Project Gutenberg's Harper's Round Table, March 31, 1896, by Various

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Title: Harper's Round Table, March 31, 1896

Author: Various

Release Date: February 25, 2018 [EBook #56642]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Annie R. McGuire


[Pg 525]


Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Brothers. All Rights Reserved.

published weekly.NEW YORK, TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1896.five cents a copy.
vol. xvii.—no. 857.two dollars a year.




It was quite dark. The sun was not high enough as yet to shine down into the long narrow crevice up which Professor Jensen and the two boys were clambering.

A short distance ahead of them stalked John Coleman, the guide. He was a tall thin man with drooping shoulders, and he carried the Professor's camera, a heavy pick, and a long-handled shovel as if they were no more than feather-weights.

Suddenly the little party turned around a steep wall of shale, and the main caņon was in sight. The Professor paused and mopped his forehead. "There, boys, there it is," he said, pointing with his finger.

Half-way up the steep side of the cliff, in what looked to be a long narrow cleft in the steep descent of rock, stood the home and fortress of the ancient cliff-dwellers, which the boys had come so many miles to see.

From where they were they could make out nothing but some square windows in what appeared to be a line of half-crumbling adobe houses that nearly filled the huge shadowy recess.

George Lyman and Carter Randall were two boys of sixteen who had left home some two months before under the charge of young Professor Jensen. They were making a trip through Arizona and New Mexico in the search of fossils and traces of the prehistoric inhabitants. "Bones and battle-axes," George called them. Through their acquaintance with an army officer at one of the forts they had heard of the guide Coleman, who knew more about the habitations of the old cliff-dwellers than probably any man in the region, for he had been one of the first explorers up in the Glachens and the Black River country.

With this recommendation the Professor had engaged[Pg 526] Coleman to guide his little party into the Black River caņon, and show them how to reach one or two of the more accessible fortresses that the strange, almost unknown people had built ages and ages ago.

When they had reached the bottom of the arroyo, and were following the shallow stream, John Coleman turned.

"Whar I'm goin' to take ye," he said, "lots of people have bin before. It's most cleaned out o' relics, I reckin; but thar, see thar!" He turned suddenly, and seized the Professor's arm. "Come here, a few rods further," he went on, pointing at the same time, as he waded up the stream to the opposite side of the cliff.

The village that the boys had first seen was nothing to that which now was plain in sight, under a great beetling brow of stone, that thrust out overhead a hundred feet or so into the caņon. It was fully one thousand feet from where they stood straight up to the ledge upon which this village stood. Sheer and straight it was, without a fissure or the chance for a foothold below, and the overhanging mass above marked it at once as inaccessible. The sides of the houses could be seen as they stood there almost intact, the ends of the roof-beams were plain in sight even to the naked eye, and through the field-glass a pile of pottery could be made out standing near the entrance to one of the larger dwellings.

The Professor gazed in astonishment. "It looks as if it were built yesterday," he said.

"How did they get up there?" inquired Carter, as he plashed up alongside.

"That's more than I can tell you," answered the Professor, slowly. "Major Evans told me of this village, but probably the old method of going there has been destroyed by time. In my opinion, no human foot has been there in the last thousand years or more."

"I'd like to see what it's like," said George, looking up, with his glass to his eye. "I'd like to get in there."

The Professor sighed. "Science would give a great deal to have you," he replied; "but come on; we must hurry to reach the small one over yonder." He pointed again to the ruins on the other side.

By careful climbing and careful stretching from point to point they at last reached the smaller ledge and entered through the narrow opening cut in the solid rock. It was as Coleman had reported; there was evidence of many visitations before them. Under the thick stifling dust they found nothing but some crumbling brick-work, bits of rough earthen jars, and a sandal made of straw.

Professor Jensen was outspoken in his disappointment. It was evident that the destroying power of nature besides that of man had been at work long, long before him.

The village, unlike the one across the chasm, was in a very exposed position, and rain and water had helped to work destruction; but over there in front of them and some hundred feet above their heads was the tantalizing fortress which they could not reach. What treasures it possessed! The Professor sighed; a long trip of three or four days had been next to fruitless.

Suddenly John Coleman turned and spoke to the Professor quite excitedly. "Capt'in," he said, "take that big glass of yourn and look just inside that window whar that rafter hangs." He pointed with his lean finger at the opposite cliff, and his hand was trembling.

The Professor looked through his glass.

"See anything?" asked the guide, his voice almost quivering.

"Yes," said the Professor, "I see something red."

Coleman drew a long breath. "It's thar yet," he whispered. He turned and looked at the group gathered about him as if frightened; then he spoke, still beneath his breath, "I put it thar."

The Professor started. "You! you!" he began, but the guide interrupted him.

"Yes, fifteen year ago las' spring I've bin thar" (with a wave of his arm), "and I've seen things."

The boys stepped forward, and Professor Jensen lowered his glass and glanced at the guide from head to foot.

"Tell us," he said, quietly, raising his hand to keep the boys from speaking.

The tall man was fairly trembling now. "You won't believe me," he faltered; "they never will."

Carter was about to say something, but the elder man suppressed him again with a gesture. "We will believe you, John," he said, as quietly as he had spoken before; "but how in the world, and where did you start from?"

Coleman sat down and clasped his palms together, and the boys and the Professor seated themselves quietly also, without a word.

"I'll tell you the hull story," began the guide, looking appealingly from one to the other. "But I 'ain't told it for nigh eight years now."

"Go on," said Professor Jensen; "we will listen carefully; it may be most important, John. Don't fear to tell it."

"Well," said the guide, beginning slowly, "you know I have lived and hunted in this kintry for more'n eighteen years. I come here from the East, an' I wa'n't older than either of you two boys." The three listeners nodded.

"One day I was huntin' with a party up this here caņon when we discovered this town, whar we be now, and t'other one 'cross the way. We reached this one easy 'nough, as we done to-day, but some one had been 'fore us even then—I suspect as they was Injuns," he added, parenthetically. "There was three others with me then, no good tellin' their names, 'cause they're all dead, but thet comes in the story. We was all young an' ventresome, and I sez to Bill Combs— He was drowned rite down thar!"

The guide broke off so suddenly that it was startling. He pointed with his finger down to where the little stream was slowly running through its sandy bed.

"I've seen it sech," said he, "an' I've seen it from bank to bank, a roarin' tearin' river—'tis now at some seasons o' the year."

For a moment the Professor was afraid that the thread of the story was going to be lost, but Coleman regained himself in half a moment.

"I was talkin' o' Bill Combs," he said. "We were standin' here whar we be now, an' I sez, lookin' over thar, 'Bill, if you lo'ered a man over the top of that ere caņon he could git opposite them houses and have a good squint at 'em.'

"'I reckin no man dares try it,' Bill sez to me.

"'I can,' sez I."

There was a pause, and Coleman stirred the dust nervously with his foot.

"I reckin the traders at Arequitta thought as how that we was crazy," he resumed at last. "But all the money Bill an' me had saved we put in rope, an' six months after that we were right up thar." He pointed to the top of the opposite cliff. "Three o' us, with three burros an' mor'n a thousand feet of rope, an' it warn't none too much. They drove a stake inter the ground, an' I tied the end of the rope 'round my arms, an' they lo'ered me away.

"At first 'twas kinder easy crawlin' backwards over the steep rock, but when I come to the edge an' looked up an' saw 'em so fur off, I tell you I felt scared, an' under me I could see the water rushin' an' jumpin' so far below. I couldn't hear no sound, but thar it was roarin' an' tumblin' up agin the rocks. They shouted somethin' to me, but I couldn't hear 'em, an' then I felt them payin' out the rope again. Well, sir, thar I hung a-swingin', an' lookin' up I could see nothin' but the rope comin' over the round top of the overhangin' rock foot after foot. I felt myself goin' down, twisting first one way an' then t'other, until all of a sudden thar was a jolt, an' I felt as if my arms were goin' to come off the sokits, an' then I stopped quick. Thar I was, sir, not mor'n forty feet from whar you see thet big house on the left, rite opposite to it. I could look inside o' the winders an' see big bottles settin' on the shelves, an' 'long on the ground was a basket full of things that looked like gourds. I had some difficulty from turnin' round, an' every now and then I'd swing about, for thar was quite some breeze flyin' up the caņon. At last the rope twisted so that I could hold myself quiet and still. The sun was nigh overhead by this time, an' it kinder lit up the shadows back in the lidge; an' what you suppose I saw there? Four skeletons, sitting with their backs agin the wall! They was kinder 'rapped up in cloth, but I could[Pg 527] make out their ha'r—it was hangin' over their shoulders."

Coleman paused and clasped his hands.

"It was red, sir! Not black like the Injuns, but red, an' light colored like a gal's. Just then I felt a movement on the rope, an' I knowed thet they was tryin' to haul me up. I moved a few inches, and then come down again. Two or three times I felt them heave, but every time back I come to whar I was before. Then I looks up."

He paused.

"I never can forget it! Never, never," he said, half whispering. "The rope was frayin' through over the edge o' th' rock; 'twould only take two or three minits of thet sawin' to drop a plumb thousand feet onter the rocks or down inter the river. Then an idee come into my head, an' I swung myself to and fro much as you see children pumpin' in a swing. At last I was movin' back an' for'ard, longer an' longer, until once or twice I come within most jumpin' distance of the lidge; but I couldn't git the rope from 'round my arms. Then suddenly I thought about my knife, an' still swinging as hard as I could swing, I got it out; but it slipped from my hand, an' down it went; I heard it ring agin the cliff. I was goin' forward with a rush jest then, an' it looked as if the houses was all comin' out to meet me, an' suddenly I didn't know nothin' more."

The Professor was leaning forward expectantly, the boys had grasped hands, great beads of perspiration stood on Coleman's forehead. But he went on in a low even voice that never changed in its expression.

"When I come to I couldn't at first tell whar I was, but then I saw that I was lyin' on my back all kivered up with dust in the middle of a lot of brick pots an' rubbish, an' one of my feet was hangin' out over the cliff.

"Thar's where I landed," he said, pointing across the caņon. "I wasn't much hurt to speak on, an' I got up on to my feet an' looked 'roun' me."

"Well," said the Professor, excitedly, "go on! Go on!"

"It was a queer sight, I tell you," said the guide, resuming. "I had to move careful, for everything tiched raised sech a dust that it 'most strangled me. Thar was them four skeletons close up agin the wall—you can't see them, for they're right behind thet pile o' stones. Jest to the left was a big trough made o' wood, in which was some ears o' corn. I couldn't tell ye what I'd seen, but thar was speers with stone heds, and painted jugs, an' hangin' on a hook was a long cloth coat or somethin'; it was fringed with claws o' bears, an' hanged by a string was a big tooth, like o' which I never seen. There was a picture o' a elephant or sompthin' on the wall, an' a big stick curled like a snake with gold eyes—at least, it looked like gold. A heap o' truck was in a corner; but inside the houses the dust was so thick an' stiflin' when I tiched anythin', thet I'd hev to run out into the air to breathe. So I found a flight of steps, an' goin' up them careful, I got to the roof of thet big house. Thet lidge runs back mor'n a hundred feet, an' I went further in. As I got used to the dryness an' the dark I could see some more bodies—skeletons, at least twenty—sittin' close to the wall; they was crouched up an' 'rapped about with rough cloth ban'ges; some was sewed up in hides. An' then what do you s'pose I foun'?"

There was no answer, and he again resumed, quietly:

"A well, sir! A well, sir! dug into the solid rock, an' down about ten or twelve feet, filled with water. I could hear it tricklin'. I bent down an' looked in. Settin' on the edge was a cup, green an' shiny after I rubbed the dust off it, an' smooth as any plate you ever see. It took some trouble to get down to the water, but with a bit of rope thet I found still 'round my shoulders I man'ged to get a drink; and then it come to me how am I to get out of this place, anyhow?"

It was evident that the best way to get at the end of the story was to let the man go on in his own manner, so after a pause, in which no one spoke, he continued, his voice sounding monotonous in the dead silence:

"Strange to say, jest then I felt a current o' cool air a-comin' from the back o' the lidge beyon' the wall. As I went further in the current grew stronger, and the lidge narrowed down so thet I could jest squeeze myself 'long by bendin' somewhat careful like. At last I came to a hole, an' thar the air was so strong jest as if it war comin' up a chimney, only it was as cold as ice. I put the cup into my pocket, an' sounded the hole with my rope. It didn't go straight down, but sloped away, an' I crawled in it, feet first. It was all pitch dark, but I could make my way 'long, slippin' and pushin' with my elbows. All the time the draft kept gettin' stronger, but seemed to me it was growin' warmer, too, and then—"

Coleman had an exasperating way of stopping when he reached a most exciting place. But now he went on quicker, his voice rising with a rush of words.

"—I felt somethin' pilin' on my shoulders an' runnin' down my neck, an' it was sand! sand! an' the draft an' wind began to die away. At first I thought my head would be buried, for the sand ran over my shoulders an' almost held my arms; but I found I could keep it back by workin' careful, and all the time I was movin' down, feelin' my way with my feet before me. It seems to me I must have gone 'long for hours, when all at once I seed a little dot of light 'way down ahead. It give me hope, an' I pushed 'long, the hole growin' summat bigger, an' the sand pourin' past me so I had to fight to keep ahead of it. Jest as I could make out the entrance plain, I seemed to slip an' slide 'long, fightin' with my arms an' elbows to keep from stiflin', an' then know'd no more.

"When I come to agin I was lyin' on thet slope down thar, an' my clothes was torn inter rags, an' thar was nothin' near me but sand an' shale, an' no hole at all whar I could have come out of. I had to move careful, for the groun' shifted easy when I turned, and thar was the river a-roarin' at my feet. Thet's all the story," he continued, "an' it's true."

"Where were the other men?" Professor Jensen asked.

"Thet's whar the strange part come in; no one heard tell on 'em again. But I found Bill Comb's body rite over whar I pointed out. He may have fell over the cliff for all I know, an' they all may hev been drowned lookin' for him or me."

"What about the cup?" asked the Professor.

"Oh, I forgot!" said the guide, drawing out a leather wallet attached to a string about his neck. "Thet's all that is left of it."

He put into the Professor's hand some fragment of earthenware. It was glazed on both sides like the finest Chinese pottery. The Professor sighed.

"Don't tell 'em I told you," said the guide. "I 'ain't dare to tell that story for eight years, I reckin."

"What is that red thing over there you pointed out?" said Carter.

"Oh!" said the guide, quickly; "thet's a bandanna handkerchief. I tied it thar when I first went in."


I sha'n't tell you what's his name!—
When we want to play a game,
Always thinks that he'll be hurt,
Soil his jacket in the dirt,
Tear his trousers, spoil his hat,—
Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!

Nothing of the boy in him!
Dasn't try to learn to swim;
Says a cow'll hook; if she
Looks at him he climbs a tree;
Scart to death at bee or bat,—
Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!

Claims there're ghosts all snowy white
Wandering around at night
In the attic; wouldn't go
There for anything I know.
B'lieve he'd run if you said "scat!"—
Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!

Clinton Scollard.

[Pg 528]




One of the most interesting questions in a recent examination at the Royal Naval Academy at Woolwich, England, was: "How would you capture New York, approaching by way of Long Island Sound?" There is only one question that interests us more, and that is, How would New York's defenders along the Sound repel our enemy? The news from Washington that thrilled this country only a few days ago, and the possibility that we might after all really come to war, make the defence of the greatest city of America a problem of the most intense concern to every one of us.

