Infomotions, Inc.The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.) / Various

Author: Various
Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.)
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): danny; itinerant tinker; dickey; dat; simon; aunt matilda; tinker; aunt; aunt 'phrony; aunt sarah
Contributor(s): Wilder, Marshall Pinckney, 1859-1915 [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 54,411 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 64 (easy)
Identifier: etext19323
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of
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Title: The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.)

Author: Various

Editor: Marshall P. Wilder

Release Date: September 18, 2006 [EBook #19323]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Suzanne Lybarger
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Transcriber's Note: Unlike the other volumes of _The Wit and Humor of
America_ in Project Gutenberg, Volume V was not prepared from the
"Library Edition," and thus has discontinuous page numbers and will not
match the index in Volume X. In addition, a few pieces in Volume V are
duplicated in Volume VI, but all have been retained as printed in each







_Printed in the United States of America_


  Abou Ben Butler                      _John Paul_                  211
  At Aunty's House                     _James Whitcomb Riley_        70
  Bill's Courtship                     _Frank L. Stanton_            42
  Bully Boat and a Brag Captain, A     _Sol Smith_                  222
  Committee from Kelly's, A            _J.V.Z. Belden_              151
  Co-operative Housekeepers, The       _Elliott Flower_             149
  Drayman, The                         _Daniel O'Connell_            40
  Dutiful Mariner, The                 _Wallace Irwin_              198
  Especially Men                       _George Randolph Chester_    160
  Farewell                             _Bert Leston Taylor_         194
  Funny Little Fellow, The             _James Whitcomb Riley_        28
  Going Up and Coming Down             _Mary F. Tucker_              10
  Have You Seen the Lady?              _John Philip Sousa_           27
  Her "Angel" Father                   _Elliott Flower_             159
  Itinerant Tinker, The                _Charles Raymond Macauley_    74
  It Pays to be Happy                  _Tom Masson_                 214
  Latter-Day Warnings                  _Oliver Wendell Holmes_      212
  Lectures on Astronomy                _John Phoenix_                54
  Letter from a Self-Made Merchant
      to His Son, A                    _George Horace Lorimer_      186
  Marriage of Sir John Smith, The      _Phoebe Cary_                  7
  Melinda's Humorous Story             _May McHenry_                200
  Miss Legion                          _Bert Leston Taylor_          26
  Mosquito, The                        _William Cullen Bryant_      215
  Mr. Dooley on Expert Testimony       _Finley Peter Dunne_          51
  Mr. Hare Tries to Get a Wife         _Anne Virginia Culbertson_   142
  Musical Review Extraordinary         _John Phoenix_                30
  My First Cigar                       _Robert J. Burdette_         220
  My Ruthers                           _James Whitcomb Riley_       197
  Night in a Rocking-Chair, A          _Kate Field_                 124
  Old Grimes                           _Albert Gorton Greene_        24
  Piano in Arkansas, A                 _Thomas Bangs Thorpe_        112
  Quit Yo' Worryin'                    _Anne Virginia Culbertson_   157
  Rollo Learning to Play               _Robert J. Burdette_         132
  Runaway Boy, The                     _James Whitcomb Riley_        38
  Set of China, The                    _Elisa Leslie_                12
  Simon Starts in the World            _J.J. Hooper_                 96
  Spring Beauties, The                 _Helen Avery Cone_             9
  Strike of One, The                   _Elliott Flower_              84
  Suppressed Chapters                  _Carolyn Wells_               22
  Tiddle-Iddle-Iddle-Iddle-Bum! Bum!   _Wilbur D. Nesbit_           218
  Whar Dem Sinful Apples Grow          _Anne Virginia Culbertson_   121
  Willy and the Lady                   _Gelett Burgess_              72
  Woman Who Married an Owl, The        _Anne Virginia Culbertson_    44





    Not a sigh was heard, nor a funeral tone,
      As the man to his bridal we hurried;
    Not a woman discharged her farewell groan,
      On the spot where the fellow was married.

    We married him just about eight at night,
      Our faces paler turning,
    By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
      And the gas-lamp's steady burning.

    No useless watch-chain covered his vest,
      Nor over-dressed we found him;
    But he looked like a gentleman wearing his best,
      With a few of his friends around him.

    Few and short were the things we said,
      And we spoke not a word of sorrow,
    But we silently gazed on the man that was wed,
      And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    We thought, as we silently stood about,
      With spite and anger dying,
    How the merest stranger had cut us out,
      With only half our trying.

    Lightly we'll talk of the fellow that's gone,
      And oft for the past upbraid him;
    But little he'll reck if we let him live on,
      In the house where his wife conveyed him.

    But our hearty task at length was done,
      When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we heard the spiteful squib and pun
      The girls were sullenly firing.

    Slowly and sadly we turned to go,--
      We had struggled, and we were human;
    We shed not a tear, and we spoke not our woe,
      But we left him alone with his woman.



    The Puritan Spring Beauties stood freshly clad for church;
    A thrush, white-breasted, o'er them sat singing on his perch.
    "Happy be! for fair are ye!" the gentle singer told them;
    But presently a buff-coat Bee came booming up to scold them.
          "Vanity, oh, vanity!
          Young maids, beware of vanity!"
          Grumbled out the buff-coat Bee,
          Half parson-like, half soldierly.

    The sweet-faced maidens trembled, with pretty, pinky blushes,
    Convinced that it was wicked to listen to the thrushes;
    And when that shady afternoon, I chanced that way to pass,
    They hung their little bonnets down and looked into the grass.
          All because the buff-coat Bee
          Lectured them so solemnly--
          "Vanity, oh, vanity!
          Young maids, beware of vanity!"



    This is a simple song, 'tis true--
      My songs are never over-nice,--
    And yet I'll try and scatter through
      A little pinch of good advice.
    Then listen, pompous friend, and learn
      To never boast of much renown,
    For fortune's wheel is on the turn,
      And some go up and some come down.

    I know a vast amount of stocks,
      A vast amount of pride insures;
    But Fate has picked so many locks
      I wouldn't like to warrant yours.
    Remember, then, and never spurn
      The one whose hand is hard and brown,
    For he is likely to go up,
      And you are likely to come down.

    Another thing you will agree,
      (The truth may be as well confessed)
    That "Codfish Aristocracy"
      Is but a scaly thing at best.
    And Madame in her robe of lace,
      And Bridget in her faded gown,
    Both represent a goodly race,
      From father Adam handed down.

    Life is uncertain--full of change;
      Little we have that will endure;
    And 't were a doctrine new and strange
      That places high are most secure;
    And if the fickle goddess smile,
      Yielding the scepter and the crown,
    'Tis only for a little while,
      Then B. goes up and A. comes down.

    This world, for all of us, my friend
      Hath something more than pounds and pence;
    Then let me humbly recommend,
      A little use of common sense.
    Thus lay all pride of place aside,
      And have a care on whom you frown;
    For fear you'll see him going up,
      When you are only coming down.



"Mr. Gummage," said Mrs. Atmore, as she entered a certain
drawing-school, at that time the most fashionable in Philadelphia, "I
have brought you a new pupil, my daughter, Miss Marianne Atmore. Have
you a vacancy?"

"Why, I can't say that I have," replied Mr. Gummage; "I never have

"I am very sorry to hear it," said Mrs. Atmore; and Miss Marianne, a
tall, handsome girl of fifteen, looked disappointed.

"But perhaps I could strain a point, and find a place for her," resumed
Mr. Gummage, who knew very well that he never had the smallest idea of
limiting the number of his pupils, and that if twenty more were to
apply, he would take them every one, however full his school might be.

"Do pray, Mr. Gummage," said Mrs. Atmore; "do try and make an exertion
to admit my daughter; I shall regard it as a particular favor."

"Well, I believe she may come," replied Gummage: "I suppose I can take
her. Has she any turn for drawing?"

"I don't know," answered Mrs. Atmore, "she has never tried."

"Well, madam," said Mr. Gummage, "what do you wish your daughter to
learn? figures, flowers, or landscape?"

"Oh! all three," replied Mrs. Atmore. "We have been furnishing our new
house, and I told Mr. Atmore that he need not get any pictures for the
front parlor, as I would much prefer having them all painted by
Marianne. She has been four quarters with Miss Julia, and has worked
Friendship and Innocence, which cost, altogether, upwards of a hundred
dollars. Do you know the piece, Mr. Gummage? There is a tomb with a
weeping willow, and two ladies with long hair, one dressed in pink, the
other in blue, holding a wreath between them over the top of the urn.
The ladies are Friendship. Then on the right hand of the piece is a
cottage, and an oak, and a little girl dressed in yellow, sitting on a
green bank, and putting a wreath round the neck of a lamb. Nothing can
be more natural than the lamb's wool. It is done entirely in French
knots. The child and the lamb are Innocence."

"Ay, ay," said Gummage, "I know the piece well enough--I've drawn them
by dozens."

"Well," continued Mrs. Atmore, "this satin piece hangs over the front
parlor mantel. It is much prettier and better done than the one Miss
Longstitch worked of Charlotte at the tomb of Werter, though she did sew
silver spangles all over Charlotte's lilac gown, and used chenille, at a
fi'-penny-bit a needleful, for all the banks and the large tree. Now, as
the mantel-piece is provided for, I wish a landscape for each of the
recesses, and a figure-piece to hang on each side of the large
looking-glass, with flower-pieces under them, all by Marianne. Can she
do all these in one quarter?"

"No, that she can't," replied Gummage; "it will take her two quarters
hard work, and maybe three, to get through the whole of them."

"Well, I won't stand about a quarter more or less," said Mrs. Atmore;
"but what I wish Marianne to do most particularly, and, indeed, the
chief reason why I send her to drawing-school just now, is a pattern for
a set of china that we are going to have made in Canton. I was told the
other day by a New York lady (who was quite tired of the queer unmeaning
things which are generally put on India ware), that she had sent a
pattern for a tea-set, drawn by her daughter, and that every article
came out with the identical device beautifully done on the china, all in
the proper colors. She said it was talked of all over New York, and that
people who had never been at the house before, came to look at and
admire it. No doubt it was a great feather in her daughter's cap."

"Possibly, madam," said Gummage.

"And now," resumed Mrs. Atmore, "since I heard this, I have thought of
nothing else than having the same thing done in my family; only I shall
send for a dinner set, and a very long one, too. Mr. Atmore tells me
that the _Voltaire_, one of Stephen Girard's ships, sails for Canton
early next month, and he is well acquainted with the captain, who will
attend to the order for the china. I suppose in the course of a
fortnight Marianne will have learned drawing enough to enable her to do
the pattern?"

"Oh! yes, madam--quite enough," replied Gummage, suppressing a laugh.

       *       *       *       *       *

"To cut the matter short," said Mr. Gummage, "the best thing for the
china is a flower-piece--a basket, or a wreath--or something of that
sort. You can have a good cipher in the center, and the colors may be
as bright as you please. India ware is generally painted with one color
only; but the Chinese are submissive animals, and will do just as they
are bid. It may cost something more to have a variety of colors, but I
suppose you will not mind that."

"Oh! no--no," exclaimed Mrs. Atmore, "I shall not care for the price; I
have set my mind on having this china the wonder of all Philadelphia."

Our readers will understand, that at this period nearly all the
porcelain used in America was of Chinese manufacture; very little of
that elegant article having been, as yet, imported from France.

A wreath was selected from the portfolio that contained the engravings
and drawings of flowers. It was decided that Marianne should first
execute it the full size of the model (which was as large as nature),
that she might immediately have a piece to frame; and that she was
afterwards to make a smaller copy of it, as a border for all the
articles of the china set; the middle to be ornamented with the letter
A, in gold, surrounded by the rays of a golden star. Sprigs and tendrils
of the flowers were to branch down from the border, so as nearly to
reach the gilding in the middle. The large wreath that was intended to
frame was to bear in its center the initials of Marianne Atmore, being
the letters M.A. painted in shell gold.

"And so," said Mr. Gummage, "having a piece to frame, and a pattern for
your china, you'll kill two birds with one stone."

On the following Monday, the young lady came to take her first lesson,
followed by a mulatto boy, carrying a little black morocco trunk, that
contained a four-row box of Reeves's colors, with an assortment of
camel's-hair pencils, half a dozen white saucers, a water cup, a
lead-pencil and a piece of India rubber. Mr. Gummage immediately
supplied her with two bristle brushes, and sundry little shallow earthen
cups, each containing a modicum of some sort of body color, massicot,
flake-white, etc., prepared by himself and charged at a quarter of a
dollar apiece, and which he told her she would want when she came to do
landscapes and figures.

Mr. Gummage's style was to put in the sky, water and distances with
opaque paints, and the most prominent objects with transparent colors.
This was probably the reason that his foregrounds seemed always to be
sunk in his backgrounds. The model was scarcely considered as a guide,
for he continually told his pupils that they must try to excel it; and
he helped them to do so by making all his skies deep red fire at the
bottom, and dark blue smoke at the top; and exactly reversing the colors
on the water, by putting red at the top and the blue at the bottom. The
distant mountains were lilac and white, and the near rocks buff color,
shaded with purple. The castles and abbeys were usually gamboge. The
trees were dabbed and dotted in with a large bristle brush, so that the
foliage looked like a green frog. The foam of the cascades resembled a
concourse of wigs, scuffling together and knocking the powder out of
each other, the spray being always fizzed on with one of the aforesaid
bristle brushes. All the dark shadows in every part of the picture were
done with a mixture of Persian blue and bistre, and of these two colors
there was consequently a vast consumption in Mr. Gummage's school. At
the period of our story, many of the best houses in Philadelphia were
decorated with these landscapes. But for the honor of my townspeople I
must say that the taste for such productions is now entirely obsolete.
We may look forward to the time, which we trust is not far distant, when
the elements of drawing will be taught in every school, and considered
as indispensable to education as a knowledge of writing. It has long
been our belief that _any_ child may, with proper instruction, be made
to draw, as easily as any child may be made to write. We are rejoiced to
find that so distinguished an artist as Rembrandt Peale has avowed the
same opinion, in giving to the world his invaluable little work on
Graphics: in which he has clearly demonstrated the affinity between
drawing and writing, and admirably exemplified the leading principles of

Marianne's first attempt at the great wreath was awkward enough. After
she had spent five or six afternoons at the outline, and made it
triangular rather than circular, and found it impossible to get in the
sweet-pea, and the convolvulus, and lost and bewildered herself among
the multitude of leaves that formed the cup of the rose, Mr. Gummage
snatched the pencil from her hand, rubbed out the whole, and then drew
it himself. It must be confessed that his forte lay in flowers, and he
was extremely clever at them, "but," as he expressed it, "his scholars
chiefly ran upon landscapes."

After he had sketched the wreath, he directed Marianne to rub the colors
for her flowers, while he put in Miss Smithson's rocks.

When Marianne had covered all her saucers with colors, and wasted ten
times as much as was necessary, she was eager to commence painting, as
she called it; and in trying to wash the rose with lake, she daubed it
on of crimson thickness. When Mr. Gummage saw it, he gave her a severe
reprimand for meddling with her own piece. It was with great difficulty
that the superabundant color was removed; and he charged her to let the
flowers alone till he was ready to wash them for her. He worked a little
at the piece every day, forbidding Marianne to touch it; and she
remained idle while he was putting in skies, mountains, etc., for the
other young ladies.

At length the wreath was finished--Mr. Gummage having only sketched it,
and washed it, and given it the last touches. It was put into a splendid
frame, and shown as Miss Marianne Atmore's first attempt at painting:
and everybody exclaimed, "What an excellent teacher Mr. Gummage must be!
How fast he brings on his pupils!"

In the meantime, she undertook at home to make the small copy that was
to go to China. But she was now "at a dead lock," and found it utterly
impossible to advance a step without Mr. Gummage. It was then thought
best that she should do it at school--meaning that Mr. Gummage should do
it for her, while she looked out the window.

The whole was at last satisfactorily accomplished, even to the gilt
star, with the A in the center. It was taken home and compared with the
larger wreath, and found still prettier, and shone as Marianne's to the
envy of all mothers whose daughters could not furnish models for china.
It was finally given in charge to the captain of the _Voltaire_, with
injunctions to order a dinner-set exactly according to the pattern, and
to prevent the possibility of a mistake, a written direction accompanied

The ship sailed--and Marianne continued three quarters at Mr. Gummage's
school, where she nominally affected another flower-piece, and also
perpetrated Kemble in Rolla, Edwin and Angelina, the Falls of
Schuylkill, and the Falls of Niagara, all of which were duly framed, and
hung in their appointed places.

During the year that followed the departure of the ship _Voltaire_ great
impatience for her return was manifested by the ladies of the Atmore
family,--anxious to see how the china would look, and frequently hoping
that the colors would be bright enough, and none of the flowers
omitted--that the gilding would be rich, and everything inserted in its
proper place, exactly according to the pattern. Mrs. Atmore's only
regret was, that she had not sent for a tea-set also; not that she was
in want of one, but then it would be so much better to have a dinner-set
and a tea-set precisely alike, and Marianne's beautiful wreath on all.

"Why, my dear," said Mr. Atmore, "how often have I heard you say that
you would never have another _tea_-set from Canton, because the Chinese
persist in making the principal articles of such old-fashioned, awkward
shapes. For my part, I always disliked the tall coffee-pots, with their
straight spouts, looking like light-houses with bowsprits to them; and
the short, clumsy teapots, with their twisted handles, and lids that
always fall off."

"To be sure," said Mrs. Atmore, "I have been looking forward to the
time when we can get a French tea-set upon tolerable terms. But in the
meanwhile I should be very glad to have cups and saucers with Marianne's
beautiful wreath, and of course when we use them on the table we should
always bring forward our silver pots."

Spring returned, and there was much watching of the vanes, and great joy
when they pointed easterly, and the ship-news now became the most
interesting column of the papers. A vessel that had sailed from New York
to Canton on the same day the _Voltaire_ departed from Philadelphia had
already got in; therefore, the _Voltaire_ might be hourly expected. At
length she was reported below; and at this period the river Delaware
suffered much, in comparison with the river Hudson, owing to the
tediousness of its navigation from the capes to the city.

At last the _Voltaire_ cast anchor at the foot of Market Street, and our
ladies could scarcely refrain from walking down to the wharf to see the
ship that held the box that held the china. But invitations were
immediately sent out for a long projected dinner-party, which Mrs.
Atmore had persuaded her husband to defer till they could exhibit the
beautiful new porcelain.

The box was landed, and conveyed to the house. The whole family were
present at the opening, which was performed in the dining-room by Mr.
Atmore himself--all the servants peeping in at the door. As soon as a
part of the lid was split off, and a handful of the straw removed, a
pile of plates appeared, all separately wrapped in India paper. Each of
the family snatched up a plate and hastily tore off the covering. There
were the flowers glowing in beautiful colors, and the gold star and the
gold A, admirably executed. But under the gold star, on every plate,
dish and tureen were the words, "THIS IN THE MIDDLE!"--being the
direction which the literal and exact Chinese had minutely copied from a
crooked line that Mr. Atmore had hastily scrawled on the pattern with a
very bad pen, and of course without the slightest fear of its being
inserted _verbatim_ beneath the central ornament.

Mr. Atmore laughed--Mrs. Atmore cried--the servants giggled aloud--and
Marianne cried first, and laughed afterwards.



    Zenobia, they tell us, was a leader born and bred;
    Of any sort of enterprise she'd fitly take the head.
    The biggest, burliest buccaneers bowed down to her in awe;
    To Warriors, Emperors or Kings, Zenobia's word was law.

    Above her troop of Amazons her helmet plume would toss,
    And every one, with loud accord, proclaimed Zenobia's boss.
    The reason of her power (though the part she didn't look),
    Was simply that Zenobia had once lived out as cook.

    Xantippe was a Grecian Dame--they say she was the wife
    Of Socrates, and history shows she led him a life!
    They say she was a virago, a vixen and a shrew,
    Who scolded poor old Socrates until the air was blue.

    She never stopped from morn till night the clacking of her tongue,
    But this is thus accounted for: You see, when she was young--
    (And 'tis an explanation that explains, as you must own),
    Xantippe was the Central of the Grecian telephone.

[Footnote 1: By permission of Life Publishing Company.]



    Old Grimes is dead, that good old man
      We never shall see more:
    He used to wear a long black coat
      All button'd down before.

    His heart was open as the day,
      His feelings all were true;
    His hair was some inclined to gray--
      He wore it in a queue.

    Whene'er he heard the voice of pain,
      His breast with pity burn'd;
    The large, round head upon his cane
      From ivory was turn'd.

    Kind words he ever had for all;
      He knew no base design:
    His eyes were dark and rather small,
      His nose was aquiline.

    He lived at peace with all mankind,
      In friendship he was true;
    His coat had pocket-holes behind,
      His pantaloons were blue.

    Unharm'd, the sin which earth pollutes
      He pass'd securely o'er,
    And never wore a pair of boots
      For thirty years or more.

    But good old Grimes is now at rest,
      Nor fears misfortune's frown:
    He wore a double-breasted vest--
      The stripes ran up and down.

    He modest merit sought to find,
      And pay it its desert:
    He had no malice in his mind,
      No ruffles on his shirt.

    His neighbors he did not abuse--
      Was sociable and gay:
    He wore large buckles on his shoes,
      And changed them every day.

    His knowledge hid from public gaze,
      He did not bring to view,
    Nor made a noise town-meeting days,
      As many people do.

    His worldly goods he never threw
      In trust to fortune's chances,
    But lived (as all his brothers do)
      In easy circumstances.

    Thus undisturb'd by anxious cares,
      His peaceful moments ran;
    And everybody said he was
      A fine old gentleman.



    She is hotfoot after Cultyure;
      She pursues it with a club.
    She breathes a heavy atmosphere
      Of literary flub.
    No literary shrine so far
      But she is there to kneel;
    Her favorite bunch of reading
      Is O. Meredith's "Lucile."

    Of course she's up on pictures--
      Passes for a connoisseur;
    On free days at the Institute
      You'll always notice her.
    She qualifies approval
      Of a Titian or Corot,
    She throws a fit of rapture
      When she comes to Bouguereau.

    And when you talk of music,
      Why, she's Music's devotee.
    She will tell you that Beethoven
      Always makes her wish to pray,
    And "dear old Bach!" his very name,
      She says, her ear enchants;
    Her favorite piece is Weber's
      "Invitation to the Dance."



    "Have I told you the name of a lady?
    Have I told you the name of a dear?
      'Twas known long ago,
      And ends with an O;
    You don't hear it often round here.

    Have I talked of the eyes of a lady?
    Have I talked of the eyes that are bright?
      Their color, you see,
      Is B-L-U-E;
    They're the gin in the cocktail of light.

    Have I sung of the hair of a lady?
    Have I sung of the hair of a dove?
      What shade do you say?
    It's the fizz in the champagne of love.

    Can you guess it--the name of the lady?
    She is sweet, she is fair, she is coy.
      Your guessing forego,
      It's J-U-N-O;
    She's the mint in the julep of joy."



    'Twas a Funny Little Fellow
      Of the very purest type,
    For he had a heart as mellow
      As an apple over-ripe;
    And the brightest little twinkle
      When a funny thing occurred,
    And the lightest little tinkle
      Of a laugh you ever heard!

    His smile was like the glitter
      Of the sun in tropic lands,
    And his talk a sweeter twitter
      Than the swallow understands;
    Hear him sing--and tell a story--
      Snap a joke--ignite a pun,--
    'Twas a capture--rapture--glory,
      And explosion--all in one!

    Though he hadn't any money--
      That condiment which tends
    To make a fellow "honey"
      For the palate of his friends;
    Sweet simples he compounded--
      Sovereign antidotes for sin
    Or taint,--a faith unbounded
      That his friends were genuine.

    He wasn't honored, may be--
      For his songs of praise were slim,--
    Yet I never knew a baby
      That wouldn't crow for him;
    I never knew a mother
      But urged a kindly claim
    Upon him as a brother,
      At the mention of his name.

    The sick have ceased their sighing,
      And have even found the grace
    Of a smile when they were dying
      As they looked upon his face;
    And I've seen his eyes of laughter
      Melt in tears that only ran
    As though, swift dancing after,
      Came the Funny Little Man.

    He laughed away the sorrow,
      And he laughed away the gloom
    We are all so prone to borrow
      From the darkness of the tomb;
    And he laughed across the ocean
      Of a happy life, and passed,
    With a laugh of glad emotion,
      Into Paradise at last.

    And I think the Angels knew him,
      And had gathered to await
    His coming, and run to him
      Through the widely-opened Gate--
    With their faces gleaming sunny
      For his laughter-loving sake,
    And thinking, "What a funny
      Little Angel he will make!"



SAN DIEGO, July 10th, 1854.

As your valuable work is not supposed to be so entirely identified with
San Franciscan interests as to be careless what takes place in other
portions of this great _kentry_, and as it is received and read in San
Diego with great interest (I have loaned my copy to over four different
literary gentlemen, most of whom have read some of it), I have thought
it not improbable that a few critical notices of the musical
performances and the drama of this place might be acceptable to you, and
interest your readers. I have been, moreover, encouraged to this task by
the perusal of your interesting musical and theatrical critiques on San
Francisco performers and performances; as I feel convinced that if you
devote so much space to them you will not allow any little feeling of
rivalry between the two great cities to prevent your noticing ours,
which, without the slightest feeling of prejudice, I must consider as
infinitely superior. I propose this month to call your attention to the
two great events in our theatrical and musical world--the appearance of
the talented Miss PELICAN, and the production of Tarbox's celebrated
"Ode Symphonie" of "The Plains."

The critiques on the former are from the columns of the Vallecetos
Sentinel, to which they were originally contributed by me, appearing on
the respective dates of June 1st and June 31st.

_From the Vallecetos Sentinel, June 1st_

     MISS PELICAN.--Never during our dramatic experience has a more
     exciting event occurred than the sudden bursting upon our
     theatrical firmament, full, blazing, unparalleled, of the bright,
     resplendent and particular star whose honored name shines refulgent
     at the head of this article. Coming among us unheralded, almost
     unknown, without claptrap, in a wagon drawn by oxen across the
     plains, with no agent to get up a counterfeit enthusiasm in her
     favor, she appeared before us for the first time at the San Diego
     Lyceum last evening, in the trying and difficult character of
     Ingomar, or the Tame Savage. We are at a loss to describe our
     sensations, our admiration, at her magnificent, her super-human
     efforts. We do not hesitate to say that she is by far the superior
     to any living actress; and, as we believe that to be the perfection
     of acting, we cannot be wrong in the belief that no one hereafter
     will ever be found to approach her. Her conception of the character
     of Ingomar was perfection itself; her playful and ingenuous manner,
     her light girlish laughter, in the scene with Sir Peter, showed an
     appreciation of the savage character which nothing but the most
     arduous study, the most elaborate training could produce; while her
     awful change to the stern, unyielding, uncompromising father in the
     tragic scene of Duncan's murder, was indeed nature itself. Miss
     Pelican is about seventeen years of age, of miraculous beauty, and
     most thrilling voice. It is needless to say she dresses admirably,
     as in fact we have said all we can say when we called her, most
     truthfully, perfection. Mr. John Boots took the part of Parthenia
     very creditably, etc., etc.

_From the Vallecetos Sentinel, June 31st_

     MISS PELICAN.--As this lady is about to leave us to commence an
     engagement on the San Francisco stage, we should regret exceedingly
     if anything we have said about her should send with her a
     _prestige_ which might be found undeserved on trial. The fact is,
     Miss Pelican is a very ordinary actress; indeed, one of the most
     indifferent ones we have ever happened to see. She came here from
     the Museum at Fort Laramie, and we praised her so injudiciously
     that she became completely spoiled. She has performed a round of
     characters during the last week, very miserably, though we are
     bound to confess that her performance of King Lear last evening was
     superior to anything of the kind we ever saw. Miss Pelican is about
     forty-three years of age, singularly plain in her personal
     appearance, awkward and embarrassed, with a cracked and squeaking
     voice, and really dresses quite outrageously. _She has much to
     learn--poor thing!_

I take it the above notices are rather ingenious. The fact is, I'm no
judge of acting, and don't know how Miss Pelican will turn out. If well,
why there's my notice of June the 1st; if ill, then June 31st comes in
play, and, as there is but one copy of the Sentinel printed, it's an
easy matter to destroy the incorrect one; _both can't be wrong_; so I've
made a sure thing of it in any event. Here follows my musical critique,
which I flatter myself is of rather superior order:

was produced at the San Diego Odeon on the 31st of June, ult., for the
first time in this or any other country, by a very full orchestra (the
performance taking place immediately after supper), and a chorus
composed of the entire "Sauer Kraut-Verein," the "Wee Gates
Association," and choice selections from the "Gyascutus" and
"Pike-harmonic" societies. The solos were rendered by Herr Tuden Links,
the recitations by Herr Von Hyden Schnapps, both performers being
assisted by Messrs. John Smith and Joseph Brown, who held their coats,
fanned them, and furnished water during the more overpowering passages.

"The Plains" we consider the greatest musical achievement that has been
presented to an enraptured public. Like Waterloo among battles; Napoleon
among warriors; Niagara among falls, and Peck among senators, this
magnificent composition stands among Oratorios, Operas, Musical
Melodramas and performances of Ethiopian Serenaders, peerless and
unrivaled. _Il frappe toute chose parfaitement froid._

"It does not depend for its success" upon its plot, its theme, its
school or its master, for it has very little if any of them, but upon
its soul-subduing, all-absorbing, high-faluting effect upon the
audience, every member of which it causes to experience the most
singular and exquisite sensations. Its strains at times remind us of
those of the old master of the steamer McKim, who never went to sea
without being unpleasantly affected;--a straining after effect he used
to term it. Blair in his lecture on beauty, and Mills in his treatise on
logic, (p. 31,) have alluded to the feeling which might be produced in
the human mind by something of this transcendentally sublime
description, but it has remained for M. Tarbox, in the production of
"The Plains," to call this feeling forth.

The symphonie opens upon the wide and boundless plains in longitude 115
degrees W., latitude 35 degrees 21 minutes 03 seconds N., and about
sixty miles from the west bank of Pitt River. These data are beautifully
and clearly expressed by a long (topographically) drawn note from an E
flat clarionet. The sandy nature of the soil, sparsely dotted with
bunches of cactus and artemisia, the extended view, flat and unbroken to
the horizon, save by the rising smoke in the extreme verge, denoting the
vicinity of a Pi Utah village, are represented by the bass drum. A few
notes on the piccolo call attention to a solitary antelope picking up
mescal beans in the foreground. The sun, having an altitude of 36
degrees 27 minutes, blazes down upon the scene in indescribable majesty.
"Gradually the sounds roll forth in a song" of rejoicing to the God of

    "Of thy intensity
    And great immensity
      Now then we sing;
    Beholding in gratitude
    Thee in this latitude,
      Curious thing."

Which swells out into "Hey Jim along, Jim along Josey," then
_decrescendo_, _mas o menos_, _poco pocita_, dies away and dries up.

Suddenly we hear approaching a train from Pike County, consisting of
seven families, with forty-six wagons, each drawn by thirteen oxen; each
family consists of a man in butternut-colored clothing driving the oxen;
a wife in butternut-colored clothing riding in the wagon, holding a
butternut baby, and seventeen butternut children running promiscuously
about the establishment; all are barefooted, dusty, and smell
unpleasantly. (All these circumstances are expressed by pretty rapid
fiddling for some minutes, winding up with a puff from the orpheclide
played by an intoxicated Teuton with an atrocious breath--it is
impossible to misunderstand the description.) Now rises o'er the plains,
in mellifluous accents, the grand Pike County Chorus:

    "Oh we'll soon be thar
    In the land of gold,
    Through the forest old,
    O'er the mounting cold,
    With spirits bold--
    Oh, we come, we come,
    And we'll soon be thar.
      Gee up Bolly! whoo, up, whoo haw!"

The train now encamp. The unpacking of the kettles and mess-pans, the
unyoking of the oxen, the gathering about the various camp-fires, the
frizzling of the pork, are so clearly expressed by the music that the
most untutored savage could readily comprehend it. Indeed, so vivid and
lifelike was the representation, that a lady sitting near us
involuntarily exclaimed aloud, at a certain passage, "_Thar, that pork's
burning!_" and it was truly interesting to watch the gratified
expression of her face when, by a few notes of the guitar, the pan was
removed from the fire, and the blazing pork extinguished.

This is followed by the beautiful _aria_:

    "O! marm, I want a pancake!"

