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Full text of "Elsie and the Raymonds"

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A LIST OF THE ELSIE BOOKS AND 
OTHER POPULAR BOOKS 

BY 

MARTHA FINLEY 



ELSIE DINSMORE. 

ELSIE'S HOLIDAYS AT ROSELANDS, 
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 

ELSIE'S WOMANHOOD. 

ELSIE'S MOTHERHOOD, - 
ELSIE'S CHILDREN. - 
ELSIE'S WIDOWHOOD. 
GRANDMOTHER ELSIE. 

ELSIE'S NEW RELATIONS. 
ELSIE AT NANTUCKET, 
THE TWO ELSIES. 

ELSIE'S KITH AND KIN, 
ELSIE'S FRIENDS AT WOODBURN. 
CHRISTMAS WITH GRANDMA ELSIE. 
ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 
ELSIE YACHTING WITH THE RAYMONDS. 
ELSIE'S VACATION. 
ELSIE AT VIAMEDE. 
ELSIE AT ION. 
ELSIE AT THE WORLD'S FAIR. 
ELSIE'S JOURNEY ON INLAND WATERS. 
ELSIE AT HOME. 
ELSIE ON THE HUDSON. 
ELSIE IN THE SOUTH. 
ELSIE'S YOUNG FOLKS. 
\ ELSIE'S WINTER TRIP. 

ELSIE AND HER LOVED ONES. 



WLDRED KEITH. 
, MILDRED AT ROS ELANDS. 

MILDRED'S MARRIED LIFE. 
MILDRED AND ELSIE. 
MILDRED AT HOME. 

MILDRED'S BOYS AND GIRLS. 
MILDRED'S NEW DAUGHTER. 



'CASELLA. 

SIGNING THE CONTRACT AND WHAT IT COST. 
THE TRAGEDY OF WILD RIVER VALLEY. 
OUR FRED. 

AN OLD-FASHIONED BOY. 
WANTED, A PEDIGREE. 

THE THORN IN THE NEST. 



(b!- ' 



Elsie and the Raymonds 



MARTHA FINLEY 

AOTBOB OF "ELSIE DIN8M0BE," " ELSIE'S WOMANHOOD, 
•'■MIB'B kith and kin," " THE MILDRED BOOKS," 
"WAMTBD— A PBDIGBEE," ETC., BTC. 



NEW YORK : 
DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 

Publishers 



THE i\h,'.V vURK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR, LENOX AND 
TJLDEN FOUNDAT!ONS. 

R 1911 L 



Copyright, 1889, 

BY 

DODD, MEAD & COMPANY 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMOND& 



CHAPTER I. 

" Excuse me, Miss, but do you know of any 
lady who wants a seamstress ? " asked a timid, 
hesitating voice. 

Lulu Raymond was the person addressed. 
She and Max had just alighted from the Wood- 
burn family carriage — having been given per- 
mission to do a little shopping together — and 
she had paused upon the pavement for a moment 
to look after it as it rolled away down the street 
with her father, who had some business matters 
to attend to in the city that afternoon, and had 
appointed a time and place for picking the chil- 
dren up again to carry them home. 

Tastefully, attired, rosy, and bright with 
health and happiness, Lulu's appearance was 
in strange contrast to that of the shabbily 
dressed girl, with pale, pinched features that 
wore an expression of patient suffering, who 
stood by her side. 

" Were you speaking to me ? " Lulu asked, 
8 



4 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

tuniiiig quickly at the sound of the voice, and 
regarding the shrinking figure with pitying 
eyes. 

"Yes, Miss, if you'll excuse the liberty. I 
thought you looked kind, and that maybe your 
mother might want some one to do plain 
sewing." 

" I hardly think she does, but I'll ask her 
when I go home," replied Lulu. " Are you the 
person who wants the work ? " 

" Yes, Miss ; and I'd try to give satisfaction. 
I've been brought up to the use of vtij needle^ 
and the sewing machine too. And — and " — in 
a choking voice — "I need work badly ; mother's 
sick, and we've only what I can earn to depend 
on for food and clothes, and doctor, and medi- 
cine, and to pay the rent." 

" Oh, how dreadful ! " cried Lulu, hastily 
taking out her purse. 

" You are very kind. Miss ; but I'm not ask- 
ing charity," the girl said, shrinking back, blush- 
ing and shamefaced. 

" Of course not, you don't look like a beggar,'" 
returned Lulu with warmth. " But I'd be glad 
to help you in some suitable way. Where do» 
you live ? " 

At this instant Max, whose attention had been 
drawn for a moment to some article in the show- 
window of a store near at hand, joined his sister^ 
and with her listened to the girl's reply. 



ELSIE AND TEE IIAYM0ND8 5 

** Just down that alley yonder, Number five," 
she said. " It*s but a poor place we have ; a 
little bare attic room, but — but we try to be 
content with it, because it's the best we can do." 

" What is it she wants ? " Max asked, in a low 
aside to Lulu. 

" Sewing. Fm going to ask Mamma Vi and 
Orandma Elsie if they can find some for her. 
But we'll have to know where she can be found. 
Shall we go with her to her home ? " 

" No ; papa would not approve, I think. But 
I'll write down the address, and I'm sure papa 
will see that they're relieved, if they need help." 

Turning to the girl again, as he took note- 
book and pencil from his pocket, " What is the 
name of the alley ? " he asked. 

" Rose," she answered, adding, with a mel- 
ancholy smile, "though there's nothing rosy 
about it except the name ; it's narrow and dirty, 
and the people are poor, many of them beggars, 
drunken, and quarrelsome." 

"How dreadful to have to live in such a 
place ! " exclaimed Lulu, looking compassionate- 
ly at the speaker. 

" Rose Alley," murmured Max, jotting it down 
in his book, "just out of State Street. What 
number ? " 

"Number five, sir; and it's between Fourth 
and Fifth." 

" Oh, yes; I'll put that down, too, and I'm 



6 ELSIE AND TEE BAYMOJSDS. 

Bure the place can be found without any diffi- 
culty. But what is your name ? We will need 
to know whom to inquire for." 

" Susan Allen, sir." 

The girl was turning away, but Lulu stopped 
her. 

" Wait a moment. You said your mother was 
sick, and I'd like to send her something good to 
eat. I dare say she needs delicacies to tempt 
her appetite. Come with me to that fruit-stand 
on the corner," hurrying toward it as she spoke, 
the girl following at a respectful distance. 

" That was a good and kind thought, Lu," 
Max remarked, stepping close to his sister's 
side as she paused before the fruit-stand, eagerly 
scanning its tempting display of fruits and con- 
fections. 

"You don't doubt papa's approval of this ? '* 
she returned interrogatively, giving him an 
arch look and smile. 

" No ; not a bit of it ; he always likes to see 
us generous and ready to relieve distress. I 
must have a share in the good work." 

" Then they'll have all the more, for I 
shan't give any less because you're going to 
give, too. Oh, what delicious looking straw- 
berries ! " 

"And every bit as good as they look, Miss," 
said the keeper of the stand. 

"What's the price?" 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 1 

" Dollar a box, Miss. They always come 
high the first o' the season, you know ; they 
were a dollar-ten only yesterday." 

" Do you think your sick mother would en- 
joy them ? " Lulu asked, turning to Susan, who 
was looking aghast at the price named. 

" Oh, yes, indeed, Miss ; but — but it's too 
much for you to give ; we have hardly so much 
as that to spend on a week's victuals." 

" Then I'm sure you ought to have a few 
luxuries for once," said Lulu. " I'll take a box 
for her," addressing the man, and taking out 
her purse as she spoke. 

"A dozen of tliose oranges, too, a pound of 
your nicest crackers, and one of sugar to eat 
with the berries," said Max, producing his port- 
monnaie. 

They saw the articles put up, paid for them, 
put them into Susan's hands, and hurried on 
their way, followed by her grateful looks. 

In trembling, tearful tones she had tried to 
thank them, but they would not stay to listen. 

" How glad she was," said Lulu. " And no 
wonder, for she looks half starved. And, O 
Max, just think, if we hadn't a father to take 
care of and provide for us we might be as poor 
and distressed as she is ! " 

" That's so," returned Max ; " we've hardly a 
thing worth having that hasn't come to us 
through my father." 



8 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" My father, sir," asserted Lulu, giving him a 
laughing glance. 

" Yes, our father ; but he was mine be- 
fore he was yours," laughed her brother. 
" Well, here we are at Blake's, where you 
have an errand ; at least, so you said, I 
think." 

They passed into the store, finding so many 
customers there that all the clerks were en- 
gaged ; and while waiting till some one coulft 
attend to their wants, they amused themselves 
in scrutinizing the contents of shelves, counters, 
and show-cases. Some picture -frames, brackets, 
and other articles of carved wood attracted 
their attention. 

" Some of those are quite pretty, Max," Lulu 
remarked in an undertone ; " but I think you 
have made prettier ones." 

** So have you ; and see," pointing to the 
prices attached, " they pay quite well for them. 
No, Fm not so sure of that, but they ask good 
prices from their customers. Perhaps we could 
make a tolerable support at the business, if we 
had to take care of ourselves," he added in a 
half -jesting tone. 

" Earn enough to buy bread and butter may- 
be, but not half the good things papa buys for 
us," said Lulu. 

" Is no one waiting upon you ? " asked the 
proprietor of the store, drawing near. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 9 

**No, sir; they all seem to be busy," an* 
swered Lulu. 

" Yes. What can I show you ? Some of this 
carved work ? We have sold a good deal of it, 
and Pm sorry to say that the young lady who 
supplied it has decided to give up the business — 
and go into matrimony," he added, with a 
laugh. 

A thought seemed to strike Lulu, and she 
asked, coloring slightly as she spoke, " Does it 
pay well ? " 

The merchant named the prices he had given 
for several of the articles, and asked in his turn 
if she knew of any one who would like to earn 
money in that way. 

*^ I — Pm not quite sure," she answered. " I 
know a boy, and a girl too, who are fond of 
doing such work, and I think can do a little 
better than this, but — " 

"You doubt if they would care to make a 
business of it, eh ? " he said inquiringly, as she 
paused, leaving her sentence unfinished. 

" Yes, sir ; Pm not sure they would want to, 
or that their parents would be willing to have 
them do so. If you please, I should like to look 
at materials for fancy work." 

" Yes, Miss. This w^ay, if you please. We 
have them in great variety, and of the best 
quality." 

Captain Raymond expected a friend on an in- 



10 ELSIE AJSD THE RAYMONDS. 

coming train, and had directed the children to 
be at the depot a few minutes before it was due. 
Punctuality was one of the minor virtues he in- 
sisted upon, and while interested in their shop- 
ping, they were not forgetful of the necessity 
for keeping their appointment with him. Their 
watches were consulted frequently, and ample 
time allowed for their walk from the last store 
visited to the depot. 

" We are here first ; our carriage isn't in sight 
yet," remarked Lulu with satisfaction, as they 
reached the outer door of the building. 

"Yes," said Max, "but papa will be along 
presently, for it wants but ten minutes of the 
time when the train is due." 

"And he's never a minute late," added 
Lulu. 

Max led the way to the ladies' room, seated 
his sister comfortably in an arm-chair, and asked 
if there was anything he could get, or do for 
her ; treating her with as much gallantry as if 
she had been the sister of somebody else. 

" Thank you, Maxie, I'm really comfortable, 
and in want of nothing," she replied. " I'll be 
glad if that gentleman doesn't come," she went 
on, " for it's so much nicer to have papa all to 
ourselves driving home." 

" Yes ; and afterward too. But we mustn't 
be selfish, and perhaps he would be disappointed 
if his friend shouldn't come." 



ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS, U 

" Ob, I hadn't thought of that ! And if papa 
^ould rather have him come, I hope he will." 

" Of course you do. Ah, here comes papa 
now," as a tall, remarkably fine-looking man, of 
decidedly military bearing, entered the room and 
came smilingly toward them. 

" Good, punctual children," he said. " I hope 
you have been enjoying yourselves since we 
parted ? " 

" Ob, yes, papa," thej- answered, speaking both 
at once ; " we did all our errands, and are ready 
to go home." 

" The train is just due," he said, consulting 
his watch. "Ah, here it comes," as its rush and 
roar smote upon their ears. 

Lulu sprang up hastily. 

" Wait a little, daughter," the captain said, lay- 
ing a gently detaining hand on her shoulder ; 
" we need not be in haste, as we are not going 
on the train." 

" Everybody else seems to be hurrying out, 
papa," she said. 

" Yes ; they are probably passengers. Ah, 
the train has arrived and come to a standstill, so 
we will go now. Max, you may help your sister 
into the carriage, while I look about for our ex- 
pected guest." 

The captain scanned narrowly the living stream 
pouring from the cars, but without finding bim 
of whom he was in quest. He turned away in 



12 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

some disappointment, and was about to step into 
his carriage, when a not unfamiliar voice hailed 
him. 

" Good-evening, Captain Raymond. Will 
you aid a fellow-creature in distress ? It seems 
that by some mistake my carriage has failed to 
meet me, though I thought they understood 
that I would return home by this train. If you 
will give me a lift as far as your own gate I can 
easily walk the rest of the way to Briarwood." 

" It will afford me pleasure to do so, Mr. 
Clark, or to take you quite to Briarwood," re- 
sponded the captain heartily. " We have abun- 
dance of room. Step in, and I will follow." 

This unexpected addition to their party gave 
Lulu some slight feeling of vexation and disap- 
pointment, but her father's proud look and 
smile, as he said, " My son Max and daughter 
Lulu, Mr. Clark," and the affectionate manner 
in which, on taking his seat at her side, he put 
his arm about her waist and drew her close to 
him, went far to restore her to her wonted good- 
humor. 

Mr. Clark said, " How do you do, my dears ? " 
then engaged the captain in conversation, taking 
no further notice of the children. 

But they were intelligent, well-instructed chil- 
dren, and when the talk presently turned upon 
one of the political questions of the day they 
were interested; for their father had taken 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 13 

pains to give them no little information on that 
and kindred topics. He did not encourage their 
reading of the daily secular papers — indeed for- 
bade it, because he would not have their pure 
minds sullied by the sickening details of crime, 
or love of the horrible cultivated by minute de- 
scriptions of its punishment in the execution of 
murderers ; but he examined the papers himself 
and culled from them such articles, to be read 
aloud in the family, as he deemed suitable and 
instructive or entertaining ; or he would relate 
incidents and give instruction and explanations 
in his own words, which the children generally 
preferred to the reading. 

The gentlemen were in the midst of their con- 
versation, and the great gates leading into the 
avenue at Woodburn almost reached, when Mr. 
Clark caught sight of his own carriage approach- 
ing from the opposite direction. 

He called and beckoned to his coachman, and 
with a hasty good-by and hearty thanks to 
Captain Raymond, transferred himself to his 
own conveyance, which at once faced about and 
whirled away toward Briarwood, while tiie 
Woodburn family carriage turned into the ave- 
nue and drove up to the house. 

