* * * * *
VOL. I.—NO. 45. PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. PRICE FOUR CENTS.
Tuesday, September 7, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.
* * * * *
WALLY, THE WRECK-BOY.
A STORY OF THE NORTHERN COAST.
BY FRANK H. TAYLOR.
His real name is Wallace, but his mates always called him "Wally," and although he is now a big broad-shouldered young mariner, he is still pointed out as the "wreck-boy." One summer not long ago Wally sailed with me for a week out upon the blue waters across the bar after blue-fish, or among the winding tide-water creeks for sheep's-head, and it was then, by means of many questions, that I heard the following story.
Wally's father was a light-house keeper. The great brick tower stood aloft among the sand-hills, making the little house which nestled at its base look dwarfish and cramped.
Wally was about twelve years old, and seldom had the good fortune to find a playmate. Two miles down the beach, at Three Pine Point, stood a handsome cottage that was occupied by Mr. Burton, a city gentleman and a great ship-owner, during the summer, and sometimes his daughter Elsie, a bright-eyed little girl, would come riding along the sands from the cottage behind a small donkey, and ask Wally to show her his "museum."
It was a matter of great pride with the boy to exhibit the many curious shells, bits of sea-weed, sharks' teeth, fish bones, and the full-rigged ships he had whittled out and completed on winter nights, and Elsie was an earnest listener to all his explanations, showing him in return the pictures she had made in her sketch-book.
Not far from the light-house stood a life-saving station—a strong two-story building, shingled upon its sides to make it warmer. Here, through the winter months, lived a crew of brave fishermen, who were always ready to launch the life-boat, and go out through the stormy waters to help shipwrecked sailors.
Wally was a favorite here, and spent much of his time listening to the tales they told of ocean dangers and escapes; but he liked best of all to trudge along the sands with the guard on dark nights, lantern in hand, watching for ships in distress. The captain of the crew, who was an old seaman, taught him the use of the compass and quadrant, and other matters of navigation, while the rest showed him how to pull an oar, steer, and swim, until he could manage a boat as well as any of them.
Just before sunset each day Wally's father climbed the iron steps of the light tower, and started the lamp, which slowly revolved within the great crystal lens, flashing out four times each minute its beam of warning across the stormy waters. Every few hours it was the watcher's duty to pump oil into a holder above the light, from which it flowed in a steady stream to the round wicks below. If this was neglected, the lamp would cease to burn.
Wally, who was an ingenious boy, had placed a small bit of mirror in his little bedroom in the attic so that as he lay in bed he could see the reflection of the flash across the waters. One wild October evening he had watched it until he fell asleep, and in the night was awakened by the roaring gusts of the gale which swept over the lonely sands, and he missed the faithful flash upon his mirror. The light had gone out!
Many ships out upon the sea were sailing to and fro, and there was no light to guide them or warn them of dangerous shoals. Nearer and nearer some of them were drifting to their fate, and still the beacon gave no warning of danger.
The light-keeper, hours before, had gone out upon the narrow gallery about the top of the tower to look at the storm, just as a large wild fowl, bewildered by the glare, had flown with great speed toward it, and striking the keeper's head, had laid him senseless upon the iron grating.
I have seen fractures in the lenses, or glass reflectors, of light-houses as large as your two fists, such as it would require a heavy sledge-hammer to break by human force, caused by the fierce flight of wild fowl; and a netting of iron wire is usually spread upon three sides of the lens as a protection to the light. Sometimes a large number of dead birds will be found at the foot of the light-house in the morning after a stormy autumn night, when wild-geese are flying southward.
Wally sprang from his bed, full of dread lest his father had fallen to the ground; for he knew he would never sleep at his post of duty. But first in his thoughts was the need of starting the lamp again. Calling to his mother, he sped up the spiral stairway, which never seemed so long before, and began to pump the oil. Then he lighted the wick from a small lantern burning in the watch-room, and pumped again until the oil tank was quite full. His mother in the mean time had found the form of the keeper, and partially restored him. Wally stepped out upon the gallery to find his father's hat, and looking seaward, saw something which for a moment made him sick with terror. In the midst of the breakers lay a large square-rigged vessel, helplessly pounding to pieces upon the outer bar. In the intervals of the wind's moaning Wally could hear the despairing cries of those on board, who seemed to call to him to save them.
The life-saving station was not yet opened for the season. The captain and his men lived upon the mainland, across a wide and swift-flowing channel in the marsh, called the "Thoroughfare." To reach them was of the most vital importance, for their hands only could drag out and man the heavy surf-boat, or fire the mortar, and rig the life-car.
All this passed through Wally's mind in a few seconds, and knowing that his helpless father could do nothing, and that an alarm might make him worse, he sped silently down the stairway, and setting fire to a "Coston torch," such as are used by the coast-guard in cases of wreck, he rushed from the house, swinging the torch, that burned with a bright red flame, above his head as he ran.
Half a mile across the sands there was a small boat landing, where a skiff usually lay moored.
Toward this Wally sped with all his strength; but, alas! the waves had lifted it, the winds had broken it from its moorings, and it was floating miles away down the "Thoroughfare," and now Wally stood upon the landing, in the blackness of the night, full of despair. He might swim, but he had never tried half the width of the channel before. He looked into the blackness beyond, and hesitated; then at the light-house, where his mother still sat in the little watch-room ministering to his injured father; then he thought of the poor men out in the breakers, whose lives depended upon his reaching the crew.
But a moment longer he stood, and then throwing off his coat, he tied a sleeve securely about a post so it would be known, in case he should fail, how he had lost his life. And now he was in the icy waters. The wind helped him along, but the incoming tide swept him far out of his course. As he gained the middle of the channel he thought how bitter the consequences might be to his father if the crew of the ship were lost, for who would believe the story of the wild fowl's blow? This nerved his tired arms, but the effort was too much for his strength. He paused, and threw up his arms. As his form sank beneath the waves, his toes touched the muddy bottom, and his hand swept among some weeds. One more effort as he came to the surface, and now he could stand with his mouth out of water. A moment's rest, and he was tearing aside the dense flags that bordered the channel.
The captain, a good mile from the Thoroughfare, had left his warm bed to fasten a loose window-shutter, when he saw a small form tottering toward him, and Wally fell, weak and voiceless, at his feet. Restoratives were brought, and the boy told his story.
Ten minutes later half a dozen of the crew were on their way to the landing, Wally, now fully recovered, foremost among them. He seemed to possess wonderful strength. They crossed the channel, and dragged out the great life-boat from its house. It hardly appeared possible to launch it in such a sea, but each man, in his excitement, had the strength of two, and without waiting to be bid, Wally leaped into the stern and grasped the helm.
"Well done, boy!" cried the captain. "I'll take an oar: we need all help to-night."
Through the night the faithful crew pulled, bringing load after load of men, women, and children from the wreck of the Argonaut to the shore, until all were saved. The little house under the light was well filled, and the sailors were crowded into the life-saving station.
"Where is my father?" asked Wally; and as a man came forward with his head bandaged, in reply, the boy sank down, and a blackness came over his eyes.
When he recovered he was in a beautiful room, into which the sun shone, lighting up the bright walls, pictures, and carpets. He was on a pretty bedstead, and a strange lady sat by the window talking to his mother. He thought it all a dream. The door opened, and Mr. Burton came in, dressed in a fisherman's suit. How queer he looked in such a garb! and Wally laughed at the sight, and thought that when he awoke he would tell his mother about it.
It happened that the ship which had come ashore was one belonging to Mr. Burton, who was on board, returning from a trip to the Mediterranean. So he had opened the cottage at Three Pine Point, and as the little house under the light was full, had insisted upon having Wally, with some others, brought to his summer home, where he could care for them.
Everybody had learned of the boy's brave swim, all had seen him in the life-boat, and they were anxious to have him recover soon.
Wally, too, learned that the ship had become helpless long before she had struck the shore, and that her loss was not caused by his father's mishap.
When Wally had recovered, Mr. Burton and some of the other passengers insisted upon taking him to the city, where they had a full suit of wrecker's clothes made for him—cork jacket, sou'wester, and all. He was also presented with a silver watch and a medal for his bravery. When he was dressed in his new suit, Miss Elsie made a sketch of him, whereupon Wally blushed more than he had done during all the praises lavished upon him.
At the close of the next summer Mr. Burton arranged with the light-keeper to let him send Wally to a city school, and for the next four years the boy lived away from the little house on the sands, making only occasional visits to his home.
Then Mr. Burton took him into his office, where he worked faithfully for two years; but his old life by the sea caused a longing for a sailor's career, and his employer wisely allowed him to go upon a cruise in one of his ships. Upon the following voyage he was made a mate, and this year he is to command a new ship now being built. Captain Wally was asked the other day to suggest a name for the new craft, and promptly gave as his choice the Elsie.