Followed by that touching _recitative_:

    "Shet up, or I will spank you!"

To which succeeds a grand _crescendo_ movement, representing the flight
of the child with the pancake, the pursuit of the mother, and the final
arrest and summary punishment of the former, represented by the rapid
and successive strokes of the castanet.

The turning in for the night follows; and the deep and stertorous
breathing of the encampment is well given by the bassoon, while the
sufferings and trials of an unhappy father with an unpleasant infant are
touchingly set forth by the _cornet a piston_.

Part Second.--The night attack of the Pi Utahs; the fearful cries of the
demoniac Indians; the shrieks of the females and children; the rapid and
effective fire of the rifles; the stampede of the oxen; their recovery
and the final repulse, the Pi Utahs being routed after a loss of
thirty-six killed and wounded, while the Pikes lose but one scalp (from
an old fellow who wore a wig, and lost it in the scuffle), are
faithfully given, and excite the most intense interest in the minds of
the hearers; the emotions of fear, admiration and delight: succeeding
each other, in their minds, with almost painful rapidity. Then follows
the grand chorus:

    "Oh! we gin them fits,
    The Ingen Utahs.
    With our six-shooters--
    We gin 'em pertickuler fits."

After which we have the charming recitative of Herr Tuden Links, to the
infant, which is really one of the most charming gems in the

    "Now, dern your skin, _can't_ you be easy?"

Morning succeeds. The sun rises magnificently (octavo flute)--breakfast
is eaten,--in a rapid movement on three sharps; the oxen are caught and
yoked up--with a small drum and triangle; the watches, purses and other
valuables of the conquered Pi Utahs are stored away in a camp-kettle, to
a small movement on the piccolo, and the train moves on, with the grand

    "We'll soon be thar,
    Gee up Bolly! Whoo hup! whoo haw!"

The whole concludes with the grand hymn and chorus:

    "When we die we'll go to Benton,
                    Whup! Whoo, haw!
    The greatest man that e'er land saw,
    Who this little airth was sent on
                    Whup! Whoo, haw!
    To tell a 'hawk from a handsaw!'

The immense expense attending the production of this magnificent work,
the length of time required to prepare the chorus, and the incredible
number of instruments destroyed at each rehearsal, have hitherto
prevented M. Tarbox from placing it before the American public, and it
has remained for San Diego to show herself superior to her sister cities
of the Union, in musical taste and appreciation, and in high-souled
liberality, by patronizing this immortal prodigy, and enabling its
author to bring it forth in accordance with his wishes and its
capabilities. We trust every citizen of San Diego and Vallecetos will
listen to it ere it is withdrawn; and if there yet lingers in San
Francisco one spark of musical fervor, or a remnant of taste for pure
harmony, we can only say that the Southerner sails from that place once
a fortnight, and that the passage money is but forty-five dollars.



    Wunst I sassed my Pa, an' he
    Won't stand that, an' punished me,--
    Nen when he was gone that day,
    I slipped out an' runned away.

    I tooked all my copper-cents,
    An' clumbed over our back fence
    In the jimpson-weeds 'at growed
    Ever'where all down the road.

    Nen I got out there, an' nen
    I runned some--an' runned again
    When I met a man 'at led
    A big cow 'at shooked her head.

    I went down a long, long lane
    Where was little pigs a-play'n';
    An' a grea'-big pig went "Booh!"
    An' jumped up, an' skeered me too.

    Nen I scampered past, an' they
    Was somebody hollered "Hey!"
    An' I ist looked ever'where,
    An' they was nobody there.

    I _want_ to, but I'm 'fraid to try
    To go back.... An' by-an'-by
    Somepin' hurts my throat inside--
    An' I want my Ma--an' cried.

    Nen a grea'-big girl come through
    Where's a gate, an' telled me who
    Am I? an' ef I tell where
    My home's at she'll show me there.

    But I couldn't ist but tell
    What's my _name_; an' she says well,
    An' she tooked me up an' says
    _She_ know where I live, she guess.

    Nen she telled me hug wite close
    Round her neck!--an' off she goes
    Skippin' up the street! An' nen
    Purty soon I'm home again.

    An' my Ma, when she kissed me,
    Kissed the _big girl_ too, an' _she_
    Kissed me--ef I p'omise _shore_
    I won't run away no more!



    The captain that walks the quarter-deck
      Is the monarch of the sea;
    But every day, when I'm on my dray,
      I'm as big a monarch as he.
    For the car must slack when I'm on the track,
      And the gripman's face gets blue,
    As he holds her back till his muscles crack,
      And he shouts, "Hey, hey! Say, you!
    Get out of the way with that dray!" "I won't!"
      "Get out of the way, I say!"
    But I stiffen my back, and I stay on the track,
      And I won't get out of the way.

    When a gaudy carriage bowls along,
      With a coachman perched on high,
    Solemn and fat, a cockade in his hat,
      Just like a big blue fly,
    I swing my leaders across the road,
      And put a stop to his jaunt,
    And the ladies cry, "John, John, drive on!"
      And I laugh when he says "I caun't."

    Oh, life to me is a big picnic,
      From the rise to the set of sun!
    The swells that ride in their fancy drags
      Don't begin to have my fun.
    I'm king of the road, though I wear no crown,
      As I leisurely move along,
    For I own the streets, and I hold them down,
      And I love to hear this song:
    "Get out of the way with your dray!" "I won't!"
      "Get out of the way, I say!"
    But I stiffen my back, and I stay on the track,
      And I don't get out of the way.




    Bill looked happy as could be
    One bright mornin'; an' says he:
    "Folks has been a-tellin' me
    Mollie's set her cap my way;
    An' I'm goin' thar' to-day
    With the license; so, ol' boy,
    Might's well shake, an' wish me joy!
    Never seen a woman yit
    This here feller couldn't git!"


    Now, it happened, that same day,
    I'd been lookin' Mollie's way;--
    Jest had saddled my ol' hoss
    To go canterin' across
    Parson Jones's pastur', an'
    Ax her fer her heart an' han'!
    So, when Bill had had his say
    An' done set his weddin' day,
    I lit out an' rid that way.


    Mollie met me at the door:--
    "Glad to see yer face once more!"
    She--says she: "Come in--come in!"
    ("It's the best man now will win,"
    Thinks I to myself.) Then she
    Brung a rocker out fer me
    On the cool piazza wide,
    With her own chair right 'longside!


    In about two hours I knowed
    In that race I had the road!
    Talked in sich a winnin' way
    Got her whar' she named the day,
    With her shiny head at rest
    On my speckled Sunday vest!
    An', whilst in that happy state,
    Bill--he rid up to the gate.


    Well, sir-ee!... He sot him down--
    Cheapest lookin' chap in town!
    (Knowed at once I'd set my traps!)
    Talked 'bout weather, an' the craps,
    An' a thousan' things; an' then--
    Jest the lonesomest o' men--
    Said he had so fur to ride,
    Reckoned it wuz time to slide!


    But I hollered out: "Ol' boy,
    Might's well shake, an' wish me joy!
    I hain't seen the woman yit
    That this feller couldn't git!"



When the children got home from the nutting expedition and had eaten
supper, they sat around discontentedly, wishing every few minutes that
their mother had returned.

"I wish mamma would come back," said Ned. "I never know what to do in
the evening when she isn't home."

"I 'low 'bout de bes' you-all kin do is ter lemme putt you ter baid,"
said Aunt 'Phrony.

"Don't want to go to bed," "I'm not sleepy," "Want to stay up," came in
chorus from three pairs of lips.

"You chillen is wusser dan night owls," said the old woman. "Ef you
keeps on wid dis settin'-up-all-night bizness, I boun' some er you gwine
turn inter one'r dese yer big, fussy owls wid yaller eyes styarin', jes'
de way li'l Mars Kit doin' dis ve'y minnit, tryin' ter keep hisse'f
awake. An' dat 'mines me uv a owl whar turnt hisse'f inter a man, an' ef
a owl kin do dat, w'ats ter hinner one'r you-all turnin' inter a owl, I
lak ter know? So you bes' come 'long up ter baid, an' ef you is right
spry gettin' raidy, mebbe I'll whu'l in an' tell you 'bout dat owl."

The little procession moved upstairs, Coonie, the house-boy, bringing up
the rear with an armful of sticks and some fat splinters of lightwood,
which were soon blazing with an oily sputter. Coonie scented a story,
and his bullet pate was bent over the fire an unnecessarily long time,
as he blew valiant puffs upon the flames which no longer needed his
assistance, and arranged and rearranged his skilfully piled sticks.

"Quit dat foolishness, nigger," said 'Phrony at last, "an' set down on
de ha'th an' 'have yo'se'f. Ef you wanter stay, whyn't you sesso,
stidder blowin' yo'se'f black in de face? Now, den, ef y'all raidy, I
gwine begin.

"Dish yer w'at I gwine tell happen at de time er de 'ear w'en de Injuns
wuz havin' der green-cawn darnse, an' I reckon you-all 'bout ter ax me
w'at dat is, so I s'pose I mought ez well tell you. 'Long in Augus' w'en
de Injuns stopped wu'kkin' de cawn, w'at we call 'layin' by de crap,'
den dey cu'd mos' times tell ef 'twuz gwineter be a good crap, so dey
'mence ter git raidy fer de darnse nigh a month befo'han'. Dey went ter
de medincin' man an' axed him fer ter 'pint de day. Den medincin' man he
sont out runners ter tell ev'b'dy, an' de runners dey kyar'd
'memb'ance-strings wid knots tied all 'long 'em, an' give 'em ter de
people fer ter he'p 'em 'member. De folks dey'd cut off a knot f'um de
string each day, an' w'en de las' one done cut off, den dey know de day
fer de darnse wuz come. An' de medincin' man he sont out hunters, too,
fer ter git game, an' mo' runners fer ter kyar' hit ter de people so's't
dey mought cook hit an' bring hit in.

"W'en de time come, de people ga'rred toge'rr an' de medincin' man he
tucken some er de new cawn an' some uv all de craps an' burnt hit, befo'
de people wuz 'lowed ter eat any. Atter de burnin', den he tucken a year
er cawn in one han' an' ax fer blessin's an' good craps wid dat han',
w'ile he raise up tu'rr han' ter de storm an' de win' an' de hail an'
baig 'em not ter bring evil 'pun de people. Atter dat, dey all made der
bre'kfus' offen roas'in'-years er de new cawn an' den de darnse begun
an' lasted fo' days an' fo' nights; de men dress' up in der bes' an' de
gals wearin' gre't rattles tied on der knees, dat shuk an' rattled wid
ev'y step.

"De gal whar I gwine tell 'bout wuz on her way home on de fo'th night,
an' she wuz pow'ful tired, 'kase dem rattles is monst'ous haivy, an' she
bin keepin' hit up fo' nights han' runnin'. She wuz gwine thu a dark
place in de woods w'en suddintly she seed a young man all wrop up in a
sof' gray blankit an' leanin' 'gins' a tree. His eyes wuz big an' roun'
an' bright, an' dey seemed ter bu'n lak fire. Dem eyes drord de gal an'
drord de gal 'twel she warn't 'feared no mo', an' she come nearer, an'
las' he putt out his arms wrop up in de gray blanket an' drord her clost
'twel she lean erg'in him, an' she look up in de big, bright eyes an'
she say, 'Whar is you, whar is you?' An' he say, 'Oo-goo-coo,
Oo-goo-coo.' Dat wuz de Churry_kee_ name fer 'owl,' but de gal ain' pay
no 'tention ter dat, for mos' er de Injun men wuz name' atter bu'ds an'
beas'eses an' sech ez dat. Atter dat she useter go out ter de woods ev'y
night ter see de young man, an' she alluz sing out ter him, 'Whar is
you, whar is you?' an' he'd arnser, 'Oo-goo-coo, Oo-goo-coo.' Dat wuz de
on'ies wu'd he uver say, but de gal thought 'twuz all right, fer she
done mek up her min' dat he 'longed ter nu'rr tribe er Injuns whar spoke
diff'nt f'um her own people. Sidesen dat, she love' him, an' w'en gals
is in love dey think ev'ything de man do is jes' 'bout right, an' dese
yer co'tin'-couples is no gre't fer talkin,' nohow.

"De gal's daddy wuz daid an' her an' her mammy live all 'lone, so las'
she mek up her min' dat it be heap mo' handy ter have a man roun' de
house, so she up an' tell her mammy dat she done got ma'ied. Her mammy
say, 'You is, is you? Well, who de man?' De gal say 'Oo-goo-coo.' 'Well,
den,' sez her mammy, 'I reckon you bes' bring home dish yer Oo-goo-coo
an' see ef we kain't mek him useful. A li'l good game, now an' den, 'ud
suit my mouf right well. We ain' have nair' pusson ter do no huntin' fer
us sence yo' daddy died.'

"'Mammy,' sez de gal, 'I'se 'bleeged ter tell you dat my husban' kain't
speak ow' langwidge.'

"'All de better,' sez her mammy, sez she. 'Dar ain' gwine be no trouble
'bout dat, 'kase I kin do talkin' 'nuff fer two, an' I ain' want one
dese yer back-talkin' son-in-laws, nohow.'

"So de nex' night de gal went off an' comed back late wid de young man.
Her mammy ax him in an' gin him a seat by de fire, an' dar he sot all
wrop up in his blinkit, wid his haid turnt 'way f'um de light, not
sayin' nuttin' ter nob'dy. An' de fire died down an' de wind blewed
mo'nful outside, an' dar he sot on an' on, an' w'en de wimmins went ter
sleep, dar he wuz settin', still. But in de mawnin' w'en dey woked up he
wuz gone, an' dey ain' see hya'r ner hide uv 'im all day.

"De nex' night he come erg'in and bringed a lot er game wid 'im, an' he
putt dat down at de do' an' set hisse'f down by de fire an' stay dar,
same ez befo', not sayin' nair' wu'd. Dat kind er aggervex de gal's
mammy at las', 'kase she wuz one'r dese yer wimmins whar no sooner gits
w'at dey ax fer dan dey ain' kyare 'bout hit no mo.' She want son-in-law
whar kain't talk, she git him, an' den she want one whar kin arnser
back. She gittin' kind er jubous 'bout him, but she 'feared ter say
anything fer fear he quit an' she git no mo' game.

"Thu'd night he come onct mo' wid a passel er game, an' she mighty
cur'ous 'bout him by dat time. She say ter husse'f, 'Well! ef I ain' got
de curisomest son-in-law in dese diggin's, den I miss de queschin. I
wunner w'at mek him set wid his face turnt f'um de fire an' blinkin' his
eyes all de time? I wunner w'y he ain' nuver onloose dat blankit, an'
w'y he g'longs off 'fo' de daylight an' nuver comes back 'twel de dark.'

"'Oh, mammy,' sez de gal, sez she, 'ain' I tol' you he kain't speak ow'
langwidge, an' I 'spec' he done come f'um dat wo'm kyountry whar we year
tell 'bout, 'way off yonner, an' dat huccome he hatter keep his blankit
roun' him. I reckon he git so tired huntin' all day, no wunner he hatter
blink his eyes ter keep 'em open.'

"But her mammy wan't sassified, 'kase hit mighty hard ter haid off one'r
dese yer pryin' wimmins, so she go outside an' ga'rr up some lightwood
splinters an' th'ow 'em on de fire, dis-away, all uv a suddint." Here
the old woman rose and threw on a handful of lightwood, which blazed up
with a great sputtering, and in the strong light she stood before the
fire enacting the part of the scared Owl for the delighted yet
half-startled children.

"An' w'en she th'owed hit on," Aunt 'Phrony proceeded, "de fire blaze
an' spit an' sputter jes' lak dis do, an' de ooman she fotched a yell
an' cried out, she did, 'Lan' er de mussiful! W'at cur'ous sort er wood
is dish yer dat ac' lak dis?' De Owl he wuz startle' an' he look roun'
suddint, dis-a-way, over his shoulder, an' de wimmins dey let out a
turr'ble screech, 'kase dey seed 'twa'n't nuttin' but a big owl settin'
dar blinkin'.

"Owl seed he wuz foun' out, an' he riz up an' give his gre't, wide wings
a big flop, lak dis, an' swoop out de do' cryin' 'Oo-goo-coo!
Oo-goo-coo!' ez he flewed off inter de darkness." Here Aunt 'Phrony
spread her arms like wings and made a swoop half-way across the room to
the bedside of the startled children. "An'," she continued, "de wind
howl mo'nful all night long, an' seem ter de gal an' her mammy lak 'twuz
de voice of po' Oo-goo-coo mo'nin' fer de gal he love."

"And didn't he ever come back?" said Ned.

"Naw, suh, dat he didn'. He wuz too 'shame' ter come back, an' he bin so
'shame' er de trick uver sence dat he hide hisse'f way in de daytime an'
nuver come out 'twel de dusk, an' den he go sweepin' an' swoopin' 'long
on dem gre't big sof' wings, so quiet dat he ain' mek de ghos' uv a
soun', jes' looks lak a big shadder flittin' roun' in de dusk. He teck
dat time, too, 'kase he know dat 'bout den de li'l fiel' mouses an' sech
ez dat comes out an' 'mences ter run roun', an' woe be unter 'em ef dey
meets up wid Mistah Owl; deys a-goner, sho'."

"But how could they think an owl was a man?" asked Janey.

"Well, honey, de tale ain' tell dat, but I done study hit out dis-a-way,
dat mo'n likely de gal bin turnin' up her nose at some young Injun man,
an' outer spite he done gone an' got some witch ter putt a spell on her
so's't de Owl 'ud look lak a man an' she 'ud go an' th'ow husse'f away
on a ol' no-kyount bu'd. Yas, I reckon dat wuz 'bout de way. An' now
y'all better shet up dem peepers er you'll be gittin' lak de owls, no
good in de day time, an' wantin' ter be up an' prowlin' all night."



"Annything new?" said Mr. Hennessy, who had been waiting patiently for
Mr. Dooley to put down his newspaper.

"I've been r-readin' th' tistimony iv th' Lootgert case," said Mr.

"What d'ye think iv it?"

"I think so," said Mr. Dooley.

"Think what?"

"How do I know?" said Mr. Dooley. "How do I know what I think? I'm no
combi-nation iv chemist, doctor, osteologist, polisman, an'
sausage-maker, that I can give ye an opinion right off th' bat. A man
needs to be all iv thim things to detarmine annything about a murdher
trile in these days. This shows how intilligent our methods is, as Hogan
says. A large German man is charged with puttin' his wife away into a
breakfas'-dish, an' he says he didn't do it. Th' on'y question, thin, is
Did or did not Alphonse Lootgert stick Mrs. L. into a vat, an' rayjooce
her to a quick lunch? Am I right?"

"Ye ar-re," said Mr. Hennessy.

"That's simple enough. What th' coort ought to've done was to call him
up, an' say: 'Lootgert, where's ye'er good woman?' If Lootgert cudden't
tell, he ought to be hanged on gin'ral principles; f'r a man must keep
his wife around th' house, an' whin she isn't there, it shows he's a
poor provider. But, if Lootgert says, 'I don't know where me wife is,'
the coort shud say: 'Go out, an' find her. If ye can't projooce her in a
week, I'll fix ye.' An' let that be th' end iv it.

"But what do they do? They get Lootgert into coort an' stand him up
befure a gang iv young rayporthers an' th' likes iv thim to make
pitchers iv him. Thin they summon a jury composed iv poor, tired, sleepy
expressmen an' tailors an' clerks. Thin they call in a profissor from a
colledge. 'Profissor,' says th' lawyer f'r the State, 'I put it to ye if
a wooden vat three hundherd an' sixty feet long, twenty-eight feet deep,
an' sivinty-five feet wide, an' if three hundherd pounds iv caustic soda
boiled, an' if the leg iv a ginea pig, an' ye said yesterdah about
bicarbonate iv soda, an' if it washes up an' washes over, an' th' slimy,
slippery stuff, an' if a false tooth or a lock iv hair or a jawbone or a
goluf ball across th' cellar eleven feet nine inches--that is, two
inches this way an' five gallons that?' 'I agree with ye intirely,' says
th' profissor, 'I made lab'ratory experiments in an' ir'n basin, with
bichloride iv gool, which I will call soup-stock, an' coal tar, which I
will call ir'n filings. I mixed th' two over a hot fire, an' left in a
cool place to harden. I thin packed it in ice, which I will call glue,
an' rock-salt, which I will call fried eggs, an' obtained a dark, queer
solution that is a cure f'r freckles, which I will call antimony or
doughnuts or annything I blamed please.'

"'But,' says th' lawyer f'r th' State, 'measurin' th' vat with gas,--an'
I lave it to ye whether this is not th' on'y fair test,--an' supposin'
that two feet acrost is akel to tin feet sideways, an' supposin' that a
thick green an' hard substance, an' I daresay it wud; an' supposin' you
may, takin' into account th' measuremints,--twelve be eight,--th' vat
bein' wound with twine six inches fr'm th' handle an' a rub iv th'
green, thin ar-re not human teeth often found in counthry sausage?' 'In
th' winter,' says th' profissor. 'But th' sisymoid bone is sometimes
seen in th' fut, sometimes worn as a watch-charm. I took two sisymoid
bones, which I will call poker dice, an' shook thim together in a
cylinder, which I will call Fido, poored in a can iv milk, which I will
call gum arabic, took two pounds iv rough-on-rats, which I rayfuse to
call; but th' raysult is th' same.' Question be th' coort: 'Different?'
Answer: 'Yis.' Th' coort: 'Th' same.' Be Misther McEwen: 'Whose bones?'
Answer: 'Yis.' Be Misther Vincent: 'Will ye go to th' divvle?' Answer:
'It dissolves th' hair.'

"Now what I want to know is where th' jury gets off. What has that
collection iv pure-minded pathrites to larn fr'm this here polite
discussion, where no wan is so crool as to ask what anny wan else means?
Thank th' Lord, whin th' case is all over, the jury'll pitch th'
tistimony out iv th' window, an' consider three questions: 'Did Lootgert
look as though he'd kill his wife? Did his wife look as though she ought
to be kilt? Isn't it time we wint to supper?' An', howiver they answer,
they'll be right, an' it'll make little diff'rence wan way or th' other.
Th' German vote is too large an' ignorant, annyhow."




The following pages were originally prepared in the form of a course of
Lectures to be delivered before the Lowell Institute, of Boston, Mass.,
but, owing to the unexpected circumstance of the author's receiving no
invitation to lecture before that institution, they were laid aside
shortly after their completion.

Receiving an invitation from the trustees of the Vallecetos Literary and
Scientific Institute, during the present summer, to deliver a course of
Lectures on any popular subject, the author withdrew his manuscript from
the dusty shelf on which it had long lain neglected, and, having
somewhat revised and enlarged it, to suit the capacity of the eminent
scholars before whom it was to be displayed, repaired to Vallecetos.
But, on arriving at that place, he learned with deep regret, that the
only inhabitant had left a few days previous, having availed himself of
the opportunity presented by a passing emigrant's horse,--and that, in
consequence, the opening of the Institute was indefinitely postponed.
Under these circumstances, and yielding with reluctance to the earnest
solicitations of many eminent scientific friends, he has been induced to
place the Lectures before the public in their present form. Should they
meet with that success which his sanguine friends prognosticate, the
author may be induced subsequently to publish them in the form of a
text-book, for the use of the higher schools and universities; it being
his greatest ambition to render himself useful in his day and generation
by widely disseminating the information he has acquired among those who,
less fortunate, are yet willing to receive instruction.

SAN DIEGO OBSERVATORY, September 1, 1854.

       *       *       *       *       *



The term Astronomy is derived from two Latin words,--_Astra_, a star,
and _onomy_, a science; and literally means the science of the stars.
"It is a science," to quote our friend Dick (who was no relation at all
of Big Dick, though the latter occasionally caused individuals to see
stars), "which has, in all ages, engaged the attention of the poet, the
philosopher, and the divine, and been the subject of their study and

By the wondrous discoveries of the improved telescopes of modern times,
we ascertain that upward of several hundred millions of stars exist,
that are invisible to the naked eye--the nearest of which is millions of
millions of miles from the Earth; and as we have every reason to suppose
that every one of this inconceivable number of worlds is peopled like
our own, a consideration of this fact--and that we are undoubtedly as
superior to these beings as we are to the rest of mankind--is calculated
to fill the mind of the American with a due sense of his own importance
in the scale of animated creation.

It is supposed that each of the stars we see in the Heavens in a
cloudless night is a sun shining upon its own curvilinear, with light of
its own manufacture; and as it would be absurd to suppose its light and
heat were made to be diffused for nothing, it is presumed farther, that
each sun, like an old hen, is provided with a parcel of little chickens,
in the way of planets, which, shining but feebly by its reflected light,
are to us invisible. To this opinion we are led, also, by reasoning from
analogy, on considering our own Solar System.

THE SOLAR SYSTEM is so called, not because we believe it to be the sole
system of the kind in existence, but from its principal body, the Sun,
the Latin name of which is _Sol_. (Thus we read of Sol Smith, literally
meaning the _son_ of Old Smith.) On a close examination of the Heavens
we perceive numerous brilliant stars which shine with a steady light
(differing from those which surround them, which are always twinkling
like a dewdrop on a cucumber-vine), and which, moreover, do not preserve
constantly the same relative distance from the stars near which they are
first discovered. These are the planets of the SOLAR SYSTEM, which have
no light of their own--of which the Earth, on which we reside, is
one--which shine by light reflected from the Sun--and which regularly
move around that body at different intervals of time and through
different ranges in space. Up to the time of a gentleman named
Copernicus, who flourished about the middle of the Fifteenth Century, it
was supposed by our stupid ancestors that the Earth was the center of
all creation, being a large, flat body resting on a rock which rested on
another rock, and so on "all the way down"; and that the Sun, planets
and immovable stars all revolved about it once in twenty-four hours.

This reminds us of the simplicity of a child we once saw in a
railroad-car, who fancied itself perfectly stationary, and thought the
fences, houses and fields were tearing past it at the rate of thirty
miles an hour;--and poking out its head, to see where on earth they went
to, had its hat--a very nice one with pink ribbons--knocked off and
irrecoverably lost. But Copernicus (who was a son of Daniel Pernicus, of
the firm of Pernicus & Co., wool-dealers, and who was named Co.
Pernicus, out of respect to his father's partners) soon set this matter
to rights, and started the idea of the present Solar System, which,
greatly improved since his day, is occasionally called the Copernican
system. By this system we learn that the Sun is stationed at one _focus_
(not hocus, as it is rendered, without authority by the philosopher
Partington) of an ellipse, where it slowly grinds on for ever about its
own axis, while the planets, turning about their axes, revolve in
elliptical orbits of various dimensions and different planes of
inclination around it.

The demonstration of this system in all its perfection was left to Isaac
Newton, an English Philosopher, who, seeing an apple tumble down from a
tree, was led to think thereon with such gravity, that he finally
discovered the attraction of gravitation, which proved to be the great
law of Nature that keeps everything in its place. Thus we see that as
an apple originally brought sin and ignorance into the world, the same
fruit proved thereafter the cause of vast knowledge and
enlightenment;--and indeed we may doubt whether any other fruit but an
apple, and a sour one at that, would have produced these great
results;--for, had the fallen fruit been a pear, an orange, or a peach,
there is little doubt that Newton would have eaten it up and thought no
more on the subject.

As in this world you will hardly ever find a man so small but that he
has someone else smaller than he, to look up to and revolve around him,
so in the Solar System we find that the majority of the planets have one
or more smaller planets revolving about them. These small bodies are
termed secondaries, moons or satellites--the planets themselves being
called primaries.

We know at present of eighteen primaries, viz.: Mercury, Venus, the
Earth, Mars, Flora, Vesta, Iris, Metis, Hebe, Astrea, Juno, Ceres,
Pallas, Hygeia, Jupiter, Saturn, Herschel, Neptune, and another, yet
unnamed. There are distributed among these, nineteen secondaries, all of
which, except our Moon, are invisible to the naked eye.

We shall now proceed to consider, separately, the different bodies
composing the Solar System, and to make known what little information,
comparatively speaking, science has collected regarding them. And, first
in order, as in place, we come to


This glorious orb may be seen almost any clear day, by looking intently
in its direction, through a piece of smoked glass. Through this medium
it appears about the size of a large orange, and of much the same color.
It is, however, somewhat larger, being in fact 887,000 miles in
diameter, and containing a volume of matter equal to fourteen hundred
thousand globes of the size of the Earth, which is certainly a matter of
no small importance. Through the telescope it appears like an enormous
globe of fire, with many spots upon its surface, which, unlike those of
the leopard, are continually changing. These spots were first discovered
by a gentleman named Galileo, in the year 1611. Though the Sun is
usually termed and considered the luminary of day, it may not be
uninteresting to our readers to know that it certainly has been seen in
the night. A scientific friend of ours from New England (Mr. R.W.
Emerson) while traveling through the northern part of Norway, with a
cargo of tinware, on the 21st of June, 1836, distinctly saw the Sun in
all its majesty, shining at midnight!--in fact, shining _all_ night!
Emerson is not what you would call a superstitious man, by any
means--but, he left! Since that time many persons have observed its
nocturnal appearance in that part of the country, at the same time of
the year. This phenomenon has never been witnessed in the latitude of
San Diego, however, and it is very improbable that it ever will be.
Sacred history informs us that a distinguished military man, named
Joshua, once caused the Sun to "stand still"; how he did it, is not
mentioned. There can, of course, be no doubt of the fact, that he
arrested its progress, and possibly caused it to "stand _still_";--but
translators are not always perfectly accurate, and we are inclined to
the opinion that it might have wiggled a very little, when Joshua was
not looking directly at it. The statement, however, does not appear so
very incredible, when we reflect that seafaring men are in the habit of
actually _bringing the Sun down_ to the horizon every day at 12
Meridian. This they effect by means of a tool made of brass, glass, and
silver, called a sextant. The composition of the Sun has long been a
matter of dispute.

By close and accurate observation with an excellent opera-glass we have
arrived at the conclusion that its entire surface is covered with water
to a very great depth; which water, being composed by a process known at
present only to the Creator of the Universe and Mr. Paine, of Worcester,
Massachusetts, generates carburetted hydrogen gas, which, being
inflamed, surrounds the entire body with an ocean of fire, from which
we, and the other planets, receive our light and heat. The spots upon
its surface are glimpses of water, obtained through the fire; and we
call the attention of our old friend and former schoolmate, Mr. Agassiz,
to this fact; as by closely observing one of these spots with a strong
refracting telescope he may discover a new species of fish, with little
fishes inside of them. It is possible that the Sun may burn out after a
while, which would leave this world in a state of darkness quite
uncomfortable to contemplate; but even under these circumstances it is
pleasant to reflect that courting and love-making would probably
increase to an indefinite extent, and that many persons would make large
fortunes by the sudden rise in value of coal, wood, candles, and gas,
which would go to illustrate the truth of the old proverb, "It's an ill
wind that blows nobody any good."

Upon the whole, the Sun is a glorious creation; pleasing to gaze upon
(through smoked glass), elevating to think upon, and exceedingly
comfortable to every created being on a cold day; it is the largest, the
brightest, and may be considered by far the most magnificent object in
the celestial sphere; though with all these attributes it must be
confessed that it is occasionally entirely eclipsed by the moon.


We shall now proceed to the consideration of the several planets.


This planet, with the exception of the asteroids, is the smallest of the
system. It is the nearest to the Sun, and, in consequence, can not be
seen (on account of the Sun's superior light), except at its greatest
eastern and western elongations, which occur in March and April, August
and September, when it may be seen for a short time immediately after
sunset and shortly before sunrise. It then appears like a star of the
first magnitude, having a white twinkling light, and resembling somewhat
the star Regulus in the constellation Leo. The day in Mercury is about
ten minutes longer than ours, its year is about equal to three of our
months. It receives six and a half times as much heat from the Sun as we
do; from which we conclude that the climate must be very similar to that
of Fort Yuma, on the Colorado River. The difficulty of communication
with Mercury will probably prevent its ever being selected as a military
post; though it possesses many advantages for that purpose, being
extremely inaccessible, inconvenient, and, doubtless, singularly
uncomfortable. It receives its name from the God, Mercury, in the
Heathen Mythology, who is the patron and tutelary Divinity of San Diego


This beautiful planet may be seen either a little after sunset or
shortly before sunrise, according as it becomes the morning or the
evening star, but never departing quite forty-eight degrees from the
Sun. Its day is about twenty-five minutes shorter than ours; its year
seven and a half months or thirty-two weeks. The diameter of Venus is
7,700 miles, and she receives from the Sun thrice as much light and heat
as the Earth.

