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VOL. I.—NO. 51. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, October 19, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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RABBITS TO FIND.
BY WILLIAM O. STODDARD.
"I say, Tad Murray, what's made you so late with your cows this morning?"
"Late? Well, I guess you'd be late if you'd had such a time as I did. It was all old Ben's fault."
"Ben's? Why, there he is now, chasing the brindled heifer. If she'd only turn on him, she could pitch him over the fence like a forkful of hay."
"He's a better cow-dog than that ragged little terrier of yours, Carr Hotchkiss; but he's an awful fellow to let into a corn field, 'specially 'bout this time of year."
"Into a corn field!"
"When there's a lot of rabbits in the shocks."
"Are there rabbits in your corn?"
"It's just alive with 'em. And Ben he gets after 'em, and the corn's all cut and shocked, and he'll tear a shock of corn to pieces in no time; and father says it's too bad, for he hasn't any time to kill rabbits."
"Tell you what, Tad, Whip's the best dog in the world for rabbits."
"He wouldn't hurt a shock of corn if he scratched clean through it. I'll fetch him along soon's you get your cows in; and we'll get Dan Burrel and Eph McCormick and Frank Perry, and we'll have the biggest rabbit hunt you ever heard of."
"Don't I wish I had a gun!"
"Father's got one, but he won't let me put a finger on it."
"So's my father got one. It's a splendid good gun, too, but one of the triggers is gone, and there's a hole you could stick your finger into in the right barrel, where it got bursted once."
"We don't want any guns. You hurry your cows in. There! the brindled heifer's given Ben an awful dig."
"He won't care."
Old Ben did care, however, for he left the brindled heifer suddenly, and came back toward the boys, with his wise-looking head cocked on one side, as much as to say, "Didn't I hear you two saying something about rabbits?"
It was less than half an hour before they were telling him a good deal about that kind of game. They gathered the rest of their hunting party on their way back to Squire Murray's, only they did not waste any time going to the house. It was a shorter cut through the wheat stubble and the wood lot to the big corn field in the hollow.
Corn, corn, corn. Squire Murray said he had never before raised so good a crop in all his life. And then he had added that the rabbits and squirrels and woodchucks were likely to be his best market, for they were husking it for him, and not charging him a cent. Only they carried off all they husked without paying for it, and he was compelled to charge that part of his crop to "rabbit account."
The old squire loved a bit of fun as well as anybody, and it was a pity he could not have been in his own corn field that morning.
Tad Murray had to catch hold of old Ben the moment they were over the fence, for he half buried himself in the nearest shock of corn the first thing.
"Oh dear! if there was only one of 'em in sight, so he'd have something to run after!"
"Whip! Whip!" shouted Carr Hotchkiss. "Rabbits, Whip—rabbits!"
Whip had been dancing around the shock as if the ground under him were red-hot, and he couldn't keep his feet on any one spot for two seconds; but now he made a sudden dive into the gap from which Tad had pulled out old Ben.
"Find 'em, Whip—find 'em!"
"There's a rabbit in there somewhere," said Dan Burrel, in a loud, earnest whisper.
"Look out you don't scare him," whispered back Eph McCormick; and Frank Perry picked up a long stiff corn stalk, and began to poke it in at every crack he could find.
"Don't, Frank; you'll scare the rabbit."
"Scare him, Eph? Why, that's just what we're up to. If we don't scare him, he won't come out."
There was a loud whine from Whip at that moment, and a sound of very vigorous pawing and scratching away in out of sight.
"Do rabbits ever bite?" said Frank, excitedly.
"Rabbits? bite a dog?" said Carr, scornfully. "I'd back Whip all alone against all the rabbits Squire Murray's got."
Another whine from Whip, and more pawing and rustling in that mysterious place he had scratched into. Every boy of them wished he were in there with a double-barrelled gun or something.
"Tad," said Frank Perry, "maybe it isn't a rabbit. Maybe it's something big."
"Are there any 'coons around here nowadays?"
"Haven't seen any; but the rabbits are awful big ones, some of 'em."
Yelp, yelp, yelp, from the dog inside, and his voice had a smothered and anxious sound.
"He's got him!" exclaimed Tad. But he had better have kept his hold upon Ben for a moment longer. It had been pretty hard work the last minute or so, for Ben understood every sound Whip had been making. All it had meant really was: "Ben! boys! there's a rabbit here, and he keeps just about a foot ahead of me. He's three sizes smaller than I am, and he can get through the shock faster. One of you be on the look-out for him on that further side."
The instant Tad loosened his arms from around Ben's neck, the sagacious old fellow sprang forward—not at the hole where Whip went in, but straight across, where there was no hole at all, till he came to make one.
There was a big one there before any boy of them all knew what Ben was up to. How the corn stalks did fly as he pawed his way in and tore them aside with his great strong teeth! If he was not much of a hand at setting up a shock, he was a mouth and four paws at pulling one down.
"Ben! Ben!" shouted Tad. "Come here! Rabbits, Ben—rabbits! Come here, sir."
As if Ben needed anybody to say "rabbits" to him, after he had listened to all that anxious whimpering from Whip!
"Shake the shock a little," said Dan Burrel. "He's in there somewhere."
He suited the action to the word, but that was all that was needed, and down it came, flat on the ground, with a big dog and a small one and five excited boys tearing around among the ruins.
There was a rabbit there too when the shock fell over, but he came out of the confusion with a great leap, and would have made his escape entirely if it had not been for the long legs of old Ben.
There was no time given the rabbit to hunt for another hiding-place, for before the boys and Whip had quite made up their minds what had become of their game, Ben was shaking him by the back of the neck half way down the field.
"I say, boys," said Tad, "we must set this shock up again. There comes Josephus, and if we leave such a mess as this is behind us, he won't let us go after another rabbit."
Josephus was Tad's elder brother, and he had been sent down there by his mother to get a pumpkin for some pies. There were plenty of them, that had been planted among the corn, and it was easy enough to pick out a good one and go back to the house; but Joe saw what the boys were about, and he stood for a moment looking at them.
"Set it up carefully," whispered Eph McCormick; "Joe's watching us."
"We've got one rabbit, anyhow."
"I say, what's become of Whip?"
"Never mind, boys. Hurry this thing together again."
So they did, and they were so intent on repairing the mischief they had done that they did not see what Josephus and the two dogs were doing meantime.
"I've got him!"
They were all standing back and looking at their work to see if it was just as good as it had been before it tumbled, when they heard Joe shouting that to them from the other side of the field.
"I've got him! I wouldn't give much for a lot of boys that can't catch rabbits without tearing the corn to pieces. Send in the little dog every time, and wait till the rabbit comes out. The big dog's bound to catch him if you give him a fair chance."
"That's what we'll do," said Tad. "Joe's picking up his pumpkin. He's all right."
No doubt he was, but he would much rather have staid with them in the corn field than have carried that great yellow ball half a mile to the house.
There was plenty of fun after that, for both dogs and boys had learned that there was a right way to work at that kind of hunting. Before noon they had thirteen fine large rabbits hanging on the fence, and nobody could have told by the look of any shock in the field that either a dog or a boy had been through it.
"Boys," said Squire Murray, when he met them coming through the barn-yarn gate, "which of you caught the most rabbits?"
"Which of us caught the most?"
"Yes, that's what I'd like to know. Which of you is the one I want to hire to catch my rabbits for me?"
The boys looked at one another for a moment, and then Tad slowly remarked, "Well, father, I guess it's Ben. He got the first bite at every one of 'em."
[Begun in No. 46 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, September 14.]
WHO WAS PAUL GRAYSON?
BY JOHN HABBERTON,
AUTHOR OF "HELEN'S BABIES."
THE BEANTASSEL BENEFIT.
Of the many boys who were curious about Paul Grayson's antecedents, no one devoted more attention to the subject than Benny Mallow. Benny was short, and Paul was tall; Benny was fat, and Paul was thin; Benny's hair was light, while Paul's was black as jet; Benny had light blue eyes, while those of Paul were of a rich brown; Benny always had something to say about himself, while Paul never seemed to think his affairs of the slightest interest to any one but himself: so, taking all things into account, it is not wonderful that Benny Mallow spent whole half-hours in contemplating his friend with admiration and wonder.
Still more, as Benny had been accepted by every one as Paul's particular friend, he actually was besieged with all sorts of questions, and to answer these without letting himself down in the estimation of the school was no easy matter, when he did not know any more about Paul than any one else did. One question, however, he settled to the entire satisfaction of every one but Napoleon Nott— Grayson was not an exiled prince. Benny was sure of this, because he had asked Paul if he had ever been on the other side of the ocean, and Paul had answered that he had not. Notty endeavored to make light of this evidence by showing how easy it would have been to spirit the mysterious person away from his royal home and to America while he was a baby, and therefore too young to know anything about it, but Will Palmer told Notty that it was about time to stop making a fool of himself, and the other boys present said they thought so too, at which Notty became so angry that he vowed, in the presence of at least a dozen boys, that when the truth came out, and all the boys wanted to borrow his copy of The Exiled Prince: a Tale of Woe, he would not lend it to them, even if it were to save them from death; he would not even let them look at the cover, with its picture of the prince and the name of the publisher.