And Elsie Burton, who is now an artist, has painted two pictures for the Captain's cabin. One is called "The Loss of the Argonaut," and the other, "Wally, the Wreck-Boy."
[Begun in No. 31 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, June 1.]
THE MORAL PIRATES.
BY W. L. ALDEN.
There was only one fault to be found with Brandt Lake—there was hardly anything to shoot in its vicinity. Occasionally a deer could be found; but at the season of the year when the boys were at the lake it was contrary to law to kill deer. It was known that there were bears in that part of the country as well as lynxes—or catamounts, as they are generally called; but they were so scarce that no one thought of hunting them. Harry did succeed in shooting three pigeons and a quail, and Tom shot a gray squirrel; but the bears, deer, catamounts, and ducks that they had expected to shoot did not show themselves.
On the other hand, they had any quantity of fishing. Perch and cat-fish swarmed all around the island; and large pickerel, some of them weighing six or eight pounds, could be caught by trolling. Two miles farther north was another lake that was full of trout, and the boys visited it several times, and found out how delicious a trout is when it is cooked within half an hour after it is taken from the water. In fact, they lived principally upon fish, and became so dainty that they would not condescend to cook any but the choicest trout and the plumpest cat-fish and pickerel.
It must be confessed that there was a good deal of monotony in their daily life. In the morning somebody went for milk, after which breakfast was cooked and eaten. Then one of the boys would take the gun and tramp through the woods in the hope of finding something to shoot, while the others would either go fishing or lie in the shade. Once they devoted a whole day to sailing entirely around the lake in the boat, and another day a long rainstorm kept them inside of the tent most of the time. With these exceptions, one day was remarkably like another; and at the end of two weeks they began to grow a little tired of camping, and to remember that there were ways of enjoying themselves at home.
Their final departure from their island camp was caused by an accident. They had decided to row to the southern end of the lake, and engage a team to meet them the following week, and to carry them to Glenn's Falls, where they intended to ship the boat on board a canal-boat bound for New York, and to return home by rail. To avoid the heat of the sun, they started down the lake immediately after breakfast, and forgot to put out the fire before they left the island.
After they had rowed at least a mile, Tom, who sat facing the stern, noticed a light wreath of smoke rising from the island, and remarked, "Our fire is burning yet; we ought not to have gone and left it."
Harry looked back, and saw that the cloud of smoke was rapidly increasing.
"It's not the fire that's making all that smoke," he exclaimed.
"What is it, then?" asked Tom.
"Perhaps it's water," said Joe. "I always thought that where there was smoke there must be fire; but Harry says it isn't fire."
"I mean," continued Harry, "that we didn't leave fire enough to make so much smoke. It must have spread and caught something."
"Caught the tent, most likely," said Tom. "Let's row back right away and put it out."
"What's the use?" interrupted Jim. "That tent is as dry as tinder, and will burn up before we can get half way there."
"We must get back as soon as we can," cried Harry. "All our things are in the tent. Row your best, boys, and we may save them yet."
The boat was quickly turned and headed toward the camp.
"There's one reason why I'm not particularly anxious to help put that fire out," Joe remarked, as they approached the island, and could see that a really alarming fire was in progress.
"What's that?" asked Harry.
"As near as I can calculate, there must be about two pounds—"
He was interrupted by a loud report from the island, and a shower of pebbles, sticks, and small articles—among which a shoe and a tin pail were recognized—shot into the air.
"—of powder," Joe continued, "in the flask. I thought it would blow up; and now that it's all gone, I don't mind landing on the island."
"Everything must be ruined," exclaimed Jim.
"Lucky for us that we put on our shoes this morning," Tom remarked, as he rowed steadily on. "That must have been one of my other pair that just went up."
When they reached the island they could not at first land, on account of the heat of the flames; but they could plainly see that the tent and everything in it had been totally destroyed. After waiting for half an hour the fire burned itself out, so that they could approach their dock and land on the smoking ash heap that an hour before had been such a beautiful shady spot. There was hardly anything left that was of any use. A tin pan, a fork, and the hatchet were found uninjured; but all their clothing and other stores were either burned to ashes or so badly scorched as to be useless. Quite overwhelmed by their disaster, the boys sat down and looked at one another.
"We've got to go home now, whether we want to or not," Harry said, as he poked the ashes idly with a stick.
"Well, we meant to go home in a few days anyway," said Tom; "so the fire hasn't got very much the better of us."
"But I hate to have everything spoiled, and to have to go in this sort of way. Our tin pans and fishing-tackle aren't worth much, but all our spare clothes have gone."
"You've got your uncle's gun in the boat, so that's all right," suggested Tom, encouragingly. "As long as the gun and the boat are safe, we needn't mind about a few flannel shirts and things."
"But it's such a pity to be driven away, when we were having such a lovely time," continued Harry.
"That's rubbish, Harry," said Joe. "We were all beginning to get tired of camping out. I think it's jolly to have the cruise end this way, with a lot of fire-works. It's like the transformation scene at the theatre. Besides, it saves us the trouble of carrying a whole lot of things back with us."
"The thing to do now," remarked Tom, "is to row right down to the outlet, and get a team to take us to Glenn's Falls this afternoon. We can't sleep here, unless we build a hut, and then we wouldn't have a blanket to cover us. Don't let's waste any more time talking about it."
"That's so. Take your places in the boat, boys, and we'll start for home." So saying, Harry led the way to the boat, and in a few moments the Whitewing was homeward bound.
The boys were lucky enough to find a man who engaged to take them to Glenn's Falls in time to catch the afternoon train for Albany. They stopped at the Falls only long enough to see the Whitewing safely on board a canal-boat, and they reached Albany in time to go down the river on the night boat.
After a supper that filled the colored waiters with astonishment, the boys selected arm-chairs on the forward deck, and began to talk over the cruise. They all agreed that they had had a splendid time, in spite of hard work and frequent wettings.
"We'll go on another cruise next summer, sure," said Harry. "Where shall we go?"
Tom was the first to reply. Said he, "I've been thinking that we can do better than we did this time."
"How so?" asked the other boys.
"The Whitewing is an awfully nice boat," Tom continued, "but she is too small. We ought to have a boat that we can sleep in comfortably, and without getting wet every night."
"But then," Harry suggested, "you couldn't drag a bigger boat round a dam."
"We can't drag the Whitewing round much of a dam. She's too big to be handled on land, and too little to be comfortable. Now here's my plan."
"Let's have it," cried the other boys.
"We can hire a cat-boat about twenty feet long, and she'll be big enough, so that we can rig up a canvas cabin at night. We can anchor her, and sleep on board her every night. We can carry mattresses, so we needn't sleep on stones and stumps—"
"And coffee-pots," interrupted Joe.
"—and we can take lots of things, and live comfortably. We can sail instead of rowing; and though I like to row as well as the next fellow, we've had a little too much of that. Now we'll get a cat-boat next summer, and we'll cruise from New York Bay to Montauk Point. We can go all the way through the bays on the south side, and there are only three places where we will have to get a team of horses to drag the boat across a little bit of flat meadow. I know all about it, for I studied it out on the map one day. What do you say to that for a cruise?"
"I'll go," said Harry.
"And I'll go," said Jim.
"Hurrah for the cat-boat!" said Joe. "We can be twice as moral and piratical in a sail-boat as we can in a row-boat, even if it is the dear little Whitewing."
In Africa wandered a yak; A jaguar jumped up on his back. Said the yak, with a frown, "Prithee quick get thee down; You're almost too heavy, alack!"
BITS OF ADVICE.
BY AUNT MARJORIE PRECEPT.
I once overheard a little bit of talk between two school-girls, one of whom said, "Well, the Ames family are coming to our house next week, and for my part I dread it. I don't expect to have a mite of enjoyment while they are with us. I can not entertain people." I have forgotten her companion's reply, but I know that the feeling is common among young people, and when guests arrive they often slip off the responsibility of making them happy upon papa and mamma. This is hardly fair. The art of hospitality is really as easily acquired as a knowledge of geography or grammar.
In the first place, the young girls in a family when expecting friends of their own age should see that their rooms are pleasantly arranged, the beds freshly made, toilet soap provided, and plenty of towels and water at hand. Not new towels, dear girls; they are hard and slippery, and nobody likes them. There should be a comb and brush, a button-hook, pins in plenty, and space in the closet to hang dresses and coats, as well as an empty drawer in the bureau at the guest's service. By attending to these little things themselves, girls can take quite a burden from their busy mothers. Then both boys and girls should have in mind some sort of plan by which to carry on operations during the days of their friends' stay. So far as possible it is well to lay aside unnecessary work for the time. As for the morning and evening duties which belong to every day's course, attend to them faithfully, but do not let them drag. Never make apologies if you happen to have some occupation which you fear may seem very humble in the eyes of your guest. All home service is honorable.