Violet and the three younger children were 
on the veranda, waiting for its coming, and 
ready with a joyful welcome to its occupants. 

" Papa, papa ! " shouted little Elsie, as they 



14 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS 

alighted, " Max and Lu, too ! Oh, I'se so glad 
you all turn back adain ! " 

" Are you, papa's sweet pet ? " returned the 
captain, bending down to take her in his arms 
with a tender caress. 

Then he kissed his wife and the lovely babe 
crowing in her arms and reaching out his chubby 
ones to be taken by his father, evidently as 
much rejoiced as Elsie at his return. 

" In a moment, Ned," laughed the captain, 
stooping to give a hug and kiss to Gracie wait- 
ing at his side ; then taking possession of an 
easy-chair, with a pleasant "Thank you, my 
dears," to Max and Lulu, who had hastened to 
draw it forward for him, he took a baby on each 
knee, while the three older children clustered 
about him, and Violet, sitting near, watched with 
laughing eyes the merry scene that followed. 

" Gracie and Elsie may search papa's pockets 
now and see what they can find," said the cap- 
tain. 

Promptly and with eager delight they availed 
themselves of the permission. 

Grace drew forth a small, gilt-edged, hand- 
somely bound volume. 

" That is for your mamma," her father said ; 
" you may hand it to her ; and perhaps, if you 
look farther, you nia}^ find something for your- 
self." 

Violet received the gift with a pleased smile 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 15 

and a hearty " Thank you, Gracie. Thank you, 
my dear. I shall be sure to prize it for the 
sake of the giver, whatever the contents 
may be." 

But the words were half drowned in Elsie's 
shouts of delight over a pretty toy and a box of 
bon-bons. 

" Hand the candy round, pet ; to mamma first," 
her father said. 

" May Elsie eat some too, papa ? " she asked 
coaxingly, as she got down from his knee to 
obey his order. 

" Yes ; a little to-night, and some more to- 
morrow." 

Grace had dived into another pocket. " Oh ! 
is this for me, papa ? " she asked, drawing out 
a small paper parcel. 

" Open it and see," was his smiling rejoinder. 

With eager fingers she untied the string and 
opened the paper. 

" Three lovely silver fruit-knives ! " she ex- 
claimed. " Names on 'em, too. Lu, this is 
yours, for it has your name on it ; and this is 
mine, and the other Maxie's," handing them to 
the owners as she spoke. " Thank you, papa, oh, 
thank you very much, for mine ! " holding up 
her face for a kiss. 

Bestowing it very heartily, " You are all very 
welcome, my darlings," he said, for Max and 
Xulu were saying thank you too. 



16 ELSIE AM) THE RAYMONDS. 

And now they hastened to display their pur- 
chases of the afternoon and present some little 
gifts to Grace and Elsie. 

These were received with thanks and many 
expressions of pleasure, and Lulu was in the 
midst of an animated account of her shopping 
experiences when her father, glancing at his 
watch, reminded her that she would have barely 
time to make herself neat for the tea-table if she 
repaired to her room at once. 

"Max and I, too, must pay some attention 
to our toilets," he added, giving the babe to 
its nurse, who had just appeared upon the 
scene. 

" Now, papa, let's run a race, and see who'll 
be down first," — proposed Lulu laughingly, as 
she went skipping and dancing along the hall 
just ahead of him. 

" Very well, and I'll give you a dollar if you 
are first, — and there are no signs of haste or 
negligence in your appearance." 

"And is the ofi^er open to me too, papa?" 
asked Max, coming up behind. 

" Yes ; I shall not be partial," answered the 
captain, suddenly lifting Lulu off her feet and 
starting up the stairs with her in his arms. 

" O papa, you'll tire yourself all out ! " she 
exclaimed with a merry laugh ; " I'm so big and 
heavy." 

•* Not a bit," he said. " I'm so big and strong. 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 17 

There, now for our race," as he set her down iu 
the upper hall. 

" It's nice, nice, to have such a big, strong 
papa ! " she said, lifting a flushed, happy face 
to his and reaching up to give him a hug and 
kiss. 

" Pm glad my little daughter thinks so," he 
returned, smiling down on her and laying his 
hand tenderly on her head for an instant. 

The captain and Lulu met in the upper hall 
just as the tea-bell rang, and at the same instant 
Max came down the stairs from the third story 
almost at a bound. 

A merry peal of laughter from all three, and 
the captain said, " So nobody is first ; we shall 
all reach the tea-room together." 

" And you wont have any dollar to pa3^,papa," 
said Lulu, her face very bright and no disap- 
pointment in her tone. She was clinging to her 
father's hand as they went down the stairs. Max 
close behind them. 

" But I don't care to save it," was the reply, 
" so what shall be done with it ? Suppose I 
divide it between you and Max." 

"And yourself, papa," added Max laugh- 
ingly. 

" His father smiled. " Perhaps a better plan 
would be to put it into our missionary box," he 
said. 

" Oh, yes, sir ! " exclaimed both the children. 



18 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" that would be the best thing that could be done 
with it." 

They had taken their seats at the table, and 
all were quiet while the captain asked a blessing 
on their food. 



CHAPTER 11. 

** I HAVE something to tell you, my dear,** 
Violet began, giving her husband a bright smile 
from behind the coffee urn as she filled his cup. 

" Ah ? " he said," returning the smile. " I am 
all attention. I have no doubt it is something 
worth hearing." 

" Perhaps you remember that mamma's fiftieth 
birthday will come early next month," Violet 
resumed. 

" No, not the fiftieth surely ! " exclaimed the 
xjaptain. " Really I think that, judging from 
her looks alone, no one would take her to be 
over forty." 

" So we all think, and everybody says she 
has a remarkably young face. But it will be 
her fiftieth birthday, and we, her children, want 
to do her unusual honor. Of course, as you 
know, my dear, we always remember the day, 
and each of us has some little gift for her, 
but this, being her semi-centennial, we think 
should be observed in some special manner." 

" I agree with you, and what do you propose 
4oing in order to celebrate it appropriately ? " 
19 



20 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

" We have not fully decided that question, and 
would be glad of suggestions and advice from 
you, if you will kindly give them." 

" I am sensible of the honor you do me, but 
must take a little time to reflect," was hifl 
pleasant rejoinder. 

" Papa, how old are you ? " asked Grace with 
sudden animation, as if the question had just 
occurred to her. 

" About twenty-four years older than Max," 
replied the captain, turning upon his first-born 
a look of fatherly pride and affection. 

" And I'm almost fifteen," added Max. 

" That makes papa thirty-nine," remarked 
Lulu. *' You'll be forty next birthday, wont 
you, papa ? " 

" Yes, daughter." 

" Then Grandma Elsie is only about ten years 
older than you, not nearly enough older to be 
your real mother." 

" Quite true," he said, with a humorous look, 
" but I find it not at all unpleasant to have sa 
young and beautiful a mother ; a lady so lovely 
in character, as well as in form and feature,, 
that I should greatly rejoice to know that my 
daughters would grow up to resemble her in all 
respects. 

" I'd like to be exactly like her, except — " 
But there Grace paused, leaving her sentence 
unfinished. 



! ELSIE AND THE RAYMOIWS. 31 

" Except in being fifty years old ? " her father 
asked, regarding her with laughing eyes. 

" Yes, sir; I'd rather be a little girl for a 
good while yet ; your little girl, papa, who can 
sit on your knee whenever she wants to." 

" That's right," he said heartily. " I am by 
no means ready to part with my little Gracie 
yet." 

" I feel just as Gracie does about it," said 
Lulu. " I want to be a little girl for a while 
longer, then a young lady; but when I get to 
be fifty years old I'd like to be as nearly like 
Grandma Elsie as possible." 

" I hope not to be," remarked Max face- 
tiously ; "but I know a gentleman I would like 
to resemble so much when I'm forty, that people 
would say of me, * He's just a chip of the old 
block,' " and with the last words the lad turned 
a proud, admiring, affectionate look upon his 
father. 

The captain's countenance expressed pleasure* 
and Violet, looking pleased also, said, " I hope 
you will have your wish. Max, and I think there 
is every prospect of it." 

" What plans are thought of for the coming 
<5elebration, my dear ? " asked the captain. 

" We talk of a garden or lawn party, if the 
weather is fine ; all the relatives to be invited, 
and perhaps a few intimate friends beside. Cer« 
tainly our minister and his wife." 



22 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" I don't think I could suggest anything bet' 
ter," the captain said. 

" But you may be able to give some useful 
hints in regard to plans for the entertainment 
of the guests, and suitable gifts for mamma." 

" Possibly ; and you must help me to decide 
upon mine." , 

" I shall be only too glad," she answered with 
a bright, pleased look. 

" And we children may give something nice 
to Grandma Elsie too, mayn't we, papa ? " they 
asked, all three speaking at once. 

" Most assuredly," he replied, " the very 
nicest thing, or things, you can think of that 
will come within the limits of your financial 
ability." 

" Papa," remarked Grace doubtfully, *' I 
don't believe I know exactly what that 
means." 

" You understand the meaning of ability^ 
surely ? " returned her father. 

" Yes, sir ; but that other word — fi — " 

" Financial ? as I used it then, it means the 
amount of money you children may have at your 
disposal at the time of making your purchases.'^ 

"Oh, Pm glad I have some money saved 
up ! " she remarked with satisfaction. 

" How much ? " he asked. 

" A good deal, papa ; about five dollars, I 
think." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 23 

*' Ah, so much as that ? quite a fortune," he 
«aid, with a look of amusement. 

" I suppose, wife, your mother is to be con- 
sulted in regard to the manner of the proposed 
celebration ? about the party, the guests to be 
invited, and so forth ? " 

" Oh, yes, sir ; about everything but the gifts 
she is to receive." 

The babies had had their evening romp with 
papa and been carried off to the nursery, Gracie 
going along at Elsie's urgent request, and all 
the more willingly because she had heard her 
father say he must write a letter immediately, 
that it might be in time to go by the next mail, 
so she knew that for the present she and Max 
and Lulu must do without their usual bit of chat 
with him. 

Lulu was particularly desirous for an oppor- 
tunity for a talk with him, for she had a scheme 
in her head about which she wished to ask his 
advice and permission. She would not have 
minded broaching the subject before Max and 
Gracie, but thought it would be still more en- 
joyable to talk it over with papa alone. 

" I'll not go far away," she said to herself, 
" and when papa has finished his writing maybe 
I'll get a chance to talk a little with him before 
anybody else comes." 

She took a book and seated herself in the 
Teranda ; but she did not read. The captain. 



24 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

stepping to the door presently, saw her sitting 
with the book lying unopened in her lap, lier. 
attitude and expression denoting profound 
thought. She did not seem aware even of his 
approach as he drew near her side, but started 
and looked up in sui*prise as he laid his hand 
gently on her head, saying, " A penny for my 
little girl's thoughts ! She looks as if she had the 
affairs of the nation on her shoulders." 

"I'm sure they're not worth a penny, papa^^ 
but you are welcome to them for nothing," she 
returned laughingly, " if you have time to let 
me talk to you." 

She rose as she spoke, and taking the chair, 
he drew her to his knee. 

" Plenty of time, now that that letter has beea 
dispatched," he said. " But are you to do ail 
the talking ? " 

" Oh no, indeed, papa ; I hope you'll do the 
most of it, but I suppose I must begin by tell- 
ing 3^ou my thoughts." 

"Yes." 

" I was thinking about a poor girl that spoke 
to me in the street to-day and asked for sewing 
to do to earn money to support herself and her 
fiick mother. 

" I told her I would try to get some Avork for 
her. Afterward Max and I went into a store 
where we saw brackets and picture frames, and 
other things, carved out of wood as we do it. 



ELSIE AND THE EAYM0ND8. 25 

onl/ they were not so pretty as some we have 
made ; at least we both thought so, and we 
wondered how much was paid for such work. 
The price they were asking for them was on 
them, and Max thought it a good one. We 
were talking together about it when the mer- 
chant came up and asked if we wanted to buy 
any of those things. 

" He said he had sold a good many, and was 
sorry the lady who had carved them for him 
was going to give up doing it. I asked if it 
paid well, and he told me how much he gave, 
and asked if I knew anybody who would like to 
earn money in that way." 

" And what answer did you make to that ? " 

" I said I wasn't sure ; I knew a boy and girl 
who were fond of that kind of work, and I 
thouglit could do it a little better than those 
were done, but I didn't know whether they 
would want to do it for pay, or whether their 
parents would be willing to let them." 

" And the boy and girl you referred to were 
Max and yourself ? " 

" Yes, sir ; would you let us do it if we wanted 
to?" 

" That would depend upon circumstances ; it 
is a question to be considered." 

" Well, papa, this is what I was thinking of 
when you spoke to me. You know I spend 
some of my spare time sewing for the poor, and 



26 ELSIE AND THE MATMONDS. 

you know I don't like to sew — I mean I don't 
enjoy doing it — and I do enjoy carving ; and 
that poor girl wants sewing to do, because she 
needs to earn her living, and that's her way of 
doing it ; and I was trying to decide whether 
or not it would be right for me to give her the 
sewing to do and pay her for doing it with 
money I could earn by carving. Would it be 
right, papa ? and will you let me do it ? " 

*' I say yes to both questions ; I think it a 
good idea ; for you will be doing good in twa 
ways — helping the poor to whom the garments 
go, and the poor girl who wants employment ; 
and that without indulging yourself in laziness.'* 

" Oh, I am so glad you approve, papa ! "^ 
Lulu exclaimed in delight. "I was afraid you 
would not ; I was afraid that perhaps I ought 
to do the sewing myself if only because I dis- 
like it so." 

"No, my child, there is nothing praise- 
worthy in doing a thing merely because it i& 
unpleasant to us. If another is needing help 
which we can give in that way and no other, 
duty bids us to perform the unpleasant task ;. 
but in this case it seems you can do more good 
by allowing the young sewing-girl to act a& 
your substitute, helping her at the same time 
that you help those to whom the garments 
will go. 

" But the sewing you can give will not be 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 27 

really enough to keep even one seamstress 
busy." 

" Oh, no, sir ; but I am going to tell Mamma 
Vi and Grandma Elsie about her, and I think 
tiiey will find her work and recommend her to 
other ladies who want sewing done, if they find 
that she does it well." 

"Did you learn her name and where she 
lives?" 

" Yes, sir ; and I wanted to go and see the 
place, but Max said you would not approve ; 
so I didn't go." 

" Max was quite right. You must never ven- 
ture into strange places about the city without 
my knowledge and consent, unless with Grand- 
ma Elsie or some other equally wise and trust- 
worthy person." 

"I will not, papa," she answered, smiling 
lovingly into his eyes. " I do hope I shall 
never again disobey you in anything." 

" I hope not, indeed," he said, smoothing her 
hair caressingly. " So far as I know, you have 
been very good and obedient for the last six 
months or more." 