Captain Howard Patterson told the readers of the Round Table, on March 13th of last year, how New York would be successfully defended from Sandy Hook. The arrangements for removing a fleet of men-of-war from the waters of New York Bay are so complete that no fair-minded invader could really ask for more.

But suppose some one should declare war against us to-morrow, and promptly send a fleet to take our richest city. Would the enemy walk into the trap so thoroughly prepared for him at Sandy Hook? The chances are rather that he would come down from Halifax and try to dodge in by way of Long Island Sound, where he thinks that very little has been prepared to check his advance. It is true, unfortunately, that the works to the eastward of New York are not nearly so efficient as those to the southward; yet there would be found in time of need enough men and guns to drive back the most formidable invasion any one might undertake.

If you will look at your map of Long Island Sound you will find several small islands scattered between Connecticut and the Long Island shore. Chief among them are Fishers and Plum islands. Upon every one of these islands mortar batteries will soon be placed, while the channels of the Sound itself will be full of submarine mines ten yards apart. For years the great drawback to the improvement of our coast defences has been the childish confidence of certain inland Congressmen that "American ingenuity" will always find a way to defend American interests. The haste that is being made to fortify our coasts to-day shows how ill-advised that confidence has been. If you speak about "American ingenuity" to an army or navy man, he probably will glare at you and turn purple. It has been their stumbling block for a very long time. Still, we are not quite so unprepared as our enemies believe.

Massachusetts. New York. Iowa. Texas. Indiana.


Imagine that the hostile fleet has arrived off the mouth of Long Island Sound on its errand of destruction and plunder. Its array of ships almost staggers belief. There are twelve battle-ships—veritable mountains of iron and steel—armed with rifled cannon of prodigious bore and wonderfully long range, as well as smaller guns of every degree. With them have come twenty-four armed cruisers, twelve torpedo-catchers—boats that run twenty-eight or thirty miles an hour—and a swarm of ordinary torpedo-boats that one might well describe as innumerable. The proud armada sails westward flaunting the enemy's ensign and trailing plumes of black smoke like vast banners. The attacking Admiral knows that beneath the dancing waters of the Sound there are hidden mines of deadly power, awaiting only the pressure of an electric key from the shore or the touch of a passing keel to blow his great ships into fragments. He sends out scouts—that is, lines of torpedo-boats twenty or thirty feet apart, trying to determine the channel. It is the duty of the crews of these swift, light-draught boats to drag for and explode the hidden mines, which are submerged at a depth of twenty feet so as to strike only the keels of great ships.

Where are the forts that shall check the invaders? From the conning-towers of the ships there can be seen no sign of fortification. The little islands lie peacefully basking in the balmy sunshine. The grass on their round-browed hills quivers gently in the breeze. But behind every one of those hills is a modern fort—a gigantic circular pit in the sand, with four arms running out from it at right angles. At the end of each arm is a pit big enough to hold four rifled mortars. These are short, wicked-looking guns that seem like long-range rifled cannon sawed off half-way down the barrel. From the moment the torpedo-catchers are within five miles the officers of the mortar batteries are watching them with range-finders.

Four miles; three and three-quarters; three and a half—then comes a thunderous uproar as if a mountain-side had fallen! The mortars on two islands send showers of bursting shells that fall upon the group of pretty white torpedo-boats, and blot them from the sea. The thing is done with startling quickness. Before one can count half a hundred the last vestige of the torpedo-destroyers has disappeared beneath the waves. The batteries on Plum Island and Fishers Island have rained destruction in an awful cross-fire.

The hostile Admiral sends out twenty torpedo-catchers in the wake of their lost fellows. Let us assume that by[Pg 529] hard work, great pluck, and good fortune they have counter-mined and cleared the channel, and so made the way safe for the big ships. The men in the mortar-pits are almost unhurt at first. The opponents have had nothing to guide their retaliatory firing but the clouds of smoke from the pits. At last they get the range and silence the forts.

Governors Island. New York City. Hell Gate.
Willets Point. Fort Schuyler. Mortar Battery.


The fleet passes on, only a little crippled, but still wary of mines in the channel. The ships would be subject to a similar cross-fire from mortar batteries on either side of the Sound at every narrow part of the channel. Almost the entire journey down the Sound toward New York would be under a heavy bombardment. There are at least six places where the groups of mortars will be placed. It would not be proper to give their location here. There are also very heavy batteries of this description on Davids Island, which is a military post near New Rochelle, and on Sands Point, Long Island, about sixteen miles east of New York. Then there are the fortifications at Willets Point and Fort Schuyler still nearer to this city, and at a point where the Sound is only three-quarters of a mile wide.

If the enemy should live to come within range of these forts he would find that his troubles were only now beginning in earnest. The great 16-inch rifled guns at Willets Point have a seven-mile range, up past Stepping Stone Light and Execution Rock. They could easily dispose of any number of torpedo-boats trying to destroy submarine mines. More destructive than all these is the "dynamite gun," a tube of steel fifty feet long, and with a bore of fifteen inches. This throws a long cigar-shaped slug of explosive gelatine, more powerful than dynamite, and weighing about two hundred pounds. The shell is driven out of the gun by compressed air.

It is not at all likely that we could get together a fleet of battle-ships of sufficient numbers to cope with the enemy's great squadron. Still, the Maine, the Texas, and half a dozen other fighting ships, each one of which is equal to anything in the foreign navy, would be assembled in the Hudson River awaiting the arrival of the invaders. As soon as the news of their progress down the Sound was telegraphed to this city, they would steam up the East River, take their stations within the arc of the forts at Willets Point and Fort Schuyler, and add their broadsides to the defence of New York. Is there any fleet in the world that could force its way past such an opposition? No American thinks so.





"Stop her! Stop the boat, quick! Bonny is overboard!" shouted Alaric, frantically, as he realized the nature of the catastrophe that had just occurred through his awkwardness. As he shouted he sprang to the jib-halyard, and casting it off allowed the sail to come down by the run; his sole idea of checking the headway of a sailing craft being to reduce her canvas.

He was about to let go both throat and peak halyards, and so bring down the big mainsail also, when, with a bellow of rage and a marvellous disregard of his lameness, Captain Duff rushed forward and snatched the ropes from the lad's hands.

"You thundering blockhead!" he roared. "What d'ye mean by lowering a sail without orders? H'ist it again! H'ist it, d'ye hear?"

"But Bonny is overboard," cried Alaric.

"And you want to leave him to drown? Don't ye know that if he's alive he's drifted astarn by this time? Ef you had any sense you'd be out in the dinghy looking fur him."

Alaric knew that the dinghy was the small boat towing behind the sloop, for he had heard the young mate call it by that name, and now he needed no further hint as to his duty. He had pushed Bonny overboard, and he must save him if that might still be done. If not, he was careless of what happened to himself. Nothing could be worse than, or so bad as, to go through life with the knowledge that he had caused the death of a fellow-being—one, too, whom he had already come to regard as a dear friend.

Thus thinking, he ran aft, cast loose the painter of the dinghy, drew the boat to the sloop's stern, and dropping[Pg 530] into it, drifted away in the darkness. He had never rowed a boat, nor even handled a pair of oars, but he had seen others do so, and imagined it was easy enough.

It is not often that a first lesson of this kind is taken alone, at midnight, amid the tossing waters of an open sea, and it could not have happened now but for our poor lad's pitiful ignorance of all forms of athletics, including those in which every boy should be instructed.

Without a thought for himself, nor even a comprehension of his own peril, Alaric fitted the oars that he found in the bottom of the boat to their rowlocks, and began to pull manfully in what he supposed was the proper direction. He pulled first with one oar and then with the other; then making a wild stroke with both oars that missed the water entirely, he tumbled over backwards. Recovering himself, he prepared more cautiously for a new effort, and this time, instead of beating the air, thrust his oars almost straight down in the water. Then one entered it, while the other, missing it by a foot or so, flew back and struck him a violent blow.

Up to this time the lad had kept up a constant shouting of "Bonny! Oh, Bonny!" or "Hello, Bonny!" but that blow bereft him of so much breath that for a minute he had none left with which to shout.

Now, too, for the first time, he gained a vague idea of his own perilous situation. There was nothing in sight and nothing to be heard save the ceaseless dashing of waters and a melancholy moaning of wind. The sky was so overcast that not even a star could extend to him a cheery ray of light. The boy's heart sank, and he made another attempt at a shout, as much to raise his own spirits as with any hope of being heard. Only a husky cry resulted, for his voice was choked, and he again strove to row, with the thought that any form of action would be better than idleness amid such surroundings.

If his oars seemed vicious before, they were doubly so now that he was wearied, and they stubbornly resisted his efforts to make them work as he knew they could and ought. At length he let go of one of them for an instant while he wiped the trickling perspiration from his eyes. The moment it was released, the provoking bit of wood, as though possessed of a malicious instinct, slid from its rowlock, dropped into the water, and floated away. Alaric made a wild but ineffectual clutch after it that allowed a quantity of water to slop into the boat, and gave him the idea that it was sinking.

With an access of terror the poor lad sprang to his feet, and forgetful of the object that had brought him into his present situation, screamed, "Bonny! Oh, Bonny! Save me! Don't leave me here to drown!"

Then a spiteful wave so buffeted the boat that he was toppled over and fell sprawling in the bottom. That was the blackest and most despairing moment of his life; but even as it came to him he fancied he heard a whispered answer to his call, and lifted his head to listen. Yes, he heard it again, so faint and uncertain that it might be only the mocking scream of some sea-bird winging a swift flight through the blackness. Still the idea filled him with hope, and he called again with a cry so shrill and long-drawn that its intensity almost frightened him. Now the echoing hail was certain, and it came to him with the unmistakable accents of a human voice.

Again he shouted: "Bonny! Oh, Bonny!" and again came the answer, this time much nearer:

"Hello, Rick Dale! Hello!"

"Hello, Bonny! Hello!"

How could it be that Bonny had kept himself afloat so long? What wonderful powers of endurance he must possess! How should he reach him? There was but a single oar left, and surely no one could propel a boat with one oar. He tried awkwardly to paddle, but after a few seconds of fruitless labor gave this up in despair. What could he do? Must he sit there idle, knowing that his friend was drowning within sound of his voice, and for want of the aid that he could give if he only knew how? It was horrible and yet inevitable. He was helpless. Once more was his own peril forgotten, and his sole distress was for his friend. Again he shouted, with the energy of despair:

"Bonny! Oh, Bonny! Can't you get to me? I'm in a boat."

Then came something so startling and so astonishing that he was almost petrified with amazement. Instead of a weak despairing answer, coming from a long distance, there sounded a cheery hail from close at hand: "All right, old man! I'm coming. Cheer up."

What had happened? Was his friend endowed with supernatural powers that enabled him to traverse the sea at will?

Alaric gazed about him on all sides, almost doubting the evidence of his senses. Then, with a flutter of canvas and a rush of water from under her bows, the tall form of the sloop loomed out of the blackness almost beside him.

"Sing out, Rick. Where are you?"

"Here I am. Oh, Bonny, is it you?"

"Yes, of course. Look out! Catch this line."

The end of a rope came whizzing over the boat, and Alaric, catching it, held on tightly. He was seated on the middle thwart, and the moment a strain came on the line the boat turned broadside to it, heeled until water began to pour in over her gunwale, and Alaric, unable to hold on an instant longer, let go his hold.

He heard an exclamation of "Thundering lubber!" in Captain Duff's voice, and then the sloop was again lost to sight.

Again Alaric was in despair, though he could still hear the shouting of orders and a confused slatting of sails. After a little the sloop was put about, and a shouting to determine the locality of the drifting boat was recommenced. Still it seemed to Alaric a tedious while before she approached him for a second time, and Bonny once more sung out to him to stand by and catch a line.

"Make it fast in the bow this time," he called, as he flung the coil of rope.

Again Alaric succeeded in catching it, and, obeying instructions, he scrambled into the bow of the boat, where he knelt and clung to the line for dear life, not knowing how to make it fast.

In a moment there came a jerk that very nearly pulled him overboard; and the boat, with its bow low in the water from his weight, while its stern was in the air, took a wild sheer to one side. Again water poured in until she was nearly swamped, and again was the line torn from Alaric's grasp.

"You blamed idiot!" roared Captain Duff. "You don't desarve to be saved! I'll give ye just one more try, and ef you don't fetch the sloop that time we'll leave ye to navigate on your own hook."

As the previous manœuvres were repeated for a third time, poor Alaric, sitting helplessly in his water-logged dinghy, shivered with apprehension. How could he hold on to that cruel line that seemed only fitted to drag him to destruction? This time it took longer to find him, and he was hoarse with shouting before the Fancy again approached.

"He don't know enough to do anything with a line, Cap'n Duff," said Bonny, "So if you'll throw the sloop into the wind and heave her to, I'll bring the boat alongside."

With this, and without waiting for an answer, the plucky young sailor, who had already divested himself of most of his clothing, sprang into the black waters and swam toward the vaguely discerned boat. In another minute he had gained her, clambered in, and was asking the amazed occupant for the other oar.

"It's lost overboard," replied Alaric, gloomily, feeling that the case was now more desperate than ever. "Oh Bonny! Why—?"

"Never mind," cried the other, cheerily. "I can scull, and that will answer just as well as rowing. Perhaps better, for I can see where we are heading."


Alaric had deemed it impossible to propel a boat with a single oar; but now, to his amazement, Bonny sculled the dinghy ahead almost as rapidly as he could have rowed. The sloop was out of sight, but the flapping of her sails could be plainly heard, and five minutes later the young mate had laid his craft alongside.

[Pg 531]

Captain Duff was too angry for words, and fortunately too busy in getting his vessel on her course to pay any attention just then to the lad whose awkwardness and ignorance had caused all this trouble and delay.

"Skip for'ard," said Bonny, in a low tone, "and I'll come directly."

As Alaric, with a thankful heart, obeyed this injunction, he marvelled at the size and steadiness of the sloop, and wondered how he could ever have thought her small or unstable.

A few minutes later Bonny, only half dressed, joined him, and said, "If you'll lend me your trousers, old man, you can turn in for the rest of the night, and I'll stand your watch; mine are too wet to put on just yet, and I think you'll be safer below than on deck, anyway."

Like a person in a dream, and without asking one of the many questions suggesting themselves, Alaric obeyed. Earlier in that most eventful day he had regarded that dark and stuffy forecastle with disgust, and vowed he would never sleep in it. Now, as he snuggled shivering between the blankets of the first mate's own bunk, it seemed to him one of the coziest, warmest, and most comfortable sleeping-apartments he had ever known.



For a long time Alaric lay awake in his narrow bunk, listening to the gurgle of waters parted by the sloop's bow, but a few inches from his head, and reflecting upon the exciting incidents of the past hour. It had all been so terrible and yet so unreal. On one thing he determined. Never again would he enter a boat alone without having first learned how to row, and to swim also. How splendidly Bonny had come to his rescue, and yet how easily! What was it he had called making a boat go with only one oar? Alaric could not remember; but at any rate it was a wonderful thing to do, and he determined to master that art as well. What a lot he had to learn, anyhow, and how important it all was! He had longed for the ability to do such things, but never until now had he realized their value.

How well Bonny did them, and what a fine fellow he was, and how the heart of the poor rich boy warmed toward this self-reliant young friend of a day! Could it be but one day since their first meeting? It seemed as though he had known Bonny always. But how had the young sailor regained the sloop after being knocked overboard? That was unaccountable, and one of the most mysterious things Alaric had ever heard of. He longed for Bonny to come below, that he might ask just that one question; but the mate was otherwise engaged, and the crew finally dropped asleep.

