the men; they are never allowed to enter the upper places, and in the ceremony of baptism of children the fathers do not appear.
When all was ready, three little creatures were brought in, their dark eyes looking wonderingly around. Turning to the west, and holding her child, the mother promised to renounce the devil and all his works; then, facing the east, she held it forth to signify her acceptance of Christ for the child, after which it was sprinkled by the priest. But the ceremony did not end here, for the poor babes were taken to a font, and in the midst of long Coptic prayers they were disrobed and immersed three times. Then came the anointing with holy oil, the priest roughly and awkwardly—for he was very old—rubbing it over all the members and joints of the child from its wrist.
It was a cruel sight, for the church was quite cold, and as at last the poor little victims were dressed and handed back to their mothers, we hurried away. I lay for some time in my narrow berth that night unable to sleep and thinking of the ceremony I had just witnessed. At last I fell asleep, but only to see the faces of countless babies calling to me in vain for help, and when I awoke from my troubled dreams it was with a firm determination never again to see a Coptic baptism.
[Begun in No. 46 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, September 14.]
WHO WAS PAUL GRAYSON?
BY JOHN HABBERTON,
AUTHOR OF "HELEN'S BABIES."
Although the people of Laketon could not forgive Mr. Morton and Paul Grayson for not talking more about themselves and their past lives, they could not deny that both the teacher and his pupil were of decided value to the town. All the boys, whether in Mr. Morton's school or the public school, seemed to like Paul Grayson when they became acquainted with him, and the parents of the boys sensibly argued that there could not be anything very bad about a boy who was so popular. Besides, the other boys in talking about Paul declared that he never swore and never lied; and as lying and swearing were the two vices most common among the Laketon boys, and therefore most hated by the parents, they felt that there was, at least, no occasion to regard the new-comer with suspicion.
As for Mr. Morton, he rapidly made his way among the more solid citizens. He was willing to work, whether his services were required by church, Sunday-school, or society, and he did not care to hold office of any sort, so his sincerity was cheerfully admitted by all. When, however, he had one day, soon after his arrival, asked several prominent men why the town had no society or even person to visit the very poor and the persons who might be in prison, he ran some risk of being considered meddlesome.
"We know our own people best," said Sam Wardwell's father. "The only people here who suffer from poverty are those who won't work, while the few people who get into our jail are hard cases; half of them wouldn't listen to you if you talked to them, and the others would listen only to have an excuse to beg tobacco or something. There's a man in the jail now for passing counterfeit money; he's committed for trial when the County Court sits in September; that man is just as smart as you or I. He is as fine a looking fellow as you would wish to see, talks like a straightforward business man, and yet he passed counterfeit bills at four different places in this town. What would talk do for such a fellow?"
"No one knows, until some one tries it," replied the teacher, quietly.
"Well, all I have to say is," remarked Mr. Wardwell, in a tone that was intended to be very sarcastic, "those who have plenty of time to waste must do the trying. If you want such work done, why don't you do it yourself?"
"I would cheerfully do it if it did not seem to be presumptuous on the part of a stranger."
"Don't trouble your mind about that," said the store keeper, with a laugh; "the counterfeiter is a stranger too, so matters will be even. There's the sheriff, in front of the post-office; do you know him? No? Let us step over, and I'll introduce you. And I'll wish you more luck than you'll have in the jail, if that will be of any consolation."
Mr. Morton found Sheriff Towler quite a pleasant man to talk to, and perfectly willing to have his prisoners improve in body and mind by any method except that of getting out of jail before their respective terms of imprisonment had expired, or before they were by superior authority ordered to some other place of confinement, as he, the sheriff, wished might at once be the case with John Doe, the man who was awaiting trial for passing bad bank-notes. All this the sheriff said as he walked with Mr. Morton from the post-office to the jail. Arrived at the last-named building, the sheriff instructed his deputy, who had charge of the place, to admit Mr. Morton at any time that gentleman might care to converse with any of the prisoners.
The teacher walked first through the upper rooms, where a small but choice assortment of habitual drunkards and petty thieves were confined; these, as Sam Wardwell's father had predicted, either declined to converse or talked stupidly for a moment or two, and then begged either tobacco or money to buy it with. Still, Mr. Morton thought he saw in these wretched fellows some material to work upon, when time allowed. Then he went below, and the deputy took him to the small grated window in the door of the strong cell for desperate offenders, and said to John Doe that a gentleman who was visiting the prisoners would like to speak with him. The deputy went away immediately after saying this, and Mr. Morton quickly put his face to the grated window, a face appeared on the other side of the grating, and then, as Mr. Morton placed his hand between the bars, which were barely wide enough apart to admit it, he felt his fingers grasped most earnestly by the hand of the prisoner. If Mr. Wardwell could have felt that grasp and seen the prisoner's face, he might have greatly changed his opinion of smart prisoners in general.
Somehow John Doe preferred to restrict his remarks to whispers, and for some reason Mr. Morton humored him. The interview lasted but a few moments, and ended with a plea and a promise that another call should be made. Meanwhile, Mr. Wardwell had stood on a corner that commanded the jail, and when the teacher re-appeared the merchant asked, "Well?"
"They are a sad set," Mr. Morton admitted.
"I told you so," said Wardwell, rubbing his hands as if he were glad rather than sorry that the prisoners were as bad as he had thought them. "And how did you find that rascally counterfeiter? I'll warrant he didn't care to see you?"
"On the contrary," replied the teacher, gravely, "he was very glad to see me. He begged me to come again. He was so glad to see some one not a jailer that he cried."
"Well, I never!" exclaimed the merchant. And he told the truth.
It was soon after this first visit of a series that lasted as long as Mr. Morton remained in the village that the boys changed their base-ball ground. They had generally played in some open ground on the edge of the town, but the teacher one day asked why they should go so far, when the entire square on which the court-house and jail stood was vacant, except for those two buildings. The boys spent a whole recess in considering this suggestion; then they reported it favorably to the other boys of the town, and it was adopted almost unanimously that very week; and Canning Forbes could always remember even the day of the month on which the first game was played, for he as a "fielder" caught the ball exactly on the tip of the longest finger of his left hand, and he staid home with that finger, and woke up nights with it, for a full week afterward.
Paul Grayson had not attended Mr. Morton's school a fortnight before every one knew that ball was his favorite game. This preference on the part of the new boy did not entirely please Benny Mallow, who preferred to have his new friend play marbles, and with him alone, because then he could talk to him a great deal, whereas at ball, even "town-ball," which needed but four boys to a game, there was not much opportunity for talking, while at base-ball the chances were less, even were Benny not so generally out of breath when he met Grayson on a "base" that conversation was impossible.
But Grayson clung to ball; he did not seem to care much for it in the school-yard, which, indeed, was rather small for such games, but after school was dismissed in the afternoons he always tried to get up a game on the new grounds, and he generally succeeded. Even boys who did not care particularly for the sport had been told by Mr. Morton that about the only diversion of the wretched men in the jail was to look out the window while ball-playing was going on; and as Mr. Morton had begun to attain special popularity through his work among the prisoners, the boys who liked him, as most of them did, were glad to help him to the small extent they were able.
