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VOL. I.—NO. 48. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, September 28, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
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A CHILDREN'S PARADISE.
In one corner of the Bois de Boulogne is a pretty zoological garden known as the Jardin d'Acclimatation. The Bois de Boulogne is the pleasure-ground of Paris, and is one of the most beautiful parks in the world. It comprises about twenty-five hundred acres of majestic forests and open grassy meadows, through which flow picturesque streams, tumbling over rocky cliffs in glistening cascades, or spreading out into broad tranquil lakes, upon which float numbers of gay pleasure-boats filled on sunny summer afternoons with crowds of happy children.
But the place where the children are happiest is the Jardin d'Acclimatation. There are no savage beasts here to frighten the little ones with their roaring and growling. The lions and tigers and hyenas are miles away, safe in their strong cages in the Jardin des Plantes, on the other side of the big city of Paris; and in this charming spot are gathered only those members of the great animal kingdom which in one way or another are useful to man.
The Jardin d'Acclimatation has been in existence about twenty-five years. In 1854 a society was formed in Paris for the purpose of bringing to France, from all parts of the world, beasts, birds, fishes, and other living things, which in their native countries were in any way serviceable, and to make every effort to accustom them to the climate and soil of France. The city of Paris ceded to the society a space of about forty acres in a quiet corner of the great park, and the preparation of the ground for the reception of its strange inhabitants was begun at once. The ponds were dug out and enlarged, the meadows were sodded with fresh, rich grass, spacious stalls were built, and a big kennel for dogs, aviaries for birds, aquaria for fish, and a silk-worm nursery, were all made ready. A large greenhouse was also erected for the cultivation of foreign plants. Here the animals were not brought simply to be kept on exhibition, but they were made as comfortable and as much at home as possible.
On pleasant afternoons troops of children with their mammas or nurses crowd the walks and avenues of the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Here, in a comfortable airy kennel, are dogs from all parts of the world, some of them great noble fellows, who allow the little folks to fondle and stroke them. On a miniature mountain of artificial rock-work troops of goats and mouflons—a species of mountain sheep—clamber about, as much at home as if in their far-away native mountains. Under a group of fir-trees a lot of reindeer are taking an afternoon nap, lost in dreams of their home in the distant North. Grazing peacefully on the broad meadows are antelopes, gazelles, and all kinds of deer; and yaks from Tartary, llamas from the great South American plains, Thibet oxen, and cattle of all kinds are browsing in their particular feeding grounds.
In a pretty sunny corner is a neat little chalet inclosed in a yard filled with fresh herbage. A cozy little home indeed, and there, peering inquisitively through the open door, is one of the owners of this mansion—a funny kangaroo, standing as firmly on its haunches as if it scorned the idea of being classed among the quadrupeds.
What is whinnying and galloping about on that meadow? A whole crowd of ponies! Ponies from Siam, from Java, shaggy little Shetlands, quaggas and dauws from Africa, all feeding and frolicking together, and there, in the door of his stall, stands a sulky little zebra. He is a very bad-tempered little animal, and evidently something has gone wrong, and he "won't play." In a neighboring paddock is a gnu, the curious horned horse of South Africa. The children are uncertain whether to call it a horse, a buffalo, or a deer, and the creature itself appears a little doubtful as to which character it can rightfully assume.
One of the few animals kept in cages is the guepard, or hunting leopard. The guepard, a graceful, spotted creature, is very useful to hunters in India. It is not a savage animal, and when taken young is very easily trained to work for its master. It is led hooded to the chase, and only when the game is near is the hood removed. The guepard then springs upon the prey, and holds it fast until the hunter comes to dispatch it. The guepard in the Jardin d'Acclimatation is very affectionate toward its keeper, and purrs like a big cat when he strokes its silky head, but it is safer for children to keep their little hands away from it.
In pens provided with little ponds are intelligent seals and families of otters, with their elegant fur coats always clean and in order; and down by the shore of the stream and the large lake a loud chattering is made by the numerous web-footed creatures and long-legged waders. Here are ducks from Barbary and the American tropics, wild-geese from every clime, and swimming gracefully and silently in the clear water are swans—black, gray, and white—that glide up to the summer-houses on the bank, and eat bread and cake from the children's hands.
Among the tall water-grasses at one end of the lake is a group of pelicans, motionless, their long bills resting on their breasts. They look very gloomy, as if refusing to be comforted for the loss of their native fishing grounds in the wild African swamps.
Promenading in a spacious park are whole troops of ostriches, their small heads lifted high in the air, and their beautiful feathers blowing gracefully in the wind. Be careful, or they will dart their long necks through the paling and steal all your luncheon, or perhaps even the pretty locket from your chain, for anything from a piece of plum-cake to a cobble-stone is food for this voracious bird. A poor soldier, whose sole possession was the cross of honor which he wore on the breast of his coat, was once watching the ostriches in the Jardin d'Acclimatation, when a bird suddenly darted at him, seized his cross in its beak, and swallowed it. The soldier went to the superintendent of the garden and entered a bitter complaint; but the feathered thief was not arrested, and the soldier never recovered his treasure.
What a rush and crowd of children on the avenue! No wonder, for there is a pretty barouche, to which is harnessed a large ostrich, which marches up and down, drawing its load as easily as if it were a span of goats or a Shetland pony, instead of a bird.
There are so many beautiful birds in the aviaries, so many odd fowls in the poultry-house, and strange fish in the aquaria, that it is impossible to see them all in one day, and the best thing to do now is to rest on a seat in the cool shade of the vast conservatory, among strange and beautiful plants from all parts of the world. And on every holiday the happy children say, "We will go to the Jardin d'Acclimatation, where there is so much to enjoy, and so much to learn."
FRANK'S WAR WITH THE 'COONS.
BY GEORGE J. VARNEY.
Last month I spent several weeks at a farm within sight of the White Mountains. One morning the boy Frank came in with a basket of sweet-corn on his arm, and a bad scowl on his countenance.
"What is the matter, Frank?" inquired his mother, coming from the pantry.
Indignation was personified in him, as he answered, "Them pigs has been in my corn."
"I hadn't heard that the pigs had been out. Did they do much harm?"
"Yes, they spoiled a peck of corn, sure; broke the ears half off, and some all off. Rubbed 'em all in the dirt, and only ate half the corn. Left 'most all one side. They didn't know enough to pull the husks clear off."
Just then the hired man came in, and Frank repeated his complaint of the pigs.
"They hain't been out of their yard for a week, I know. I heard some 'coons yellin' over in the woods back of the orchard last night. I guess them's the critters that's been in your corn piece."
"S'pose they'll come again to-night?" inquired the boy, every trace of displeasure vanishing.
"Likely 's not. They 'most always do when they get a good bite, and don't get scared."
"I'll fix 'em to-night," said the boy, with a broad smile at the anticipated sport.
Twilight found Frank sitting patiently on a large pumpkin in the edge of his corn piece, gun in hand, watching for the 'coons. An hour later his patience was gone, and the 'coons hadn't come—at least he had no notice of their coming. As he started from his rolling seat a slight sound in the midst of the corn put him on the alert. He walked softly along beside the outer row, stopping frequently to listen, until he could distinctly hear the rustling of the corn leaves, and even the sound of gnawing corn from the cob. His heart beat fast with excitement as he became assured of the presence of a family of raccoons, and he held his gun ready to pop over the first one that showed itself. There were slight sounds of rustling and gnawing in several places, but they all ceased, one after another, as Frank came near. He listened, but there was nothing to be heard. Then he went to the other side of the piece to cut off their retreat from the woods. He came cautiously up between the corn rows to the midst of the piece, but no 'coon was there.
"Pity they will eat their suppers in the dark," muttered Frank, to relieve his vexation at the disappointment.
He returned slowly to the house, and went up to his room, where he sat down and read awhile. After an hour or more he became too sleepy to read; so he laid aside his book, put out the light, and popped into bed. Just as he was falling asleep he heard several cries over in the woods. They were half whistle, half scream—a sort of squeal. He sprang up in bed to listen. The cries ceased, and for several minutes all was silence. Then there arose a succession of screams, much nearer, and in a different voice. It was interrupted and broken. It seemed something between the squeal of a pig and the cry of a child.
Frank said to his father the next morning that "it sounded as if it was a young one, and the mother was cuffing it and driving it back. At any rate, the last of the cries sounded as if the little 'coon had turned, and was going away."
"Very likely," said his father; "the little 'coon was probably hungry for the rest of his supper, and was going back to the corn sooner than the old 'coon thought was prudent."
Frank heard no more of the 'coons, and soon went to sleep, but in the morning he found that more corn had been spoiled than in the first night. The 'coons had only run off to come back again, and begin their depredations in a new place. He therefore came to the conclusion that he must watch all night, and every night, if at all.