Through the remainder of the night the sloop sailed swiftly on her course, but she could not make up for that lost hour, and by dawn, though she had passed the light on Admiralty Head, and was well to the southward of Port Townsend, the very stronghold of her enemies, for it is the port of entry for the sound, she was still far from the hiding-place in which her Captain had hoped to lie by for the day. However, he knew of another nearer at hand, though not so easy of access, and to this he directed the vessel's course.

It did not seem to Alaric that he had been asleep more than a few minutes when he was rudely awakened by being hauled out of his bunk and dropped on the forecastle floor. At the same time he became conscious of a voice saying:

"Wake up! Wake up, Rick Dale! I've been calling you for the last five minutes, and was beginning to think you were dead. Here it is daylight, with lots of work waiting, and you snoozing away as though you were a young man of elegant leisure. So tumble out in a hurry, or else you'll have the Cap'n down on you, and he's no light-weight when he's as mad as he is this morning."

Never before in all his luxurious life had Alaric been subjected to such rough treatment, and for a moment he was inclined to resent it; but a single glance at Bonny's smiling face, and a thought of how deeply he was indebted to this lad, caused him to change his mind and scramble to his feet.

"Here are your trousers," continued the young mate, "and the quicker you can jump into them the better, for we've a jolly bit of kedging to attend to, and need your assistance badly."

Filled with curiosity as to what a "jolly bit of kedging" might be, and also pleased with the idea that he was not considered utterly useless, Alaric hastily dressed and hurried on deck. There the sight of a number of Chinamen recalled with a shock the nature of the craft on which he was shipped, and for an instant he was tempted to refuse further service as a member of her crew. A moment's reflection, however, convinced him that the present was not the time for such action, as it could only result in disaster to himself and in extra work being thrown upon Bonny.

The sun had not yet risen, and on one side a broad expanse of water was overlaid with a light mist. On the other side was a bold shore covered with forest to the water's edge, and penetrated by a narrow inlet, off the mouth of which the sloop lay becalmed.

Bonny was already in the dinghy, which held a coil of rope having a small anchor attached to one end. The other end was on board the sloop, and made fast to the bitts.

"When I reach the end of the line and heave the kedge overboard, you want to haul in on it," said the young mate, "and when the sloop is right over the kedge, let go your anchor. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I think so."

The tide had just turned ebb, and was beginning to run out from the inlet as Bonny dropped the kedge anchor overboard, and Alaric, beginning to pull with a hearty will on that long wet rope, experienced the first delights of kedging. Captain Duff, puffing at a short black pipe, sat by the tiller and steered, while the Chinese passengers, squatted about the deck, watched the lad's efforts with a stolid interest.

At length the end of the rope was reached, and Alaric, with aching back and smarting hands, but beaming with the consciousness of a duty well performed, imagined his task to be ended.

"Let go your anchor," ordered Captain Duff.

When this was done, and the cable made fast so that the sloop should not drift back when the kedge was lifted, Bonny heaved up the latter and got it into the dinghy. Then he sculled still farther into the inlet until the end of the long line was once more reached, when he again dropped the small anchor overboard, and poor Alaric found, to his dismay, that the whole tedious operation was to be repeated. In addition to what he had done before, the heavy riding anchor was now to be lifted from the bottom.

As the boy essayed to haul in its cable with his hands, Captain Duff, muttering something about a "lubberly swab," stumped forward, and showing him how to use the windlass for this purpose, condescended to hold the turn, while the perspiring lad pumped away at the iron lever. When the anchor was lifted, he was directed to again lay hold of the kedge-line and warp her along handsomely.

Alaric made signs to the Chinamen that they should help him; but they, being passengers who had paid for the privilege of idleness on this cruise, merely grinned and shook their heads. So the poor lad tugged at that heart-breaking line until his strength was so exhausted that the sloop ceased to make perceptible headway.

At this Captain Duff, who was again nodding over the tiller, suddenly woke up, rushed among his passengers with brandished crutch, roaring an order in pidgin English that caused them to jump in terror, lay hold of the line, and haul it in hand over hand.

Three times more was the whole weary operation repeated, until at length the sloop was snugly anchored behind a tree-grown point that effectually concealed her from anything passing in the sound.

"Nice healthy exercise, this kedging," remarked Bonny, cheerfully, as he came on board.

"You may call it that," responded Alaric, gloomily, "but I call it the most killing kind of work I ever heard of, and[Pg 532] if there is any more of it to be done, somebody else has got to do it. I simply won't, and that's all there is about it."

"Oh, pshaw!" laughed the young mate, as he lighted a fire in the galley stove and began preparations for breakfast. "This morning's job was only child's play compared with some you'll have before you've been aboard here a month."

"Which I never will be," replied Alaric, "for I'm going to resign this very day. I suppose this is the United States and the end of the voyage, isn't it?"

"It's the States fast enough; but not the end of the run by a good bit. We've got another night's sail ahead of us before we come to that. But you mustn't think of resigning, as you call it, just as you are beginning to get the hang of sailoring. Think how lonely I should be without you to make things lively and interesting—as you did last night, for instance."

"I shall, though," replied Alaric, decidedly, "just as quick as we make a port; for if you think I'm going to remain in the smuggling business one minute longer than I can help, you're awfully mistaken. And what's more, you are going with me, and we'll hunt for another job—an honest one, I mean—together."

"I am, am I?" remarked Bonny. "After you calling me a pirate, too. I shouldn't think you'd care to associate with pirates."

"But I do care to associate with you," responded Alaric, earnestly, "for I know I couldn't get along at all without you. Besides, after the splendid way you came to my rescue last night, I don't want to try. But I say, Bonny, how did you ever manage to get back on board after tumbling—after I knocked you into the water? It seems to me the most mysterious thing I ever heard of."

"Oh, that was easy enough!" laughed the young mate, lifting the lid of a big kettle of rice that was boiling merrily as he spoke. "You see, I didn't wholly fall overboard. That is, I caught on the bobstay, and was climbing up again all right when you let the jib down on top of me, nearly knocking me into the water and smothering me at the same time. When I got out from under it you were gone, and a fine hunt we had for you, during which the old man got considerably excited. But all's well that ends well, as the Japs said after the war was over, so now if you'll make a pot of coffee, I'll get the pork ready for frying."

"But I don't know how to make coffee."

"Don't you? I thought everybody knew that. Never mind, though; I'll make the coffee while you fry the meat."

"I don't know how to do that, either."

"Don't you know how to cook anything?"

"No. I don't think I could boil water without spoiling it."

"Well," said Bonny, pityingly, "you certainly have got more to learn than any fellow old enough to walk alone that I ever knew."

The sloop remained in her snug hiding-place all that day, during which her Captain and first mate devoted most of their time to sleeping. The Chinamen spent the greater part of the day on shore, while Alaric, following Bonny's advice, made his first attempt at fishing. So long as he only got bites he had no trouble; but when he finally caught an enormous flounder his occupation was gone, for he had no second hook, and could not imagine how the fish was to be removed from the one to which it was attached. So he let it carefully down into the water again, and made the line fast until Bonny should wake. When that happened, and he triumphantly hauled in his line, he found, to his dismay, that his hook was bare, and that the fish had solved his problem for him.

In the mean time there was much activity that day on board a certain revenue-cutter stationed in the upper sound, and shortly after dark, about the time the smuggler Fancy was again getting under way, several well-manned boats left the government vessel to spend the night in patrolling certain channels.

[to be continued.]

[Pg 533]



The advent of the sugaring season is looked forward to with joy by the young people in those districts of New England where the sugar-maple grows freely. When the sap begins to flow they know that there will be fun galore, and they watch eagerly for the first mild days that will encourage the farmers to get out the sugar-buckets.

There is something in their anticipation, too, besides the mere thought of the regaling of their palates. The running of the sap means the end of the winter, with all which that has implied of cold and dreariness and isolation. True, there have been periods of glorious cold weather, when coasting and skating and straw rides in great sleighs over sparkling snow and under brilliant moonlight have made even life in winter worth living, but these bright spots have been oases in long deserts of dolefulness. There may be poetry and excitement in being snow-bound; there are only monotony and discomfort in being slush-bound.

"When the ways are heavy with mire and rut,
In November fogs, in December snows,
When the north wind howls, and the doors are shut,
There is place and enough for the pains of prose."

And there are other trials unmentioned by the English poet which the New-Englander knows only too well. Frozen water-pipes, frozen fingers and toes, recurring colds caught in rooms that are too chilly for comfort or close and over-heated by coal stoves, and many more annoyances that, small enough when taken separately, make a formidable sum total when they all come at once.


But now the harbingers of spring are at hand. In sheltered places the trailing arbutus has begun to show its fragile blossoms, that "take the winds of March with beauty"; there is even here and there a stray violet; the mosses in damp places are a deliciously vivid green, and the grass is losing its sereness in hollows and on the edge of water-courses. The bluebird has been in evidence for some days, the song-sparrow's rippling note is heard, and there are rumors that a robin has been seen. The ways are still "heavy with mire and rut," but there is a not distant prospect of settled roads and good walking. There is a suggestion of spring in the air, in spite of the drifts of snow in the ravines and in the woods. The young people do not wish to see that snow go too fast, for it is essential to a part of their fun. For how could they "sugar off" without snow? Even the farmers would prefer hauling the sledge that carries the store tub, in which they collect the sap, over the snow than over the bare ground.

To the children and young people the thought of "sugaring off" is the chief one connected with the maple-sugar season. That is unless they live on farms and have to do their part in preparing the sap for market. The time means something quite different to the farmer and his men, who must tramp through snow and mud from tree to tree of the sugar orchard that is generally scattered over hill and dale, and seldom within a small radius, who must watch the sap-buckets and empty them before they overflow, who must bring the sap from the tree to the sugar-house and empty it into the great store tubs that await it. And even then their work is but just begun, for the shorter the space between the time the sap leaves the tree and its transformation into syrup and sugar, the better will be the quality of these. So the sap must not stand long in the store tubs before it is turned into the great evaporator over a roaring fire, where it is to be changed from what appears to be slightly sweetened water into thick, flavorous syrup. The improvement of methods in sugar manufacture no longer render it necessary that the boiling sap should be watched all night, as the sugar-makers[Pg 534] had to do in the old days, when the sap was boiled in a great kettle swung over an open fire in the woods. Still the work is hard and absorbing, for the season is short and no time can be wasted.

The women have their share of the toil. To them it falls to boil down the syrup to the proper thickness for sending out as maple molasses or as sugar in cakes. They "sugar off" frequently, but it is only to ascertain whether the syrup has reached the stage where it can be taken from the fire, stirred until it granulates, and then turned into the little tins that mould it into the cakes familiar to us all.

That is what "sugaring off" means to the farmer and his wife. It means something quite different to the young people who have been planning for sugar parties long before the farmer thought of tapping his trees.

A sugar party is not a fall-dress affair. Evening clothes and low-cut gowns would be decidedly out of place in the farm-house kitchen, where the most important part of the entertainment comes off. The "best Sunday-go-to-meeting" garments fulfil all the requirements of the toilet.

A sugar party is very elastic so far as numbers are concerned. It may be either small or large, although as a rule the old principle of the more the merrier holds good here. Both sexes are represented, and the only essential qualities in a guest are a social spirit and a good digestion.

The place to thoroughly enjoy sugar-making is on a farm where they "sugar off" half a dozen times a day. It is the usual thing for a party of young people to arrange for a visit to a farm-house in the height of the sugar season, and they throw themselves into the fun of the hour with an abandon which proves the injustice of the charge that we, as a people, like the English, take our pleasure sadly. The girls and boys inspect the flowing of the sap, form a merry escort around the sledge that conveys the sap to the sugar-house, hang about the golden syrup boiling and bubbling in the big evaporator, and it is a noisy and jubilant crowd that gathers around the tin pans filled with snow, upon which is poured the smoking syrup that is, by contact with the snow, transformed into that delicious compound, "maple wax."

Three or four young people, each armed with a fork, may gather about a small pan, where the syrup lies in golden arabesques upon the white snow. It is very pretty to look at, very good to taste, and very sticky to handle. Unless it has been boiled to a point of brittleness where it snaps when touched by the fork—and this is unusual—it will cling to the tines in a fashion that gives new and literal meaning to the words, "Linked sweetness long-drawn out." The experienced sugar-eater has learned enough to give a dexterous turn of the fork that twists the wax about the prongs in a compact morsel, while the green hand struggles with the strung-out portion that falls to his share, and is forced to make desperate appeals for a knife or a spoon to break the tenuous fragment.

Even when the wax is on the fork all trouble is not over. The next thing is to eat it, and to achieve this operation with the grace and dignity one would desire is well-nigh impossible. The subject of the experiment looks at her fork and wonders whether it is better to nibble at the sugar or to make one huge mouthful of the whole lamp of delight. Woe be to her if she pursues the former course! Unless the sugar is exceptionally crisp, she will find that she has attached to her teeth one end of an unbreakable thread that stretches as do the fibres of a stringy Welsh rarebit. She understands how the spider feels when he spins a never-ending filament.

Under these circumstances she will probably find her chief consolation in the spectacle of her neighbor, who has attempted to take all the sugar on his fork at a single mouthful. He has sunk his teeth into the sugar, and it holds them as closely as it adheres to the fork. He struggles vainly to loosen his teeth or to withdraw the tines. Not until he casts dignity to the winds, and taking the fork in both hands, drags on it with main strength, does he release himself even partially. Then, as the sugar melts in his mouth, he finds himself free once more.

It will readily be imagined that with such scenes as these taking place all over the room there is no lack of fun. The amusement may not spring from a very high mental source, but it is pure, innocent jollity, and everybody enjoys it.

No one knows how much sugar he can devour, and live to tell the tale, until he has been on a Vermont farm in sugaring-time. At each sugaring off he will eat so much that he will declare he never wishes to see maple-sugar again so long as he lives. Nevertheless, when the syrup is ready to sugar off again, he is waiting to take his place among the rest and eat and eat until he is once more satiated. And this performance he repeats half a dozen times a day. Many persons claim that maple-sugar thus eaten makes them drowsy, but the fresh outer air soon dispels such sleepiness and gives them an appetite for more sugar.

One of the indispensable items of a sugaring off is a dish of pickles. The palates that have been surfeited with the cloying sweetness crave the relief of the acid. The advocates of the pickle-jar will assure you that after a pickle or two one can eat as much sugar as if he had not tasted it before, and a little observation and experiment leads one to believe that the theory is correct.

A pleasant variety is made by sprinkling the meats of butternuts, walnuts, or hickory-nuts on the snow, and covering these with the syrup, thus making a toothsome maple nut candy.

All these dainties are sampled at different intervals during the day in every household where sugar is made, but when evening comes there is usually a gathering of the young people at one or another farm-house. The country folk who have social instincts have little terror of long walks, and they think nothing of tramping a mile or more "across lots" over rough pasture-land, or along frozen roads, to a neighbor's where there is to be a sugar party. At such a function there are no refreshments demanded except the "maple wax" and pickles. Formality is altogether lacking. The guests gather about a long table, on which stand the milk-pans full of snow, and dip the syrup from the one big kettle boiling on the stove.

When they have satisfied themselves with sweets for the time, at least, they fall to playing games—such old-fashioned amusements as Twenty Questions, Consequences, Dumb Crambo, or the livelier Fox and Geese and Blindman's Buff. Occasionally Parcheesi, Lotto, and Backgammon will have their devotees, and rarely there will be games of cards. The party does not continue to a late hour. There must be a final sugaring off before the assembly breaks up for the night and muffle themselves for their long trudge homeward in the white moonlight or under the solemn stars.