An old Dutchman named Schroeter spent more than ten years in
observations on this planet, and finally discovered a mountain on it
twenty-two miles in height, but he never could discover anything on the
mountain, not even a mouse, and finally died about as wise as when he
commenced his studies.

Venus, in Mythology, was a Goddess of singular beauty, who became the
wife of Vulcan, the blacksmith, and, we regret to add, behaved in the
most immoral manner after her marriage. The celebrated case of Vulcan
_vs._ Mars, and the consequent scandal, is probably still fresh in the
minds of our readers. By a large portion of society, however, she was
considered an ill-used and persecuted lady, against whose high tone of
morals and strictly virtuous conduct not a shadow of suspicion could be
cast; Vulcan, by the same parties, was considered a horrid brute, and
they all agreed that it served him right when he lost his case and had
to pay the costs of court. Venus still remains the Goddess of Beauty,
and not a few of her _proteges_ may be found in California.


The Earth, or as the Latins called it, Tellus (from which originated the
expression, "Do tell us"), is the third planet in the Solar System, and
the one on which we subsist, with all our important joys and sorrows.
The San Diego Herald is published weekly on this planet, for five
dollars per annum, payable invariably in advance. As the Earth is by no
means the most important planet in the system, there is no reason to
suppose that it is particularly distinguished from the others by being
inhabited. It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that all the other
planets of the system are filled with living, moving and sentient
beings; and as some of them are superior to the Earth in size and
position, it is not improbable that their inhabitants may be superior to
us in physical and mental organization.

But if this were a demonstrable fact, instead of a mere hypothesis, it
would be found a very difficult matter to persuade us of its truth. To
the inhabitants of Venus the Earth appears like a brilliant star--very
much, in fact, as Venus appears to us; and, reasoning from analogy, we
are led to believe that the election of Mr. Pierce, the European war, or
the split in the great Democratic party produced but very little
excitement among them.

To the inhabitants of Jupiter, our important globe appears like a small
star of the fourth or fifth magnitude. We recollect, some years ago,
gazing with astonishment upon the inhabitants of a drop of water,
developed by the Solar Microscope, and secretly wondering whether they
were or not reasoning beings, with souls to be saved. It is not
altogether a pleasant reflection that a highly scientific inhabitant of
Jupiter, armed with a telescope of (to us) inconceivable form, may be
pursuing a similar course of inquiry, and indulging in similar
speculations regarding our Earth and its inhabitants. Gazing with
curious eye, his attention is suddenly attracted by the movements of a
grand celebration of Fourth of July in New York, or a mighty convention
in Baltimore. "God bless my soul," he exclaims, "I declare they're
alive, these little creatures; do see them wriggle!" To an inhabitant of
the Sun, however, he of Jupiter is probably quite as insignificant, and
the Sun man is possibly a mere atom in the opinion of a dweller in
Sirius. A little reflection on these subjects leads to the opinion that
the death of an individual man on this Earth, though perhaps as
important an event as can occur to himself, is calculated to cause no
great convulsion of Nature or disturb particularly the great aggregate
of created beings.

The Earth moves round the Sun from west to east in a year, and turns on
its axis in a day; thus moving at the rate of 68,000 miles an hour in
its orbit, and rolling around at the tolerably rapid rate of 1,040
miles per hour. As our readers may have seen that when a man is
galloping a horse violently over a smooth road, if the horse from
viciousness or other cause suddenly stops, the man keeps on at the same
rate over the animal's head; so we, supposing the Earth to be suddenly
arrested on its axis, men, women, children, horses, cattle and sheep,
donkeys, editors and members of Congress, with all our goods and
chattels, would be thrown off into the air at a speed of 173 miles a
minute, every mother's son of us describing the arc of a parabola, which
is probably the only description we should ever be able to give of the

This catastrophe, to one sufficiently collected to enjoy it, would,
doubtless, be exceedingly amusing; but as there would probably be no
time for laughing, we pray that it may not occur until after our demise;
when, should it take place, our monument will probably accompany the
movement. It is a singular fact that if a man travel round the Earth in
an eastwardly direction he will find, on returning to the place of
departure, he has gained one whole day; the reverse of this proposition
being true also, it follows that the Yankees who are constantly
traveling to the West do not live as long by a day or two as they would
if they had stayed at home; and supposing each Yankee's time to be worth
$1.50 per day, it may be easily shown that a considerable amount of
money is annually lost by their roving dispositions.

Science is yet but in its infancy; with its growth, new discoveries of
an astounding nature will doubtless be made, among which, probably, will
be some method by which the course of the Earth may be altered and it
be steered with the same ease and regularity through space and among the
stars as a steamboat is now directed through the water. It will be a
very interesting spectacle to see the Earth "rounding to," with her head
to the air, off Jupiter, while the Moon is sent off laden with mails and
passengers for that planet, to bring back the return mails and a large
party of rowdy Jupiterians going to attend a grand prize fight in the
ring of Saturn.

Well, Christopher Columbus would have been just as much astonished at a
revelation of the steamboat and the locomotive engine as we should be to
witness the above performance, which our intelligent posterity during
the ensuing year A.D. 2000 will possibly look upon as a very ordinary
and common-place affair.

Only three days ago we asked a medium where Sir John Franklin was at
that time; to which he replied, he was cruising about (officers and crew
all well) on the interior of the Earth, to which he had obtained
entrance through SYMMES HOLE!

With a few remarks upon the Earth's Satellite, we conclude the first
Lecture on Astronomy; the remainder of the course being contained in a
second Lecture, treating of the planets, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and
Neptune, the Asteroids, and the fixed stars, which last, being
"fixings," are, according to Mr. Charles Dickens, American property.


This resplendent luminary, like a youth on the Fourth of July, has its
first quarter; like a ruined spendthrift its last quarter, and like an
omnibus, is occasionally full and new. The evenings on which it appears
between these last stages are beautifully illumined by its clear, mellow

The Moon revolves in an elliptical orbit about the Earth in twenty-nine
days twelve hours forty-four minutes and three seconds, the time which
elapses between one new Moon and another. It was supposed by the ancient
philosophers that the Moon was made of green cheese, an opinion still
entertained by the credulous and ignorant. Kepler and Tyco Brahe,
however, held to the opinion that it was composed of Charlotte Russe,
the dark portions of its surface being sponge cake, the light _blanc
mange_. Modern advances in science and the use of Lord Rosse's famous
telescope have demonstrated the absurdity of all these speculations by
proving conclusively that the Moon is mainly composed of the
_Ferro_--_sesqui_--_cyanuret, of the cyanide of potassium_! Up to the
latest dates from the Atlantic States, no one has succeeded in reaching
the Moon. Should anyone do so hereafter, it will probably be a woman, as
the sex will never cease making an exertion for that purpose as long as
there is a man in it.

Upon the whole, we may consider the Moon an excellent institution, among
the many we enjoy under a free, republican form of government, and it is
a blessed thing to reflect that the President of the United States can
not _veto_ it, no matter how strong an inclination he may feel, from
principle or habit, to do so.

It has been ascertained beyond a doubt that the Moon has no air.
Consequently, the common expressions, "the Moon was gazing down with an
air of benevolence," or with "an air of complacency," or with "an air of
calm superiority," are incorrect and objectionable, the fact being that
the Moon has no air at all.

The existence of the celebrated "Man in the Moon" has been frequently
questioned by modern philosophers. The whole subject is involved in
doubt and obscurity. The only authority we have for believing that such
an individual exists, and has been seen and spoken with, is a fragment
of an old poem composed by an ancient Astronomer of the name of Goose,
which has been handed down to us as follows:

    "The man in the Moon came down too soon
      To inquire the way to Norwich;
    The man in the South, he burned his mouth,
      Eating cold, hot porridge."

The evidence conveyed in this distich is, however, rejected by the
skeptical, among modern Astronomers, who consider the passage an
allegory. "The man in the South," being supposed typical of the late
John C. Calhoun, and the "cold, hot porridge," alluded to the project of


     NOTE BY THE AUTHOR--Itinerant Lecturers are cautioned against
     making use of the above production, without obtaining the necessary
     authority from the proprietors of the Pioneer Magazine. To those
     who may obtain such authority, it may be well to state that at the
     close of the Lecture it was the intention of the author to exhibit
     and explain to the audience an orrery, accompanying and
     interspersing his remarks by a choice selection of popular airs on
     the hand-organ.

     An economical orrery may be constructed by attaching eighteen wires
     of graduated lengths to the shaft of a candlestick, apples of
     different sizes being placed at their extremities to represent the
     Planets, and a central orange resting on the candlestick,
     representing the Sun.

     An orrery of this description is, however, liable to the objection
     that if handed around among the audience for examination, it is
     seldom returned uninjured. The author has known an instance in
     which a child four years of age, on an occasion of this kind,
     devoured in succession the planets Jupiter and Herschel, and bit a
     large spot out of the Sun before he could be arrested.




    One time, when we'z at Aunty's house--
      'Way in the country!--where
    They's ist but woods--an' pigs, an' cows--
     An' all's out-doors an' air!--
    An' orchurd-swing; an' churry-trees--
    An' _churries_ in 'em!--Yes, an' these-
    Here red-head birds steals all they please,
      An' tetch 'em ef you dare!--
    W'y, wunst, one time, when we wuz there,
      _We et out on the porch_!

    Wite where the cellar-door wuz shut
      The table wuz; an' I
    Let Aunty set by me an' cut
      My vittuls up--an' pie.
    'Tuz awful funny!--I could see
    The red-heads in the churry-tree;
    An' bee-hives, where you got to be
      So keerful, goin' by;--
    An' "Comp'ny" there an' all!--an' we--
      _We et out on the porch_!

    An' I ist et _p'surves_ an' things
      'At Ma don't 'low me to--
    An' _chickun-gizzurds_--(don't like _wings_
      Like _Parunts_ does! do _you_?)
    An' all the time, the wind blowed there,
    An' I could feel it in my hair,
    An' ist smell clover _ever_'where!--
      An' a' old red-head flew
    Purt' nigh wite over my high-chair,
      _When we et on the porch_!



    Leave the lady, Willy, let the racket rip,
    She is going to fool you, you have lost your grip,
    Your brain is in a muddle and your heart is in a whirl,
    Come along with me, Willy, never mind the girl!

            Come and have a man-talk;
            Come with those who _can_ talk;
    Light your pipe and listen, and the boys will see you through;
            Love is only chatter,
            Friends are all that matter;
    Come and talk the man-talk; that's the cure for you!

    Leave the lady, Willy, let her letter wait,
    You'll forget your troubles when you get it straight,
    The world is full of women, and the women full of wile;
    Come along with me, Willy, we can make you smile!

            Come and have a man-talk,
            A rousing black-and-tan talk,
    There are plenty there to teach you; there's a lot for you to do;
            Your head must stop its whirling
            Before you go a-girling;
    Come and talk the man-talk; that's the cure for you!

    Leave the lady, Willy, the night is good and long,
    Time for beer and 'baccy, time to have a song;
    Where the smoke is swirling, sorrow if you can--
    Come along with me, Willy, come and be a man!

            Come and have a man-talk,
            Come with those who _can_ talk,
    Light your pipe and listen, and the boys will see you through;
            Love is only chatter,
            Friends are all that matter;
    Come and talk the man-talk; that's the cure for you!

    Leave the lady, Willy, you are rather young;
    When the tales are over, when the songs are sung,
    When the men have made you, try the girl again;
    Come along with me, Willy, you'll be better then!

            Come and have a man-talk,
            Forget your girl-divan talk;
    You've got to get acquainted with another point of view!
            Girls will only fool you;
            We're the ones to school you;
    Come and talk the man-talk; that's the cure for you!



Away off in front, and coming toward them along the same path, appeared
a singularly misshapen figure. As they came nearer, Dickey saw that it
was an old man carrying on his back, at each side and in front of him,
some part or piece of almost every imaginable thing. Umbrellas, chair
bottoms, panes of glass, knives, forks, pans, dusters, tubs, spoons and
stove-lids, graters and grind-stones, saws and samovars,--"Almost
everything one could possibly think of," said Dickey to himself.

The moment that the Fantasm caught sight of the strange figure he
stopped, and Dickey noticed that his face, which was tucked securely
under his left arm, turned quite pale.

"Gracious me!" he exclaimed in a thoroughly frightened way. "There's the
Itinerant Tinker again! Now," he added hastily and dolefully, "I shall
have to leave you and run for it."

"Why, you're surely not afraid of _him_!" Dickey exclaimed
incredulously. Dickey was really surprised, for the old man, so far as
he could judge from that distance, wore an extremely mild and kindly
look. "Why do you have to run?" he asked.

"Why? _Why?_" the Fantasm fairly shouted. "I told you a moment ago that
he was the _Itinerant Tinker_! He tries to mend every broken and
unbroken thing in Fantasma Land! Every time he catches me," went on the
Fantasm, as he edged cautiously away, "he tries to glue on my head. It's
very annoying--and, besides, it hurts! Good-by, Dickey!" he called, and
disappeared forthwith into the bushes.

"Isn't he a droll person?" thought Dickey. "He never stops with me more
than ten minutes at a time but what he either loses his head or runs

By that time the Itinerant Tinker had come up to where Dickey stood. He
sat wearily down on a boulder by the wayside, removed some of the
heavier merchandise from off his back, and proceeded to mop his face
vigorously with a great red handkerchief. Dickey waited several minutes
for the old man to speak; but the Itinerant Tinker only regarded him
solemnly. He did not even smile.

"It's very warm work, sir," ventured Dickey, at last, "carrying all that
stuff--isn't it?"

"Stuff?" returned the Itinerant Tinker, in a very mild, but unmistakably
hurt tone of voice.

"Well--" Dickey hesitated timidly.

"_Don't_ call them stuff, please," sighed the Itinerant Tinker; "call
them necessary commodities."

"But whatever one _does_ call them," Dickey persisted, "they still make
you warm to carry them all about, don't they?"

The Itinerant Tinker nodded his head and sighed again.

Again Dickey waited for a considerable space of time. But the old man
would have been perfectly content to sit there for ever, Dickey thought,
without speaking. "I _do_ wish he would talk," said he to himself.
"It's awfully annoying to have him sit there and look at one without
saying a word."

"What do you mend, sir?" Dickey inquired at last.

"I tried once," sighed the Itinerant Tinker, sadly, "to mend the break
of day. It took me twenty-seven hours and eleven minutes to fix it, and
it broke every twenty-four. At that rate how long would it take to patch
them all together?"

Another distressing silence.

"Have you figured _that_ out?" whispered the Itinerant Tinker at length.

"I haven't tried," Dickey admitted.

"_I_ tried once," the Itinerant Tinker said, "but I ran out of paper and
gave it up. Then, when the night fell," he resumed dolefully, after
another long interval of silence, "I tried to prop it up. But I met with
the same difficulty that confronted me in patching up the day, and was
forced to abandon _that_ too."

"In which direction were you going when I met you?" Dickey asked.

The Itinerant Tinker pointed ahead of him along the path and mopped his
bald head.

"But where?" insisted Dickey.

"To the Crypt. I was going to the Crypt," murmured the Itinerant Tinker,
"to see whether I couldn't get some umbrellas to mend."

"But they don't need umbrellas in the Crypt, do they?" Dickey asked,

"No, they don't," sighed the Itinerant Tinker; "and _that's_ the reason
I'm going there."

"If you don't mind," said Dickey, "I should like to go with you."

Without a word of reply the Itinerant Tinker rose slowly and painfully
to his feet, rearranged on his back the merchandise he had laid aside,
and started off up the hill, with Dickey following closely at his heels.

"I tried to mend the Great Dipper once," resumed the Itinerant Tinker,
at length. "I only succeeded, however, in crooking the handle; but it
looks better that way, I think."

"How did you manage to reach it?" asked Dickey, a little doubtfully.

"I climbed up the Milky Way," replied the Itinerant Tinker, sadly. "In
order to reach it after I got there, I was obliged to stand on the horn
of the moon. It was a very perilous undertaking."

Dickey couldn't believe quite all that the Itinerant Tinker was telling
him. But his mild and gentle eyes wore such a serious expression that he
very much disliked to doubt the old man's word.

"Speaking of the moon," went on the Itinerant Tinker after a while, "I
tried once to make her stand up--after she had set, you know. It proved
a thankless task. She treated me very rudely, indeed. By the by, have
you seen the Flighty-wight?"

"No, sir; I have not," replied Dickey.

"_He's_ always jumping at conclusions, you know. I jumped at a
conclusion once, fell into disgrace, and was very much cut up over it. I
tried to patch _him_ up and he called me an old meddler! You haven't
heard of such ingratitude before, I fancy?"

"It was very mean of him, I think," said Dickey, sympathetically.

"Oh, _that's_ nothing," pursued the Itinerant Tinker, in a melancholy
tone. "That's _nothing_! I once attempted to solder a new tip on the
Wizard's wand. He turned me into a rabbit, _he_ did."

"Whatever did you do then?" asked Dickey.

"I protested, of course. He merely said that he was only making game of
me. But if there's any one thing that I can do better than another,"
went on the Itinerant Tinker, after another embarrassing pause, "it's
piecing together a split infinitive. Would you like me to show you how
it's done?"

"Indeed, I should," Dickey eagerly answered; "very much, indeed."

"Very well, then. Just give me time to set down these necessary
commodities, and I'll show you exactly the manner in which it's done and

After he had rid himself of his awkward burden, the Itinerant Tinker
carefully selected a saw from his kit of tools.

"Is that a log over there?" he asked, pointing toward a mound of earth.
"I'm a trifle nearsighted, you know."

"No," Dickey replied. "But there's one off there, just to the other
side. A big one, too."

"The identical thing," said the Itinerant Tinker. Whereupon he walked
over to it and immediately began sawing a thin slab from off its smooth

"Now," said he, after he had finished the rather difficult task, oiled
his saw and returned it to his kit, "I proceed to write the word LOVE in
the infinitive mood."

"Is that a sad mood?" asked Dickey. "It sounds very much like it, I

Without heeding the question in the least the Itinerant Tinker turned
the slab for Dickey's inspection, and he read on it the two words, TO
LOVE. Taking up a wedge the Itinerant Tinker printed the word DEARLY on
the flat side of it, and then skilfully drove it between the words TO
and LOVE. When he again held it up for Dickey to see, it read: TO DEARLY

"There!" exclaimed the Itinerant Tinker, holding the slab proudly at
arm's length and turning his head slowly from side to side, "that's what
I call a fine bit of ingenuity!"

"So that's a split infinitive, is it?" Dickey asked.

"Why, you _stupid_ boy!" the Itinerant Tinker exclaimed; "didn't you
just this minute see me split it?"

"Yes, sir; I did," Dickey murmured rather shamefacedly.

"Then, if I _split_ it, what else _could_ it be but a split infinitive,
I'd like to know?"

"Well," said Dickey, a bit timidly, "I never heard a block of wood
called an _infinitive_ before."

"Oh, my!" sighed the Itinerant Tinker, as he sank down on his pile of
merchandise. "How you _do_ weary me!"

He sat looking at the slab of wood for such a long time, turning it
admiringly now that way, now this, that poor Dickey began to grow quite

"Please," he ventured at last, "won't you show me now how you mend it?"
Dickey didn't care in the least to see it done, but he imagined that by
asking the question he would regain the good will of the old man.

"There you go again! There you go!" exclaimed the Itinerant Tinker. He
actually shed a tear. "I knew you'd do it--I knew it!"

"Now what have I done?" asked Dickey, innocently.

"You've broken the silence," said the Itinerant Tinker, sadly. "It'll
take me hours and hours to glue _that_ together. But first," he went on,
after another long pause, "I'll show you how neatly this split
infinitive can be mended."

Thereupon he withdrew the wedge, dipped a brush into a pot of glue, and,
after distributing the sticky fluid over the split sides, brought them
carefully and neatly together.

"There!" he exclaimed, triumphantly, "_that's_ the proper way to bring
together a split infinitive. Beware, my boy, of splitting your
infinitives; but if you do, call on the Itinerant Tinker and _he'll_
straighten 'em out for you."

"Before we move along," he resumed, after he had loaded himself with his
merchandise, "perhaps you'd like to listen to a story?"

"I should, if it wasn't about split infinitives," replied Dickey,
doubtfully. "They really make me quite dizzy."

"Well, it's not," said the Itinerant Tinker, smiling vaguely. "It's the
story of the


    "I saw him sitting--sitting there,
      Outside the school-house door,
    It was a dismal afternoon;
      The hour was half-past four.

    "I asked him, 'Sir, what is your name?'
      His voice came through the fog:
    'I have forgotten it, kind sir,
      But I'm a Pedagogue.

    "'And I'm so absent-minded, sir,
      I put my clothes to bed
    And hang myself upon a chair;
      Is not that odd?' he said.

    "'And every morning of my life
      I climb into my tub;
    Then wonder why I'm sitting there.
      Ah, me, man! _that's_ the rub!'

    "He wiped his spectacles and said:
      'Kind sir, observe this frog.
    I took him in this net, when he
      Was but a pollywog.

    "'Now it's my wish, good sir, to seek
      The seismocosmic state;
    And why this strange amphibian
      Should slowly gravitate

    "'From a mere firmisternial thing
      To--' 'Say!' I cried, 'please wait!
    I can not understand a word
      Of that which you relate.'

    "'Now, please tell me,' he said again,
      'The sum of the equation
    Between the harp and hippogriff;
      Define their true relation.'

    "'I can not answer you,' I said,
      'Because I'm but a tinker.
    But I can mend your old umbrel';
      'Twill be a dime, I think, sir.'

    "Just then the frog dived off his hand
      And swam out to the fence,
    Which was an easy thing to do--
      The vapor was so dense.

    "And there he perched upon a post;
      It was a sight to see
    The way he made grimaces at
      The Pedagogue and me.

    "It vexed us very much to see
      A frog so impolite
    I flung a gnarly stick at him--
      Flung it with all my might.

    "It floated softly on the fog.
      As softly as a feather;
    The frog jumped on and sailed away,
      Leaving us there together

    "A-shaking both our fists at him
      Till they were sore and numb.
    The bull-frog merely blinked at us,
      And sang: '_You'll drown!_ BOTTLE-O'-RUM!'

    "With that I left the Pedagogue
      A-sitting in the wet.
    He was so absent-minded, I
      Dare say he's sitting yet--

    "Upon the little school-house steps,
      Revolving in his mind
    The definite relation 'twixt
      The cosmos and mankind."

When the Itinerant Tinker had finished his story he rose wearily to his

"If we don't hurry along," he said, "I doubt whether we shall reach the
Crypt in time to take our tea. I never--"

He was interrupted at this point by a shrill voice, coming, it seemed,
from the direction of the forest.

"Jingle-junk! jingle-junk! jingle-junk!" shouted the penetrating voice.

The Itinerant Tinker stopped instantly. An angry frown gathered on his

"I know who _that_ is," he muttered. "It's Wamba, son of Witless, the
Jester of Ivanhoe. I've been trying to catch _him_ for seventy-two
years, and if I do, I'll--"

Dickey never heard the end of the sentence for the Itinerant Tinker made
for the wood at a surprisingly swift gait. The incident had its really
amusing side, too; for he left behind him a trail of pots, pans,
boilers, stove-lids, potato-mashers--in fact, Dickey thought, he must
have dropped almost all of his "necessary commodities" by the time he
had vanished into the wood.



Danny Burke was discharged.

A certain distinguished ex-President of the United States probably would
have said that he was discharged for "pernicious activity"; but the head
of the branch messenger-office merely said that he was "an infernal

Danny was a good union man. As a matter of fact, he was a boy, and a
small boy at that; but he would have scorned any description that did
not put him down as "a good union man." Danny's environment had been one
of uncompromising unionism, and that was what ailed him. He wanted to
advance the union idea. To this end, he undertook to organize the other
messengers in the branch office, advancing all the arguments that he had
heard his mother and his father use in their discussions. The boys
thought favorably of the scheme, but most of them were inclined to let
some one else do the experimenting. It might result disastrously. Just
to encourage them, Danny became insolent, as he had already become
inattentive; he told the manager what he would do and what he would not
do, and positively declined to deliver a message that would carry his
work a few minutes beyond quitting-time.

Then Danny was discharged--and he laughed. Discharge _him_! Well, he'd
show them a thing or two.

"We'll arbitrate," he announced.

"Get out!" ordered the manager.

"You got to arbitrate," insisted Danny. "You got to confer with your men
or you're goin' to have a strike!" Danny had heard so much about
conferences that he felt he was on safe ground now. "We can't stand fer
no autycrats!" he added. "You got to meet your men fair an' talk it
over. A committee--"

"Get out!" repeated the manager, rising from his desk, near which the
waiting boys were seated.

"Men," yelled Danny, "I calls a strike an' a boycott!"

Two of the boys rose as if to follow him, but the manager was too quick.
He had Danny by the collar before Danny knew what had happened, and the
struggling boy was marched to the door and pushed out. The boys who had
risen promptly subsided.

Danny was too astonished for words. In all his extended hearsay
knowledge of strikes he never had heard of anything like this. There was
nothing heroic in it at all. He had expected a conference, and, instead,
he was ignominiously handled and thrust into the street.

Danny sat down on a pile of paving-stones to think it over. Without
reasoning the matter out, he now regarded himself as a union. The other
members had deserted him, but he was on a strike; and somehow he had
absorbed the idea that the men who were striking were always the union
men. So, this being a strike of one, he was an entire union. It did not
take him long to decide that the first thing to do was to "picket the
plant." That was a familiar phrase, and he knew the meaning of it.
Everything was nicely arranged for him, too. The street was being paved,
and he was sitting on some paving-stones, with a pile of gravel beside
him. He selected fifteen or twenty of the largest stones from the

A woman was the first victim. As she was about to enter the
messenger-office she was startled by a yell of warning from Danny.

"Hey, you!" he shouted. "Keep out!"

She backed away hastily, and looked up to see if anything were about to
fall on her.

"Why should I keep out?" she asked at last.

"'Cause you'll git hit with a rock if you don't," was the prompt reply.

"But, little boy--" she began.

"I ain't a little boy," asserted Danny. "I'm a union."

The woman looked puzzled, but she finally decided that this was some
boyish joke.

"You'd better run home," she said, and turned to enter the
messenger-office. She could not refrain from looking over her shoulder,
however, and she saw that he was poised for a throw.

"Don't do that!" she cried hastily. "You might hurt me."

"Sure I'll hurt you," was the reply. "I'll smash your block in if you
don't git a move on."

The woman decided to look for another messenger-office, and Danny,
triumphant, resumed his seat on the paving-stones.

Then came another messenger, returning from a trip.

"What's the matter, Danny?" he asked.

"Got the plant picketed," asserted Danny. "Nobody can't go in or come

"I'm goin' in," said the other boy.

"You!" exclaimed Danny scornfully, as he suddenly caught the boy and
swung him over on to the stones.

"No, I ain't, Danny," the boy hastened to say, for Danny gave every
evidence of an intent to batter in his face.

"Sure?" asked Danny.


"This here's a strike," explained Danny.

"Oh, I didn't know that," apologized the boy. "I ain't a

Danny let him up, but made him sit on another pile of stones a short
distance away. He would be all right as long as he kept still, Danny
explained, but no longer.

While Danny was continuing strike operations with rapidly growing
enthusiasm, the woman he had first stopped was taking an unexpected part
in the little comedy. She had gone to another of the branch offices with
the message she wished delivered, and had told of the trouble she had
experienced. Thereupon the manager of this office called up the manager
of the other on the telephone.

"What's the matter over there?" he asked.

"Nothing," was the surprised reply. "Who said there was?"

"Why, a woman has just reported that she was driven away by a boy with a
pile of stones."

The manager hastened to the window, and realized at once that something
was decidedly wrong. On a pile of paving-stones directly in front of the
door sat the proud and happy Danny. At his feet there was a pile of
smaller stones, and he held a few in his hands. On his right was a boy
who had started on a trip a short time before, and on his left was one
who should have reported back. A man was gesticulating excitedly, a
number of others and some boys were laughing, and Danny seemed to be
intimating that any one who tried to enter would be hurt.

"Jim," said the manager to the largest messenger, "go out there and see
what's the matter with Danny Burke. Tell him I'll have him arrested if
he doesn't get out."

Danny was a wise general. He wanted no prisoners that he could not
handle easily, and this big boy would be dangerous to have within his
lines. The big boy was a sort of star messenger, who did not fraternize
with Danny anyhow. Consequently Danny fired a volley the moment he saw
who it was, and the big boy hastily retreated, bearing with him one bump
on the forehead.

"That's Jim," Danny explained to the increasing crowd. "He's the
biggest, next to the boss. Watch me nail the boss."

"You're the stuff!" exclaimed some of the delighted loiterers, thus
proving that the loiterers are just as anxious to see trouble in a small
strike as in a large one.

Danny picked out a stone considerably larger than the others, for he
expected the manager to appear next, and the manager had incurred his
personal enmity. In the case of his victims thus far, he had acted
merely on principle--to win his point.

The manager appeared. For his own prestige (necessary to maintain
discipline), the manager had to do something, but he felt reasonably
sure that the dignity of his official position would make Danny less
hasty and strenuous than he had been with others. The manager planned to
extend the olive branch and at the same time raise the siege by
beckoning Danny in, so that he might reason with him and show him how
surely he would land in a police station if he would not consent to be a
good boy. This would be quicker and better than summoning an officer.
But the manager got the big stone in the pit of his stomach just as he
had raised his hand to beckon, and he and his dignity collapsed
together, with a most plebeian grunt. As he had not closed the door, he
quickly rolled inside, where he lay on the floor with his hands on his
stomach and listened to the joyous yelps of the crowd outside. This was
too much for the manager.

"Call up police headquarters," he said, still holding his stomach as if
fearful that it might become detached, "and tell them there's a riot

The boy addressed obeyed literally.

Meanwhile Danny had decided that, as victory perched on his banners, it
was time to state the terms on which he would permit the enemy to
surrender, but he was too wise to put himself in the enemy's power
before these terms were settled.

"Go in, Tim," was the order he gave to one of his prisoners, "an' tell
the guy with the stomick-ache that when he recognizes the union an'
gives me fifty cents more a week an' makes a work-day end when the clock
strikes, I'm willin' to call it off."

"Make him come down handsome," advised one of the loiterers.

"I guess I got 'em on the run," said Danny exultingly.

But Tim went in and failed to come out. This was not Tim's fault,
however, for the manager released his hold on his stomach long enough to
get a grip on Tim's collar. The striker's defiance seemed to displease
him, and, because he could not shake Danny, he shook Tim, and he said
things to Tim that he would have preferred to say to Danny. Then his
excited harangue was interrupted by the sound of a gong, which convinced
him that he might again venture to the door.

Danny was in the grasp of the strong arm of the law. A half dozen
policemen had valiantly rushed through the crowd and captured the entire
besieging party, which was Danny.

"What you doin'?" demanded Danny angrily.

"What are _you_ doing?" retorted the police sergeant in charge.

"This here's a strike," asserted Danny. "I got the plant picketed."

"Run him in!" ordered the manager from the doorway.

"What's the row?" asked the sergeant.

"That's the row," said the manager, pointing to Danny.

"That!" exclaimed the sergeant scornfully. "You said it was a riot. You
don't call that kid a riot, do you?"

"Well, it's assault and battery, anyhow," insisted the manager. "He hit
me with a rock."

"Where?" asked the sergeant.

"Where he carries his brains," said Danny, which made the crowd yelp
with joy again.

"Lock him up!" cried the manager angrily. "I'll prefer the charge and
appear against him."

The sergeant looked at Danny and then at the manager.

"Say!" he said at last, "you ain't got the nerve to charge this kid with
assaulting you, have you?"

"I'm going to do it," said the manager.

"Oh, all right," returned the sergeant disgustedly.

The crowd was disposed to protest, but the police were in sufficient
force to make resistance unsafe, and Danny was lifted into the

At the station the captain happened to be present when Danny was brought
in, escorted by a wagon-load of policemen.

"What's the charge?" asked the captain.

"Assault and battery on a grown man!" was the scornful reply of the

"What did he do?" persisted the surprised captain.

"Hurt his digestion with a rock," explained the sergeant.

"I was on strike," said Danny. "I'm a good union man. You got no
business to touch me."