"I really can't see why Grayson should be so fond of ball," said Canning Forbes one afternoon, as he and several other boys lay under the big elm-tree behind the court-house and criticised the boys who were playing. "He isn't much of a pitcher, he doesn't bat very well, and he often loses splendid chances, while he's catcher, by not seeming to see the ball when it's coming. I wonder if his eyes can be bad?"
"I don't believe they are," said Will Palmer; "he is keen-sighted enough about everything else. Absent-mindedness is his great trouble; every once in a while he gets his eyes fixed on something as if he couldn't move them."
"He gets into a brown-study, you mean," suggested Forbes.
"That's it," assented Will.
"He's thinking about the splendors of the royal home that he is being kept away from," said Napoleon Nott. "You just ought to read what sort of place a royal home is," continued Notty. "I'll bring up the book some day and read it aloud to all of you fellows."
"No you won't, Notty," said Canning Forbes; "not if we have any legs left to run away with."
Some internal hints that supper-time was approaching broke up the game, and the boys moved off the ground, by twos and threes, until only Paul and Benny remained. Paul seemed in no particular hurry to start, and as Benny never seemed to imagine that Paul could see himself safely home from any place, he remained too.
"Benny," said Paul, suddenly, "did you ever see any one in jail?"
"No," said Benny, "I never did."
"Neither did I," said Paul, "but I'm curious to do so now. You needn't go with me; the sight might pain you too much."
"What? Just to go to the jail, and look up at the windows? Oh no; that won't hurt me. I've done that lots of times."
"Very well," said Paul, moving toward the jail. He looked up at the windows as he walked; finally he stopped where he could look fairly at the small window of the cell where the counterfeiter was. The sun was not shining upon that side of the jail, so Benny could barely see there was a face behind the window. Evidently the prisoner was standing on a chair, for the little window was quite high. Paul's eyes seemed better than Benny's, however, for he continued looking at that window for some moments. When he finally turned away, it was because he could not see any longer, for his eyes were full of tears.
"Why, you're crying!" exclaimed Benny, in some astonishment. "What is the matter?"
"I'm so sorry for the poor fellow," replied Paul.
"I am too," said Benny, "awfully sorry. I wish I could cry about it, but somehow my eyes don't work right to-day. Some days I can cry real easily. Next time one of those days comes, I'll come over here with you, and let you see what I can do."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
SANDY HOOK—ITS STORY.
Sandy Hook is one of the striking features in the scenery of New York. It is a low point of sand projecting from below the Highlands into the sea. Before its extreme end runs the channel of deep water through which passes all the commerce of the port—the most important of all the world's seats of trade. Beyond the deep channel the bar rises, covered with white breakers, and extends to the distant Rockaway shore. Around Sandy Hook all the interest of the scene centres, and its bare point, now marked by the new fortifications, has witnessed some of the most wonderful voyages of the past. It saw Verazzani in his antique craft—the most awkward and dangerous of vessels—make his way slowly, with lead and line, into the wide-spreading harbor, and trace for the first time the unknown shore. What a wild and lonely scene it was!—the home of a few savages and of wild beasts and birds. But Verazzani never came back, and the next ship that sailed by Sandy Hook into the tranquil bay was that of Hendrick Hudson.
His vessel, the Half-Moon, was a Dutch galliot, strongly built, as were all the Dutch ships of the time, but so small, heavy, and slow that it seems almost incredible that it should ever outlive a storm or make any headway on the sea. The stern and prow were high and broad, the bow round, the hull unwieldy, the masts and sails too small for such a vessel, and the rudder almost unmanageable. Compared with the modern sailing ship, nothing could seem more inconvenient or unfit for navigating stormy seas than these vessels of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Yet with them Barentz broke into the icy ocean of the North, and defied the arctic cold. Great fleets of them, sometimes numbering several hundred, sailed from Amsterdam around the Cape of Good Hope to the East Indies, drove off the Portuguese, and came back laden with the precious products of the East—gems, gold, and spices. The immense quantity of cloves and cinnamon used by our ancestors is startling. But the slow ships sailed safely along the African shore on both sides, and in the midst of pirates, privateers, storms, and cyclones made profitable voyages that gave Holland a wonderful prosperity.
The Half-Moon crossed the bar, anchored in the lower bay, and the Dutch navigators proceeded cautiously to survey the hostile shore of Coney Island, where now the countless visitors of Manhattan or Brighton Beach gather on summer evenings, and at length ventured to sail up through the Narrows, drew near to Manhattan Island, and saw some of its early inhabitants. The first New-Yorkers were very indifferently clad; but the young ladies—squaws, as they were called—were well acquainted with paint and powder, and had an inexhaustible appetite for feathers, beads, and other finery. Shells were the money of the country; and fur robes, rich with embroidery, were worn by the chiefs.
After a pleasant voyage in September, 1609, up the Hudson River to Albany, the famous navigator passed through the harbor out to sea, and then sailed away, never to return—unless we accept Irving's legend, and hear with Rip Van Winkle the roar of the balls of the Dutch sailors as they play their weird games amongst the Catskills, while the lightning flashes and the thunder peals in the dismal night. But Sandy Hook now became a well-known scene to the Dutch sailors. Immigrants came over; a few houses were built at first on New York Island; Albany was settled in 1614, and the same year Adrian Block, when his own ship was burned, built a new one on the Manhattan shore. It was the first vessel produced in this centre of the world's trade. It was not quite as broad as it was long; but its length of keel was thirty-eight feet, on deck it was nearly forty-five feet, and its breadth about eleven and a half. On this peculiar craft the gallant explorer set out to survey the great East River. He passed safely the perils of both Hell Gates, coasted the unknown shores to Block Island, and left an imperishable name on that pleasant summer resort. New Amsterdam became a famous seat of trade. Fur and tobacco were its chief commodities. A fine tobacco plantation stretched along the East River at Corlaer's Hook, and at Albany the Van Rensselaers and Schuylers contended for the fur trade of the savages, sometimes coming to blows. Many Dutch galliots now sailed leisurely over from old Amsterdam to the new. New York Island was covered with rich farms. In 1679 peaches were so plenty that they were fed to the swine; strawberries covered the ground in rare profusion. Sheltered within the protecting arm of Sandy Hook, the little city nourished and grew great. It had no idle hands. Its burgomasters all either kept shops, taverns, or worked on farms, and scorned sloth. All was prosperous growth, under the famous Governor Stuyvesant, when suddenly, in August, 1664, for the first time, a hostile English fleet sailed up the great harbor, and anchored in Gravesend Bay. It was composed of two fifty-gun ships and one of forty, with six hundred soldiers. The consternation in the city was great; but Governor Stuyvesant ordered the guns to be run out on the fort at the end of Broadway, called out the militia, and prepared for a desperate contest.