If you live in the country there will be fishing, nutting, climbing, riding, driving, and exploring; all of which you can offer to your friends. Be sure that you have fishing-tackle, poles, and baskets, harness in order, and, in short, everything in readiness for your various expeditions. To most out-of-door excursions a nice luncheon is an agreeable addition, and you need not upset the house nor disturb the cook in order to arrange this, for sandwiches, gingerbread, cookies, crackers, and similar simple refreshments, can be obtained in most homes without much difficulty. Every boy, as well as every girl, should know how to make a good cup of coffee by a woodland fire.
In town there are museums, picture-galleries, and concerts, as well as various shows, to delight guests from a distance. In the season you can take them to the beach or the parks. But whether in town or country, do not wear your friends out by too much going about, nor ever let them feel that you are taking trouble for them, nor yet that they are neglected. Forget your own convenience, but remember their comfort. Study their tastes and consult their wishes in a quiet way.
THE HOMES OF THE FARMING ANTS.
BY CHARLES MORRIS.
Woodbine Cottage was just a gem of a place. If any of my readers have ever seen a gem of a place, they will know exactly what that means. For those who have not been so fortunate, I will say that it was the prettiest of cottages, with no end of angles and gables, of shady nooks and sunny corners, and of cunning ins and outs; while to its very roof the fragrant woodbine climbed and clambered, and the bees buzzed about the honeyed blossoms as if they were just wild with delight.
That was Woodbine Cottage itself. But I have said nothing about its surroundings—the neat flower beds, and the prattling brook that ran by just at the foot of the garden, the green lawn as smooth as a table, and the great spreading elm-tree in its centre, against which Uncle Ben Mason was so fond of leaning his chair in the bright summer afternoons, and where Harry and Willie Mason liked nothing better than to lie at his feet on the greensward, and coax him to tell them about the wonderful things he had seen and the marvellous things he had read.
It was only the afternoon succeeding that in which he had told them the strange story of the honey ants, and they were at him again, anxious to know something more about ant life.
"You know, Uncle Ben," pleaded Harry, coaxingly, "that you said there were ever so many other queer things about them."
"And that they milked cows. And that some of them were just soldiers," broke in Willie, eagerly. "And—and—" The little fellow was quite at a loss for words in his eagerness.
"Now, now, now!" cried Uncle Ben; "you don't want me to tell you all at once, I hope?"
"Tell us sumfin, Uncle Ben—sumfin of just the queerest you knows," pleaded Willie; "cos I wants to know 'bout them ever so much."
"Very well. Suppose I describe the farmer ants."
"The farmer ants!" cried Harry, with interest.
"Yes, there is a species of ants in Texas that have farms of their own, and gather the grain in when it is ripe, and store it away in their granaries; and some people say that they plant the seed in the spring, just like human farmers. But others think that this part of the story is very doubtful."
"You don't believe that, do you, Uncle Ben?" asked Harry, doubtingly. "Why, that would be making them folks at once."
"They are very much like folks without that," said his uncle, settling himself back easily in his chair, and gazing down with his kindly glance on his eager young nephews.
"If you could see one of their clearings," he continued. "But maybe you don't care to hear about them?"
"Yes, we does," cried Willie, eagerly.
"I do, ever so much. I know that," chimed in Harry.
"Well, then, if you will keep just as quiet as two mice, I will tell you the story of our little black farmers. They are, in some ways, the strangest of all ants. You have seen little ant-hills thrown up in the sand about an inch across; but these ants build great solid mounds, surrounded by a level court-yard, sometimes as much as ten or twelve feet in diameter. Here they do not suffer a blade of grass nor a weed to grow, and the whole clearing is as smooth and hard as a barn floor. This is no light labor, I can tell you, for wild plants grow very fast and strong under the hot suns of Texas."
"But how do they do it?" asked Harry.
"You would laugh to see them," continued his uncle. "They bite off every blade of grass near the root, some seize it with their fore-legs, and twist and pull at it, while others run up to the top of the blade, and bend it down with their weight. It is not long before the great tree, as it must seem to the ants, comes toppling down. The roots are left in the ground to die out, just as a Western wood-cutter leaves the roots of his trees."
"It must be a funny sight," exclaimed Harry.
"Does they keep stables for their cows?" asked Willie, who could not get over his interest in the ants' milking operations.
"Not they. These ants do not keep cows," returned Uncle Ben.
"They're mighty queer farmers, then," replied Willie, contemptuously.
"They are grain farmers, not dairy farmers," was the amused reply. "But I have not finished telling you about their clearings. There is nothing stranger in the world, when we consider how they are made. They may often be seen surrounded by a circle of tall weeds, great, fast-growing fellows, two or three feet high, that look very much as if they would like to step in on the ants' play-ground. But the active little creatures do not suffer any intrusion upon their domain."
"It is odd how they can cut down so many grass trees without tools," said Harry.
"They have better tools than you think," replied Uncle Ben. "Their hard, horny mandibles are good cutting instruments, and are used for teeth, saws, chisels, and pincers all in one. They form a sort of compound tool."
"I'd like to see them ever so much," cried Willie. "But, Uncle Ben, where does they live? Cos they can't be running 'bout all the time out-of-doors. I know that."
"And they must have some place to put their crops in," said Harry.
"Their houses are in the centre of the clearing," continued their uncle. "They are usually rounded mounds of earth, with a depression in the top, of the shape of a basin. In the centre of this basin is a small hole, forming the entrance to the ant city, which is all built under-ground. If you could see one of these mounds cut open, you would be surprised to behold the multitude of galleries not more than a quarter or half an inch high, running in all directions. Some of them lead up and down to the upper and lower stories of the establishment. At the ends of these galleries are many apartments, some of which serve as nurseries where the young ants are kept, and others as granaries where the grain is stored up. The granaries are sometimes one and three-quarter inches high, and two inches wide, neatly roofed over, and filled to the roof with grain. That may not seem much of a barn, but if you had one in the same proportion to your size, it would need no trifle of grain to fill it."
"But you said they were farmer ants," cried Harry, as if he fancied he had now got his uncle in a tight place, "and you haven't said a word about their wheat fields."
"And you tole us they didn't keep cows, too," put in Willie, triumphantly.
"But I am not half through my story yet," replied Uncle Ben, with a quiet smile. "We have only been talking about their homes and their clearings. Now suppose we take a stroll out to the wheat fields by one of the great roads which the ants make."
"Roads!" cried both boys in surprise.
"Just as fine roads as men could make. Our little farmers always have three or four of these roads, and sometimes as many as seven, running straight out from their clearing, often for sixty feet in length. One observer, in fact, says he saw an ant road that was three hundred feet long. The roads are from two to five inches wide at the clearing, but they narrow as they go out, until they are quite lost."
"But are they real roads? You ain't funning, Uncle Ben?" asked Willie.
"They are as hard, smooth, and level as you would want to see, not a blade of grass, nor a stick nor a stone, upon them. And just think what little tots they are that make them! That long road I have just mentioned would be equal to a road made by men ten miles long and twenty-two feet wide, and yet it is only the ant's pathway to his harvest field."
"Well, that is the queerest thing yet!" exclaimed Harry.
"In the harvest season these roads are always full of ants, coming and going," continued Uncle Ben. "There is a great crowd of them at the entrance, but they thin out as they get further from home. They stray off under the grass, seeking for the ripe seeds which may have dropped. They do not seem to climb the grass for the seeds, but only hunt for them on the ground."
"It's only old grass, then, and it ain't wheat after all!" exclaimed Willie, in some disappointment.
"It is the ants' wheat," was the reply. "A grain of our wheat might prove too heavy for them. They generally prefer the seed of the buffalo-grass, a kind of grass that grows plentifully in Texas. It is very amusing to see one of the foragers after he has found a seed to his liking. No matter how far he has strayed from the road, he always knows his way straight back. But he has a hard struggle with his grass seed, clambering over clods, tumbling over sticks, and travelling around pebbles. There is no give up in him, however. He is bent on bringing in his share of the crop, and lets nothing hinder him. After he reaches the road, it is all plain sailing. He gets a good hold on his grain, and trots off home like an express messenger, sometimes not stopping to rest once on the long journey."
"Gracious! wouldn't I like to see them?" exclaimed Harry. He had approached his uncle step by step, and was now standing in open-mouthed wonder at his knee.
As for Willie, he was not nearly so eager. He had not yet got over his contempt for farmers who did not keep cows.