Everybody spoke of it as an "old-field school"; but the only field in sight was one hundred acres in extent and always under cultivation. On the early October morning with which my story begins it was tender green with fall wheat growing fast under the warm Virginia sunshine. A "worm-fence" of rails separated it from the copse of sassafras and chinquapin bushes and scrub-oaks, beyond which was the clearing lying about the school-house door. Many generations of scholars had trampled this area into dust that had not put forth a blade of grass in the month's vacation just ended. But for two tough-lived aspens planted close to the steps of the small building there was not a sign of vegetation nearer to it than the belt of brushwood. The school-house was built of hewn logs, chinked with bits of wood half as long and twice as thick as a shingle. The spaces between these billets were filled in with mortar in which there was much red clay and little lime. Sun, rain, and wind had bleached the mortar to a dirty pink and darkened the logs to grayish-black. Upon two sides of the[Pg 535] one-roomed building were windows running horizontally two-thirds of the way across the walls, and but one pane deep. A log had been sawed out, and a single long sash fitted into the space thus left. The sash hung from hinges made fast to the log above it, and when closed was hooked down to hasps set in the lower log. The inner walls and ceiling were plastered with the warmly colored mortar used in filling up the chinks. As far up as a boy could reach by standing upon a bench the mottled surface was covered with pencillings and charcoal scrawls. There was but one movable desk; that stood at the head of the room. It had a hinged cover with a padlock attached to it, and a wooden arm-chair was beside it. The rest of the room was furnished with backless benches of unpainted pine mellow-brown with age, a big stove at the right of the teacher's chair, and a row of tall stools ranged in front of a sloping shelf made fast to the wall behind the desk. Upon these the scholars sat when they had their writing-lessons.

A locust—"a dry-weather fly," the people thereabouts called it—had perched on the sill of the sunniest window, and sang shrilly. But for his chirp the room was very still until two men pushed back the door and strolled up the aisle. Their steps started up queer echoes, like whispers and titters, that chased one another from one corner to another; the locust stopped singing.

"Mrs. Duncombe sent a couple of women over yesterday to sweep and scrub," said the elder of the men. "It all looks fairly decent, I think."

He seated himself upon the teacher's desk, swinging one leg over a corner of it, the other foot upon the floor, and looked around the room, a smile half-humorous, half-pensive showing his white teeth and lighting up his eyes. He had a noble face; his age may have been fifty; his hair was iron-gray. As from the force of early habit he had pulled off his hat at the door, and now held it in his left hand, while with his right he tapped his boot with his riding-whip. This was Major Duncombe, of Greenfield, a fine specimen of the Virginia planter of 1840.

"All the learning I carried with me to college was flogged into me here," he went on, musingly. "Old Byars Lowton reigned supreme from this desk then. I have heard my father say that when Byars applied for the place, Colonel Barton, of Hurley, my nearest neighbor, said to him, 'Young gentleman, you are young and inexperienced. We should like to know something of your proposed principles of government. How do you mean to manage your school?' 'By switch and suasion, sir,' said Byars; 'specially switch.' The speech got him a berth he held for forty years, and in all that time his hand never lost its cunning"—laughing good-humoredly.

His companion had thrown himself into the wooden arm-chair, and while listening to the Major made good use of his eyes in scrutinizing room and contents. He smiled at the concluding sentence, a smile that curved his mouth upward and drew his brows together, deepening a crease which was always between them. "We shall not disagree there, I reckon," he said. "Martinet practice in the school-room is the wisest in the long-run."

He had a way of jerking out his words that agreed with the impression his face and frown made upon a girl who sat upon the floor in a far corner of the room, with a book upon her knees. She had made a nook for herself by setting one bench upon the top of another, and, herself unseen in the shadow, surveyed the two men through the space left between the benches. She knew one well, and the other was undoubtedly the new teacher who was to take charge of the school the next Monday. Her father had said the day before that he was at Greenfield. He had been in college with young Mr. Duncombe, and the families were old friends.

He was shorter than the Major by half a head, and slight in build. His head was large in proportion to the rest of the body; his forehead broad and thatched with straight straw-colored hair; his eyes were large, and a queer faint blue in color. When he spoke he pursed up his mouth and wagged his head slightly from side to side; in walking he swung his arms and held his head high. Like the instructor of the "switch and suasion" story, he looked very young, not over two-and-twenty.

Unaware of the disapproving gaze of the mouselike eyes, the new-comer resumed, "I was brought up in the old way myself, and see no reason to depart from it."

The Major's eyes ran over the slight figure and twinkled roguishly. "There will be some strapping fellows—pretty hard cases too—in the school, who might not be easy to drive," he said. "They are tolerably good boys in the main, if taken in the right way, with no more spirit than one likes to see in lads of their age. You'll have no trouble with the girls."

"I'm not so sure of that. They need flogging as much as their brothers, sometimes more, and take advantage of the public sentiment that shields them. As it does everywhere."

"I should hope so indeed!" answered the Major, promptly. "I have never laid the weight of a finger upon one of my daughters. My boys"—the twinkle returning to his eyes—"will tell you that I have licked them out of their boots times without number. That is the reason they are so well grown. Their sinews are strengthened and lengthened by exercise. Eh? What is it?"

The stranger had started up and pointed to the distant corner. "Who is that over there? Somebody has been eavesdropping!"

Before the terrified girl could scramble to her feet the two men were looking down at her over the uppermost bench.


"Why! why! why!" uttered the Major. "Flea, is it you? What are you skulking in the corner for like an old hare in a hollow? Don't look so scared, child! We are not hunting you."

She was pulling herself up. She had been sitting with one foot doubled under her, and it had gone to sleep. She dropped a courtesy, first to the Major, then to his companion.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I didn't s'pose anybody would be here. I've often been here before. To read all alone, you know. Mother doesn't mind."

"What book is that?—the Bible?"

"No, sir; Shakespeare."

"So-ho-o!" The Major reached a long arm over the upper bench and brought up a large book that had lost the outer covers, the fly-leaves, and the title-page. "Where did this come from?"

"Father bought it at Mr. Harrison's sale, year before last. One back was off, and he said I might have it."

"And you've read the other back off since? How far have you got in it?"

"I've been through it twice and a half times."

"Twice and a half times, eh?"—with a whistle. "How old are you, may I ask?"

"Twelve and a half, sir."

"You are fond of fractions, it seems. Flea, this is Mr. Tayloe, who is going to teach you something besides Shakespeare next week. You saw Mr. Grigsby this morning, Mr. Tayloe. This young lady who has read Shakespeare twice and a half times and is twelve and a half years old is his daughter."

The girl courtesied again; Mr. Tayloe nodded and pursed up his mouth. The Major resumed his kindly raillery, dipping at random into the dogeared book with the look and touch of one familiar with its contents.

"What have you been reading to-day, my fractional damsel?"

"King Henry Fifth, sir."

"Whose son was he?"

"King Henry Fourth's, sir."

The girl was now quite at home with him and her subject. Her sallow face warmed and dimpled with enjoyment of the mock examination. She stood erect, her arms crossed upon the upper bench, her eyes dancing with amusement.

"Let me see. He was a nice, steady, well-behaved young fellow?"

"Very nice, sir, but he wasn't a bit steady. He was right wild before he got to be King. After that he was splendid."

"Humph! Didn't he steal the crown from the old gentleman's[Pg 536] head before the breath was out of his body? I don't call that nice behavior."

"Because he thought his father was dead," cried the girl, forgetting jest and herself in defence of her hero. "If he had been dead, the crown would have belonged to his son. When Prince Henry found out that his father was only in a faint and was coming to, don't you remember how he knelt down and begged pardon, and said,

'There is your crown,
And He that wears the crown eternally—'

That meant God, you know,

'Long guard it yours?'

It wouldn't be fair to lay that up against him, sir."

The Major laid the book gently upon the bench, sighing as he did it. "You are right, my child," he said, in an altered tone. "An older book than Shakespeare says, 'Remember not the sins of my youth.' We won't be hard upon your dear Prince Hal. Your father tells me he is going to send three of you to school."

"Yes, sir. Bea and Dee and me."

"What!" ejaculated Mr. Tayloe, with a short, sharp laugh. He had not spoken during the Shakespearean talk, but fidgeted about the aisle, inspecting the notches and initials cut in the benches, and frowning at the inscriptions upon the walls. "And you called her 'Flea,' didn't you?" he continued. "I never heard anything more ridiculous. Haven't they Christian names?"

"Very Christian, I believe," answered the Major, invincibly good-natured. "At least I can answer for Dee, who was christened 'David.' I was his godfather. And your name, Flea, is—"

"Felicia, sir," said the girl, as he hesitated, "and my sister's is Beatrice."

Mr. Tayloe's laugh was almost a vulgar sniff, and he walked to the door, as if impatient to be gone.

"Well, good-morning to you," said the Major to Flea. "We won't interrupt your reading any longer. Mr. Tayloe is very much gratified to know that he will have such an intelligent and industrious scholar. You will be a comfort and a pride to him."

"Possibly Mr. Tayloe may take a different view of the case," observed that gentleman, as they mounted the horses they had left tied to the aspen-trees. "I am afraid that young person will have to forget a great deal before she can learn anything. She is puffed up with the notion that she is a prodigy. I would wager my head that she suspected we would go to the school-house to-day, and planned to be found there with her Shakespeare. But what could one expect from the child of a father who turns an eleven-year-old girl loose in Shakespeare, and a mother who has her daughters christened Felicia and Beatrice, and nicknames them Flea and Bea?"

"Oh, come, now! you are hard upon my worthy overseer and his wife," rejoined the Major, diverted by the teacher's indignation. "They are excellent folks who mind their own business, attend church regularly, and mean to have their children well educated. Grigsby is a man of remarkable intelligence for his position—a great reader and a clear thinker. As to the nicknames, it is a trick of this region to deck up children in fancy names, and then, as if they were ashamed of the sentimentality, to make the high-sounding titles ridiculous by nicking and contorting them. The more absurd the nickname the tighter it sticks."

Mr. Tayloe made no immediate answer. They had left the copse flanking the school-house play-ground, and were pacing between the banks of a sunken red-clay road, topped by pines, when he broke the silence:

"The old-field school is a horrible leveller of social distinctions. Where else would your children and Mr. Barton's meet, as equals, those of an illiterate overseer? These things must be right in a so-called republic, but I confess they go against the grain with me."

[Pg 537]

"They dry straight," said the Major, oracularly. "If the planter's children cannot keep abreast, if not ahead, of the overseer's, they must fall behind in the race. In this country every man ought to have a fair chance."

When the sound of hoofs and voices died away upon her ears, Flea Grigsby pushed aside her barricade and came out of her hiding-place. Her fear in building it was that some mischievous boy or passing negro might peep in at the school-house door and disturb her reading and thinking.

Now that she had left her shadowy nook, it could be seen that she was tall for her age, thin, and dark. She had out-grown her frock of mixed blue homespun—"Virginia cloth," as it was called. Children then wore their skirts down to their heels. Flea's had been let down three times, each letting-down registering itself in a band of unfaded stuff, yet the hem left exposed a pair of slim ankles and bare brown feet. She had shoes and stockings at home for Sunday and holiday wear, and her mother had notified her yesterday that she was "getting too old to go to school barefoot." At home she and three younger children ran upon naked soles (except on Sundays) from the 1st of May to the 1st of November, and revelled in their freedom from cramping shoes.

Her cheeks were burning and her heart was thumping with vainglorious delight, such as she had never felt before. Major Duncombe—"the illustrious Major Duncombe," as she called him in her quaint bookish way—had pronounced her "industrious and intelligent." She hoped that he would say it at his own supper-table that evening, and that her dear Miss Em'ly would hear it. She could fancy how Miss Em'ly's eyes would flash and her pretty mouth smile at praises of the scholar who "just adored her."

Long afterward Flea recalled and thought it strange, in view of what happened in later months, that she should have thought so much of Miss Em'ly that October afternoon when she sat dreaming happily upon the log door-step of the school-house, the hundred-acre field of wheat at her right stretching away almost to the river, and before her, beyond the play-ground and belt of brushwood, the dark forest, in the depths of which she felt almost as much at home as in her father's house.

The day was unseasonably warm, and in the sultry stillness the dry-weather flies were fiercely defying the threats of a cloud that was rising from the west to swallow up the sun. The log door-step was quite hot to the girl's bare feet. The leaves of the scrub-oaks were red-brown, and those of the sumac scarlet, although there had been no frost as yet, and the colors dulled as the sunshine left them. The aspen leaves lay back against their stems, exposing their white linings. Every breath of air was hushed, as if the unrolling cloud were a gray blanket and suffocating the earth.

Presently a low growl of thunder seemed, as it passed, to deaden the calm.

"We are going to have a shower," Flea said, aloud, looking up.

She did not budge. She could not get home before the rain, and she was extremely comfortable where she was. Wrapping her bare arms about her knees—another of her "ways"—she hugged herself and her fancies, caring nothing for heat or threatening storm. From babyhood she had created a world of her own, and lived in it at least half of the time. She called this dreaming, for the lack of a better term, "playing ladies." Nobody else knew of the play, much less of the "ladies" in it. She believed that she had invented it, and in it she always took the chief part.

In her present day-dream Major Duncombe was a conspicuous actor, and the school-room was the stage. Under the new teacher prizes would be offered, and she would win them all. She had read of such things, and of examination day. She would coax her mother into giving her a new Swiss muslin frock—not an old one of Bea's. She had never had a really new Sunday frock of her very own. Bea grew as fast as she, and could not be outstripped. The frock would have a full "baby waist," low in the neck, and short-sleeved. There must be a pink ribbon sash with fringed ends. And perhaps her mother might buy for her a pair of India-cotton stockings, and slippers with rosettes upon them. At the imagination she hugged her knees the harder. She did not own a pair of "bought" stockings. Bea had but two pairs, and wore them upon grand occasions.

Thus dressed, she would leave her modest seat in the school-room and walk up the aisle when Major Duncombe, in his finest manner, called up "Miss Felicia Grigsby" to[Pg 538] receive, first one, then another of the prizes offered for—say, reading, writing, history—and there ought to be a fourth. Four were none too many. Oh, for Shakespeare, of course! When all had been given, the Major would make a speech.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he would say, in his deep round voice, "as our revered preceptor will bear me witness" (here he would bow to Mr. Tayloe, who would bow and smile), "I told him six months ago that our fair young friend here would prove herself the most intelligent and industrious of his pupils. He is proud of her, ladies and gentlemen, and you and I, and indeed everybody in this county is—(or would 'are' sound better?)—justly proud of our distinguished citizen, Miss Felicia Jean Grigsby."

Then she would courtesy very low and gracefully, and say, in a voice mellow with emotion (another bookish phrase she had picked up), "You do me too much honor, I assure you, sir."

A tremendous roar of thunder awoke her. At the ripping and rending of the laden clouds the rain rushed down in a volume, washing out the view of everything in the landscape except the nearest bushes and the aspen-trees.


Flea was a hardy, country-bred child, and as little afraid of thunder, lightning, and flood as of the loneliness of the deserted school-house. She laughed low and gleefully as she drew her skirt up to her knees and stuck out both thin brown legs in the warm rain, wriggling her toes contentedly in the shower-bath. A broad reddish pool was spread out in front of the door in three minutes, and the heavy drops plashing into it raised tiny bobbing bubbles.