MASTER NOBLE'S LESSON.
BY MRS. ANNIE A. PRESTON.
When Master Noble was appointed to take charge of the Oak Bridge schools, he found, much to his surprise, that in every grade, from the Primary to the High Schools, there were many pupils who had frequently been promoted to higher classes, but, failing to get their lessons during the first term, had, at examination, been sent back to a lower grade again.
This had become such a common occurrence in the schools in Oak Bridge that the spirit of honest and praiseworthy emulation was lost, and the pupils felt it to be no humiliation or disgrace to be dropped from a higher class to a lower one.
"Something must be done to impress upon them the disgrace of such indifference, and to arouse their ambition," thought the new master, and he forthwith invited all the young folks in the community to meet him the next Saturday afternoon at the Town-hall to listen to a story that he would tell.
Of course the promise of a story from the popular new master, and the fact that he had recently returned from extensive travels, called the children and young people all out, and this is what they heard:
"It is said that years ago a beautiful little brown sparrow made her home in the garden of a certain great and renowned magician. She built her nest in the grass, and was content to hop and chirp about in the rose thicket, and to keep very near the ground indeed.
"She might have been happy enough had she not allowed herself to be afraid of the robin-redbreast that had a nest in the golden sweet apple-tree, and was always fluttering down and hop-hop-hopping across the grass-plot, and pecking this way and that at the smaller birds.
"The wise and tender-hearted magician, who had been closely watching proceedings, had so much sympathy for the timid, trembling little sparrow that he said, 'She shall have a chance in the world,' and he forthwith changed her into a robin.
"No sooner had she got over the novelty of her new situation than she began to be afraid of the pigeon-hawk that came sailing down from the wood near by in search of prey. So the magician, still thinking to make something of the timorsome little bird which was his pet, now changed her into a pigeon-hawk.
"Immediately she cast affrighted glances at the big gray owl that lived in a hollow tree farther back toward the edge of the forest, and who came out on a dead branch at night-fall, and hooted until the hill-side rang again with the unearthly screeches, and all the smaller birds tucked their heads under their wings, and put their claws over their ears to shut out the sound.
"'I will persevere,' said the tender-hearted magician; 'I may make something of her yet;' and straightway the pigeon-hawk became an owl, with a voice equal to any of the owls' in all that forest.
"But now, instead of making the most of her opportunity, and being a real, vigorous owl, she backed into the old hollow tree, her great staring eyes round with terror, as she tremblingly listened to the terrific screams of a monstrous eagle whose eyrie was on the mountain-side facing the sunrise.
"'You shall be a sparrow again!' angrily cried the magician. 'You have only the life and heart and spirit of a sparrow after all. What is the use of my trying to make anything else of you? Had you asserted and kept your position as an owl, I would soon have made you an eagle, and you could have proudly soared above all the birds of the air. I have done my best to help you along, but you have not made one effort in your own behalf.'
"It is the same with a boy or a girl," continued Master Noble. "If pupils have only the heart and the will and the intellect of a sparrow, they will remain sparrows in spite of all their teachers may do to help them on and to encourage them. Study and will are the magicians that help them to maintain their promotion, and the public examination is the great magician that assigns them their advanced positions.
"The world over, sparrow-hearted people are getting into eagles' nests, but keen-eyed public opinion is the great magician who says, 'Go back to the thicket and to the grass-plot again! You have only the heart and the brain of a sparrow; there is no use in trying to make eagles of you.'"
That is why to this day the names of those birds are the symbols of the different grades in the Oak Bridge schools, and Master Noble has never once been obliged to say, "Go back and be a sparrow again."
Ages ago this little web-footed fellow was named Petrel, after the Apostle Peter, because he is most often seen walking on the waves—never in them, but just daintily skimming their surface.
To sailors they are "Mother Carey's chickens," and their presence is dreaded, because with them generally come storms and bad weather. They revel in storms, and the fiercer the gale and the higher the waves, the more merry are they. This preference of the petrel is explained by the fact that he is more than half nocturnal in his habits, and greatly dislikes the glare of sunshine. But when black clouds and gloomy mists hang low over the ocean, the semi-darkness just suits him, and through it may he be seen skimming the angry billows many leagues from the nearest land.
The inhabitants of some of the outlying Scotch islands make a peculiar use of the young petrels, which are always as fat as butter, and much more easy to catch than the old birds. The young bird is caught, killed, and a wick is passed through his body until it projects from the bill. When this wick is lighted it gradually draws every drop of oil out of the well-supplied little reservoir, and thus a lamp is formed, very cheaply and easily, that lasts and gives a good light for the whole of a long winter's evening.
William Shakespeare was born at Stratford, on the Avon, April 23, 1564, and was baptized on the 26th. Two months after his birth the plague swept over the pleasant village, carrying off a large part of the inhabitants. The danger that hung over the marvellous infant passed away, and he grew up healthy and strong. His mother, Mary Arden, inherited a large farm at Wilmecote, a mile from Stratford; and his father, John Shakespeare, who held several other pieces of land, was probably an active farmer, raising sheep, and perhaps cattle. The house in which it is said Shakespeare was born is still shown in Henley Street, Stratford—a plain building of timber and plaster, covered with the names of those who have come from every part of the world to visit the dark, narrow room made memorable by the poet's birth.
He had several younger brothers—Gilbert, Richard, Edmund, and a sister Joan—all of whom he aided in his prosperity. The family in Henley Street was a happy one; and the young Shakespeares and their sister probably wandered in the flowery fields around the Avon, or lived on the farm at Wilmecote, saw the cows milked, and the cattle pastured, and all the changes of rural life. Shakespeare lived among the flowers he describes so well; and in the fine park of Fulbroke, not far off, saw the magnificent oaks, the herds of deer, and the gay troops of huntsmen chasing the poor stag along the forest glade. He must have been a precocious boy, seeing everything around him even in childhood. He is described or painted in later life as having a fair, melancholy, sensitive face, his eyes apparently dark, his hair brown and flowing. His disposition was gentle and benevolent; he won the love even of his foes.
As the son of a farmer he probably had little education. He went for several years to the grammar school at Stratford, and was then perhaps employed on his father's farm. Like Virgil, Horace, Burns, and many other poets, he grew up in the country. Nothing is certainly known of his youth. He was fond of rural sports, and amidst his early labors went no doubt to the country fairs, joined in the Christmas games and May-day dances, and probably when the Earl of Leicester gave the magnificent reception to Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth, described in Scott's novel, Shakespeare was there among the spectators. He was then a boy of twelve. He could enjoy the plays, games, the pomp and glitter, of that famous festival.
He must have read romances and tales early, like Dickens; he may have amused his little brothers and his sister Joan by repeating to them on winter evenings in the low room in Henley Street the story of the wild castle of Elsinore, or of the venerable Lear and the gentle Cordelia. He was all imagination, and precocious in knowledge; he must have studied when his companions played, and read everything that came in his way. At eighteen he fell in love and married Anne Hathaway, a young lady eight years older than himself. Before he was twenty-one he had three children to maintain, and went up to London to find employment. He remained in obscurity for some years; but at last appears, about 1590, the finest poet and dramatist of all ages.