Just then Violet and Grace joined them, 
followed almost immediately by Max, and as 
he stepped from the doorway the Ion family 
carriage was seen coming up the drive. 

It brought Violet's grandparents, mother, and 
young brother and sister — Rosie and Walter. 



S8 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

They spent the evening. The proposed birthday- 
celebration was under discussion for some time, 
several questions in regard to it were settled, 
then Lulu found an opportunity to tell of Susan 
Allen and her needs. 

Grandma Elsie — always ready for every good 
work — said : " If you will accompany me, 
Captain, I will hunt them up to-morrow and 
inquire into their needs, should nothing unfore- 
seen happen to prevent." 

" I shall be at your service, mother, then, or 
at any other time," returned the captain gallant- 
ly. " And we will take Lulu with us, if you 
have no objection," he added, as he caught an 
entreating look from her. 

"Not the slightest," replied Mrs. Travilla, 
smiling kindly upon the little girl. 

" Oh, thank you. Grandma Elsie ! Thank 
you, papa ; I should like to go very much in- 
deed " ; exclaimed Lulu joyously. 

While Lulu talked with Susan Allen in the 
city street that afternoon, the girl's mother lay 
on a bed of straw in the small attic room they 
called home ; a very forlorn specimen of a home 
it was, though everything in and about it was 
scrupulously neat and clean ; the floor was bare, 
save a strip of carpet beside the bed ; there 
were three unpainted wooden chairs, a little 
table to match, and a tiny stove ; their few 
changes of raiment hung on hooks along the 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 29 

wall back of the bed, and a few cheap dishes 
and cooking utensils were ranged in an orderly 
manner on some shelves in one corner. 

The one window was shaded by a paper blind 
and short white curtain, both bearing evidence 
of careful mending, as did the night-dresi 
worn by the invalid, the sheets and pillow-- 
cases of her bed. 

She was not an old woman ; Susan was but 
sixteen, and her mother, who had married very 
young, little more than twice that age. But 
toil and privation had broken down her health, 
and aged her before her time, so that she looked 
full forty ; there were very perceptible lines iu 
her forehead, and the dark hair was streaked 
with gray ; yet it was a pleasant face to look 
upon — so full of sweet patience and resig- 
nation. 

A well-worn Bible lay beside her, and one 
hand rested upon the open page ; but her eyes 
were closed and tears trickled down her wasted 
cheek, while her lips moved as if in prayer. 

One standing very near might have heard' 
the low, murmured words, but they reached 
only the ear of Him who has said : " Call upon 
me in the day of trouble ; I will deliver thee 
and thou shalt glorify me." 

It was that promise she was pleading. 

" Lord," her pale lips whispered, " I believe 
thy word and obey thy kind command ; it is 



30 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

the day of trouble witli me and my beloved 
child. We are in sore straits ; the last cent is 
gone, the last crust eaten ; we have neither barn 
nor storehouse, yet I know thou wilt feed us as 
thou dost the sparrows; for thou hast said, 
*Are not ye much better than they ? ' and, * Your 
heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of 
all these things.' Lord, increase my faith and 
let me never for one moment doubt thy word — 
thy promise to deliver those who call upon thee 
in the day of trouble, and never to leave or 
forsake any who put their trust in thee. Oh, 
blessed be thy holy name, for all the great and 
precious promises thou hast given thy people, 
and upon which thou hast taught me to lean 
in every time of trouble ! " 

She was still pouring out her soul in prayer 
and praise when Susan's light step came up the 
stairs, the door was hastily thrown open, and 
she entered with flushed, beaming face, and 
arms full of bundles, half breathless with excite- 
ment and exertion. 

"Mother, dear mother!" she cried, as she 
hastened to deposit her burdens on the table, " I 
know you have been praying for help, and God 
has sent it. See here ! the very luxury I have 
been longing to get you, but without the least 
hope of being able to do so; great, lovely, luscious 
strawberries ! " gently pouring them from the 
paper bag in which she had carried them, on to 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 31 

a plate. " I'll put some of the finest on a saucer 
for you. Here is sugar for them, too, and deli- 
cate crackers to eat with them. And here are 
oranges ; the finest in the market I O mother,, 
eat and grow strong ! " she added, tears spring- 
ing to her eyes, as she put a saucer of berries 
into her mother's hand and laid a fine orange by 
her side. " I wont keep you waiting till I can 
stem the berries, but just give you some sugar 
on another saucer to dip them into. Oh, if I 
only had some of the rich cream for you that we 
used to have before we left the farm ! " 

" Oh, child, our Father has sent us so much, 
so much, don't let us fret after anything more ! " 
cried the mother at length, recovering the power 
of speech, of which surprise and joy had robbed 
her ever since her daughter's entrance so richly 
laden. 

" No, mother, no indeed ! only I should so 
love to give you every comfort and luxury to 
make you well. You are so thin and weak ! 
There, do lie back on your pillows and let me 
feed you. Isn't that delicious ? " putting a berry 
into her mouth. 

" Oh, very, very ! But let me thank God, 
and then do you eat with me." 

They were very hungry, having scarcely 
tasted food that day, but when the edge of their 
appetites had been taken off, Mrs. Allen re- 
marked, with an inquiring look at her daughter, 



32 ELSIE AND THE RATM0ND8. 

" But you haven't told me yet where you got aQ 
these good things ? " 

" No, mother, but I'll do it now. You know 
I went out in search of work. I can't beg, but I 
am willing to ask for employment. I asked 
at some private houses, and two or three 
stores, but no one seemed to care to risk try- 
ing me. 

" Then I saw a carriage (a very handsome one 
it was, with match horses) stop at a street cross- 
ing, and a boy and girl step out on the pave- 
ment. A tall, fine-looking gentleman handed 
the little girl out, then stepped back into the 
carriage, and it drove off. 

" You can't think hov/ pretty and beautifully 
dressed the little girl was ; she had bright dark 
eyes, rosy cheeks, and a smiling mouth, and as 
the gentleman set her down they gave each 
other such a loving look ! I felt sure she had a 
kind heart, so I stepped up to her, as she stood 
looking after the carriage as it drove away 
down the street, and asked her if she knew of 
anybody wanting a seamstress. 

" She turned round quickly and answered in 
a very pleasant tone. She promised to tell her 
mother about me when she went home, and see 
if she could get me work to do. She opened 
her purse — such a lovely one with gold clasps — 
as if she meant to give me money, and I felt 
my face grow hot at being taken for a beggar. 



ELSIE AND TEE HATMONDS. 3S 

I said it wasn't charity I was asking for, but 
work. 

"Then she said, in the kindest tone, *0f 
course not, you don't look like a beggar. But 
I'd be glad to help you in some suitable way'; 
and asked where I lived. 

" While I was telling her a boy came up and 
stood beside her listening. He asked me ques- 
tions, too, and took out a note-book and wrote 
down my name and address. He was as nice 
and kind-looking as his sister — as I suppose she- 
is, for they resemble each other strongly ; the 
gentleman, too, that helped her out of the car- 
riage ; I think he must be their father. 

"They called each other Max and Lu, and 
talked between themselves about what would 
please or displease papa. 

"I had told her that you were sick, and we'd 
nothing to depend on but what I could earn, 
and as I was turning to go, after her brother 
had taken my address, and promised that some- 
body would hunt us up soon, she told me ta 
wait a moment and go with her to a fruit-stand ; 
she wanted to get something nice for my sick 
mother to eat. 

" And there they bought all these things ; 
she the berries — at a dollar a box, mother ! only 
think of it ! — and he the oranges and cracker* 
and sugar. 

" Ob, I remember I saw her slip something 



34 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

into the bag with the oranges, I wonder what it 
was, I must look ! " she exclaimed, turning 
hastily to the table, where she had deposited 
the bag. 

She took the oranges out one by one till the 
bag was nearly empty, then catching sight of 
something shining at the bottom, made a dive 
; for it and drew it out with a little crj of joy. 

" Oh, it's half a dollar ! Now mother, you 
«hall have some tea and a bit of broiled steak, 
or a lamb chop. I'll run out to the nearest pro- 
vision store now and get them." 

She began putting on her hat as she spoke. 

" Child, you must buy for yourself too," her 
mother said, with tears shining in her eyes. 

" O mother, no ! I shall do nicely without 
meat, but you are so weak you must have it to 
strengthen you." 

She stepped to the side of the bed again, bent 
over her mother, and kissed her tenderly. 

" Dear child, I cannot enjoy it unless you 
share it with me ; you need nourishing food 
quite as much as I," returned the mother, gaz- 
ing fondly into the eyes looking so lovingly into 
hers. " The Lord has sent us money enough to 
buy what we need for to-day, and we will trust 
him for to-morrow. A text — a precious prom- 
ise — has been running in my mind ever since 
you came in laden with so many good things : 
■* Before they call I will answer, and while they 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS 35 

tire yet speaking I will hear.' I had been ask- 
ing him very earnestly to send us help in our 
sore extremity, and while I was yet speaking it 
came. 

" O daughter, let us ever stay our hearts on 
him, never for a moment doubting his loving- 
kindness and faithfulness to his promises, no 
matter how dark and threatening the cloud 
may be." 

"I'll try, mother. Ah, I wish I had your 
faith. Now I must go ; but I'll be back again 
in five or ten minutes. But I'll put some more 
berries in your saucer, first, and I don't want to 
find a single one in it when I come back," she 
added with playful gayety. "Aren't they mak- 
ing you feel a little better already, you dear, 
patient mother ? " 

" Yes, dear, they are very refreshing. But 
you are giving me more than my fair share." 

" No, indeed, mamma, they were all given to 
you, and I have eaten a good many. I want 
you to finish the rest, for I do hope they will 
do more for you than any medicine could. 
Now I'm off. Don't be lonesome while I'm 
gone," and she hurried away with a light, free 
step, tears of joy and thankfulness shining in 
her eyes. 

Not many minutes had passed ere she returned 
with the materials for what was to them a feast 
indeed. 



36 ELSIE AND THE EATM0ND8. 

" See mother," she said, displaying her pur=- 
chases, " just see how extravagant I have been I 
two nice lamb chops, two fresh eggs, a loaf of 
bread, half a dozen potatoes, a quarter of a 
pound of tea, and five cents' worth of butter. 
Oh, but we shall have a feast ! I'll broil the 
chops, bake the potatoes, toast a few slices of 
the bread, and make you a cup of tea. I'd have 
bought a few cents' worth of milk, but I 
remembered that you like your tea quite as well 
without." 

" But you don't drink tea, dear, and should 
have bought some milk for yourself." 

"No, no, mother. I'm very fond of cold 
water and fortunately a very good article in 
that line can be had for the going after, no 
farther than to the hydrant in front of the street 
door," she answered with a merry look and 
smile. 

As she talked she was moving about with 
light, quick step between table and stove, per- 
forming her tasks with the ease and dexterity of a 
practiced hand, and without noise or bustle, her 
mother's eyes following her with loving glances. 

" You are very bright and cheery to-night, 
dear child," she said. 

" Yes, mother, I haven't been in such spirits 
for weeks. I do believe better days are dawn- 
ing for us, mother dear, and all in answer to 
your prayers." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 37 

She paused at the bedside to bend loviDgly 
over the dear parent and touch her lips to the 
pale cheek. 

" Yes, my Susie, and yours too. The Bible 
tells us that God is the hearer and answerer of 
prayer, and many times I have proved it in my 
own experience ; but he is no respecter of per- 
sons, but ready to hear and help any, however 
humble and unworthy, who come in the name 
of Jesus and pleading his merits." 

*' Yes, mother, I know it. I have been pray- 
ing for help, and I'm sure he sent it ; and while 
I feel very grateful to that dear little girl and 
boy, I'm thanking God with all my heart for all 
these good things ; for they were only his 
messengers, and the gifts were more from him 
than from them even — the dear, kind children 1 ** 



CHAPTER lit 

The sun was half an hour high when Susan 
Allen opened her eyes the next morning. 

Her mother greeted her with a smile and a 
cheery " Good-morning, my child. You have 
Blept sweetly ever since I have been awake to 
watch you, and I have had the best night's rest 
I have known for weeks." 

" Oh, I am so glad to hear that, mother ! '* 
Susan exclaimed, raising herself on her elbow 
to give the invalid a searching look, " and you 
feel better and stronger, don't you ? " 

" Yes, indeed ! almost as if I could sit up and 
Bew a little, if we had any work on hand." 

** Oh, no, I should not think of letting you do 
that yet ! " the girl answered ; " not if we had 
any quantity ; and as we have none at all, you 
can surely lie still quite contentedly. I'll get up 
now and have breakfast ready in a few min- 
utes. 

" It is only to make a few slices of toast, boil 
the eggs, and draw the tea. Then I'll tidy the 
room and my mother and myself, and we'll be 
all ready to receive our hoped-for visitors." 
38 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 3d 

" Yes ; we need not expect them for two or 
three hours, at the very earliest," Mrs. Allen 
said in reply. " Even if they lived in town they 
wouldn't be likely to come before the middle of 
the forenoon, and probably their home is in the 
country, as you saw them getting out of a car- 
riage." 

Events proved her conjectures correct ; it was 
near the middle of the afternoon when in an- 
swer to a rap on the door Susan opened it, to find 
a lady and gentleman there, accompanied by her 
little girl acquaintance of the day before. 

" Oh, yes, papa, it's the right place ! " ex^ 
<5laimed Lulu, in a very pleased tone. " Susan, 
I've brought my grandma and father to see 
you." 

" You are all very kind to come," said Susan, 
blushing vividly. "Will you please walk in 
and take some seats ? " 

She made haste to bring forward the chairs 
as she spoke, but with a word of thanks Mrs. 
Travilla and the captain turned toward the in- 
valid, asking : " Is this the sick mother Lulu 
has been telling about ? " 

"Yes, ma'am; yes, sir," said Susan. Mrs. 
Allen adding, with a grateful look from them to 
Lulu, " But better already for the kind gifts of 
the little girl and boy. I thank them from the 
bottom of my heart. I am very sure God sent 
them to our relief in answer to prayer. But, 



40 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

dear lady, wont you be seated ? and you, too, 
sir ? " addressing the captain. " It is extremely 
kind in you to call on us — strangers and living 
in this poor and unpleasant locality." 

" It is nothing — it is a privilege, if in so doing 
we bring succor to one of God's dear children," 
Grandma Elsie replied, taking the wasted hand 
in hers and seating herself close by the bedside. 
" How glad I am to learn that you are one of 
his. I had heard only that you were ill and in 
want." 

" And you, too, are his, dear lady ? Ah, one 
look into your face would tell us that." 

*'It is the joy of my heart to be numbered 
among his followers, and to own him as my 
Lord and Master," returned Mrs. Travilla, the 
light of joy and love shining in her eyes. 