"I understand," said the sergeant, "that he was discharged, and he
stationed himself outside with a pile of rocks."

"You've no right to do that," the captain told Danny.

"They all do it," asserted Danny.

This was so near the truth that the captain thought it wise to dodge the

"Of course, if no one else will take a man's place," he explained, "the
employer will have to take him back or--"

"There wasn't nobody tryin' to take my place--not while I was there!"
asserted Danny belligerently.

"That's no lie, either," laughed the sergeant. "He had the office tied
up tight."

Danny swelled with pride at this testimonial to his prowess. Then it
suddenly occurred to him that the sergeant did not act as he talked.

"What'd you butt in for, then?" he demanded.

"It was his duty," said the captain.

"Ho!" exclaimed Danny. "It's your business to protect the public, ain't

"Of course," admitted the captain.

"Well, ain't we the public?"

The captain laughed uneasily. His experience as a policeman had left him
very much in doubt as to who were the public. Both sides to a
controversy always claimed that distinction, and the law-breaker was
usually the louder in his claims. Danny's inability to see anything but
his own side of the case was far from unusual.

The captain took Danny into his private office and talked to him. The
captain did not wish to lock up the boy, so he sent for Danny's father
and also for the manager of the branch messenger-office. Meanwhile he
tried to explain the matter to Danny, but Danny was obtuse. Why should
not he do as his father and his father's friends did? When they had a
disagreement with the boss, they picketed the plant, and ensuing
incidents sent many people to the hospitals. Why was it worse for one
boy to do this than it was for some hundreds or thousands of men? Danny
was confident that he was within his rights.

"Dad knows," he said in conclusion. "Dad'll say I'm right. You got no
business mixin' in."

"Dad's coming," the captain told him.

The manager came first. "The boy ought to be punished," said he. "He hit
me with a rock."

"I wish you'd seen him," said the beaming Danny to the captain, for the
recollection of that victory made all else seem trivial. "Say! he
doubled up like a clown droppin' into a barrel."

"If he isn't punished," asserted the glowering manager, "he'll get worse
and worse and end by going to the devil."

"Perhaps," replied the captain. "But just stand beside him a moment,
please. Don't dodge, Danny. He'll go behind the bars if he touches you.
Stand side by side."

They did so.

"Now," said the captain to the manager, "how do you think you'll look,
standing beside him in the police court and accusing him of assault and

"Like a fool," replied the manager promptly, forced to laugh in spite of

"And what kind of a story--illustrated story--will it be for the
papers?" persisted the captain.

"Let him go," said the manager; "but he ought to be whaled."

It was at this point that Dan arrived, accompanied by his wife.

"F'r why sh'u'd he be whaled?" demanded the latter aggressively.

The matter was explained to her.

"Is that thrue, Danny?" she asked.

"Sure," replied the boy.

"Well, I'd like to see anny wan outside the fam'ly whale ye," she said,
with a defiant look at the manager, "but I'll do it mesilf."

Danny was astounded. In this quarter at least he had expected support.
He glanced at his father.

"I'll take a lick or two at ye mesilf," said Dan. "The idee of breakin'
the law an' makin' all this throuble."

"You've done it yourself," argued Danny.

"Shut up!" commanded Dan. "Ye don't know what ye're talkin' about. A
sthrike's wan thing an' disordherly conduct's another."

"This was a strike," insisted Danny.

"Where's the union?" demanded Dan.

"I'm it," replied Danny. "I was organizin' it."

"If ye'll let him go, Captain," said Dan, ignoring his son's reply,
"I'll larrup him good."

"For what?" wailed Danny. "I was only doin' what you said was right, an'
what mom said was right, an' what you've all been talkin' for years.
You've been a picket yourself, an' I've heard you laughin' over the way
men who wouldn't strike was done up. We got to organize. Wasn't I
organizin'? We got to enforce our rights. Wasn't I enforcin' them? We
got to discourage traitors to the cause of labor. Wasn't I discouragin'
them? Didn't the union tie up a plant once when you was discharged?
What's eatin' you, dad?"

Danny's own presentation of the case was so strong that it gave him
courage. But the last question made Dan jump, although he was not
accustomed to any extraordinary show of respect from his son.

"The lad has no sinse," he announced, "but I'll larrup him plenty. Ye
get an exthry wan f'r that, Danny. I'll tache ye that ye're not runnin'

"Makin' throuble f'r father an' mother an' th' good man that's payin' ye
wages we need at home," added Mrs. Burke.

"Now, what do you think of that?" whimpered Danny, as he was led away.
"I'm to be licked fer doin' what he does. Why don't he teach himself the
same, an' stop others from doin' what he talks?"

"Danny," said the commiserating captain, "you're to be licked for
learning your lesson too well, and that's the truth."

But that did not make the situation any the less painful for Danny.



Until Simon entered his seventeenth year he lived with his father, an
old "hard-shell" Baptist preacher, who, though very pious and remarkably
austere, was very avaricious. The old man reared his boy--or endeavored
to do so--according to the strictest requisitions of the moral law. But
he lived, at the time to which we refer, in Middle Georgia, which was
then newly settled; and Simon, whose wits were always too sharp for his
father's, contrived to contract all the coarse vices incident to such a
region. He stole his mother's roosters to fight them at Bob Smith's
grocery, and his father's plow-horses to enter them in "quarter" matches
at the same place. He pitched dollars with Bob Smith himself, and could
"beat him into doll rags" whenever it came to a measurement. To crown
his accomplishments, Simon was tip-top at the game of "old sledge,"
which was the fashionable game of that era, and was early initiated in
the mysteries of "stocking the papers." The vicious habits of Simon
were, of course, a sore trouble to his father, Elder Jedediah. He
reasoned, he counseled, he remonstrated, and he lashed; but Simon was an
incorrigible, irreclaimable devil. One day the simple-minded old man
returned rather unexpectedly to the field, where he had left Simon and
Ben and a negro boy named Bill at work. Ben was still following his
plow, but Simon and Bill were in a fence corner, very earnestly engaged
at "seven up." Of course the game was instantly suspended as soon as
they spied the old man, sixty or seventy yards off, striding towards

It was evidently a "gone case" with Simon and Bill; but our hero
determined to make the best of it. Putting the cards into one pocket, he
coolly picked up the small coins which constituted the stake, and fobbed
them in the other, remarking, "Well, Bill, this game's blocked; we'd as
well quit."

"But, Mass Simon," remarked the boy, "half dat money's mine. Ain't you
gwine to lemme hab 'em?"

"Oh, never mind the money, Bill; the old man's going to take the bark
off both of us; and besides, with the hand I helt when we quit, I should
'a' beat you and won it all, any way."

"Well, but Mass Simon, we nebber finish de game, and de rule--"

"Go to the devil with your rule!" said the impatient Simon. "Don't you
see daddy's right down upon us, with an armful of hickories? I tell you,
I helt nothin' but trumps, and could 'a' beat the horns off a
billy-goat. Don't that satisfy you? Somehow or another, you're d--d hard
to please!" About this time a thought struck Simon, and in a low
tone--for by this time the Reverend Jedediah was close at hand--he
continued, "But may be daddy don't know, _right down sure_, what we've
been doin'. Let's try him with a lie--'twon't hurt, noway: let's tell
him we've been playin' mumble-peg."

Bill was perforce compelled to submit to this inequitable adjustment of
his claim to a share of the stakes; and of course agreed to swear to
the game of mumble-peg. All this was settled, and a pig driven into the
ground, slyly and hurriedly, between Simon's legs as he sat on the
ground, just as the old man reached the spot. He carried under his left
arm several neatly-trimmed sprouts of formidable length, while in his
left hand he held one which he was intently engaged in divesting of its
superfluous twigs.

"Soho, youngsters!--_you_ in the fence corner, and the _crap_ in the
grass. What saith the Scriptur', Simon? 'Go to the ant, thou sluggard,'
and so forth and so on. What in the round creation of the yearth have
you and that nigger been a-doin'?"

Bill shook with fear, but Simon was cool as a cucumber, and answered his
father to the effect that they had been wasting a little time in the
game of mumble-peg.

"Mumble-peg! mumble-peg!" repeated old Mr. Suggs. "What's that?"

Simon explained the process of _rooting_ for the peg: how the operator
got upon his knees, keeping his arms stiff by his sides, leaned forward,
and extracted the peg with his teeth.

"So you git _upon your knees_, do you, to pull up that nasty little
stick! You'd better git upon 'em to ask mercy for your sinful souls and
for a dyin' world. But let's see one o' you git the peg up now."

The first impulse of our hero was to volunteer to gratify the curiosity
of his worthy sire, but a glance at the old man's countenance changed
his "notion," and he remarked that "Bill was a long ways the best hand."
Bill, who did not deem Simon's modesty an omen very favorable to
himself, was inclined to reciprocate, compliments with his young
master; but a gesture of impatience from the old man set him instantly
upon his knees, and, bending forward, he essayed to lay hold with his
teeth of the peg, which Simon, just at that moment, very wickedly pushed
a half inch further down. Just as the breeches and hide of the boy were
stretched to the uttermost, old Mr. Suggs brought down his longest
hickory, with both hands, upon the precise spot where the tension was
greatest. With a loud yell, Bill plunged forward, upsetting Simon, and
rolled in the grass, rubbing the castigated part with fearful energy.
Simon, though overthrown, was unhurt; and he was mentally complimenting
himself upon the sagacity which had prevented his illustrating the game
of mumble-peg for the paternal amusement, when his attention was
arrested by the old man's stooping to pick up something--what is it?--a
card upon which Simon had been sitting, and which, therefore, had not
gone with the rest of the pack into his pocket. The simple Mr. Suggs had
only a vague idea of the pasteboard abomination called _cards_; and
though he decidedly inclined to the opinion that this was one, he was by
no means certain of the fact. Had Simon known this he would certainly
have escaped; but he did not. His father, assuming the look of extreme
sapiency, which is always worn by the interrogator who does not desire
or expect to increase his knowledge by his questions, asked:

"What's this, Simon?"

"The Jack-a-dimunts," promptly responded Simon, who gave up all as lost
after this _faux pas_.

"What was it doin' down thar, Simon, my sonny?" continued Mr. Suggs, in
an ironically affectionate tone of voice.

"I had it under my leg, thar to make it on Bill, the first time it come
trumps," was the ready reply.

"What's trumps?" asked Mr. Suggs, with a view of arriving at the import
of the word.

"Nothin' ain't trumps now," said Simon, who misapprehended his father's
meaning, "but _clubs_ was, when you come along and busted up the game."

A part of this answer was Greek to the Reverend Mr. Suggs, but a portion
of it was full of meaning. They had, then, most unquestionably, been
"throwing" cards, the scoundrels! the "oudacious" little hellions!

"To the 'mulberry' with both on ye, in a hurry," said the old man
sternly. But the lads were not disposed to be in a "hurry," for the
"mulberry" was the scene of all formal punishment administered during
work hours in the field. Simon followed his father, however, but made,
as he went along, all manner of "faces" at the old man's back;
gesticulated as if he were going to strike him between the shoulders
with his fists, and kicking at him so as almost to touch his coat tail
with his shoe. In this style they walked on to the mulberry-tree, in
whose shade Simon's brother Ben was resting.

It must not be supposed that, during the walk to the place of
punishment, Simon's mind was either inactive, or engaged in suggesting
the grimaces and contortions wherewith he was pantomimically expressing
his irreverent sentiments toward his father. Far from it. The movements
of his limbs and features were the mere workings of habit--the
self-grinding of the corporeal machine--for which his reasoning half was
only remotely responsible. For while Simon's person was thus, on its own
account "making game" of old Jed'diah, his wits, in view of the
anticipated flogging, were dashing, springing, bounding, darting about,
in hot chase of some expedient suitable to the necessities of the case;
much after the manner in which puss--when Betty, armed with the broom,
and hotly seeking vengeance for pantry robbed or bed defiled, has closed
upon her the garret doors and windows--attempts all sorts of impossible
exits, to come down at last in the corner, with panting side and glaring
eye, exhausted and defenseless. Our unfortunate hero could devise
nothing by which he could reasonably expect to escape the heavy blows of
his father. Having arrived at this conclusion and the "mulberry" about
the same time, he stood with a dogged look, awaiting the issue.

The old man Suggs made no remark to any one while he was sizing up
Bill,--a process which, though by no means novel to Simon, seemed to
excite in him a sort of painful interest. He watched it closely, as if
endeavoring to learn the precise fashion of his father's knot; and when
at last Bill was swung up a-tiptoe to a limb, and the whipping
commenced, Simon's eye followed every movement of his father's arm; and
as each blow descended upon the bare shoulders of his sable friend, his
own body writhed and "wriggled" in involuntary sympathy.

"It's the devil, it is," said Simon to himself, "to take such a
wallopin' as that. Why, the old man looks like he wants to git to the
holler, if he could,--rot his old picter! It's wuth, at the least,
fifty cents--je-e-miny, how that hurt!--yes, it's wuth three-quarters of
a dollar to take that 'ere lickin'! Wonder if I'm 'predestinated,' as
old Jed'diah says, to git the feller to it? Lord, how daddy blows! I do
wish to God he'd bust wide open, the durned old deer-face! If 'twa'n't
for Ben helpin' him, I b'lieve I'd give the old dog a tussel when it
comes to my turn. It couldn't make the thing no wuss, if it didn't make
it no better. 'Drot it! what do boys have daddies for anyhow? 'Tain't
for nuthin' but jist to beat 'em and work 'em. There's some use in
mammies. I kin poke my finger right in the old 'oman's eye, and keep it
thar; and if I say it ain't thar, she'll say so, too. I wish she was
here to hold daddy off. If 'twa'n't so fur I'd holler for her, anyhow.
How she would cling to the old fellow's coat-tail!"

Mr. Jedediah Suggs let down Bill and untied him. Approaching Simon,
whose coat was off, "Come, Simon, son," said he, "cross them hands; I'm
gwine to correct you."

"It ain't no use, daddy," said Simon.

"Why so, Simon?"

"Jist bekase it ain't. I'm gwine to play cards as long as I live. When I
go off to myself, I'm gwine to make my livin' by it. So what's the use
of beatin' me about it?"

Old Mr. Suggs groaned, as he was wont to do in the pulpit, at this
display of Simon's viciousness.

"Simon," said he, "you're a poor ignunt creetur. You don't know nothin',
and you've never been nowhars. If I was to turn you off, you'd starve in
a week."

"I wish you'd try me," said Simon, "and jist see. I'd win more money in
a week than you can make in a year. There ain't nobody round here kin
make seed corn off o' me at cards. I'm rale smart," he added with great

"Simon! Simon! you poor unlettered fool. Don't you know that all
card-players and chicken-fighters and horse-racers go to hell? You
crack-brained creetur, you! And don't you know that them that plays
cards always loses their money, and--"

"Who wins it all, then, daddy?" asked Simon.

"Shet your mouth, you imperdent, slack-jawed dog! Your daddy's a-tryin'
to give you some good advice, and you a-pickin' up his words that way. I
knowed a young man once, when I lived in Ogletharp, as went down to
Augusty and sold a hundred dollars' worth of cotton for his daddy, and
some o' them gambollers got him to drinkin', and the _very first_ night
he was with 'em they got every cent of his money."

"They couldn't get my money in a _week_," said Simon. "Anybody can git
these here green feller's money; them's the sort I'm a-gwine to watch
for myself. Here's what kin fix the papers jist about as nice as

"Well, it's no use to argify about the matter," said old Jed-diah. "What
saith the Scriptur'? 'He that begetteth a fool, doeth it to his sorrow.'
Hence, Simon, you're a poor, misubble fool,--so cross your hands!"

"You'd jist as well not, daddy; I tell you I'm gwine to follow playin'
cards for a livin', and what's the use o' bangin' a feller about it? I'm
as smart as any of 'em, and Bob Smith says them Augusty fellers can't
make rent off o' me."

The Reverend Mr. Suggs had once in his life gone to Augusta; an extent
of travel which in those days was a little unusual. His consideration
among his neighbors was considerably increased by the circumstance, as
he had all the benefit of the popular inference that no man could visit
the city of Augusta without acquiring a vast superiority over all his
untraveled neighbors, in every department of human knowledge. Mr. Suggs,
then, very naturally, felt ineffably indignant that an individual who
had never seen any collection of human habitations larger than a
log-house village--an individual, in short, no other or better than Bob
Smith--should venture to express an opinion concerning the manners,
customs, or anything else appertaining to, or in any wise connected
with, the _Ultima Thule_ of backwoods Georgians. There were two
propositions which witnessed their own truth to the mind of Mr. Suggs:
the one was that a man who had never been at Augusta could not know
anything about that city, or any place, or anything else; the other,
that one who _had_ been there must, of necessity, be not only well
informed as to all things connected with the city itself, but perfectly
_au fait_ upon all subjects whatsoever. It was therefore in a tone of
mingled indignation and contempt that he replied to the last remark of

"_Bob Smith_ says, does he? And who's _Bob Smith_? Much does _Bob Smith_
know about Augusty! He's _been thar_, I reckon! Slipped off yerly some
mornin', when nobody warn't noticin', and got back afore night! It's
_only_ a hundred and fifty mile. Oh, yes, _Bob Smith_ knows _all_ about
it! _I_ don't know nothin' about it! _I_ ain't never been to
Augusty--_I_ couldn't find the road thar, I reckon--ha, ha!
_Bob_--_Sm-ith_! If he was only to see one of them fine gentlemen in
Augusty, with his fine broadcloth, and bell-crown hat, and shoe-boots
a-shinin' like silver, he'd take to the woods and kill himself
a-runnin'. Bob Smith! That's whar all your devilment comes from, Simon."

"Bob Smith's as good as anybody else, I judge; and a heap smarter than
some. He showed me how to cut Jack," continued Simon, "and that's more
nor some people can do, if they _have_ been to Augusty."

"If Bob Smith kin do it," said the old man, "I kin, too. I don't know it
by that name; but if it's book knowledge or plain sense, and Bob kin do
it, it's reasonable to s'pose that old Jed'diah Suggs won't be bothered
_bad_. Is it any ways similyar to the rule of three, Simon?"

"Pretty similyar, daddy, but not adzactly," said Simon, drawing a pack
from his pocket to explain. "Now, daddy," he proceeded, "you see these
here four cards is what we call the Jacks. Well, now, the idee is, if
you'll take the pack and mix 'em all up together, I'll take off a passel
from the top, and the bottom one of them I take off will be one of the

"Me to mix 'em fust?" said old Jed'diah.


"And you not to see but the back of the top one, when you go to 'cut,'
as you call it?"

"Jist so, daddy."

"And the backs all jist' as like as kin be?" said the senior Suggs,
examining the cards.

"More alike nor cow-peas," said Simon.

"It can't be done, Simon," observed the old man, with great solemnity.

"Bob Smith kin do it, and so kin I."

"It's agin nater, Simon; thar ain't a man in Augusty, nor on top of the
yearth, that kin do it!"

"Daddy," said our hero, "ef you'll bet me--"

"What!" thundered old Mr. Suggs. "_Bet_, did you says?" and he came down
with a _scorer_ across Simon's shoulders. "Me, Jed-diah Suggs, that's
been in the Lord's sarvice these twenty years,--_me_ bet, you nasty,
sassy, triflin', ugly--"

"I didn't go to say _that_, daddy; that warn't what I meant adzactly. I
went to say that ef you'd let me off from this her maulin' you owe me,
and _give me_ 'Bunch,' if I cut Jack, I'd _give you_ all this here
silver, ef I didn't,--that's all. To be sure, I allers knowed _you_
wouldn't _bet_."

Old Mr. Suggs ascertained the exact amount of the silver which his son
handed him, in an old leathern pouch, for inspection. He also, mentally,
compared that sum with an imaginary one, the supposed value of a certain
Indian pony, called "Bunch," which he had bought for his "old woman's"
Sunday riding, and which had sent the old lady into a fence corner the
first and only time she ever mounted him. As he weighed the pouch of
silver in his hand, Mr. Suggs also endeavored to analyze the character
of the transaction proposed by Simon. "It sartinly _can't_ be nothin'
but _givin_', no way it kin be twisted," he murmured to himself. "I
_know_ he can't do it, so there's no resk. What makes bettin'? The resk.
It's a one-sided business, and I'll jist let him give me all his money,
and that'll put all his wild sportin' notions out of his head."

"Will you stand it, daddy?" asked Simon, by way of waking the old man
up. "You mought as well, for the whippin' won't do you no good; and as
for Bunch, nobody about the plantation won't ride him but me."

"Simon," replied the old man, "I agree to it. Your old daddy is in a
close place about payin' for his land; and this here money--it's jist
eleven dollars, lacking of twenty-five cents--will help out mightily.
But mind, Simon, ef anything's said about this hereafter, remember, you
_give_ me the money."

"Very well, daddy; and ef the thing works up instid o' down, I s'pose
we'll say you give _me_ Bunch, eh?"

"You won't never be troubled to tell how you come by Bunch; the thing's
agin nater, and can't be done. What old Jed'diah Suggs knows, he knows
as good as anybody. Give me them fix-ments, Simon."

Our hero handed the cards to his father, who, dropping the plow-line
with which he had intended to tie Simon's hands, turned his back to that
individual, in order to prevent his witnessing the operation of
_mixing_. He then sat down, and very leisurely commenced shuffling the
cards, making, however, an exceedingly awkward job of it. Restive
_kings_ and _queens_ jumped from his hands, or obstinately refused to
slide into the company of the rest of the pack. Occasionally a sprightly
_knave_ would insist on _facing_ his neighbor; or, pressing his edge
against another's, half double himself up, and then skip away. But Elder
Jed'diah perseveringly continued his attempts to subdue the refractory,
while heavy drops burst from his forehead, and ran down his cheeks. All
of a sudden an idea, quick and penetrating as a rifle-ball, seemed to
have entered the cranium of the old man. He chuckled audibly. The devil
had suggested to Mr. Suggs an _impromptu_ "stock," which would place the
chances of Simon, already sufficiently slim in the old man's opinion,
without the range of possibility. Mr. Suggs forthwith proceeded to cut
all the _picter ones_, so as to be certain to include the _Jacks_, and
place them at the bottom, with the evident intention of keeping Simon's
fingers above these when he should cut. Our hero, who was quietly
looking over his father's shoulders all the time, did not seem alarmed
by this disposition of the cards; on the contrary, he smiled, as if he
felt perfectly confident of success, in spite of it.

"Now, daddy," said Simon, when his father had announced himself ready,
"narry one of us ain't got to look at the cards, while I'm a-cuttin'; if
we do, it'll spile the conjuration."

"Very well."

"And another thing: you've got to look me right dead in the eye, daddy;
will you?"

"To be sure,--to be sure," said Mr. Suggs; "fire away."

Simon walked up close to his father, and placed his hand on the pack.
Old Mr. Suggs looked in Simon's eye, and Simon returned the look for
about three seconds, during which a close observer might have detected a
suspicious working of the wrist of the hand on the cards, but the elder
Suggs did not remark it.

"Wake snakes! day's a-breakin'! Rise, Jack!" said Simon, cutting half a
dozen cards from the top of the pack, and presenting the face of the
bottom one for the inspection of his father.

It was the Jack of hearts!

Old Mr. Suggs staggered back several steps, with uplifted eyes and

"Marciful master!" he exclaimed, "ef the boy hain't! Well, how in the
round creation of the--! Ben, did you ever? To be sure and sartain,
Satan has power on this yearth!" and Mr. Suggs groaned in very

"You never seed nothin' like that in _Augusty_, did ye, daddy?" asked
Simon, with a malicious wink at Ben.

"Simon, how _did_ you do it?" queried the old man, without noticing his
son's question.

"Do it, daddy? Do it? 'Tain't nothin'. I done it jist as easy

Whether this explanation was entirely, or in any degree, satisfactory to
the perplexed mind of Elder Jed'diah Suggs can not, after the lapse of
the time which has intervened, be sufficiently ascertained. It is
certain, however, that he pressed the investigation no farther, but
merely requested his son Benjamin to witness the fact that, in
consideration of his love and affection for his son Simon, and in order
to furnish the donee with the means of leaving that portion of the State
of Georgia, he bestowed upon him the impracticable pony, Bunch.

"Jist so, daddy; jist so; I'll witness that. But it 'minds me mightily
of the way mammy _give_ old Trailler the side of bacon last week. She
a-sweepin' up the h'a'th; the meat on the table; old Trailler jumps up,
gethers the bacon, and darts! Mammy arter him with the broom-stick as
fur as the door, but seein' the dog has got the start, she shakes the
stick at him, and hollers, 'You sassy, aigsukkin', roguish, gnatty,
flop-eared varmint! take it along! take it along! I only wish 'twas full
of a'snic, and ox-vomit, and blue vitrul, so as 'twould cut your interls
into chitlins!' That's about the way you give Bunch to Simon."

"Oh, shuh, Ben," remarked Simon, "I wouldn't run on that way. Daddy
couldn't help it; it was _predestinated_: 'Whom he hath, he will,' you
know," and the rascal pulled down the under lid of his left eye at his
brother. Then addressing his father, he asked, "War'n't it, daddy?"

"To be sure--to be sure--all fixed aforehand," was old Mr. Suggs' reply.

"Didn't I tell you so, Ben?" said Simon. "_I_ knowed it was all fixed
aforehand," and he laughed until he was purple in the face.

"What's in ye? What are ye laughin' about?" asked the old man wrothily.

"Oh, it's so funny that it could all 'a' been _fixed aforehand_!" said
Simon, and laughed louder than before. The obtusity of the Reverend Mr.
Suggs, however, prevented his making any discoveries. He fell into a
brown study, and no further allusion was made to the matter.

It was evident to our hero that his father intended he should remain but
one more night beneath the paternal roof. What mattered it to Simon?

He went home at night; curried and fed Bunch; whispered confidentially
in his ear that he was the "fastest piece of hossflesh, accordin' to
size, that ever shaded the yearth;" and then busied himself in preparing
for an early start on the morrow.

Old Mr. Suggs' big red rooster had hardly ceased crowing in announcement
of the coming dawn, when Simon mounted the intractable Bunch. Both were
in high spirits: our hero at the idea of unrestrained license in future;
and Bunch from a mesmerical transmission to himself of a portion of his
master's deviltry. Simon raised himself in the stirrups, yelled a
tolerably fair imitation of the Creek war-whoop, and shouted:

"I'm off, old stud! Remember the Jack-a-hearts!"

Bunch shook his little head, tucked down his tail, ran sideways, as if
going to fall, and then suddenly reared, squealed, and struck off at a
brisk gallop.



We shall never forget the excitement which seized upon the inhabitants
of the little village of Hardscrabble as the report spread through the
community that a real piano had actually arrived within its precincts.

Speculation was afloat as to its appearance and its use. The name was
familiar to everybody; but what it precisely meant, no one could tell.
That it had legs was certain; for a stray volume of some literary
traveler was one of the most conspicuous works in the floating library
of Hardscrabble, and said traveler stated that he had seen a piano
somewhere in New England with pantalets on; also, an old foreign paper
was brought forward, in which there was an advertisement headed
"Soiree," which informed the "citizens, generally," that Mr. Bobolink
would preside at the piano.

This was presumed by several wiseacres, who had been to a menagerie, to
mean that Mr. Bobolink stirred the piano with a long pole, in the same
way that the showman did the lions and rhi-no-ce-rus.

So, public opinion was in favor of its being an animal, though a
harmless one; for there had been a land-speculator through the village a
few weeks previously, who distributed circulars of a "Female Academy"
for the accomplishment of young ladies. These circulars distinctly
stated "the use of the piano to be one dollar per month."

One knowing old chap said, if they would tell him what so-i-ree meant,
he would tell them what a piano was, and no mistake.

The owner of this strange instrument was no less than a very quiet and
very respectable late merchant of a little town somewhere "north," who,
having failed at home, had emigrated into the new and hospitable country
of Arkansas, for the purpose of bettering his fortune and escaping the
heartless sympathy of his more lucky neighbors, who seemed to consider
him a very bad and degraded man because he had become honestly poor.

The new-comers were strangers, of course. The house in which they were
setting up their furniture was too little arranged "to admit of calls;"
and, as the family seemed very little disposed to court society, all
prospects of immediately solving the mystery that hung about the piano
seemed hopeless. In the meantime, public opinion was "rife."

The depository of this strange thing was looked upon by the passers-by
with indefinable awe; and, as noises unfamiliar sometimes reached the
street, it was presumed that the piano made them, and the excitement
rose higher than ever. In the midst of it, one or two old ladies,
presuming upon their age and respectability, called upon the strangers
and inquired after their health, and offered their services and
friendship; meantime, everything in the house was eyed with great
intensity, but, seeing nothing strange, a hint was given about the
piano. One of the new family observed, carelessly, "that it had been
much injured by bringing out, that the damp had affected its tones, and
that one of its legs was so injured that it would not stand up, and for
the present it would not ornament the parlor."

Here was an explanation indeed: injured in bringing out; damp affecting
its tones; leg broken. "Poor thing!" ejaculated the old ladies, with
real sympathy, as they proceeded homeward; "traveling has evidently
fatigued it; the Mass-is-sip fogs has given it a cold, poor thing!" and
they wished to see it with increased curiosity.

The "village" agreed that if Moses Mercer, familiarly called "Mo
Mercer," was in town, they would have a description of the piano, and
the uses to which it was put; and, fortunately, in the midst of the
excitement "Mo" arrived, he having been temporarily absent on a

Moses Mercer was the only son of "old Mercer," who was, and had been, in
the State Senate ever since Arkansas was admitted into the "Union." Mo
from this fact received great glory, of course; his father's greatness
alone would have stamped him with superiority; but his having been twice
in the "Capitol" when the legislature was in session stamped his claims
to pre-eminence over all competitors.

Mo Mercer was the oracle of the renowned village of Hardscrabble.

"Mo" knew everything; he had all the consequence and complacency of a
man who had never seen his equal, and never expected to. "Mo" bragged
extensively upon his having been to the "Capitol" twice,--of his there
having been in the most "fashionable society,"--of having seen the
world. His return to town was therefore received with a shout. The
arrival of the piano was announced to him, and he alone of all the
community was not astonished at the news.

His insensibility was considered wonderful. He treated the piano as a
thing that he was used to, and went on, among other things, to say that
he had seen more pianos in the "Capitol," than he had ever seen
woodchucks, and that it was not an animal, but a musical instrument
played upon by the ladies; and he wound up his description by saying
that the way "the dear creatures could pull music out of it was a
caution to hoarse owls."

The new turn given to the piano-excitement in Hardscrabble by Mo Mercer
was like pouring oil on fire to extinguish it, for it blazed out with
more vigor than ever. That it was a musical instrument made it a rarer
thing in that wild country than if it had been an animal, and people of
all sizes, colors, and degrees were dying to see and hear it.

Jim Cash was Mo Mercer's right-hand man: in the language of refined
society, he was "Mo's toady;" in the language of Hardscrabble, he was
"Mo's wheel-horse." Cash believed in Mo Mercer with an abandonment that
was perfectly ridiculous. Mr. Cash was dying to see the piano, and the
first opportunity he had alone with his Quixote he expressed the desire
that was consuming his vitals.

"We'll go at once and see it," said Mercer.

"Strangers!" echoed the frightened Cash.

"Humbug! Do you think I have visited the 'Capitol' twice, and don't know
how to treat fashionable society? Come along at once, Cash," said

Off the pair started, Mercer all confidence, and Cash all fears as to
the propriety of the visit. These fears Cash frankly expressed; but
Mercer repeated for the thousandth time his experience in the
fashionable society of the "Capitol, and pianos," which he said "was
synonymous;" and he finally told Cash, to comfort him, that, however
abashed and ashamed he might be in the presence of the ladies, "he
needn't fear of sticking, for he would pull him through."

A few minutes' walk brought the parties on the broad galleries of the
house that contained the object of so much curiosity. The doors and
windows were closed, and a suspicious look was on everything.

"Do they always keep a house closed up this way that has a piano in it?"
asked Cash mysteriously.

"Certainly," replied Mercer: "the damp would destroy its tones."

Repeated knocks at the doors, and finally at the windows, satisfied both
Cash and Mercer that nobody was at home. In the midst of their
disappointment, Cash discovered a singular machine at the end of the
gallery, crossed by bars and rollers and surmounted with an enormous
crank. Cash approached it on tiptoe; he had a presentiment that he
beheld the object of his curiosity, and, as its intricate character
unfolded itself, he gazed with distended eyes, and asked Mercer, with
breathless anxiety, what that strange and incomprehensible box was.