The hired man told how some boys where he worked once caught a 'coon by setting a trap at the hole in a board fence near the corn piece. There was a wall beside the woods not far from Frank's corn, and there were a plenty of holes in it, but which particular hole the 'coons came through nobody could tell.
"I'll find out," said Frank. He went to a sand-bank with the wheelbarrow, and shovelled in a load of sand. This he spread at the bottom of every large hole, and on the rocks at every low place in the wall. In the morning he walked along there, and the foot-prints in the sand showed where the path of the 'coons crossed the wall. There he set his steel-trap, and another which he borrowed of a neighbor. In the morning he went over to see what had happened. One trap was sprung, and held a few hairs; the other trap had disappeared. It didn't go off alone, Frank thought; but it had a long stick fastened to its chain that would be sure to catch in the bushes before it went far. He sprang over the wall, and peeped round among the knolls and bushes. Suddenly, as he went around a clump of little spruces, a chain rattled, and a brownish-gray creature, "'most as big as a bear," as Frank afterward said, sprang at him, with a sharp, snarling growl, and mouth wide open. The sight was too much for Frank's nerves, and set them in such a tremor that he ran away. When he came in sight of his corn he began to grow angry, and his courage came up again. He now got him a larger stick than he had first carried, and set out for the animal again. He had considered that, after all, it could be only a 'coon, though bears had been heard of in the corn fields further north. Frank and the corn-eater now met again face to face, and for a few seconds there was a lively battle, in which mingled the snarling of the 'coon, the rattling of the chain, and the blows of the stick. At length the 'coon lay still, and Frank stood guard over him with a broken stick. The next day he ate a slice of roast 'coon for dinner with great relish.
The traps were set again for the next night, but never a 'coon was in them in the morning. The cunning fellows evidently considered the place too dangerous, and chose another entrance. Anyway, the corn was still going away fast. Frank feared that he wouldn't have enough to fill his contract with the canning factory unless the family in the house, or the other family in the woods, left off eating. Something must be done. At length Frank bought a dog. He made a nice kennel for him in the middle of the corn field, and tied him there at night. Just after Frank had fallen into a sound sleep the dog woke him up with his barking. Frank went out, but could find nothing. The dog woke him twice more that night, but he didn't trouble himself to leave his bed again. In the morning he found that the 'coons had destroyed as much corn as before, but it was all about the edges. The next night they ventured a little nearer the kennel. The following night the dog was left in the kennel loose. Probably when the 'coons came he made a charge upon them, and they turned upon him and drove him away, for he was only a little young one. He took refuge in the wood-house, where he barked furiously for an hour or more, and then in occasional brief spells all the night—whenever he woke enough to remember the 'coons. After this Frank gave up the defense of the corn, but began to gather it nightly as fast as the ears were sufficiently full. At length he cut the corn and took it into the barn, excepting a single bunch. About this bunch he sunk traps in the ground, and threw hay-seed over them, and placed nice ears of sweet-corn beside them. The next morning he had another 'coon. The other trap was sprung also, but it held nothing but a little tuft of long gray fur. That sly fellow had again sat down on the trencher. From this time the 'coons troubled Frank's corn no more, having found other fields where there was more corn and fewer traps. Frank's final conflict with the 'coons was late in the autumn, when the leaves were nearly gone from the trees, and the ripe beech-nuts were beginning to drop. He had fired all his ammunition away at gray squirrels the day before, except a little powder; but a meeting of crows in the adjoining woods incited his sporting proclivities, and he loaded his gun, putting in peas for shot, and started for the locality of the noisy birds. They cawed a little louder when they discovered the intruder, then began in a straggling manner to fly away. So when Frank arrived at the scene of the meeting it had adjourned. Looking about in the trees to see if by chance a single crow might still be lingering, a slight movement in a tall maple met his eye.
"Biggest gray squirrel ever I saw," muttered the boy, raising his gun. The position was not a good one for a shot, as the head, which had been thrust out over a large branch close to the trunk was now withdrawn, so that only the end of the nose was visible. Close beside this branch was another, and between the two a large surface of gray fur was exposed.
"I'll send him some peas for dinner," thought Frank, and fired. He heard the peas rattle against the hard bark of the tree, but no gray squirrel came down or went up that he could see. When the smoke cleared away, a black nose was thrust out over the branch, and two keen eyes were visible, peering down at the sportsman, as much as to say, "I like peas for dinner, little boy, but don't take 'em that way."
"That's no squirrel," thought Frank. "I believe it's a 'coon—sure as a gun. And I haven't got a thing to shoot him with."
He thought of putting his knife into his gun for a bullet, but it proved too large. Then he looked for some coarse gravel, but did not find any. Feeling in all his pockets, his fingers clutched a board nail.
"Ah, that's the thing! We'll see, Mr. 'Coon, if you care any more for board nails than you do for peas."
Loading his gun again, he dropped in the nail instead of a knife for a bullet. He took careful aim again at the spot of fur between the branches, and fired. The 'coon was more than surprised this time, and he certainly forgot to look before he leaped, or he never would have sprung right out ten feet from the tree, with nothing between him and the ground, thirty or forty feet below. He struck all rounded up in a bunch, like a big ball, bouncing up two or three feet from the ground. Frank started toward the animal, thinking, "Well, that fall's knocked the life out of him."
He never was more mistaken. When he stepped toward him, the 'coon got upon his feet at once, and offered battle. Frank now used his gun in another manner, seizing it by the barrel, and turning it into a war club. There ensued some lively dodging on the part of the 'coon; but at length he was hit slightly, when he turned and ran for the nearest tree. This happened to be a beech, in whose hard, smooth bark his claws would not hold. He slipped down, and as Frank came up, turned and made a dash for the boy's legs. Frank met him with a blow of the gun on the head, at which the 'coon dropped down, apparently lifeless. Another such blow would have finished him; but Frank was unwilling to give it, for the last one had cracked his gun-stock. So he shouldered the gun, took the 'coon up by the hinder legs, and started for home. Before he got there the 'coon had come to his senses again, and made Frank pretty lively work to keep his own legs safe. As soon as he could find a good stake Frank dropped his dangerous burden, and before the 'coon could run away, he was stunned by a blow of the stake.
With this victory the war between Frank and the 'coons ended for the season. He had been obliged to buy some corn of a neighbor in order to fill his contract with the canning factory; but the 'coon-skins sold for enough to make up the money.
[Begun in No. 46 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, September 14.]
WHO WAS PAUL GRAYSON?
BY JOHN HABBERTON,
AUTHOR OF "HELEN'S BABIES."
MUSIC AND MANNERS.
The boys at Mr. Morton's select school were not the only people in Laketon who were curious about Paul Grayson. Although the men and women had daily duties like those of men and women elsewhere, they found a great deal of time in which to think and talk about other people and their affairs. So all the boys who attended the school were interrogated so often about their new comrade, that they finally came to consider themselves as being in some way a part of the mystery.
Mr. Morton, who had opened his school only several weeks before the appearance of Grayson, was himself unknown at Laketon until that spring, when, after an unsuccessful attempt to be made principal of the grammar school, he had hired the upper floor of what once had been a store building, and opened a school on his own account. He had introduced himself by letters that the school trustees, and Mr. Merivale, pastor of one of the village churches, considered very good; but now that Grayson's appearance was explained only by the teacher's statement that the boy was son of an old school friend who now was a widower, some of the trustees wished they were able to remember the names and addresses appended to the letters that the new teacher had presented. Sam Wardwell's father having learned from Mr. Morton where last he had taught, went so far as to write to the wholesale merchants with whom he dealt, in New York, for the name of some customer in Mr. Morton's former town; but even by making the most of this roundabout method of inquiry he only learned that the teacher had been highly respected, although nothing was known of his antecedents.
With one of the town theories on the subject of Mr. Morton and Paul Grayson the boys entirely disagreed: this was that the teacher and the boy were father and son.
"I don't think grown people are so very smart, after all," said Sam Wardwell, one day, as the boys who were not playing lounged in the shade of the school building and chatted. "They talk about Grayson being Mr. Morton's son. Why, who ever saw Grayson look a bit afraid of the teacher?"
"Nobody," replied Ned Johnston, and no one contradicted him, although Bert Sharp suggested that there were other boys in the world who were not afraid of their fathers—himself, for instance.
"Then you ought to be," said Benny Mallow. Benny looked off at nothing in particular for a moment, and then continued, "I wish I had a father to be afraid of."
There was a short silence after this, for as no other boy in the group had lost a father, no one knew exactly what to say; besides, a big tear began to trickle down Benny's face, and all the boys saw it, although Benny dropped his head as much as possible. Finally, however, Ned Johnston stealthily patted Benny on the back, and then Sam Wardwell, taking a fine winter apple from his pocket, broke it in two, and extended half of it, with the remark, "Halves, Benny."