" As it is mine," added the captain. " We 
belong to one family, we own one Lord and 
King, and it is his command that we love one 
another, and that we do good to all men as we 
have opportunity, * especially to them who ai*e 
of the household of faith ! '" 

A conversation of some length followed, m 
which, by questions put with delicacy and kind- 
ness. Grandma Elsie and her son-in-law con- 
trived to draw from Mrs. Allen the story of the 
trials and struggles with poverty and privation 
which had reduced her to her present state of 
feebleness and distress. 



SL9IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 41 

Her husband had been an intelligent, industri- 
ous farmer, and working and saving together, 
they were looking forward with hope to getting 
their land clear of encumbrance and finding 
themselves in comfortable circumstances by the 
time they should reach middle life; but sicknegg 
■entered the house, child after child was taken 
fiway, till Susan was the only one left; then 
Mr. Allen sickened and died, and the foreclosure 
of a mortgage robbed the widow and her 
daughter of their home. 

They came to the city seeking employment 
by which to earn their daily bread, but found it 
Bcarce and ill-paid, and had been growing poorer 
and poorer, till, but for the precious promises of 
God*s Word, they would have been in utter de- 
spair. 

Her listeners seemed deeply interested ; tears 
rolled down the cheeks of Grandma Elsie and 
Lulu more than once during the course of the 
narrative, and Captain Raymond was evidently 
deeply moved. 

It was he who broke the momentary silence 
that fell upon the little company at the conclu- 
fiion of the tale. 

" This close, filthy alley is no place for one 
brought up in the pure air of the country; I 
have not the least doubt that the tainted air 
you breathe here is largely responsible for your 
feeble condition; we must get you out of it as 



42 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

speedily as possible. I own a little cottage ou 
the outskirts of Union, — a village some two or 
three miles from us; it is at present without a 
tenant, and you and your daughter may take 
possession to-day if you wish and feel strong 
enough for the necessary exertion." 

" O sir, how kind, how wonderfully kind you 
are ! " exclaimed Mrs. Allen, as soon as aston- 
ishment would let her speak, tears of joy and 
thankfulness coursing freely down her cheeks. 
" Country air is what I have been longing for 
more than words can express. 

" But you are by far too generous in offering 
us a whole house; one room will hold us and 
our few belongings." 

" But will not hold all that we hope to see in 
your possession before very long," he replied, 
with a benevolent smile ; " your daughter — and 
you also when you are well enough to desire it — 
shall be provided with abundance of employ- 
ment, at remunerative prices, and so will soon be 
able to gather about you many more comforts 
than I see here," — sending a sweeping glance 
about the room. 

"And it shall be my care, my great pleasure, 
to anticipate somewhat the time when you will 
be able to provide such things for yourselves," 
Mrs. Travilla said, rising to go, taking the poor 
woman's hand in hers and holding it for a 
moment in a kindiy pressure. " You must be 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 43 

made as comfortable as possible without de- 
lay." 

Mrs. Allen tried to speak her thanks, but waa 
too much overcome by emotion. 

" I shall send a conveyance for you and your 
goods day after to-morrow," the captain said, 
as he also rose to take his departure, " and I 
trust you will be well enough to bear the short 
journey; but if you are not, you must not hesi- 
tate to say so, and the opportunity shall be 
given you again, whenever you send me word 
that you are ready." 

" We brought you some work, Susan," Lulu 
said, giving her hand to the girl in parting ; 
" it is down in the carriage." 

" And shall be sent up at once," added the 
captain. 

" Oh, thank you, sir ! " returned the girl. 
" But," — looking from Lulu to Mrs. Travilla, — 
** will I not need some instruction in regard to 
how you want it done ? " 

"I think not," said the lady; "the garments 
are all cut and basted, and written directions 
given with them. If you want more work 
when they are done you have only to ask for it. 
But do not over-work yourself in the effort 
to accomplish more than your strength is 
equal to." 

With kindly good-bys the visitors went,, 
refusing to allow Susan to accompany them t<r 



44 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

the outer door of the house, saying that she had 
doubtless to climb those steep flights of stairs 
far too often for her good. 

In a very few moments a rap called Susan to 
the door again, to find there a large covered 
. basket. No one was with it, but she heard the 
retreating footsteps of its bearer hurrying down 
the stairs. 

She lifted it inside and closed the door, then 
began with eager, trembling hands to unpack it 
and examine the contents. 

There was the promised roll of work, a note 
pinned to it, on opening which she found, not 
•only the promised directions, but liberal pay in 
advance. 

She read the note aloud in tones faltering with 
emotion and eyes so dimmed with tears that she 
could scarcely see. 

*' Mother," she cried, " did you ever hear oi 
euch kind, generous people ? " 

" It is because they are Christians ; they do it 
for the dear Master's sake," responded Mrs. 
Allen, her own voice quivering with feeling. 

" I'm sure of it, mother, and that he sent them 
to help us in our sore need. Just look ! just 
look ! " as she took out one article after another 
from the basket and laid it upon the table. 
** How we shall feast for the next few days ! 
here are tea, coffee, sugar, a cold chicken, deli- 
cious looking bread and rolls, fresh-laid eggs (I 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 45 

am sure they're that from their appearance), and 
a pot of currant jelly. It's wonderful how 
many things they have thought of ! I shall try' 
very hard to do the work to please them. 

" What a lovely, beautiful lady Mrs. Travilla 
is ! But I don't know how to believe she's really 
grandmother to Miss Lulu." 

** Perhaps a step-grandmother," suggested 
Mrs. Allen. *' She can't be the captain's mother^ 
though I noticed he called her that." 

" What a noble-looking man he is ! and the 
little girl I weren't you pleased with her^ 
mother?" 

" Yes ; with both her looks and her behavior.'* 

The palatable, nourishing food, and the cheer- 
ing prospect for the future opened up before 
her by these new and kind friends, had so bene^ 
ficial an effect upon Mrs. Allen that when the 
captain's promised conveyance came she was up,, 
dressed, and ready for her journey. 

Great were her surprise and gratitude when: 
she learned that he had sent his own luxurious 
family carriage to take her and Susan to their 
destination, while a wagon was to convey their 
effects. 

It was a lovely day, and their drive took then* 
through a beautiful country, diversified by hill 
and valley, meadow and woodland, all clothed 
in the charming verdure of spring ; now they 
crossed a dancing streamlet, now flew past a 



46 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

lordly dwelling, with its lawn of emerald green 
and avenue or grove of noble trees, its culti- 
vated fields spreading far on either hand, now 
traversed pine woods or skirted the banks of a 
fiow^ing river, and anon from some slight emi- 
nence caught a distant view of the ever-restless 
sea. 

The easy motion of the smoothly running 
carriage, the soft, sweet air, bringing gratefully 
to the nostrils the mingled spicy odor of the 
pines and the refreshing saltness of the sea, the 
beautiful sights and sounds that greeted eye and 
€ar, were all so intensely enjoyable to the mother 
and daughter, after their long sojourn in the 
stifling atmosphere of the close and filthy alley 
they were leaving behind, that even the invalid 
was scarcely sensible of fatigue until they had 
reached their destination and found themselves 
in the new home, which, though small and 
humble, seemed to them almost an earthly 
paradise. 

It was a four-roomed cottage, with a trim 
little flower garden and grass plat in front and 
on each side, fruit trees, currant and gooseberry 
bushes, and space for raising vegetables at the 
back. Porches, richly festooned with flowering 
vines, and two giant oaks that cast their shad- 
ows from front gate to porch, made the house 
seem from the outside a bower of beauty, and 
gave promise of delightful shelter from the too 



EL8IB AND TEE RAYMONDS. 47 

fervid rays of the sun when the sultry summer 
heats should come. 

" This surely cannot be the place ! " exclaimed 
Mrs. Allen, as the carriage drew up at the 
gate. 

" No, hardly," said Susan. " Haven't you 
made a mistake ? " addressing the coachman. 

" I reckon I habn't, Miss ; dis darkey gin'rally^ 
knows what he's 'bout," laughed the man. 
" Dar's Miss Elsie a-settin' in de poach, an' hyar 
comes de cap'n fo' to help you light." 

Captain Raymond was there, sure enough^ 
hurrying down the path. 

" Welcome to your new home," he said, with 
a benevolent smile, as he threw open the car- 
riage door. " Mrs. Allen, you must be very 
weary, though you are looking much brighter 
than when I saw you the other day. Let me 
help you into the house." 

" You are wonderfully kind, sir," she returned 
with feeling, as he lifted her out. " And, oh,, 
what a paradise you have provided for us here ! 
I can hardly believe it is really to be our home ; 
and I feel that it is far beyond our deserts. The 
flowers, the vines, the grand old trees, and the 
green grass, — how lovely they all are ! " 

" Yes," he returned pleasantly ; " as some one 
has said, * God made the country, and man made 
the town,' and I for one have no desire to mak©^ 
my home in the man-made city." 



48 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

Max and Lulu had come racing down the path 
after their father, and were now bringing up the 
Tear with Susan in tow. 

" How do you like it ? " Lulu was asking 
eagerly : " is it any improvement upon Rose 
Alley?" 

" Oh, Miss Lulu, it's too sweet and beautiful 
for anything ! " exclaimed Susan, clasping her 
hands in an ecstasy of delight. " What lovely 
flowers, what a delicious perfume from them ! 
Oh, I think myself the happiest girl alive, to be 
going to live here ! I never dreamed of any- 
thing half so delightful ! " 

" And Grandma Elsie has made it nearly, if 
oot quite, as inviting indoors as out," remarked 
Max. 

" What a kind, kind lady ! " said Susan, in 
tones tremulous with grateful emotion ; " the 
kindest and most generous I ever saw." 

Grandma Elsie was at that moment standing 
at the entrance to the porch, with hand out- 
stretched in friendly greeting to Mrs. Allen, and 
to assist her up the steps. 

'* Welcome home," she said, with her own 
rarely sweet smile. " I hope you wall find it a 
happy home." 

*' Dear madam, it seems tome a paradise upon 
earth," returned the poor woman, tears of joy 
and gratitude coursing down her wasted cheeks. 

Her strength seemed giving way, and the cap 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 4» 

tain half -carried her in and laid her down on a 
lounge which was so placed that it commanded 
a partial view of each of the four rooms. 

Parlor, living-room, bedroom were all simply^ 
and inexpensively, yet tastefully, furnished, 
every comfort, including a luxuriously easy 
chair, provided for the invalid. White curtains 
at the windows, and vases of flowers set here and 
there, lent an air of elegance to the otherwise 
unpretending, modest apartments. 

In the neat little kitchen a tidy, pleasant-faced 
colored woman was moving briskly about, evi- 
dently preparing the evening meal, while in the 
living-room a table was laid for two. 

It was delight to Lulu to lead Susan from; 
room to room, calling her attention to all the 
beauties and conveniences, and explaining that 
Grandma Elsie had provided this, papa or 
Mamma Vi that. 

" Mamma Vi," repeated Susan inquiringly ;, 
* is it your mother you mean ? " 

"No — yes, my second mother, but not old 
enough to be really my mamma ; that's why 
Max and I put the Vi to it." 

" Come, daughter," the captain said to Lulu as- 
she and Susan re-entered the parlor, where they 
had left the others, "put on your hat ; we are^ 
going home now." 

" Yes, it is time," Mrs. Travilla said, taking- 
Mrs. Allen's hand in farewell. " We will leav© 



^0 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

you to rest, my good woman, for you look sadly 
in need of it. Sally has your supper nearly 
ready. I hope you will both enjoy it, and she 
will stay to wash the dishes and set everything 
to rights ; so that you will have no occasion for 
exertion till to-morrow." 

" I think they are very happy," Lulu remarked, 
as the carriage rolled away toward Woodburn ; 
** and how delightful it is to be able to make 
other folks happy ! " 

" Yes," said her father ; " * it is more blessed 
to give than to receive.' We should be very 
thankful that we are in circumstances to be 
givers — stewards of God's bounty. He has 
^iven largely to us, in order that we may dis- 
tribute to others. He never intended that we 
should spend all on ourselves." 



CHAPTER IV. 

Gbandma Elsie took tea at Woodburn, butt 
drove home to Ion directly after. Edward, her 
eldest son, met her in the veranda with a face 
full of pleasurable excitement. 

" It is over, mamma," he said ; " most happily 
over ! " 

" Ah, how thankful I am ! " she exclaimed. 
^' Can I see her ? " 

" Yes, oh yes ! She is sleeping, though, the 
influence of the ether having not yet passed 
off." 

" It is a surprise," she said. "I should have 
hastened home if I had had the least idea of 
what was going on." 

" It was sudden and unexpected ; rather 
quickly over, too, or you should have been sent 
for. Fortunately Cousin Arthur happened iq 
just as I was about to summon him." 

"Which is it?" 

" Both," he returned, with a joyous laugh. 

" Indeed ! that too is a surprise. But none 
the less delightful." 

He was leading the way to the suite of apart* 
51 



«2 SLSm AND THE BAYMONJDa. 

ments occupied by himself and wife, his mother 
following. 

They passed into the bedroom, where Zoe lay 
extended on her couch in placid slumber. They 
drew near and stood looking down at her, each 
face a trifle anxious. 

She stirred and opened her eyes sleepily : 
** Mamma," she murmured, " Edward — " 

" Yes, love, we are both here," he answered in 
tender tones. Then bending over her and press- 
ing a tender kiss upon her cheek : "Do you 
know how rich you are, my darling ? " 

" Rich ? " she repeated with a bewildered 
look up into his face, still only half awake. 

" Yes ; both you and I ; we have more than 
doubled our wealth since you went to sleep two- 
hours ago." 

" Oh ! " rousing to full consciousness, " is it 
all over? Which is it? Show it to me, do, 
dear." 

" It's both," he said, with a low, gleeful laugh, 

" Look ! they are close beside you," folding 
back the covers of the bed, and bringing into 
view a pair of tiny forms and faces. "Your 
son and daughter, young Mrs. Travilla." 

She raised herself slightly to get a better 
view. " Oh, the darlings, the lovely darlings \ 
Indeed we are rich ! You may have the girl, 
but the boy 's mine," she added, with a silvery 
laugh. " But they're like as two peas. If they 



ELSIE AND IPFE RAYMONDS, 53 

were both boys, or both girls, I should pf^ver be 
able to tell them apart. So it*s a blessing 
they're one of each." 

"There, lie down now," he said. "They're 
great treasures, but both together worth less to 
me than their mother ; and I can't have her run- 
ning any risks. Mamma, dear, what do you 
think of your new grandchildren ? " 

" Just what the new-made parents do," she 
answered, bending over them from the other side 
of the bed. " Welcome, welcome, little strang- 
ers ! there is plenty of room in grandma's heart 
for you both." 

"Our birthday gift to you, mamma," said 
2:oe. 

" What, giving them away already ? " queried 
Edward playfully, "and that without consulting 



me 



f " 



" Only as grandchildren," she answered in the 
same tone. " You and I are papa and mamma. 
Ah, how delightfully odd it seems ! Poor little 
dears, to have such a silly young thing for their 
mother," she added sorrowfully, reaching out a 
hand and softly touching the tiny faces with 
the tips of her fingers. " But then they have a 
good papa, and such a dear, wise grandma. 
Are yon pleased ? Will you take them for your 
birthday gift from me, mamma? " lifting loving, 
entreating eyes to the sweet face of her mother- 
in-law. 