Shakespeare pursued his career in London as author and theatrical manager for nearly twenty-five years. He was very industrious; he was prudent, but generous; he saved money, and grew wealthy. About 1612 or 1613 he returned to Stratford, where he lived in the best house of the little village, called "New Place." Here he gave a home to his father and mother, and provided liberally for his younger brothers. To his sister Joan he gave the house in Henley Street, which remained in the possession of her descendants until 1820. He may have looked forward to a long and honorable old age, but died in 1616, it is said, on the same day of the year on which he was born. His son Hamnet died long before him. He left two daughters.
His writings teach men to be kind and gentle.
MR. MARTIN'S LEG.
BY JIMMY BROWN.
I had a dreadful time after that accident with Mr. Martin's eye. He wrote a letter to father and said that "the conduct of that atrocious young ruffian was such," and that he hoped he would never have a son like me. As soon as father said "My son I want to see you up stairs bring me my new rattan cane," I knew what was going to happen. I will draw some veils over the terrible scene, and will only say that for the next week I did not feel able to hold a pen unless I stood up all the time.
Last week I got a beautiful dog. Father had gone away for a few days and I heard mother say that she wished she had a nice little dog to stay in the house and drive robbers away. The very next day a lovely dog that didn't belong to anybody came into our yard and I made a dog-house for him out of a barrel, and got some beefsteak out of the closet for him, and got a cat for him to chase, and made him comfortable. He is part bull-dog, and his ears and tail are gone and he hasn't but one eye and he's lame in one of his hind-legs and the hair has been scalded off part of him, and he's just lovely. If you saw him after a cat you'd say he was a perfect beauty. Mother won't let me bring him into the house, and says she never saw such a horrid brute, but some women haven't any taste about dogs anyway.
His name is Sitting Bull, though most of the time when he isn't chasing cats he's lying down. He knows pretty near everything. Some dogs know more than folks. Mr. Travers had a dog once that knew Chinese. Every time that dog heard a man speak Chinese he would lie down and howl and then he would get up and bite the man. You might talk English or French or Latin or German to him and he wouldn't pay any attention to it, but just say three words in Chinese and he'd take a piece out of you. Mr. Travers says that once when he was a puppy a Chinaman tried to catch him for a stew; so whenever he heard anybody speak Chinese he remembered that time and went and bit the man to let him know that he didn't approve of the way Chinamen treated puppies. The dog never made a mistake but once. A man came to the house who had lost his pilate and couldn't speak plain, and the dog thought he was speaking Chinese and so he had his regular fit and bit the man worse than he had ever bit anybody before.
Sitting Bull don't know Chinese but Mr. Travers says he's a "specialist in cats," which means that he knows the whole science of cats. The very first night I let him loose he chased a cat up the pear-tree and he sat under that tree and danced around it and howled all night. The neighbors next door threw most all their things at him but they couldn't discourage him. I had to tie him up after breakfast and let the cat get down and run away before I let him loose again, or he'd have barked all summer.
The only trouble with him is that he can't see very well and keeps running against things. If he starts to run out of the gate he is just as likely to run head first into the fence, and when he chases a cat round a corner he will sometimes mistake a stick of wood, or the lawn-mower for the cat and try to shake it to death. This was the way he came to get me into trouble with Mr. Martin.
He hadn't been at our house for so long (Mr. Martin, I mean) that we all thought he never would come again. Father sometimes said that his friend Martin had been driven out of the house because my conduct was such and he expected I would separate him from all his friends. Of course I was sorry that father felt bad about it but if I was his age I would have friends that were made more substantial than Mr. Martin is.
Night before last I was out in the back yard with Sitting Bull looking for a stray cat that sometimes comes around the house after dark and steals the strawberries and takes the apples out of the cellar. At least I suppose it is this particular cat that steals the apples for the cook says a cat does it and we haven't any private cat of our own. After a while I saw the cat coming along by the side of the fence looking wicked enough to steal anything and to tell stories about it afterward. I was sitting on the ground holding Sitting Bull's head in my lap and telling him that I did wish he'd take to rat-hunting like Sam McGinnis's terrier, but no sooner had I seen the cat and whispered to Sitting Bull that she was in sight than he jumped up and went for her.
He chased her along the fence into the front yard where she made a dive under the front piazza. Sitting Bull came round the corner of the house just flying, and I close after him. It happened that Mr. Martin was at that identicular moment going up the steps of the piazza and Sitting Bull mistaking one of his legs for the cat jumped for it and had it in his teeth before I could say a word.
When that dog once gets hold of a thing there is no use in reasoning with him, for he won't listen to anything. Mr. Martin howled and said "Take him off my gracious the dog's mad," and I said "Come here sir. Good dog. Leave him alone" but Sitting Bull hung on to the leg as if he was deaf and Mr. Martin hung on to the railing of the piazza and made twice as much noise as the dog. I didn't know whether I'd better run for the doctor or the police, but after shaking the leg for about a minute Sitting Bull gave it an awful pull and pulled it off just at the knee-joint. When I saw the dog rushing round the yard with the leg in his mouth I ran into the house and told Sue and begged her to cut a hole in the wall and hide me behind the plastering where the police couldn't find me. When she went down to help Mr. Martin she saw him just going out of the yard on a wheelbarrow with a man wheeling him on a broad grin.
If he ever comes to this house again I'm going to run away. It turns out that his leg was made of cork and I suppose the rest of him is either cork or glass. Some day he'll drop apart on our piazza then the whole blame will be put on me.
BY JOSEPHINE POLLARD.
A dear little fellow named Noah Had made up his mind that he'd go a— Sailing alone In a boat of his own, For he was a champion rower.
This dear little fellow named Noah Hadn't gone very far before—oh! ah!— His boat was upset, And he got very wet, Did this little numskull of a Noah.
BY FLORENCE E. TYNG.
Last winter my health gave out, and the doctor said I must go South. What a mourning there was among our little boys at the thought of losing Aunt Kate and her "beautiful stories"!
Just before the train started, little Jamie begged to be held up to the car window to give me a good-by kiss. Poor little fellow! his eyes streamed with tears, and not even the promise of a pound of candy could console him.
I was not going to Florida, where fashionable invalids spend their winters, but to the home of an old friend of mine on an Alabama plantation. How glad I was to find that she too had a little boy! He was not much like the nephews I had left behind, but I soon found him to be a good-hearted, brave little lad.
His mamma and I were sitting one rainy morning with our work before a great wood fire, when Frankie and his bosom companion, Abe, a young darky, came in with an armful of long dry corn stalks, a handful of chicken feathers, and two kitchen knives.
"Now, Frankie, you are going to make a mess, so get some papers and put them down on the floor," said Frankie's mamma. Abe ran to get the papers, and very soon the two boys were down on their knees, peeling the stalks.