Meanwhile Mr. Morton had continued his visits to the prisoners and to the poor of the town, and out of school hours he had so interested the boys in some of the suffering families of worthless men or widowed women, that it was agreed by the whole school that the teasing of any of the boys of these families about the holes in their trousers, or provoking fights with or between them, should entirely stop; indeed, as this suggestion came from Bert Sharp, who was fonder of fighting than any other boy in the town, the school could not well do otherwise.
The boys went even farther: when one day old Peter Beantassel, whose family was always on the verge of starvation, spent on drink the accidental earnings of a week, and then fell into an abandoned well and was drowned, it was decided by the school to give an exhibition for the benefit of Mrs. Beantassel and her six children. Mr. Morton was delighted, and promised to secure a church or hall without expense to the boys, and to collect enough money from the public to pay for printing the tickets. The boys at once began work in tremendous earnest; they were for a fortnight so busy at determining upon a programme, and studying, rehearsing, selling tickets, and exacting promises from people who would not purchase in advance, that there was but little playing before school and during recess, blackberry hedges were neglected, and the trout in the single brook near the town had not the slightest excuse for apprehension.
Paul Grayson entered into the spirit of the occasion as thoroughly as any one else; he volunteered to recite Longfellow's "Psalm of Life," and when the farce of Box and Cox was about to be given up because no boy was willing to dress up in women's clothes, and be laughed at by all the larger girls, for playing the part of Mrs. Bouncer, Paul volunteered for that unpopular character, and saved the play. But this was not all. There were to be some tableaux, and as Mr. Morton had been asked to suggest some scenes, particularly one or two with Indians in them, and was as fond of pointing a moral as teachers usually are, one of his tableaux, to be called "Civilization," was a scene in the interior of an Indian's wigwam. The squaw, who had just been killed, was lying dead on the floor; her husband, with his hands tied, stood bleeding between two soldiers, while between father and mother stood the half-grown son, wondering what it all was about. As all of the boys wanted to see this tragic picture, all of them declined to take part in it; Joe Appleby had been heard to remark with a sneer that only very small and green boys cared to look at Indians, so he was asked to take the part of the wretched son himself; but he said that when any one saw him making a fool of himself by browning his face and dressing up in rags, he hoped some one would tell him about it: so Grayson, as the only other tall boy who had dark hair that was not cut short, was cast for this part also, and offered no objection. As for the bleeding chieftain, Napoleon Nott fought hard to pose in that character, and was quieted only by being allowed to play the dead squaw, which all the boys told him he ought easily to see was the more romantic part, besides being one in which he could by no chance make any mistake.
The place selected for the entertainment was the lecture-room of the Presbyterian church, and the boys had therefore to give up their darling project of devoting half an hour of the evening to amateur negro minstrelsy, for one of the deacons said that while he sometimes doubted that even an organ was a proper musical instrument for use in sacred buildings, he certainly was not going to tolerate banjos and bones. This decision was a great disappointment to Benny Mallow, who had been selected by the managers to perform upon the tambourine, but in the revision of the programme Benny was assigned to duty in a tableau as a little fat goblin, and this so tickled his fancy that he did not suffer long by the disappointment.
At last the eventful night arrived. Some of the boys did not leave the lecture-room at all after the last rehearsal, not even to get their suppers, for fear they should be late, and those who reached the room barely in time to take their parts had all they could do to squeeze through the crowd that blocked the doors and filled the aisles. The spectacle of so crowded a house raised the boys to a high pitch of excitement, which was increased by various peeps from the curtains that served as dressing-rooms at the Beantassel children, who by some thoughtful soul had been provided with free seats in the extreme front bench; there they were, all but the baby; they had been provided with clothing which, though old, was far more sightly than the rags they usually wore, and although they did not seem as much at ease as some others among the spectators, their eyes stood so very open, then and throughout the evening, that even Joe Appleby, who had reluctantly consented to pose, in his best clothes, with gloves, cane, and high hat, as Young America in a tableau of "The Nations," agreed with himself that the exhibition was rather a meritorious idea after all, and that even if the boys did as badly as he knew they would, he was glad it was sure to pay.
But the boys did not do badly; on the contrary, the general performance would have been quite creditable to adults. The opening was somewhat dismal; it was announced to consist of a duet for two flutes by Will Palmer and Ned Johnston. The boys had practiced industriously at several airs in order to discover which would be best, and at last they supposed they had fully agreed; but when seated Ned began the "Miserere" from Trovatore, while Will started "The Old Folks at Home," and each was sure the other was wrong, and would correct himself, which the other in both cases failed to do, and finally both boys retired abruptly, amid considerable laughter, and fought the matter out in the dressing-room.
Paul Grayson soon restored order, however, by his rendering of the "Psalm of Life." He had a fine voice, and he spoke the lines as if he meant them; so gloriously did his voice ring that even the boys in the dressing-room kept silence and listened, though they had heard the same verses a hundred times before.
Most of the performances that followed went very smoothly, although Benny Mallow, who played the Hatter's part in Box and Cox, caused some confusion by laughing frequently and unexpectedly, because Paul's disguise as Mrs. Bouncer affected him powerfully in spite of the efforts made by Sam Wardwell, as the Printer, to restrain him. The tableaux pleased the audience greatly; even that of "Prometheus," with Ned Johnston as the sufferer, and Mrs. Battle's big red rooster as the vulture, brought down the house.
But the great tableau of the evening was the teacher's "Civilization." When Paul Grayson had understood fully what the scene was to be, he refused so earnestly to have anything to do with it that the boys were startled. They did not excuse him from taking the part of the young Indian, however; they pleaded so steadily that at last Paul consented, but in worse temper than any one had ever seen him before. No one could complain of the manner in which he acted on the stage, however. When the curtain was drawn he was seen standing beside his dead mother, and shaking a fist at the soldiers; in color, dress, pose, and spirit he seemed to be a real Indian, if the audience was a competent judge; then, when the applause justified a recall, as it soon did, the drawn curtain disclosed Paul clinging to the wounded brave as if nothing should ever tear him away.
Napoleon Nott saw all this, although, as the Indian boy's mother, he was supposed to be dead beyond recall. Suddenly he felt himself to be inspired, and when the curtain was down he flew into the dressing-room and exclaimed, "I've got it!"
"Be careful not to hurt it," said Canning Forbes, sarcastically.
"I've got it!" declared Notty, without noticing Canning's cruel speech. "Grayson is an Indian, a chief's son. You don't suppose he could have made believe so well as all that, do you? That's it. I knew he was a great person of some sort. Sh—h! he's coming."
Somehow the boys who had been able to peep out at the tableau did not laugh at Notty this time. Paul, in his Indian dress, had greatly impressed them all before he left the dressing-room, and certainly his acting had been unlike anything the boys had seen other boys do. The subject was talked over in whispers, so that Paul should not hear, during the remainder of the evening, with the result that that very night at least six boys told other boys or their own parents, in the strictest confidence, of course, that there was more truth than make-believe about Paul Grayson as an Indian. And the parents told the same story to other parents, the boys told it to other boys, and within twenty-four hours Paul Grayson was a far more interesting mystery than before.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE PARASOL ANTS AND THE FORAGING ANTS.
BY CHARLES MORRIS.
Was there ever such a prattler as the warm-hearted little brook that ran by the foot of the garden of Woodbine Cottage? To be sure, it had good reason to be jolly, for the sunlight buried itself in its bubbles till they sparkled like diamonds; and a hedge of roses overhung it, and dropped crimson leaves that floated away like fairy boats on its bright surface; and broad-winged butterflies floated, like tiny ships of the air, above the happy stream. And away it ran, prattling and chattering, and picking its way through moss-covered stones that lifted above its surface, and tumbling hastily down in little cascades, as though it were in a desperate hurry to get on in the world, and altogether misbehaving itself just as any madcap little stream might when out on a frolic.
Its bank beyond the garden was bordered with the white and gold of daisies and buttercups, and the red and green of blossoming clover, in which Harry Mason was almost buried, only his bright cheeks and curly hair showing out of this verdant nest. As for Uncle Ben, he was gravely seated on the bank of the brook, holding his little friend Willie on his knee. The little chap was quite as grave as his big uncle.