"Is there anything else queer about them?" asked Harry.
"There is another sort of grass, called ant rice, of which the seed tastes something like rice. One observer says that this grass is often permitted to grow upon their clearings, all other kinds of grass being cut away, as our farmers clear out the weeds from their grain. When the seeds are ripe and fall, they carry them into their granaries, and afterward clear away the stubble, preparing their wheat field for the next year's crop. It is this writer who says that they plant the seeds in the spring, but other writers doubt this statement."
"And you said a while ago that you didn't believe it, either," remarked Harry.
"I think it needs to be pretty thoroughly established before we can accept it as a fact."
"I think so too," said Harry, with great gravity.
"Ain't nuffin more queer 'bout 'em, is there?" asked Willie. "Cos I's getting kind of tired of them."
"You can go 'way, then," retorted Harry. "Uncle Ben's telling me."
"No, he ain't. He's telling bofe of us. Ain't you, Uncle Ben?"
"Anybody who wants to listen is welcome," answered their uncle, with assumed gravity. "But I don't wish to force knowledge into any unwilling young brains. However, I have only a few more things to tell, and then will leave you at liberty."
"Just tell all, Uncle Ben. Don't mind him," cried Harry.
"Another strange part of the story is this," continued their good-natured uncle: "sometimes the rain gets into their granaries, and wets the grain. But as soon as the sun comes out again the industrious little fellows carry out their stores, seed by seed, and lay them in the sun to dry. They then carry them carefully back again, except those that have sprouted and been spoiled. These are left outside."
"Don't they husk their grain?" asked Harry.
"Yes. They carry the husk and all other refuse out-of-doors, and pile it up in a heap on one side of the clearing. Is that all, Harry?"
"But you haven't said a word yet about what these seeds are stored up for. Do they eat them during the winter?"
"Very likely they do, though they have never been observed at their winter meals. Ants usually sleep through the cold weather. But a warm day is apt to waken them, and there is little doubt that they take the opportunity to make a good dinner before going to sleep again."
"But how can they eat such great seeds—bigger than themselves?"
"They don't swallow them at a mouthful, I assure you. They seem rather to rasp them with the rough surface of their tongues, getting off a fine flour, which they swallow eagerly, together with the oil of the seed. I have nothing further to tell you about them just at present, except to say that these are not comfortable ants to meddle with, for they sting almost as sharply as a bee."
"Then I don't want nuffin at all to do with 'em," cried Willie; "cos I was stinged with a bee once, and I don't like bees."
"I am ever so much obliged, Uncle Ben," said Harry. "Come, Willie, let's go play now, for I know we've been a big bother."
"Maybe you has; I ain't," replied Willie, stolidly, as he followed his brother, leaving Uncle Ben with a very odd smile upon his face.
A ROYAL THIEF.
In the summer weather Kindly, gen'rous Night Flings upon the thirsting grass Dew-drops cool and bright. There they lie and sparkle Till return of Day; Then the Sun—a royal thief— Steals them all away.
[Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 37, July 13.]
THE STORY OF THE AMERICAN NAVY.
BY BENSON J. LOSSING.
Between the war of 1812-15 and the civil war, 1861-65, our navy had very little to do in actual warfare. It was sometimes called upon to assert the rights and dignity of our government in foreign ports, and during the war with Mexico it assisted in the capture of Vera Cruz and in the conquest of California.
When in 1861 civil war was begun in Charleston Harbor, our navy consisted of ninety vessels, of which only forty were in commission, and these were distributed in distant seas. The entire naval force available at the beginning of that war for the defense of our Atlantic sea-board was the Brooklyn, of twenty-five guns, and a store-ship carrying two guns. The Confederates seized revenue-cutters in Southern ports. Ships were got ready, and early in April, 1861, a squadron was sent to the relief of Fort Sumter. But it could effect nothing. Very soon afterward the Confederates seized the Navy-yard at Norfolk, and several ships of war were destroyed there to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemies of the republic. The Confederates fitted out privateers to prey upon our commerce; but these were soon disposed of by government vessels, which, forty-three in number, blockaded the Southern ports by midsummer. Nevertheless, numerous British ships, in violation of neutrality laws, slipped into Southern ports with supplies for the Confederates.
Danger made the Navy Department very active. Vessels were bought and built, and fully armed and manned. Two hundred and fifty-nine naval officers of Southern birth left the government service and joined the Confederates at the beginning of the war. Their places were soon filled by patriotic men of equal ability, and there was always an ample supply.
In August, 1861, a land and naval force went from Hampton Roads to capture forts erected by the Confederates at Hatteras Inlet. The vessels were commanded by Commodore Stringham. The expedition was successful. Soon afterward both the national government and the Confederates began to build vessels covered with iron plates, and called "iron-clads." The Federals built a flotilla of twelve gun-boats on the Mississippi early in 1862, a part of them iron-clad, and placed them under the command of Flag-officer Foote. They carried all together one hundred and twenty-six guns. These performed admirable service soon afterward in assisting the army in the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, in Tennessee, and all through the war they were active and efficient in Western rivers.
Late in October, 1861, a powerful land and naval force left Hampton Roads to take possession of the coasts of South Carolina. The ships were commanded by Commodore S. F. Dupont. The entrance to Port Royal Sound was strongly guarded by Confederate forts. These were reduced, after a sharp engagement with the fleet. The Federals entered, and were soon in complete possession of the sea islands of South Carolina.
At the beginning of 1862 the navy was composed of seven squadrons, each having a distinct field of operation, chiefly in the blockading service. In that service many stirring events occurred. At the very beginning the Confederate cruiser Petrel went out of Charleston Harbor and attacked the St. Lawrence, supposing her to be a merchant ship. Presently the latter opened her guns, sending a fiery shell that exploded in the Petrel, and a heavy solid shot that struck her amidships below water-mark. In an instant she was reduced to a wreck, leaving nothing on the surface of the foaming waters but floating fragments of her hull, and the struggling survivors of her crew. The latter scarcely knew what had happened. A flash of fire, a thunder-peal, and ingulfment had been the events of a moment.
Early in 1862 a land and naval force, the latter commanded by Flag-officer Goldsborough, captured Roanoke Island, which the Confederates had fortified. This was speedily followed by the capture of places on the mainland of North Carolina. A little earlier than this, great excitement was produced by the seizure on board an English mail-steamer, by Captain Wilkes, of our navy, of two Confederate Ambassadors to European courts (Mason and Slidell), and lodging them in Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor. The British government threatened war; but common-sense prevailed, and after a little bluster peace was assured.
After the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, Commodore Foote's attention was directed to Island Number Ten, in the Mississippi, which the Confederates occupied, and had strongly fortified. It was regarded as the key to the Lower Mississippi. Foote beleaguered it with gun-boats and mortar-boats, and with some assistance of a land force he captured the stronghold. Then the flotilla went down the Mississippi, and captured Fort Pillow and Memphis, terribly crippling the Confederate squadron at the latter place.
The government resolved to repossess New Orleans and Mobile. A land force under General Butler, and a naval force under Commodore Farragut and Commodore D. D. Porter, with a mortar fleet, gathered at Ship Island, off the coast of Mississippi, early in 1862. The ships entered the Mississippi in April. Two forts opposite each other on the Mississippi, some distance from its mouth, had been strongly garrisoned by the Confederates, who considered them a perfect protection to New Orleans. These had to be passed. That perilous feat was performed by the fleet in the dark hours of the morning of April 24, when a terrific scene was witnessed. Farragut, in the wooden ship Hartford, led the way. Forts, gun-boats, mortar-boats, and marine monsters called "rams" opened their great guns at the same time. Earth and waters for miles around were shaken. The forts were silenced, the fleet passed, and then met a strong Confederate flotilla in the gloom. After one of the most desperate combats of the war, this flotilla was vanquished, and Farragut pushed on toward New Orleans, which he had virtually captured before the arrival of General Butler. This event gave great joy to the loyal people of the country.
Meanwhile a stirring event had occurred in Hampton Roads. Early in March the Confederates sent down from Norfolk a powerful iron-clad "ram" named Merrimac to destroy national vessels near Fortress Monroe. This raid was destructive, and its repetition was expected the next morning. At midnight a strange craft came into the Roads. It seemed to consist of only a huge cylinder floating on a platform. She was under the command of Lieutenant J. L. Worden. That cylinder was a revolving turret of heavy iron, containing two enormous guns. The almost submerged platform was also of iron. It was called the Monitor.
The Merrimac came down the next morning to attack the frigate Minnesota. The little Monitor went to her defense—in size a little child defending a giant. Slowly her turret began to revolve. Her cannon sent forth 100-pound shot, and very soon the Merrimac was so crippled that she fled with difficulty back to Norfolk, and did not come out again. After that, Monitors were favorites as defenders of land-locked waters.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
BY MARY DENSEL.