I noticed that the stalks were old and brittle, and that the boys preserved the hull. After watching them for some minutes, I began to make inquiries as to what the stalks were for.
"Dese is fur cattle," said Abe, grinning.
I then asked how they made cattle. Frankie did not seem communicative, so Abe again answered my question.
"Wa'al, we jest cuts 'em. If yer waits a minute I'll show yer."
He cut off a piece of the peeled stalk about four inches long, then split the hull into four pieces about a quarter of an inch wide and two inches long. He stuck two of these pieces near one end of the stalk for hind-legs, and the two others at a quarter of an inch from the other end for front ones. He then cut a piece of the stalk about an inch long for the head, a niche for the mouth, two pins for eyes, and narrow bits of hull for horns; another little strip of hull was stuck first into the head and then into the body to form the neck, a chicken feather put in for the tail, and the job was finished.
"Now, den," said Abe, triumphantly, holding it up, "don't yer see dat's a cow?"
I smiled, but Abe was too good-natured to notice it. This animal I found, with slight variations, was made to represent horses, cows, mules, sheep, dogs, and pigs, and even chickens, which, of course, were much smaller, and had only two legs. In the course of the morning Frankie and Abe manufactured a sow with seven little pigs, two cows, a mule, and a horse.
It had stopped raining, so the boys asked if I would not like to go out and see their farms. Under a shed in the yard were these two farms, arranged as nearly as possible like Frankie's father's. Barns, stables, wagon-houses, and pig-pens were made of bricks on a very small scale, and inhabited by corn-stalk cattle.
A wagon made of a chip tied to two spools was hitched up with two corn-stalk oxen, their feather tails standing up in the air.
I thought my little friends would like this new breed of cattle. They struck me as being much easier to manage than those of Noah's ark, for there is hardly a boy who has not had all manner of trouble in making Father Noah's cows and horses stand up. Gather together some corn stalks this autumn, let them dry, and stock a farm for yourself.
LETTER NO. 5 FROM BESSIE MAYNARD TO HER DOLL.
CAMBRIDGE, September, 1880.
MY DEAREST CLYTIE,—When I sent my last letter from Bar Harbor I thought it would be the very last I should write you for a long time, but I shall not see you for two whole weeks more, and I can not wait till then to tell you all the fine things I am precipitating for next winter.
We left Mount Desert last Monday, and have been with grandma and Auntie Belle here in Cambridge ever since, except when we go flying back and forth from Boston. We are very busy, Clytie, and have heaps of shopping to do; for what do you think?—we are all going to Europe, and are to sail one month from to-day. I am awfully glad, of course, but I don't know how I can live all winter long without you. Don't tell the rest of the dolls, Clytie, but I do a little bit believe that you are going too! Now that is a very great secret, so you will keep it close down in your own little heart, and not let the others even respect a thing about it, because it might make them feel bad that I chose you and left them behind; and one thing I never would do, and that is to let my children think I had a favorite among them. You know I love every one of them dearly, but of course I can not take them all to Europe, and as you are the largest, it is more your place to go.
Now for another piece of news: Cousin Frank and Miss Carleton are engaged! Yes, Clytie, they really are, and they are going to be married this very month, and go to Europe when we do. If this isn't news enough, here is some more: Randolph Peyton has gone home with his mamma, and they are all coming to our house in New York the week before we sail, and go with our party! Won't it be lovely? There will be Mr. and Mrs. Peyton, Randolph and his sister Helen, and Miss Rogers, their governess. I have never seen Helen, but Randolph says she is "awfully jolly, considering she is only a girl," so I guess I shall like her. Then there will be papa and mamma and me (and you, if we take you), Cousin Frank and Miss Carleton, only she won't be Miss Carleton then—she will be Mrs. Howard, and I am to call her Cousin Carrie: indeed, I call her so now, for Cousin Frank asked me to, and I would do anything to please him. I have forgiven him for sending me away one night when they were talking about little pitchers. When I asked him about it afterward, and if it was really deckerativeart they meant, he tried to exclaim to me, but he laughed so hard all the time, I couldn't make out anything at all except that I was the very funniest little pitcher in the whole world! Did you ever know such a comical thing as to call me, a girl ten years old, a pitcher? I'm sure he didn't know what he was talking about.
Mamma says I may give them anything I choose for a wedding present, and I have presided on a silver pitcher. I am going to send it with a card tied on the handle marked, "This is me," and I guess they will wonder what it means. Don't you?
I have told Cousin Carrie so much about you that she seems to love you already, even though she has never seen you, and she says she shall invite you to her wedding. Won't that be fun? She is going to send you her cards, and you will go with me. I shall get home in time to have your dress made. Mine is to be a bomination dress of white cashmere and silk, and I think yours will be of the same kind in rose-color.
I will tell you one more adventure that befell us at Bar Harbor, and then I shall not write any more letters unless you are left at home when I go to Europe. Of course, if you are, I shall write as often as I possibly can, and I shall have so many new and strange appearances in crossing the ocean and in visiting forran lands that the reading of them will make up in some agree for being left at home.
Randolph and I went down to the beach, the evening before we came away, to launch his ship—a beautiful one, with sails all set, "full-rigged," as the sailors say, that his uncle in Philadelphia had sent him that very day.
The Stars and Stripes waved from the prow or stern—I never know which is which—and on the top of one of the masts he fastened a "pennon," as he called it, with the name of the ship in big blue letters. (He printed it himself with his blue pencil, and it looked real cunning blowing round in the wind, and flapping up and down.) What do you suppose the name was? Bessie, to be sure. He says he thinks it is an "awfully jolly" name for a ship, or for a girl either.
Well, the wind blew just the right way for a splendid launch. I held the cord, letting it out as fast as he told me to, and he gave it a push, and off it sailed, straight and lovely as a duck. I was so delighted I couldn't possibly help clapping my hands, and, oh, Clytie! I dropped the cord, and away it went, up and down over the waves as if it was alive. Randolph muttered something that sounded like, "Bother! that's just like a girl!" and scowled awfully at me, and then ran out into the water after it. I screamed as loud as I could, for I was afraid he would drown; and then I remembered how he had saved my life, and I said to myself, He is my friend now, and I will save him, for he saved me when we were emernies. So, as the story-books say, I "dashed into the foaming billows" after him, and just as I caught him by his jacket I thought I heard him say again, "Bother!" and then came a great rushing noise in my ears, my mouth was full of water, and the next thing I knew I was lying in mamma's bed, and she and two or three other people were rubbing me! I was almost drowned, Clytie; and so it was Randolph who saved my life a second time, and I never saved his at all.
When I pulled him by his jacket, a wave broke over us; but he was stronger and bigger than I, and a boy besides (and truly, Clytie, boys do know more than girls about some things), and so he caught me, and sort of pulled and rolled and pushed me out of the water; and just then Cousin Frank and Miss Carleton came round the point in their boat, and Cousin Frank took me in his arms, and ran up to the hotel as fast as he could go.