"You neber tole us one word yet 'bout them soldiers an' cows an' tings, 'mong the ants, Uncle Ben," he earnestly remarked, "an' you knows you said you was goin' to tell us all an' all an' all about 'em. An' I don't think it's fair."
"Why, I certainly must have done so," replied Uncle Ben, with affected surprise. "You have surely forgotten. I shall have to leave this affair for Harry to settle."
"Then Willie is right," returned Harry, from his grassy nest. "You told us everything else about them, but you never said one thing about the cows or the soldiers."
"Everything else about them!" exclaimed Uncle Ben, with a sly smile. "Why, I know I did not say a word about the parasol ants, or the foraging ants, or the—"
"The parasol ants!" cried Willie, quite forgetting the cows and the soldiers in his surprise. "You doesn't mean, Uncle Ben, that they carries parasols—jes like mamma, now?"
Harry, too, had lifted himself up on his elbow, the light of curiosity gleaming in his eyes.
"They are the most comical things in the world," replied their uncle. "Just imagine now a great line of ants, marching along like a school of young ladies out on a holiday, each of them holding a piece of green leaf over its head like a parasol. It is not strange that people fancied that this was done to keep the sun off, and called them parasol ants."
"What do they do it for, then?" asked Harry, eagerly.
"Maybe them's the soldiers," suggested Willie; "maybe it's ant guns they's carryin'."
"We have not got to the soldiers yet," said his uncle, smiling. "These leaves are really used in building their nests. But the whole thing is very curious. The ants climb up the bushes, and run out on the leaves. There they cut, with their sharp jaws, a little round piece from the leaf. Then they pick this up, getting a tight hold on it, you may be sure, and away they scamper for the nest. But these ants are not the nest-builders; they are only like the laborers who carry bricks to the bricklayers. They drop their leaves beside the nest, and run back for more, leaving the real builders to finish the work."
"Regular little hod-carriers," suggested Harry. "But they don't build a nest of little bits of leaf, I hope?"
"Not exactly. The leaves are mingled through the earth to sustain the great domes which they erect. The houses which these tropical ants build are wonderfully different from the little ant-hills we see about here. They are not very high; it is true. The dome rises about two feet above the ground. But then it is more than forty feet across. One of them would reach nearly across our garden, like a great white swelling upon the face of the earth. They certainly need something to hold together the wet clay of their great domes."
"But our ants here live 'way down, 'way under-ground," remarked Willie.
"So do these," replied Uncle Ben. "The dome is only the roof of their house. They are famous diggers—I assure you of that. Talk about our miners, with their tunnels running deep into the mountains: why, their work is nothing in comparison with that of these little creatures. They make wonderful under-ground tunnels, which run out from the nest in all directions, and to incredible distances. No one sees these tunnels, however, unless they may happen to come to the surface in a very disastrous manner, as they sometimes do."
"How do you mean?" asked Harry, curiously. He had now crept out of his lair, and was seated quietly beside his uncle, with his feet hanging just above the stream.
"Why, in one case, in South America, they tunnelled through the bank of a reservoir. The first thing the people knew, the water was rushing out in a torrent. It was never discovered what was the trouble until the reservoir was quite empty, when they found that the parasol ants had caused the mischief."
"Well, I do declare!" cried Willie, laughing so heartily that he nearly tumbled off Uncle Ben's knee. "Wasn't that jes ever so cunning?"
"Why, you don't think they did it just a-purpose, for nothing but mischief, I hope?" asked Harry, with some indignation.
"I s'poses so," replied Willie, laughing to that extent that he dropped his hat into the stream. And then there was a lively scramble until it was rescued again from the merry waters, which were running away with it as fast as they could.
"You're such a comical little fellow," said Harry, as he shook the water from the dripping hat, and pressed it tightly down on Willie's head. "Anybody that can't laugh without shaking his hat overboard!"
"But that was so funny 'bout the ants lettin' the water all run away! don' know how I's to help laughin'," retorted Willie.
"There is another story told," continued Uncle Ben, "about a nest of parasol ants that dug a tunnel into a gold mine. The under-ground streams got turned into this tunnel, and the waters poured in until they flooded the mine. It cost thousands of dollars to pump the water out, and get the mine ready for working again. And the owners had first to send for a professional ant-killer, and destroy the ant nest, before it was safe to go on."
"A professional ant-killer?" repeated Harry, opening his eyes wide in surprise.
"Yes: there are persons who make a regular business of destroying these troublesome ants."
"Guess that can't be much trouble," said Willie, disdainfully. "Jes got to put your foot on 'em, an' smash 'em."
"I hardly think your foot would cover forty square feet of ground," remarked his uncle, lifting up the diminutive foot, and very gravely examining it. "And then there are the tunnels, running eighty or a hundred feet away in all directions. I am afraid this foot would not be quite large enough."
"I don't care," cried Willie, jerking his foot away. "I was thinkin' 'bout ants like what we have here."
"But how do they kill them, then?" asked Harry, looking up inquiringly into his uncle's face.
"They build a sort of oven over the doorway of the nest," was the reply. "In this they make a fire of charcoal and pungent herbs, and some negroes are stationed with bellows, driving the smoke and fumes from the fire down into the nest. When smoke is seen rising from the ground anywhere, they know that a tunnel opens in that spot, and they stop it up with clay. But it is no light task to kill out a nest of ants. The negroes are kept constantly at work with their bellows for four days and nights, driving down the smothering fumes. At the end of that time the oven is taken away and the nest opened, every tunnel being laid bare. If any ants are found to be alive, they are instantly killed, and all the openings are stopped up with clay, which is stamped down hard, until the whole nest is filled with it."
"Who would ever have thought that a nest of ants would be so hard to kill?" remarked Harry, reflectively.
"All that trouble jes to kill some ole ants," said Willie, getting down and walking away disdainfully. "Guess big men with their big boots could smash 'em easier 'an that if they wanted to."
"Are there other ants that make such tunnels?" asked Harry.
"Oh yes; some of the ants are wonderful diggers. There is a Texan species which on one occasion was found to have run a tunnel under a creek, fifteen or twenty feet deep and thirty feet wide, for the purpose of getting at the vegetables and fruits in a gentleman's garden on the other side of the creek."
"I think they should have been smoked out anyhow," said Harry.
"Guess I'd pulled eberyting 'fore the ants got over," suggested Willie.
"And what were those foraging ants you spoke of, Uncle Ben?"
"Jes neber mine them," exclaimed Willie. "You knows you was goin' to tell all 'bout the cows, an' you ain't eber goin' to tell one word. I b'lieves you's jes funnin' with us, Uncle Ben. I jes b'lieves that, now."
"Oh! you want to hear about the cows?" said his uncle, with a look of grave surprise. "Why, of course. The ant cows, you know, are everywhere. There is no trouble to find them."
A stray branch of a grape-vine had grown over the hedge, and stretched itself across the brook. Uncle Ben bent it down and examined it for a minute.
"Why, here they are now!" he exclaimed, pointing to some very small insects on one of the leaves, about which several ants were busying themselves. "These are the ant cows. And here are their keepers looking after them."
"Them little tings cows!" said Willie, with a look of utter disdain.
"You didn't expect to find them as big as our cows, I hope?" asked Harry.
"Their real name is aphis, or plant-louse," said Uncle Ben. "They suck the juices of the leaves. These juices become in their bodies a sort of honey, which they yield from certain pores. The ants are very fond of this honey-dew, and lap it up eagerly. And if you watch close you may see them patting or stroking the aphides to make them yield the honey faster. That is what has been called milking their cows."
"Well, that is very curious, I know," exclaimed Harry. "I am going to watch them after this."
"Each ant seems to claim certain cows as his own property," continued Uncle Ben. "And he will bristle up angrily if any other ant strays into his pasture fields. But that is not the whole story. They not only milk these cows, but they tenderly raise their calves. Some species of the aphis live on the roots of plants. Around these the ants make their nests, so as to have their cows in stables of their own. And they take the greatest care of the eggs and the young of the aphides, raising them as tenderly as they raise their own young. No human farmer could be more careful of his own stock of cows and calves."
"You 'mos' might as well say they's folks right out," ejaculated Willie, indignantly. "Anyhow, it's ole honey, an' it ain't milk at all."
"I am sure it is not the fault of the ants if their cows give honey instead of milk," replied his uncle, with an odd smile. "And I have certainly seen folks who were not as wise as the ants."
"But never mind the cows, Uncle Ben," persisted Harry. "I want to hear about the foraging ants. Where do they belong, and what queer things do they do?"
"They are a South American ant," was the reply. "They may be seen at certain seasons marching along the ground in a long column, much like an army. They have officers, too. These are large-headed ants that march outside the column, and keep it in order. It is an immense army they command, I can assure you—greater than that with which Xerxes in old times invaded Greece; for there may be millions of ants in the line. There is another species which does not march in column, but in a close mass, often covering from six to ten square yards of ground."