Benny said, "Thank you," and seemed to take a great deal of comfort out of that piece of apple, while the other boys, who knew how fond Sam was of all things good to eat, were so impressed by his generosity that none of them asked for the core of the half that Sam was stowing away for himself. Indeed, Ned Johnston was so affected that he at once agreed to a barter—often proposed by Sam and as often declined—of his Centennial medal for a rather old bass-line with a choice sinker.
Before the same hour of the next day, however, nearly every boy who attended Mr. Morton's school was wicked enough to wish to be in just exactly Benny Mallow's position, so far as fathers were concerned. This sudden change of feeling was not caused by anything that Laketon fathers had done, but through fear of what they might do. As no two boys agreed upon a statement of just how this difference of sentiment occurred, the author is obliged to tell the story in his own words.
Usually the boys hurried away from the neighborhood of the school as soon as possible after dismissal in the afternoon, but during the last recess of the day on which the above-recorded conversation occurred Will Palmer and Charley Gunter completed a series of a hundred games of marbles, and had the strange fortune to end exactly even. The match had already attracted a great deal of attention in the school—so much so that boys who took sides without thinking had foolishly made a great many bets on the result, and a deputation of these informed the players that it would be only the fair thing to play the deciding game that afternoon after school, so that boys who had bet part or all of their property might know how they stood. Will and Charley expressed no objection; indeed, each was so anxious to prove himself the best player that in his anxiety he made many blunders during the afternoon recitations.
As soon as the school was dismissed, the boys hurried into the yard, while Grayson, who had lately seen as much of marble-playing as he cared to, strolled off for a walk. The marble ring was quickly scratched on the ground, and the players began work. But the boys did not take as much interest in the game as they had expected to, for a rival attraction had unexpectedly appeared on the ground since recess: two rival attractions, more properly speaking, or perhaps three, for in a shady corner sat an organ-grinder, on the ground in front of him was an organ, and on top of this sat a monkey. Now to city boys more than ten years of age an organ-grinder is almost as uninteresting as a scolding; but Laketon was not a city, organ-grinders reached it seldom, and monkeys less often; so fully half the boys lounged up to within a few feet of the strangers, and devoured them with their eyes, while the man and the animal devoured some scraps of food that had been begged at a kitchen door.
Nobody can deny that a monkey, even when soberly eating his dinner, is a very comical animal, and no boy ever lived, not excepting that good little boy Abel, who did not naturally wonder what a strange animal would do if some one disturbed him in some way. Which of Mr. Morton's pupils first felt this wonder about the organ-grinder's monkey was never known; the boys soon became too sick of the general subject to care to compare notes about this special phase of it; but the first one who ventured to experiment on the monkey was Bert Sharp, who made so skillful a "plumper" shot with a marble, from the level of his trousers pocket, that the marble struck the monkey fairly in the breast, and rattled down on the organ, while the monkey, who evidently had seen boys before, made a sudden jump to the head of his master, and then scrambled down the Italian's back, and hid himself so that he showed only as much of his head as was necessary to his effort to peer across the organ-grinder's shoulder.
"Maledetta!" growled the Italian, as he looked inquiringly around him. As none of the boys had ever before heard this word, they did not know whether it was a question, a rebuke, or a threat; but they saw plainly enough that the man was angry, and although most of them stepped backward a pace or two, they all joined in the general laugh that a crowd of boys are almost sure to indulge in when they see any one in trouble, that any one of the same boys would be sorry about were he alone when he saw it.
The organ-grinder began munching his food very rapidly, as if in haste to finish his meal, yet he did not forget to pass morsels across his shoulder to his funny little companion, and the manner in which the monkey put up a paw to take the food amused the boys greatly. Benny Mallow thought that monkey was simply delightful, but he could not help wondering what the animal would do if a marble were to strike his paw as he put it up. Animals' paws are soft at bottom, reasoned Benny to himself, and marbles shot through the air can not hurt much if any; the result of this short argument was that Benny tried a "plumper" shot himself; but the marble, instead of striking the monkey's paw, went straight into the mouth of the organ-grinder, who was just about to take a mouthful of bread.
Up sprang the Italian, with an expression of countenance so perfectly dreadful that Benny Mallow dreamed of it, for a month after, whenever he ate too much supper. All the boys ran, and the Italian pursued them with words so strange and numerous that the boys could not have repeated one of them had they tried. Every boy was half a block away before he thought to look around and see whether the footsteps behind him were those of the organ-grinder or of some frightened boy. Sam Wardwell stumbled and fell, at which Ned Johnston, who had been but a step or two behind, fell upon Sam, who instantly screamed, "Oh, don't, mister: I didn't do it—really I didn't."
On hearing this all the other boys thought it safe to stop and look, and when they saw the Italian was not in the street at all, they felt so ashamed that there is no knowing what they would have done if they had not had Sam Wardwell to laugh at. As for Sam, he was so angry about the mistake he had made that he vowed vengeance against the Italian, and hurried back toward the yard. Will Palmer afterward said that he couldn't see how the Italian was to blame, and Ned Johnston said the very same thought had occurred to him; but somehow neither of the two happened to mention the matter, as they, with the other boys, followed Sam Wardwell to see what he would do. Looking through the cracks of the fence, the boys saw the Italian, with his organ and monkey on his back, coming down the yard; at the same time they saw nearly half a brick go up the yard, and barely miss the organ-grinder's head. The man said nothing; perhaps he had been in difficulties with boys before, and had learned that the best way to get out of them was to walk away as fast as possible; besides, there was no one in sight for him to talk to, for Sam had started to run the instant that the piece of brick left his hand. The man came out of the yard, looked around, saw the boys, turned in the opposite direction, and then turned up an alley that passed one side of the school-house.
He could not have done worse; for no one lived on the alley, so any mischievous boy could tease him without fear of detection. He had gone but a few steps when Sam, who had hidden in a garden on the same alley, rose beside a fence, and threw a stick, which struck the organ. The man stopped, turned around, saw the whole crowd of boys slowly following, supposed some one of them was his assailant, threw the stick swiftly at the party, and then started to run. No one was hit, but the mere sight of a frightened man trying to escape seemed to rob the boys of every particle of humanity. Charley Gunter, who was very fond of pets, devoted himself to trying to hit the monkey with stones; Will Palmer, who had once helped nurse a friendless negro who had cut himself badly with an axe, actually shouted "Hurra!" when a stone thrown by himself struck one of the man's legs, and made him limp; Ned Johnston hurriedly broke a soft brick into small pieces, and threw them almost in a shower; and even Benny Mallow, who had always been a most tender-hearted little fellow, threw stones, sticks, and even an old bottle that he found among the rubbish that had been thrown into the alley.
Suddenly a stone—there were so many in the air at a time that no one knew who threw that particular stone—struck the organ-grinder in the back of the head, and the poor fellow fell forward flat, with his organ on top of him, and remained perfectly motionless.
"He's killed!" exclaimed some one, as the pursuers stopped. In an instant all the boys went over the fences on either side of the alley, but not until Paul Grayson, crossing the upper end of the alley, had seen them, and they had seen him.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
FORDING A RIVER IN CENTRAL ASIA.
BY DAVID KER.
I have heard many complaints made of the impossibility of sleeping in a railway car, and have wondered much how those who made them would have fared if compelled to spend, not one night, but twelve or fourteen in succession, in crossing the roadless plains and hills of Central Asia in a Russian cart, whose whole progress is a series of jolts that might dislocate the spine of a megatherium, flinging one at every turn against the corner of a box, or the broad shoulders of the Tartar driver. The correct way of preparing for a journey in this primitive region is to half fill your cart with hay, lay your baggage upon it as a kind of pavement, and cover the whole with a straw mattress, upon which you recline, walled in with rolled-up wrappers to keep you from being absolutely battered to bits against the sides of the vehicle. You then provide yourself with a hatchet and a coil of rope, as an antidote to the inevitable coming off of a wheel two or three times a day during the whole journey, and thus fore-armed, you are, as the Russians significantly say, "ready to chance it."
After a night of such travel as this, with all its attendant bumps, bruises, and overturns, among the hills on the frontier of Bokhara, my English comrade and I find ourselves nearing the once famous city of Samarcand, and getting forward much more easily now that the plain is fairly reached at last. But what we gain in comfort we lose in picturesqueness. For several miles our course lies through the wet, miry level of the rice fields, and we leave them only to emerge upon a wide waste of bare gravel, amid which the once formidable current of the "gold-giving Zer-Affshan" has shrunk to a single narrow channel, the only fine feature of the landscape being the dark purple ridge beyond, upon which, in June, 1868, was fought the battle that decided the fate of Bokhara.