54 ELSIE AND THE BAY310NDS. 

" Indeed I will, dear child. You could have 
given me nothing more acceptable," bending 
down to touch her lips softly to the velvet 
cheek of first the one and then the other. 
" Which is the boy and which the girl, Ned ? " 

"I really don't know, mamma," he said, 
laughing, " for, as their mother says, they are a» 
like as two peas." 

" We'll have to put some sort of mark on 
them," said Zoe, gloating over her n^w treas- 
ures, "else one may often be blamed for the 
other's faults. Ah, I wonder whether they will 
be wise and good like their father, or silly like 
their mother." 

" You are slandering their mother, and I can't 
allow it," Edward said, frowning in mock indig- 
nation. " But you weren't to talk. You must 
be quiet, or I'll have to run away." 

" We'll have use for both our names, Ned,"^ 
remarked Zoe, smiling up into her husband's 
face, the next time he came to her bedside. 

" Yes," he said, with a glance of pride and 
pleasure, from her to the little ones. 

Then turning to his mother, " You must un- 
derstand, mamma, that we had selected a suitable 
name for the expected little stranger, whether it 
should prove to belong to the one sex or the 
other. Of course we desired to name for you 
or my father ; but there are already so many 
Elsies and Neds in the family connection that 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 65 

we decided to add another name, as you did in 
my case, to avoid confusion ; that if a boy, it 
should be named Edward Lawrence, for both 
Zoe's father and mine, and commonly called 
Laurie ; but if a girl, should be Lily, foi- the 
dear little sister who went to heaven so many 
years ago." 

"I entirely approve your choice," said his 
mother, her eyes shining through tears of min- 
gled joy and sorrow, as her thoughts were carried 
back to the husband and child whose loved pres- 
ence would cheer her earthly pilgrimage no 
more. " Laurie and Lily ; the two names go 
nicely together. It will be sweet to have a Lily 
in the family again, and I trust she and her 
brother may be spared to their parents, even to 
be the stay and staff of their old age." 

" How cunningly you have managed to catch 
up with Elsie and me in the matter of providing 
mamma with grandchildren," was Violet's jest- 
ing remark to Zoe, when she came for the first 
time to look at the new arrivals. 

''Yes, haven't I ? " laughed Zoe. " We have 
two apiece now, making six in all. Mamma 
«ays she is growing rich in grandchildren." 

" Six of her own, and four others who address 
her by that title, though it has always seemed 
ridiculous to me, considering how young my 
darling mother looks." 

" Yes, to me too. But these darlings are her 



56 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

very own and — Vi, don't you think they're the 
sweetest things that ever were made ? " 

" O Zoe, don't ask quite so much as that of 
me ! " returned Violet, with playful look and 
smile. " I do really think them as sweet as 
they can be, but my own two no less so ! " 

" Oh, of course ! " laughed Zoe. " It was just 
like my silliness to ask such a question. I tell 
mamma they are Ned's and my birthday gift to 
her ; though they came three weeks before the 
time." 

" They'll not be less worth having for being: 
three weeks old," remarked Violet. 

"No ; they develop new beauties every day. 
Mamma herself says so. And I am glad there is 
time for me to recover sufficiently to enjoy the 
festivities of the occasion." 

Zoe hovering over her babies made a pretty 
picture to look upon. She would scarcely let 
them out of her sight ; rejoiced over them with 
singing and laughter, full of mirth and glad- 
ness, as though the veriest child herself. Yet at 
times her mood changed, her face wore a pen- 
sive expression akin to sadness, and caressing 
them with exceeding tenderness, she would 
murmur softly : 

" My wee bit darlings, my precious treasures, 
what trials and sufferings ma}^ be yours before 
you reach the end of life's long journey ! Ah, 
if your mother might but bear all your pains 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 67 

and troubles for you, how gladly she would 
do it." 

" Dear daughter," Grandma Elsie said on 
overhearing the words one day, " that is one of 
the cares we are privileged to cast on Jesus. He 
dearly loves the little ones, and he has all power 
in heaven and in earth. * I will be a God to 
thee, and to thy seed after thee,' is one of the 
many great and precious promises of his Word. 
* Train up a child in the way he should go, and 
when he is old he will not depart from it.' 
Seek wisdom for that work by prayer and the 
«tudy of God's word." 

"I will, mamma," Zoe answered thoughtfully. 
" I am quite sure Edward will make a good father, 
and I shall try very hard to be a good mother ; 
I shall take you, dear mamma, for my pattern, 
for there couldn't be a better mother than you 
are, and always have been." 

*' I have tried to be — tried in the way I have 
recommended to you — but I sometimes made 
mistakes, and I would have you follow me only 
in so far as I have followed Christ, and the^ 
teachings of his Word," Grandma Elsie answered, 
in sincere humility. 

" Mamma," said Zoe, " I do not believe it 
possible for any frail human creature to follow 
more closely in the Master's footsteps than you 
do." 

The Ion twins were objects of great interest 



S8 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

to all the children of the connection, and from 
the first news of their arrival they were eager 
to see them. It was not allowed, however, till 
the proud young mother was able to exhibit 
them herself. 

Rosie and Walter had of course a look at 
them on the day of their birth, but they were 
nearly two weeks old before the others were ad- 
mitted to Zoe's room, where she insisted on 
keeping her precious treasures all the time. 

The Woodburn children were anxious for 
their turn, and at last it came. Lulu and Grace 
rode over to Ion one pleasant afternoon, on their 
ponies, Fairy and Elf, the captain and Max ac- 
companying them on their larger steeds. 

The little girls did not knoAv when they 
started that Ion was their destination, and on 
arriving were still in doubt whether they were 
to see the babies ; but the greetings were 
Bcarcely over when they asked if they might. 

"Yes ; Zoe is feeling very well to-day, and I 
think it will do her no harm to see you all for a 
few moments," replied Grandma Elsie, leading 
the way. " You may come, too, Captain ; Zoe 
is always delighted with an opportunity to ex- 
hibit her treasures." 

" Thank you, mother, I accept your invitation 
with pleasure," he answered, following with his 
children. 

Zoe, lying on a couch with a dainty crib close 



ELSIE AND THE BAYMONDS. 59^ 

beside her, greeted her visitors with smiles and. 
words of welcome. 

" It seems an age since I last saw your pleasant 
countenance, Captain," she said, as he took her 
hand. 

" You could hardly miss me with such com- 
panionship as you have here," he returned play- 
fully, as he bent over the crib and took di 
scrutinizing look at its tiny occupants. " They 
are really worth showing, little mother." 

"I should say they were," she responded, 
laughing ; a low, gleeful, silvery laugh. 

Grandma Elsie had led Lulu and Grace to the 
other side of the crib. " O Aunt Zoe, what 
lovely little darlings ! " they both exclaimed. 
" And it's such a pretty sight, two babies just 
the same size and exactly alike ! " 

" So it is," said the captain, but added play- 
fully, "both together, though, would hardly 
make one of our Ned ; so Aunt Zoe need not 
propose to swap." 

"Aunt Zoe has not the remotest idea of 
making such a proposition," she returned gay- 
ly. " No, indeed, mother's darlings," raising 
herself on one elbow that she might have a good 
look at each tiny face, " you needn't fret," — 
for one stirred in its sleep and gave a faint 
little cry — " no one could persuade mamma to 
give even one of you for the biggest baby m 
the land," 



60 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" Was that Laurie ? or Lily, Aunt Zoe * ** 
asked Lulu. " Such pretty names as you have 
given them ! " 

"Yes, I think so. It was Laurie that cried 
out then ; he's not so quiet as Lily ; but one 
must expect a boy to make more noise in the 
world than a girl." 

" But how can you tell which is which, Aunt 
Zoe," queried Grace ; " they look exactly alike 
to me." 

" To me too ; but see, we have put a gold 
chain round Lily's neck, and Laurie has none." 

" Ah, no wonder he cries out at such favori- 
tism," remarked the captain sportively. 

" Sure enough ! " exclaimed Zoe ; ** strange I 
had not thought of it before. But he shall have 
that excuse no longer ; he shall wear that lovely 
necklace of pink coral beads Ned gave me on 
my last birthday. Lu, if you will go to my 
jewel-case and get it, I'll be much obliged." 

"I will, Aunt Zoe ; I'm delighted with the 
errand," exclaimed Lulu, hurrying into the ad- 
joining dressing-room. 

She had been there often enough to know 
where to find what she had been sent for, and 
was back again in a moment with it in her 
hand. 

** Thank you, Lu. Hand it to mamma, please,'* 
said Zoe. " She will put it on him ; I'd like to 
do it myself, but presume I wouldn't be allowed - 



ELSIE AND THE RATMONDB. 61 

they are all so exceedingly — I'd almost said ab- 
surdly — careful of me." 

" It would be better for you not to make the 
effort, ray dear," Grandma Elsie said, taking the 
necklace from Lulu's hand. 

All eyes were upon her as she gently raised 
the tiny head just enough to enable her to slip 
it under and around the child's neck, then fast- 
ened the clasp in front. 

" I don't know," she remarked in a doubtful 
tone, " that he will be quite as comfortable with 
as without it, and I'm positively certain he will 
not appreciate the honor." 

The babe was fast asleep, and did not rouse 
himself to give his opinion. 

Rosie had come softly into the room, and 
was standing beside the crib with the others. 

" Aren't they the loveliest, darlingest wee pets 
that ever were seen ? " she exclaimed. " 1 think 
it would be delightful to have one baby in the 
house — really belonging here — but to have two 
such pretty pets is doubly delightful." 

" Yes, but I think you'll find it better still 
when they're grown to be as large as ours, and 
can run about and talk," said Lulu. " They do 
say sucli smart things sometimes." 

" Yes ; what fun it will be when these two 
begin to talk ! " Zoe exclaimed, with a low, 
gleeful, happy laugh, touching each tiny face 
caressingly. 



CHAPTER V. 

The celebration of Grandma Elsie's approach- 
ing semi-centennial was now the most important 
event in the near future, the principal theme of 
conversation in the connection, and grand prep- 
arations for it were going forward. 

By her express wish, all the poor of the neigh- 
borhood — white and black, in two distinct as- 
semblies — were invited to spend a large part of 
the day on the plantation, amusing themselves 
with outdoor games and enjoying a bountiful 
feast spread for them in the shade of the wood 
in which Mr. Leland, the uncle of the present 
i)ccupant of Fairview, had once concealed him- 
self when attacked by the Ku Klux. 

Another party, consisting of all the relatives, 
<jonnections, and intimate friends residing in the 
vicinity, would be given the freedom of the 
house and grounds to enjoy themselves as they 
should please. 

Circumstances were auspicious ; all the prep- 
arations had been thoroughly well attended to ; 
the day dawned bright and beautiful, and found 
every one in high health and spirits. 

She whom all were seeking to honor and make 
62 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 83 

tlie happiest of the happy, awoke with a heart 
full of love and gratitude for the unnumberecl 
mercies and blessings of her lot in life. Her 
first act was to rise from her bed, and, kneeling 
beside it, pour out her thanksgivings and praises^, 
mingled with confession of sins, petitions fo^ 
herself and others, and a renewal of her oft-re- 
peated consecration to His service. 

She had scarce completed her morning toilet, 
singing the while in low, sweet strains, a song of 
praise, when a light tap at the door was followed 
"by her father's entrance. 

He folded her in his arms, and holding her 
close to his heart, wished her, in moved tones, 
many happy returns of the day. 

"I know not how to believe that you have 
seen fifty years," he said, holding her off a little 
to gaze searchingly into her face, — still as sweety 
and well-nigh as fair and smooth, as it had been 
thirty years before — " there are no silver threads 
in your hair, no lines on your forehead, or about 
your eyes or mouth ; you are no less beautiful 
than you were in your early girlhood ; ray dar- 
ling's charms have only matured, not lessened." 

" Ah, papa," she returned, shaking her head 
with an incredulous smile, " you always did see 
me through rose-colored glasses. I dare say any 
eyes but yours — so blinded by love — can read- 
ily perceive many traces left by the passing 
years. 



64 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

"Yet, dear father, why should we regret it ? 
Why care that we are both growing old, since 
each day as it passes brings us a step nearer to 
our heavenly home." 

" That is a delightful thought," he responded, 
with a smile and a sigh ; " a thought that more 
than reconciles me to the inevitable in my own 
case." 

" And surely in mine, too, papa, for you would 
not want to be in heaven without me," she said, 
creeping closer into his embrace and half hid- 
ing her face on his breast. 

" No," he replied with emotion, tightening 
the clasp of his arm about her waist and press- 
ing his lips again and again to her cheek and 
brow, ** not for long ; but in the course of na- 
ture I shall probably be called away first, and 
for your children's sake I hope you may yet 
live many years, and that those years may be 
for you as free as possible from the infirmities 
of age." 

" And it is that I wish for you, dear father, 
for your children's sake ; my own especially," 
she returned, gazing lovingly into his eyes. 

Another tap at the door, and Edward and 
Zoe entered, each carrying a baby. 

" Here we come, mamma, with your birthday 
gifts," cried Zoe gayly, " and wishing you many, 
many happy returns of the day." 

" Thank you, my dears ; but O Zoe, this is 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 65 

too much exertion for you ! you should not 
have done it, my child ! " Elsie answered, step- 
ping hastily forward and taking little Laurie 
from his young mother's arms, while Zoe sank 
into an easy-chair, panting a little, the color 
coming and going in her cheeks. 

" The nurse carried him to the very door, 
mamma," she said ; " and I thought I was 
stronger than I am." 

" It is ray fault, — I should not have allowed 
it," said Edward, looking anxiously at Zoe. 

"Don't be alarmed, my dear; I am not in- 
jured in the least," she responded, smiling up 
into his face as he stood over her, forgetting 
everything else in concern for her. " You 
haven't presented your half of the gift to mam- 
ma ; nor any good wishes either." 

" As if both halves didn't belong to both of 
us," he responded, with an amused smile. 
"Mamma, I wish you many, many happy re- 
turns of the day, and beg to present you with 
what I consider a priceless treasure — my little 
daughter, your youngest granddaughter," lay- 
ing the babe in the arms she held out to re- 
ceive it, having already resigned the other to 
its great-grandsire. 

" They are indeed priceless treasures, and very 
dear to their grandmamma's heart," she said, 
cuddling it close in her arms and pressing kisses 
on the tiny velvet cheek. 



66 ELSIE AND THE RAY3I0ND8. 

" Now, mamma, it's Laurie's turn," remarked 
the young mother laughingly ; "you didn't 
take time to kiss him, in your concern for me, 
and it will never do to be partial." 

" No, certainly not," Grandma Elsie said, ex- 
changing babies with her father, " but they are 
so exactly alike in looks that one will have to 
be a little careful to make sure of avoiding such 
& mistake." 