"They are fairies dancing at a ball!" ejaculated Flea. "How featly they foot it!"

The rain poured on, the dull rumble on the roof stirring up hollow echoes in the room behind her; the fairies danced more and more wildly as a sharp shower of hail mixed with the rain-drops. The falling pellets stung Flea's legs, and she drew them in, still laughing, drying them imperfectly with a blue cotton handkerchief she took from her pocket. Sitting further back out of the spray, she doubled her legs under her to warm them.

The rain streamed steadily, beating the wind down; the sky darkened slowly, with no alternations of lighter glimpses. In happy unconsciousness of the lapse of time, Flea waited patiently for the "holding-up" that could not be far away.

"When it rains so hard, it doesn't last long," she thought, surprised to find herself yawning.

The monotonous patter upon the roof, the dash and drip from the unguttered eaves, had made her drowsy. She would take a short nap, and find it clear upon awakening. Then there would be a merry tramp through the puddles, and pines, and wet old-field broom-straw, to her supper at sunset.

She shut the door, went back to her corner, and stretched herself upon a bench, putting the bulky Shakespeare under her head for a pillow.

"What rich and strange dreams I ought to have!" she murmured; shut her eyes and took up the examination-day scene where she had left it off.

Yes, that would be just the right thing to say. She must speak distinctly so that other people would hear it as well as the dear Major, who would stand there smiling down at her:

"You do me too—much—honor—I—assure—"

The soughing of the weak gusts in the aspen-boughs, the plashing from the eaves, and the thud upon the clap-boarded roof, steady as a drum-beat, had made quick work of waking dreams.

An hour went by. The wind shifted to the east and blew the door ajar, but the interior was no lighter for the opening. Darkness settled within and without the lonely building—a night in which there would be neither moon nor star to light the child, should she awake, to attempt the measured mile that lay between the school-house and her home.

Before preceding her thither I must try to explain to the young reader of this generation what was the social position of an overseer upon a Virginia plantation at a time when all the house and field servants were negro slaves. The overseer was as white as his employer, but much nearer the slave's level, unwilling as he might be to admit it, and his social rank suffered accordingly.

The Duncombes were too secure in their position in State, county, and neighborhood to be supercilious to inferiors, and too sensible not to appreciate the fact that the Grigsbys were most respectable in their walk of life. The father was a faithful and valuable official upon the great estate which comprised five of the best farms upon the river. Miss Emily and Miss Eliza were often at the overseer's house upon one errand or another, and sat for half an hour in as friendly chat with Mrs. Grigsby as if she had belonged to their visiting-list. Every spring and autumn she was sent for from Greenfield to help with the cutting out and making up of the clothes for the army of servants, who must be looked after and cared for as if they were children. Sometimes Mrs. Grigsby did not return to her home for several days, receiving cordial kindness from all of the Duncombes.

The night was chilly after the hail-storm, and the rain had not ceased. All the children, except Flea, were clustered in "the chamber," where was a glow of heat and light.

The fire was getting so hot that Bea pushed her chair and set the candle-stand further away from it, and demanded of Calley (short for Caledonia) "what she was thinkin' about to let the baby roast his brains by crawlin' so close to the hearth!"

"He'll ketch fire, if you don't mind," she added. "Move him to the other side of the room."

"Do it yourself," retorted the checks-player. "It's my turn now, an' I can't stop for nothin'. One, two, three!"

"We'll see 'bout that, my lady, when ma comes in," said the other, in an elder-sisterly tone, and a step in the passage giving notice of the threatened "coming," Calley missed the marble she had meant to catch upon the back of her hand, and turning over on her side, made a long arm to drag the baby by his frock away from the hearth.

Thus suddenly attacked in the rear, the luckless infant lost his balance and pitched over upon his forehead. The thump was followed by a terrific howl.

"I declar' you children are enough to w'ar anybody's life out of her!" exclaimed Mrs. Grigsby, picking up the screaming child and beginning to rub his forehead hard with the palm of her hand—"to scatter the bruise," she would have said if asked why she did it. "Thar, thar, deary! ma's sugar pie! I should 'a' thought some on you might 'a' hendered him from ketchin' sech a fall as that. Calley, give me one o' them sugar rags to stop his mouth!"

The sugar rags were small squares of old linen or muslin, in which were tied up cold boiled rice or stale bread and brown sugar. Each was of the shape and size of a marble, and, before it was given to the baby, was dipped in milk, or, if milk were not at hand, in water. The smallest Grigsby's howl subsided into a queer whine, like that of a choking puppy, and this into an intermittent grunt, as his mother trotted him on her knee, holding the sugar rag in his mouth all the while.

"I come in to arsk ef any you children has any idea whar your sister Flea is," she was saying, when she could talk down the baby. "I've been a-callin' of her upsta'rs an' down-sta'rs an' all over the place, an' she ain't nowhar to be foun'. Your pa he's gone to the stable to see ef she's crawled up inter the hay-lof', or some sech outlandish place, an' gone to sleep. That chile's as wild as a hawk. You never know what she'll be up to nex'. She'll get los' sure 'nough some o' these days, an' then thar it will be!"

"She's got the right name," giggled Bea. "She's jest like a flea—when you put your finger on her, she ain't there."

"It's no laughin' matter, I ken tell you, Mr. Dee!" retorted his mother, as Dee's snicker answered his sister's giggle. "Well, pa," as her husband entered, "any sign o' her?"

Mr. Grigsby, a tall lean man with sandy hair and whiskers,[Pg 539] who looked and spoke like a person with more sense and far more education than the wife he had married fifteen years before for her pretty face and good housekeeping, stalked up to the hearth, shaking the wet from his coat into the fire, after the manner of a huge water-dog. Dee drew back to escape from the flying drops, and Bea put her embroidery behind her. Neither ventured to complain. Their father was kind and just to them, but he was master in his own house, and not to be trifled with when his face was as black as they now saw it. His voice was naturally harsh, and he had a touch of the Scotch "burr" in his speech. He spoke roughly and angrily:

"Sign of her? No! Things have come to a pretty pass if all of you together can't keep the run of one child while I'm off on the plantation working like a horse to put bit and sup into your mouths. Chaney tells me she saw her go off towards the woods right after dinner, with a book under her arm and her knitting in her hand. Have any of you seen her since?"

The children looked from one to the other, and then to their mother, who looked at them in the same way. Nobody said a word. Mr. Grigsby reached up for a lantern that stood on the chimney-piece, opened it, and lighted the candle within with a coal taken from the fire with the tongs. He snapped to the lantern door, crossed the room in three strides, and in another minute was heard outside shouting to Dick to saddle his horse and bring him around.

When the horse was ready he whistled up a couple of dogs, and swung himself into the saddle. As he did so, a voice called shrilly to him, and his wife ran out into the rain, throwing her apron over her head as she came.

"Pa! pa! stop!" she panted. "Bea says she's 'most certain Flea's gone to see Miss Em'ly. The child's jes distracted after her, you know, an' Bea says she was sayin' this mornin' how she'd promised to gether a heap o' life-everlastin' for Miss Em'ly to stuff a piller with. Bea says sure's you're born thar's whar the run-mad thing has gone to, an' they've kep' her all night on 'count o' the rain, Bea says."

Mr. Grigsby's patience and temper were often tried by his children's mother. Sometimes he spoke his mind to her. Oftener he did not express his feelings in words. They found vent now in a single harsh "Pshaw!" a Scotch snort, which she might have divided equally between herself and her oracle, Bea. As he blew it out he struck his spur into the horse's side and vanished into the rainy darkness, the dogs racing after him.

"I never see your pa more heady'n he is to-night," sighed the mother, returning to the waiting group that filled the lighted front door. "He's hard's a rock when he's sot upon anything."

The hard head was turned in the direction of Greenfield. The father might "pshaw" at Bea's suggestions and her mother's conclusions, but his sound sense told him they had given him a likely clew to the whereabouts of the missing child. If she had carried what he named in his displeasure "old-field trash" to "the house," she would have been detained there by the storm. Miss Emily made a pet of the lassie, and they might take it for granted that her family knew where she was. She got caught in a snow-storm up there last winter, and Miss Emily would not let her go home for three days. The idea became more and more plausible as he pushed on, the dogs at his heels, his big umbrella over his head. By the time the lights of the great house on the hill glimmered through the straight lines of rain, he was quite sure he should find his daughter under that safe shelter.

He rode to the stable and put his horse under cover, then made his way to the front door. It stood wide open, and so did that of the drawing-room, the broad red light flashing out into the hall telling that a fire had been kindled there.

A burst of music from the drawing-room arrested Mr. Grigsby's hand as he raised it to the knocker. Miss Emily and Miss Eliza were singing at the piano, and a man's voice joined in with theirs. The listener's knowledge of music was slight, but he had a good ear, and he knew that the unfamiliar voice was remarkably fine. It was strong and clear and sweet, and each word was articulated distinctly. The three were singing one of Moore's melodies arranged as a fugue, or, as unmusical people used to call it, "a chasing tune."

"Meet me by moonlight alo-o-o-ne,"

sang Miss Emily's small voice, as tunefully as a bobolink. And while she went on with

"And then I will tell thee a tale,"

Miss Eliza took up "Meet me by moonlight alone."

Before they could begin the second verse Mr. Grigsby let the knocker fall smartly, and Major Duncombe himself came out into the hall.

"Ah, Mr. Grigsby!" he said, cordially, but looking surprised. "Good-evening. Walk in. Nothing the matter, I hope?"

"I hope not, sir. But I was in hope of finding my little girl here. Fl—Felicia, my second daughter. She has not come home, and I thought she might have come up here on some errand or other, and been kept by the rain."

In the hush that followed his knock what he said was heard plainly in the drawing-room, and all the home party, headed by Miss Emily, now appeared, questioning and anxious.

Miss Emily flew up to the overseer, her blue eyes large, her red lips apart. She was out of breath and quite pale with alarm.


"What did you say, Mr. Grigsby? Is my little scholar lost? She isn't here. She hasn't been here all day—no, not for a week and more. Oh, the poor little dear! I hope nothing has happened to her. Won't you all go right off and look for her?"

She wrung her tiny white hands, and turned, first to her father, then to her grown brother, and lastly to Mr. Tayloe, who was nearest to her. "Can't I go too?" she pleaded, and her eyes had real tears of real distress in them. A little more and she would be crying outright.

Three or four people began to speak all at once, but Mr. Tayloe's voice arose above the rest.

"Isn't that the child we saw at the school-house to-day, Major? We left her there at half past three, Mr. Grigsby. She must have been caught there by the rain."

In some way which nobody could have explained his cool, matter-of-fact manner was like a wet blanket upon the excitement caused by the news of the child's disappearance. Even Mr. Grigsby felt for an instant that much ado had been made over a very little matter. Miss Emily tittered nervously.

"How very clever in you to recollect it, Mr. Tayloe!" gazing gratefully at him. "Please, papa, order ever so many of the men to go right straight after her with lights and blankets and hot coffee and things, and bring her right here. I can find some dry clothes for her, and she can sleep in my room, and—"

"That will do, Emily," said her father, quietly. "Joe"—to the colored footman who had been summoned by the knocker—"tell Jack and Emmanuel to get lightwood knots, and Cæsar to have my gig ready at once. Mr. Grigsby, I will go with you. As Mr. Tayloe suggests, we shall probably find the child at the school-house."

Mr. Grigsby's eyes and ears were quick. He was near enough to Miss Emily to overhear her say in an undertone to Mr. Tayloe:

"Won't you go, too, please? It will be a real favor to me."

The overseer faced her abruptly. "Excuse me, Miss Emily, but I hope you won't persuade Mr. Tayloe to go out this wet night. There is no need whatever for him to do it. Indeed, Major Duncombe, if you will kindly let one of the hands go along with a lightwood torch, it is all I could ask. I am very sorry to cause such a disturbance."

"I shall go, if Major Duncombe will allow me, because it is Miss Duncombe's desire," said Mr. Tayloe, stiffly.

It would be foolish and useless to discuss the matter further. The canny Scotchman knew the impropriety of disputing with one who was now a member of his employer's family. With a brief "good-night" to the ladies, he went off to get his horse.

[to be continued.]

[Pg 540]




London, July —, 189-.

DEAR JACK,—Pop wants me to keep a dairy of this trip, and I told him I would, but it takes an awful pile of time to do it and write letters home too, so it's come down to this: Either you've got to keep these letters I'm writing to you, and let me have 'em type-written when I get back, or I've got to keep the dairy, and if I keep the dairy you don't get any more letters. I'll keep on writing until you let me know what you're going to do about it, because I guess maybe you'll say all right, go ahead. I don't see much sense in keeping dairys, but Pop says that boys that go abroad ought to, because they see lots and lots of things they never saw before and ought to remember. "What's the matter with remembering them?" said I, and he said: "Oh, you can't. Once there was a man who really remembered all he saw and heard, and when he got to be an old man his memory held so much it bulged his head out, and he had to have his hats built for him at ruinous expence."

Speaking of expence reminds me. The money they have over here is fine. My allowance when I'm home is ten cents a week, and over here Pop gives me sixpence. It's a clear gain of two cents a week, and I'm mighty glad I wasn't getting a quarter a week, because then Pop says he'd have made it a shilling, and I'd have lost a cent every week, because a shilling's only worth twenty-four cents. I hate to spend my allowance here though. I don't wonder English people get awful rich. It's easier to save than it is at home because over here when you spend money you feel as if you were spending your collection of coins, which you don't like to do. I've spent two bully coins already. One of 'em had George the Third's head on it, and the other was a Queen's Jubylee sixpence.

There's other money too, and lots of gold in sight. The five-dollar gold piece and the Queen all go by the same name, the sovereign, though some people call it the pound so as to extinguish it from the Queen. I haven't seen her yet, and I don't know as I want to. They say she wears bonnets just like all other women, and doesn't go round with regal things on at all. I don't see what fun there is in seeing a Queen if she don't carry a wand in her hand and wear a crown on her head.

There's lots of nonsense in the pictures we've seen of these royal personages anyhow. The other day when Pop and I were coming home from the bank in a handsome cab we passed a carriage with the Prince of Whales in it. He's going to be King some day if he has luck and he didn't look any more like a Prince than Sandboys. I've seen Sandboys look a great sight more hortier than he did, and as for the feathers he's always said to wear he didn't have a feather about him. I guess we've got Indians at home that can give him points on feathers and not half try.

But I tell you you can tell Americans every time even if you can't tell a Prince or a Duke from a hotel-keeper. I was sitting in the office the other day looking at the hotel elevator. They have two of 'em in every hotel because one of 'em seems to be out of order, and a lady came up to me and said she guessed from my spockling black eyes I was a little Italian boy, and I said "Nit," and then she knew right away that I was one of those bad American boys without any manners, but I didn't care and I mayn't have good manners, but I don't wear a beaver hat the way her boy did. It's the funniest thing you ever saw how the kids over here go into beavers as soon as they cut their teeth, and sailor collars. I thought I'd die when I saw that lady's son get into the elevator with his beaver and sailor collar on and a little coat that Pop says is called a Eatin' jacket that stops at his waist so's to make it handy to spank him. I found out afterwards though that he was a great sight better than he looked. When his Ma said my manners was bad he sort of looked up in the air and winked at the roof of the elevator and I had it in for him when I met him alone in the hall. I thought he'd be easy but he wasn't. I knocked his hat off but I had to stop there because while he had good manners enough when his mother was around he didn't have any when he was alone in the hall with me and I tell you we had a time of it until Pop came along and pulled us apart. There wasn't much damage done except to his beaver hat and we made it up afterwards and I sort of like him next to you. When he heard that I'd saved up and had almost three shillings he told me about a fine place near the hotel where they had tarts for sale and my what a gorge we did have on buns.