But commonplace as it looks, every foot of this region is historic ground. Here stood the centre of a mighty empire, drawing to itself all the pomp and splendor of the East, in days when marsh frogs were croaking upon the site of St. Petersburg, and Indians lighting their camp fires upon that of New York. The very earth seems still shaking with the march of ancient conquerors, and one would hardly wonder to see Alexander's Macedonians coming with measured tramp over the boundless level, or low-browed Attila, with the light of a grim gladness in his deep-set eyes, waving on five hundred thousand horsemen with the sweep of his enchanted sabre. But mingled with these memories comes the thought of one who surpassed them both—a little, swarthy, keen-eyed, limping man, known to history as Timour the Tartar, who crushed into one great whole all the jarring kingdoms of Asia, only that they might melt into chaos again the moment that mighty grasp was relaxed by death.
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"We must get out here, David Stepanovitch!"
The shrill call sweeps away my visions, and I look up to find myself in front of a tiny hut—a mere speck in that wilderness of gravel—beside which three or four wild-looking figures are grouped around a huge arba (native cart), conspicuous by its immense breadth of beam, and its gigantic wheels, seven good feet in diameter.
Mourad hastily explains that to attempt fording the river in our little post-cart will be certain destruction to our baggage, and that we must shift to the arba, which, light, strong, and, thanks to its great breadth, almost impossible to overturn, seems made for this roadless region, as the camel is for the desert.
The transfer is soon effected, but it takes some time to secure our packages against the tremendous shaking which awaits them, and our careful henchman goes over his work three times before he can persuade himself to let go. But the reckless Bokhariotes, who care little if we and all our belongings go to the bottom, provided they get their money, cut him short by leaping onto the front of the huge tray, and heading right down upon the river.
We make five or six lesser crossings before coming to the real one, the Zer-Affshan, like Central Asian rivers generally, being given to wasting its strength in minor channels; but even these run with a force and swiftness that show us what we have to expect. At length, after a comparatively long interval of bare gravel, the two Bokhariotes suddenly plant themselves back to back, with their feet against the sides of the cart. The huge vehicle halts for a moment, as if to gather strength for its final leap, and then rushes into the stream.
And now comes the tug of war. The wheels have barely made three turns in the water when the great mass trembles under a shock like the collision of a train, and to our bewildered eyes the river appears to be standing perfectly still, and we ourselves to be flying backward at full speed.
Deeper and deeper grows the water, stronger and stronger presses the current. Already the little post-cart following in our wake is almost submerged, and the water is battering against the bottom of the arba, and splashing over our feet as we sit. More than once the horses stop short, and plant their feet firmly, to save themselves from being swept bodily away, and the roar of the chafing pebbles comes up to us like the tramp of a charging squadron.
In the midst of the din and hurly-burly, the lashing water, and the blinding spray, a terrible thought suddenly occurs to me. "By Jove! all my sugar's in the bottom of my store chest. It'll be all melted, to a certainty."
"Shouldn't wonder," remarks my friend, with that quiet fortitude wherewith men are wont to bear the misfortunes of other people. "However, you can get some more at Samarcand; and, after all, a trunk lined with sugar will be worth exhibiting at home—if you ever get there."
For the next few minutes it is "touch and go" with us; but even among Asiatics nothing can be spun out forever. Little by little the water grows shallower, the ground firmer, the strain less and less violent, till at length we come out upon dry land once more, decant the contents of the arba back into the cart, reward our pilots, and are off again.
THE TUG OF WAR
This is an old English game, which has become a favorite athletic exercise in almost all countries, as a trial of strength and endurance. In England it used to be called "French and English," from the ancient rivalry that existed between the two nationalities. Our picture shows how the game is played. Care should be taken to have a stout rope, and the players should be divided so that each party may as nearly as possible be of equal strength. The party that pulls the other over a line marked on the ground between them is the winner in the game. Sometimes a string is tied on the rope, and when the game begins this string should be directly over the dividing line. It often happens that the parties are so evenly matched that neither can pull the string more than an inch or two over the line; and then it becomes a trial of endurance, and the question is which side can hold out the longer.
Among the Burmese the "tug of war" is a part of the religious ceremonies held when there is a scarcity of rain. Instead of rope, long, slender canes are twisted together, and spokes are thrust through to give a firm hold. The sides are taken by men from different quarters of a town, or from different villages. Each side is marshalled by two drums and a harsh wind-instrument, which make a hideous noise. A few priests are generally seen squatting on the ground near by, chewing the betel-nut, and reading their laws, which are printed on slips of palm leaf. Every now and then they give a shout of encouragement. Each side tries to pull the other over the line, amid shouts and cries of the most vigorous description. It makes no difference which side wins the day, as victory to either party is supposed by the superstitious natives to bring the wished-for rain. Continued drought does not discourage them from repeating the ceremony time after time; and when the rain comes at last they firmly believe it is in answer to their incantations.
FOUND IN A FROG.
BY MISS VIRGINIA W. JOHNSON,
AUTHOR OF "THE CATSKILL FAIRIES."
The sun had risen when Gita awoke. She lived at the top of a tall old house with her grandmother, and both were poor. When she had put on her thin cotton gown, and smoothed her hair with her small brown hands, Gita ran down stairs lightly; and these stairs—some crooked stone steps in a dark passage—would have broken our necks to descend. She came out in a narrow street with the tall houses almost meeting overhead, and steep paths or flights of steps leading down to the shore. The town was Mentone, in the south of France, with the boundary line of Italy not half a mile distant. At one end of the street was visible the blue sky, and two churches, yellow and white, on an open square, with towers, where the bells were ringing.
Gita felt in her pocket for a crust of hard bread, and began to eat. This was her breakfast, and if she had been richer she would have drunk a little black coffee with it. As it was, she paused at the fountain, where the women were gossiping as they drew water in buckets, and placed her mouth under the spout.
Raphael came along, and greeted her. Raphael, a tall young fellow with bright eyes, a face the color of bronze, and a little black mustache, was the son of a merchant who kept goats and donkeys for the visitors who came here every year. The goats furnished rich milk for the invalids to drink, while the ladies and children rode the donkeys. Gita found Raphael very handsome.
He wore a curious straw hat with the brim turned up, a shirt striped with red, blue pantaloons, and a yellow sash about his waist. One could see he esteemed himself rather a dandy. In turn Raphael found Gita the prettiest girl of his acquaintance, with her large black eyes, brown face, and white teeth. Besides, Gita was amiable, and did not mock at him when he walked on the Promenade on Sunday with his hat on one side, and a cigarette in his mouth.
"I have asked the consent of my parents to our marriage," said Raphael. "They refuse, unless you have a dower of at least a hundred francs. We must wait."
Gita sighed and shook her head as she pursued her way down to the shore. In these countries the young people must obtain the consent of their parents to marry, and the bride should have a dowry. Gita had not a penny; Raphael's father might as well have asked him to bring the moon as one hundred francs.
Grandmother was seated under an archway, with her little furnace before her, roasting chestnuts. Grandmother, a wrinkled old woman, with a red handkerchief wound about her head, was a chestnut merchant. The sailors, children, and Italians coming over the border bought her wares, and when she was not employed in serving them she twisted flax on a distaff.
"Raphael's father needs a dowry of one hundred francs," said Gita, as grandmother gave her a few chestnuts.
"Ah, if you were a lemon girl!" said grandmother, beginning to twist the flax.
Gita poised a basket on her head, took a white stocking from her pocket, and began to knit as she walked away. The women of the country carry all burdens on their heads. You may see a mother with a mound of cut grass on her head, dandling a little baby in her arms as she moves along. Grandmother had been a lemon girl in her day, but Gita was not strong enough. The lemon girls bring the fruit on their heads many miles, from the lemon groves down to the ships, when they are sent to America and other distant lands.
When you next taste a lemonade at a Sunday-school picnic, little reader, remember how far the lemon has travelled to furnish you this refreshing drink.
Gita went along the shore knitting, her empty basket tilted on her head. The blue Mediterranean Sea sparkled as far as the eye could reach, and broke on the pebbles of the beach in waves as clear as crystal. Soon she turned back toward the hills, following a narrow path between high garden walls, passed under a railroad bridge, and entered an olive garden. She worked here all day, gathering up the little black olives which fall from the trees, much as children gather nuts in the woods at home. Other women were already at work; their dresses of gay colors, yellow and red, showed against the gray background of the trees. A boy beat the branches with a long pole. Gita began to work with the rest. She did not think much about the olive-tree, although it was a good friend. She was paid twenty sous a day to gather the berries from the ground, which were then taken to the crushing mill up the ravine to be made into oil. Gita ate the green lemons plucked from the trees as a child of the North would eat apples, but she loved the good olive-oil better. When the grandmother made a feast, it was to fry the little silvery sardines in oil, so crisp and brown.