But now came Mrs. Dinsmore, Rosie, and 
Walter with their congratulations and good 
Tvishes. 

The scene was a lively one for a little while ; 
then the old people, and Zoe and Edward with 
their babies, withdrew, leaving Grandma Elsie 
alone with the youngest two of her flock. 

They spent a short time together in the usual 
-way, then the breakfast bell rang, and at the 
tsame moment the family carriage drove up to 
the door bringing her college boys, who had ar- 
rived in the village by an early train which the 
carriage had been sent to meet." 

Each in turn must hold his mother in a long, 
tender embrace ; then greetings with the others 
were to be exchanged, questions asked and an- 
awered on both sides ; so that it was some time 
before any attention was paid to the summons 
to the breakfast-table ; and when they did 
gather about the board the flow of talk was 
such as to seriously interfere with the business 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 67 

of eating, so that the meal was prolonged to 
twice its ordinary length. 

Zoe, down for the first time since the advent 
of the twins, was smiling, happy, eager to show 
lier darlings to the young uncles. 

They had already given congratulations by 
letter to her and Edward, and had not been 
many minutes in their company before renewing 
them. 

" I am quite in haste to see my new niece and 
nephew," said Harold. " I presume, Zoe, they 
are the prettiest, brightest, sweetest wee mor- 
tals that ever were seen. Isn't it so ?" 

" Of course they are to their mother," she 
answered laughingly, *' but she doesn't expect 
anybody else, except papa," — with an arch look 
at Edward — " to see the darlings through the 
same rose-colored glasses. You and Herbert 
shall judge for yourselves presently though; they 
will be on exhibition as soon as prayers are over." 

" We may judge for ourselves, you say, Zoe, 
but dare we express our opinions freely, should 
they not coincide with that of the parents?" 
queried Herbert, in a bantering tone. 

" At a safe distance I think you may venture," 
returned Zoe demurely. 

" But Zoe wont be the only one to take part 
with Laurie and Lily should anybody have the 
bad taste to utter a word in depreciation of them,* 
remarked Rosie warningly. 



68 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" And yet this is called a free country ! " ex- 
claimed Harold, with an expressive shrug of his 
shoulders. 

" Ion's to be a monarchy to-day," remarked 
Walter. "Mamma's to be crowned queen of it 
in the arbor." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed his mother in sur- 
prise and amusement. "It is the first hint 
I have had that such doings were in contem- 
plation." 

" Yes, mamma," said Rosie, " we have been 
keeping it a secret from you, and Walter's com- 
munication is a little premature. But it really 
doesn't signify, for you would have had to know 
very soon." 

" Yes, I suppose so, for some of our guests — 
the nearest relations at least — will soon begin 
to arrive. But when is this important cere- 
mony to take place ?" 

" I suppose as soon as the guests are all here, 
mamma." 

" The other ceremony — the presentation of 
the babies to their newly arrived uncles — will 
be gone through with first, doubtless ? " Harold 
remarked, in an inquiring tone. 

"Oh, yes ; of course," answered_several voices,, 
as they all rose from the table and withdrew to 
the library to unite in the usual morning wor- 
ship. 

The babies' dainty crib had been brought 



ELSIE AND TEE HATMONDS. 69 

down to an adjoining room for the day, and 
there they lay sweetly sleeping. 

As soon as the short service had come to an 
end, Zoe, motioning to Harold and Herbert t« 
follow, led the way to the side of the crib, and 
laying back the cover brought the two tiny forms 
to view lying side by side, the little plump 
faces turned toward each other, round, rosy, and 
dimpled. 

** There, aren't they beauties, boys ? " ex- 
claimed Zoe, bending over her treasures in a 
perfect rapture of mother-love and admiration. 
^* Did you ever see anything half so sweet ? " 

" Well, really, they are quite passable, consid- 
ering their extreme youth," returned Harold 
sportively. *' I say, Ned, what would you take 
for them ? " 

" They are not in the market, sir," replied the 
young father, regarding them with pride and 
:admiration. " Though you should offer every 
dollar you possess it would be utterly con- 
temned." 

" Ah, 'tis just as well, Ned, for I should not 
know what to do with such tender, delicate 
little morsels of humanity if I had them." 

" You don't half appreciate them," said Zoe, 
half jestingly, half in earnest, " you don't de- 
serve the honor of being their uncle." 

" We'll enjoy and appreciate them more a 
year or two hence, when they can be romped 



10 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

and played with," remarked Herbert. " But, 
really, Zoe, they're as pretty as any young baby 
I ever saw." 

Rosie looked in at the door with the an- 
nouncement, " The Woodburn carriage is com- 
ing up the avenue," and the three brothers hur- 
ried out to greet its occupants. They were the 
whole Raymond family, from the captain down 
to baby Ned, and scarcely had greetings been 
exchanged with them when the Lelands from 
Fairview arrived, and Grandma Elsie had all her 
children about her. 

She was the centre of attraction ; everybody 
had an embrace, good wishes, and a gift for her^ 
and all were most graciously received. 

But her daughters presently hurried her away 
to her private apartment, where they busied 
themselves in attiring her for the day in such 
manner as suited their own ideas of what would 
be most fitting and becoming, she smilingly sub- 
mitting to their will. 

" You must wear white, mamma," said Violet j 
** nothing could be more suitable to the weather 
or more becoming to you. Do you not say so, 
Elsie ? " 

"Yes," replied Mrs. Leland, opening her 
mother's wardrobe and glancing over the dresses 
hanging there ; " and it will please grandpa 
better than anything else. There," taking dowiifc 
a nun's veiling, " this is just the thing." 



ELSIE AND THE RATMONDS, 11 

" My dears, remember how many years have 
flown over your mother's head, and don't dress 
me too youthfully," Grandma Elsie said, with 
an amused look and smile. 

" Never fear, mamma," returned Violet in het 
sprightly way, "how can you fear for a mo- 
ment that your daughters would do such dis- 
credit to the training of so good and wise a 
mother as theirs ? " 

" What ornaments shall mamma wear ? " asked 
Rosie. 

" Only flowers — natural flowers," returned hei 
sisters, both speaking at once. 

" Oh, yes ; and they must be roses and lilies ; 
a knot of them at her throat, and another at hei 
waist. I'll go and get them myself," exclaimed 
Rosie, hurrying from the room. 

In one of the lower apartments of the mansion 
she found Zoe, Edward, and his brothers, Mr. 
Leland and Evelyn, Captain Raymond and his 
children, all busy with flowers from conservato- 
ries, gardens, fields, and woods, which were piled 
in fragrant heaps upon tables and in baskets, 
making them into bouquets, wreaths, garlands, 
and arranging them in vases. 

With deft fingers Zoe was weaving a beauti- 
ful wreath. 

" Oh, Zoe, how lovely ! " exclaimed Rosie. 
"It is to be mamma's crown, isn't it ?" 

" Yes ; and everything in it has a meaning ; 



72 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

these laurel leaves are to say to mamma, and 
everybody, that she is the glory of this house j 
this calla lily, that she is beautiful (though 
of course no one who looks at her can help 
seeing that without being told); this sweet 
alyssum, that she has worth beyond beauty ;. 
this white jessamine, that she is amiability it- 
self ; the yellow, that she has grace and ele- 
gance ; this china rose means the same ; this 
moss rose, superior merit ; this myrtle, that we 
all love her dearly, dearly ! " 

" Oh, what a nice story they tell ! " exclaimed 
Rosie ; "the wreath has my entire approval,'* 
she added, with a merry laugh. 

" What a relief to my mind ! " said Zoe, join- 
ing in the laugh. "We're going to make a 
perfect bower of the dining-room, the only room 
in the house that will be much used by the com- 
pany to-day. 

"That's a nice idea ; we must have flowers every- 
where to-day in mamma's honor. I have come to 
select some for the adornment of her person." 

" This is for that \qyj purpose," said Zoe^ 
holding up her nearly completed wreath, and 
regarding it with satisfaction. 

" Yes, I know ; but I want a knot of flowers 
for her throat, and anotlier for her belt. Roses, 
lilies, and heliotrope." 

" Grandma Elsie is versed in the language of 
flowers, isn't she ? " asked Evelyn. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. T3 

" Yes, indoed ! " answered Rosie. 

" Oh, then, wouldn't it be a nice idea for each 
of us to select a few flowers expressing our feel- 
ings of love, admiration, and so forth ; then, 
after Grandpa Dinsmore has put the crown on 
her head, go one at a time, kneel before her on 
one knee, kiss her hand, and present the little 
floral offering ? " 

" Capital ! " Quite a bright thought, Eva ! " 
^* Just the thing ! " exclaimed several voices, in 
response to the suggestion. 

" Oh, let's do it ! " said Lulu. " I think it 
would be ever so nice ! " 

" All in favor say aye," said Harold. 

A chorus of " Ayes," in response. 

** Contrary, no ! " 

A dead silence. 

" The ayes have it," he announced ; " but of 
course everybody is at liberty to do exactly as 
he or she pleases." 

" I don't know anything about the language 
of flowers," remarked Grace shyly. 

**And my memory needs refreshing on the 
subject," Herbert said, smiling pleasantly on 
the little girl. " So I'll bring a book from the 
library that will tell us what we want to know.'* 

"Will it be objectionable if several of us 
choose the same flower ? " asked Lulu. 

" Oh no, not at all," replied Harold. I shall 
take some of these beautiful pinks. This one 



1i ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

means pure affection ; this clove pink, dignity ; 
this double red, pure, ardent love ; this white 
one, * You are fair.' I should like to say all that 
to mamma." 

" So should I," said Grace. " May I take some 
of the same flowers, Uncle Harold ? " 

" Surely, dear child," he returned, selecting 
them for her. 

" A bit of myrtle, too, please, she said ; 
" because I do love Grandma Elsie dearly." 

" I want a bit of that, too," Lulu said, " and all 
the kinds of lilies and roses that mean something 
nice. I do think they are the loveliest flowers ! '* 

** I'll have heliotrope, * I love you,' pansy, 
* Think of me,' purple heartsease, some of the 
myrtle, and honeysuckle, * bond of love,' "■ 
Evelyn said, after consulting the book Herbert 
had brought, and culling them from the fragrant 
heaps as she spoke. 

In the mean time Rosie had made up the two 
bouquets she had come for. " See ! " she said, 
holding them up to view, " aren't these roses and 
lilies just the perfection of beauty ? They'll put 
the finishing touch to mamma's attire, and I'll 
be back presently to select others as my offering 
to the queen of the day." 

So saying she tripped gayl}^ away. 

" There, the crown is done ! " said Zoe, turn- 
ing it about in her hands and viewing it with a 
satisfied smile. 



ELBIE AND TEE RAYMONDS, IS 

The others pronounced it beautiful. 

"Now I'll help with the wreaths for the 
rooms." 

" No, no, my dear, you have exerted yourself 
quite enough for one day," said her husband. 
" Just lie back in that easy-chair and give as 
many directions as you please." 

" Nonsense ! " she exclaimed, laughing, " you 
are as careful of me as if I were made of the 
finest china or glass." 

" A great deal more so," he returned, with a 
look that spoke volumes of loving appreciation, 
and bending over her to bring his lips close to 
her ear, " Your price is above rubies, my dar- 
ling," he added, in a low aside. 

" Dear Ned, you are so good to me ! " she re- 
sponded, lifting to his eyes as full of love as his 
own. 

" The queen of the day ! the queen of all our 
hearts ! " announced Rosie, preceding her 
mother and sisters into the room. 

" We are all ready to do her homage," said 
the captain, stepping forward and saluting his 
mother-in-law with much respect and affection.. 

The others were prompt to follow his example, 
all crowding about her with expressions of love 
and admiration. 

" You are too good to me, my dear children 
and grandchildren," she said, glad tears spring- 
ing to her eyes. " I am quite sensible that I am 



n ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

by no means the beautiful and admirable person 
your affectionate appreciation leads you to im- 
agine." 

" O mamma," exclaimed Zoe, " there's no im- 
agination about it ! Girls, you have shown 
great taste in arraying her for the occasion ; it 
only needs the addition of my floral crown to 
make her dress quite perfect." 

But carriages were driving up the avenue, 
«nd near friends and relatives came pouring in 
with their congratulations and gifts, which last 
were received with grateful thanks and bestowed, 
for the present, in a small reception-room set 
impart for the purpose. 

When the last of the guests had a^'rived all 
repaired to the grounds, wending their way 
toward the arbor where the heroine of the day 
was seated on an extemporized throne garlanded 
with flowers, while her father made a neat little 
speech and placed the floral crown on her head, 
then, dropping on one knee at her feet, kissed 
her hand and presented a bouquet of calla lilies, 
pinks, and roses. 

It was altogether a surprise to her, and a 
vivid blush mantled her cheek. 

"My dear father," she said, low and tenderly, 
looking up into his face, with eyes half filled 
with tears, as he rose and stood by her side, 
** you should never have knelt to me — your own 
child." 



EL8IE Am) TEE RATMOlWa. 17 

"Only in sport, dearest," he said, bending 
down and imprinting a kiss upon her lips ; 
"you know young lads like myself must be 
allowed to indulge in a trifle of that kind occa- 
sionally." 

He stepped aside, and amid much jesting and 
mirth, the others followed his example till the 
throne and its occupant were half hidden in the 
fragrant heaps of floral offerings. 

But father and sons, coming to the rescue, 
extricated her without damage to person or 
attire, and she went about among her guests 
doing the honors of the place with a sweet and 
gentle dignity all her own. 

There were no strangers among them, how- 
ever, and everybody felt at home and free ta 
follow his or her own inclinations, to sit and 
converse in the grateful shade of the fine old 
trees, wander about lawn, shrubbery, and 
gardens, or take part in the active sports with 
which the children and youth of the company 
were delighting themselves. 

But it was not in the kind heart of Grand- 
ma Elsie to neglect her poorer guests. Her 
father, sons, and a few others accompanying her, 
she paid a short visit to each assembly, went 
about among them with kindly inquiries con- 
cerning their health and welfare (no air of con- 
descension marring their enjoyment of her 
sweet looks and words), and distributing gifts— 



t8 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

from a large basket carried by two men-ser- 
Tants — of such articles of food and clothing as 
she knew would be acceptable ; for, ever, like 
her Master, going about doing good, she was 
a frequent visitor in their dwellings and well 
acquainted with their needs. 

And they looked upon her as a kind, power- 
ful friend, from whom they might ever expeot 
with confidence sympathy and help in their 
trials and struggles with life's hard problems. 

The birthday feast at the mansion was served 
somewhat later in the day ; a banquet, not only 
of such things as appease the hunger of the 
physical man, but also "a feast of reason and a 
flow of soul." 