"But what are they after?" asked Harry.
"That's jes what I wants to know," observed Willie, whose curiosity had returned.
"They are after food," replied their uncle. "It is amusing to see the insects scampering off from their line of march. They seem to know the danger that threatens them, for scarcely a living thing escapes the sharp jaws of these fierce foragers. They send out side columns to search the ground and the bushes and low trees. When any insect is found, it is instantly surrounded and covered by these marauders, and torn to pieces, and carried off in fragments. But it is not in the trees and on the ground that they find their chief prey."
"Where, then?" asked Harry, his great blue eyes fixed with speaking interest on his uncle's countenance.
"In the houses. The foraging ants are a perfect blessing to the people of the villages, not a pest, as ants are in our houses. These warm regions, you know, have multitudes of insects that we never see. The houses are infested not only with rats and mice, roaches and fleas, but with snakes and scorpions, with huge spiders and with many other unpleasant things; so the village folks are glad enough to see the approach of the foraging ants. They throw open every door in their houses, unlock their drawers and trunks, and pull the clothes out on the floor. They then vacate the houses, and leave them to the ants, who soon stream in. Those who have seen them say that it is a wonderful spectacle. Nothing living escapes them. They search every hole, nook, and cranny. Here, dozens may be seen surrounding a great spider or scorpion; there, they chase sprawling long-legged creatures across the window-panes; yonder, hundreds of them may be observed dragging out a rat or a mouse which they have killed: even snakes can not escape from the sharp and poisonous bite of these bold foragers. It takes from three to four hours for them to clear out a house. They will not leave it until they are sure that not a living thing remains. Then they stream out again, carrying their prey with them; and the inhabitants gladly return, satisfied that they will have a month or two of comfort after this ants' house-cleaning."
"I do b'lieve you's half funnin' again, Uncle Ben," declared Willie, with an aspect of severe doubt. "How's little tings like ants goin' to pull out snakes an' rats? I'd jes like to know that!"
"But I forgot to tell you that these ants are much larger than any we have here. Some of the tropical ants are an inch long, and as large as a large wasp; so you may imagine that a whole army of them is not to be trifled with."
"Is it them that's the soldiers, Uncle Ben?" asked Willie.
"The soldiers? Oh, you want to hear about the soldiers—But, I declare, if there isn't the dinner-bell! Who would have thought that we had spent so much time over the ants?"
THE PLUMES OF CRECY.
BY LILLIE E. BARR.
I was reading of kings and nobles, Tourney and knightly gage, Till the summer twilight faded From Froissart's ancient page. Then in the darkened parlor I saw a fairer sight— The brave old King whose valor makes The shame of Crecy light.
He stood on the little hill-side, Taller than all his peers, Quite blind, but with eyes uplifted, Hoary with many years. Still wearing his golden armor, Crowned with his royal crown, Leaning upon the sword with which He struck the Soldan down.
And high in his gleaming helmet Three ostrich plumes, snow white— From the Paynim's brow he tore them In some Jabluna fight. All scarred with Carpathian arrows, His heart with Honor flames: "Advance!" he cries, "and fight for France, Bohemia, and St. James!"
But two of his knights staid by him, And little did they say; The blind old King talked with his heart, And that was in the fray. Alas! alas! He heard too soon The sounds of shameful flight; "Thank God," he sighed, "Bohemia's blind!"— He would not see this sight.
"Now, friends, one more good deed I claim, Last service for your lord: I ask a soldier's grave, good knights; I'll dig it with my sword. My horse's reins tie fast to yours— A friend on either hand— Then ride straight on to where you see The English archers stand."
They kissed their King most tenderly, Then three as one they went Down to the field of certain death With proud and glad content. They cut a path to where Prince Charles, The King's son, stood at bay: 'Twas spirits, and not flesh and blood, For honor fought that day.
The three white plumes above the gloom Gleamed like a snowy wing; Victors and vanquished paused to watch The blind Bohemian King. Pierced oft by arrows, stained with blood, The Soldan's plumes still wave, Until Bohemia's sword had cut Honor's unsullied grave.
Next day, when English heralds sought Over the fatal field Trampled lilies and flags of France, They found upon his shield The blind old King of Bohemia, Son and friends by his side; But torn and stained the snowy plumes That long had been his pride.
Then said the Black Prince over him, "O knight, the bravest, best, Thy plumes are dyed in hero's blood— Henceforth they are my crest!" And still they wave o'er England's crown, And teach the young and brave, When all is lost but honor, then Valor digs Honor's grave.
 Froissart's Chronicle, vol. i., p. 164.
THE MONTHS.—BY KATE GREENAWAY.
BY J. ESTEN COOKE.
Anybody visiting the valley of Virginia in the autumn will be sure to notice, after sunset, all along the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, little glimmering lights like stars. These are the fires in front of the small tents of the sumac hunters, who, after gathering sumac all day long, are laughing and talking with their wives and children as they eat their suppers before lying down to sleep.
Sumac is a very pretty plant or shrub which grows a few feet high only, and has beautiful blood-red leaves springing from a delicate shoot, or bough. The stalk is smooth, and the leaves are almond-shaped, only more pointed. On the top of the plant and its larger boughs grow bunches of red berries in the shape of grape bunches; and the leaves and berries are of such a deep, rich crimson in the late autumn that they sometimes make the slopes of the hills appear as if they were on fire. If any little girl would like to dress the vases on the parlor mantelpiece prettily, she could not do better than collect a handful of these delicate tendrils with their scarlet leaves, and use them as a background to the lovely little autumn flowers—late primroses, stars-of-Bethlehem, wild honeysuckles, and fringed ferns—which grow in the woods and fields at this time of the year.
But the honest country people who take so much pains about collecting sumac are not thinking about dressing vases with it. They gather it to sell, and are paid from one cent to a cent and a half a pound for it at the sumac mills. This may not seem much, but then the ocean is made up of drops, and with poor people a little money goes a long way. As little children can pull sumac just as well as grown people, a whole family may gather in a day several dollars' worth.
It is used for dyeing, and is said to be better for that purpose than anything else to color fair leather and certain other fabrics. Great quantities of it are employed in printing calicoes in rich patterns, and the dresses worn by ladies and girls often owe their bright colors to the leaves of the sumac. The way in which it is collected and prepared for use is very simple. As soon as the leaves turn red, which is toward the end of summer, the sumac hunters begin their work. They scatter through the fields, or along the sides of the mountain, and break off the twigs on which the leaves are growing; for these twigs do not make the leaves less valuable. Then, when they have collected an armful, they put it in a pile or into bags, and as night comes on the whole is taken to one spot, from which it is hauled home in wagons. Here it is laid on the floor of the barn or any out-house, in the shade, so that it may dry very gradually, and keep the juices which afford the coloring matter. When this process of drying is gone through with, and the leaves are in a proper state, it is loaded on carts or wagons, in bags, and taken to the sumac mills, where it is weighed, and paid for by the owner of the mills at the rate, as I have said, of from one cent to a cent and a half a pound. The largest mills in Virginia, where the finest sumac grows—or at least a very fine article—are at Richmond; but at Winchester, in the lower part of the Shenandoah Valley, toward the Potomac, there is a big mill, where great quantities are purchased, and prepared for the use of the dyers. The leaves and small twigs are pounded and reduced to a fine dust, and then it is ready to be sent away. When it reaches the manufactories where it is to be used as a dye for leather, calico, etc., it is mixed with what are called mordants, certain substances that make it bite in, as the word means, and take fast hold of the material to be dyed; and then there is the pretty calico with its bright colors, which can not be washed out.
It is only of late years that much attention has been paid to it in Virginia. People thought more about raising corn and wheat than of gathering sumac; but in twenty years they have learned a great deal, and now begin to understand that "every little helps," and that if they can go with their wives and children and pull sumac, and then sell it, they can take their money and buy sugar and coffee, and perhaps some of the very calico for their little girls' dresses which the red leaves of the sumac make so pretty.
The children like the "camping out" on the mountain in the pleasant summer and fall nights very much. It is a sort of frolic, and it is a very good thing to mix up pleasure with work: it makes the work much easier. The tents are very simple little affairs—only a breadth of canvas stretched across a ridge-pole, like the "comb" of a house, held up by forked sticks set in the ground. In this are spread what in Virginia are called "pine tags," that is, the tassels, or needles, of the pine-trees, which are dry and brown, and by spreading a blanket or old comforter on these you have an excellent soft bed. In front of the tent a fire is built to cook by, and by means of forked sticks a pot can be hung above the fire for making soup, boiling meat, etc. By this fire, as I have told you, the sumac hunters gather in the evening, after work, and laugh and talk and sing, and eat their suppers; or perhaps some one of them can play the fiddle, and he strikes up a dancing tune, and the girls and boys dance on the grass, and laugh and enjoy themselves much more than if they were in fine drawing-rooms. After a while the long day's work makes them sleepy, and they lie down on the fresh pine tags in the tent, and go to sleep—to be up at daylight, and once more at work hunting and gathering their sumac.