The olive-tree is a native of Asia Minor, and often mentioned in the Bible. Some of the trees in the garden where Gita now worked were so old that the Romans saw them when they conquered the world.
At noon the olive-pickers paused to rest. Gita went away alone, and ate the handful of chestnuts given her by grandmother. When she returned to the town at night she would have another bit of bread and a raw onion. She seated herself on the edge of the ravine, and thought about Raphael as she munched her nuts. Below, this path traversed the ravine, and climbed the opposite slope to the wall of a pretty villa, one of the houses occupied for the winter by rich strangers. Gita looked at the villa, with its window shaded by lace curtains, balconies, and terraces, where orange-trees were covered with little golden balls of fruit.
"If I were rich like that I would have soup every day, sometimes made of pumpkin and sometimes with macaroni in it," she thought.
Then she turned over a stone with her heavy shoe, and it rolled down the hill. Gita uttered a cry. The stone had covered a hole at the root of the olive-tree where she sat, far away from the other workers. In the hole she saw a green frog; she dropped on her knees to look at it more closely. Yes, it was a green frog. How did it come there? She touched it with her fingers; the frog did not move or croak. Then she took it out carefully. The frog was one of those pasteboard boxes which appear each year in the shop windows of Paris for Easter presents, in company with fish, lobsters, and shells.
Gita raised the lid. Inside were bank-bills and a lizard. She knew lizards very well; they were always whisking over the stone walls; but then those were of a sober brown tint, while this one was white until she lifted it, when it sparkled like a dewdrop. The lizard was an ornament made of diamonds. Gita held her breath and closed her eyes. She believed herself asleep. Soon she rose, took the box in her hand, and crossing the ravine, began to climb the path to the villa above.
As she reached the door a pony-carriage drove up. A big servant with many buttons on his coat told her to go away. Gita paused, holding the box. The pale lady in the carriage, who was wrapped in furs, motioned her to approach. Quickly the girl ran forward and held out the frog.
"I found it in a hole at the foot of the olive-tree," she explained. "It must belong to this house."
The lady took the box and opened it, emptying the contents on her lap. There lay the diamond lizard, and the roll of French bank-notes.
"You see that Pierre was a dishonest servant, although nothing was found on him," said the lady to those about her. "He must have hidden this box in the olive grove to return from Nice later and find it."
Gita listened with her mouth and eyes wide open. The lady looked at her and smiled.
"You are a good girl," she said.
Then she selected one of the bills and gave it to Gita. It was a note of one hundred francs.
"Now I can marry Raphael!" she cried.
Raphael was standing beside grandmother's chestnut-roaster when both saw Gita running toward them, her cheeks red, and her eyes flashing like stars. She had to tell all about the frog, not only to them, but to the neighbors. As for grandmother, she could not hear the story often enough. When she had been a lemon girl no such luck had befallen her.
"Who would have thought of finding a wedding dowry in a frog?" laughed Raphael.
Gita and Raphael are soon to be married in the yellow church on the hill. The olive-pickers in the grove seek for something beside the dark berries; they hope to find a green frog under a stone, containing money and a diamond lizard; but this will never again happen.
The Japanese is the cleanest of mankind. Cleanliness is, so to speak, more than godliness with him. Though he has no soap, he washes all over at least once a day—he worships but once a week. His candles are made of vegetable wax. He uses a cotton coverlet, well stuffed and padded, for bed-covering and mattress. A sort of stereoscope case—made of wood—makes his pillow. He resorts to that, and so do his wife and daughters, that their carefully arranged hair may not be disarranged during sleep. No head-covering is worn by the Japanese. No nation dresses the hair so tastefully. Usually it is with the men shaved in sections. They are coming now to wear it in European fashion. They are adopting all European customs.
On levee day I saw the reception at the Mikado's palace in Yeddo. Every one presented had to come in European full dress. That dress does not become the Japanese figure. He looks awkward in it. His legs are too short. The tails of his claw-hammer coat drag on the ground, and the black dress trousers wrinkle up and get baggy around his feet. His European-fashioned clothes have been sent out ready-made from America or England, and in no case did I notice anything approaching to a good fit. Yet he smiled and looked happy, though he could not get his heels half way down his Wellington boots, and his hat was either too large or too small for his head. He always smiles and looks pleasant. Nothing can make him grumble, and he has not learned to swear. He is satisfied to be paid his due, and never asks for more. As a New York cabman he would be a veritable living curiosity.
WHERE DID POTATOES COME FROM?
Nobody knows precisely where the potato came from originally. It has been found, apparently indigenous, in many parts of the world. Mr. Darwin, for instance, found it wild in the Chonos Archipelago. Sir W. J. Hooker says that it is common at Valparaiso, where it grows abundantly on the sandy hills near the sea. In Peru and other parts of South America it appears to be at home; and it is a noteworthy fact that Mr. Darwin should have noted it both in the humid forests of the Chonos Archipelago and among the central Chilian mountains, where sometimes rain does not fall for six months at a stretch. It was to the colonists whom Sir Walter Raleigh sent out in Elizabeth's reign that we are indebted for our potatoes.
Herriot, who went out with these colonists, and who wrote an account of his travels, makes what may, perhaps, be regarded as the earliest mention of this vegetable. Under the heading of "Roots," he mentions what he calls the "openawk." "These roots," he says, "are round, some large as a walnut, others much larger. They grow on damp soils, many hanging together as if fixed on ropes. They are good food, either boiled or roasted."
At the beginning of the seventeenth century this root was planted, as a curious exotic, in the gardens of the nobility, but it was long ere it came into general use. Many held them to be poisonous, and it would seem not altogether unreasonably so either. The potato is closely related to the deadly-nightshade and the mandrake, and from its stems and leaves may be extracted a very powerful narcotic. In England prejudice against it was for a long time very strong, especially among the poor.
[Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 47, September 21.]
BY E. H. MILLER.
CONNY FINDS A HOME.
Two days afterward, when the doctor went out for his horse, he found Conny sitting astride the block, his lap filled with sweet white clover, which he was feeding to Prince with one hand, while with the other he stroked the beautiful head that was bent down to him. He dropped to his feet on seeing the doctor, and made a bow, grave and stiff, but not at all bashful.
"I have come to live with you, sir," he said.
"Indeed," laughed the doctor; "and what do you suppose I want of you?"
"I don't know, sir; but my feyther always told me, if he died, I was not to stay on the mountain, but go to some good man who would teach me to work."
"And how do you know I am a good man?" asked the doctor, looking keenly at the boy. "You have never seen me but once."
"I have seen you often. I saw you when you mended the rabbit's leg. Jock Riley broke it with his big cart-whip."
"And where were you, pray?"
"Up in a tree, lying along a limb. And I was in the big tamarack when you climbed up the hill for the little flower. I often wanted to know why you cared to get it. My feyther thought perhaps it was good for medicine; but when I told him you only took one, he said then he couldn't tell; it might be you were crazed."
The doctor laughed heartily. It was by no means the first time his passion for botanizing had been called a craze.
"Well, Conny," said he, "go into the house and get your breakfast, and when I come back we will talk this matter over."
He stopped for a word of explanation with his wife, and drove away, leaving Conny on the door-step, with a substantial slice of bread and meat in his hands, and a bowl of milk beside him, while little Betty peeped shyly at him through the window.
It gave the doctor a curious sensation to think, as he rode through the solitary woods, of the little watcher stretched along a mossy limb, or peering out from a treetop, like some strange, wild creature.
"He must have been set to keep guard by the moon-shiners," he thought. "I wonder if they suspected I meant them mischief?" And then like a flash came another thought: "They have sent him to me now as a spy to find out if I have any secret business for the government. I should rather enjoy giving them a scare, if it were not for my wife and Betty."
The doctor fully made up his mind before he went home to send Conny on his ways, but in the end he did no such thing. Old Timothy made much pretense of finding whether he belonged to Dunsmore or Killbourne, and talked bravely of taking him to the poor-house officers; but Timothy found him a great convenience to his rheumatic old hands and feet, and by the end of the summer Conny was as much at home as if he had been bought, like Betty's ugly little terrier, or born in the house, like blessed little Betty herself. It was Conny who gave the last rub to Prince, and brought him to the door; Conny who, in cold or heat, was ready with such good-natured promptness for any errand far or near; Conny who could mend and make; who oiled rusty hinges, repaired broken locks and latches, sharpened the kitchen knives, filed the old saws, and put new handles to all the cast-away tools on the premises. Best of all, in the doctor's eyes, it was Conny who knew every nook of mountain and forest, and whose swift feet and skillful fingers sought out every plant that grew, and brought it to his master's feet.
Only Bridget held to her deep suspicion of something wrong about Conny.
"The cratur's that shmart wid his two hands ye wudn't belave, mum, but I misthrust he's shly: it's in the blood of 'im.