The celebration of Grandma Elsie's semi- 
centennial was pronounced by every one so 
fortunate as to have a share in it to have been 
from beginning to end a most decided success. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Max and Lulu were on the veranda at 
Woodburn, — its only occupants. The western 
sky was all aglow with the gorgeous hues of a 
brilliant sunset ; rich masses of purple, gold, 
amber, pale-green, and delicate rose color were 
piled from the horizon half way up to the zenith, 
while flecks, patches, and long streaks of flame, 
changing every moment — here spreading and 
deepening, there contracting and fading to 
paler tints — stretched above and beyond on 
every side. 

It was a grand scene, and Max, who was 
whittling a bit of soft wood, paused for several » 
minutes to gaze upon it with admiration and 
delight. 

" What a splendid sunset ! " he exclaimed, 
turning toward his sister. 

But she was absorbed in a story-book, holding 
it in a way to catch the last beams of the fading 
light, and reading on with eager haste, utterly 
oblivious to the glories of the sunset sky, and 
the beauties of the grounds arrayed in all the 
verdure of June. 

7d 



80 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" Lu, you're straining your eyes, reading by 
this fading light," said Max. " If papa were 
here he would certainly tell you to stop at 
once." 

Lulu made no reply, but continued to read as 
if she had not heard the remark. 

Max waited a moment, then began again, 
<* Lu— " 

*' Oh, Max, do be quiet !" she exclaimed impa* 
tiently, without moving her eyes from the page. 

Max gazed at her for another minute without 
speaking, an odd sort of smile in his eyes and 
playing about the corners of his mouth. 

" Yes, I'll do it," he muttered under his 
breath ; " now's as good a time as any for the 
experiment." 

At that instant their father's voice was heard 
in grave, slightly reproving accents, coming ap- 
parently from the hall. " Lulu ! " 

** Sir," she answered promptly, dropping her 
book, while a vivid color suffused her cheek. 

"Don't read any longer ; you will injure your 
«yes. Lay aside your book and come here 
to me." 

She obeyed at once, hurrying into the hallj 
Max looking after her with a gleam of mingled 
fun and triumph in his eyes. 

" Why, papa, where are you ? " he heard her 
ask the next moment ; then she came rushing 
back with a face full of astonishment and per- 



EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 81 

plexity. " Max, where can papa be ? didn't you 
hear him call me ? I was sure he was in the 
hall, but he isn't ; and I can't find him in any 
of the rooms. And oh, now I remember he 
drove away with Mamma Vi not half an hour 
ago, and they were going to the Oaks, and he 
couldn't possibly be back by this time, even if 
they didn't stop there long enough to get out of 
the carriage. Besides, we would have seen it 
drive up from the gate." 

" Couldn't they have come back through the 
wood, as you and I do sometimes ? " 

" Yes, so they could ; but even then we should 
have seen and heard them, and — no, they can't 
have come back. Papa can't be at home ; and 
yet I heard him call me as plainly as ever I did 
in my life. Oh ! — " and she dropped into a 
chair with a look of dread and alarm that half 
frightened her brother. 

" Max," she went on in low, half-tremulous 
tones, "I — I — do believe it means that I'm 
going to die." 

" Why, Lu ! " he exclaimed, " I should never 
have thought you could be so silly ! What on 
earth can have put that notion into your head ? '* 

" I've heard stories of people hearing them- 
selves called in that mysterious way and dying 
very soon afterward," she answered, looking 
rather ashamed. 

" Well, that's all nonsense," he returned with 



82 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

an air of superior wisdom. " I'm perfectly sure 
papa would tell you so." 

" Maybe you wouldn't care if you thought it 
did mean that ? " she said, half -interrogatively. 

" Oh, of course not ; you don't suppose I care 
anything about you, do you ? " 
' "Yes; I know you do. And if you didn't, 
you know papa loves me, and would be grieved 
to lose me, and you love him well enough to be 
sorry on his account." 

" Well, maybe so ; though I hadn't thought 
it out. But you're very healthy, and I've a no- 
tion are going to outlive all the rest of us." 

" Dear me, how awful that would be ! " she 
cried ; " to be left all alone, after seeing you all 
dead and buried. I believe I'd rather go first.** 

" But not very soon ? " 

" No, I — think I'd like to live a little longer ; 
we do have such good times nowadays — in our 
own home with papa. But — Max, who could 
have called me like that?" she queried, with 
a look of anxious perplexity. " You heard it, 
too, didn't you ? " 

"Yes." 

" But why do you laugh, and look so pleased 
and amused ? I should think you'd be troubled 
by the mysteriousness of it, same as I am." 

"No, I'm not," he answered, "because it isn't 
really very mysterious to me. Lu, to save you 
from worrying, I'll explain." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 8S 

She looked at him in wide-eyed surprige. 

" Then you know who it was ? " 

** Yes ; it was I — myself." 

" You ? why how — what do you mean, Max ?** 

" That IVe found out that I'm a ventriloquist, 
like Cousin Ronald." 

" Oh, Maxie ! is that so ? Oh, how nice ! " 

" Yes ; I wondered if I could do it, and I 
asked him to tell me exactly how he did it, and 
if people could learn how if they tried very hard. 
He said it depended upon practice and dexterity, 
and explained and showed me as nearly as he 
could ; and I tried, and would go off into the 
wood yonder, when I could get a chance with- 
out anybody noticing, and practice. To-night I 
thought I'd try it on you, and I'm just delighted 
that I succeeded so well." 

" Indeed you did ! " she exclaimed. " I don't 
believe Cousin Ronald himself could have done 
it any better. Oh, Max, I think it's ever so nice I 
what fun we shall have ! Try it on papa when 
he comes home ; do ! He wouldn't be vexed ; 
papa enjoys fun just as much as we do, and is 
never angry, even if the joke is at his expense." 

" No, indeed ! and I never had a boy friend 
that was better company, or even as good, going 
gunning or fishing, or in a game of base-ball, or 
anything else." 

" And I never enjoy our parlor game* half so 
much when he doesn't take part." 



84 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

"No ; but he always does, unless lie's too 
busy or has company to entertain. I tell you, 
Lu, it's just splendid to have a father you can 
talk to just as freely as if he was a boy like 
yourself — tell him all you think and feel, and 
see that he's interested, and know that if your 
thoughts and feelings aren't right he'll show 
you it's so without being angry or stern, or mak- 
ing you feel that he considers you a simpleton 
or a fool. I like to be reasoned with as if I had 
some sense ; and that's the way papa does with 
me ; and sometimes he asks my opinion, as if he 
thought it was worth something." 

" Yes, I know he does ; and mine too, and 
I'm younger than you, and not nearly so far 
along in my studies. But, oh, Max, let's be think- 
ing of the tricks you can play with your ventrilo- 
quism. What will you do to-night to astonish 
papa and Mamma Vi ? " 

*' I don't know ; have you any suggestion to 
make?" 

She had several, and was very eager to see 
one or more of her plans tried. Max had some 
of his own too, and they made themselves very 
merry talking them over. 

The sunset glow had faded from the skj^ but 
the moon had risen and was flooding the beauti- 
ful grounds with silvery light. Suddenly a 
mocking-bird in a tree close at hand began 
to pour forth a perfect flood of melody. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 85 

The children ceased talking to listen to its 
song. 

"Oh, isn't that delicious music? " cried Lulu, 
as the bird paused for a moment. " Max, you 
couldn't do that, could you ? " 

"No, indeed," laughed Max. "I'd give a 
great deal if I could. But hark, he's beginning 
again." 

" It sounds as if he's praising God," Lulu re» 
marked, at the next pause ; " he sings as if his 
little heart is so full of joy and thankfulness 
that he doesn't know how to express it." 

" Yes," said Grade's voice, close at her side. 
^' I think he's rejoicing in the beautiful moon- 
light, Lu ; and isn't it lovely ? It makes a rain- 
bow in the spray of the fountain, and I can see 
the dewdrops glitter in the grass. And look 
at the fireflies dancing in and out among the 
trees and bushes." 

" Some of them soaring away above the tree- 
tops," put in Max. 

" And maybe birdie is rejoicing in the sweet 
scent of the roses and honeysuckle, the mignon- 
ette, the moon-flowers, and others too numerous 
to mention," said Lulu. " But where have you 
been all this time, Gracie ? " 

"With Elsie and baby Ned. Mamma put 
them to bed as usual before she and papa went, 
but she couldn't stay till Elsie went to sleep, 
and I offered to stay beside Elsie and sing to 



86 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

her and tell her stories, and mamma said I miglit, 
and she would be very much obliged to me 
for it." 

" That was good in you, Gracie," Lulu said, 
pulling Grace down into her lap, and putting her 
arm round her ; " I suppose it was my place to 
do it, really, as I'm the oldest, but I never 
thought of it. But you are always such a dear, 
kind, unselfish girl." 

" And so you are," said Max and Grace, speak- 
ing together, Max adding, " Who was it was so 
brave the night the burglars got into the strong 
room, and so unselfish as to prefer to risk her 
own life, locking them in there, rather than 
have papa risk his ? " 

" Lulu, of course," said a voice that sounded 
like Evelyn Leland's, speaking near at hand, on 
the other side of the little girls, " for who else 
would have done it ? " 

Even Lulu was startled enough to turn her 
head, half -expecting to see her friend standing 
there, while Grace sprang up and turned in the 
direction of the sound, exclaiming, " Why, Eva, 
when did you come ? I didn't know you were 
here ! Oh, she isn't there ! How quickly she 
got awaj^ — into the hall, I suppose," running to- 
ward the door. " Eva, Eva," she called, " where 
can you have gone to so fast? " 

Max and Lulu looked after her with a low, 
gleeful laugh. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 87 

"Another success for you, Max," Lulu said. 

" Oh, I hope Gracie wont be frightened ! " he 
exclaimed, in sudden fear of the effect of his 
experiment upon his timid, nervous little sister, 
and just then Grace came hurrying back, look- 
ing a little alarmed and very much perplexed. 

" Why," she said, " where could Eva have 
gone to ? I've looked all about and can't find 
her." 

" Shall I tell her, Max ? " asked Lulu. 

"Yes," he answered, and Lulu went on, " Max 
has learned to be a kind of Cousin Ronald, 
Gracie, and we shall have lots of fun because of 
it, don't you think so ? " 

" A ventriloquist, do you mean ? " asked 
Grace in astonishment. " Why, how can he ? " 

" Because he is so smart, I suppose," laughed 
Lulu. "Aren't you proud of being the sister of 
«uch a genius ? I am." 

" Yes," returned Grace promptly. " I always 
was proud of Maxie. But this astonishes me 
very much indeed. Oh, I'm ever so glad of it ! 
I'm sure he can make a great deal of fun for him- 
self and us. Does papa know ? " 

"No," said Max, "and you mustn't tell him. 
When he comes home we'll see if we can't have 
gome fun out of him. He'll enjoy it as much 
as we will." 

" Of course ; and be as proud of you, Maxie, 
*s Lu and I are." 



88 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

Just then they saw the carriage, bringing 
their parents, turn in at the great gates leading 
from the highway into the Woodburn grounds, 
and come rapidly up the drive. 

It drew up before the entrance, and the cap- 
tain alighted and handed out his wife. 

The children, always delighted to see them 
return after even the shortest absence, sprang 
up and ran forward with eager, joyous greet- 
ings. 

" I hope you have not been lonely, dears ? '* 
said Violet, bending down to receive and re- 
turn an ardent kiss from Grace. " But I must 
hurry up to the nursery to see how the babies 
are doing." 

" Papa, sit down in this easy-chair, please," 
said Lulu. 

"And let me take your hat and hang it on the 
rack," added Max. 

"And may I get you a glass of ice- water ? '^ 

" And I a fan ? " asked Lulu and Grace. 

" Thank you, my darlings, I do not feel the 
need of either," he answered, seating himself 
and drawing Grace to his knee, Lulu to his side, 
and putting an arm affectionately around each. 

Max drew up a chair close to his father's side. 
** Had you a pleasant time, papa ? " he asked. 

" Very ; we happened upon quite a number 
of the relatives — Dr. Conly and his brother 
Calhoun, from Roselands, the Fairview family, 



ELSIE AND THE EAYMOIWS. 89 

©randpa and Grandma Dinsmore, and Grand* 
ma Elsie. Some of them were spending the 
4ay, while others, like ourselves, had just dropped 
in for a call." 

At the sound of the carriage-wheels on the 
driveway, Prince, Max's big Newfoundland dog, 
had come rushing round from the back of the 
house with a joyous welcoming bark. He was 
devotedly attached to every member of the 
family, to no one of them more than to the cap- 
tain. He had followed Max into the hall and 
out again, and stood close beside him now, evi- 
dently considering himself entitled to make one 
of the little group; pushing himself a little 
farther in among them, he laid his head on 
Grace's lap, wagging his tail in pleased expec- 
tancy, and looking up wistfully into the cap- 
tain's face. 

" Good Prince ! good dog ! " the captain said 
kindly, stroking and patting the dog's head. 
"How are you to-night, old fellow ? " 

"Wide awake, and glad to see you home, 
sir," were the words that seemed to come from 
Prince's own mouth in reply. 

" What ! " exclaimed the captain, hastily put- 
ting Grace off his knee to rise and turn round 
toward the open hall door, " Cousin Ronald 
here ? Children, why didn't j^ou tell me he had 
come ? " 

He was moving quickly in the direction of the 



90 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS, 

doorway as he spoke, the children exchanging^ 
amused glances and finding some difficulty m 
suppressing an inclination to laugh aloud. 

The captain glanced within the hall, saw na 
one, though it was brilliantly lighted, then 
turning toward the little group, " Max," he 
asked, " where is Mr. Lilburn ? " 

" I don't know, papa ; not here; at least, I 
have not seen or heard anything of him." 

" Strange ! " said his father, with a look of 
perplexity. " Ah, I see you are all laughing. 
Come, if you can explain Prince's sudden power 
of speech, do so at once." 

Captain Raymond's tones were perfectly pleas* 
ant ; evidently he was not at all angry at the 
liberty taken with him. 

He sat down again, and they crowded round 
him, Max answering, " Yes, sir "; the little girls, 
" Max can tell you, papa," generously resigning 
to him the pleasure of revealing the secret. 

The captain began to have an inkling of the 
truth. "Out with it. Max," he said, pretending 
bo be very stern; "so you've been playing tricks 
on your father, have you ? I never expected 
such disrespectful treatment from you." 

Max had dropped his eyes and did not see the- 
twinkle of fun in his father's. 

Coloring deeply, " Papa," he said in a re, > 
morseful tone, " I — I wouldn't for anything 
have been disrespectful to you ; I didn't mean 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 91 

it ; there's nobody else I so sincerely respect as 
I do you. Please forgive me, and — " 

"My boy, don't you see that I am only in 
jest ? " the captain asked, taking his hand and 
holding it in a kindly pressure. " But come," 
he added sportively, " make a clear breast of it 
now, and let me judge whether you have sinned 
beyond forgiveness." 

Max answered with a full confession and ex- 
planation, making them as brief as possible \ 
and his sisters gave a mirthful account of the 
exhibitions of his power that he had given them. 