OLD TIMES IN THE COLONIES.
BY CHARLES CARLETON COFFIN.
THE BATTLE OF THE RANGERS.
When war broke out between France and England in 1755, the French and Indians came down from Canada and attacked the settlers of New England and New York, as they had done in previous wars, burning their dwellings, killing men and women, or carrying them to Canada as prisoners.
The French had a fort at Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, and another at Ticonderoga; while the English had Fort William Henry, at the southern end of Lake George, and Fort Edward, on the Hudson.
The English officers who had been sent over by the King to command the "Provincials," as the people of England called all who lived in America, thought that soldiers must march in the wilderness with just as much precision as along a hard beaten road, that they must move in platoons and columns, keeping step to the drum-beat. The French officers, on the other hand, adopted the plan of the Indians, marching in single file, each man carrying his provisions. They made quick movements, falling suddenly upon a settlement, with their Indian allies, making all the havoc possible, and before the settlers could gather to resist them, would be far on their way to Crown Point or Canada.
Robert Rogers, of New Hampshire, who was fighting the French, prevailed upon Lord Loudon, the English commander-in-chief, to allow him to form a battalion of troops, who should have the privilege of scouting the woods around Lake George and Lake Champlain, to discover the movements of the French and Indians, to fall upon them just as they were stealing upon the English, strike a blow, and be gone before the French would know what had happened. He would play their own game upon them.
Lord Loudon having given his consent, Major Rogers went to New Hampshire and enlisted his men. They were all young, strong, athletic. They had tramped over the hills and mountains of that province, hunting bears, and had set their traps along the streams for beavers. They could pick their way through the forest on a cloudy day when there was no sun to guide them, and could tell in the darkest and cloudiest night which way was north by feeling the bark on the trees—for the bark is always more mossy on the northern than on the side exposed to the sun.
It was to be a service of hardship and privation. They would have to make long marches; to sleep on the ground; to endure great fatigue; brave the cold of winter, wrapping themselves in their blankets at night, and lying down with the snow for their bed.
Although the hardships would be so great, Robert Rogers had no difficulty in obtaining all the men he wanted. The settlers had suffered so much from the enemy that they were eager to take their revenge. There was a fascination in the service. How stirring the thought of stealing through the woods, making roundabout marches, shooting a deer or bear, eating the nice steaks, lying down to sleep beneath the trees; up again in the morning, coming upon the French and Indians unawares, pouring in a volley, killing the savages or taking them prisoners, and returning in triumph!
Major Rogers chose as lieutenant the man who had knocked the Indians about, right and left, when called upon to run the gauntlet—John Stark, who could follow a trail as well as any Indian, who was always cool and collected, and as brave as a lion. The men were called Rangers. They wore green frocks, and besides their rifles each man had a long knife which he could use in a close fight. They wore boots and leather leggings, and each man carried his rations—bread and cold corned beef—in a bag.
The ice on Lake George was thick and strong in March, 1757, when the Rangers, seventy-four in number, with iron spurs on their feet, several days' rations in their bags, their blankets rolled upon their shoulders, marching in single file, with trailed arms, Major Rogers at the head, and John Stark in the rear, started from Fort William Henry.
They made their way over the gleaming ice for two days, but on the third day they left the lake, put on their snow-shoes, entered the woods, marched past Ticonderoga, and came out upon the western shore of Lake Champlain, discovered a party of French, with horses and sleds, on their way from Ticonderoga to Crown Point. Stark, with a part of the Rangers, made a dash and captured seven prisoners. He did not see another party of French around a point of land in season to capture them. They escaped to Ticonderoga, and gave the alarm.
Major Rogers knew that a large party of French and Indians would be sent out from Ticonderoga to intercept him, and at once started to return.
It was a rainy day. The snow was damp and heavy. "We will go to our last night's camp, and dry our guns," said Major Rogers.
They reached the camping-place, where the fires were still burning, dried their guns, put in new priming, and started once more, Rogers in front, Stark bringing up the rear.
It was two o'clock in the afternoon. Rogers descended a hill, crossed a brook, and was picking his way up another hill, when he found himself face to face with more than two hundred French and Indians, the nearest not twenty feet distant.
A volley. Lieutenant Kennedy and John Gardiner fall dead; a bullet glances from Rogers's skull, for a moment taking away his senses; the blood flows down his face, blinding him. Several other Rangers are wounded.
Lieutenant Stark issues the order, and the Rangers under his command take position on a little hill. The Rangers down in the valley fire a volley at the French, holding their ground till all the wounded can make their way back to Stark's position.
Rogers wipes the blood from his face, and issues his orders.
"You are to command the centre," he says to Stark.
He sends Sergeants Walker and Phillips with eight men to the rear, to give notice of any attempt of the enemy to crawl round and attack from that direction.
"Don't throw away your ammunition; keep cool; don't expose yourselves," are the orders, and each Ranger takes position behind a tree. They know that the enemy outnumber them three to one, that they have had the advantage of the first fire; but each Ranger prepares to fight to the bitter end.
Round through the woods steal a part of the French and Indians, making a wide circuit. Major Rogers reasoned correctly, and he posted the two sergeants in the right place. The eight Rangers pick off the French one by one, giving them such a warm reception that instead of rushing on, they remain at a distance.
The other French, with a horde of Indians howling the war-whoop, begin the attack in front, the Indians springing from tree to tree, getting nearer and nearer. But the Rangers are on the watch, and many of the savages leap into the air and fall dead, or crawl away, leaving bloody trails upon the snow.
"If you will surrender, we will give you good quarter," shouts the French commander.
Major Rogers was faint from the loss of blood, and at the moment was faint-hearted. He feared that the Rangers would all be picked off before the fight would cease. It would be three hours to sunset. Could they hold out till then? He had no thought of surrendering, but would it not be best to retreat?
John Stark's blood is up.
"Retreat! No; that will be certain destruction. We can beat them here. I'll shoot the first man that attempts to retreat."
It was bold language for him to use to his commander, but he knew that Rogers had been stunned by the bullet that had glanced from his skull, and was not quite himself.
The fight goes on, the Rangers taking sure aim, the French firing more wildly, but still one by one the Rangers drop. Captain Spikeman and Mr. Baker are killed. A bullet strikes the lock of Stark's gun, and renders it useless. He sees a Frenchman fall at the instant, springs forward, seizes his gun, returns to his tree, and renews the fight.
A bullet tears through Rogers's wrist, and the blood spurts out in a stream. It must be stopped, or he will bleed to death. Rogers wears his back hair braided in a queue.
"Take your knife and cut off my queue," he says to one of the Rangers, who whips out his hunting-knife, cuts off the queue, and Rogers sticks it into the wound to stop the flowing of the blood.
All through the dreary afternoon the fight goes on. The snow is crimsoned with blood. The killed and mortally wounded lie where they fall. For the Rangers there is no escape; they must conquer or die.
The shades of night steal on; the fire of the French and Indians has been growing less; the war-whoop dies away; the last gun is fired. The enemy, picking up their wounded, retire to Ticonderoga, leaving the Rangers victors. What a dear-bought victory!—one-half of them killed or wounded. Of the enemy one hundred and sixteen have fallen!
The Rangers were only four miles from Ticonderoga, and might expect to be attacked again in the morning. They were forty miles from Fort William Henry. They were weary and worn, but they must move on. They made litters for the wounded, and started, marching all night, but making only a few miles.
The snow had ceased, the air was chill. They must have help. John Stark, leaving them, started for Fort William Henry, reaching it at sunset. Soldiers with horses and sleds started at once, and John Stark with them, stopping not a moment to rest his weary limbs. At sunrise he was back to the Rangers with the re-enforcements and supplies. The French had not followed them, and they made their way safely back to Fort William Henry, having fought one of the most obstinate, unequal, yet victorious battles recorded in history.
THE ANGEL IN THE LILLY FAMILY.
BY SHERWOOD BONNER.
There was something rather queer about the Lilly family. In the first place there were so many of them—fourteen precious children. This alone is queer, when it is the fashion of the day to have small families, and "well-springs of pleasure" are as scarce as diamonds in any properly regulated household. But Mrs. Lilly's heart was made on the omnibus plan; and there was no miserable little "Complet" ever scrawled over its door.
Then it was queer how they avoided nicknames in the Lilly family. Each child was called by its full name, which sometimes happened to be a pretty long one.
It was through a sad accident that one of the Lilly children turned into a regular little angel.