It had been a hot summer, and Cassy Deane, shut up in a close street, had been treated to every atom of heat that the city contained. So at least it seemed to her, for the family had only lately moved into town from the country, and Cassy was like a little wind-flower that had been transplanted from a cool wood into a box of earth near a blazing fire. No wonder that she drooped. She seldom had even a drive to console her.
"Because we are only middling," she explained to herself. "If we were poor, we could go on excursions with the charity children; and if we were rich, we'd travel to the mountains or the sea. We're only middling, so we stay at home."
At first Cassy was ready to envy Marion Van Dysk, who started with her mamma and a dozen trunks for Saratoga; and she breathed a sigh over the fortunes of Lillie Downs, whose father had built a cottage on the coast of Maine, where the ocean surged up to the very piazza.
But by-and-by Cassy forgot her woes, such a delightful piece of news came to her ears. Her mother told it to her one evening, and Cassy never went to sleep for two whole hours after she was in bed, so excited was she by the bliss that was to be hers in September.
The truth was that Mr. Deane had come to the city for the express purpose of giving his little daughter the benefit of no less an establishment than Madame McLeod's "Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies." Cassy knew that Marion Van Dysk and Lillie Downs and a host of other damsels were also "to enjoy its advantages." Cassy was overwhelmed with the honor and the joy of it all. She had always been a solitary chick up in her country home, and it seemed almost too good to be true that she was actually to have real live girls to play with, and that she could talk of "our games," and "our history class."
What matter that the August sun scorched and flamed? What matter if the bricks, baked through and through by day, took their revenge by keeping the air as hot as a furnace all night?
Cassy was as gay as a lark, and sang and chattered by the hour, while she helped her mother run up the breadths of an extraordinary changeable silk gown, which had been cut over from one that had been her grandmother's. This was to be Cassy's school-dress. Think what richness—silk for every-day wear!
"We can't afford to buy anything new," argued Mrs. Deane. Still, it was a solemn moment when the key snapped in the lock of the cedar chest, and that changeable silk was taken from the place where it had lain these thirty years, wrapped in a pillow-case and two towels.
Cassy fairly gasped when the scissors cut into its gorgeousness. She gasped even more when Mrs. Deane also brought from the chest six yards of an ancient bottle-green ribbon to trim the robe withal. To be sure, the ribbon drooped despondingly under the chastening influence of a hot flat-iron, but, "We'll put it on in bands," said Mrs. Deane. "Bows would really be too dressy for you, my daughter."
Stitch, stitch, stitch, Cassy's fingers flew. And all the time she sewed, her busy brain was weaving the most rapturous visions of the new life that was to be hers. In her dreams she made polite little courtesies to Marion Van Dysk, whom she imagined as standing on the threshold of the "Boarding and Day School" to welcome her. To be sure she only knew Marion by sight, but as Marion knew her in the same way, she thought they would instantly become friends. Then Lillie Downs would entreat her to join in all the games, for Lillie Downs was already an acquaintance: at least she had said, "How do you do?" one day when she saw Cassy on the sidewalk. Cassy was sure there were a dozen girls who would stretch out their hands at once, and perhaps she could even think of a secret to tell some of them, and then they would, of course, be friends forever.
"And even if they wear common clothes, I sha'n't be proud in this magnificent dress," thought Cassy. For the changeable silk was finished now, and Cassy stole twenty times a day into the guest-chamber that she might behold its splendor as it lay on the bed.
It did seem as if August would never end. But at last September appeared, and the morning of all mornings dawned.
Cassy rose bright and early. Her mother dressed her with her own hands, and tied up her hair with a narrow pink ribbon.
"Pink goes so well with the green on your gown," said dear, guileless Mrs. Deane; "and, Cassy, here are some new shoes that father bought for you yesterday. He'll go himself with you to the door, so you sha'n't feel strange like."
"Oh, but they'll be so glad to see me I sha'n't feel strange!" cried Cassy, and down the street she skipped.
But for some reason no one was at the door to welcome her. Cassy crept into the big school-room. It was full of girls, and there was Marion Van Dysk among the rest. A wee smile came to Cassy's face. She was about to say "good-morning," but Marion only glanced carelessly at her and turned away.
"Why, she's forgotten that I live round the corner," thought Cassy.
Lillie Downs had evidently "forgotten" too, or else she was too busy to notice.
Cassy turned away, and that just in time to catch a whisper.
"Who, under the sun, is that queer image in a dress that came out of the ark?"
Cassy looked wonderingly about to discover the "image." The girl who had spoken was gazing directly at her with a twinkle in her eyes. Her companion said, "Hush! she'll hear," and the two laughed under their breath, not jeeringly, but only as if they really could not help it.
A "queer image"? Was she "queer"? Cassy asked herself.
All at once it flashed across her that her gown was certainly very unlike the crisp, ruffled dresses around her. Those flimsy satin ribbons did look as if Mrs. Noah might have worn them. A hot flush sprang to Cassy's cheeks. She began to almost wish she had not come, such a sense of loneliness rushed over her.
She was even more forlorn when the school was presently called to order, for every other girl was blessed with a seat-mate, and Cassy sat quite by herself.
When recess-time came she followed the others into a large back yard, and stowed herself meekly away in a corner to watch the fun. She tried to console herself by the thought that she could not have run about even had she been asked to join in the game of "tag," for the new shoes pinched her feet sadly. For all that, she was almost glad when one girl stumbled against her and fairly trod on her toes, for she turned so quickly, and begged her pardon so heartily, that it was worth bearing the pain for the sake of the notice.
Cassy was sure that all the girls were good-natured. They were only busy with their own affairs, and what claim had the stranger upon any one of them?
When noon came, and Cassy went home to dinner, she put a brave face on the matter. She knew it would break her father's heart to know how keen had been her disappointment. So she spoke of the large school-room, and of the classes in which she had been placed; and Mr. Deane nodded approval, while his wife put her head on one side to see if that changeable silk could not bear to be taken in a little in the biases. How could Cassy tell her that the gown was "queer"? How could she even mention that her shoes were coarse, and that they hurt her feet?
"Perhaps the girls will speak to me to-morrow," she thought, patiently.
But they did not. Again Cassy sat in her corner quite alone. In vain she told herself that it was "no matter," in vain she "played" that she did not care.
"I sha'n't mind it to-morrow."
To-morrow came, and it was just as hard as to-day.
At last one morning at recess it did seem as though she could not bear it any longer. A big lump was in her throat, and two tears sprang to her eyes; but still she tried to say, "Never mind; oh, never mind."
Just at that moment a voice sounded in her ear. She turned and saw a face rosy with blushes.
"I didn't know," began the voice, hesitatingly—"I thought you might like—anyway, I am Bessie Merriam."
Cassy looked out shyly from under her lashes. "I am Cassy Deane," said she.
"You're a new girl," continued Bessie, more boldly, "so I had to speak first. Would you like to play, 'I spy'?"
Cassy sprang up eagerly, then drew back. "I wish I could," she stammered, "but my shoes—and father's only middling, so I don't like to ask for more."
"Of course not," broke in Bessie, who, though puzzled to know what it was to be "middling," was sure there was something wrong about the shoes. "Of course not; but maybe you know 'jack-stones'?"
In a twinkling she brought five marbles from the depth of her pocket, and the two were deep in the mysteries of "horses in the stall," "Johnny over," "peas in the pot," and all the rest of that fascinating game.
One person having spoken to the forlorn stranger, two more appeared on the scene. It is always so. These girls wanted Bessie and her new friend for "hop-scotch," but Bessie interfered before there was any chance for embarrassment.
"We can't leave this game," said she, decidedly.
"How could she think to speak so quickly?" thought Cassy. "I should have felt so bad to explain about my shoes!"
It was the very next morning that Bessie Merriam came to school with a mysterious bundle under her arm. She took Cassy by the hand, and led her—where? Why, into the coal closet!
"It's so very private here," explained Bessie. "And, do you know, it's no fun to play romping games in these good boots of mine; so I hunted up an old pair. And, do you think, I stumbled on these old ones too. Would you mind using one pair? You won't think me impertinent, will you?"
Bessie was quite out of breath, and gazing at Cassy with wide-open, pleading eyes.
Those boots fitted to a T. Cassy could jump and run to her heart's content. Jump and run she did, for at recess Bessie drew her into the midst of the other girls, and such a game of "I spy" Cassy had never imagined. Nobody said a word about her droll gown. "She is my friend," Bessie had announced, and that was enough.