Mercer turned to the thing as coolly as a north wind to an icicle, and
said, that was _it_.

"That _it_!" exclaimed Cash, opening his eyes still wider; and then,
recovering himself, he asked to see "the tone."

Mercer pointed to the cross-bars and rollers. With trembling hands, with
a resolution that would enable a man to be scalped without winking,
Cash reached out his hand and seized the handle of the crank (Cash, at
heart, was a brave and fearless man). He gave it a turn: the machinery
grated harshly, and seemed to clamor for something to be put in its maw.

"What delicious sounds!" said Cash.

"Beautiful!" observed the complacent Mercer, at the same time seizing
Cash's arm and asking him to desist, for fear of breaking the instrument
or getting it out of tune.

The simple caution was sufficient; and Cash, in the joy of the moment at
what he had done and seen, looked as conceited as Mo Mercer himself.

Busy indeed was Cash, from this time forward, in explaining to gaping
crowds the exact appearance of the piano, how he had actually taken hold
of it, and, as his friend Mo Mercer observed, "pulled music out of it."

The curiosity of the village was thus allayed, and consequently died
comparatively away,--Cash, however, having risen to almost as much
importance as Mo Mercer, for having seen and handled the thing.

Our "Northern family" knew little or nothing of all this excitement;
they received meanwhile the visits and congratulations of the hospitable
villagers, and resolved to give a grand party to return some of the
kindness they had received, and the piano was, for the first time, moved
into the parlor. No invitation on this occasion was neglected; early at
the post was every visitor, for it was rumored that Miss Patience
Doolittle would, in the course of the evening, "perform on the piano."

The excitement was immense. The supper was passed over with a contempt
rivaling that which is cast upon an excellent farce played preparatory
to a dull tragedy in which the star is to appear. The furniture was all
critically examined, but nothing could be discovered answering Cash's
description. An enormously thick-leafed table with a "spread" upon it
attracted little attention, timber being so very cheap in a new country,
and so everybody expected soon to see the piano "brought in."

Mercer, of course, was the hero of the evening: he talked much and
loudly. Cash, as well as several young ladies, went into hysterics at
his wit. Mercer, as the evening wore away, grew exceedingly conceited,
even for him; and he graciously asserted that the company present
reminded him of his two visits to the "Capitol," and other associations
equally exclusive and peculiar.

The evening wore on apace, and still no piano. That hope deferred which
maketh the heart sick was felt by some elderly ladies and by a few
younger ones; and Mercer was solicited to ask Miss Patience Doolittle to
favor the company with the presence of the piano.

"Certainly," said Mercer and with the grace of a city dandy he called
upon the lady to gratify all present with a little music, prefacing his
request with the remark that if she was fatigued "his friend Cash would
give the machine a turn."

Miss Patience smiled, and looked at Cash.

Cash's knees trembled.

All eyes in the room turned upon him.

Cash trembled all over.

Miss Patience said she was gratified to hear that Mr. Cash was a
musician; she admired people who had a musical taste. Whereupon Cash
fell into a chair, as he afterward observed, "chawed up."

Oh that Beau Brummel or any of his admirers could have seen Mo Mercer
all this while! Calm as a summer morning, complacent as a newly-painted
sign, he smiled and patronized, and was the only unexcited person in the

Miss Patience rose. A sigh escaped from all present: the piano was
evidently to be brought in. She approached the thick-leafed table and
removed the covering, throwing it carelessly and gracefully aside,
opened the instrument, and presented the beautiful arrangement of dark
and white keys.

Mo Mercer at this, for the first time in his life, looked confused: he
was Cash's authority in his descriptions of the appearance of the piano;
while Cash himself began to recover the moment that he ceased to be an
object of attention. Many a whisper now ran through the room as to the
"tones," and more particularly the "crank"; none could see them.

Miss Patience took her seat, ran her fingers over a few octaves, and if
"Moses in Egypt" was not perfectly _executed_, Moses in Hardscrabble
_was_. The dulcet sound ceased. "Miss," said Cash, the moment that he
could express himself, so entranced was he by the music,--"Miss
Doolittle, what was the instrument Mo Mercer showed me in your gallery
once, it went by a crank and had rollers in it?"

It was now the time for Miss Patience to blush: so away went the blood
from confusion to her cheeks. She hesitated, stammered, and said, if Mr.
Cash must know, it was a-a-a-_Yankee washing-machine_.

The name grated on Mo Mercer's ears as if rusty nails had been thrust
into them; the heretofore invulnerable Mercer's knees trembled, the
sweat started to his brow, as he heard the taunting whispers of
"visiting the Capitol twice" and seeing pianos as plenty as woodchucks.

The fashionable vices of envy and maliciousness were that moment sown in
the village of Hardscrabble; and Mo Mercer, the great, the confident,
the happy and self-possessed, surprising as it may seem, was the first
victim sacrificed to their influence.

Time wore on, and pianos became common, and Mo Mercer less popular; and
he finally disappeared altogether, on the evening of the day on which a
Yankee peddler of notions sold to the highest bidder, "six patent,
warranted, and improved Mo Mercer pianos."



    Ol' Adam he live in de Gyardin uv Eden,
                ('Way down yonner)
    He didn' know writin' an' he didn' know readin',
                ('Way down yonner)
    He stay dar erlone jes' eatin' an' a-sleepin',
    He say, "Dis mighty po' comp'ny I'se a-keepin',"
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    So dey tuck ol' Adam an' dey putt him a-nappin',
                ('Way down yonner)
    An' de fus' thing you know dish yer w'at happen,
                ('Way down yonner)
    Dey tucken his rib an' dey made a 'ooman,
    She mighty peart an' she spry an' she bloomin',
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    Dey 'spute sometimes an' he say, ol' Adam,
                ('Way down yonner)
    "You nuttin' but spar'-rib, nohow, madam,"
                ('Way down yonner)
    She say, "Dat de trufe an' hit ain' a-hu't'n',
    Fer de spar'-rib's made f'um a hawg, dat's sut'n,"
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    De Sarpint he slip in de Gyardin uv Eden,
                ('Way down yonner)
    He seed Mis' Eve an' he 'gun his pleadin',
                ('Way down yonner)
    'Twel she tucken de apple an' den he quit 'er,
    Hissin', "Ho! ho! dat fruit mighty bitter."
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    Ol' Adam he say, "W'at dat you eatin'?"
                ('Way down yonner)
    "Please gimme a bite er dat summer-sweetin',"
                ('Way down yonner)
    She gin de big haff wid de core an' de seed in,
    An' dar whar she show her manners an' her breedin',
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    Den Adam he ac' right sneakin' sho'ly,
                ('Way down yonner)
    An' mek his 'scuse ter de Lawd right po'ly,
                ('Way down yonner)
    Blamin' Eve 'kase she do w'at he tell 'er,
    An' settin' dat 'zample fer many a feller,
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    Den de Lawd He say in de Gyardin uv Eden,
                ('Way down yonner)
    "No sech a man shell do my weedin',"
                ('Way down yonner)
    So fo'th f'um de Gyardin de Lawd He bid him,
    An' o' co'se Mis' Eve she up an' went wid him,
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow.

    Oh, sinner, is you in de Gyardin uv Eden?
                ('Way down yonner)
    Is you on dem sinful apples feedin'?
                ('Way down yonner)
    Come out, oh, sinner, befo' youse driven,
    De debil gwine git you ef you goes on livin'
      'Way down yonner whar dem sinful apples grow!



It may be true that America is going to perdition; that all Americans
are rascals; that there are no American gentlemen; that culture,
refinement, and social manners can only be found in the Old World: but
if it be true, what an extraordinary anomaly it is that women, old and
young, ugly and handsome, can travel alone from one end of this great
country to the other, receiving only such attention as is acceptable.
Having journeyed up and down the land to the extent of twenty thousand
miles, I am persuaded that a woman can go anywhere and do anything,
provided she conducts herself properly. Of course it would be absurd to
deny that it is not infinitely more agreeable to be accompanied by the
"tyrant" called "man"; but when there is no tyrant to come to lovely
woman's rescue, it is astonishing how well lovely woman can rescue
herself, if she exerts the brain and muscle, given her thousands of
years ago, and not entirely annihilated by long disuse. I have been
nowhere that I have not been treated with greater consideration than if
I had belonged to the other sex. There is not a country in Europe of
which this can be said; and if a nation's civilization is gauged--as the
wise declare--by its treatment of women, then America, rough as it may
be, badly dressed as it is, tobacco-chewing as it often is, stands
head, shoulders, and heart above all the rest of the world. The
Frenchwoman was right in declaring America to be _le paradis des dames_,
and those women who exalt European gallantry above American honesty are
as blind to their own interests as an owl at high noon.

There is no royal railroad to lecturing. At best it is hard work, but
lecture committees "do their possible," as the Italians say, to lessen
the weight, and that "possible" is heartily appreciated by such of us as
inwardly long for a natural bridge between stations and hotels. A woman
is never so forlorn as when getting out of a car or entering a strange

However, there never was a rule without its exception, and though
courtesy has marked the majority of lecture committees for its own, a
lecturer may occasionally find himself stranded upon a desert of
indifference, and languish for the comforts of a home not twenty miles
distant. Thus it happened that once upon arriving at my destination when
the shades of evening were falling fast, and glancing about for the
customary smiling gentlemen who smooth out the rough places by carrying
bags, superintending the transportation of luggage, and driving you to
your abiding-place in the best carriage of the period, I found no
gentlemen, smiling or otherwise, to deliver me from my own ignorance.

"Carriage, ma'am?" screamed a Jehu in top-boots ornamented with a
grotesque tracery of mud.

Well, yes, I would take a carriage; so up I clambered and sat down upon
what in the darkness I supposed was a seat, but what gave such palpable
evidences of animation in howls and attempts at assault and battery, as
to prove its right to be called a boy. "An' sure the lady didn't mane to
hurt ye, Jimmy," expostulated something that turned out to be the boy's
mother, whereupon a baby and a small sister of the small boy sent forth
their voices in unison with that of their extinguished brother.

"Driver, let me get out," I said pathetically.

"Certainly, ma'am, but where will you go to? There ain't no other
carriage left."

True; and I remained, and when I was asked where I wanted to stop, I
really did not know. Was there a hotel? Yes. Was there more than one
hotel? No. I breathed more freely, and said I would go to the hotel.

The driver evidently entertained a poor opinion of my mental capacity,
for he mumbled to himself that "people who didn't know where they was
agoin' had nuff sight better stay at home," and deposited me at the
hotel with a caution against pickpockets. This was sufficiently
humiliating, yet were there lower depths. Entering the parlor, I found
it monopolized by a young lady in green silk and red ribbons, and a pink
young man with his hair parted in the middle and his shirt-bosom
resplendent with brilliants of the last water. They were at the piano,
singing "Days of Absence" in a manner calculated to depress the most
buoyant spirits. I rang the bell, and the green young lady and pink
young man began on the second verse. No answer. Again I rang the bell,
and the songsters began on the third verse. No answer. Once more I rang
the bell, and the green young lady and pink young man piped upon the
touching lay of "No one to love." Little cared those "two souls with
but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one," for the third heart
and soul, victim of misplaced confidence. Ring! I rang that bell until I
ached to be a man for one brief moment. Does a man ever endure such
torture? No. He puts on his hat, walks into the hotel office, gives
somebody a piece of his mind, and demands the satisfaction of a
gentleman. But a woman can go to no office. She must remain up stairs
and cultivate patience on hunger and thirst and a general mortification
of the senses. "Victory, or destruction to the bell!" I said at last,
and pulled the rope with the desperation of a maniac.

"Did you ring?" asked a mild clerk, entering on the tips of his toes as
if there were not enough of him to warrant so extravagant an expenditure
as the use of his whole sole. Did I ring? I who had been doing nothing
else for half an hour! I who had but forty-five minutes in which to eat
my supper and dress for the lecture!

Presenting my card, I desired the mild clerk to show me to my room. The
mild clerk was exceedingly sorry, but the committee had left no order,
and there was not a vacant room in the house!

"What am I to do?" I asked in agony of spirit. "I _must_ have a room."

_Must_ is an overpowering word. Only say _must_ with all the emphasis of
which it is capable, and longings are likely to be realized.

Well, the mild clerk didn't know but as how he might turn out and let me
have _his_ room.

Blessed man! Had I been pope, he should have been canonized on the spot.
Following him up several steep flights of stairs, lighted by a kerosene
lamp that perfumed the air as only kerosene can, I was at last ushered
into a room where sat a young girl knitting. She seemed to be no more
astonished at my appearance than were the chairs and table, merely
remarking, when we were left alone, "That's my father. I suppose you
won't have any objections to my staying here as long as I please." How
could I, an interloper, say "no" to the rightful proprietor of that
room? I smiled feebly, and the damsel pursued her knitting with her
fingers and me with her eyes, until everything in the room seemed to
turn into eyes. The frightful thought came o'er me that perhaps my
companion was "our own correspondent" for the "Daily Slasher!"--a
thought that sent my supper down the wrong way, deprived me of appetite,
and made me thankful that my back hair did not come off! The damsel sat
and sat, knitted and knitted, until she had superintended every
preparation, and then, like an Arab, silently stole away.

What next? Why, the committee called for me at the appointed hour,
seemed blandly ignorant of the fact that they had not done their whole
duty to woman, and maintained that walking was much better than driving.
The wind blew, dust sought shelter within the recesses of eyes and ears
and nose, but patient Griselda could not have behaved better than I. In
fact, a woman who lectures must endure quietly what a singer or actress
would stoutly protest against, for the reason that lecturing brings down
upon her the taunt of being "strong-minded," and any assertion of rights
or exhibition of temper is sure to be misconstrued into violent hatred
of men and an insane desire to be President of the United States. This
can hardly be called logic, but it _is_ truth. Logic is an unknown
quantity in the ordinary public estimation of women lecturers.

Inwardly cross and outwardly cold, I delivered my lecture, and went back
to that much-populated room, thinking that at least I should obtain a
few hours' sleep before starting off at "five o'clock in the
morning,"--a nice hour to sing about, but a horrible one at which to get
up. I approached the bed. Shade of that virtue which is next to
godliness! the linen was--was--yes, it was--second-hand! and calmly
reposing on a pillow of doubtful color, my startled vision beheld an

    "... ugly, creepin', blastit wonner,
    Detested, shunn'd, by saunt an' sinner."

That I should come to this! I sought for a bell. Alas, there was none!
Should I scream? No, that might bring out the fire-engines. Should I go
in search of the housekeeper? How to find her at that hour of the night?
No; rather than wander about a strange house in a strange place, I would
sit up. Of course there was a rocking-chair; in that I took refuge, and
there I sat with a quaint old-fashioned clock for company, with such
stout lungs as to render sleep an impossibility. No fairy godmother came
in at the key-hole to transform my chair into a couch and that talkative
clock into a handmaiden. No ghosts beguiled the weary hours. Eleven,
twelve, one, two, three, four! As the clock struck this last hour, a
porter pounded on the door, and, not long after, I was being driven
through the cold, dark morning to a railroad station. My Jehu was he of
the previous day, and a very nice fellow he turned out to be. "I didn't
know it was you yesterday, you see, miss, or I wouldn't have said
nothing about pickpockets. You don't look like a lecturer, you see, and
that's what's the matter."

"Indeed, and how ought a lecturer to look?"

"Well, I don't exactly know, but I always supposed they didn't look like
you. Reckon you don't enjoy staying around here in the dark, so I'll
just wait here till the train comes," and there that good creature
remained until the belated train snatched me up and whisked off to the
city. When the express agent passed through the car to take the
baggage-checks, it was as good as a play to see the different ways in
which people woke up. Some turned over and wouldn't wake up at all;
others sat bolt upright and blinked; some were very cross, and wondered
why they could not be let alone; others, again, rubbed their eyes,
scratched their heads, said "All right," and would have gone to sleep
again had not the agent shaken them into consciousness.

"Where do you go?" asked the agent of a quiet old gentleman sitting
before me, who had previously given up his checks.

"Yes, exactly; that's my name," replied the old gentleman.

"Where do you go?" again asked the agent in a somewhat louder tone.

"Exactly, I told you so." And the old gentleman put a pocket
handkerchief over his face as a preliminary to sleep.

"Well, I never," exclaimed the agent, who returned to the charge. "I
asked you where you wanted to go?"

"Precisely; that's my name."

"Confound your name!" muttered the agent. "You're either deaf or insane,
and I guess you're deaf." So putting his mouth to the old gentleman's
ear, he shouted, "Where--do--you--want--to--go?"

"O, really, the ---- House," was the mild answer to a question that so
startled everybody else as to cause one man to jump up and cry, "Fire!"
very much to the gratification of his fellow-passengers. There is
nothing more pleasing to human beings than to see somebody else make
himself ridiculous, and the amusement extracted from the contemplation
of that car-load of men and women almost compensated me for the previous

I have since traveled in the far West, but have never looked upon the
counterpart of that New England hotel.



Early in the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Holliday came home bearing a
large package in his arms. Not only seldom, but rarely, did anything
come into the Holliday homestead that did not afford the head of the
family a text for sermonic instruction, if not, indeed, rational
discourse. Depositing the package upon a hall table, he called to his
son in a mandatory manner:

"Rollo, come to me."

Rollo approached, but started with reluctant steps. He became
reminiscently aware as he hastily reviewed the events of the day, that
in carrying out one or two measures for the good of the house, he had
laid himself open to an investigation by a strictly partisan committee,
and the possibility of such an inquiry, with its subsequent report,
grieved him. However, he hoped for the worst, so that in any event he
would not be disagreeably disappointed, and came running to his father,
calling "Yes, sir!" in his cheeriest tones.

This is the correct form in which to meet any possible adversity which
is not yet in sight. Because, if it should not meet you, you are happy
anyhow, and if it should meet you, you have been happy before the
collision. See?

"Now, Rollo," said his father, "you are too large and strong to be
spending your leisure time playing baby games with your little brother
Thanny. It is time for you to begin to be athletic."

"What is athletic?" asked Rollo.

"Well," replied his father, who was an alumnus (pronounced ahloomnoose)
himself, "in a general way it means to wear a pair of pantaloons either
eighteen inches too short or six inches too long for you, and stand
around and yell while other men do your playing for you. The reputation
for being an athlete may also be acquired by wearing a golf suit to
church, or carrying a tennis racket to your meals. However, as I was
about to say, I do not wish you to work all the time, like a woman, or
even a small part of the time, like a hired man. I wish you to adopt for
your recreation games of sport and pastime."

Rollo interrupted his father to say that indeed he preferred games of
that description to games of toil and labor, but as he concluded, little
Thanny, who was sitting on the porch step with his book, suddenly read
aloud, in a staccato measure.


"Read to yourself, Thanny," said his father kindly, "and do not speak
your syllables in that jerky manner."

Thanny subsided into silence, after making two or three strange gurgling
noises in his throat, which Rollo, after several efforts, succeeded in
imitating quite well. Being older than Thanny, Rollo, of course, could
not invent so many new noises every day as his little brother. But he
could take Thanny's noises, they being unprotected by copyright, and not
only reproduce them, but even improve upon them.

This shows the advantage of the higher education. "A little learning is
a dangerous thing." It is well for every boy to learn that dynamite is
an explosive of great power, after which it is still better for him to
learn of how great power. Then he will not hit a cartridge with a hammer
in order to find out, and when he dines in good society he can still
lift his pie gracefully in his hand, and will not be compelled to
harpoon it with an iron hook at the end of his fore-arm.

Rollo's father looked at the two boys attentively as they swallowed
their noises, and then said:

"Now, Rollo, there is no sense in learning to play a man's game with a
toy outfit. Here are the implements of a game which is called base-ball,
and which I am going to teach you to play."

So saying he opened the package and handed Rollo a bat, a wagon tongue
terror that would knock the leather off a planet, and Rollo's eyes
danced as he balanced it and pronounced it a "la-la."

"It is a bat," his father said sternly, "a base-ball bat."

"Is that a base-ball bat?" exclaimed Rollo, innocently.

"Yes, my son," replied his father, "and here is a protector for the

Rollo took the large leather pillow and said:

"That's an infielder."

"It is a mitt," his father said, "and here is the ball."

As Rollo took the ball in his hands he danced with glee.

"That's a peach," he cried.

"It is a base-ball," his father said, "that is what you play base-ball

"Is it?" exclaimed Rollo, inquiringly.

"Now," said Mr. Holliday, as they went into the back yard, followed by
Thanny, "I will go to bat first, and I will let you pitch, so that I may
teach you how. I will stand here at the end of the barn, then when you
miss my bat with the ball, as you may sometimes do, for you do not yet
know how to pitch accurately, the barn will prevent the ball from going
too far."

"That's the back-stop," said Rollo.

"Do not try to be funny, my son," replied his father, "in this great
republic only a President of the United States is permitted to coin
phrases which nobody can understand. Now, observe me; when you are at
bat you stand in this manner."

And Mr. Holliday assumed the attitude of a timid man who has just
stepped on the tail of a strange and irascible dog, and is holding his
legs so that the animal, if he can pull his tail out, can escape without
biting either of them. He then held the bat up before his face as though
he was carrying a banner.

"Now, Rollo, you must pitch the ball directly toward the end of my bat.
Do not pitch too hard at first, or you will tire yourself out before we

Rollo held the ball in his hands and gazed at it thoughtfully for a
moment; he turned and looked at the kitchen windows as though he had
half a mind to break one of them; then wheeling suddenly he sent the
ball whizzing through the air like a bullet. It passed so close to Mr.
Holliday's face that he dropped the bat and his grammar in his
nervousness and shouted:

"Whata you throw nat? That's no way to pitch a ball! Pitch it as though
you were playing a gentleman's game; not as though you were trying to
kill a cat! Now, pitch it right here; right at this place on my bat. And
pitch more gently; the first thing you know you'll sprain your wrist and
have to go to bed. Now, try again."

This time Rollo kneaded the ball gently, as though he suspected it had
been pulled before it was ripe. He made an offer as though he would
throw it to Thanny. Thanny made a rush back to an imaginary "first," and
Rollo, turning quickly, fired the ball in the general direction of Mr.
Holliday. It passed about ten feet to his right, but none the less he
made what Thanny called "a swipe" at it that turned him around three
times before he could steady himself. It then hit the end of the barn
with a resounding crash that made Cotton Mather, the horse, snort with
terror in his lonely stall. Thanny called out in nasal, sing-song tone:


"Thanny," said his father, severely, "do not let me hear a repetition of
such language from you. If you wish to join our game, you may do so, if
you will play in a gentlemanly manner. But I will not permit the use of
slang about this house. Now, Rollo, that was better; much better. But
you must aim more accurately and pitch less violently. You will never
learn anything until you acquire it, unless you pay attention while
giving your mind to it. Now, play ball, as we say."

This time Rollo stooped and rubbed the ball in the dirt until his father
sharply reprimanded him, saying, "You untidy boy; that ball will not be
fit to play with!" Then Rollo looked about him over the surrounding
country as though admiring the pleasant view, and with the same
startling abruptness as before, faced his father and shot the ball in so
swiftly that Thanny said he could see it smoke. It passed about six feet
to the left of the batsman, but Mr. Holliday, judging that it was coming
"dead for him," dodged, and the ball struck his high silk hat with a
boom like a drum, carrying it on to the "back-stop" in its wild career.

"Take your base!" shouted Thanny, but suddenly checked himself,
remembering the new rules on the subject of his umpiring.

"Rollo!" exclaimed his father, "why do you not follow my instructions
more carefully? That was a little better, but still the ball was badly
aimed. You must not stare around all over creation when you are playing
ball. How can you throw straight when you look at everything in the
world except at the bat you are trying to hit? You must aim right at the
bat--try to hit it--that's what the pitcher does. And Thanny, let me say
to you, and for the last time, that I will not permit the slang of the
slums to be used about this house. Now, Rollo, try again, and be more
careful and more deliberate."

"Father," said Rollo, "did you ever play base-ball when you were a young

"Did I play base-ball?" repeated his father, "did I play ball? Well,
say, I belonged to the Sacred Nine out in old Peoria, and I was a holy
terror on third, now I tell you. One day--"

But just at this point in the history it occurred to Rollo to send the
ball over the plate. Mr. Holliday saw it coming; he shut both eyes and
dodged for his life, but the ball hit his bat and went spinning straight
up in the air. Thanny shouted "Foul!" ran under it, reached up, took it
out of the atmosphere, and cried:


"Thanny," said his father sternly, "another word and you shall go
straight to bed! If you do not improve in your habit of language I will
send you to the reform school. Now, Rollo," he continued, kindly, "that
was a great deal better; very much better. I hit that ball with almost
no difficulty. You are learning. But you will learn more rapidly if you
do not expend so much unnecessary strength in throwing the ball. Once
more, now, and gently; I do not wish you to injure your arm."

Rollo leaned forward and tossed the ball toward his father very gently
indeed, much as his sister Mary would have done, only, of course, in a
more direct line. Mr. Holliday's eyes lit up with their old fire as he
saw the on-coming sphere. He swept his bat around his head in a fierce
semi-circle, caught the ball fair on the end of it, and sent it over
Rollo's head, crashing into the kitchen window amid a jingle of glass
and a crash of crockery, wild shrieks from the invisible maid servant
and delighted howls from Rollo and Thanny of "Good boy!" "You own the
town!" "All the way round!"

Mr. Holliday was a man whose nervous organism was so sensitive that he
could not endure the lightest shock of excitement. The confusion and
general uproar distracted him.

"Thanny!" he shouted, "go into the house! Go into the house and go right
to bed!"

"Thanny," said Rollo, in a low tone, "you're suspended; that's what you
get for jollying the umpire."

"Rollo," said his father, "I will not have you quarreling with Thanny. I
can correct him without your interference. And, besides, you have
wrought enough mischief for one day. Just see what you have done with
your careless throwing. You have broken the window, and I do not know
how many things on the kitchen table. You careless, inattentive boy. I
would do right if I should make you pay for all this damage out of your
own pocket-money. And I would, if you had any. I may do so,
nevertheless. And there is Jane, bathing her eye at the pump. You have
probably put it out by your wild pitching. If she dies, I will make you
wash the dishes until she returns. I thought all boys could throw
straight naturally without any training. You discourage me. Now come
here and take this bat, and I will show you how to pitch a ball without
breaking all the glass in the township. And see if you can learn to bat
any better than you can pitch."

Rollo took the bat, poised himself lightly, and kept up a gentle
oscillation of the stick while he waited.

"Hold it still!" yelled his father, whose nerves were sorely shaken.
"How can I pitch a ball to you when you keep flourishing that club like
an anarchist in procession. Hold it still, I tell you!"

Rollo dropped the bat to an easy slant over his shoulder and looked
attentively at his father. The ball came in. Rollo caught it right on
the nose of the bat and sent it whizzing directly at the pitcher. Mr.
Holliday held his hands straight out before him and spread his fingers.

"I've got her!" he shouted.

And then the ball hit his hands, scattered them, and passed on against
his chest with a jolt that shook his system to its foundations. A
melancholy howl rent the air as he doubled up and tried to rub his chest
and knead all his fingers on both hands at the same time.

"Rollo," he gasped, "you go to bed, too! Go to bed and stay there six
weeks. And when you get up, put on one of your sister's dresses and play
golf. You'll never learn to play ball if you practice a thousand years.
I never saw such a boy. You have probably broken my lung. And I do not
suppose I shall ever use my hands again. You can't play tiddle-de-winks.
Oh, dear; oh, dear!"

Rollo sadly laid away the bat and the ball and went to bed, where he and
Thanny sparred with pillows until tea time, when they were bailed out of
prison by their mother. Mr. Holliday had recovered his good humor. His
fingers were multifariously bandaged and he smelled of arnica like a
drug store. But he was reminiscent and animated. He talked of the old
times and the old days, and of Peoria and Hinman's, as was his wont oft
as he felt boyish.

"And town ball," he said, "good old town ball! There was no limit to the
number on a side. The ring was anywhere from three hundred feet to a
mile in circumference, according to whether we played on a vacant
Pingree lot or out on the open prairie. We tossed up a bat--wet or
dry--for first choice, and then chose the whole school on the sides. The
bat was a board, about the general shape of a Roman galley oar and not
quite so wide as a barn door. The ball was of solid India rubber; a
little fellow could hit it a hundred yards, and a big boy, with a
hickory club, could send it clear over the bluffs or across the lake. We
broke all the windows in the school-house the first day, and finished up
every pane of glass in the neighborhood before the season closed. The
side that got its innings first kept them until school was out or the
last boy died. Fun? Good game? Oh, boy of these golden days, paying
fifty cents an hour for the privilege of watching a lot of hired men do
your playing for you--it beat two-old-cat."



     Can a boy learn anything without a teacher?--Does the pupil ever
     know more than the instructor?--And why not?--How long does it
     require one to learn to speak and write the Spanish language
     correctly in six easy lessons, at home, without a master?--And in
     how many lessons can one be taught to walk Spanish?--What is meant
     by a "rooter"?--What is the difference between a "rooter" and a
     "fan"?--Parse "hoodoo."--What is the philology of
     "crank"?--Describe a closely contested game of "one-old-cat," with
     diagrams.--What is meant by "a rank decision"?--Translate into
     colloquial English the phrase, "Good eye Bill!"--Put into bleaching
     board Latin, "Rotten umpire."--Why is he so called?



One day the children's mother told them that she was going to spend a
few days at a plantation some miles away, taking with her Aunt Nancy,
who was anxious to pay a little visit to a daughter living in that
neighborhood. Aunt 'Phrony, she told them, had promised to come and look
after them during her absence.

"Oh, please, mamma," they begged, "let Aunt 'Phrony take us nutting? She
told us one day that she knew where there were just lots and lots of
walnuts." So it was arranged that they should take a luncheon with them
and make a day of it, Aunt 'Phrony being perfectly willing, for her
Indian blood showed itself not only in her appearance, but in her love
for a free out-of-door life, and her fondness for tramping. She would
readily give up a day's work at any time to discharge some wholly
insignificant errand which involved a walk of many miles.

The day was a bright and beautiful one in October, warm, yet with a
faint nip of last night's frost lingering in the air. They made a fine
little procession through the woods, Aunt 'Phrony leading, followed by
children, a darky with baskets, her grandson "Wi'yum," and lastly the
dogs, frisking and frolicking and darting away every now and then in
pursuit of small game. A very weary and hungry little party gathered
about the baskets at one o'clock, and three little pairs of white hands
were stained almost as brown as those of Aunt 'Phrony and William. But
everybody was happy, and there was a nice pile of walnuts to go back in
the large bag which William had brought for the purpose. The dogs sat
around and looked longingly on, a squirrel frisked hastily across a log
near-by, the birds chattered in the trees high above and looked
curiously down on the intruders, and presently a foolish hare went
scurrying across the path, so near the dogs that they sat still, amazed
at his presumption, and forbore to chase him.

"Hi! there goes 'ol' Hyar'!'" shouted Ned; "I'm going to see if I can't
catch him." But he soon gave up the hopeless chase.

"Was that your 'ol' Hyar',' Aunt 'Phrony; your ol' Hyar' you tell us all
about?" asked little Kit.

"Bless de chil'!" said she. "Naw, 'twuz de ol', ol' Hyar' I done tol'
you 'bout, de gre't-gre't-gre't-sump'n-ru'rr grandaddy er dis one, I

"Aunt 'Phrony," said Janey, "couldn't you tell us some more about the
old hare while we sit here and get rested?"

"Now de laws-a-mussy," said 'Phrony, "ef we gwine 'mence on de ol' tales
I reckon I mought ez well mek up my min' ter spen' de res' er de day
right yer on dis spot," and she leaned back against a pine tree and
closed her eyes resignedly. Presently she opened them to ask, "Is I uver
tol' you 'bout de time Mistah Hyar' try ter git him a wife? I isn'?
Well, den, dat de one I gwine gin you dis trip. Hit happen dis-a-way:
Hyar' he bin flyin' all 'roun' de kyountry fer right long time,
frolickin' an' cuttin' up, jes' a no-kyount bachelder, an' las' he git
kind er tired uv hit, an' he see all tu'rr creeturs gittin' ma'ied an'
he tucken hit inter his haid dat 'twuz time he sottle down an' git him a
wife; so he primp hisse'f up an' slick his hya'r down wid b'argrease an'
stick a raid hank'cher in his ves'-pockit an' pick him a button-hole
f'um a lady's gyarden, an' den he go co'tin' dis gal an' dat gal an'
tu'rr gal. He 'mence wid de good-lookin' ones an' wind up wid de ugly
ones, but 'twan't nair' one dat 'ud lissen to 'im, 'kase he done done so
many mean tricks an' wuz sech a hyarum-skyarum dat dey wuz all 'feared
ter tek up wid 'im, an' so dey shet de do' in his face w'en he git ter
talkin' sparky, dough dar wan't no pusson cu'd do dat sort er talkin'
mo' slicker 'n w'at he cu'd. But he done gin de creeturs jes' li'l too
much 'havishness, so 'twan't no use.