Since I wrote you about the town we've seen quite a lot of things but I've been kind of disappointed in 'em. We went to the British Museum the other day and I expected to see walruses and British Lions and John Bulls and unicorns and things like that but they didn't have anything worth looking at except mummies. There was some Elgin marbles Pop was anxious to see and I wanted to see 'em too because I'm fond of marbles but when we came to them they weren't our kind of marbles at all, only statchuary and great big slabs of figures with broken noses and things like that. There wasn't a thing in the whole place to compare with the circus museums we have at home except the mummies and they were fine, though there wasn't a live one in the place. We saw the mummy of Cleopatra who used to be the Queen of Egypt about a million years ago, and I must say if she looked like that I'm glad I wasn't alive then. Bogie men aren't in it with people like Cleopatra. She was a fearful looking lady but it was fun looking at her mummy and thinking how she'd been a Queen once and now wasn't anything but a side show to a museum. It sort of makes you satisfied to be a plain American with nothing ahead of you but being President when you think how the Kings and Queens of those times weren't allowed to keep quiet in their sarcophaguses, as they call the boxes mummies are buried in, but have to be trotted out to amuse people. Pop says it's an outrage to disturb a lady like that and I agree with him. I'd hate like anything to be hauled out for a museum a thousand years from now and have people look at me and say O my. That Bob Drake! I thought he was a better looking boy than that. But after all it's the only kind of circus these English boys have and I suppose it's better than none. Pop says they don't know what a three ringed circus is over here and I'm sorry for them, though I must say the circuses home in New York every year are making me cross-eyed trying to see all that is going on at once.

To-morrow we're going out to the Zoo, and next time I write to you I hope to tell you all about it. Somehow or other I expect great things from the Zoo, but I'm afraid that after we get there we'll find that it isn't a bit like the Zoos we are used to. It'll probably be made up of a lot of books and old pictures instead of interesting things like monkeys.

Yours ever,

[Pg 541]


The seventh annual in-door games of the New England Interscholastic Athletic Association, under the auspices of the Boston Athletic Association, were held a week ago Saturday in Mechanics' Hall, Boston. The games were very interesting and exciting, and unusually well contested. About three hundred personal entries were had from schools scattered throughout Massachusetts and other New England States, and fully 4000 people were present as spectators. This is a record both for competitors and spectators which no scholastic meeting in this city has ever approached.

It was evident from the outset that the race for points was to be close. Four schools—English High, Hopkinson's, Worcester High, and Worcester Academy—were out in earnest for the big championship shield, but English High succeeded in carrying off the shield by one point, getting 17-3/5 points to Worcester Academy's 16-3/5.

Three new records were made, one was equalled, and one established. O'Brien, E. H.-S., put the 16-pound shot 37 feet 3½ inches, which is 7½ inches better than his performance of 1895; and Mills of Berkeley took one-fifth of a second off the record for the 1000-yard run. The chief record-breaker, however, was W. M. Robinson, of Worcester Academy. He ran in the 40 and 300 yard distances, and won both. In the first event he ran three heats in record time, 4-4/5 sec., which is within one-fifth of a second of the world's record. In the longer distance he lowered W. D. Fuller's record of last year by one second, the new time being 35-1/5 sec. This young man will surely be heard from when he gets into college.


40-yard dash         4-4/5 sec.W. M. Robinson, Worcester Academy.
300-yard run        35-1/5 sec.W. M. Robinson, " "
600-yard run1 m. 27-1/5 sec.R. F. Hanson, English High-School.
1000-yard run2 m. 33       sec.E. W. Mills, Berkeley.
45-yard low hurdles          5-4/5 sec.R. C. Seaver, Brookline High-School.
Half-mile walk3 m. 33-3/5 sec.A. L. O'Toole, English High-School.
Running high jump5 ft.   6 in.A. N. Rice, Noble's.
Pole vault9 ft. 10 in.B. Johnson, Worcester Academy.
Putting 16-lb. shot37 ft. 3½ in.M. C. O'Brien, English High-School.

Table of Points[2]

English High31/52-1/517-3/5
Worcester Academy31/51-1/516-3/5
Worcester High215
Phillips Andover1-1/51-1/53-3/5
Cambridge H. and L.113
Cushing Academy12
Chauncy Hall12
Medford High11

The games opened with the 40-yard dash. Contrary to custom, the second men in the preliminary heats were to be given a chance in the semi-finals. Perhaps this accounted for the unusual amount of spirit shown. Four men equalled the record, 4-4/5 seconds, and Robinson of Worcester Academy did it three times. It looked as though the record would have to break in the final heat, with so many fliers, and every one was standing up to see it done, for that is the only record that has not been broken since the games were instituted, and to lower it by a fifth meant to equal the world's record. The six sprinters got off together, and kept well bunched all the way, except Robinson, who sneaked ahead at the 20-yard mark, and finished two yards in front of the field.

A double line of competitors took their places to start in the 1000-yard run. It was seven times around the track to the finish, but the racing began at the crack of the pistol. George Dow took the pole, with E. W. Mills, of Berkeley School, and W. F. Porter, of Chauncy Hall, close behind, and D. T. Sullivan, of Worcester High, running fifth or sixth. On the third lap Mills and Porter both passed Dow, and Sullivan, who had been playing a waiting game, dropped out with a broken shoe-lace. This was a severe blow to the chances of Worcester High, who has held the championship shield for two years. There was apparently some understanding between Mills and Porter, for when they once got in front of Dow they ran side by side, and thereby easily kept him behind. At the last turn Mills and Porter made a dash for the tape, and Mills got there first by a scant six inches, taking one-fifth of a second off the record. Dow made third, with the rest twenty yards behind.

When Delaney was debarred from the walk, O'Toole was looked upon as a sure winner. At the crack of the pistol he, with Rudickhauser and Mohan, all three for E.H.-S., started to the front. They profited by the example of Mills and Porter, and kept all spurters well behind them. On the last lap, however, Mohan and Rudickhauser were both ruled off, and then A. Lockwood, of Worcester Academy, who had been trying for three minutes to get by the bunch, worked himself abreast of O'Toole, and furnished a most exciting finish. It would have been a dead heat except that Lockwood broke into a run in almost his last step. He was ruled out, as was Malletts of Boston Latin, who had been at his heels throughout the race. Then G. Thacher, of Hopkinson, crossed the line, and was very much surprised to learn that he was second.

About this time excitement began to show itself in the English High and Worcester Academy sections. Worcester had 6 points, and English High 5, with Worcester High out of the reckoning. English High was sure of the shot, and Worcester was sure of the pole vault; while the 300 and 600 were in grave doubt, and the hurdles and high jump were conceded to other schools.

The 300-yard trials were run next, and the final of that event furnished the best race of the day. It was another case of Carleton vs. Robinson. Robinson had the advantage of position on the scratch, and took the pole. At every turn it seemed as if Carleton would pass him, but each time Robinson spurted just a little more, and held the place. At the last corner Carleton made a grand attempt to pull out first place, but Robinson held his own, and broke the tape a foot ahead of Carleton, and also broke Carleton's newly made record, establishing a new one of 35-1/5 seconds—a record that Wefers might find hard to smash on a similar track.

The first heat of the 600 was an easy race. W. Dadnum, of Worcester High, was first, J. J. Purtell, English High's crack, a leisurely second, and C. Boyle, of Worcester High, third. Albertson of Worcester High, who won the event last year, followed Purtell's example, and just jogged around until the last lap, when he moved up to second, J. H. Hartwell, of the other Worcester school, leading. But on the last lap[Pg 542] two other boys moved up too—R. F. Hanson, of English High, and Mills, who had won the 1000. Just at the last turn they both slipped by the napping Albertson, who awoke to the fact that he had not qualified for the final. This was the third first place that Worcester High had counted on which had slipped through her fingers. Another waiter was W. A. Applegate, of Cambridge High, in the third heat. He ran sixth until the last lap, and then, as if he had just realized that he was in a race, tore round the corners, and pulled down the field, and finished first. Burdan of Newton was second, and Cook of Chelsea third. With Albertson out of the final, it looked like an easy thing for Purtell. But there was a big spill in the first lap. Hartwell, who was leading, fell on the third corner. Purtell, Dadnum, and Burdan fell with him. Hanson and Boyle dodged the heap, but Applegate, who was waiting again, wasn't affected by it. Boyle was leading now, twenty yards ahead of Hanson. Hanson realized that for his school to get the shield this race must be won. Slowly but surely he overhauled Boyle, and at the last turn dove forward and came in ahead. Meanwhile Applegate was tearing through the crowd with one of his thrilling finishes, and made third place. Hanson's work was the pluckiest of the day.


In the 45-yard low-hurdle race Chauncy Seaver, of Brookline High-School, was expected to win with ease, and he did not disappoint his friends, although pushed hard in the final by Mason of Worcester High. As the 45-yard hurdle race over three hurdles 2 feet 6 inches high had never been run before, Seaver was credited with the record of 5-4/5 sec. Last year a record of 6 sec. was made for the distance over four hurdles 2 feet 6 inches high. A. N. Rice had no trouble in winning the jump with a height of 5 feet 6 inches. Five men tied for second at 5 feet 4 inches, drew for the cups, and divided the points. In the weight event M. C. O'Brien put the 16-pound shot nearly five feet farther than his nearest competitor.

The last events of the programme were the team races, the teams being composed of four men each, one of whom ran 390 yards. In the relay race between Worcester High and Worcester Academy the latter's team won, doing the distance in 3 min. 20-4/5 sec, which has never been equalled before.

The Englewood High and Hyde Park schools' dual in-door athletic meeting, in the University of Chicago's gymnasium, resulted in an overwhelming victory for the former, the score being 70 to 27. The figures were not quite up to the standard of Eastern performances, but some of the records are creditable. I give the winners only: 35-yard run—Trude, Hyde Park High-School, 4-3/5 sec.; half-mile run—Teetzle, E.H.-S., 2 min. 15-4/5 sec.; 1-mile run—Hodgman, E.H.-S., 5 min. 12-3/5 sec.; 35-yard hurdle race—Teetzle, E.H.-S., 5-2/5 sec.; half-mile walk—Parker, H.P.H.-S., 3 min. 50 sec.; running high jump—Thayer, E.H.-S., 5 ft. 2-3/5 in.; standing broad jump—Flacken, E.H.-S., 9 ft. 7 in.; running broad jump—Teetzle, E.H.-S., 19 ft. 7 in.; pole vault—H. Boyce, H.P.H.-S., 8 ft. 6 in.; putting 12-lb. shot—Flacken, E.H.-S., 36 ft. 11½ in. The sixteen-lap relay race was the most exciting event on the programme, and went to Englewood, the time being 4 min. 51 sec. Eight men from each school took part, running in pairs for relays of two laps.

Interest in track athletics seems to be developing very rapidly in the West, if we may judge from the formation of new leagues and athletic associations. What ought to prove an exceedingly important interscholastic organization has just been started by the schools of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It is called the Twin City Dual Interscholastic League, and its first field-meeting will be held at the Hamline Fair Grounds, May 29th. The events selected for the card are the 100-yard dash, pole vault, one-mile run, 120-yard hurdle, putting shot, one-mile bicycle, running high jump, half-mile run, throwing hammer, running broad jump, standing high jump, standing broad jump, 220-yard hurdle, 440-yard dash, and 220-yard dash. The first place in each event will count six points, the second three, and the third one. The school winning the highest number of points will earn a cup, and if it succeeds in holding it for three years it will keep the trophy.

I want to enter my usual protest against this list of events, because it contains such absurd features as the standing jumps, and because, apparently for no especial reason, six points are awarded to winners of first place, instead of five points. After very careful calculations, and after many years of experience, athletes and managers best qualified to determine such questions have decided that five points for first place and one point for third place make the closest ratio and the most just. For second place the figures are still in dispute. The colleges have adopted two, but many school associations believe that three points show a closer relation between first and second, admitting at the same time, however, that the ratio of three to one is not a fair one as between second and third.

It is a difficult problem to settle; difficult and complicated enough without having new associations coming along with new ratios. Therefore I think that if the managers of the new Twin City League will ponder over this situation for even a short time they will realize that if for the sake of uniformity only it will be well for them to bring their highest mark down to five points. As for the figure for second honors, I am personally in favor of two points. For one reason, I believe that the college athletes who adopted the 5-2-1 ratio did so after considerable study of the situation, and possibly brought statistics and mathematics into the discussion to help them.

Before the point system was in vogue, the method at the Mott Haven games was to reckon results by firsts and seconds. Thus if Yale had four firsts and no seconds while Harvard had one first and eight seconds, Yale won, of course. By points (5-2-1) the score would have been in Harvard's favor 21 to 20; or if the ratio were 5-3-1 it would have been 29 to 20! Third place was not counted unless there was a tie on firsts and seconds; and seconds, it is evident, were only desirable in case of a tie on firsts, for then the college with the most second-place winners won the day.

No combination of firsts and seconds such as I have just suggested ever came about, so far as I know; but it was figured that if any such result ever did come about, there would be dissatisfaction in the aggregation that took the large number of second places. It was admitted[Pg 543] by all that such a team—as a team—would represent a higher standard of efficiency and development; and as the contests at Mott Haven or the Berkeley Oval are contests among teams, and not among individuals, it was decided that a more equable method of adjusting the score that settles the victory must be invented. The point system was then proposed, and those who undertook to discover what the ratio is between athletes in competition, so as to show in figures the relative value of one position to another in the order that the mathematical sum should demonstrate the respective merit of each team as a body, decided that this ratio was as five is to two and as two is to one. Their solution may be incorrect, but it is the closest yet offered, and ought to be accepted wherever points are used in scoring.

The Graduate.


This Department is conducted in the interest of Girls and Young Women, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject so far as possible. Correspondents should address Editor.

I was finishing my last talk to you, when who should walk in but one of the very mothers about whom I was writing. She is a darling, this old schoolmate and friend of mine, but she is just now rather depressed in her mind, and a good deal out of health, and this makes her fussy and fidgety. She was very much interested in the talk about chaperonage, and declared that she never allowed her Elsie, or her Jack or Dick either, to go anywhere unaccompanied by an older person. "The boys agree with me," she said, "that they have a better time when Cousin Molly goes along than they possibly could have without her. As for me," she sighed, "I am getting to be so nervous and melancholy that I am a kill-joy, and I stay in my room even when we have guests at home."

In there came, with rosy cheeks and flying ribbons and the prettiest eyes in the room, my friend's daughter Katharine. "Now," said Katharine—and as she spoke the spring sunshine and the spring fragrance seemed to fill the room, needing not the great bunch of daffodils she laid upon my lap to give me a realization that spring was really here—"I've planned everything; papa has given me the money, and you, dear auntie, must flourish your pudding stick over mamma's head till she consents to go away for a trip. Mamma needs a change. We girls are giving up our new spring gowns, and making our old ones over, for this has been a bad year in business, in papa's line at least, and we must economize. Our gift is to fit the dear lady out becomingly. The rest of the money will pay for her tickets, and we want her to go to Cousin Kitty's, away off in Vermont, and be a girl again." Katharine poured this out in a torrent, hardly pausing for breath. Her color came and went; she was earnest and eloquent. I listened, and softly clapped my hands.

I looked at the elder Katharine. Mamma's eyes were shining. There was a far-away look in them, as of one who was remembering pleasant times and scenes. "To be a girl again!" she whispered.