Poor mamma was most subtracted when she saw me, and Randolph was so scared he forgot all about his lovely new ship, that long before that time had gone sailing out to sea all by itself.
Wasn't it awful, Clytie? If I had minded what Solomon says, "Look before you leap," I should have seen that Randolph had his hand on the ship at the very moment I seized him, and he could have got back safe to the shore without any of my help.
Good-by for a little while. I shall see you and the rest of the dolls week after next.
Your loving mamma, BESSIE MAYNARD.
I am a little boy only six years old, and can not write very well, but I want to say how much I like YOUNG PEOPLE. My mamma and papa have taken HARPER'S WEEKLY and HARPER'S MONTHLY more years than I can remember.
I like so much to hear all about the pets of the other children. I have not any, but I have a dear little sister called Myra, and she is my pet.
I liked the story "Across the Ocean" very much, but I think "The Moral Pirates" was the best.
My governess is writing this, but soon I hope to be able to write myself, as I have nearly finished my second copy-book. One year ago I could not speak any English, but now I can read short stories, and I am always so happy when YOUNG PEOPLE comes.
C. D. P.
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I am twelve years old. I have a little colt, but it is not gentle, it is very wild. I also have a roan horse, named Sabine. Whenever horses are gathered I help to herd them. I like to do it very much. We generally have about three hundred head to herd. I have no pets now, for my little dog died.
I visited Captain H——'s plantation last winter, and I had a very nice time. I saw the men gin cotton, and I drove the horses round in the gin.
CHARLES A. T.
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BUFFALO, WYOMING TERRITORY.
I have wanted to write to the Post-office Box for a long time for I like YOUNG PEOPLE so much, but I thought as there were so many children writing perhaps my letter would not be printed.
I live in a very lonely country. There are no little girls here at all, but I have a good many pets. I have two colts, named Nellie and Dollie, and a puppy named Carlo. Then I have a cat and four little kittens, and six pigeons, and lots of little chickens. I am going to get a pair of canaries very soon.
LUELLA A. M.
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WHEATLAND, NEW YORK.
I am eleven years old. I live in the Genesee Valley, which I have heard is the nicest valley in the world. We have not many pets, because there are seven of us children, and mamma thinks those are pets enough for one house.
We have a black dog named Shot, but he is real old. We raised him from a puppy. Once he was in a soap box, with three other puppies, and mamma heard an awful squealing. There was a knot-hole in the box, and the puppy's tail stuck out. My little brother Jim crept up and grabbed hold of it, and was trying to pull the poor puppy through the knot-hole.
We had a yellow cat named Moses. He would let us dress him and put him to bed like a baby, and when my little sister sat down on the floor, he would come and put his paws around her neck. He died last spring, and we had a funeral. My brother Manta made a head-stone for him, and painted it white, and put poor Moses's name and age on it.
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I have just returned home from Maiden Rock, a little town in Wisconsin. It is a funny name for a town, and I will tell you why it is called so. There was once an Indian maiden who wanted to marry a young brave, but the other Indians were not willing. One day she went to the top of a high rock, as high as the bluffs on the shore of Lake Pepin. The Indians called to her to come down, and they would give her permission to marry her lover; but she knew very well that if she went down they would kill her, so she jumped from the rock and killed herself. I am eleven years old.
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SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA.
I got HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE for a birthday present, and I like to read the Post-office Box.
In August I went on a mountain trip. We slept in tents. The roads over the mountains are very rough, but we thought it splendid fun to ride in the baggage-wagon.
I have a small museum. Last year when my father came home from Europe he brought me some stones from Rome and from the Alps, and also some pressed flowers.
H. E. R.
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CANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK.
I am nine years old. I have a twin sister Ina, and a little brother Herbert, who is very cunning and full of mischief. We have only two pets besides Herbert—a dog named Dick and a cat named Jack. We have lots of fun. We have a croquet set in the yard, and sometimes we have a tent too. Every time Dick comes into the house Herbert calls out, "Dit, here, Dit."
Papa owns a share in a cabin, and every summer we all go up to the lake, and stay about two weeks. Herbert likes to play in the water, and throw stones in it. One day he crawled right in, and got all wet. He does not like to ride in the boat, because he has to sit still. He wants to be in mischief all the time, and he is a little wide-awake, and will not go to sleep when he can help it. He is nineteen months old.
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I want to tell you about some fun I had the other day. We have a barrel sunk in the yard with water-lilies in it. There was a lizard in it too. I made a noose and caught it, and put it into mamma's big dish pan, which I filled with water. Then I caught two little toads; one was a little brown fellow about an inch long, and the other a little larger. I put a little piece of board in the water, and fastened it to the end of the string that was round the lizard's neck. Then I put the little toads on the board, and the lizard drew them all around.
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SCOTTSVILLE, NEW YORK.
I am five and a half years old. I can not read, but I can write letters, although mamma says nobody can read them, so she is writing this for me. Mamma and sister read me the stories in YOUNG PEOPLE. I liked "The Moral Pirates" best of all, but I was afraid Jim would get shot when he took the borrowed boat back.
I have a cat that eats milk and everything with its paw. And I have three rabbits.
Yesterday I took mamma and papa over to the depot, a mile away, and drove home all alone.
I go fishing with papa, and have caught a good many fish.
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I wish to ask a favor of some of the Southern correspondents of the Post-office Box. My sister planted a cotton seed, and the plant that came up bears white blossoms which afterward turn red and drop off. Now I would like very much to know whether it is cotton or not. I would also be glad for all information about the cotton-plant that any correspondent will give.
ROSCOE E. E.
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I am a little boy seven years old. I live at Ingleton, Alabama, two miles from Dickson. My papa owns a large stone quarry. I have two little brothers and one little sister, and we take YOUNG PEOPLE. I like Bessie Maynard's letters to her dollie the best of all.
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BUFFALO PAPER MILL, NORTH CAROLINA.
Papa takes HARPER'S MAGAZINE and WEEKLY, the BAZAR for mamma, and YOUNG PEOPLE for my brothers and sister and myself. I like to read the stories, and the letters in the Post-office Box.
We live right in the woods. Buffalo Creek runs around our house, almost forming an island. I do not go to school. Mamma teaches us at home. We say our lessons every evening.
I have a pet hen. She is black, and so tame that she comes in the house every evening for me to put her to roost. Then we have lots of pigs, goats, calves, chickens, and pigeons, and each of my five brothers has a colt.
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I have no father nor mother. I live with my uncle and aunt, who are very good to me. In vacation I work in uncle's printing-office, and when there is school I go.
My uncle takes HARPER'S WEEKLY, and my aunt takes the BAZAR, and I take YOUNG PEOPLE. I think it is one of the best papers published.
I have a pet chicken named Mary. She will walk a rope, and swing in a little swing I made for her.
ALFRED J. H.
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I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like to read the letters from the little folks. I am ten years old, and am in the fourth room and "A" class at school.