"He think de marter all over an' he say ter hisse'f: 'Dem fool gals
dunno w'at dey missin', but ef dey s'pose I gwine gin up an' stay
single, dey done fool derse'fs dis time. I ain' gwine squatulate wid 'em
ner argyfy ner beg no mo', but I gwine whu'l right in an' do sump'n.'

"Atter he study a w'ile he slap one han' on his knee, an' he 'low, he
do: 'Dat's de ticket! dat's de ticket! I reckon dey'll fin' ol' man
Hyar' ain' sech a fool ez he looks ter be, atter all.'

"He go lopin' all roun', leavin' wu'd at ev'y house in de kyountry dat a
big meetin' bin hilt an' a law passed dat ev'yb'dy gotter git ma'ied,
young an' ol', rich an' po', high an' low. He say ter hisse'f,
'_ev'yb'dy_, dat mean me, too, so dish yer whar I boun' ter git me a

"De creeturs place der 'pennance on him, dough he done tucken 'em in so
often, an' on de 'pinted day dey met toge'rr; de gals all dress' up in
der Sunday clo'es an' de mens fixed up mighty sprucy, an' sech a pickin'
an' choosin' you nuver see in all yo' bawn days. De gals dey all stan'
up in line an' de men go struttin' mighty biggitty up an' down befo'
'em, showin' off an' makin' manners an' sayin', 'Howdy, ladiz, howdy,
howdy!' An' de gals dey'd giggle an' twis' an' putt a finger in de
cornders er der moufs, an' w'en a man step up ter one uv 'em ter choose
her out, she'd fetch 'im a li'l tap an' say, 'Hysh! g'way f'um yer, man!
better lemme 'lone!' an' den she'd giggle an' snicker some mo', but I
let you know she wuz sho' ter go wid him in de een'.

"All dis time Hyar' wuz gwine up an' down de line, bowin' an' scrapin'
an' tryin' ter mek hisse'f 'greeable ter ev'yb'dy, even de daddies an'
de mammies er de gals, whar wuz lookin' on f'um tu'rr side. Dar wuz whar
he miss hit, 'kase w'ile he wuz talkin' ter de mammy uv a mighty likely
li'l gal whar he think 'bout choosin', lo an' beholst, de choosin' wuz
all over, an' w'en Mistah Hyar' turnt roun' dar wan't nair' a gal lef',
an' ev'y man have a wife asseptin' him.

"Den dey hilt a big darnsin' an' feastin', an' ev'yb'dy wuz happy an' in
a monst'ous good humor, de gals 'kase dey done wot ma'ied, an' de paws
an' de maws 'kase dey done got redd er de gals,--ev'yb'dy 'scusin'
Hyar'. Dey mek lots er game uv 'im, an' w'en dey darnse pas', dey sings
out: 'Heyo! Mistah Hyar', huccome you ain' darnse?' 'Bring yo' wife, ol'
man, an' jine in de fun!' 'Hi! yi! Mistar Hyar', you done ma'y off
ev'yb'dy else an' stay single yo'se'f? Well, dat de meanes' trick you
done played us yit! 'tain' fair!' An' dey snicker an' run on 'twel
Hyar' wish he ain' nuver year de wu'd ma'y.

"Atter w'ile dey got tired er darnsin' an' tucken der new wifes an' went
off home leavin' Hyar' all by hisse'f, an' I tell you he feel right
lonesome. He git a bad spell er de low-downs an' go squanderin' roun'
thu de woods wid his years drapt an' his paws hangin' limp, studyin' how
he kin git revengemint. Las' he pull hisse'f toge'rr an' he say: 'Come,
Hyar', dis ain't gwine do. Is you done fool ev'yb'dy all dese 'ears an'
den let yo'se'f git fooled by a passel er gals? Naw, suh! I knows w'at I
gwine do dis ve'y minnit. Ef I kain't git me a gal, I kin git me a
widdy, an' some folks laks dem de bes', anyhows. Ef you ma'y a widdy,
she got some er de foolishness knock' outen her befo' you hatter tek her
in han'.'

"Wid dat he step out ez gaily ez you please. He go an' knock at de do'
uv ev'y house, an' w'en de folks come ter de do' dey say, 'W'y, howdy,
Mistah Hyar', whar you bin keepin' yo'se'f all dis time?' He say, he do:
'Oh, I bin tendin' ter de 'fairs er de kyountry, an' I is sont unter you
ez a messenger. I is saw'y ter tell you dey done hilt nu'rr big meetin'
an' mek up der min's de worl' gittin' too many creeturs in hit, so dey
pass de law dat dar mus' be a big battle, an' you is all ter meet
toge'rr at de 'pinted time, an' each man mus' fall 'pun de man nex' him
an' try fer ter kill 'im.'

"De creeturs assept dis wid submissity, dey ain' 'spicion Hyar' 't all.
On de 'pinted day dey met toge'rr, an' each wuz raidy ter defen'
hisse'f. Hyar' wuz dar lak all de res', an' ef you'd 'a seed all de
spears an' bows an' arrers he kyarry, an' all de knifes stickin' in his
belt, you'd 'a thought he wuz de bigges' fighter dar. But sho! W'en de
fightin' begin, hit wuz far'-you-well, gentermans! 'Twan't no Hyar' dar;
he jes' putt out tight 'z he kin go. W'en dey see him goin' dey sing
out: 'Hi, dar! Whar you gwine? Whyn't you stay wid we-all?'

"Hyar' ain' stop ter talk, he jes' look roun' over his shoulder w'iles
he 'z runnin' an' he say, sezee: 'De man I wanster kill, he done runned
'way an' I'se atter him. Kain't stop to talk; git outen my way,

    _'Cle'r de track, fer yer me comin',
    I'se ol' Buster whar keep things hummin'.'_

"W'en de battle wuz over, de creeturs miss Hyar', an' dey say he mus' be
'mongs' de kilt, so dey go roun' lookin' at de daid, but 'twan't no
Hyar' dar. Dey hunt ev'ywhar fer him an' las' dey foun' him squattin' in
de bresh, tremlin' ez ef he have de ager an' nigh mos' skeert ter de'f.
Dey drug him outen dat an' dey ses: 'So dish yer's Buster whar keep
things hummin'! Well, we gwine mek you hum dis time, sho' 'nuff. You
putts we-all ter fightin' an' gits heap er good men kilt off, an' yer
_you_ settin' tuck 'way safe in de bresh.'

"Den ol' Hyar' he up an' 'fess he done de hull bizness so's't de
kyountry mought be full er widdies an' he git him his pick fer a wife,
fer he 'lowed widdies wan't gwine be so p'tickler ez de gals. De
creeturs jes' natchully hilt up der han's at him, dey wuz plumb outdone.
'De owdacious vilyun!' dey ses, 'we boun' ter exescoot him on de spot
an' git shed uv 'im onct fer all.' But he baig mighty hard an' some uv
'em think he be wuss punish ef dey jes' gins 'im a good hidin' an' lets
'im live on alone, a mis'able ol' bachelder, widout no pusson ter tek
notuss uv 'im, 'kase none er de widdies wuz gwine ma'y a cowerd."

"Why, Aunt 'Phrony," said Ned, "he must have found a wife at last, for
how about Mis' Molly Hyar'?"

"Shucks!" said she, "is _I_ uver tol' you 'bout Mis' Molly Hyar'? Naw,
suh, she b'longs in dem ol' nigger tales whar Nancy tells you. De Injun
tales ain' say nuttin' 'bout no wife er his'n. He wuz too gre't a
fighter an' too full er 'havishness uver ter sottle down wid a wife; an'
now lemme finish de tale.

"Dey gin him a turr'ble trouncin' an' den turnt him aloose, an' stidder
gittin' him a wife he got him a hide dat smart f'um haid ter heels; but
w'en my daddy tell dat tale he useter een' her up dis-a-way, 'An' mebby
Hyar' git de bes' uv 'em, atter all, 'kase w'en you git a hidin', de
smart's soon over, but w'en you git a wife, de mis'ry done come ter



    Ten thoughtful women, ever wise,
    A wondrous scheme did once devise
    For ease, and to economize.

    "Cooeperation!" was their cry,
    And not a husband dared deny
    'Twould life and labor simplify.

    One gardener, the ten decreed,
    Was all the neighborhood would need
    To plant and trim and rake and weed.

    The money saved they could invest
    As vagrant fancy might suggest,
    And each could then be better dressed.

    So well this worked that, on the whole,
    It seemed to them extremely droll
    To pay so much for handling coal.

    One man all work then undertook,
    And former methods they forsook,
    Deciding even on one cook.

    One dining-room was next in line,
    Where, free from care, they all could dine
    At less expense, as you'll divine.

    "Two maids," they said, "could quickly flit
    From home to home, so why permit
    Expense that brings no benefit?"

    Economy of cash and care
    Became a hobby of the fair,
    Until their husbands sought a share.

    "Although," the latter said, "all goes
    For luxuries and costly clothes,
    The method still advantage shows.

    "While we've not gained, we apprehend
    Good Fortune will on us attend,
    If we continue to the end.

    "If you've succeeded, why should we
    From constant toil be never free?
    One income should sufficient be;

    "And, taking turns in earning that,
    We'll have the leisure to wax fat
    And spend much time in idle chat.

    "So let us see the matter through,
    And, in this line, it must be true
    One house for all will surely do.

    "And if one house means less of strife,
    To gain the comforts of this life,
    Why, further progress means one wife."

           *       *       *       *       *

    Ten women now, their acts attest,
    Prefer ten homes, and deem it best
    To let cooeperation rest.

[Footnote 2: Lippincott's Magazine.]



"Katherine--give it up, dear--" The man looked down into the earnest
eyes of the girl as she sat in the shadow of a palm in the conservatory
at the Morrison's. Strains of music from the ball-room fell on unheeding
ears and she sighed as she looked up at him.

"I can not turn back now, Everett," she said. "Ever since that day I
spent down on the east side I have looked at life from a different
standpoint. A message came to me then and I must listen. For a year I
have been preparing myself to take my part in this work. To-morrow I
take possession of what is called a model flat, and I hope to teach
those poor little children something besides the _three R's_. To tell
them how to take a little sunshine into their dismal homes." She looked
like some fair saint with her face illumined with love of humanity.

"Might I venture to suggest that there is plenty of room for sunshine in
an old house up the Avenue," said the man wistfully.

The girl looked up quickly--"Don't, Everett, give me six months to see
what I can do--then I will answer the question you asked me last night."

"Oh, my dear, my dear," he said, "you do not know how I hate to have you
go down there. My sympathy with the great unwashed is not deep enough
for me to be willing to have you mingle with them. Then, to be quite
honest, I have found them rather a happy lot."

"Listen, Everett," said the girl. "Come down to me a month from to-night
and I will show you that I am right and you are wrong."

"A _whole_ month!" the man protested.

"Yes, a whole month--"

       *       *       *       *       *

The sun was shining into the front windows of a room on the first floor
of a high tenement down on the east side. A snow-white bed stood far
enough from the wall to allow it to be made up with perfect ease. In
front of it stood a screen covered with pretty chintz; white muslin
curtains hung at the windows; everything was spotless from the
kalsomined ceiling to the oiled floors, where a few bright-colored rugs
made walking possible. As Katherine Anderson explained to some scoffing
friends who came down to take luncheon with her.

"Everything is clean and in its proper place and the object-lesson is
invaluable to these poor children. If you go into their homes you will
find that the bed is a bundle of rags in some dark closet, while the
front room is kept for company. Here I show them how easily this sunny
room is made into a sitting-room by putting that screen in front of the
bed and then there is a healthful place to sleep. You may think that I
am over-enthusiastic, but I enjoy my classes and I assure you they are
_all day long_, for besides the usual schoolroom work we have cooking
classes, physical culture, nature classes and little talks about all
sorts of things. I have one girl who I know is going to be a great
novelist, she has such an imagination," said Katherine. "Her big sister
always has a duplicate of anything of mine the child happens to admire,
and the other day she came rushing in with the tale that 'burglars' had
broken into their house the night before and stolen twenty bottles of
ketchup and 'some _preserts_.'"

"Had they?" asked the guest. "What peculiar taste in burglary!"

"No," laughed Katherine; "she has no big sister and their house is one
back room four flights up."

Four weeks had passed since the Morrison dinner, and Katherine was
tired. Then, too, she was not altogether sure that her mission was a
success. Was she wishing for the fleshpots of upper Fifth Avenue, or was
it just physical weariness that would pass with the night? She had sent
off a note in the morning:

     "MY DEAR EVERETT--The work of the model flat is still in existence,
     and it is almost a month--a whole month. On Saturday afternoon I am
     expecting some of the mothers to come and tell me what they think
     of the work we are doing for their children. They will probably be
     gone by five o'clock, and if you care to come down at that time I
     might be induced to go out to dinner with you. Don't bother about a
     chaperon. As I feel now, I could chaperon a chorus girl myself.


Whether the meeting at Mrs. Kelly's had been called together by engraved
cards, by postals, or simply by shrieking from one window to another, I
do not know, but there was evidently some excitement, some deep feeling
which needed expression among the little crowd of women in the fourth
floor, back.

"I tell ye," shouted Mrs. Kelly, to make herself heard above the din of
many voices, "I tell ye we must organize, an' Tim Kelly himself says it.
Only last Satady night, an' him swearin' wid hunger, an' me faintin' wid
the big wash I had up the Avenoo, what did we come home to but hull
wheat bred an' ags olla Beckymell. There stood my Katy, wid her han's on
her hips, a-sayin' as 'teacher said' them things was nourishiner than
b'iled cabbage. Well, Tim was that mad he broke every plate on the table
an' then went and drank hisself stiff in Casey's saloon."

"And what do ye think," cried Mrs. McGinniss, as Mrs. Kelly stopped for
breath, "the other night, when me an' some frinds was comin' in for a
quiet avenin', we found my Ellen Addy had hauled the bed into the front
room, an' she an' the young ones was all asleep, an' up to the winders
was my best petticut cut in two. When I waked her up she whined,
'Teacher says it ain't healthy to sleep in back.' Did ye ever hear the
like of that? an' every blessed one of them kids born there!"

"Now, wha' d'ye think o' that?" murmured the crowd.

Mrs. Kelly caught her breath and began again. "I've axed ye to come here
because teacher sent word that she'd like the mothers to come of a
Satady and tell her how they liked what she was doin' for the young
ones. Tim says as they sends a committee from men's meetings, and I
think if Mrs. McGinniss, Mrs. McGraw and me was to riprisint this
gatherin' we could tell her how we all feels."

It was Saturday afternoon, and the model flat was in perfect order,
while the little servant, called "friend" by Miss Anderson, waited in
her spotless apron to answer the bell. Another object-lesson for the
mothers who were expected. The bell rang and three women walked soberly
into the little hall.

"I am so glad to see you, Mrs. Kelly, and you, Mrs. McGinniss." She
hesitated at the third name.

"'Tis Mrs. McGraw," said Mrs. Kelly.

"Bring the tea, Louisa," said Miss Anderson, "and then I want to show
you how pleasant my home is here."

Mrs. Kelly gave a sniff. "Hum, yessum, it's sunny, but I've seen your
home up town, and it's beyond the likes of me to see why you're down
here at all, at all."

"Yes," said Mrs. McGinniss, "an' I've come to say that you'd better stay
up there an' stop teachin' my childer about their insides. I'm tired of
hearin' 'I can't eat this an' I can't eat that, cause teacher says there
ain't no food walue.' An' there's Mrs. Polinski, down the street, says
she'll have no more foolishness."

Mrs. Kelly had caught her breath again. "Her Rebecca come home only
yestidy an' cut all the stitches in Ikey's clo'es, an' him sewed up for
the winter."

Just then a woman with a shawl over her head came in without knocking.
With a nod to the three women, she faced the teacher. "Now, I'd like to
know one thing," she said; "you sent my Josie home this morning to wash
the patchouly offen her hair; now, I want to know just one thing--does
she come here to be smelt or to be learnt?"

"There's another thing, too," said Mrs. Kelly; "I want that physical
torture business stopped. The young ones are tearin' all their clo'es
off, an' it's _got to be stopped_!"

Katherine looked a little dazed and her voice trembled a bit as she
said: "Wouldn't you like to look at the flat?"

"No, Miss, we wouldn't," said Mrs. Kelly. "You're a nice young woman,
and you don't mean no harm, but it's the sinse av the committee that
you're buttin' in. Good day to ye." And they filed slowly out.

Katherine, with cheeks aflame, turned toward the door. There was a
twinkle in Landon's eyes as he said:

"Are you quite ready for dinner, dear?"

There was a little break in her voice, and she gave him both her hands.

"Quite ready for--for anything, Everett."



                 Nigger nuver worry,--
                    Too much sense fer dat,
                 Let de white folks scurry
                    Roun' an' lose dey fat,
    Nigger gwine be happy, nuver-min'-you whar he at.

                 Nigger jes' kain't worry,--
                    Set him down an' try,
                 No use, honey, fer he
                    Sho' ter close he eye,
    Git so pow'ful sleepy dat he pass he troubles by.

                 Cur'ous, now, dis trouble
                    Older dat hit grown,
                 'Stid er gittin' double,
                    Dwinnle ter de bone;
    Nigger know dat, so dat why he lef' he troubles 'lone.

                 Nigger nuver hurry,
                    Dem w'at wants ter may;
                 Hurry hit mek worry!
                    Now you year me say
    Ain' gwine hurry down de road ter meet ol' Def half-way!

    Den quit yo' hurryin',
    Quit yo' worryin'!
    W'at de use uv all dis scurryin'?
      Mek ol' Time go sof' an' slow,
      Tell him you doan' want no mo'
    Dish yer uverlastin' flurryin',--
    Jes' a trick er his fer hurryin'
    Folks de faster to'des dey burryin'!



    "My Papa is an angel now,"
      The little maiden said.
    We noted her untroubled brow,
      Her gayly nodding head,
    And then, of course, we wondered how
      She could have been misled.

    We felt that she was wrong, and yet
      We spoke in accents low,
    For life with perils is beset,
      And friends oft quickly go.
    But she was right; he'd gone in debt
      To "back" a burlesque show.

[Footnote 3: Lippincott's Magazine.]



The tantalizing stream on the other side of the hedge seemed, to the hot
and tired young man, to lead the way straight into the heart of Paradise
itself. Six weary miles of white highway, wavering with heat and misty
with hovering dust clouds, still lay between himself and the railroad
that would whisk him away to the city. Behind him, conquered at
fatiguing cost, were six more miles, stretching back to the village
where not even a team could be hired on Sunday. Rather than spend the
day in that dismal abode of Puritanism he had fled on foot, his business
done, and this little creek, mocking, alluring, irresistible, was the
only cheerful thing on which his eyes had rested in that whole stifling

Even this had a drawback. He glanced up again, with a puzzled frown, at
the queer sign glaring down at him from the hedge. It was the third one
of the sort in the past quarter of a mile:


     _Are warned from these premises
     under penalty of the law_


He turned away impatiently. Dust, dust, dust! He could feel it pasty on
his tongue, gritty on his lips, grimy on his face. It had stiffened his
hair, clogged his nostrils, sifted through his clothing, settled into
his shoes. It was everywhere and all-pervading.

The forbidden creek, in the very refinement of derision, suddenly
bubbled into a bar of clinking song--a perfect ecstasy of crystal
notes--then as suddenly died down, babbling and gurgling, and flowed
smoothly on, whispering and murmuring to itself of the delights to come
in the heart of the cool woods. Just here, with a swift sweep between
mossy, curved banks, the stream turned its back to him and hurried away
among the trees with a coy invitation that was well-nigh maddening. He
remembered just such a creek as that where, as a boy, he had used to go
with his companions after school.

How delightful those boyish swims had been! In fancy he could still feel
the chill shock as he had plunged in, the sharp catching of his breath,
the resounding splash, the shower of icy drops, the soft yielding of the
water--then the delicious buoyancy that had pervaded his limbs. He
wondered, with a whimsical smile, how long he could "stay under," and if
he could hold his eyes open while he dived, and if he could still swim
"dog fashion" and back-handed on his back, and if he could float and
tread water and "turtle."

How cool and shady and restful it looked in there! Just before the creek
turned behind a clump of dogwood, a patch of sunlight lay on it,
shooting down through the misty twilight of broad oak trees, and the
surface of the water dimpled and glinted and laughed and flirted at him,
before it slipped away into leaf-dimmed sylvan solitudes, in a way that
was not to be longer resisted. He gave one more glance of distaste at
the white hot road and gave up the struggle.

"Here goes the 'especial man,'" he said, looking up at the sign in
smiling defiance, and forced his way through the hedge.

What a coquettish little stream that was! It leaped merrily down tiny,
boulder-strewn inclines to show him how light-hearted and care-free it
could be; it flowed sedately between narrow banks of turf to display its
perfect propriety; it coyly hid behind walls of graceful, slender
willows; it danced impudently into the open and dashed across clear
spaces in frantic haste to escape him; it spread out, clear and limpid,
upon little bars of golden sand, pretending frankly to reveal its pure,
inmost depths; then raced on again, ever beckoning, ever enticing, ever
cajoling, until at last it plunged straight at a wall of dense, tangled
underbrush, and, with a vixenish gurgle of delight at its own
blandishing duplicity, vanished underneath the low sweeping mass of
leaves without even so much as a good-by!

The pursuer was not to be daunted. Doggedly he fought his way around and
through the swampy underbrush and presently stood blinking his delighted
eyes in a little natural clearing that was a glorious climax to all the
tantalizing coquetry of the creek. Encircled by drooping, long-leaved
willows that were themselves enringed by stately trees, lay a broad,
deep pool, clear as crystal, one side carpeted with velvety turf and
screened with leafy draperies, and the whole canopied by the smiling
blue sky. With a cry of pleasure the young man hastily threw off his
clothing, and, as he undressed, a school-boy taunt whimsically recurred
to him.

"Last one in's a nigger!" he shouted to the squirrel that he caught
peering at him from the far side of a limb, and plunged into the pool.

One by one he gleefully tried all the old boyish tricks until at last,
tiring of them, he lay floating peacefully on his back, looking up at
the sky and covering the entire visible surface of it with air castles,
as young men will. There was no dusty road, no broiling hot sun, no six
miles of weary distance yet to cover.

There was a rustle and a patter among the trees. Two dogs came bounding
to the edge of the water and barked at the bather in friendly fashion.
They were bouncing big St. Bernards, but scarcely more than puppies, and
they capered and danced in awkward delight when he splashed water at
them. As a further evidence of their friendly feeling they suddenly
pounced upon his clothing.

"Hey there!" cried the bather, and scrambled out to rescue his apparel.
It was kind of him, the dogs thought, to take so much interest in the
game, and, not to be outdone in heartiness, they scampered off through
the woods, taking the clothes with them. All they left behind was his
hat, his shoes and one sock, his collar and cuffs and tie. He threw
sticks and stones after them and had started to chase them when a new
and dreadful sound smote on his ear. It was the voices of women!

There was but one safe hiding-place--the pool. With rare presence of
mind he concealed the pathetic remnant of his belongings and plunged
just in time, diving under a clump of low-hanging willows where a
friendly root gave support to his arms and breast.

Two elderly ladies of severe and forbidding aspect came slowly within
his range of vision. One was tall and thin and the other was short and
thin, while both wore plain, skimp, black gowns and had their hair
parted in the center and smoothed down flatly over their ears. They were
silent with some vexed and weighty problem as they drew near, but, as
they came just opposite to him, the taller of the two suddenly burst out

"Men, men, men! Nothing but men, morning, noon and night. Please
explain, Sister Ann! Where did Adnah, during my brief absence, get her
sudden curiosity about the despicable sex?"

"It was the recent visit of Doctor Laura Phelps, Sister Sarah," meekly
replied the smaller woman. "She lost a magazine while here and Adnah
found it. The publication contained several love stories, so-called, an
illustrated article on 'Young Captains of Industry' and another on
'Handsome Young Men of the Stage.' I burned the pernicious thing as soon
as it came into my hands, but, alas, the damage had been done!"

"Damage, indeed, Sister Ann!" snapped the other. "Since the age of five,
poor Sister Jane's orphan has never been permitted to see a man. Big
country girls have even been hired to do our farm work. And this, _this_
is the end of fourteen years of self-sacrificing care!"

The young man in the pool cautiously ducked his head under the water. A
mosquito had settled back of his ear and was driving him mad.

"Dreadful!" moaned Sister Ann. "Adnah goes about sighing all the day,
and looks over-long in the mirror, and takes unseemly pains with her
dressing, and does up her hair with flowers, and has feverishly pink
cheeks, and likes to sit in a corner and brood, and takes long walks by
herself, and especially, _especially_, seems fond of moonlight!"

A snake slid down off the bushes into the water near the young man and
he "wanted out," but he stayed.

"Moonlight!" sniffed Sarah. "Moonlight!" There is no language to express
the disdain with which she spoke this word of philandering and

"Moonlight is very pretty," ventured the other. "I rather like it

"At _your_ time of life!" retorted Sister Sarah. "You are too
sentimental, Sister Ann, as well as too careless."

Thank Heaven they were going! The young man waited until their voices
died in the distance, then crept cautiously to the bank. He had to find
those dogs, and in a hurry. He had just seated himself to put on his
shoes for the search, when he again heard the voices of women and once
more plunged into the pool, like a monster yellow frog, as he reflected
he must seem to the squirrel in the tree.

"But, Aunt Matilda, how do you know?" he heard as he came up under the
willows. This new voice, sweet and limpid, belonged to a girl of such
striking appearance that the young man was on the point of forgetting
his dilemma--until that infernal mosquito settled down back of his ear

"My dear Adnah," said a jerky little voice in answer, "your aunts,
remember, were all young once, and considered great beauties in their
day." There was a world of gentle pride in Aunt Matilda's voice as she
said this, and it sounded so well that she said it over again. "Great
beauties in their day! In consequence they all had their experiences
with men, and know that there is not one to be trusted. Not one, my
child, not one! Believe your aunts."

"It seems impossible, aunty," declared the soft voice of Adnah. "Why, in
that magazine were the pictures of some of the most noble-looking

"Tut, tut, child, those are the very worst kind," hastily interrupted
Aunt Matilda. "The more handsome they are, the more dangerous. Since you
remain so incredulous, however, I suppose I shall have to tell you what
we know about them."

The young man in the pool felt his circulation stopping. The two women
were calmly sitting down on the bank to talk confidences, and from what
he knew of the sex they were as likely as not to sit there until
doomsday, compelling him to appear before the angel Gabriel without even
a shroud. He was conscious of the beginning of a cramp in his left leg
and his shoulders were becoming icy. He had to be motionless, too, and
that was another hardship. The least movement might betray him, for the
women sat quite near, and Adnah was facing him. Thanks to the thickness
of his leafy hiding-place she could not see him, but he could see her
quite plainly, and she was well worth looking at. She, too, wore a
plain, skimp, black dress, and her brown hair was parted in the center
and smoothed down over her ears, but there the resemblance to Aunt
Matilda and the others ended, for her hair was wavy in spite of the
severely straight brushing, and it glinted gold where little flecks of
sunlight filtered through the branches of the tall trees to caress it.
In the hair, too, was a single red rose, caught into place with a
natural grace that it seemed a pity to waste on three spinster aunts and
two dogs, and the same note of color was repeated in another rebellious
blossom at the throat. The young face was plump and oval, and the cheeks
were pink, the brown eyes were wide and sparkling and--Oh, well, the
young man in the pool stopped cataloguing her attractions and simply
summed her up as a stunningly pretty girl. Then he tried once more to
get rid of that maddening mosquito and wished to high Heaven that they
would go!

"When our dear mother died we four girls were all quite young," began
Aunt Matilda, pausing primly to smooth down her skirts, and the young
man in the watery prison gave up in despair. She was starting out like
the old-fashioned story books, which never arrived any place, and never
knew how to get back if they did. "Your Aunt Sarah was eighteen years
old, your Aunt Ann and myself sixteen, and your poor, deluded mother
fourteen. Our father, child, married again within the year, and so you
see our acquaintance with the duplicity of men began at a very early
age. Of course, we refused to live with a stepmother or to allow her to
occupy our own dear mother's house. Left, then, upon our own
responsibilities at so tender a period of our lives, it behooved us to
conduct ourselves with the strictest of propriety, and I am most happy
to say that we came triumphantly through the ordeal. Naturally, we being
great beauties in those days, my child, great beauties, many gay young
men fluttered about us, and some of them really made quite favorable
impressions upon us. There was one in particular--"

Aunt Matilda paused for a sigh and fixed her eyes in sad reminiscence
upon a little clump of ferns that, full of conceit, were waving
incessant salutes at their dainty reflections in the water.

"Hang the story of her life!" muttered the miserable youth in the pool.
His teeth were beginning to chatter.

"Do go on, aunty!" cried the eager Adnah.

"Well, child, they were all alike. Having insinuated their way into our
confidences by agreeable manners and by their really indisputable
attractiveness, having aroused the beginnings of tender emotions, what
did these young men do, one and all? Why, instead of waiting until the
acquaintance had ripened into mutual undying affection and then falling
gracefully to their knees with honorable proposals of marriage, they one
and all chose what seemed to be favorable moments and strove, by
cajolery or stealth or even force, to kiss us. To _kiss_ us!"

"Gracious!" exclaimed Adnah.

There was a moment's silence. The young man in the pool could feel the
goose-flesh pimpling between his shoulder blades.

"After all, though, it might not have been so very dreadful," finally
commented Adnah, after a thoughtful sigh.

"Adnah!" cried the horrified Aunt Matilda. "I am astounded!"

"I can't help it, aunty," said Adnah. "I can't make it seem so terrible,
no matter how hard I try. In fact it--it seems to me that it would have
been--well--rather nice."


"But, aunty, didn't it ever seem that way to you, sometimes?"

Aunt Matilda was shocked and silent for a moment, then over her pale
cheeks crept a pink flush.

"I'll not deny," she presently confessed in a hesitant voice, "that if
we had not had each other to rely upon for firmness we might perhaps
have been deluded by some of these young scapegraces. They were truly
quite appealing at times. There was one in particular--"

Again Aunt Matilda became lost in meditation. The young man in the pool
swore softly, even though he perceived the tear that trembled upon the
lady's eyelash. It was impossible to be sympathetic while a leech was
fastened to his ankle.

"My mother must have thought the way I do, I am sure," persisted Adnah.
The remark brought Aunt Matilda out of the past with a jerk.

"Your poor mother had the most pitiful experience of all, child," she
replied. "She married. Shortly after you were born, she died,
fortunately spared all knowledge of your father's faithless fickleness.
Adnah, he, too, married again! You, Adnah, was too young to protect
yourself from a stepmother, but we came to your rescue. Your great
uncle, Peter, had just died and left us this fine estate, and here we
are, trying to shield you from the wiles of the destroyer, man!"

"Some men must be nice, or so many, many girls would not want them,"
commented Adnah, still unconvinced.

"I'll not deny, dear, that some of them _seem_ quite nice," admitted the
other with a sigh. "There was one in particular--"

The dogs interrupted at this moment with a racing struggle for some red
and brown object.

"_Now_ what has Castor got?" cried Adnah, jumping up to give chase in a
healthy and delightful burst of speed.

The youth in the pool dismally realized that Castor had his missing
sock, a brown lisle affair with a quaint red pattern in it, at a dollar
a pair. His teeth were pounding together like castanets, now, so loudly
that he feared Aunt Matilda must surely hear them. Adnah presently
returned, flushed rosy red by the exercise and more charming than ever.

"I couldn't catch them," she panted. "Gracious, but I am warm! There is
plenty of time for a plunge before dinner. Just wait, Aunt Mattie, until
I run for the bathing suits," and she flashed away again.