The day after Christmas Mrs. Lilly's aunt—grandaunt of the children—carelessly allowed poor Katharine Kirk Lilly to fall on a marble floor. A serious injury to her spine was the result.
Dear! dear! how Mrs. Lilly screamed! She threw herself on the bed, and poured forth tears enough to put out a Christmas bonfire. She was not soothed until the doctor came, and after a careful examination—which the sufferer bore without a word or moan—pronounced that poor Katharine Kirk would live. But, alas! he added that she must always be an invalid. And smiling with the patient sweetness that distinguished her, the dear child sank back on the pillows from which she was never to lift her golden head. All the rest of the Lilly children stood round, showing by a sort of paralyzed expression on their faces how deeply they were moved; but none of them cried.
"Perhaps, dears," said the poor little mother, sobbing, "this affliction will be blessed to you."
"It will," cried the penitent great-aunt, clasping Mrs. Lilly in her arms; "it will teach them lessons of patience, of self-denial, of love, that will be as good as—"
"As the Prince's pricking-conscience ring in the family," suggested Mrs. Lilly's mother, who had a way of turning things into fun, and never gave way to her feelings.
It was surprising what a change from that time dated in the Lilly family. They had been like other children, a little faulty, perhaps, rather apt to stand on their rights—a fierce footing—but merely to look at the darling invalid, her shining hair outspread, her blue eyes ever bright, was to receive a lesson in sweetness and good temper.
Take the case of Phillips Arthur Cliff Lilly. This young gentleman was the youngest of the family, and his mother's favorite. Why, no one knew, except that he was so ugly. He had so many scars on his face, from falls and fights, that somehow he produced the impression of a target. His hair stood out like a halo of straw, and one defiant wisp reared itself above his forehead with the grace of a cat's whisker. Mrs. Lilly could never sleep until he was safe in her arms, and his life knew no cross until after the accident to Katharine Kirk, who became, in her turn, the pivot round which the family revolved. Horrible to relate, his mother one evening, in her hurry to get back to the invalid, forgot her youngest, and left him in the Common. There he lay all night, like a tramp, with the stars twinkling at him, and stray dogs sniffing as they passed him by. Yet when he was found he did not utter one word. He opened his blue eyes as he was picked up, and only gave a single plaintive cry as he was pressed to his frantic mother's bosom.
Then there was Myra Miles. She was one of the young ladies of the family, and, as might be forgiven in a beauty, a trifle vain. She was to receive calls on New-Year's Day, and had expected to come out in a fine new dress. Pink tarlatan it was to be, trimmed in the French taste with blue, with a train to thrill you to your finger-tips, which seemed to bear the same relation to Myra Miles as the rest of a snake does to its head. Mrs. Lilly's mamma was making it; but her time was suddenly demanded to do something for the invalid, and the dress was thrown aside. The consequence was that poor Myra Miles appeared in the gorgeous pink dress with a black lace scarf instead of the waist. Still, not one word of complaint did she utter, although her sisters Dorothy Dimple and Martha Bonn—the favorites of Mrs. Lilly's aunt—appeared in exquisite raiment of green and blue. There was something very beautiful about her resignation.
When the lovely Susan Mears Lilly was married, Katharine Kirk was taken in her pretty bed to view the ceremony, and was quite a feature of the occasion. Indeed, she did not begin to look so weak and ill as the bridegroom, who, poor youth, was so tottering that Mrs. Lilly's aunt cruelly suggested that his back should be propped with a hair-pin. You may imagine how the girls laughed at this, especially Teresa Fehmer Lilly, a wicked little bridemaid in red satin.
And such attentions as the sufferer had from friends of the Lilly family! The beautiful belle Miss Lilian Love spent many hours over a dainty quilt of silk and lace to adorn the sick-bed. A glorious poet sent in a box of agreeable medicine, with a note running like this:
"MY DEAR MRS. LILLY,—I send you a little book for your sick child, and some medicine for her poor broken back. The peculiarity of this medicine is that in order to produce any good effect it must be taken by the nurse. This is rather hard upon the nurse; but if she is a good nurse she will not mind it much."
Jane Jumper was the nurse really; but while the medicine lasted Mrs. Lilly herself took entire charge, and administered the sweet doses to herself, without one word from Katharine Kirk.
It may have occurred by this time to some shrewd little reader that under no circumstance was any member of this household apt to give utterance to silver speech. Shall I confess? Or, my dear children, have you guessed that Katharine Kirk and all the cherished fourteen belonged to the beloved, the beautiful, the dumb, family of—Dolls?
I am nearly six years old. I would like to have a tea party on my birthday. After my birthday has come I will write again, and tell you all about it.
In Rome I have a big play horse and two kitties. My little cat is gray and white, and is called Bimbo. He walks on his toes, and makes a long face. Papa's cat's name is Cavaliere. He is a big Maltese cat.
In Rome we have a nice house and a nice garden, and in the garden there is a straw hut.
We are finishing the summer at Viareggio, and we have nice sea-baths.
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SMITH'S HILL, FEATHER RIVER, CALIFORNIA.
I enjoy the letters in YOUNG PEOPLE, especially those that tell of birds and flowers I have not seen. There are mocking-birds here in summer, and a beautiful bird called goldfinch. There are also robins, bluebirds, and many varieties of sparrows. The bluebirds and robins stay here all winter. It is too bad to take eggs from the birds to give away in exchange. The pitcher-plant grows in a valley not far from here.
My sister Bell went to Lassens Peak last week. It is 10,600 feet high. There is no snow on the mountain now except a small patch on top. Hundreds of small butterflies were flitting about on the mountain-side and alighting on the rocks. As there is no vegetation, except a few hardy plants scattered among the ledges, I wonder what they find to live on. A lake which could be seen from the top of the peak had the appearance of being frozen. In the valley below there are hot boiling springs.
LOU R. K.
Yes, it is too bad to take so many birds' eggs. But if our correspondents are careful to take only one or two from each nest, and to always leave more than half, as we have already begged them to do, the mother-bird will not suffer. If we could believe for a moment that our little friends would be so cruel as to disturb the brooding mother, and rob her nest of all its eggs, we would never publish another letter requesting an exchange of these pretty natural curiosities. The nesting season is now over in all the Northern States, but when it returns, we trust the young egg collectors will never allow their eagerness to secure the coveted treasure to overcome their sense of honor and their kindness of heart.
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CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.
I am ten years old. I take HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like it very much. I am always glad when Wednesday comes, for that is the day I get it. I think it is a very nice paper for boys and girls. I have a pet dog whose name is Lion.
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I am ten years old. I have no pets except a Maltese cat and a dog. I was very much interested in the dog and cat of Madelaine, the little French girl. I like "The Moral Pirates" and "Who was Paul Grayson?" best of all the stories. My father gave me a piano for my birthday present; and when I was seven years old he gave me a pony, and I named him Button. I dearly love to gallop over the hills.
I went to New Hampshire in 1875 to see my grandfather, and we visited the White Mountains.
I think YOUNG PEOPLE is the nicest paper I ever saw, and I intend to take it until I grow up.
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NEW YORK CITY.
B. I., of Radnor, Ohio, asks how to feather arrows. Choose goose or turkey feathers of a suitable size. Cut them carefully from the quill; put on hot glue, and fasten them to the sides of the arrow, about an inch from the notch, at equal distances apart. There should always be three feathers.
It is a good plan to fasten the feathers to the arrow with pins until the glue is perfectly dry, when they can be carefully removed.
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
I have a pet now, a lovely little dog, with long curly hair and large bright eyes. He is snowy white all over, and his name is Mischief. I am going to have his picture taken some time. He looks just like a bundle of cotton, with three black spots shining through. Those are his eyes and nose.
The tree represented in the illustration of the beetles in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 38 is just like the California buckeye-tree. The blossoms are exactly the same.
I am very much interested in the directions for making salt and fresh water aquariums. When I was in Monterey I might have collected lots of sea-anemones, snails, and pink and white star-fish, but I did not think of it. One of the gentlemen at the hotel went fishing with a net, and caught a little baby cuttle-fish, or devil-fish, as it is commonly called. It had seven or eight long legs, all lined with little suckers, like buttons. It was a dreadful ugly-looking thing. It must have been very young, for it was only ten or eleven inches long. The gentleman was going to keep it for a curiosity, and until he could get something better he put it in a pan of salt-water; but he forgot to cover the pan, and in the night the fish crawled out on to the floor, and died.
I have exchanged Farallon Island eggs and leaves and specimens of trees with a good many children since my letter was printed.
Is there any difference between postage stamps and postmarks? I don't believe I know what postmarks are.
IDA BELLE DISERENS.