"You ought not to say such things, Bridget; you have no reason to think Conny is not honest," Mrs. Hunter would say.
"It's not to say that he'd sthale, mum, but he's shly. I've coom upon 'im soodent wance or twicet, an' seen 'im shlip something intil 'is pocket, an' 'im toornin' red in the face an' confused like. An' says I, 'Conny, is it something fine ye have?' An' the b'y walked away widout a word jist."
Mrs. Hunter laughed. "He is just like every other boy in the world—storing up all sorts of odds and ends, as if they were treasures. I remember when Joe would hardly allow me to mend his pockets for fear I should disturb some of his precious trinkets."
Biddy tossed her head with an air that plainly said her opinion was in no wise changed, as she answered, discreetly, "Ye may be in the rights of it, mum, but it's not mesilf would be judgin' the cratur by Master Joe, that was born a gintleman, let alone the bringin' up."
Quite by accident Mrs. Hunter herself discovered the mystery in Conny's bosom, for, sitting one day by the window at her sewing, she saw the boy come from the wood-house, and after a quick glance in every direction, dart like a squirrel up one of the great hemlock-trees, where he sat completely screened by the branches, only now and then when a stronger gust of wind swayed the top, and gave her a glimpse of him bending intently over something upon his knees. Mrs. Hunter watched him for some time, and then went quietly under the tree and called, "Conny!"
There was a moment of hesitation, and she fancied she saw him put something into the crotch of the tree before he came sliding down at her feet, looking decidedly confused.
"What were you doing up there, Conny?" she asked, pleasantly.
"No harm at all, ma'am," said Conny, with his eyes on his bare brown feet.
"I suppose not, but I should like to know what it was that you hid up in the tree."
"It's no harm, ma'am," repeated Conny, very red and very earnest.
"Then you can certainly show it to me: I wish to see it," said Mrs. Hunter, decidedly.
Conny disappeared in the tree, and in an instant came down, more slowly than before, carrying something carefully in his hand. He gave it to Mrs. Hunter, and stood before her looking as red and guilty as if he had been found in possession of the doctor's gold watch. It was a miniature sideboard of fragrant red cedar, nearly complete, with drawers, shelves, and exquisite carvings—a lovely little model of the handsome sideboard which was the pride of Mrs. Hunter's heart.
"What a beautiful thing!" said Mrs. Hunter, with such delight in her tone that Conny ventured to look up.
"I was keeping it a secret, ma'am, for little Miss Betty's birthday, to give it her unbeknown."
"It is the very prettiest toy I ever saw," said Mrs. Hunter. "I am sorry I spoiled your secret, Conny, but you don't mind my knowing, do you?"
Conny brightened wonderfully.
"I doubted you might think it was presuming in me, ma'am, to be making little Miss Betty a present. Indeed," he added, with a droll little twinkle of his eyes, "it's trouble enough I've had keeping it. Biddy caught me making a little drawing of the fine chest, and would have it out of me what I was hiding; and once, when I was just using my two eyes at the window, she asked me was I planning to steal the silver. And what with little Miss Betty herself, and Timothy rummaging my bits of things, I was just driven to the tree, ma'am."
"And I pursued you there," laughed Mrs. Hunter, to which Conny only responded with a respectful bow.
"Well, Conny, you shall have a shop. I'll give you the key to the little south attic. That was my boy's playroom, and you may keep your tools there, and lock the door, and nobody shall enter without your leave, not even I."
The evident delight that beamed from Conny's eyes almost brought the tears into Mrs. Hunter's, and made her resolve that this young genius should have a chance to grow. She even felt that it would not be honorable in her to reveal his secret to the doctor, but decided that she would wait a few weeks for Betty's birthday.
But before Betty's birthday another secret came to light. Dr. Hunter had twice noticed a strange, rough-looking man hanging about the premises. He had made a pretense of looking for work, but the doctor distrusted him, and ordered him away.
To his great surprise, a few mornings later, he came suddenly upon the same man in the heart of Hemlock Glen, in earnest conversation with Conny. The man instantly disappeared in the woods, and the doctor reined up his horse, and bade Conny get into the gig. He obeyed silently, crouching, as he often did, at the doctor's feet, and dangling his bare legs over the side of the gig.
"Who was that man, Conny?" asked the doctor, when they were nearly home.
"Jock McCleggan, sir."
"Who is he?"
"Just Jock, sir: a man that lives off and on here-abouts."
"Oh," said the doctor, understanding perfectly well that Jock was a moonshiner; "and what business have you with a rascal like that?"
"He knew my feyther, sir, and he's been saying to me these many days that it was agreed between 'em I was to 'bide with him when my feyther died. It's a lee, sir; my feyther never said it."
"He'd better not show his face to me again," said the doctor. "I'll horsewhip him."
Conny suddenly pulled a crumpled bit of paper from his bosom and showed it to the doctor, saying,
"He brought me that just the morning."
The doctor read:
"TO MR. JOCK MCCLEGGIN,—i want yu tu tak mi sun Cony tu du as if he was yure one. i mene wen i am ded."
"Do you think your father wrote it?" asked the doctor, smiling a little.
Conny looked at him with grave displeasure.
"My feyther was a gentleman, sir, not a blitherin' loon like Jock McCleggan, to stumble at spelling his own name." Then, with a great deal of anxiety, he added,
"Jock says you can be made to give me up; he says it'll be a case of kidnapping."
"Nonsense, Conny: nobody can touch you, or me either; but I advise you to steer clear of Jock and all his companions."
But after this conversation the doctor thought best to see the authorities of Dunsmore, and have himself duly appointed as guardian for Conny—a proceeding which gave the boy unbounded satisfaction.
"I'm yer servant now, little Miss Betty," he said, with a low bow. "Yer servant to keep and to hold; that was what the magistrate said. 'Deed and you're the first lady that ever had a McConnell for a servant."
Betty's birthday came and went. The wonderful little toy was presented, and it was hard saying who was most delighted, Betty or the doctor.
"You are a genius, Conny—an artist, a poet," he exclaimed; and he made a journey to Kilbourne, bringing back a set of carving tools for Conny, and a furnished doll's house, with which he bribed the little lady to give her dainty sideboard into safe-keeping until her curious fingers should have outgrown their passion for pulling things to pieces.
Day by day the attachment of the family for Conny increased.
"He is a gentleman born," said Mrs. Hunter. "I wish I could know more about his history, but he is as discreet as if he were fifty instead of fifteen."
"I fancy his father was a gentleman with a Scotchman's weakness for whiskey, and that he came up here to keep out of sight. At any rate, the boy is a genius, and I intend he shall have a chance in the world."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
I am a boy of twelve years. I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much. We live in Croatia, on the Styrian frontier, near to Bath Rohitsch. Our castle was built about the time America was discovered. It is said that a headless huntsman wanders through the corridors at night, but I have never met him.
We see from the windows many high alps of Styria and Carinthia. We go very often to the Szotlee to swim.
I have two canary-birds and two good old dogs.
My sister, who is fourteen years old, would like very much some pressed California flowers. She would send some from here in return.
JAMES KAVANAGH, Post Rohitsch, Styria, Austria.
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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.
Reading in YOUNG PEOPLE about the fight between the Constitution and the Guerriere, I thought I would tell you about a relic I have. It is a cross made of the wood of the Constitution, which was presented to my father by Miss Bainbridge, a daughter of Commodore Bainbridge, the commander of the Constitution after Captain Hull retired.
I have been a constant reader of the delightful little paper ever since Christmas. I am ten years old, but I have never made but two trips away from my Southern home.
* * * * *
I am nine years old. I live one mile from town. We milk six cows, and I help do the milking.
I have a nice pet lamb. Her name is Fannie. A kind old man gave her to me when she was a little tiny thing. She was a year old last spring. I sold her fleece in the spring for forty-five cents a pound. It weighed five pounds. Papa let me keep all the money, and I am going to buy another sheep with it.
I helped papa all through haying. He has a new hay derrick, and I rode a horse and worked the derrick. The horse is twenty-five years old, and his name is General.
I am visiting Aunt Em now, but I am going to start to school next week. I like YOUNG PEOPLE so much!
MINNIE M. L.
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I live up in the mountains of Sierra County. My papa is editor of a newspaper here, and my little brother, ten years old, folds the papers for papa every Thursday night. Papa gave me a nice French kid doll. She can turn her head, and has joints.
I have two brothers and a sister younger than myself. We all like to receive YOUNG PEOPLE and to look at the pictures. I liked "The Moral Pirates" very much, and would not mind being such a pirate myself.
My home is on the famous Yuba River, but its current is too rapid for boats of any kind.
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I want to know why "the two Eds" did not try to eat on the cars? I am six years old.