Great Caesar's ghost! The hidden youth grew so warm with apprehension
that the goose-flesh disappeared and the chattering of his teeth
stopped. His dilemma was unspeakable and unsolvable, seemingly, but
suddenly it was solved for him. The dogs came back!

The sock had been shredded and they sought fresh diversion. After a
cordially barked invitation for the young man to come out and play, they
went in after him. There was a tremendous splashing struggle. Suddenly
the willows were pulled down by a muscular bare arm, and the face of a
young man appeared above it to the astounded gaze of Aunt Matilda.

"Excuse me, madam," he began, lunging viciously at Castor and Pollux
with his feet. "Please call off your dogs."

Aunt Matilda, pale but determined, whipped an antiquated monster of a
pistol from her pocket, though she held it far off from her and to one
side, with no intention, past, present or future, of ever firing it. It
got its effectiveness from size alone, and was built for pure moral
suasion if ever a pistol was.

"Hold perfectly still or I shall shoot," she quaveringly warned him.
"You are a male trespasser, sir!"

"I sincerely regret it, madam," replied the culprit, slapping viciously
at the mosquito behind his ear. He got it that time.

"You probably will," freezingly retorted Aunt Matilda. "I shall
telephone for the sheriff immediately, and if you are still here when he
arrives you shall receive the full penalty of the law."

The young man did some quick thinking. It was necessary.

"Madam, your dogs have stolen my clothing and my money, and I can not
leave until I get them back," he presently declared with lucky
inspiration. "If you have me arrested for trespass I shall bring suit
for the recovery of property."

Aunt Matilda was sufficiently perplexed to lower her pistol and allow
him to explain, while she coaxed the dogs out of the water. He was a
splendid talker, and had fine, honest-looking blue eyes.

There was a rush of swift footsteps among the trees.

"Hide!" she commanded in sudden panic.

He promptly hid, and when Adnah arrived with the bathing suits, that
young lady found her aunt calmly seated on the ground, holding Castor
and Pollux each by a dripping collar.

"Leave my suit and return to the house at once with these dogs,"
directed Aunt Matilda without turning her head.

"Why, Aunt Mattie, what's the matter?"

"Nothing!" snapped Aunt Matilda in desperation. "Go back to the house
and stay until I come. Ask no questions."

Adnah searched the scene in mystification for a moment.

"Yes, aunty," she suddenly said, and walked away in a flutter of
excitement. She had caught the gleam of a bright eye peering at her from
among the willows!

She burst into a spontaneous rhapsody of song as she went, trilling and
warbling in sweet, untaught cadences, unconsciously like a bird singing
to its mate in the springtime. She had a wonderful voice. The young man
was sorry when she was out of hearing, but glad, too, for the water was
beginning to pucker his cuticle in hard ridges like a wash-board.

"Now, young man," said Aunt Matilda, "I shall leave this bathing suit
here for your use. I shall expect you to put it on and retire from the
premises as quickly as possible."

"I must remain until nightfall," was the firm reply. "I must find my
money and clothes. I should feel ridiculous to be seen in such clothing
as that. You, yourself, would scarcely care to have me seen emerging
from your premises, on Sunday especially, in such outlandish garments."

That last argument told. Aunt Matilda visibly weakened.

"Very well, then," she grudgingly agreed, "but at dusk--Mercy, young
man, how your teeth do chatter! Are you getting a chill? I'll bring you
a bowl of boneset tea and some dinner right away!" and she hurried off
in much concern.

The young man lost no time in getting into that bathing suit, for the
chill of the water was upon him. The suit consisted merely of a pair of
blue bloomers that came just below his knees, and a blue blouse that
split down the back and at the armpits the moment he buttoned it in
front; still he was very grateful for it--grateful for the warm glow
that began to pervade him the moment he had donned it. He put on his one
sock and his shoes, his hat, collar, tie and cuffs to keep the dogs from
getting them, and was quite comfortable when Aunt Matilda came bustling
back with a bowl of steaming tea and a tray loaded with good things to

She sat by admiring his appetite until he had finished, then she made
him drink the boneset tea to the last drop. He talked admirably all
through the "dinner," and it was with a sigh of almost regret that she
started away with the empty dishes. She came back presently.

"You will find our summer cottage up in that direction," she pointed
out. "We shall expect you to--to keep out of range during the day, but
to report at the kitchen door at dusk, when you will be escorted to the

"I shall follow your instructions to the letter," he assured her, and
she again slowly walked away. To save her, the man-hater could not think
of another reasonable excuse for prolonging the interview. He was a most
gentlemanly young man, and he had splendid eyes!

The male trespasser spent the next hour in hunting clothes and
anathematizing dogs. His finds were confined strictly to rags and
pairless arms and sleeves, and finally he gave up, with everything
accounted for but worthless. Discovering a high, grassy plot near the
creek, screened from the woods by a thick copse of hazel bushes, he lay
down to think matters over and promptly fell asleep.

Perhaps half an hour later he slowly opened his eyes with the feeling
that he was being compelled to awaken, and found Adnah seated quietly
beside him, keeping the mosquitoes away from him with a gracefully waved
hazel branch.

"Just sleep right on," she gently urged. "I often sleep for hours on hot
afternoons in this very place."

"How did you come here?" he demanded, sitting up, startled.

"I hunted you," she confessed with a delighted little laugh. "I'm so
glad you're awake at last and don't want to sleep any more. I felt just
sure that your eyes were blue. And they are!"

Her delight at this fact was so obvious that he felt uneasy.

"You see, I listened outside the window while Aunt Mattie told Aunts Ann
and Sarah all about you," she confidingly went on. "Aunt Sarah and Aunt
Ann were for telephoning for the sheriff anyhow, but Aunt Mattie
wouldn't let them. She likes you. So do I."

"Oh!" said the astonished young man. For the first time in his life
conversation had failed him.

"Of course," said the girl simply. "Well, I waited until they all lay
down for their after-dinner naps, and climbed out of my window so as not
to disturb them. They do enjoy their naps so much, you know. I didn't
find you at the pool but I just hunted until I did find you. I've been
sitting here a long time watching you. You look so nice when you are

_Now_ what should he say? With any ordinary girl he could have found
the answer, but this one had him floored.

"But you look ever so much nicer when you are awake," she further
informed him, with a clear-eyed straightforwardness that was worse than
disconcerting. In desperation he answered, with her own frankness, that
she was nice looking herself. He meant it, too.

"I'm so glad you think so," she contentedly sighed. "I just knew we
should like each other as soon as I saw you lying there asleep."

It was he who blushed, not the girl.

She partly raised up to recapture her hazel branch, and when she sat
down again her shoulder remained lightly touching his arm. An electric
thrill ran through him and tingled out at his fingertips, but he never
moved a muscle. She looked up at him in peaceful happiness and he
somehow felt very mean and unworthy. Her eyes made him uncomfortable.
The whole trouble was that she was so honest--had never been taught to
conceal her thoughts by the thousand and one spoken and unspoken lies of
ordinary social intercourse. She was neither timid nor bold, but merely
natural, with never a suspicion that conventionality demanded a man and
a maid to leave a mutual liking unconfessed. It was rather rough on the
young man. He was not used to having the truth fly around in such
reckless fashion in his conversations with girls, and it bothered him.

"I'm not a bit afraid of you," she presently told him. "I knew all the
time that Aunt Mattie was wrong. She told me that all men were dreadful,
and that the first thing they did was to--to kiss a girl they liked."

"She knows nothing about it," he replied rather crossly. For some
unaccountable reason he was angry with himself and with her.

"Indeed, she doesn't," she agreed, eying him thoughtfully. Presently she
added: "I do not believe, though, that I should have minded it so much
if she had been right."

Shade of Plato! He looked down at the tempting curve of her red lips.
They were round and full and soft as the petals of a half-blown rosebud,
warm and tender and sweet, with just the least trace of puckering to
indicate how they could meet the pressure of other lips. He felt his
heart come pounding up into the region of his Adam's apple, and he
trembled as he had not done since his first attack of puppy love at the
age of fourteen. His breath came and went with a painful flutter but he
made no movement. If it had been any sort of a girl under the sun,
especially if so attractive as this one, she would have been kissed
until she gasped for breath; but he just couldn't do it. However, if she
went so far as to _ask_ him to kiss her, _by George_! he didn't see how
he was to get out of it!

"I should really like to kiss you," he admitted with a martyr-like sigh
and a further echo of her own frankness, "but I shan't. Under the
circumstances it would not be right."

He reflected, grinning, that mother would be proud if she could see him
now, then he thought, grinning harder, of the boys at the club. If
_they_ only knew!

"There, didn't I say so!" she triumphantly exclaimed. "I told Aunt
Matilda that there certainly must be _some_ good men in the world!"

Good! He winced as certain memories of his careless youth began to do
cake-walks up and down his conscience. Then he changed the subject.

She snuggled up closely to him, by and by, confidingly and unsuspicious,
and just talked and talked and talked. It was very pleasant to have her
there at his side, babbling innocently away in that sweet, musical
voice. How pretty she was, how artless and trusting, how honest and how
heart-whole! It came to him that his family and friends had for a long
time been telling him that he ought to get married, and he began to see
that they were right.

How delightful it would be to stay on forever in this enchanted grove
with her. He presently found himself fervently saying it, though he had
not intended such words to pass his lips. She took the wish as a matter
of course. She had confidently expected him to feel that way about it,
and, if he felt that way, to say so.

"Adnah Eggleson!"

They jumped like juvenile jam-thieves caught red-handed.

Aunt Sarah and Aunt Ann and Aunt Matilda rigidly confronted them, having
stolen upon them unseen, unheard, unthought of, and they stood now in
grim horror, merciless and implacable. They advanced in a swooping body,
after one moment of agonizing suspense, and snatched Adnah into their
midst, glaring three kinds of loathing scorn upon the interloping

"Has this person _kissed_ you, or attempted to do so?" hissed Aunt

"Not yet," meekly answered poor Adnah.

"I assure you ladies--," began the serpent, but Aunt Sarah cut him

"Silence, sir!" she commanded. "We wish no explanations from you,

Thus crushing him, the little company wheeled and marched away, bearing
Adnah an unwilling and impenitent captive, two of them ingeniously
keeping behind her so that she should have no opportunity of even
exchanging a backward glance with the serpent.

Left to himself the serpent moodily kicked holes in the turf. He had an
intense desire to do something violent--to smash something, no matter
what. He was furious with the trio of aunts. It was a shame, he told
himself, to bury alive a beautiful and noble young woman like that,
through a warped and mistaken notion of the world. What right had they
to condemn a sweet and affectionate creature such as she to a starved
and morbid spinsterhood? It was his duty to rescue her from the
colorless fate that hung over her, and he would do his duty. He was
unconsciously flexing his biceps as he said it.

Would he? How? Should he get out a search warrant or a writ of replevin?
This whimsical view of the case only exasperated him the more as it
presented the utter hopelessness of approaching her--of ever seeing her
again--and, when the dogs came chasing an utterly inconsequential and
useless butterfly in his direction, he pelted them with stones until
they yelped. Hang the dogs, anyhow. It was all their fault!

Next he blamed himself. If he had only resisted that creek like a man he
wouldn't have been a hundred miles from home without clothes or money,
and silly about a girl he had never seen until that day.

Then he blamed the girl. Why, _why_ was she such a confiding and
altogether artless and bewitching little fool? She wasn't! He remembered
her eyes and abjectly apologized to the memory of her. She was
everything that was sweet and pure and womanly--everything that was
desirable in every sense--well-bred, well-schooled, unspoiled of the
world, without guile or subterfuge, beautiful, healthy, honest. That had
been the only startling thing about her--just honesty. It spoke ill for
himself and the world in which he lived that this should have seemed
startling! What a wonderful creature she was! By the Eternal, she
belonged to him and he meant to have her! She loved him, too!

He sat down on the bank to think over this phase of the question. He had
known her several years in the minute and a half since noon, and it was
time this foolishness came to an end.

Time flies when youth listens to the fancied strains of Mendelssohn's
Spring Song. He was surprised, presently, to note a strange hush
settling down over the woods. A chill vapor seemed to arise from the
water. There was a melancholy note in the tweet of the low-flitting
birds. The rustling trees softened their murmur to a continuous whisper,
soothing and caressing. The tinkle of the creek became more metallic and
pronounced. Near by, down the stream, a sudden chorus of frogs burst
into croaking, their isolated notes blended by the chirping undertone of
the crickets and tree toads. There were other sounds, mysterious,
untraceable, but all musical in greater or lesser degree.

He understood at last. These sounds, the rustling leaves, the flitting
birds, the tinkling creek, the frogs, tree toads and crickets and those
other intangible cadences, these were the instruments of nature's vast
orchestra, playing their lullaby, languorous and sweet, for the drowsy
day. It was dusk, and he was desperately in love with Adnah, and he had
on a fool bloomer bath suit and no money, and he had to go back into
civilization just as he was. Woe, woe, woe and anathema!

At the house he found a table set under a big oak tree back of the
kitchen. Supper for one was illumined by the rays of a solitary lantern.
Aunt Sarah and Aunt Ann, each with a pistol in her lap, sat grimly to
one side. Adnah nor Aunt Matilda were anywhere to be seen, and he
divined with a thrill that Aunt Matilda was acting as jailer to the
young woman until he should be safely off the premises. Evidently she
had been hard to manage. Bless the little girl!

He took off his hat as he approached and bowed respectfully.

"I should like you to know who I am," he began.

"You will please to eat your supper without conversation," Aunt Sarah
sternly interrupted.

"I wish to pay my addresses to your niece," he protested, but the two
ladies, finding rudeness necessary, clasped their hands to their ears.

"Kindly eat," said Aunt Sarah, without removing her hands.

He sat down and glared at the food in despair. He thought he heard
Adnah's voice and the sounds of a scuffle in the house, and it gave him
inspiration. He arose, and, leaning his hands on the edge of the table,
shouted as loudly as he could:

"I am John Melton, of Philadelphia. I will give you as many references
as you like. I wish your permission to write to your niece and, later
on, to call upon her. May I do so?"

"Are you going to eat your supper?" inquired Aunt Sarah.

He gave up. He could not, as a gentleman, take Aunt Sarah's hands from
her ears and make her listen to what he had to say. He turned sadly away
from the table. The armed escort also arose.

"Please lead the way," requested Aunt Sarah. "The path leads directly
from the front of the cottage to the road."

He had stalked, in dismal silence, almost half way down the winding
avenue of trees, moodily watching the gigantic shadows of his limbs
leaping jerkily among the shrubbery, when it occurred to him that the
women could scarcely carry the lantern and pistols and still hold their

"I am John Melton, of Philadelphia," he shouted, and looked back to
address them more directly. Alas, the pistols reposed in the pockets of
the two prim aprons, the lantern smoked askew at Aunt Sarah's waist, and
both women were holding their hands to their ears!

He could not know that they had been whispering about him, however, and
really, for man-haters, their remarks had been very complimentary. Not
even that ridiculous costume could hide his athletic figure, his good
carriage and pleasant address.

They were nearing the road when they heard a woman's voice shrieking for
them to wait, and presently Aunt Matilda came running after them,
breathless and excited.

"You must come back to the house at once, all of you," she panted.
"Adnah is wildly hysterical. She insists that she must have this young
man, monster or no monster--that she will die without him. I truly
believe that she would!"

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Aunt Sarah. "Come on, then!"

It was Aunt Sarah who swiftly and anxiously led the way. At the door of
the parlor she paused and confronted the young man.

"Remember," she warned, "that however impulsive our poor, misguided
niece may appear, you _must_ not kiss her!"

Without waiting for reply she opened the door for him. Adnah, smiling
happily through the last of her tears, sprang to meet him, and, seizing
his hand, drew him down on the couch beside her.

"I'm going to keep you here always, now," she declared with pretty
authority, as she locked her arm in his and interlaced their fingers.

He looked around at the aunts and suddenly longed for his own clothes.
They had drawn their chairs in a close semi-circle about the couch and
were helplessly staring. He felt the hot blood burning in his cheeks, on
his temples, down the back of his neck.

"You _will_ stay, won't you?" Adnah anxiously asked him.

"I think I shall take you with me, instead," he replied, smiling down at
her in an attempt to conquer his embarrassment.

Adnah rapturously sighed. The spectators suddenly arose, retiring to the
far corner of the room, where they held an excited, whispered
consultation. Presently they came back and sat down in the same solemn
half-circle. Aunt Sarah ceremoniously cleared her throat.

"You will please to unclasp your hands and sit farther apart," she
directed. This obeyed, she proceeded: "Now, Mr. Nelson--"

"Melton, if you please," corrected the young man, producing a business
card that he had rescued.

"Oh!" exclaimed the aunts, exchanging wondering glances.

"We understood that it was Nelson," murmured Aunt Matilda. It seemed
that the hands had not been so tightly clasped over the ears as he had

Aunt Sarah gravely adjusted her glasses.

"'John Melton, Jr.,'" she read. "'Representing Melton and Melton,
Administrators and Real Estate Dealers. General John A. Melton. John
Melton, Jr.'"

There was a suppressed flutter of excitement and again the three aunts
exchanged surprised glances.

"I think I may safely say, may I not, Sisters Ann and Matilda, that this
quite alters the case?" was Aunt Sarah's strange query.

"Quite so, indeed," agreed Aunt Matilda, complacently smoothing her

"Very much so," added Aunt Ann.

"Decidedly," resumed Aunt Sarah. "Your father, young man, handled the
estate of our deceased Uncle Peter in a most upright and satisfactory
fashion--for a man. So far, much is in your favor, since our unfortunate
niece will not be contented without some sort of a husband. Your
personal qualifications have yet to be proved, however. We presume that
you can offer documentary evidence as to your own worth, sir?"

"Not for a day or so, unfortunately," confessed the young man. "The dogs
destroyed all my papers. The only thing I could find was a portion of a
brief note from my mother."

The three aunts, as by one electric impulse, bent forward with shining

"From your mother!" hungrily repeated Aunt Sarah. "Let us see it, if you
will, please."

He produced it reluctantly. It was not exactly the sort of letter a
young man cares to parade.

"'My beloved son,'" Aunt Sarah read aloud, pausing to bestow a softened
glance upon him. "'I can not wait for your return to say how proud I am
of you. Your noble and generous action in regard to the aged widow
Crane's property has just come to my ears, through a laughing complaint
of your father about your unbusinesslike methods in dealing with those
who have been unfortunate. In spite of his whimsically expressed
disapproval, he feels that you are an honor to him. Your sister Nellie
cried in her pride and love of you when she heard--'"

The rest of the letter had been lost, but this was enough.

Adnah had gradually hitched closer to him, and now her hand, unreproved,
stole affectionately to his shoulder. Aunt Matilda was wiping her eyes.
Aunt Ann openly sniffled. Aunt Sarah cleared her throat most violently.

"Your references are all that we could wish, young man," she presently
admitted in a businesslike tone. "We shall waive, in your favor, our
objections to men in general. If we must have one in the family we are
to be congratulated upon having one whose mother is proud of him."

Coming from Aunt Sarah this was a marvelous concession. The young man
bowed his head in pleased acknowledgment and, by and by, crossed his
legs in comfort as a home-like feeling began to settle down upon him.
Suddenly observing their bloomered exposure, however, he tried to poke
his legs under the couch, and twiddled his thumbs instead.

"And when do our young people expect to be married?" meek Sister Ann
presently ventured to inquire.

"As quickly as possible," promptly answered the young man, smiling
triumphantly down at the girl by his side. He was astonished, and rather
pleased, too, to find her suddenly embarrassed and blushing prettily.

"I believe, then," announced Aunt Sarah, after due deliberation, "that
you may now kiss our niece; may he not, Sisters Ann and Matilda?"

"He may!" eagerly assented the others.

"Very well, then, proceed," commanded Aunt Sarah, folding her arms.

The young man hastily braced himself to meet this new shock, then gazed
down at the girl again. She was still blushing in her newly-found
self-conscious femininity, but she trustingly held up her pretty lips to
him, looking full into his eyes with the steady flame of her love
burning unveiled--and he kissed her.

"Ah-h-h-h!" sighed the three man-hating spinsters in ecstatic unison.



[From John Graham, at the London House of Graham & Co., to his son,
Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards in Chicago. Mr. Pierrepont is
worried over rumors that the old man is a bear on lard, and that the
longs are about to make him climb a tree.]

LONDON, October 27, 189-

_Dear Pierrepont:_ Yours of the twenty-first inst. to hand and I note
the inclosed clippings. You needn't pay any special attention to this
newspaper talk about the Comstock crowd having caught me short a big
line of November lard. I never sell goods without knowing where I can
find them when I want them, and if these fellows try to put their
forefeet in the trough, or start any shoving and crowding, they're going
to find me forgetting my table manners, too. For when it comes to funny
business I'm something of a humorist myself. And while I'm too old to
run, I'm young enough to stand and fight.

First and last, a good many men have gone gunning for me, but they've
always planned the obsequies before they caught the deceased. I reckon
there hasn't been a time in twenty years when there wasn't a nice "Gates
Ajar" piece all made up and ready for me in some office near the Board
of Trade. But the first essential of a quiet funeral is a willing
corpse. And I'm still sitting up and taking nourishment.

There are two things you never want to pay any attention to--abuse and
flattery. The first can't harm you and the second can't help you. Some
men are like yellow dogs--when you're coming toward them they'll jump up
and try to lick your hands; and when you're walking away from them
they'll sneak up behind and snap at your heels. Last year, when I was
bulling the market, the longs all said that I was a kindhearted old
philanthropist, who was laying awake nights scheming to get the farmers
a top price for their hogs; and the shorts allowed that I was an
infamous old robber, who was stealing the pork out of the workingman's
pot. As long as you can't please both sides in this world, there's
nothing like pleasing your own side.

There are mighty few people who can see any side to a thing except their
own side. I remember once I had a vacant lot out on the Avenue, and a
lady came in to my office and in a soothing-sirupy way asked if I would
lend it to her, as she wanted to build a _creche_ on it. I hesitated a
little, because I had never heard of a _creche_ before, and someways it
sounded sort of foreign and frisky, though the woman looked like a good,
safe, reliable old heifer. But she explained that a _creche_ was a baby
farm, where old maids went to wash and feed and stick pins in other
people's children while their mothers were off at work. Of course, there
was nothing in that to get our pastor or the police after me, so I told
her to go ahead.

She went off happy, but about a week later she dropped in again,
looking sort of dissatisfied, to find out if I wouldn't build the
_creche_ itself. It seemed like a worthy object, so I sent some
carpenters over to knock together a long frame pavilion. She was mighty
grateful, you bet, and I didn't see her again for a fortnight. Then she
called by to say that so long as I was in the business and they didn't
cost me anything special, would I mind giving her a few cows. She had a
surprised and grieved expression on her face as she talked, and the way
she put it made me feel that I ought to be ashamed of myself for not
having thought of the live stock myself. So I threw in a half dozen cows
to provide the refreshments.

I thought that was pretty good measure, but the carpenters hadn't more
than finished with the pavilion before the woman telephoned a sharp
message to ask why I hadn't had it painted.

I was too busy that morning to quarrel, so I sent word that I would fix
it up; and when I was driving by there next day the painters were hard
at work on it. There was a sixty-foot frontage of that shed on the
Avenue, and I saw right off that it was just a natural signboard. So I
called over the boss painter and between us we cooked up a nice little
ad that ran something like this:

     Graham's Extract:
     It Makes the Weak Strong.

Well, sir, when she saw the ad next morning that old hen just
scratched gravel. Went all around town saying that I had given a
five-hundred-dollar shed to charity and painted a thousand-dollar ad on
it. Allowed I ought to send my check for that amount to the _creche_
fund. Kept at it till I began to think there might be something in it,
after all, and sent her the money. Then I found a fellow who wanted to
build in that neighborhood, sold him the lot cheap, and got out of the
_creche_ industry.

I've put a good deal more than work into my business, and I've drawn a
good deal more than money out of it; but the only thing I've ever put
into it which didn't draw dividends in fun or dollars was worry. That is
a branch of the trade which you want to leave to our competitors.

I've always found worrying a blamed sight more uncertain than
horse-racing--it's harder to pick a winner at it. You go home worrying
because you're afraid that your fool new clerk forgot to lock the safe
after you, and during the night the lard refinery burns down; you spend
a year fretting because you think Bill Jones is going to cut you out
with your best girl, and then you spend ten worrying because he didn't;
you worry over Charlie at college because he's a little wild, and he
writes you that he's been elected president of the Y.M.C.A.; and you
worry over William because he's so pious that you're afraid he's going
to throw up everything and go to China as a missionary, and he draws on
you for a hundred; you worry because you're afraid your business is
going to smash, and your health busts up instead. Worrying is the one
game in which, if you guess right, you don't get any satisfaction out of
your smartness. A busy man has no time to bother with it. He can always
find plenty of old women in skirts or trousers to spend their days
worrying over their own troubles and to sit up nights waking his.

Speaking of handing over your worries to others naturally calls to mind
the Widow Williams and her son Bud, who was a playmate of mine when I
was a boy. Bud was the youngest of the Widow's troubles, and she was a
woman whose troubles seldom came singly. Had fourteen altogether, and
four pair of 'em were twins. Used to turn 'em loose in the morning, when
she let out her cows and pigs to browse along the street, and then she'd
shed all worry over them for the rest of the day. Allowed that if they
got hurt the neighbors would bring them home; and that if they got
hungry they'd come home. And someways, the whole drove always showed up
safe and dirty about meal time.

I've no doubt she thought a lot of Bud, but when a woman has fourteen it
sort of unsettles her mind so that she can't focus her affections or
play any favorites. And so when Bud's clothes were found at the swimming
hole one day, and no Bud inside them, she didn't take on up to the
expectations of the neighbors who had brought the news, and who were
standing around waiting for her to go off into something special in the
way of high-strikes.

She allowed that they were Bud's clothes, all right, but she wanted to
know where the remains were. Hinted that there'd be no funeral, or such
like expensive goings-on, until some one produced the deceased. Take her
by and large, she was a pretty cool, calm cucumber.

But if she showed a little too much Christian resignation, the rest of
the town was mightily stirred up over Bud's death, and every one just
quit work to tell each other what a noble little fellow he was; and how
his mother hadn't deserved to have such a bright little sunbeam in her
home; and to drag the river between talks. But they couldn't get a rise.

Through all the worry and excitement the Widow was the only one who
didn't show any special interest, except to ask for results. But
finally, at the end of a week, when they'd strained the whole river
through their drags and hadn't anything to show for it but a collection
of tin cans and dead catfish, she threw a shawl over her head and went
down the street to the cabin of Louisiana Clytemnestra, an old yellow
woman, who would go into a trance for four bits and find a fortune for
you for a dollar. I reckon she'd have called herself a clairvoyant
nowadays, but then she was just a voodoo woman.

Well, the Widow said she reckoned that boys ought to be let out as well
as in for half price, and so she laid down two bits, allowing that she
wanted a few minutes' private conversation with her Bud. Clytie said
she'd do her best, but that spirits were mighty snifty and high-toned,
even when they'd only been poor white trash on earth, and it might make
them mad to be called away from their high jinks if they were taking a
little recreation, or from their high-priced New York customers if they
were working, to tend to cut-rate business. Still, she'd have a try, and
she did. But after having convulsions for half an hour, she gave it up.
Reckoned that Bud was up to some cussedness off somewhere, and that he
wouldn't answer for any two-bits.

The Widow was badly disappointed, but she allowed that that was just
like Bud. He'd always been a boy that never could be found when any one
wanted him. So she went off, saying that she'd had her money's worth in
seeing Clytie throw those fancy fits. But next day she came again and
paid down four bits, and Clytie reckoned that that ought to fetch Bud
sure. Someways though, she didn't have any luck, and finally the Widow
suggested that she call up Bud's father--Buck Williams had been dead a
matter of ten years--and the old man responded promptly.

"Where's Bud?" asked the Widow.

Hadn't laid eyes on him. Didn't know he'd come across. Had he joined the
church before he started?


Then he'd have to look downstairs for him.

Clytie told the Widow to call again and they'd get him sure. So she came
back next day and laid down a dollar. That fetched old Buck Williams'
ghost On the jump, you bet, but he said he hadn't laid eyes on Bud yet.
They hauled the Sweet By and By with a drag net, but they couldn't get a
rap from him. Clytie trotted out George Washington, and Napoleon, and
Billy Patterson, and Ben Franklin, and Captain Kidd, just to show that
there was no deception, but they couldn't get a whisper even from Bud.

I reckon Clytie had been stringing the old lady along, intending to
produce Bud's spook as a sort of red-fire, calcium-light,
grand-march-of-the-Amazons climax, but she didn't get a chance. For
right there the old lady got up with a mighty set expression around her
lips and marched out, muttering that it was just as she had thought all
along--Bud wasn't there. And when the neighbors dropped in that
afternoon to plan out a memorial service for her "lost lamb," she
chased them off the lot with a broom. Said that they had looked in the
river for him and that she had looked beyond the river for him, and that
they would just stand pat now and wait for him to make the next move.
Allowed that if she could once get her hands in "that lost lamb's" wool
there might be an opening for a funeral when she got through with him,
but there wouldn't be till then. Altogether, it looked as if there was a
heap of trouble coming to Bud if he had made any mistake and was still

The Widow found her "lost lamb" hiding behind a rain-barrel when she
opened up the house next morning, and there was a mighty touching and
affecting scene. In fact, the Widow must have touched him at least a
hundred times and every time he was affected to tears, for she was using
a bed slat, which is a powerfully strong moral agent for making a boy
see the error of his ways. And it was a month after that before Bud
could go down Main Street without some man who had called him a noble
little fellow, or a bright, manly little chap, while he was drowned,
reaching out and fetching him a clip on the ear for having come back and
put the laugh on him.

No one except the Widow ever really got at the straight of Bud's
conduct, but it appeared that he left home to get a few Indians scalps,
and that he came back for a little bacon and corn pone.

I simply mention the Widow in passing as an example of the fact that the
time to do your worrying is when a thing is all over, and that the way
to do it is to leave it to the neighbors. I sail for home to-morrow.

Your affectionate father,


_Provoked by Calverley's "Forever"_

By Bert Leston Taylor

    "Farewell!" Another gloomy word
      As ever into language crept.
    'Tis often written, never heard,

    In playhouse. Ere the hero flits--
      In handcuffs--from our pitying view.
    "Farewell!" he murmurs, then exits

    "Farewell" is much too sighful for
      An age that has not time to sigh.
    We say, "I'll see you later," or

    When, warned by chanticleer, you go
      From her to whom you owe devoir,
    "Say not 'good-by,'" she laughs, "but
          'Au Revoir!'"

    Thus from the garden are you sped;
      And Juliet were the first to tell
    You, you were silly if you said

    "Farewell," meant long ago, before
      It crept, tear-spattered, into song,
    "Safe voyage!" "Pleasant journey!" or
          "So long!"

    But gone its cheery, old-time ring;
      The poets made it rhyme with knell--
    Joined it became a dismal thing--

    "Farewell!" into the lover's soul
      You see Fate plunge the fatal iron.
    All poets use it. It's the whole
          Of Byron.

    "I only feel--farewell!" said he;
      And always fearful was the telling--
    Lord Byron was eternally

    "Farewell!" A dismal word, 'tis true
      (And why not tell the truth about it!);
    But what on earth would poets do
          Without it?



[Writ durin' State Fair at Indanoplis, whilse visitin' a Soninlaw then
residin' thare, who has sence got back to the country whare he says a
man that's raised thare ot to a-stayed in the first place.]

    I tell you what I'd ruther do--
      Ef I only had my ruthers,--
    I'd ruther work when I wanted to
      Than be bossed round by others;--
        I'd ruther kindo' git the swing
        O' what was _needed_, first, I jing!
        Afore I _swet_ at anything!--
      Ef I only had my ruthers;--
    In fact I'd aim to be the same
      With all men as my brothers;
    And they'd all be the same with _me_--
      Ef I only had my ruthers.

    I wouldn't likely know it all--
      Ef I only had my ruthers;--
    I'd know _some_ sense, and some base-ball--
      Some _old_ jokes, and--some others:
        I'd know _some politics_, and 'low
        Some tarif-speeches same as now,
        Then go hear Nye on "Branes and How
      To Detect Theyr Presence." _T'others_,
    That stayed away, I'd _let_ 'em stay--
      All my dissentin' brothers
    Could chuse as shore a kill er cuore,
      Ef I only had my ruthers.