A postmark is the stamp put on the outside of a letter at the office where it is posted. It certainly is not of much value in itself, but if a collection is neatly pasted in a book, States and countries being arranged together, counties being written under towns in the United States, and a note made of any manufactories or natural productions for which the town is celebrated, such a collection may become an interesting gazetteer, and valuable as a book of reference.
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HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY.
On September 27 I found a blossom on the peach-tree in our back yard. I picked it, and have pressed it to send to you. I think it is very odd to have peach blossoms in September, and I would like to know if any girl or boy has ever seen them blooming in that month in this climate.
I think the story "Who was Paul Grayson?" is splendid.
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SOUTH ELIOT, MAINE.
I bought three silk-worms' cocoons at the Educational Department of the Permanent Exhibition at Philadelphia. In about a week's time the cocoons broke, and the moths came out and began to lay their eggs on a sheet of brown paper which I laid them on. They have laid about all their eggs now, and there are a great many.
CHESTER B. F.
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I am seven years old. Mother teaches me at home. I am studying spelling, geography, arithmetic, and the Third Reader.
I love so much when Wednesday morning comes, for then I get my YOUNG PEOPLE, and I read until I have finished it.
I received a beautiful pressed bouquet, from Mary Lowry. It was real nice, and I am going to send her some seeds very soon.
I have three dolls, one wax and two china ones. Every day, when I am through with my lessons, my sister Myrtle and I have nice times playing with them.
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WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA.
I live on a farm about one mile from town.
We had a ring-dove given to us, and we bought a mate for it, and now we have four more. One is just hatched. Last summer, a year ago, we had a present of a pair of guinea-pigs, and we have raised six others. One of the little ones is pure white, except its head, which is black. It looks as if it had a mask on. My brother, who is ten years old, has a pigeon-house and about thirty pigeons. And he has six rabbits, which are all the time burrowing out of the pen, and a young shepherd dog. We have black and brown bantams, and two little red calves we call Spot and Lina, because one has a red spot on its back, and the other a white line.
Last spring I planted one small ear of pop-corn, and now I have gathered nearly eighty ears from it. I also planted ground-nuts.
My brother, my sister, and I have each a pair of stilts, and we have lots of fun inventing new ways to walk on them.
BESSIE R. H.
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I would like to exchange postage stamps of France and Germany with any readers of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE. Correspondents will please put "Via England" on the envelope, as letters thus addressed are more likely to come safely.
B. D. WOODWARD, 49 im Trutz, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany.
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I would like to exchange postmarks for foreign postage stamps, or for other postmarks, with any boy in the South or West.
WILLIAM F. PENNEY, 559 Henry Street, Brooklyn, New York.
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I have a collection of postage and revenue stamps, and would like to exchange with readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
W. H. EASTMAN, Emporia, Kansas.
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My mamma takes YOUNG PEOPLE for my sister Laura and me. We read all the stories, and are never tired of it.
We have a pair of pet pigeons named Polly and Dolly. When we first got them we had to put the food in their mouths, but now they can eat alone. When we come they hunt in our hands for something to eat.
I am a little Iowa girl, but my father came to live in Old Virginia almost five years ago. We live near Greenway Court, the old home of Lord Fairfax, and where General Washington surveyed the land when he was a very young man.
I am thirteen years old. I have a cabinet and a museum, and am collecting postmarks and stamps, which I would like to exchange with any correspondent.
MAY BELL MILLER, Care of Joseph A. Miller, Nineveh, Warren County, Virginia.
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I am having a splendid time in Mamaroneck. I have a lot of chickens, and it is very funny to see the young roosters fight. I shall leave the country soon, and I would like to say to those wishing to exchange stamps with me that after October 25 my address will be
PIERRE JAY, 291 Madison Avenue, New York City.
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I am making a collection of postmarks, and would like to exchange with any correspondents of YOUNG PEOPLE.
C. H. MCBRIDE, Rexford Flats, Saratoga County, New York.
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I am making a collection of birds' eggs, and would like to exchange with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
JOSEPH SKIRM, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California.
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I am very much interested in the letters in YOUNG PEOPLE. I would like to exchange birds' eggs with any of the readers.
H. GRAY, Albion, Orleans County, New York.
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My younger sister takes YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like it as well as she does. I have no pets, but I have a flower garden and a good many house plants. I would like to exchange flower seeds with any correspondent of YOUNG PEOPLE. I have sweet-pea, cypress, rose-moss, dew-plant, and other seeds.
MOLLIE C. MICHENER, Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana.
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I have read YOUNG PEOPLE ever since it started, and like it very much. I like "The Moral Pirates" and Jimmy Brown's stories about Mr. Martin the best.
I have a Chilian, a Greek, and a Portuguese coin which I would like to exchange with any reader who is collecting foreign coin. I have a collection of almost two hundred.
JOHN PYNE, Wiscasset, Maine.
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I thought you would like a letter from this town, where a great battle was fought.
I spend many happy hours with the dear YOUNG PEOPLE. I love, most of all, the little letters, as it seems like talking to little people.
I am sick in bed, and have been for almost ten weeks. If my cough would get better, then I would get strong again. I am nine years old. I can read and write, and play little tunes on the piano. I fear the other little girls will get ahead of me now.
I wish "Wee Tot," or any of the little readers, would send me some ocean curiosities or quartz crystals for pressed leaves and ferns gathered on Round Top. My pet canary died last week.
NERVA WIBLE, Care of J. Ed. Wible, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
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I have a nice collection of curiosities, and would like to exchange with any correspondent for sea-shells or other curiosities. I have iron ore, soft gypsum crystals, stalactites, stalagmites, pretty pebbles, different kinds of limestone, pressed ferns, and other things. In sending specimens, correspondents will please mark each plainly with the name and the locality where it was found.
A few days ago I got my hand mashed in a cider mill, and can not use it now. My brother is writing this letter for me.
HARRY R. BARTLETT, Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky.
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I would like to exchange curiosities and stuffed birds with any correspondent of YOUNG PEOPLE.
C. H. MATHIAS, Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.
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I have taken every number of YOUNG PEOPLE since it was published, and I think it is just splendid.
I am gathering specimens and curiosities, and would be glad to exchange with any one.
CHARLIE LEADBETTER, 174 Plum Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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I have a printing-press and a small breech-loading shot-gun that father made for me. I had a cat named Bill, but he is dead. He would jump over my arms, and stand up on his hind-feet and kiss me, and sit up in the corner.
I like the story of "The Moral Pirates" best of all. I and some other boys are planning to go off on a cruise next summer.
I have a lot of foreign stamps which I would like to exchange for Indian arrow-heads or Indian relics. I am eleven years old.
BERTIE HARRISON, Berlin Heights, Erie County, Ohio.
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I am just beginning a collection of curiosities, and would like to exchange with some of the correspondents.
I have one brother. We live near a pond. Our pet kitten is very fond of fish; and I go out in a row-boat and catch minnows for it. I tie mussels on a string, and the minnows bite the bait and hold fast. I caught two large minnows with a string alone.
JESSIE A. BROWN, South Norwalk, Connecticut.
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I should like to exchange birds' eggs with any correspondent of YOUNG PEOPLE. I have eggs of the following birds: hedge, song, house, and chipping sparrow, bluebird, swallow, brown and red thrush, peewit, woodpecker, meadow-lark, cat-bird, pigeon, turtle-dove, ring-dove, and cardinal-grosbeak.
R. D. BRITTON, Wyoming, Ohio.
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I would like to exchange postage stamps, minerals, shells, and Indian arrow-heads for stamps, pressed sea-weeds, or birds' eggs. The shells are labelled with their scientific names.
E. G. W., P. O. Box 487, Binghamton, New York.
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We would request all correspondents not to send us long lists of stamps, eggs, and other things, as they occupy too much space in the Post-office Department. It is much better for them to prepare their lists neatly, and have them ready to send to those who write to them for exchange, after their request has been published in YOUNG PEOPLE.
We are compelled to condense the requests for exchange from the following correspondents:
Postage stamps and birds' eggs for postage stamps.
WILLIAM S. ALDRICH, Freeport, Cumberland County, Maine.
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Postage stamps, postmarks, and Indian relics for postage stamps.
A. S. BARRETT, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.
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Postage, Treasury, and revenue stamps for others.
HANDY DANIEL, Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York.
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Postage stamps and postmarks for postage stamps.
JOHN A. WOLFF, 92 Second Street, Albany, New York.
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Foreign and United States postage stamps for others.
W. C. V. CHADWICK, 44 St. George Street, Toronto, Canada.
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MABEL.—The recipes you wish are in YOUNG PEOPLE Nos. 24 and 28.—A good method for varnishing leaves is described by Edith L. in Post-office Box No. 38.