Marion Van Dysk gave her two bites of her pickled lime. Lillie Downs "remembered" her, and did not shrink from partaking of Cassy's corn-ball. School was a very different affair to-day.
Cassy fairly danced on her way home. She determined to think up a secret that very night that she might confide it to Bessie. In the mean time she bought a bit of card-board and some green, red, and brown worsted. All that afternoon and all that evening she worked. The next day Bessie found in her arithmetic a remarkable book-mark, with a red house and a green and brown tree, while underneath were the touching words, "Friendship's Offering."
"Please to keep it for ever and ever," begged Cassy, earnestly, "to make you remember how I thank you."
"Thank me for what?" asked Bessie, in surprise.
Cassy stared at her.
"Don't you know what a beautiful thing it was in you to ask me to play 'jack-stones'? Don't you know you're a—a—an angel?"
"It never says once in the Bible that angels play 'jack-stones,'" cried Bessie, in great glee; "so don't talk nonsense, Cassy. But I think the book-mark's lovely."
So the two little girls laughed as if there was a joke somewhere, though neither knew exactly what it was, only Cassy Deane was too happy to be sober, and it's my belief Bessie Merriam was just as happy as she. What do you think?
WHAT THE BABIES SAID.
BY MRS. E. T. CORBETT.
Lillie Benson and Daisy Brooks sat on the floor in the nursery, and looked at each other, while their delighted mammas looked at them, and each mother thought her own baby the finest. Lillie was ten months old, and Daisy was just twelve. Lillie had great blue eyes, soft flaxen hair curling in little rings all over her head, and pink cheeks. Daisy had brown eyes, golden-brown hair cut straight across her forehead (banged, people call it), and two lovely dimples. One wore a white dress all tucks and embroidery, with a blue sash; the other a white dress all ruffles and puffs, with a pink sash.
Daisy looked at Lillie, and said, "Goo-goo!"
"The dear little thing!" said Daisy's mamma. "She's so delighted to see Lillie to-day."
Then Lillie looked at Daisy, and said, "Goo-goo-goo!"
"Oh, the darling!" exclaimed Lillie's mamma. "She's so fond of Daisy, you know, that she is trying to talk."
Presently Daisy turned her back to Lillie, and crept into the corner of the room. "Now just see that! she wants Lillie to follow her. Isn't it cunning?" said Lillie's mamma.
"Of course she does, and see Lillie trying to do it. Isn't she sweet?" answered Daisy's mother, while Lillie crept to the opposite side of the room.
But after a while the two babies were sleepy; so their mammas laid them down side by side in the wide crib, and then went down stairs to lunch.
"We'll leave the door open, so we can hear them if they cry; but I know they won't wake for a couple of hours," said one of the mothers; and the other one said, "Oh no; of course not; they'll sleep soundly, the darlings!"
But in a very few moments something strange happened—something very strange indeed. The babies opened their eyes, looked around the room, and then at each other.
"We're alone at last, and I'm so glad," said Daisy.
"Yes," said Lillie. "Now we can have a nice little chat, I hope. Isn't it dreadful to be a baby, Daisy?"
"Of course it is," sighed Daisy; "yet I suppose it is very ungrateful to say so, when every one loves us so much, and is so kind to us."
"That's the worst of it; I don't want every one to love me, because they will kiss me, and I hate to be kissed so much," objected Lillie. "Ugh! how horrid some people's kisses are!"
"It's enough to make any baby cross, I think," added Daisy. "I wish no one but mamma would ever kiss me, and even she does too much of it when I'm sleepy."
"Why, Daisy Brooks! what a thing to say about your own dear mamma!" exclaimed Lillie, looking shocked.
"I don't mean to say anything unkind of mamma, for I love her dearly, you know, Lillie; but it is hard to be kissed and kissed when you're hungry or sleepy, or both, and sometimes I have to cry," answered Daisy, quickly.
"Well, I'll tell you something else I hate," continued Lillie, "and that is to have people who don't know anything about it try to amuse me. They have such a dreadful way of rushing at you head-first, and shrieking, 'Chee! chee! CHEE!' or 'Choo! choo! CHOO!' that you don't know what may be coming next."
"Yes, or else they poke a finger in your neck, and expect you to laugh at the fun. I do laugh sometimes at the absurdity of their behavior," said Daisy, scornfully.
"Yes, and then they always think you're delighted, and go on until you are disgusted, and have to scream, don't they?" asked Lillie.
"Of course. Oh, babies have a great deal to suffer, there's no doubt of that," said Daisy.
"And there's another horrid thing," Lillie added, after thinking a moment. "I mean the habit people have of talking to babies about their family affairs in public. My mamma don't do that; but I heard Aunt Sarah talking to her baby in the cars the other day, loud enough for every one to hear, and she said: 'Poor grandpa! grandpa's gone away: don't Minnie feel sorry? She can't play with grandpa's watch now. Grandpa wants Minnie to come and see him, and ride on the pony, and Minnie must have her new sacque made, so she can go. Will Minnie send a kiss to grandpa?' and ever so much more. I know poor Minnie was ashamed, for she fidgeted all the time; but what could she do?"
"Well, mamma would talk to me just the same way this morning, as we came here, and I did my best to stop her, too, but it wasn't any use," said Daisy, looking indignant. "She had to tell everybody that we were going to see 'dear little Lillie Benson,' over and over again."
"But I'll tell you what makes me most angry, after all, Daisy," said her cousin, suddenly. "Does your mamma ever give you a chicken bone to suck?"
"Yes, she does, and oh!—I know what you're going to say," interrupted Daisy. "That's another of our trials. You get a nice bone, and you begin to enjoy yourself, when all at once your nurse or your mother fancies you've found a scrap of meat on the bone, and then one or the other just makes a fish-hook of her finger, and pokes it down your throat before you know where you are!"
"That's it exactly," exclaimed Lillie. "I go through just such an experience nearly every day, and it's too aggravating."
"Hark!" said Daisy, listening; "I hear old Dinah coming up stairs now, and I suppose we'll have to listen to her baby-talk for a half-hour at least. I know what I'll do; I'll make faces and scream."
"And get a dose of medicine, maybe, as I did one day," answered Lillie. "I tried that plan to stop an old lady from saying, 'Ittie peshous! ittie peshous! tiss ou auntie!' and mamma got so frightened she sent for the doctor, and he gave me a horrid powder. I can taste it yet."
"That was too bad," said Daisy, compassionately; "but hush, dear, for Dinah is at the door."
And when the old nurse came in the room, she found the two babies wide-awake, smiling at each other, and saying, "Goo-goo," as sweetly as if they hadn't a grievance in the world.
We are compelled to repeat some of our instructions to our young correspondents desiring exchange, in order to save ourselves and them from unnecessary trouble. In the first place, the name must be written very plainly. In some instances we can give only the initials because it is impossible to read the name, and the initials themselves are often very doubtful. Then the address must be given in full. If you have no post-office box, and live in a town too small to have numbered streets, have your letter addressed to the care of your father, or of some one through whom you will be sure to receive it.
Do not write to us that it would give you pleasure to exchange with any particular correspondent whose address has been plainly given in Our Post-office Box, because we can not make room to print a letter which should more suitably be written direct to the correspondent with whom you desire to exchange.
Requests for correspondence, or for exchange of cards or pictures of any kind, will not be noticed, as we do not consider such exchanges as leading to any valuable information, and it is only such that we desire to facilitate. Postmarks, which in themselves are worthless, we consider calculated to develop a knowledge of geography; for no American boy will rest content until he knows the exact locality from which his new postmark comes, and finds out all about it that his geography will tell him. Postage stamps have the same merit, with the advantage of being historical as well, as many of them contain heads of kings, queens, or eminent men, or at least some design typical of the country from which they come.
We shall never print in the Post-office Box letters from correspondents desiring to sell stamps, minerals, or any other things.
These observations are not gratuitous on our part, but we are compelled to make them to save ourselves the labor of reading scores of letters of which we can make no use whatever.
* * * * *
We live at the sea-side, and we had never seen mountains before we came here this summer. I thought they were awfully big when I first looked at them.
We amuse ourselves in many ways. Sometimes we ride on horseback, and other times we go to the brook and paddle. We also take lovely walks, and gather ferns, mosses, and lichens for hanging baskets. One morning we went to the barn to see them thresh, and Ally found eight baby mice, and Nora brought them home in her pocket. At the threshing place there are ten little puppies, and we have fine times playing with them.
The other day we drove to see the highest mountain near here, and just before we got there down came a shower. We took shelter in a log-cabin church, but before we got inside we were all wet through. We thought that was all the more fun, because we like to be in the rain.
I am nine years old, and the oldest child of five.
SUE D. T.