    The pore 'ud git theyr dues _some_times--
      Ef I only had my ruthers,--
    And be paid _dollars_ 'stid o' _dimes_,
      Fer children, wives and mothers:
        Theyr boy that slaves; theyr girl that sews--
        Fer _others_--not herself, God knows!--
        The grave's _her_ only change of clothes!
    ... Ef I only had my ruthers,
    They'd all have "stuff" and time enugh
      To answer one-another's
    Appealin' prayer fer "lovin' care"--
      Ef I only had my ruthers.

    They'd be few folks 'ud ast fer trust,
      Ef I only had my ruthers,
    And blame few business-men to bu'st
      Theyrselves, er harts of others:
        Big Guns that come here durin' Fair-
        Week could put up jest anywhare,
        And find a full-and-plenty thare,
      Ef I only had my ruthers:
    The rich and great 'ud 'sociate
      With all theyr lowly brothers,
    Feelin' _we_ done the honorun--
      Ef I only had my ruthers.



    'Twas off the Eastern Filigrees--
      Wizzle the pipes o'ertop!--
    When the gallant Captain of the Cheese
      Began to skip and hop.

    "Oh stately man and old beside,
      Why dost gymnastics do?
    Is such example dignified
      To set before your crew?"

    "Oh hang me crew," the Captain cried,
      "And scuttle of me ship.
    If I'm the skipper, blarst me hide!
      Ain't I supposed to skip?

    "I'm growing old," the Captain said;
      "Me dancing days are done;
    But while I'm skipper of this ship
      I'll skip with any one.

    "I'm growing grey," I heard him say,
      "And I can not rest or sleep
    While under me the troubled sea
      Lies forty spasms deep.

    "Lies forty spasms deep," he said;
      "But still me trusty sloop
    Each hour, I wot, goes many a knot
      And many a bow and loop.

    "The hours are full of knots," he said,
      "Untie them if ye can.
    In vain I've tried, for Time and Tied
      Wait not for any man.

    "Me fate is hard," the old man sobbed,
      "And I am sick and sore.
    Me aged limbs of rest are robbed
      And skipping is a bore.

    "But Duty is the seaman's boast,
      And on this gallant ship
    You'll find the skipper at his post
      As long as he can skip."

    And so the Captain of the Cheese
      Skipped on again as one
    Who lofty satisfaction sees
      In duty bravely done.

[Footnote 4: From "Nautical Lays of a Landsman," by Wallace Irwin.
Copyright, 1904, by Dodd, Mead & Co.]



Melinda was dejected. She told herself that she was groping in the vale
of despair, that life was a vast, gray, echoing void. She decided that
ambition was dead--a case of starvation; that friendship had slipped
through too eagerly grasping fingers; that love--ah, _love_!--

"You'd better take a dose of blue-mass," her aunt suggested when she had
sighed seven times dolefully at the tea table.

"Not _blue_-mass. Any other kind of mass you please, but _not_ blue,"
Melinda shuddered absently.

No; she was not physically ill; the trouble was deeper--soul sickness,
acute, threatening to become chronic, that defied allopathic doses of
favorite and other philosophers, that would not yield even to hourly
repetition of the formula handed down from her grandmother--"If you can
not have what you want, try to want what you have." Yet she could lay
her finger on no bleeding heart-wound, on no definite cause. It was true
that the deeply analytical, painstakingly interesting historical novel
on which she had worked all winter had been sent back from the
publishers with a briefly polite note of thanks and regrets; but as she
had never expected anything else, that could not depress her. Also, the
slump in G.C. Copper stock had forced her to give up her long-planned
southern trip and even to forego the consolatory purchase of a spring
gown; but she had a mind that could soar above flesh-pot
disappointments. Then, the Reverend John Graham;--but what John Graham
did or said was nothing--absolutely nothing, to her.

So Melinda clenched her hands and moaned in the same key with the east
wind and told the four walls of her room that she could not endure it;
she must _do_ something. Then it was, that in a flash of inspiration, it
came to her--she would write a humorous story.

The artistic fitness of the idea pleased her. She had always understood
that humorists were marked by a deep-dyed melancholy, that the height of
unhappiness was a vantage-ground from which to view the joke of
existence. She would test the dictum; now, if ever, she would write
humorously. The material was at hand, seething and crowding in her mind,
in fact--the monumental dullness and complacent narrowness of the
villagers, the egoism, the conceit, the bland shepherd-of-his-flock
pomposity of John Graham. What more could a humorist desire? Yes; she
would write.

Thoughts came quick and fast; words flowed in a fiery stream like lava
that glows and rushes and curls and leaps down the mountain, sweeping
all obstacles aside. (The figure did not wholly please Melinda, for
everybody knows how dull and gray and uninteresting lava is when it
cools, but she had no time to bother with another.) She felt the
exultation, the joy and uplifting of spirit that is the reward--usually,
alas, the sole reward--of the writer in the work of creation.

Then before the lava had time to cool she sent the story to the first
magazine on her list with a name beginning with "A." It was her custom
to send them that way, though sometimes with a desire to be impartial
she commenced at "Z" and went up the list.

At the end of two weeks the wind had ceased blowing from the east.
Melinda decided that though life for her must be gray, echoing, void,
yet would she make an effort for the joy of others. She would lift
herself above the depression that enfolded her even as the buoyant
hyacinths were cleaving their dark husks and lifting up the beauty and
fragrance of their hearts to solace passers-by. Therefore she ceased
parting her hair in the middle and ordered a simple little frock from
D----'s--hyacinth blue _voile_ with a lining that should whisper and
rustle like the glad winds whisking away last year's leaves.

Then the day came when she strolled carelessly and unexpectantly down
the village street to the post-office and there received a letter that
bore on the upper left-hand corner of the envelope the name of the
magazine first on her list beginning with "A." A chill passed along
Melinda's spine. That humorous story--Could this mean?--It was too
horrible to contemplate.

She took a short cut through the orchard and as she walked she tore off
a corner and peeped into the envelope. Yes, there was a pale-blue slip
of paper with serrated edges. She leaned against a Baldwin apple-tree to

How true it is that one should be prepared for the unexpected. Melinda
had sent out many manuscripts freighted with tingling hopes and eager
aspirations and with the postage stamps that insured their prompt
return; how was she to know, by what process of reasoning could she
infer that this, that had been offered simply from force of habit, would
be retained in exchange for an aesthetically tinted check? She
anathematized the magazine editor. (That seems the proper thing to do
with editors.) She wanted to know what business he had to keep that
story after having led her to believe that it was his unbreakable custom
to send them back. It was deception, she told the swelling Baldwin buds,
base, deep-dyed, subtle deception. After baiting her on with his little,
pink, printed rejection slips, he suddenly sprung a wicked trap.

It was some time before Melinda grew calm enough to read the editorial
letter. It ran:

     _"Dear Madam--We are glad to have your tender and delicately
     sympathetic picture of village life. There is a note of true
     sentiment and a generous appreciation of homely virtue marking this
     story for which we desire to add an especial word of praise. Check

     _"Very truly yours,
     "The Editor of A----."_

Melinda sank limply on the bleached, last year's grass at the foot of
the tree. "Tender and delicately sympathetic picture"--"Generous
appreciation!" She laughed feebly. The editor was pleased to be
facetious. Having a fine sense of humor himself he showed his
realization of the story by acknowledging it in the same vein of subtle

She reread the letter and unfolded the slip of paper with serrated
edges with changing emotions. After all it was not such a very bad
story. She permitted herself to recall how humorous it was, how
cleverly and keenly it laid bare the ridiculous, the unexpected, how
it scintillated with wit and abounded in droll and subtle distinctions
and descriptions--all--all at the expense of her nearest relatives and
her dearest friends.

Melinda thought she would return the check and demand that her story be
sent back to her or destroyed; but, reflecting that Punch's advice is
applicable to other things than matrimony and suicide, she didn't. She
resolutely put her literary Frankenstein behind her. She reasoned that
in all probability the story would not be published during the lifetime
of any of the originals of the characters; that even if the worst came
to the worst, Mossdale was likely to remain in ignorance that would be
blissful. The villagers were not wont to waste time on the printed word;
in fact, such was the profundity of their unenlightenment, few of them
had heard of the magazine with a name beginning with "A." Even John
Graham paid little attention to the secular periodicals; besides, if
absolutely necessary, John's attention might be diverted.

So Melinda went away on a visit. Her health demanded it. The doctor was
unable to name her malady, but she herself diagnosed it as

Toward fall Melinda, entirely recovered, returned to Mossdale. Entirely
recovered, yet she turned cold, unseeing eyes on the newsboy when he
passed through the car with his towering load of varicolored
periodicals, and rather than be forced to the final resort of the
unaccompanied traveler, she welcomed the advent of an acquaintance
possessed of volubility of an ejaculatory, eruptive variety. After many
gentle jets and spurts of gossip much remained to be told, as the lady
hastily gathered up her impedimenta preparatory to alighting at her home

"How like me in the joy of seeing you, to forget! What a sweet, clever
story! And to think of _you_ having something published in 'A----'! I
never was more surprised than when Mr. Ferguson brought home the
magazine. Those delicious Mossdale people! I could not endure that the
dear things should not see and know at once. The lovely hamlet is so--so
remote, and I knew you were traveling. What a pleasure to send them half
a dozen copies that very evening!--Yes, porter, that, too--_Do_ run down
to see me soon, dear--Now _do_. _Good_-by!"

Melinda summoned the newsboy and bought the latest number of the
magazine with a name beginning with "A." She turned to the list of
"Contents" with feverish anxiety, then the book slid from her nerveless
fingers. Her humorous story had been given to an eager public. She
leaned back and gazed out at the flying telegraph poles and fields. Even
the worthiest, the gravest, the finest, she reflected, has a face, that
if seen in a certain light, will flash out the ignus fatuus of the
ridiculous; but it is not usually considered the office of friendship to
turn on the betraying light. Oh, well, her relatives would forgive in
time. Relatives _have_ to forgive. It was unfortunate that John Graham
was not a relative. "One thing, I know now how much Mrs. Ferguson cares
because I got those six votes ahead of her for the Thursday Club
presidency--Half a dozen copies!" Melinda said aloud as she caught
sight of the spire of the Mossdale Church.

Her Uncle Joe met her at the station and kissed her for the first time
since she had put on long dresses. Notwithstanding a foolish prejudice
against tobacco juice Melinda received the salute in a meek and contrite

"Notice how many citizens were hanging around underfoot on the depot
platform--so as you kinder had to stop and shake hands to get 'em out o'
the way?" Uncle Joe queried as he turned the colts' heads toward home.

Melinda had noticed. "I suppose they came out to see the train come in,"
she suggested.

"Nope; not exactly." Uncle Joe explained, "Looking out for automo_biles_
and flying airships have made trains of cars seem mighty common up this
way. Nope; the folks was out on account of you a-comin'."

"Me?" Having a guilty conscience Melinda glanced backward apprehensively
and made a motion as though to dodge a missile.

"Yep; and you'll find a lot of the relations at the house a-waitin' for

"Why--what--? Now look here, Uncle Joe, there is no occasion to be
foolish about a little--"

"Foolish? Now, mebby some would call it foolish, but us folks up the
creek here we can't help feelin' set up some over findin' out we have a
second Milton or a Mrs. Stowe in the fambly."

Melinda looked at her relative's concave profile in sick suspicion. Was
the trail of the serpent over them all? But no, Uncle Joe was beaming
mildly with the satisfaction of having shown that although the literary
hemisphere was the unknown land, he had heard of a mountain and a minor
elevation or two; he was, as she had always believed, incapable of

For once Melinda was speechless. But Uncle Joe was likely to be fluent
when he got started. He cleared his throat and turned mild, suffused,
half-shamed blue eyes on his shrinking niece. "Yes, your piece has come
out in the paper, Melinda, and your folks are all-fired pleased with
you. I told Lucy this morning I wisht your poor Pap could come back to
earth for just this one day."

"Ah-h!" Melinda took a firm grip on the side of the buggy. "But I guess
you'll have to write another right off. There is some jealousy amongst
them that aren't in it," Uncle Joe went on. "I told 'em you couldn't put
the whole connection in or it would read like a list of 'them present'
at a surprise party. Your Aunt Lucy, she's just as tickled as a hen with
three chickens." The old man chuckled. "There it is all down in black
and white just like it happened, only different, about her spasm of
economy when she was cleanin' away Mary Emmeline's medicine bottles and
couldn't bear to throw away what was left over, but up and took it all
herself in one powerful mixed dose to save it, and had to have the
doctor with a stomach-pump to cure her of spasms, what wasn't so
economical after all. It's her picture tickles her most."

"Oh!" said Melinda.

"Yes, you know the picture is as slim as a girl in her first pair o'
cossets a-standin' on a chair a-reachin' bottles off a top shelf, and
your Aunt Lucy's that hefty she hain't stood on a chair for ten years
for fear 'twould break down, and she's had to trust the top shelf to
the hired girl. I guess when she goes to Heaven she'll want to stop on
the way up and fix that top shelf to suit her. So she just sits and
looks at that picture and smiles and smiles. She likes my whiskers, too.
Yes, she's always wanted me to wear whiskers ever since we was married,
but we never was a whiskery fambly and they wouldn't seem to grow
thicker than your Uncle Josh's corn when he planted it one grain to the
hill. But there I am in the picture in the paper with real biblical
whiskers reachin' to the bottom o' my vest."

Uncle Joe cleared his throat and glanced sideways at his niece again. "I
want to tell you, Melindy, that I am real obleeged to you for makin' me
one of the main ones in the piece with a lot to say. Your Aunt Lucy says
'twas only right and proper, me bein' your nighest kin and you livin'
with us; but I told her there was so many others that was smarter and
more the story-paper kind, that I thought it showed real good feelin' on
your part; yes, I did.--_G'up, there, Ginger!_--Then I kind o' thought
I'd warn you, too, Melindy, that they all are just a-dyin' to hear you
say who 'The Preacher' is. He's the only one we couldn't quite place."

Melinda took the little bottle of smelling salts from her bag and held
it to her nose.

"Yes," Uncle Joe went on, "the others was easy identified because you
had named the names; but him you just called 'The Preacher' all the way
through. Some says it's the Reverend Graham kind of toned down and
trimmed up like things you see in the moonlight on a summer night. But I
told them the Reverend Graham is a nice enough chap, but that that
extra-fine, way-up preacher fellow in the story must be some stranger
you knew from off and didn't give his name, because you didn't rightly
know what it was. I thought, even if you was so soft on Reverend Graham
as to see him in that illusory, moony light, that about the stranger
from off was the right and proper thing for me, being your uncle, to say
any way. So if you want to keep it dark about 'The Preacher' you can
just talk about a stranger from off."

"I will, Uncle Joe--_dear_ Uncle Joe." Melinda exclaimed gratefully as
they stopped in front of the gate.

Melinda greeted her relatives with a warmth and enthusiasm that
embarrassed and made them suspicious. She was not usually so complacent,
so solicitous for the health and progress of offspring; above all she
was not usually so loth to talk about herself. She acted as though she
had never written a story, yet three copies of it were spread open under
her nose--one on the piano, one on the parlor table, one on the
sideboard--all open at the passage about "The Preacher."

The relatives retired in disgust. With the departure of the last one
Melinda seized a magazine and fled to the orchard. She would read that
story herself. As she turned the leaves she caught sight of a manly form
carefully climbing the fence. She dropped the periodical and stood on
it, gazing up pensively into the well-laden boughs of the Baldwin.

The Reverend Graham took her hands in a strong ministerial squeeze.

"It is very good of you to come to see me so soon after my return," she

"Good--Melinda! Do you think I could help coming?" he ejaculated. "I can
not tell you--words are inadequate to express what I feel," he went
on,--"the deep gratitude, the humility, the wonder, the triumph, the
determination, with God's aid, to live up to the high ideal you have set
forth in your wonderful story. You have seen the latent qualities, the
nobler potentialities; you have shown me to myself. _Melinda!_ Do not
think that I do not appreciate the difficulties of this hour for you. I
know how your heart is shrinking, how your delicate maidenly modesty is
up in arms. But Melinda, you know! you know! _Dear Melinda!_"

"I am glad you understand me, John."

"Understand you!" The Reverend Graham could restrain himself no longer.
He swept her into his arms, appropriating his own.

Melinda remained there quiescently leaning against his shoulder, because
there seemed nothing else to do, also because it was a broad and
comfortable shoulder against which to lean. "I am done for," she
reflected. "Now I will never dare to confess that I was trying to be

Then she reached up a hand and touched the Preacher's face timidly. His
cheek was wet. "Why, John--_John!_" she whispered.



    Abou, Ben Butler (may his tribe be less!)
    Awoke one night from a deep bottledness,
    And saw, by the rich radiance of the moon,
    Which shone and shimmered like a silver spoon,
    A stranger writing on a golden slate
    (Exceeding store had Ben of spoons and plate),
    And to the stranger in his tent he said:
    "Your little game?" The stranger turned his head,
    And, with a look made all of innocence,
    Replied: "I write the name of Presidents."
    "And is mine one?" "Not if this court doth know
    Itself," replied the stranger. Ben said, "Oh!"
    And "Ah!" but spoke again: "Just name your price
    To write me up as one that may be Vice."

    The stranger up and vanished. The next night
    He came again, and showed a wondrous sight
    Of names that haply yet might fill the chair--
    But, lo! the name of Butler was not there!



    When legislators keep the law,
      When banks dispense with bolts and locks,--
    When berries--whortle, rasp, and straw--
      Grow bigger _downwards_ through the box,--

    When he that selleth house or land
      Shows leak in roof or flaw in right,--
    When haberdashers choose the stand
      Whose window hath the broadest light,--

    When preachers tell us all they think,
      And party leaders all they mean,--
    When what we pay for, that we drink,
      From real grape and coffee-bean,--

    When lawyers take what they would give,
      And doctors give what they would take,--
    When city fathers eat to live,
      Save when they fast for conscience' sake,--

    When one that hath a horse on sale
      Shall bring his merit to the proof,
    Without a lie for every nail
      That holds the iron on the hoof,--

    When in the usual place for rips
      Our gloves are stitched with special care,
    And guarded well the whalebone tips
      Where first umbrellas need repair,--

    When Cuba's weeds have quite forgot
      The power of suction to resist,
    And claret-bottles harbor not
      Such dimples as would hold your fist,--

    When publishers no longer steal,
      And pay for what they stole before,--
    When the first locomotive's wheel
      Rolls through the Hoosac tunnel's bore;--

    _Till_ then let Cumming blaze away,
      And Miller's saints blow up the globe;
    But when you see that blessed day,
      _Then_ order your ascension robe!



    She is so gay, so very gay,
      And not by fits and starts,
    But ever, through each livelong day
      She's sunshine to all hearts.

    A tonic is her merry laugh!
      So wondrous is her power
    That listening grief would stop and chaff
      With her from hour to hour.

    Disease before that cheery smile
      Grows dim, begins to fade.
    A Christian scientist, meanwhile,
      Is this delightful maid.

    And who would not throw off dull care
      And be like unto her,
    When happiness brings, as her share,
      One hundred dollars per ----?

[Footnote 5: Lippincott's Magazine.]



    Fair insect! that, with thread-like legs spread out,
      And blood-extracting bill, and filmy wing,
    Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
      In pitiless ears, fall many a plaintive thing,
    And tell how little our large veins should bleed
    Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.

    Unwillingly, I own, and, what is worse,
      Full angrily, men listen to thy plaint;
    Thou gettest many a brush and many a curse,
      For saying thou art gaunt, and starved, and faint.
    Even the old beggar, while he asks for food,

    Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could.
    I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween,
      Has not the honor of so proud a birth:
    Thou com'st from Jersey meadows, fresh and green,
      The offspring of the gods, though born on earth;
    For Titan was thy sire, and fair was she,
    The ocean-nymph that nursed thy infancy.

    Beneath the rushes was they cradle swung,
      And when at length thy gauzy wings grew strong,
    Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung,
      Rose in the sky and bore thee soft along;
    The south wind breathed to waft thee on thy way,
    And danced and shone beneath the billowy bay.

    Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence
      Came the deep murmur of its throng of men,
    And as its grateful odors met thy sense,
      They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen.
    Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight
    Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.

    At length thy pinion fluttered in Broadway,--
      Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed
    By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray
      Shone through the snowy veils like stars through mist;
    And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin,
    Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin.

    Sure these were sights to tempt an anchorite!
      What! do I hear thy slender voice complain?
    Thou wailest when I talk of beauty's light,
      As if it brought the memory of pain.
    Thou art a wayward being--well, come near,
    And pour thy tale of sorrow in mine ear.

    What say'st thou, slanderer! rouge makes thee sick?
      And China Bloom at best is sorry food?
    And Rowland's Kalydor, if laid on thick,
      Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood?
    Go! 'twas a just reward that met thy crime;
    But shun the sacrilege another time.

    That bloom was made to look at,--not to touch;
      To worship, not approach, that radiant white;
    And well might sudden vengeance light on such
      As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite.
    Thou shouldst have gazed at distance, and admired,--
    Murmured thy admiration and retired.

    Thou'rt welcome to the town; but why come here
      To bleed a brother poet, gaunt like thee?
    Alas! the little blood I have is dear,
      And thin will be the banquet drawn from me.
    Look round: the pale-eyed sisters in my cell,
    Thy old acquaintance, Song and Famine, dwell.

    Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood
      Enriched by generous wine and costly meat;
    On well-filled skins, sleek as thy native mud,
      Fix thy light pump, and press thy freckled feet.
    Go to the men for whom, in ocean's halls,
    The oyster breeds and the green turtle sprawls.

    There corks are drawn, and the red vintage flows,
      To fill the swelling veins for thee, and now
    The ruddy cheek and now the ruddier nose
      Shall tempt thee, as thou flittest round the brow;
    And when the hour of sleep its quiet brings,
    No angry hand shall rise to brush thy wings.



    When our town band gets on the square
    On concert night you'll find me there.
    I'm right beside Elijah Plumb,
    Who plays th' cymbals an' bass drum;
    An' next to him is Henry Dunn,
    Who taps the little tenor one.
    I like to hear our town band play,
    But, best it does, I want to say,
    Is when they tell a tune's to come

    O' course, there's some that likes the tunes
    Like _Lily Dale_ an' _Ragtime Coons_;
    Some likes a solo or duet
    By Charley Green--B-flat cornet--
    An' Ernest Brown--th' trombone man.
    (An' they can play, er no one can);
    But it's the best when Henry Dunn
    Lets them there sticks just cut an' run,
    An' 'Lijah says to let her hum

    I don't know why, ner what's the use
    O' havin' that to interduce
    A tune--but I know, as fer me
    I'd ten times over ruther see
    Elijah Plumb chaw with his chin,
    A-gettin' ready to begin,
    While Henry plays that roll o' his
    An' makes them drumsticks fairly sizz,
    Announcin' music, on th' drum,



    'Twas just behind the woodshed,
      One glorious summer day,
    Far o'er the hills the sinking sun
      Pursued his westward way;
    And in my safe seclusion
      Removed from all the jar
    And din of earth's confusion
      I smoked my first cigar.

        It was my first cigar!
        It was the worst cigar!
    Raw, green and dank, hide-bound and rank
        It was my first cigar!

    Ah, bright the boyish fancies
    Wrapped in the smoke-wreaths blue;
    My eyes grew dim, my head was light,
      The woodshed round me flew!
    Dark night closed in around me--
      Black night, without a star--
    Grim death methought had found me
      And spoiled my first cigar.

        It was my first cigar!
        A six-for-five cigar!
    No viler torch the air could scorch--
        It was my first cigar!

    All pallid was my beaded brow,
      The reeling night was late,
    My startled mother cried in fear,
      "My child, what have you ate?"
    I heard my father's smothered laugh,
      It seemed so strange and far,
    I knew he knew I knew he knew
      I'd smoked my first cigar!

        It was my first cigar!
        A give-away cigar!
    I could not die--I knew not why--
        It was my first cigar!

    Since then I've stood in reckless ways,
      I've dared what men can dare,
    I've mocked at danger, walked with death,
      I've laughed at pain and care.
    I do not dread what may befall
      'Neath my malignant star,
    No frowning fate again can make
      Me smoke my first cigar.

        I've smoked my first cigar!
        My first and worst cigar!
    Fate has no terrors for the man
        Who's smoked his first cigar!


_A Story of Steamboat Life on the Mississippi_


Does any one remember the _Caravan_? She was what would now be
considered a slow boat--_then_ (1827) she was regularly advertised as
the "fast running," etc. Her regular trips from New Orleans to Natchez
were usually made in from six to eight days; a trip made by her in five
days was considered remarkable. A voyage from New Orleans to Vicksburg
and back, including stoppages, generally entitled the officers and crew
to a month's wages. Whether the _Caravan_ ever achieved the feat of a
voyage to the Falls (Louisville) I have never learned; if she did, she
must have "had a _time_ of it!"

It was my fate to take passage in this boat. The Captain was a
good-natured, easy-going man, careful of the comfort of his passengers,
and exceedingly fond of the _game of brag_. We had been out a little
more than five days, and we were in hopes of seeing the bluffs of
Natchez on the next day. Our wood was getting low, and night coming on.
The pilot on duty _above_ (the other pilot held three aces at the time,
and was just calling out the Captain, who "went it strong" on three
kings) sent down word that the mate had reported the stock of wood
reduced to half a cord. The worthy Captain excused himself to the pilot
whose watch was _below_ and the two passengers who made up the party,
and hurried to the deck, where he soon discovered by the landmarks that
we were about half a mile from a woodyard, which he said was situated
"right round yonder point." "But," muttered the Captain, "I don't much
like to take wood of the yellow-faced old scoundrel who owns it--he
always charges a quarter of a dollar more than any one else; however,
there's no other chance." The boat was pushed to her utmost, and in a
little less than an hour, when our fuel was about giving out, we made
the point, and our cables were out and fastened to trees alongside of a
good-sized wood pile.

"Hallo, Colonel! How d'ye sell your wood _this_ time?"

A yellow-faced old gentleman, with a two-weeks' beard, strings over his
shoulders holding up to his armpits a pair of copperas-colored
linsey-woolsey pants, the legs of which reached a very little below the
knee; shoes without stockings; a faded, broad-brimmed hat, which had
once been black, and a pipe in his mouth--casting a glance at the empty
guards of our boat and uttering a grunt as he rose from fastening our
"spring line," answered:

"Why, Capting, we must charge you _three and a quarter_ THIS _time_."

"The d--l!" replied the Captain--(captains did swear a little in those
days); "what's the odd _quarter_ for, I should like to know? You only
charged me _three_ as I went down."

"Why, Captaing," drawled out the wood merchant, with a sort of leer on
his yellow countenance, which clearly indicated that his wood was as
good as sold, "wood's riz since you went down two weeks ago; besides,
you are awar that you very seldom stop going _down_--when you're going
_up_ you're sometimes obleeged to give me a call, becaze the current's
aginst you, and there's no other woodyard for nine miles ahead; and if
you happen to be nearly out of fooel, why--"

"Well, well," interrupted the Captain, "we'll take a few cords, under
the circumstances," and he returned to his game of brag.

In about half an hour we felt the _Caravan_ commence paddling again.
Supper was over, and I retired to my upper berth, situated alongside and
overlooking the brag-table, where the Captain was deeply engaged, having
now the _other_ pilot as his principal opponent. We jogged on
quietly--and seemed to be going at a good rate.

"How does that wood burn?" inquired the Captain of the mate, who was
looking on at the game.

"'Tisn't of much account, I reckon," answered the mate; "it's
cottonwood, and most of it green at that."

"Well Thompson--(Three aces again, stranger--I'll take that X and the
small change, if you please. It's your deal)--Thompson, I say, we'd
better take three or four cords at the next woodyard--it can't be more
than six miles from here--(Two aces and a bragger, with the age! Hand
over those V's)."

The game went on, and the paddles kept moving. At eleven o'clock it was
reported to the Captain that we were nearing the woodyard, the light
being distinctly seen by the pilot on duty.

"Head her in shore, then, and take in six cords if it's good--see to
it, Thompson; I can't very well leave the game now--it's getting right
warm! This pilot's beating us all to smash."

The wooding completed, we paddled on again. The Captain seemed somewhat
vexed when the mate informed him that the price was the same as at the
last woodyard--_three and a quarter_; but soon again became interested
in the game.

From my upper berth (there were no state-rooms _then_) I could observe
the movements of the players. All the contention appeared to be between
the Captain and the pilots (the latter personages took it turn and turn
about, steering and playing brag), _one_ of them almost invariably
winning, while the two passengers merely went through the ceremony of
dealing, cutting, and paying up their "anties." They were anxious to
_learn the game_--and they _did_ learn it! Once in a while, indeed,
seeing they had two aces and a bragger, they would venture a bet of five
or ten dollars, but they were always compelled to back out before the
tremendous bragging of the Captain or pilot--or if they did venture to
"call out" on "two bullits and a bragger," they had the mortification to
find one of the officers had the same kind of a hand, and were _more
venerable_! Still, with all these disadvantages, they continued
playing--they wanted to learn the game.

At two o'clock the Captain asked the mate how we were getting on.

"Oh, pretty glibly, sir," replied the mate; "we can scarcely tell what
headway we _are_ making, for we are obliged to keep the middle of the
river, and there is the shadow of a fog rising. This wood seems rather
better than that we took in at Yellow-Face's, but we're nearly out
again, and must be looking out for more. I saw a light just ahead on
the right--shall we hail?"

"Yes, yes," replied the Captain; "ring the bell and ask 'em what's the
price of wood up here, (I've got you again; here's double kings.)"

I heard the bell and the pilot's hail, "What's' _your_ price for wood?"

A youthful voice on the shore answered, "Three _and_ a quarter!"

"D--net!" ejaculated the Captain, who had just lost the price of two
cords to the pilot--the strangers suffering _some_ at the same
time--"three and a quarter again! Are we _never_ to get to a cheaper
country? (Deal, sir, if you please; better luck next time.)"

The other pilot's voice was again heard on deck:

"How much _have_ you?"

"Only about ten cords, sir," was the reply of the youthful salesman.

The Captain here told Thompson to take six cords, which would last till
daylight--and again turned his attention to the game.

The pilots here changed places. _When did they sleep?_

Wood taken in, the _Caravan_ again took her place in the middle of the
stream, paddling on as usual.

Day at length dawned. The brag-party broke up and settlements were being
made, during which operation the Captain's bragging propensities were
exercised in cracking up the speed of his boat, which, by his reckoning,
must have made at least sixty miles, and _would_ have made many more if
he could have procured good wood. It appears the two passengers, in
their first lesson, had incidentally lost one hundred and twenty
dollars. The Captain, as he rose to see about taking in some _good_
wood, which he felt sure of obtaining now that he had got above the
level country, winked at his opponent, the pilot, with whom he had been
on very bad terms during the progress of the game, and said, in an
undertone, "Forty apiece for you and I and James (the other pilot) is
not bad for one night."

I had risen and went out with the Captain, to enjoy a view of the
bluffs. There was just fog enough to prevent the vision taking in more
than sixty yards--so I was disappointed in _my_ expectation. We were
nearing the shore, for the purpose of looking for wood, the banks being
invisible from the middle of the river.

"There it is!" exclaimed the Captain; "stop her!" Ding--ding--ding! went
the big bell, and the Captain hailed:

"Hallo! the woodyard!"

"Hallo yourself!" answered a squeaking female voice, which came from a
woman with a petticoat over her shoulders in place of a shawl.

"What's the price of wood?"

"I think you ought to know the price by this time," answered the old
lady in the petticoat; "it's three and a qua-a-rter! and now you know

"Three and the d--l!" broke in the Captain. "What, have you raised on
_your_ wood, too? I'll give you _three_, and not a cent more."

"Well," replied the petticoat, "here comes the old man--_he'll_ talk to

And, sure enough, out crept from the cottage the veritable faded hat,
copperas-colored pants, yellow countenance and two weeks' beard we had
seen the night before, and the same voice we had heard regulating the
price of cottonwood squeaked out the following sentence, accompanied by
the same leer of the same yellow countenance:

"Why, darn it all, Capting, there is but three or four cords left, and
_since it's you_, I don't care if I _do_ let you have it for
_three_--_as you're a good customer_!"

After a quick glance at the landmarks around, the Captain bolted, and
turned in to take some rest.

The fact became apparent--the reader will probably have discovered it
some time since--that _we had been wooding all night at the same

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wit and Humor of America, Volume
V. (of X.), by Various


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