"You will go, won't you, dear?" I asked, anxiously.

She hesitated a second, and then said, "Yes, if you all wish it so very much, I will take a vacation, and perhaps I'll come back very much more like myself. I owe something to daughters who are so dear and loving, and I am tired."

We didn't dwell on the subject any longer then. On the contrary, we spoke of Katharine's hat, and of the pretty and sensible fashion girls have adopted of removing their hats in public places, where the great plumed things are in the way of people's eyes. It is so easy to take off one's hat and hold it, and the girls' bright heads look so homelike and attractive that one is very glad for the march which common sense and good manners have made side by side.

Margaret E. Sangster.




Constable & Co


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Orders for Easter Gowns and Spring Suits will receive prompt attention.

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Little Bo Peep (she fixed her sheep
So fate could not abuse them—)
Stuck Cupid Hair Pins in their tails,
And then they couldn't lose them.

It's in the TWIST.

Richardson & DeLong Bros., Philadelphia, Pa.

Makers of the famous DeLong Hook and Eye.


Sets any name in one minute; prints 500 cards an hour. You can make money with it. A font of pretty type, also Indelible Ink, Type Holder, Pads and Tweezers. Best Linen Marker; worth $1.00. Mailed for 10c. stamps for postage on outfit and catalogue of 1000 bargains. Same outfit with figures 15c. Outfit for printing two lines 25c. postpaid.

Ingersoll & Bro., Dept. No. 123. 65 Cortlandt St., New York.

[Pg 544]


This Department is conducted in the interest of Bicyclers, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject. Our maps and tours contain much valuable data kindly supplied from the official maps and road-books of the League of American Wheelmen. Recognizing the value of the work being done by the L.A.W., the Editor will be pleased to furnish subscribers with membership blanks and information so far as possible.

Copyright, 1896, by Harper & Brothers.

Continuing the trip from Albany to Buffalo, we leave Utica in the morning, and proceed by what is called the old turnpike to New Hartford. The road is moderately level, but is sandy in places, and when out of the village limits the rider will, of course, take to the side path. Passing through New Hartford, and taking the right fork at the western extremity of the town, run on to Kirkland through Middle Settlement, a distance of five and a quarter miles. Here the road for the first three miles is moderately good, and there is a cinder side path for part of the distance. Between Middle Settlement and Kirkland it becomes a little more hilly, and the road changes to loam.

Running westward through Kirkland, proceed by the main turnpike to Vernon, passing through Lairdsville, a distance altogether of eight and a quarter miles. At Vernon do not cross the track, but keep on on the left side, running through Oneida Castle direct into Oneida by crossing the track, or if you intend to keep straight on do not cross the track, but proceed direct to Canastota, six and a half miles from Oneida Castle. Here it is possible to keep straight on to Chittenango, but the road will be found far better if the track is crossed at Canastota and the route as marked on the accompanying map followed, as in this way one or two hills are avoided. Chittenango is a good place to stop for an hour's rest if you have not already stopped at Oneida or at Canastota; but perhaps, if the trip is to be spread over a whole day, Canastota is the best place to stop for dinner. Leaving Chittenango, the road runs direct to Fayetteville, eight miles from Chittenango, and thence runs into Syracuse, passing through DeWitt. The last part of the way the roads are rather hilly, or what is called rolling. They are in reasonably good condition, the road-bed being of loam and gravel. On entering Syracuse you will find yourself on East Avenue. Proceed along this to East Genesee Street and to the Globe Hotel.

By referring to the map you will find that on the secondary or fair bicycle roads many a side trip can be made, and the map will prove of use to persons who may not have the Albany-Buffalo trip in mind particularly. For example, the route is clear from Utica to Rome, running through Whitesboro and Oriskany. In like manner it is easy, though by a somewhat roundabout route, to get to Cazenovia. The road running direct from Chittenango to Cazenovia is not a good one, and is hilly. It will pay the rider, especially if he has time, to proceed to Fayetteville, and then run down to Cazenovia, following the railroad on the route marked on the map. A pleasant variation of the ride would be to cross the railroad after leaving Oneida Castle, run through Oneida, and follow the fair bicycle road out to South Bay, running along the edge of the lake through Bridgeport, thence turning southward, passing through Manlius, and reaching the main route at Fayetteville again.

Note.—Map of New York city asphalted streets in No. 809. Map of route from New York to Tarrytown in No. 810. New York to Stamford, Connecticut in No. 811. New York to Staten Island in No. 812. New Jersey from Hoboken to Pine Brook in No. 813. Brooklyn in No. 814. Brooklyn to Babylon in No. 815. Brooklyn to Northport in No. 816. Tarrytown to Poughkeepsie in No. 817. Poughkeepsie to Hudson in No. 818. Hudson to Albany in No. 819. Tottenville to Trenton in No. 820. Trenton to Philadelphia in No. 821. Philadelphia in No. 822. Philadelphia-Wissahickon Route in No. 823. Philadelphia to West Chester in No. 824. Philadelphia to Atlantic City—First Stage in No. 825; Second Stage in No. 826. Philadelphia to Vineland—First Stage in No. 827; Second Stage in No. 828. New York to Boston—Second Stage in No. 829; Third Stage in No. 830; Fourth Stage in No. 831; Fifth Stage in No. 832; Sixth Stage in No. 833. Boston to Concord in No. 834. Boston in No. 835. Boston to Gloucester in No. 836. Boston to Newburyport in No. 837. Boston to New Bedford in No. 838. Boston to South Framingham in No. 839. Boston to Nahant in No. 840. Boston to Lowell in No. 841. Boston to Nantasket Beach in No. 842. Boston Circuit Ride in No. 843. Philadelphia to Washington—First Stage in No. 844; Second Stage in No. 845; Third Stage in No. 846; Fourth Stage in No. 847; Fifth Stage in No. 848. City of Washington in No. 849. City of Albany in No. 854; Albany to Fonda in No. 855; Fonda to Utica in No. 856.

[Pg 545]


This Department is conducted in the interest of stamp and coin collectors, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on these subjects so far as possible. Correspondents should address Editor Stamp Department.

I am frequently asked by Round Table correspondents whether it would be a good speculation to buy the lower values of the Columbian issue, which are still on sale at many post-offices. I always answer No! for any values less than the 50c. All the dealers and speculators and a large number of collectors have loaded themselves down with these stamps. However great the demand, the supply will be ample. Everybody is alive to the value of stamps to-day, but eight years ago it was quite different. Then was the time to buy; but how few availed themselves of the opportunity. Compare the prices of to-day with those of 1888:

Set State Department, unused,$49.50$287.00
Set Exec. Department, unused6.0049.00
Set Navy Department, unused5.0040.00
Set Agri. Department, unused3.5027.65
Set 1870 Grille, unused21.30216.00
1861 3c. Pink, unused.2525.00
1869 Set, unused9.9587.85
1870 12c. Grille, unused2.5075.00
1870 24c. Grille, unused5.00100.00

Not only U.S. stamps, but the higher value stamps of almost every other country have advanced in similar ratio. It is the old story over again—"Buy when every one wants to sell, and sell when every one wants to buy." It sounds as easy as "Buy cheap and sell dear"; but how hard it is in practice.

R. Parham.—No premium.

Edith F. Morris, 95 Third Avenue, New York city, wishes to exchange stamps.

O. T. Aldrich.—The editor of this Department is not a dealer in either stamps or coins.

E. Hill.—It is impossible to give any general rule for the detection of the thousands of different counterfeits. In general terms it may be said that to-day only the valuable stamps are counterfeited. Formerly (1862 to 1880) even common stamps were counterfeited. My advice to young collectors is not to buy valuable stamps from irresponsible persons. Go to a responsible dealer for this class of stamps. Some counterfeits are so well made that only an expert can detect them.

E. L. Snyder.—The prices quoted are those at which you can buy from dealers.

C. H. Peck.—The 5c. 1847 U.S. is worth 70c.

G. S. Van Schaick.—There are no grilled U.S. post-cards.

A. D. F.—No premium on the coins mentioned.

E. C. Wood.—Adhesive U. S. Revenues were first used in 1862. Periodical stamps have usually come over from Europe. See Round Table, March 10, 1896.

Clarence G. Michaelis, 3 North Twenty-first Street, East Orange, N.J., wishes to exchange stamps.

J. S. Green.—The Japanese stamp is still in use. The colonial and continental money are still plentiful, and can be bought in most instances for 10c. or 15c. each.

R. Q. P.—The stamps described are Revenue stamps.

C. S. Pomeroy.—There are three minute varieties of the 3c. green U.S. There are three varieties in the triangles of the present stamps. See Round Table, May 14, 1895.

F. H. Culbertson.—The U. S. currency 3c. to 50c. can be bought at double face. Circulated or crumpled copies are worth face only.

T. Ebaugh.—I cannot repeat prices on lists of U.S. coins. See Round Table for December 17, 1895, and January 14, 1896. English coins are not collected in this country. The stamp is a French revenue. No value. The coin is Spanish, worth 25c.

Max Becker.—"Post Obitum" U.S. stamp of 1877 is worth $4. Grilled stamps are those stamps bearing an impression in blank stamp which is designed to cut the fibre of the paper, such as the 1868 U.S., the Peruvian 1874, etc. Stamps issued by a province of a State are called "provincial issues."

E. L.—Spanish coin worth its weight in silver only.

N. D. Holler.—The Peru is an envelope stamp cut square. The Mexico is a seal, not a stamp.

M. Elsberg.—The Buda-Pesth post-cards are good for postage only when printed on the regular government post-cards.

C. Beckly.—Your coin is Grecian, over 2000 years old. It is common. The blackness is caused by oxydization or rust.

A. L. Greene.—Nevada 5c. stamp is worth 25c.

H. W. F.—There is no 6c. 1858 Canada. If you mean sixpence, it is worth $5. The U.S. stamps are worth from 8c. to 50c. apiece. We do not give addresses, etc., of dealers in this column. Any dealer will send you a circular of U.S. stamps.

Karl Wetherbee.—The 3d. New South Wales 1806 is worth $1.50. The 1861 U.S. 12c. is worth 25c. The half-cent 1804 is worth $4, if in good condition.

J. Hull.—Condition counts for everything in rare stamps. At the last great auction sale an unused New Brunswick shilling sold for $80. A used copy (comparatively common) sold for $110. The unused had small, and the used large margins.


Wonderful Florida Springs.

I live on the east bank of the famous Ocklawaha River, six miles from the wonderful Silver Springs. The waters of the springs are clear, and the beautiful shining bottom is plainly seen, while numerous varieties of fish swim and dive into the deep sink-holes. One of these sinks is fifty feet deep, and many are evidently connected in a continuous chain of sinks that are found between this place and Ocala in the pine woods.

We had a good laugh over the story of "Kizner's Pet Sheep."

Percy F. Lisk.
Conner, Fla.


Chosen by the


The War Department proposes to test the bicycle thoroughly for army use, and recently advertised for proposals for furnishing five bicycles for the purpose. Result: Bids from $50 to $85 each for other machines; our bid of $100 each for Columbias, their invariable price. And the Government selected




The experts who made the choice decided that Columbias were worth every dollar of the $100 asked for them.

If you are willing to pay $100 for a bicycle, why be content with anything but a Columbia?



WALTER BAKER & CO., limited.

Established Dorchester, Mass., 1780.

Breakfast Cocoa

Always ask for Walter Baker & Co.'s

Breakfast Cocoa

Made at


It bears their Trade Mark

"La Belle Chocolatiere" on every can.

Beware of Imitations.


The latest invention in Cameras. You look through the lens and your stout friends will look like living skeletons, your thin friends like Dime Museum fat men, horses like giraffes, and in fact everything appears as though you were living in another world. Each camera contains two strong lenses in neatly finished leather case. The latest mirth-maker on the market; creates bushels of sport. Catalogue of 1,000 novelties and sample camera 10c., 3 for 25c., mailed postpaid. Agents wanted.

Robert H. Ingersoll & Bro.,

Dept. No. 27. 65 Cortlandt St., New York.



has earned more money for boys than all other presses in the market. Boys, don't idle away your time when you can buy a self-inking printing-press, type, and complete outfit for $5.00. Write for particulars, there is money in it for you.


Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.

Postage Stamps, &c.

300 fine mixed Victoria, Cape of G. H., India, Japan, etc., with fine Stamp Album, only 10c. New 80-p. Price-list free. Agents wanted at 50% commission. STANDARD STAMP CO., 4 Nicholson Place, St. Louis, Mo. Old U. S. and Confederate Stamps bought.


Grand Prize Contest! 112 var. So. Am., West Indies, U. S., etc. A beauty! 10 cts. silver; 3 for 25 cts. If you send for this packet and ask for our grand approval sheets at 50 per cent. com., you will receive FREE a handsome present, and learn all about our wonderful GOLD OFFER.

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STAMPS. Confederate free if you send for our Approval Sheets at 50 per cent. commission. Enclose 2c. stamp, and give reference.

DIAMOND STAMP CO., Germantown, Pa.


to agents selling stamps from my 50% approval sheets. Send at once for circular and price-list giving full information.

C. W. Grevning, Morristown, N. J.


dif. Gold Coast, Costa Rica, etc., 25c.; 40 U. S., 25c. Liberal com. to agents. Large bargain list free. F. W. Miller, 904 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo.


Agents w't'd at 50% com.

W. SAAM, 1708 Amsterdam Ave., N. Y. City.

STAMPS! 100 all dif. Barbados, etc. Only 10c. Ag'ts w't'd at 50% com. List free. L. DOVER & CO., 1469 Hodiamont, St. Louis, Mo.

[Pg 546]

Writing Letters.


This series of articles on letter-writing is addressed to the Knights, but others may look over their shoulders and profit by the hints.

Use good stationery—that is, paper and envelopes of white or tint. Avoid gaudy designs. If you can afford an embossed monogram, have it small. If you have any printing at all on your paper have it embossed, preferably in dark blue, and modest, plain letters. But it is not at all necessary that stationery be embossed. Good form does not require it. What we urge you to avoid using are leaves torn from a memorandum-book, unsized paper that is made of straw, gaudy envelopes too large for the paper, and some firm's letter or note headings. Stationery is inexpensive. Better write only two letters a year and have them worthy of you than to write a hundred on ill-fitting and ill-finished paper.

When you begin a letter, do it with your street, number, city, and State. Then follow with the date. Have the last-named correct. Don't guess at it, and don't knowingly date your letters back, in order to make your correspondent think you have answered more promptly than you have. By such an act you utter an untruth. Besides, your deception is almost always seen and noted.

If you live in a small town, give the State. We receive many letters from people who do not observe this common-sense rule. We find your letter dated "Mount Vernon." The post-mark oh the envelope is indistinct. We look in the Postal Guide—an effort for you that you have no right to put your correspondent to, and one he might have been saved had you written your letter as you should have done—and there find twenty-four Mount Vernons! Then you wonder why you receive no reply!

If you live in a large city, give street and number every time you write. It does not matter if the postman lives next door to you and brings you everything directed to your name. How do your correspondents know that? We do not like to post a valuable letter addressed to "John Smith, Chicago, Ill." He may get it, but we have misgivings. And then, because you gave your address in one letter, don't say: "Oh, he knows where I live. I gave my address in my letter of last week." Yes, so you did, and the letter of last week is filed away where it will take trouble and time to find it, and get from it information that you ought to have given.

The Florida Seminoles.

Since my short article on "Biscayne Bay and its Marvels" was published I have received several letters requesting me to write all I know about southern Florida and the Everglades.