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I am a lover of YOUNG PEOPLE, and in common with others have exchanged specimens with many of the subscribers. A young lady of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, sent me a piece of peacock coal, and wished St. Croix carnelians in exchange. Unfortunately I have lost her name and address, and I wish to ask her to kindly send it to me again.
CARRIE E. SILLIMAN, Hudson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.
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WEST NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS.
Will some correspondent of YOUNG PEOPLE please give me directions for pressing flowers and different kinds of sea-weed?
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I have a little kitten named Tommy Milo. Sometimes he comes into our chamber and lies at the foot of the bed till one or two o'clock in the morning, and then crawls up to the head to be petted. Sometimes he plagues us so that we have to put him out of the room.
I can knit and crochet. I crocheted a collar of feathered-edge braid, and it is very pretty. I would like very much a pattern for knitting edging, if Gracie Meads or any one will send it to me.
ELIZA F., P. O. Box 162, West Newton, Massachusetts.
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BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA.
I send you a pencil sketch of a magnolia blossom. I drew it myself. I draw a good deal for my own amusement, although I have had no instruction. The diameter of this blossom is about nine inches when it is fully open. This month is the time for the falling of the cones. They contain the seeds, which are covered with a bright red pulpy substance, and are suspended from the cone by a white silken thread about half an inch long. They are very pretty. Our magnolia-tree is very large. The circumference is about fifteen feet.
Several days ago I saw a wild vine that resembles the sweet-potato vine, and the blossom is just the same. We have what I think is the wild onion growing here. It grows all around in the fields.
I think HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE is a splendid paper.
A. L. H.
Many thanks for your pretty drawing. We regret we have no room to give it in the Post-office Box.
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I don't know but the little folks are tired of hearing about pets, but I want to tell them how my kitty jumped on the piano, and ran over the keys from one end of them to the other, and the tune she played frightened her so that she scampered away with all her might. She is now curled up in my hat, fast asleep. I have two carrier-doves for pets besides.
I sent Carrie Harding, of Freeport, Illinois, some pressed flowers quite a long time ago, but I have not heard whether she received them or not.
HARRY H. M.
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ST. JOHNS, MICHIGAN.
I am nine years old. I have a great many dolls—sixteen in all. I have a little baby brother, and I have two canaries, and a cat named Muggins. I did have one named Snow, but one morning all of a sudden he disappeared, and has never been found.
I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much, especially the story of "Claudine's Doves." I wonder if Claudine is alive yet, and lives in Paris?
My YOUNG PEOPLE comes every Thursday, and I can hardly wait for it.
GRACE M. D.
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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
I live in Summerside. Our house is very near the water. There is an island in our bay, and we go there sometimes. I have a little garden, with some lovely black pansies and other flowers growing in it. My sister has a little white rabbit.
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GRAFTON, WEST VIRGINIA.
I don't know what I would do now without my YOUNG PEOPLE. I have taken it ever since it was published, and I hope I will always get it. Of all the long stories, I like "The Moral Pirates" best, but I like the others too.
I love to read about the pets the little girls and boys write about in the Post-office Box. I have some too. I believe I like my ducks the best. I have two old ones and ten young ones. I hope Bessie Maynard will stay at Old Orchard Beach a good while, and write some more letters to her doll. When I go away from home I always take my doll with me. I have a little sister Mabel, but she is only four years old. She likes the pictures in YOUNG PEOPLE better than the stories. I am almost nine, and I can read in the Fourth Reader.
CLOYD D. B.
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Middletown, New York.
I send a recipe to the chemists' club, which, if not new to the club, may be to many readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
Metal Tree.—A bar of pure zinc two and a half inches long and three-eighths of an inch in diameter; ten cents' worth of sugar of lead. Fill a decanter with pure water; suspend the bar in it easily by means of a fine brass wire running through the centre of the cork; pour in the sugar of lead, and cork tightly. Let it stand without being moved, and watch the formations.
Our boy took a quart glass fruit jar, and bought a cork to fit it for a few cents. He could not get a solid bar of zinc, but had a piece of zinc folded which answered the purpose. Then following the rest of the directions, he placed the jar on the mantel-piece. The next day; the formations began, and are constantly changing.
L. E. K.
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I send some simple experiments for the chemists' club. Put into a small chemist's mortar as much finely powdered potassium chlorate as will lie upon the point of a penknife blade, and half the quantity of sulphur; cover the mortar with a piece of paper having a hole cut in it large enough for the handle of the pestle to pass through. When the two substances are well mixed, grind heavily with the pestle, when rapid detonations will ensue; or after the powder is mixed, you can wrap it with paper into a hard pellet, and explode it on an anvil with a sharp blow of a hammer.
To make iodide of nitrogen, cover a few scales of iodine with strong aqua-ammonia. After it has stood for half an hour, pour off the liquid, and place the brown precipitate, or sediment, in small portions on bits of broken earthenware to dry. When perfectly dry, the particles may be exploded with the touch of a rod, or even of a feather.
I would like to exchange crystallized quartz or gold ore for zinc or silver ore.
JOHN R. GLEN, Nacoochee, White County, Georgia.
We would advise our young chemists to buy some good work on the elements of chemistry, and study it well before they undertake any experiments, as handling reagents, when one is not aware of their true composition and behavior under all conditions, is a very dangerous pastime, by which absolutely nothing can be learned, and a great deal of mischief done to face, eyes, hands, and clothing, to say nothing of mamma's table-cloths and carpets.
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NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND.
I thought I would write to the Post-office Box about my white mice. At one time I had fourteen, and they did many funny tricks. One of them would go on a tight cord, in the centre of which was fastened a pan of bird seed, holding on by his tail all the time. Another would go up an inclined plane, and then down a string to get bird seed. I could tell many other funny tricks they did, but I am afraid my letter would be too long.
JOHN R. B.
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PORT BYRON, ILLINOIS.
I am seven years old, and I live on the east bank of the Mississippi. My papa owns a raft steamer, which is busy towing rafts from the foot of Lake Pepin to Hannibal and St. Louis. Every summer my mamma and I take a trip with papa up or down the river. We are gone a week or more. Oh, I just have jolly times! The men on the rafts make me whistles and little boats. The cook gives me dough every time he bakes. I make fried cakes, biscuits, and pies all out of the same piece of dough. I am not as particular as the little girls who send recipes to the Post-office Box.
My grandma in Wisconsin subscribed for YOUNG PEOPLE for me, and I enjoy it more than any present she ever gave me, because it is something new every week.
FREDDIE J. B.
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ALBION, NEW YORK.
I live with my mamma and grandpa and grandma. I am four years old, but I am going to be five in October.
I have a little brother named Judson, but he calls himself "B." He is three years old. He had a birthday cake with three candles on it—a red one, a green one, and a white one. At breakfast a pair of little oxen stood at his plate with a load of candy and a little doll driver. He was so good he gave me more candy than he kept himself, and the dolly too.
"B" likes "The Moral Pirates" because it is about boats. We are too little to guess the puzzles, but we like the letters in the Post-office Box ever so much.
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I think the "worm" described by Maggie P. B. is the caterpillar of the willow sphinx moth. I have found several of them on the willow-trees, and I kept them and fed them every day. In the fall they turned into chrysalides, which I kept all the winter. In the spring beautiful moths, nearly six inches across the wings, came out of them. I am collecting butterflies and moths, and my father has given me a nice case for them.
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I am collecting coins, minerals, birds' eggs, and postmarks, any of which I would gladly exchange with any reader of YOUNG PEOPLE.
WILL E. BREHMER, Penn Yan, Yates County, New York.
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I take HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, and wish every one would do the same, as it is splendid.
I would like to exchange postage stamps with any of the subscribers, as I have a good many.
JAMES D. HEARD, Union St., Mount Washington, Pittsburgh, Pa.
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I would be pleased to exchange birds' eggs with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE. I have also a lot of postage stamps that I would like to exchange for eggs.
REGINALD S. KOEHLER, P. O. Box 370, Hagerstown, Maryland.
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I am collecting birds' eggs, and would be very much pleased to exchange with any of the correspondents of YOUNG PEOPLE. Can any one tell me where to get a catalogue of birds' eggs?
RICHARD KIPP, 13 Grant Street, Newark, New Jersey.
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I would like to exchange birds' eggs with some correspondent. I have eggs of the wild canary, wren, martin, robin, cat-bird, swallow, guinea-hen, quail, and woodpecker.
J. LEE MAHIN, Muscatine, Iowa.
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I would like to exchange postage stamps with any one in the United States or Canada.
H. L. MCILVAIN, 120 North Fifth Street, Reading, Pennsylvania.
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To any one who will send me twenty-five postmarks I will send by return mail a box of sea-shells.
JAMES A. SNEDEKER, 60 Asylum Street, New Haven, Connecticut.
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I am making a collection of steel pens, and would like to exchange with any correspondents of YOUNG PEOPLE.