I had a velocipede, but it is broken. I have a horse and a saddle and bridle, and I ride a good deal.
My little sister is three years old, and I am making a play-house for her. She bit my ear so hard I had to cry. Mamma asked her what made her bite brother's ear. She said, "Brother hurt his ear on my teeth."
RITCHEY M. K.
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ARROW ROCK, MISSOURI.
In the hot weather we keep our doors open at night, and one night a little opossum got in, and in the morning we found it curled up in papa's hat. I kept it for a few days, but once when I went away it ran off. I am seven years old.
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YOUNG PEOPLE comes every week, and I assure you it receives a warm welcome.
We have two little pets. Their names are Roly and Poly. Roly is a little Skye terrier, and Poly is a kitten, which travelled here from "down East." They eat, drink, sleep, and, I am sorry to say, cry together, for they are both very sensitive. They object strongly to being shut up at night, and protest against it loudly.
I am thirteen years old, and I wear spectacles.
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WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON TERRITORY.
I have taken YOUNG PEOPLE ever since the first number, and I find it very interesting. I was born in this Territory, but I have been to San Francisco and down the Pacific coast as far as Santa Barbara, where I remained six months with my mother and brother and sister. Sometimes in warm weather we take a trip to the Blue Mountains, and we have picnics and fishing parties. I am eleven years old.
FANNIE MINNIE B.
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I am ten years old. I live in the country, near a beautiful lake called Lake Pleasant. I often have a boat-ride on it. The hills are quite high around the lake.
I live with my grandpa and grandma, and I go to school in an old yellow school-house that has stood for thirty years. We are going to have a nice new brick school-house soon, but I do not like to have the dear old house torn down, as it is the same one my mamma went to school in.
We have two hundred sheep. I have a pet lamb that will leave the flock when I call it. Its name is Dickie.
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RANDALL, NEW YORK.
I am eleven years old. I have not any pets now, but I had two. One was a little dog named Fanny. It would draw a little sleigh with a milk-pail on it, and pull me on the ice when I had my skates on. The other was a little kitten that would jump and take a piece of meat out of my hand when I held it over my head.
GEORGE W. L.
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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.
I am eleven years old. I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much. I often go out to the Spanish fort. There is a band of music there every evening, and every Saturday it is there all day. There are two cannon which have been in the fort ever since 1718. I have two pet kittens that follow me everywhere.
CHARLIE N. W.
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I have a collection of stamps, and would gladly exchange with some of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
EDDIE DE LIMA, care of D. A. de Lima & Co., 68 William St., New York City.
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I would like to exchange postmarks of the United States or Canada with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
A. W. RUSSELL, P. O. Box 109, Brookfield, Madison County, New York.
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I would be glad to exchange postage stamps with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARRY GUSTIN, Bay City, Michigan.
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I have a few foreign coins which I should like to exchange for rare postage stamps. They are small French coins, Swiss, English, Prussian, German, and Italian, copper and nickel. Some of them I do not know. They look like silver, but I think they are only German silver.
EUGENE E. PETTEE, 11 Prospect Street, Fall River, Massachusetts.
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I have a collection of shells, minerals, postmarks, coins, and woods. I have also a collection of about eleven hundred and twenty-five stamps, all different kinds, and I would like to exchange stamps with any of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
I am twelve years old. I have a canary, and my brother and I had a pair of squirrels, but one died.
HORACE C. FOOTE, 109 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York City.
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I have a collection of stamps, and would gladly exchange with any correspondents. I have stamps from Colombia, Venezuela, Germany, England, and other countries.
ELIAS DESOLA, 162 East Sixtieth Street, New York City.
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I would like to exchange flower seeds with any little girl in California or Florida. I have verbenas, mixed phlox, four-o'clocks, sweet-williams, balsams, alyssum, salvia, mignonette, and red and white petunias.
ADA BELT, 1099 Wilson Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
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I have a collection of postmarks, and would like to exchange with any correspondents of this nice paper. I am eleven years old.
"EXCHANGE," 939 Main Street, Buffalo, Erie County, New York.
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If any correspondents will send me a list of the stamps they require, and also of those they have to spare, I will like to exchange with them.
JOHN R. BEDFORD, 5 Spencer Place, Fourth Street, New York City.
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I would like to exchange some revenue stamps for postage stamps. Among those I wish to exchange are two varieties of one-dollar stamps and a forty-cent stamp.
LEONARD T. BEECHER, Wellsville, Alleghany County, New York.
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I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I think it is splendid.
I have a great many French, Italian, English, and German postage stamps which I would like to exchange for others.
GEORGE B. DONNELLY, P. O. Box 4574, New York City.
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I am collecting postage stamps, and would like to exchange. Correspondents will please state the number of stamps in their collection, and send me their list. I have twelve hundred stamps, and I am thirteen years old. I would like to know the age of my correspondents.
CHARLES S. PETRASCH, 13 West Thirty-second Street, New York City.
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I would like to exchange postmarks with any boy readers of YOUNG PEOPLE in the West. I am twelve years old.
ARTHUR S. MOORE, 40 Third Place, Brooklyn, New York.
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I would like to exchange postage stamps with any correspondent.
R. L. PRESTON, P. O. Box 327, Lynchburg, Virginia.
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LOUISE.—Your question, "Is the mosquito of any use in the great economy of nature?" has often been asked by many older and wiser than you, for it is not generally known that in their larval state mosquitoes form an important branch of nature's army of tiny scavengers. The larvae live in the water of stagnant pools and marshes, and feed upon particles of decaying matter, and as their number is so very large, the amount they devour is considerable. By thus purifying the water they destroy the miasma which would otherwise arise and pollute the atmosphere to such an extent that no human being could breathe it with safety. The value of the work accomplished in tropical countries by these tiny scavengers is very great. It is estimated that the air of certain marshy regions would be so poisonous that no animal higher than a reptile could breathe it and live, were their purifying influence removed. We do not know that mosquitoes in the winged state have any useful mission beyond that of depositing the eggs which produce the larvae, but that alone saves them from being "nothing but a nuisance."
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F. A. REILLY.—The subscription price for HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE for 1881 will remain one dollar and fifty cents, the same low figure as for the first volume.
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BRIAN B.—The large green worm that feeds on carrot, caraway, parsley, and some other common garden plants is the caterpillar of the Papilio asterias, a large black butterfly which is seen in great numbers at midsummer, hovering about the flowers in gardens. It is especially fond of the sweet-scented phlox. This butterfly is very handsomely marked with rows of yellow spots near the margin of its wings, and on the hind wings, which are tailed, there is also a row of blue spots, and near the lower angle an orange-colored eye with a black dot in the centre. The wings of this handsome insect expand from three to four inches.
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"THISTLE."—It is not easy to say why such great numbers of potato-bugs are found crawling on the sea-beaches. These striped cantharides are so numerous in all parts of the country that they are probably blown seaward by the wind, and naturally sail ashore on the tide.