* * * * *
SAINT JOSEPH, TENSAS PARISH, LOUISIANA.
I am a little Southern girl nine years old, and I like YOUNG PEOPLE so much! I read all the letters in the Post-office Box.
So many children write about turtles that I thought I would tell them about one my brother had once. He said it was a pet, and one day he went to kiss it, when it put out its head and bit his nose, and hung on. His old black mammy told him that it would never let go until it thundered, so he ran all around, screaming, "I wish it would flunder! I wish it would flunder!" The noise he made frightened the turtle so that it dropped off without waiting for thunder.
My brother is a grown man now, living in New Orleans, and we often laugh at him about his turtle and the "flunder."
ANNIE FLEMING L.
* * * * *
I am a little girl of nine years. My papa has taken YOUNG PEOPLE for me since the first number. I enjoy reading the children's letters very much.
My grandma is visiting us this summer, and she has her parrot with her. It is twenty-seven years old. It calls "Grandma" and "Mother," and screams for its breakfast. It says "Good-by" and "How do you do?" as plain as I can, and sings two songs, and imitates the cat, the dog, and the rooster, and does a great many other things.
Now I will tell the little girls what I have been doing since the school closed. I have learned to crochet, and have made two tidies and five yards of trimming. I am now making trimming of feathered-edge braid, and if any little girl who can crochet would like the pattern, I will be glad to send her a sample.
GRACIE MEADS, Platte City, Platte County, Missouri.
* * * * *
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA.
I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and like it so much! I am ten years old. My papa is out at the mines, and I am going there too when it gets cooler weather. I have a pet kitten here at home, and my papa has got two kittens and a dog for me when I go out to the mines.
I have a doll named Goldie. My aunt sent it to me from New York city.
I go to school, and my reading-book is the History of the United States.
* * * * *
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
I send two easy experiments for the chemist's club: Pour a small quantity of common aqua ammonia in a dish; over this place a funnel, big end down, in the tube of which place a few cut flowers. In a little while the flowers will change color.
A very pretty experiment is this: Take a piece of ice, or in winter a snow-ball, and dig a small cavity in it. In this hole place a little piece of gum-camphor, and touch a lighted match to it. It will burn a good while, and have the appearance of ice or snow on fire.
FRED A. C.
* * * * *
I am seven years old. I go to school, and am in the Second Reader. Our teacher takes YOUNG PEOPLE, and we love to hear her read the stories.
I have a pet pig just as white as it can be. It likes to roll in the mud, and then it gets black and dirty like other pigs. Sometimes it bites my brother Harry's toes, and then I think it is a naughty pig.
* * * * *
Here is a game for rainy evenings I made up myself. It takes two players to play it. Player No. 1 places a chair or table in the centre of the room, and while Player No. 2 is shut outside, he walks round the object as many times as he pleases. Then Player No. 2 is called in, and will tell how many times his companion has walked round the object.
The way to do it is this: When Player No. 2 is told to go outside, he must hesitate a little, and perhaps say something in a careless way to divert suspicion. Then Player No. 1 will tell him to go three or four times. It is understood between the two players that so many times as Player No. 2 is told to go, so many times will Player No. 1 walk round the object; and if the players are skillful, it is impossible for the spectators to detect in what way they understand each other.
If any one in the audience suspects signs of any kind, Player No. 2 may offer to be blindfolded by the suspicious person.
JOHN H. B.
* * * * *
I live in the suburbs of Atlanta. We have had lots of birds' nests in our yard this summer—mocking-birds, bluebirds, and sparrows. On moonlight nights the mocking-bird sings far into the night.
When Pluto, our black cat, goes under the trees where the little birds are, the old bird flies down, pecks him on the back, and looks very angry. Pluto looks as if he would like to eat her at one bite.
We have another cat, called Charity, because she came to us, and a little black kitten named Potts.
I wish YOUNG PEOPLE was just full of "The Moral Pirates," but mamma says that wouldn't be fair to the girls.
I have a little brother named Bayard, two years old. Thursday night, when my uncle brings YOUNG PEOPLE, he says, "Luncle Leddie, give me my YOUNG PEOPLE; show me my bootiful pictures and Wiggles." Then he sits still while mamma reads him a story. He can tell stories, too. He says: "A humble-bee stung a bluebird out in the flont yard. Can't find me. 'Long come a big turkey and eat me up. That's a big stoly for YOUNG PEOPLE."
* * * * *
I live on a farm near the Great South Bay, and have great fun bathing and catching crabs. Will crabs shed their shells in a car if they are fed?
I am collecting birds' eggs and postage stamps, and would like to exchange with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
WILLIE R. WILBUR, Sayville, Suffolk County, Long Island.
* * * * *
LONG GROVE, IOWA.
I am eleven years old. I have taken HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE from the first number, and like it very much. I have a brother who is just thirteen years old, and he likes it as much as I do, and there is a great rush to see who gets it first when it comes from the office. Papa says we need two copies. Papa has taken HARPER'S WEEKLY more than twelve years, and intends to take it always.
We have a pet white calf with black nose and eyes. We call it Creamy. I feed it milk twice a day, and it eats apples from my hand.
I made a white cake for my brother on his birthday from the recipe sent by Altia Austin. It was very nice.
COSETTE M. M.
* * * * *
I have a pet dog named Topsy that will sit up, shake hands, kiss, and jump through my arms. My little sister Genie has a cat that tries to imitate my dog. I have the promise of a pair of pigeons, and I have a lot of little chickens.
I am trying to make a scrap-book, and I am starting a collection of stamps. If Paul S., of Bridgeport, Connecticut, will send me a French postage stamp from one of his father's letters, I will send him a Japanese one in return.
WILLIE D. VATER, Care of S. Vater, Office of the Daily Journal, Lafayette, Indiana.
* * * * *
SHERBURNE FOUR CORNERS, NEW YORK.
I have just been reading YOUNG PEOPLE, and the last piece I read was "Easy Botany." I liked it very much. I think YOUNG PEOPLE is the best paper I ever saw.
I tried Nellie H.'s recipe for candy, and it was very nice. I would like to know if she pulls it. I did mine, and I burned my fingers.
I tumbled out of a cherry-tree the other day, and almost broke my back.
We had an old dog named Watch, that we liked so much, and two weeks ago he died.
I wish Puss Hunter would let me know if she ever tried my recipe for bread.
FANNIE A. H.
* * * * *
I am ten years old. I have a collection of about five hundred postage stamps, and would like to exchange with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.
J. E. A., 700 Court Street, Reading, Pennsylvania.
* * * * *
I am making a collection of stones, one from every State. I try to get them about the size of a hen's egg. If any other correspondent is making such a collection, I will be very glad to exchange a stone from Michigan for one from any other State.
JESSIE I. BEAL, Agricultural College, Lansing, Michigan.
* * * * *
I would like to exchange pressed flowers for birds' eggs with any of the correspondents of Our Post-office Box.
BELLE ROSS, Knoxville, Tennessee.
* * * * *
I would like to exchange postmarks of the United States or of foreign countries with any readers of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE.
FRED L. B., 337 Belleville Avenue, Newark, New Jersey.
* * * * *
I have a collection of postage stamps, and would gladly exchange with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE. I was born in the West Indies, in the island of Curacao, and I can get a great many stamps from there. Correspondents will please send me a list of what stamps they require, and what kinds they have to exchange.
ELIAS A. DE LIMA, 162 East Sixtieth Street, New York city.
* * * * *
I am collecting birds' eggs, and would like to exchange with any of the correspondents of YOUNG PEOPLE. My sister takes the paper, and I like to read it as well as she does.
HENRY A. FERGUSON, P. O. Box 339, Rutland, Vermont
* * * * *
I have just written to some of the boys who offer exchange through Our Post-office Box, and I wish to say to any others that if they will send a list of stamps they have to spare, and also of those they would like to get, I will send them my lists in return, and try to effect a satisfactory exchange with them.
WALTER S. DODGE, 700 Ninth Street, Washington, D. C.
* * * * *
I have had YOUNG PEOPLE from the first number, and like it very much.
I have a very nice garden, and would like to exchange seeds with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE. I have morning-glories, double lady's-slippers, and wax-plant.
I have been trying to learn how to cook, this vacation, and have succeeded in clam chowder, which all liked very much.
MAGGIE SIMONTON, 424 West Twenty-ninth Street, New York city.