The Seminole Indians are a great attraction during the winter to the southeast coast of Florida. During the summer they traverse the wilds of the Everglades in search of game, which they sell during the winter to the winter visitors at West Palm Beach. The squaws have been busy making moccasins and leggings, and the bucks have been skinning and tanning the hides of deer, alligators, and other game.

The Seminoles, or most of them, are very fond of strong drink, or "wyomie," as it is called in Indian parlance. Many of them can write their names, and some can write notes. They are becoming more civilized in their mode of dress. Here is a note one Indian wrote. I give it as a specimen.

November 20, '95.

Whiskey Man, Sir, I tell you, you whiskey man, you good man, sir, you likes me, and my name, Jackson Charlie. Me send whiskey, big quart whiskey. See you 6th next month; me come see you; me pay you $1.25. Me sell you buckskin, smoking skin.

Jackson Charlie.

The Seminoles own their farms. One of their camps is a very interesting object. They kill and smoke deer-meat, tan the hides, and sell them. There was an Indian school recently established on the east coast. It will be a great benefit if it is continued. One of the interesting Indians at Palm Beach is Little Tom Tiger. Last spring he was cut in the forehead by a bottle hurled at his head by a bad Indian. His father, old Tommie Jumper, dressed the wound and told him he must not touch a drop of wyomie for ten months. When he is spoken to about it, he will count the ten months on his fingers and say, "Ten months soon be up, and I drink wyomie again."

Harry R. Whitcomb.
Umatilla, Fla.

Amateur Newspaper Makers.

How familiar this sounds: Louis O. Brosie, publisher of the Little Magnet, Pittsburg, says that when he began his paper, two years ago, he sent out 100 sample copies, expecting to get from them a large number of subscriptions. Instead he got four. People were afraid to pay their money, expecting the paper would last only a few months. But Sir Louis triumphed at last. He got subscriptions and advertisements, and expects to continue his paper. He printed a Good Will Mite, and some months ago sent us $2. He now prints 500 copies.

William C Meintzer, Easton, Md., wants to join an amateur press association, especially one in Maryland. To do the latter he should write to the secretary of the Maryland Club of the N. A. P. A., G. Edward Harrison, 708 Fidelity Building, Baltimore, who is president, vice-president, or secretary of half a dozen or so other amateur clubs, and wants to make the acquaintance of other Baltimore and Maryland members of the Order. E. M. Wallace, Monmouth, Ill., wants to hear from publishers of amateur newspapers.

Wheat Sheaf Leaflets is the name of a new quarterly which we have received bearing the compliments of the scholars and teachers of Wheat Sheaf School, the names of those teachers being Misses A. C. Cocker and Elizabeth Baillie. The paper, a neat eight-page one, is filled with letters written to the Priscilla Chapter, formed of pupils of the school, preceded by a song and an explanation of what the Chapter is. Modesty forbids the editors, but it does not forbid us, saying that the Priscilla is among the very best Chapters in the Order, whose work in the way of correspondence, collections, etc, has been helpful and practical. The price of Leaflets is five cents a copy, and its address is Wheat Sheaf School, Frankford, Philadelphia, Pa.

A Very Clever Kink.

Two men declared they could name the prettiest rural drive in all England. The dispute waxing warm, they agreed to write out the route each thought to be the prettiest and hand their respective slips of paper to a third party. They did this, and when the disinterested third party, in the presence of the disputants and a few of their respective friends, opened the sealed papers it was found that one had written: "Coventry to Stratford-on-Avon, by the way of Kenilworth, Leamington, and Warwick." And the other: "Stratford-on-Avon to Coventry, by the way of Warwick, Leamington, and Kenilworth."

Of course a general laugh followed, but when it subsided, one disputant, a little piqued that he had not won beyond further cavil, remarked with some warmth that he could name to the other disputant and his friends there present the amount of a certain nobleman's fortune, doing so in plain terms, in no enigmatical phrase, and yet they, in thirty minutes' time, could not name the amount in pounds sterling. Everybody present knew the nobleman mentioned, and all were desirous of learning the amount of his wealth—a sum which the speaker, through supposed business relations, was thought to be in a position to know.

Challenged to name the sum, the man read the following, from Macbeth, Act V., Scene V.:

If thou speak'st false,
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling thee: if thy speech be sooth,
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution; and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend,
That lies like truth: "Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane:"—and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—
If this, which he avouches, does appear.
There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be a-weary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.—
Ring the alarum bell!—Blow wind, come wrack!
At least we'll die with harness on our back.

At the end of the half-hour the challenged party gave up. Need they have done so had you been present to help them?


Any questions in regard to photograph matters will be willingly answered by the Editor of this column, and we should be glad to hear from any of our club who can make helpful suggestions.


Every amateur, no matter how successful he may be, now and then spoils a sensitive plate. Though the plate is rendered useless for a negative, it can be made into a pretty transparency with very little trouble. The spoiled plate must first be cleaned from the blackened silver. This is done by placing it in a solution called "Fanner's Reducer," which is prepared as follows:

Potassium ferricyanide3 grs.
Hyposulphite of soda30 grs.
Distilled water4 oz.

Leave the plate in this solution till the silver is all dissolved and the gelatine film which covers the plate is perfectly clear. Rinse it thoroughly in running water, and immerse it for three minutes in a sensitive bath made of

Bichromate of ammonium48 grs.
Distilled water4 oz.

The plate may be cleared from the silver by a white light, but it must be immersed in the sensitive bath by a red light and dried in the dark, as it will discolor if exposed to the light. To make a positive picture on this prepared plate one must have a positive from which to print, and a paper print may be used, if one does not wish to make a positive on glass.

Print till the shadows are a deep brown and detail well out, then wash in clear water till all the brown tone has disappeared, and set the plate up to dry. When dry immerse in a color bath composed of ½ oz. of China blue, ¼ oz. of oxalic acid, and 1 pint of water. The plate should be left in the coloring solution till it is a deeper tint than desired when dry, then wash in several changes of water till the water shows no trace of the coloring matter, and dry in a place free from dust. Place a cover glass over the film side of the transparency, and bind first with adhesive strips, which can be bought ready prepared, and then with ribbon, or one may use the frames which are made specially for transparencies.

Any color may be used instead of the China blue. Dragon's blood, carmine, green, mauve (which makes a beautiful violet tint), or any color which one prefers. It is very little trouble to make these transparencies, and they repay one for the work.

A member of the Camera Club asks how long eikonogen may be kept if it is placed in a tin box; what kind of pictures are the best for prizes; how engravings can be copied on celluloid; how to take a picture with the camera pointed toward the window. Eikonogen crystals are best preserved in a tightly stoppered glass bottle. Eikonogen in solution may be kept a long time by the addition of acid sulphite of soda, if the bottles are filled full and well stoppered. Glass stoppers are better than corks. The kind of pictures which are best for prize competitions depends on the style of pictures for which prizes are offered. If the prize is for figure studies, a single figure is better than a group, and a simple subject much more attractive than one "dressed up" for the occasion. In landscape pictures an extended view, unless unusually fine, rarely wins even honorable mention. In making landscape studies, for the picture as a picture, one cannot do better than to study the best works of landscape artists, which are always to be seen through photographic[Pg 547] copies. It will be noticed that painters follow the advice of Sidney Smith, and "take short views." Will our correspondent please explain what he means by "engravings copied on celluloid"? To take a picture with the camera pointed toward the window use a non-halation plate and a small diaphragm. One way in which to take a picture with the camera pointed toward the window is to take a picture with the curtain or shutter closed, then open them and make an exposure for the window which is, of course, much shorter than for the interior. Our correspondent sends this formula for eikonogen developer, which he says keeps a long time, and gives more contrast than most developers: Sulphite of soda crystals, 180 grs.; hot water, 6 oz. When thoroughly dissolved add 60 grs. of eikonogen. No. 2. Carbonate of potassium, 75 grs.; water 2 oz. To develop take 3 oz. of No. 1 and 1 oz. of No. 2. In preparing eikonogen developers the ingredients should be added to hot water, and the eikonogen left till all the rest are dissolved.

Miss Sara L. Merrick asks how to print photographs on writing-paper, and if plain salted paper can be bought ready sensitized. Plain salted paper cannot be bought ready prepared, but it is easy to prepare after the formula given in the Round Table, Nos. 796 and 803. To print on writing-paper, sensitize a strip at the top of the sheet of paper, using unglazed paper, then print as on any other paper, taking care that all parts, except where the picture is to appear, are covered with black needle paper. The whole of the sheet can be put into the toning solution, or simply the part sensitized.

Sir Knight Stephen W. Hurst, Newark, N.J., asks for directions for making lantern slides. Sir Stephen will find directions in Nos. 798 and 799 (February 12 and 19), and later we shall give some new ideas on making and using lantern slides.

Sir Knight John Dunham asks how to transfer a negative of a steamer to another negative. A note was sent to Sir John asking him to explain just what he wished to do, and the query would be answered, but the letter was returned, though bearing the address given, 1733 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pa. If Sir John means transferring to a clean glass, directions will be found in No. 856; if not, will he kindly write again and explain a little more fully what he wishes to know? There is no process by which a negative can be transferred by electricity.

Miss Flora J. Wheeler wishes to know what kind of a camera to purchase, as she purposes to learn photography. A hand camera is usually considered best for the beginner, as it is much easier handled and managed than a tripod camera. A 4 by 5 is a good size to begin with, and the lens may be used both for scenery and for making figure studies. Most amateurs, unless far advanced in the art, use only two lenses—one for portraiture, and the other for out-door work. The beginner should use one lens, and learn what it can do and cannot do before trying different lenses. With every camera directions are given for its use, and also for developing and printing. The papers for beginners published in the Camera Club column will be found helpful. No. 1 was published in No. 812 (May 21, 1895). Any questions which Miss Wheeler wishes to ask in regard to her work will be answered in this column.

Sir Knight Frederick G. Clapp asks what makes the zigzag streaks on the film of a negative after it has been intensified, and if the yellowish-olive color to which the plates turn when intensified should wash out. Did Sir Frederick soak the negative in water before immersing it in the intensifying solution? The plate should be soaked till the film is wet, and when placed in the intensifier it should be kept gently moving so that the chemicals may act evenly. Try this method, and let the editor know the results. The olive color of the negative does not always wash out, but, unless too deep, does not injure the printing qualities of the plate.

Sir Knight Henry Wens, who asks for formula for stripping films from broken plates, will find full directions in this number of the Camera Club.


Sir Knight Joseph Lovering writes: "Please accept my thanks for the check for $15 which you sent me for the prize in the photographic contest. I did not expect my picture to take a prize, and I was very much gratified when I received your letter." Sir Joseph took first prize in marines. Sir Joseph also asks if he will be allowed to compete next year, and if it is allowable to enter pictures in more than one class. Yes, to both questions.

Sir Knight Luke Murdock writes: "I received the prize sent me by Harper & Brothers, and although I tried to have my pictures look as nice as possible, I was much surprised that I took a prize. I was very much pleased, and I thank you heartily, and will endeavor to spend the money to the best advantage in a photographic line." Sir Knight Luke took second prize for Junior figure studies in Junior Class. His picture was entitled, "I Won't Stand Still."

Mrs. Nils Holm, Patron, who took second prize in figure studies Senior Class, writes that she never competed before, and was both surprised and pleased at her success, and should make more vigorous efforts than ever before.


Brisk exercise, a good quick rub,
An Ivory-Soap-and-water scrub,
With nerves restrung and muscles tense
The woman's new in every sense.

Copyrighted, 1896, by The Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.


G.A.R. 25c.
Brownies 10c.

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Brownie Rubber Stamps—A set of 6 grotesque little people with ink pad; price, postpaid, 10c.

G. A. R. series Rubber Stamps, 12 characters. Makes all kinds of Battles, Encampments and other military pictures, 25c. postpaid. Address


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Snow-Shoes and Sledges

A Sequel to "The Fur-Seal's Tooth." Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1.25.

Brimful of adventures admirably recorded. The young folks will take delight in it.... We confess to having read every word of the journal with as much interest as we once read "Robinson Crusoe" or the "Swiss Family Robinson."—Christian Intelligencer, N. Y.

A book which will hold the interest of its readers from beginning to end.—N. Y. Evening Post.


THE FUR-SEAL'S TOOTH.—RAFTMATES.—CANOEMATES.—CAMP-MATES—DORYMATES.—Each one volume. Illustrated. Post 8vo, Cloth, $1.25.

WAKULLA.—THE FLAMINGO FEATHER.—DERRICK STERLING.—CHRYSTAL, JACK & CO. and DELTA BIXBY: Two Stories. Each one volume. Illustrated. Square, 16mo, Cloth, $1.00.

HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York

[Pg 548]

April Fool


"My Pa says you can have your photograph took now so as to show nothing but your skeleton," said Bob.

"What's a skeleton?" asked Jack.

"I don't know exactly," said Bob, "but everybody has one."

"I haven't," returned Jack. "Leastways, if I have, I haven't never seen it."


An American was stopping in Rome, and one day he overheard some Europeans boasting about the beauty of the scenery of Europe. It grew so tiresome at last that he turned around and politely joined in the conversation, incidentally introducing some remarks about the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, their height, etc.

"But," said one of the Europeans, "surely, Mr. American, you must have crossed the Alps Mountains when you came to Rome! What did you think of them?"

"Why, now you speak of them, I do remember passing over some rising ground, something that would probably require a tow-horse if a street-car line ran over it."


"I saw a pair of gaiters the other day that the bravest man living wouldn't dare to wear," said Bobbie.

"What kind were they?" asked Tommie.

"Alligators," said Bobbie.


"Poor little baby!", said Ethel, sympathizingly, as her new brother wept. "Mamma, why don't you give him some of that smoothing syrup?"


"I don't see why you sent me to bed for being just impudent," sobbed Wilbur.

"It is very easily explained," said his father. "You are impudent because you got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. I want you to go to bed for an hour, and then see if you can't get out on the right side."

A pun-loving little chap went to school the other morning with a dirty face, and when the teacher asked him why he didn't wash it, he said,

"Why, ma'am, I've got such a cold in my head I was afraid the water would freeze on my face."


"Right face! Left face! About face!"

The little fat red-faced sergeant bawled out his orders and watched the line of feet as the raw recruits endeavored to follow them out. To his astonishment, one pair of feet, more noticeable on account of their extra large size, never turned. Without taking his eyes off these feet, the little sergeant bawled out a second order, "About face!" He could see that all the feet except those he watched turned in obedience. Rushing up to the owner, a little fellow, he seized him by the shoulder, shouting, "Why don't you turn with the rest?"

"Why, I did," replied the trembling recruit.

"You did, eh? Well, I watched your feet, and they never moved."

"It's the shoes they gave me, sir," said the poor fellow. "They're so large that when I turn my feet turns in them."


Mamma. "I'm afraid my Polly is a very obstinate little girl."

Polly. "No, I isn't, mamma; I'm a strong character."


Teacher. "Can any little boy tell me which is the longest day in the year?"

Billy. "Some fellows say the day before Christmas is, and some say the day before the Fourth of July."


"Oh, Chimmie! there's sheeps and chickens and green trees, and the grass is covered wid diamonds, and a beautiful lady carrying a milk-pail wid yeller hair; hold me up just a minit longer, and i'll blow yer in fer a whole pie."



[1] Begun in Harper's Round Table No. 852.

[2] Firsts count 5; seconds, 2; thirds, 1.

End of Project Gutenberg's Harper's Round Table, March 31, 1896, by Various


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