CARL REESE EALY, 22 North Shippen St., Lancaster, Pa.
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I am collecting skulls and skeletons of birds, beasts, and reptiles, and if any of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE have any which they wish to dispose of, they would be gratefully received by me. In exchange for the same I will give foreign postage stamps, butterflies, or bugs. If any know of places where the above-mentioned articles can be purchased, I would be pleased if they would let me know.
I. N. KRIEGSHABER, 490 Fifth Street, between Breckinridge and Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky.
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HARRY E. F.—The letters S. P. Q. R. stand for Senatus populusque Romanus, meaning the Senate and people of Rome.
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OTTIE LE ROI.—Wild rabbits and hares change their coats with the changing season. This peculiarity is especially marked in the Alpine hares of Switzerland. In YOUNG PEOPLE No. 13, in the paper entitled "Hares, Wild and Tame," is a full description of the summer and winter costume of these little animals.
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WILLIE H. S.—The army-worm varies considerably in its size and markings according to the locality in which it is found, but its general characteristics are sufficiently marked to distinguish it. Its length varies from one to one and three-quarter inches. Its color is gray, sometimes so dark as to appear nearly black. It usually has narrow yellow stripes along its back and sides, and a few short straggling hairs on its body. The moth of this destructive caterpillar is called Leucania unipuncta. It is a small rusty grayish-brown fellow, its wings peppered with black dots. It is a member of the extensive family of owlet moths, and may be seen fluttering about the lamps and gas jets any summer evening.
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PAULINE M.—If you send eighty-one cents, accompanied by your full address, to the publishers, the numbers of YOUNG PEOPLE you require will be forwarded to you.
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WILLIE F.—Directions for the construction of an ice-boat will be given in an early number of YOUNG PEOPLE.
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"PIGEON."—The wisest thing you can do is to save your pennies until you can buy a pair of the pets you wish, and give up all idea of snaring wild ones.
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Favors are acknowledged from A. S. Barrett, George H. Hitchcock, Blanche M., Nellie B., Carrie M. Keyes, Bertha C., L. Blanche P., A. W. Graham, George L. Osgood, Flora Liddy, C. F. M., Joseph Taylor, Daisy G., Susie Mulholland.
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Correct answers to puzzles are received from H. A. Bent, "Nellie Bly," Daisy Violet M., Clyde A. Heller, Eddie A. Leet, K. T. W., Wroton Kenny, "Chiquot," C. T. Young, Edith Bidwell, Isabel and H. Jacobs, George Volckhausen.
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PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
1. First, a city in Italy. Second, a river in Germany. Third, a river in the northern part of New England. Fourth, a river in France.
2. First, a small vessel. Second, to detest. Third, pursuit. Fourth, multitudes. Fifth, a curl.
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1. In Kentucky. A character in mythology. A time of repose. A pronoun. In Montana.
2. In Alaska. A pronoun. A shelter. Eccentric. In Vermont. Centrals of diamonds read across give the name of a poisonous plant.
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Our firsts in cow, but not in kitten. Our seconds in coat, but not in mitten. Our thirds in sword, but not in knife. Our fourths in horn, but not in fife. Our fifths in wire, but not in thread. Our sixths in ran, but not in sped. Our sevenths in gallant, not in brave. Our eighths in tunnel, not in cave. Our ninths in oil, but not in water. Our tenths in son, but not in daughter. And if you join these letters well, You'll find two warriors' names they spell.
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GEOGRAPHICAL DROP-LETTER PUZZLES.
1. Aa, a city in Burmah. Ofh, a city in Turkey. Jda, a city in Arabia. Ra, a city in Arabia. ei, a city in China. ua, a city in Hindostan. Os, a city in the Russian Empire.
2. Eee, a city in England. Aaaa, one of the United States. aaa, a river in South America. aaa, a city in South America. aaa, an isthmus.
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ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 45.
William the Conqueror.
O I C E O C E A N E A T N
S O W L S W E E T L E T T
C R A V E R E D A N A D A P T V A P O R E N T R Y
R I N K I D E A N E A T K A T E
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates—payable in advance, postage free:
SINGLE COPIES $0.04 ONE SUBSCRIPTION, one year 1.50 FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, one year 7.00
Subscriptions may begin with any Number. When no time is specified, it will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the Number issued after the receipt of order.
Remittances should be made by POST-OFFICE MONEY ORDER or DRAFT, to avoid risk of loss.
The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents per line.
Address HARPER & BROTHERS, Franklin Square, N. Y.
Fine French Chromo Cards.
About 200 Designs. From 15 cts. to 50 cts. per Set.
EDWARD STERN & CO., Philadelphia.
The Child's Book of Nature.
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The Child's Book of Nature, for the Use of Families and Schools: intended to aid Mothers and Teachers in Training Children in the Observation of Nature. In Three Parts. Part I. Plants. Part II. Animals. Part III. Air, Water, Heat, Light, &c. By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M.D. Illustrated. The Three Parts complete in One Volume, Small 4to, Half Leather, $1.12; or, separately, in Cloth, Part I., 45 cents; Part II., 48 cents; Part III., 48 cents.
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A beautiful and useful work. It presents a general survey of the kingdom of nature in a manner adapted to attract the attention of the child, and at the same time to furnish him with accurate and important scientific information. While the work is well suited as a class-book for schools, its fresh and simple style cannot fail to render it a great favorite for family reading.
The Three Parts of this book can be had in separate volumes by those who desire it. This will be advisable when the book is to be used in teaching quite young children, especially in schools.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
No boy can be thoroughly happy who is not the owner of a bicycle. The art of riding is easily acquired, and, once learned, is never forgotten. A horse cannot compare with the bicycle for speed and endurance. The sport is very fascinating, and the exercise is recommended by physicians as a great promoter of health. Send 3-cent stamp for 24-page Illustrated Catalogue, with price-lists and full information.
The POPE MFG. CO.,
79 Summer Street, Boston, Mass.
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.
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Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
OUR CHILDREN'S SONGS.
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Our Children's Songs. Illustrated. 8vo, Ornamental Cover, $1.00.
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It contains some of the most beautiful thoughts for children that ever found vent in poesy, and beautiful "pictures to match."—Chicago Evening Journal.
This is a large collection of songs for the nursery, for childhood, for boys and for girls, and sacred songs for all. The range of subjects is a wide one, and the book is handsomely illustrated.—Philadelphia Ledger.
The best compilation of songs for the children that we have ever seen.—New Bedford Mercury.
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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.
HOW TO CUT A FIVE-POINTED STAR
Take a sheet of paper cut square, and fold it as shown by Fig. 1. Make three divisions at one end with a pencil; fold the paper so that the corner lettered b will be at a, as shown in Fig. 2. Then turn the corner lettered C so that it will be at D, as shown in Fig. 3. Then fold the paper so that the corner lettered B and the corner lettered a will be together, and the edges perfectly even, as shown in Fig. 4. Now divide the space between e and f into three parts, and with one straight cut with the scissors from the division lettered g to the corner lettered B and a, of Fig. 4, you have Betsey Griscom's five-pointed star.
GEORGE M. FINCKEL.
The following contributors have also sent in specimens of the five-pointed star so folded as to be cut with one straight clip of the scissors: Emma Schaffer, Samuel H. Lane, W. A. S., Sidney Abenheim, Clyde A. Heller, Pauline Mackay.
OBLIGED TO REFUSE.
BY MADGE ELLIOT.
An agile Gibbon, swinging from The top branch of a tree, Her brown-faced baby in her arms, A humming-bird did see (Upon a lower bough he sat) Of Puff-leg family. "Oh dear!" she cried, "I wish you'd give One of your puffs to me; I hear that they are always used In white society. And though I have no powder, yet A pleasure it would be To dab my face and arms with it, Like dames of high degree. And then I'm sure my darling pet Would greatly like it too; She is the loveliest of babes—" "That, ma'am, is very true," The humming-bird made haste to say; "She much resembles you. But that small gift you ask is not Like stocking nor like shoe: It won't come off, for it, my friend, Grew with me as I grew. And so I fear I must refuse The puff you sweetly beg. Could I spare it? Why, really, now, I couldn't spare my leg."
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An Odd Combination.—The year 1881 will be a mathematical curiosity. From left to right and from right to left it reads the same; 18 divided by 2 gives 9 as a quotient; 81 divided by 9 gives 9; if divided by 9, the quotient contains a 9; if multiplied by 9, the product contains two 9's; 1 and 8 are 9; 8 and 1 are 9. If the 18 be placed under the 81 and added, the sum is 99. If the figures be added thus, 1, 8, 8, 1, it will give 18. Reading from left to right it is 18, and reading from right to left it is 18, and 18 is two-ninths of 81. By adding, dividing, and multiplying, nineteen 9's are produced, being one 9 for each year required to complete the century.