* * * * *
B. W. T.—Fire-works were invented by the Chinese at a very early period, and the magnificence of their pyrotechnic exhibitions is still unsurpassed by the most beautiful displays of modern times. In Europe the Italians were the first to cultivate the pyrotechnic art. Exhibitions of rockets and set pieces were given in Italy in the early part of the sixteenth century, and the annual display which takes place at Easter on the ramparts of the Castle of San Angelo at Rome is still famous for its magnificent beauty. Some noted displays took place in France during the seventeenth century, and those given in Paris at the present time are marvels of ingenuity of design and brilliancy and variety of coloring. Filings of copper, zinc, and other metals in combination with certain chemicals are used to produce the brilliant stars which are thrown out by rockets as they explode. Although there is great beauty in many of the combinations of wheels and stars arranged on frames, in the troops of fiery pigeons flying back and forth, and in the wonderful presentations of sea-fights, buildings, and other devices to be seen at every grand pyrotechnic display, there is nothing so majestic as the rockets and bombs which rush upward to the sky, and, bursting, fill the air with showers of golden serpents, floating stars of brilliant, changing hues, and cascades of silver and gold rain.
* * * * *
R. S. A.—The schooner yacht differs from the sloop only in rig, consequently an article on schooner yachts would be but little else than a repetition of that on sloops.
* * * * *
C. A. SAVAGE.—The reason given you as the cause of low water is no doubt correct. If you can take note of the back-water above the mills, you will probably find the increase sufficient to balance the decrease below. The low water is especially noticeable during the present summer, when the long-continued drought of the early part of the season has dried up many of the small streams and springs which usually contribute to the volume of water in the river.
* * * * *
ED.—A descriptive list of the publications of Messrs. Harper & Brothers will be sent, postage free, to any address in the United States, on the receipt of nine cents.
* * * * *
D. D. LEE.—You will find some useful suggestions concerning catamarans in The Canoe and the Flying Proa, by W. L. Alden, a volume of "Harper's Half-hour Series."
* * * * *
DAISY G.—No article on silk-worms has been published in HARPER'S BAZAR, but there was an interesting paper in HARPER'S MAGAZINE on that subject, to which reference was made in Post-office Box No. 44.
* * * * *
ALEXINA N., CARL S. H., HELEN R. F., AND OTHERS.—Write directly to the correspondents with whom you desire to make exchange.
* * * * *
Favors are acknowledged from Fannie W. B., Louie, Frank W., Winnie S. Gibbs, Miriam Hill, G. Y. M., Mary B. Reed, Clyde Marsh, Howard Starrett, Edwin F. Edgett, S. Birdie D., P. T. C., Amelia M. Smith, Helen M. Shearer, Florry and Daisy, Maud Dale, Pearl Collins, Maud Zeamer, Rosa Mary D., May Harvey, George Thomas.
* * * * *
Correct answers to puzzles are received from George D. S., Edward, Maggie Horn, K. T. W., M. E. Norcross, Nena C., Karl Kinkel, Addie Giles, Frank Lomas, Mary E. Fortenbaugh, "Morning Star," Effie K. Talboys, Myra M. Hendley, Charlie Rossmann, Florence E. Iffla, "Chiquot," G. Volckhausen, Ralph M. Fay, H. A. Bent, Daisy Violet Morris.
* * * * *
PUZZLES FROM YOUNG CONTRIBUTORS.
My first in white, but not in black. My second in nail, but not in tack. My third in love, but not in hate. My fourth in luck, but not in fate. My fifth in ship, but not in boat. My sixth in atom, not in mote. My seventh in man, but not in boy. My eighth in trouble, not in joy. My ninth in head, but not in tail. My tenth in turtle, not in snail. My eleventh in cake, but not in bread. My twelfth in yellow, not in red. My thirteenth in wrong, but not in right. My fourteenth in squire, not in knight. My fifteenth in run, but not in walk. My sixteenth in chatter, not in talk. My seventeenth in horse, but not in mule. My eighteenth in govern, not in rule, My nineteenth in rain, but not in snow. A warrior I, who long ago In a famous battle won kingdom and crown, And covered my name with high renown.
* * * * *
1. In Scotland. A solid, heavy substance which easily changes its character. Something never at rest. A verb. In Scotland.
2. In Constantinople. A bird. Agreeable to the taste. A verb. In Constantinople.
* * * * *
1. First, to beg. Second, a rampart. Third, to suit. Fourth, steam. Fifth, a passageway.
2. First, a place for skating. Second, thought. Third, cleanly. Fourth, a girl's name.
* * * * *
I am the title of a celebrated book composed of 16 letters. My 4, 10, 2, 7, 14 is dirt. My 12, 5, 11, 4 is an intoxicating beverage. My 3, 14, 8, 16 signifies smaller. My 13, 6, 9, 1, 3, 14, 15 are undulations.
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN NO. 42.
S I C K I R O N C O M E K N E E
N o W A nn A P ilo T O d E L andsee R E ar L O thell O N er O
1. Madrid. 2. Warsaw. 3. Athens. 4. Connecticut.
Ear, pear, year, bear, dear, gear, tear, fear, near, hear, rear, sear, wear.
* * * * *
OUR NEW SERIAL STORY.
* * * * *
In the next Number of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be found the opening chapter of a new serial story, entitled
"WHO WAS PAUL GRAYSON?"
written expressly for this paper by JOHN HABBERTON, so widely known as the author of "Helen's Babies." The story is one of school-boy life, and abounds in situations and incidents that will prove familiar to the experience of a large proportion of our readers. Over the life of Paul Grayson, the hero of the story, hangs a mystery that his schoolmates determine to solve, and which is at last cleared up in the most unexpected manner. The story will be fully and beautifully illustrated from original drawings.
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.
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.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.
With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Bible Picture-Book.
With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK, VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.
The Children's Picture Fable-Book.
Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.
The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.
* * * * *
Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
OUR CHILDREN'S SONGS.
* * * * *
Our Children's Songs. Illustrated. 8vo, Ornamental Cover, $1.00.
* * * * *
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.
Songs for the nursery, songs for childhood, for girlhood, boyhood, and sacred songs—the whole melody of childhood and youth bound in one cover. Full of lovely pictures; sweet mother and baby faces; charming bits of scenery, and the dear old Bible story-telling pictures.—Churchman, N. Y.
The best compilation of songs for the children that we have ever seen.—New Bedford Mercury.
* * * * *
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.
Harper's New and Enlarged Catalogue,
With a COMPLETE ANALYTICAL INDEX, and a VISITORS' GUIDE TO THEIR ESTABLISHMENT,
Sent by mail on receipt of Nine Cents.
HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE, N. Y.
The following also sent in answers to Wiggle No. 13:
W. H. Western, C. Flagler, Philip P. Cruder, Ben S. Darrow, C. W. Lyman, Harry J. F., F. Holton, Marvin Burt, W. M. Hill, Ettie Houston, Fred Houston, Sallie Whitaker, Lulu Craft, Charles N. Hoar, Bertha Thompson, Gussie Horton, Sadie Clark, Effie K. Talboys, Pen. Percival, Abby Park, T. K., Bessy F., Alexis Shriver. Sam, Bessie Linn, Winyah Lodge, Nella Coover, C. C. McClaughry, Hal, J. S. Bushnell, Jasper Blines, Theo. F. John, G. F. D., J. R., Percy F. Jomieson, W. Fowler, Johnnie Fletcher, Eddie Cantrell, Frank S. Miller, H. K. Chase, Myron B. Vorce, John Jocob, Ellis C. Kent, Toots, Theresa Morro, Rebecca Hedges, Josie Parker, Maude T., Ella S., Maude S., Roy S., H. S. K., Stella M. L., Jessie Lee Reno, W. T. Broom, Leon Fobes, R. B., C. B. H., Edith Bidwell, Louise M. Gross, E. L. S., Willard R. Drake, Herbert F. R., Eddie J. Hequembourg, C. H. Newman, Louise Buckner, C. H. N. S., Lizzie E. Hillyer, Edith G. White, Mazie, Aggie May Mason, Harry R. Barlett, Bessie G. Barlett, John H. Barlett, Jun., Fred Wendt, Alfred Wendt, Emma L. Davis, Annie Dale Jones, Frank Lowas, H. M. Western, Oscar M. Chase, May A. Vinton, William B. Jennings, Willie G. Hughes, Cora A. Binninger, G. R. N., A. M. N., Fred A. Conklin, G. Simpson, Howard Starrett, Gus Busteed, H. M. P., G. M., Charles Platt, Gilbert Moseley, A. T. D., Ges. Haywood, Julia B. Smith, W. M., G. G. Kauffman, Mary C. Green, J. N. Howe, Louis Gooss, C. C., Percy Griffin, Roswell Starrett, Etta M. Gilbreath, Charles E. Simonson, Wilfred H. Warner, Walter A. Draper, Charley Nash, Daniel Rogers, Clinton Starin, William O. Brackett, Estelle Moshberger, Gertie G., Katie G., E. R. Hall, Harry N., Wiggler.