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W. DE VEAU.—The different species of the order Chelonia, to which turtles and tortoises belong, are distinguished mainly by the limbs. The common fresh-water turtles have distinct toes, which are webbed and provided with long nails. They are easy and powerful swimmers, but are very helpless on land. They feed upon all kinds of aquatic worms and insects. The tortoises, or land turtles, have short clubbed feet adapted for travelling on the ground, and stout, short claws. They feed upon roots, vegetables, fruit, and small bugs and flies. Their upper shell is more rounded than that of the water turtle. They are capable of swimming, but seldom enter the water.
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W. S. B.—Alaric the Goth was proclaimed King of the Visigoths about A.D. 400. He was a bold and artful warrior, and under his leadership the Goths ravaged Greece, and entered Athens. He afterward determined to invade Italy, and after numerous repulses and misfortunes his armies succeeded in entering Rome in 410, eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of the city, which for six hundred years previous to the Gothic conquest had remained unviolated by the presence of any foreign enemy. Alaric, who had already embraced Christianity, showed much moderation in his treatment of the vanquished city, and after a short occupation he retired his troops, and proceeded to ravage Southern Italy. He was about to invade Sicily, and form an expedition to Africa, when his death, after a short illness, put an end to his conquests. His army, anxious to conceal his death, and even his burial-place, from the enemy, employed a band of captives to divert the course of the Busento, a small river which washes the walls of Cozenza, an ancient fortified town, and secretly at night a grave was dug in the river-bed, and the body of the dead chieftain was buried. The waters of the Busento were then turned back, and underneath the peaceful river the grave of the warlike Goth was securely concealed. His death occurred in 410, only a few months after his triumphal entry into Rome.
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GERTRUDE C.—Your letter is very gratifying, and we are sorry we can not accede to your request, but the article in question would occupy too large a space in YOUNG PEOPLE.
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Favors are acknowledged from Hamilton W., Willie C. Bartlett, Isabelle Van Brunt, M. L. Hannam, Macy Walcutt, C. F. Moses.
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Correct answers to puzzles are received from Ida Belle Diserens, A. H. Ellard, Mary R. De La Mater, Harvey B. Ridgway, Miss N. J. Tiddy, Nella Coover, N. Bumpus, Clarence J. Washington, W. S. Ferguson, May Wells, H. A. Bent.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
Place the names of five trees in such order that their initials read downward spell the name of another tree.
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1. In Nebraska. An insect. A fluid. At a distance. In Nevada.
2. In Idaho. A graceful animal. An animal often trained for a special purpose. The limit. In Colorado. Centrals of diamonds read across spell the name of a savage beast.
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1. First, a character in mythology. Second, ascended. Third, a body of land. Fourth, a prophet.
S. F. W.
2. First, lineage. Second, sour. Third, to quote. Fourth, a garden.
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My first is in lily, but not in white. My second in sleep, but not in night. My third is in man, but not in beast. My fourth is in sorrow, but not in feast. My fifth is in no, but not in yes. My whole is a fruit which you must guess.
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An associate. A ravine. A reward. In Lexington. Devoured. One of a certain sect of philosophers. A boy's name. Centrals read downward spell the name of a celebrated battle.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 48.
P I S A Y A C H T I S A R A B H O R S A C O C H A S E A R O N H O S T S T R E S S
N S D I S W H O N I G H T-S H A D E S H E O D D T E
1. Ava, Orfah, Jiddah, Riad, Pekin, Surat, Omsk. 2. Exeter, Alabama, Parana, Caracas, Panama.
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For the benefit of those who have not read the original article on "Wiggles," we would say that the Wiggle is a line that may be turned into a picture by having other lines added to it. For example, take the new Wiggle, No. 15, given in this Number. Trace it carefully, so as to preserve the exact outlines, and then see what you can make of it. Add to it as much as you please, but do not change the original line. Send answers as promptly as possible.
Bicycle riding is the best as well as the healthiest of out-door sports; is easily learned and never forgotten. Send 3c. stamp for 24-page Illustrated Catalogue, containing Price-Lists and full information.
THE POPE MFG. CO.,
79 Summer St., Boston, Mass.
Now is the Time to Subscribe.
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Within a year of its first appearance HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE has secured a leading place among the periodicals designed for juvenile readers. The object of those who have the paper in charge is to provide for boys and girls from the age of six to sixteen a weekly treat in the way of entertaining stories, poems, historical sketches, and other attractive reading matter, with profuse and beautiful illustrations.
The conductors of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE proceed upon the theory that it is not necessary, in order to engage the attention of youthful minds, to fill its pages with exaggerated and sensational stories, to make heroes of criminals, or throw the glamour of romance over bloody deeds. Their design is to make the spirit and influence of the paper harmonize with the moral atmosphere which pervades every cultivated Christian household. The lessons taught are those which all parents who desire the welfare of their children would wish to see inculcated. HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE aims to do this by combining the best literary and artistic talent, so that fiction shall appear in bright and innocent colors, sober facts assume such a holiday dress as to be no longer dry or dull, and mental exercise, in the solution of puzzles, problems, and other devices, become a delight.
The cordial approval extended to HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE by the intelligent and exacting audience for whose special benefit it was projected shows that its conductors have not miscalculated the requirements of juvenile periodical literature. The paper has attained a wide circulation in the United States, Canada, Europe, the West Indies, and South America. The "Post-office Box," the most complete department of the kind ever attempted, contains letters from almost every quarter of the globe, and not only serves to bring the boys and girls of different states and countries into pleasant acquaintance, but, through its exchanges and answers to questions, to extend their knowledge and quicken their intelligence.
The Bound Volume for 1880 has been gotten up in the most attractive manner, the cover being embellished with a tasteful and appropriate design. It will be one of the most handsome, entertaining, and useful books for boys and girls published for the ensuing holidays.
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FOUR CENTS a Number. SINGLE SUBSCRIPTIONS for one year, $1.50 each; FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, one year, $7—payable in advance: postage free. Subscriptions will be commenced with the Number current at the time of receipt of order, except in cases where the subscribers otherwise direct.
The Second Volume will begin with No. 53, to be issued November 2, 1880. Subscriptions should be sent in before that date, or as early as possible thereafter.
The Bound Volume for 1880, containing the first fifty-two Numbers, will be ready early in November. Price $3, postage prepaid. The cover for YOUNG PEOPLE for 1880 is now ready. Price 35 cents; postage 13 cents additional.
Remittances should be made by Post-office Money Order or Draft, to avoid risk of loss.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK.
The following names are of those who sent answers to Wiggle No. 14:
G. B. Dimmick, Willie R. Perkins, G. C. Meyer, Mary A. Hale, H. M. P., Hudson Taylor, Wee Tot, M. Prall Grant, Eddie Hunter, Cloyd D. Browns, Alice Rhawn, Arthur L. Bumpus, Robert M., S. J. G., B. R. Howell, Edith Bidwell, E. C. K., C. F. Peck, Jun., James L. Busbee, Catharine, S. C. Register, Dimple McCrea, Irish Stew, George Broomhall, Bernie Wurriochke, F. R. Powley, Robert G. Bidwell, W. H. Western, D. C. Hick, H. Jacobs, Isabel Jacobs, Julia Maude Sickels, May Rickerson, Wiggle Maker, A. H. Addington, Bessie B. Anderson, Horace F. Ames, Everett C. Fay, Bront Smith, L. D. H., Glen Hughes, S. Knight Satterlee, William McClellands, George McClellands, John A. Tompkins, Herbert Fusselle, Effie Meacham, Jasper Bines, Sol. Jacobs, J. L. Bushnell, Hal, M. F. Krum, Fannie Hartwell, M. E. Farrell, Hebe, Tom, C. S. W., D. Brookmire, Vinnie J., S. F. Rupert, Sol, C. L. McL., Gid, A. J. D., Marvin Burt, Charles D. Rhodes, Theresa Morro, Toots, Frank Ostrandes, Matilda R. Bowie, Jennie Stille, E. W. L., V. L. Seche, Alfred Hossler, Robert Andrews, Jun., C. L. Hooper, Dudley Willinnes, George Oakley, Rosa Kent Gregory, Jun., M. E. B., S. McL., John McK. Burno, Charles N. Hoar, F. Uhlenhaut, C. W. P., Mark Manley, Eddie S. Hequembourg, Goldie Williams, H. W. Smith, Donna Aline, Eva Prichard, John White, Myrtle Lake, Fredy Leser, Edwin Preston, A. S., W. S., E. S., F. B., Mary Green, J. N. Howe, O. A. Mueller, E. J. B., Walter Plumb, Pet Bowman, Nattie L. Francis, Charley B. Hall, Katie Hall, R. L. Hall, Jun., H. L. Easton, Bessie Linn, Georgie Linn, Eliza B. Bartlett, Harry R. Bartlett, John H. Bartlett, Jun., Eddie Bartlett, William O. Brackett, Pearl Hare.