You will find simple directions for pressing flowers and leaves in the Post-office Boxes of YOUNG PEOPLE Nos. 34 and 46.
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F. B. W.—Write again to your correspondent. There are so many possible reasons why he has not answered you that it would not be fair to him to print your notice. Possibly he has misdirected the letter to you.
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Favors are acknowledged from Fred P. Herron, Albert C. B., Jessie R. Ellerby, E. N., Richard F. Morgan, Willie C. Chapman, S. B., Frank Davis, S. Donald Newton, Gertrude B. Duffee, Frank Haid, John R. Bancroft, H. S. G.
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Correct answers to puzzles are received from Eddie S. Hequembourg, Mary Tiddy, "Chiquot," William H. Dobson, Dana D. Stanton, "Milwaukee," Percy McGeorge, "Nellie Bly," E. D. W. R. Garden, George Volckhausen, James H. Beddow, Howard A. Esterly, "Ivanhoe."
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John H. Bartlett, A. O., and J. C. Locher have sent neat specimens of the five-pointed star, which were received too late for acknowledgment with the others.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
1. In strawberry. By way of. A fabulous woman. A unit. In huckleberry. 2. In peach. An article very useful to travellers. A color. A jewel. In plum. Centrals of diamonds read across give the name of a common shrub.
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1. First, mountains in Switzerland. Second, mountains in Asia. Third, a river in Hungary. Fourth, a town in Piedmont, once an ancient Roman settlement.
2. First, a part of the body. Second, a disease. Third, invalid. Fourth, a hollow.
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My first is needed to make my second, and should always be in my whole.
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1. A fanciful character in one of Shakspeare's plays composed of 11 letters. My 3, 10, 5, 1 is agony to weary fingers. My 8, 2, 1 is a problem. My 6, 9, 5, 11 is done by every school-boy. My 7, 2, 8, 4 is fine powder.
2. An inhabitant of Africa composed of 10 letters. My 2, 7, 8, 5, 4 is a bird. My 6, 9, 3, 4 is a piece of money. My 1, 5, 10, 7 is a beautiful flower.
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My first is in board, but not in plank. My second is in hoard, but not in bank. My third is in sin, but not in good. My fourth is in tin, but not in wood. My fifth is in sword, but not in arms. My sixth is in town, but not in farms. My whole its forehead proudly rears, Crowned by two hundred and fifty years.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 47.
B F U R N A R M B R E A D-F R U I T N A G M I X D T
1. Hipparchus. 2. Epicharmus. 3. Herodotus.
F O A M A R G O O H I O R E A P A I M S G A L A M O S S O P A L
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Charade on page 696—Salt-Petre.
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:
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Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
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COINS AND STAMPS. My revised catalogue of coins, showing buying prices, just out—price 10c. No. 20, of the St. Louis Philatelist, the best stamp paper in America, is now ready, and will be mailed free for stamp. E. F. GAMBS, Coin and Stamp Dealer, 621 South 5th St., St. Louis, Mo. Established 1872.
BOY'S LIFE AMONG PIRATES.
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THE ADVENTURES OF REUBEN DAVIDGER; Seventeen Years and Four Months Captive among the Dyaks of Borneo. By JAMES GREENWOOD. 8vo, Cloth, $1.25; 4to, Paper, 15 cents.
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This is a book which will be devoured by youth with much the same engrossing interest that made the perusal of "Robinson Crusoe" so delightful. The author has the power of literally enchaining the attention of the reader, whether of larger or smaller growth.—Brooklyn Times.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
HARPER & BROTHERS will send the above work by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
SOLUTION TO MARINER'S PUZZLE.
Divide the piece of plank described in the Mariner's Puzzle, published in No. 47, into five squares, as represented in Fig. 1; then draw a line from A to B, and from B to C. Cut off the two triangular pieces marked X X, and re-arrange them as represented in Fig. 2, and you will have a piece of plank of the shape and size required by the mariner to stop the leak in his ship.
BY F. BELLEW.
Here is a simple little thing of my own invention, from which I have derived a good deal of fun from time to time, and from which the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE may extract some amusement. It is an imitation of the common screw-head, and is made in this wise: Take a piece of common tin-foil, and mark on it with a pair of compasses or a small thimble a number of circles; then, with a broad pen or small brush and black ink, rule across each a broad line, as represented in Fig. 1. Then, when your ink is dry, cut out the little circular pieces very neatly with a pair of scissors. They resemble so exactly the head of a real screw as to deceive the most acute observer. Once I made a box for conjuring tricks, with a side swung on hinges, and fixed the sides of the box with these screw-heads in such a way as to impress the spectator with the idea that it was a piece of workmanship that could not be trifled with.
On one occasion a much-loved relative of mine had left me alone in her house while she drove over to the station to meet her husband. I did not wish to waste my time while she was away, and having nothing else to do, I cast my eye round for material. At last it lighted on an article of furniture: this was a bureau, highly prized by my much-loved relative. I have attempted, feebly, in the subjoined sketch to convey an idea of it, but am fully conscious that I am far from doing it justice. But this bureau was of solid mahogany, and had belonged to her grandmother—qualities enough to make anything dear to the heart of a true woman. On the side of this solid mahogany bureau I scrawled a ragged line with the sharp corner of a piece of soap, and gummed some of my screw-beads down each side of the mark, as in Fig. 2. Then I waited until my much-loved relative returned.
"Aunt," I said, in solemn tones, "look at the end of your mahogany bureau. It is all my fault, and I am as sorry as I can be. I know how you value it, and realize the extent of the disaster; but I've fixed it up as well as I can, and I guess it won't show much."
My aunt rushed to the bureau, and there she saw the patched and botched wreck.
"Oh dear!" cried she, "to think—just to think—how could you be so— I knew something would come of swinging those vile clubs. I'd rather have given a hundred dollars. It's too bad. And such a mess! Why didn't you wait till I could send for a proper man—a cabinet-maker or something—to mend it?"
Then she ran into the garden, and called to her husband: "Oh, George, do come here, and see what that boy has been doing! My dear mahogany grandmother's bureau all knocked to pieces, and patched together with big screws. Such a sight!"
As soon as my aunt left the room I seized a wet towel, and quickly removed all the appearance of damage, so that when she returned with her husband, and with averted face, bade him look upon the wreck, the mild old gentleman, after putting on his specs, and making a careful examination, reported that he could see nothing the matter.
"For pity's sake!—the man must be getting blind and foolish," cried my aunt. "It's as plain as Charley Meeker's nose on his face."
A discussion of some length here followed between my aunt and her husband, which was terminated by the lady stepping up to the bureau, with an air of triumph, to point out the broken places. Never before was seen such a perplexed woman. She looked and looked, and felt all over the precious piece of furniture with her finger, and, I believe, would have fairly gone demented had I not broken the spell by a roar of laughter. When I explained the trick I had played, she too laughed heartily, and boxed my ears, saying it was just like me, and that I was always up to some prank or another.
And so ended my first practical joke with the screw-heads.