" Well, my son," the captain said, " this newly 
discovered talent may be made a source of in- 
nocent amusement to yourself and others, but I 
trust you will never use it to injure or annoy — 
unless the victim of a slight annoyance is to 
be more than recompensed for it by the after 
results," he added in a playful tone, laying his 
hand affectionately on the boy's head. 

Max heaved a sigh of relief. " I'll try not to, 
papa," he said, with an arch look and smile up 
into his father's face," and you'll forgive me for 
tricking you, wont you ? " 

"Yes; taking into consideration the extenuat- 
ing circumstance of its being the first offense." 

" Thank you, sir. But I hope you don't forbid 
me to try it on MammaYi, one of these times ? " 
retuned Max insinuatingly, and with another 
arch look and smile. 



«2 ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 

** No, I shall not, as I incline to the opinion 
that she would rather enjoy it," laughed his 
father. 

** Oh, Max, when will you do it ? " cried Lulu. 
^* Gracie and I will want to be there to see and 
hear it all, for you know it's only once you can 
play the trick on any one person ; at least if you 
try it again they're very apt to think immedi- 
ately that it's you doing it." 

" I'll take some time when you two girls are 
by," said Max; "papa also. But perhaps," 
with an inquiring glance at his father, " I'd 
better not try any more of it to-night." 

" No ; it is time now for prayers," the captain 
answered. " We will go in, and. Max, you may 
ring for the servants." 

They all repaired to the library, where Violet 
and the servants presently came also, and the 
short service was held. 

At its conclusion, as the children were bid- 
ding good-night, Violet noticed a large doll 
sitting in state in its own tiny chair. She 
picked it up, saying, " Ah, Elsie has forgotten 
her favorite Fatima, and will probably be crying 
out for her before morning." 

Max's eyes twinkled, and he sent a question- 
ing, wishful glance in his father's direction. 

The captain smiled, and gave a nod of acqui- 
■escence. 

** Where's my little mamma ? " asked a tiny 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 9^ 

voice, that seemed to issue from Fatima's lips.. 
" Please take me to my little mamma." 

Violet started and opened her eyes wide in 
astonishment, then glancing quickly around the 
room, " Cousin Ronald ! " she exclaimed. " But 
where is he ?" 

No answer but a half -suppressed giggle from 
the little girls, and an exchange of amused 
glances between them, their father, and Max. 

" Captain, is Cousin Ronald here ? have you 
seen him? What does it all mean?" Violet 
asked, piling one question upon another. 

"No, my dear, but it seems he has left a 
representative behind him," returned her hus- 
band pleasantly, laying a hand on Max's shoul- 
der, and giving him a little playful shake. 

"Max ! " she cried in fresh astonishment ; "is 
it possible that you can imitate his powers as a 
ventriloquist so well, Maxie ? " 

Max modestly repeated the explanation 
already made to his father and sisters; they gave 
a laughing account of his exploits witnessed by 
them, then the captain bade Lulu and Grace say 
good-night and seek their nests. 

" But you. Max, my son," he added, " may 
stay a little longer. I have something to say to 
you." 



CHAPTER VII. 

The captain opened his secretary, took a let- 
ter from one of its pigeon-holes, glanced over 
the contents, restored the missive to its place, 
then turned to Max, who stood patiently wait- 
ing by his side. 

"We will go out on to the veranda and have 
our talk there, my boy," he said, leading the 
way. Max following, " the air is so much pleas- 
anter there than within doors this warm even- 
ing." 

" Yes, sir ; perfectly delightful, I think, papa; 
I don't know where a lovelier, happier home 
than ours can be found." 

" Ah, I am very glad you appreciate it, my 
4ear boy," the captain said, with a pleasant 
look, beginning to pace the length of the 
veranda to and fro. Max keeping close at his 
side, " and I shall miss my eldest hope sadly 
when the time comes for him to leave the 
home nest. Have you made up your mind yet 
as to what calling you would like best to 
pursue ? " 

" I have been thinking a great deal about it 
of late, papa, and if you are willing, and there 
94 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 95 

fs an opening for me, I want to go into th© 
navy." 

" I willing? Entirely so. I have not lost my 
old love for the service, and shall not grudge my , 
son to it." 1 

" Perhaps I inherit my love for it from you^ 
papa," remarked Max. " Any way, I know that 
your having been in it, and hearing you speak 
so highly of it, has had a good deal to do with 
my desire to go into it ; and your son could 
hardly fail to be patriotic and full of love to the 
old flag. Then you have furnished me with so 
much interesting reading about the doings of 
our navy in the Revolutionary War, the War 
of 1812, and the Civil War, that it's no wonder 
I feel a strong desire to help in its work if we 
ever have another one." 

" No, I suppose I have only myself to blame,"' 
his father said pleasantly, " yet I am not at all 
sure that I should act otherwise if I could go 
back to the time of your babyhood and begin 
over again. 

" Well, Max, to-day's mail brought me the 
offer of an appointment to a naval cadetship 
for my son, if I desired it. My boy, shall I 
accept for you ? " 

" If you think best, papa, I'll be delighted Xo 
have you do it," Max said, in a joyous tone.. 
** But am I old enough to go this year ? " 

" Just the right age," answered his f ather^ 



^6 ELSIE AND THE EAYMOJWS, 

half-sighing at the thought of the separation 
the acceptance of the offered appointment must 
involve. " But, Max, I fear I may have shown 
you the pleasant side of the life too exclusively. 
I must discourse to you of its hardships, before 
allowing you to decide for or against it." 

" I hope, papa, you don't think me such a 
milksop or coward that I'd be frightened at the 
thought of a little hardship ? " Max said, with 
heightened color. " I'm sure I ought to be 
willing to stand as much of such things as my 
father did." 

" No, my boy, I should not be the proud and 
bappy father I am if I were compelled to enter- 
tain so mean an opinion of you," returned the 
captain, looking down at the boy with a smile 
of fatherly pride and affection. " Perhaps love 
blinds me to the faults of my first-born, but to 
me he seems a son that any man might be proud 
to call his own ; and if ever tempted to an un- 
worthy act, let the remembrance that it would 
go nigh to break your father's heart to hear of 
it restrain you from yielding to the temptation." 

He paused in his walk and laid a hand af- 
fectionately on the lad's shoulder. 

" Papa," returned Max with emotion, " I 
think no punishment could be too bad for a boy 
that could grieve such a father as mine. I — I 
think I'd rather die than know I had hurt you so !" 

" I believe it, my son," responded the cap- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 97 

tain with feeling ; " I have not the least doubt 
that you have a very strong affection for me, 
and would be very loath to cause me pain. I 
hope, too, that you are quite as anxious to please 
and honor your heavenly Father ; much more 
so, indeed. 

** But let us sit down here while I tell you of 
the hardening process a naval cadet must pass 
through, and the trials of his after-life as an 
officer in the service if he be so fortunate as ta 
secure a permanent place in it." 

" Yes, sir, I'll be glad to hear anything you 
can tell me about both. I suppose I'm not quite 
sure of getting into the academy, even if I da 
accept this offer, am I ? " 

" No, not quite ; there is i\ examination to 
pass through, as to both your physical and edu- 
cational qualifications. To be accepted, a hoy 
must be physically sound and of robust consti- 
tution ; both of which you are, so far as I can 
judge ; you have never been seriously ill in 
your life. 

" Beside, the applicant must have a sufficient 
knowledge of reading, writing, spelling, geog- 
rpphy, English grammar. United States history, 
arithmetic, and algebra. You are well grounded 
in all these, and must review during your sum- 
mer vacation, under the tutor who has had 
charge of you for some time past," he added 
with playful l(?ok and tone. 



QS EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" Papa,'' Max said, a little tremulously, " shall 
I ever have such another ? so kind, so patient, 
and always so ready to take any amount of 
trouble to explain things and make them clear 
to me ? " 

" It is not at all impossible that j^ou may find 
one or more who will be all that, my boy," the 
captain responded, " but certainly none that can 
have the same affection for you, the same fatherly 
Joy and pride in seeing your progress ; it would 
not be natural for any other than your own 
parent." 

"No, sir; I know that; and of course I 
couldn't feel the same toward any other 
teacher." 

" I shouldn't want you to, Max," laughed the 
captain ; " I must acknowledge that I couldn't 
be quite willing to have my son loving any 
other man with the same filial affection that he 
gives me. 

** But to return to the subject in hand : you 
will have to resign many of the luxuries you en- 
joy at home. You will not be allowed a room 
to yourself ; you must share it with another 
cadet, and with him take week about in keep- 
ing it in the most perfect order ; sweeping, 
dusting, and arranging its contents every morn- 
ing for inspection ; every article will have a 
place, and must be found there when not in use. 

" Your furniture will be severely plain ; an 



BL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 99 

iron bedstead, a wooden chair, a washstand, 
looking-glass, wardrobe, rug, and a table which 
you will share with your room-mate. You can 
have no curtains to your windows, no maps or 
pictures to adorn your walls." 

" I shouldn't expect the government to pro- 
vide such things," remarked Max, "but can't 
I take some from home ? " 

" No ; it is not allowed." 

" That seems odd, papa. What harai could it 
do for a boy to have such things, if his father 
could aiford to provide them ? " 

" It is because some of the lads may come 
from very poor families, and the government 
chooses — very wisely, I think — that all shall 
fare alike while students in that national 
college." 

" Yes, to be sure," returned Max thoughtfully ; 
*' I think that's just as it ought to be ; and it 
will be a trifling hardship to have to do without 
such things while I'm there." 

" The discipline is very strict," the captain 
went on, "but my boy has learned to obey one 
naval officer, and perhaps will in consequence 
find it at least comparatively easy to obey 
others." 

"Yes, sir ; I hope so." 

" Your academic standing, number of de- 
merits, and so forth, will be reported to me 
once a month, and will gratify or distress me 



104 



100 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

according to what they are. I am sure the 
thought of that will be a restraint upon any 
inclination my boy may have to idleness or 
bleaches of discipline." 

"I ought to be called an ungrateful wretch if 
it doesn't, papa. How long is the course ? " 

" If appointed, you will have to take an oath 
to serve for eight years, including the proba- 
tionary period. After graduating two years are 
spent at sea, then there is another examination, 
and if passed successfully and there is a vacancy 
to be filled, there will be an appointment to the 
line, and to the marine or the engineer corps of 
the navy." 

" But if there is no vacancy, papa ? " 

*' The candidate is, in that case, given an hon- 
orable discharge, a certificate of graduation, and 
one year's pay." 

" I hope I'll get through all right and that 
there'll be a vacancy ready for me to fill," said 
Max. 

" I hope so, my son, if that is your desire ; 
but don't forget that there are hardships in a 
seafaring life that do not fall to the lot of lands- 
men : many and long separations from their 
families, exposure to danger from disasters at 
sea or on foreign shores, and others too numerous 
to mention at present. Yet it is a life that ha& 
many and great attractions for me. But those 
I have often told you of." 



ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 101 

** Yes, sir ; and all you have told me to-night 
(3oes not frighten me out of my wish ; life is 
very easy here at home, and perhaps it may be 
good for me to go through some rougher expe- 
riences. Don't you think so, papa ? " 

" Yes, I rather agree with you in that ; a life 
of luxury and ease is not the best for the devel- 
opment of a strong, manly, self-reliant char- 
acter." 

" Then you will write and accept for me, will 
you, sir ? " 

" Yes." 

" How soon do I go to the academy, papa ? " 

" In September ; and I have a plan for you in 
the mean time, with which you will be pleased, I 
think. 

" I find I must pay a visit to some property 
that I own in the far West, and I want my son's 
companionship on the trip, supposing he fancies 
taking it with me." 

The captain looked smilingly into the lad's 
eyes as he spoke. 

" Oh, papa, how delightful ! " cried Max. 
"** Will you really take me with you ? " 

" Such is certainly my. intention, if nothing 
happens to prevent," the captain replied, smiling 
to see how pleased the boy was with the pros- 
\)ect. 

" Mamma Vi can hardly be going along on 
such a trip, I suppose ? " Max said inquiringly. 



102 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

" Oh no ! we could not take the babies along, 
and she would not be willing to leave them.'* 

" Then are you and I to be the whole party, 
sir?" 

" I have some thought of inviting Lulu to ga 
with us," replied his father. " Do you think 
ehe would like it, and that we two could take 
proper care of her ? " 

Max laughed. " I shouldn't be a bit afraid to- 
trust anybody to your care, sir," he said, " and 
I'd do anything I could to help. Beside, I don't 
believe Lu's the sort of girl to give much trouble 
on such a journey, and I'm sure she'll be fairly 
wild with delight when you tell her about it, 
and that she is to go along." 

"I am of the same opinion, and enjoying the 
prospect of witnessing her pleasure on hearing 
the news. 

" Well, my son, our talk has been a long one, 
and it is late ; time for a growing boy, such as 
you, to be in bed. Bid me good-night and go." 

They both hath risen to their feet. Captain 
Raymond held out his hand as he spoke. Max 
promptly put his into it, saying with a bright, 
happy, affectionate look up into his father's 
face, " Thank you very much, papa, for all your 
kind plans for me. Is Lu to hear about the- 
jouniey to-night ? " 

"I think not," was the reply ; "she is so ex- 
citable that I fear such surprising news might 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 103 

keep her awake. I dare say, though, she is al- 
ready in bed and asleep." 

To make sure of that, he went softly into her 
room on his way to his own. He rarely failed 
to look in upon his little girls after they had 
gone to their rooms for the night, and when he 
did fail it was a sore disappointment to them. 

Lulu was in bed and had fallen into a doze, 
but woke at his approach, albeit he moved with 
a very quiet step, and started up to a sitting 
posture. 

" Papa," she exclaimed in an undertone, 
mindful not to rouse Grace from her slumbers in 
the adjoining room, " oh, I'm so glad you came! " 
tlirowing her arms round his neck as he reached 
the bedside and bent down to give her a kiss. 
*' You must have talked a long time to Maxie. 
I was really growing jealous," she added, with 
a laugh. 

" Were you ? " he asked, seating himself on 
the edge of the bed and drawing her into his 
arms. " Isn't Maxie entitled to a fair share of 
papa's attentions, as well as of his love ? " 

"Oh, yes, indeed ! and I wouldn't want to 
rob Iiim of a bit of either ; but I do so love the 
little bedtime chat with you that I'd rather miss 
'most anything else." 

" Well, dear child, perhaps we can have an un- 
usually long talk in the morning to comfort you 
for the loss to-night. So go to sleep as fast as 



104 BLSIE AND TEE BATMONDS, 

you can, that you may be ready for an early 
waking," he said. Then with another kiss and 
fervent, " Good-night, my darling, and may He 
who neither slumbers nor sleeps have you in his 
kind care and keeping," he left her. 



CHAPTER Vm. 

LiTLu's first waking thought was of her fath- 
er's promise. 

" Perhaps he is going to tell me what he and 
Maxie were talking about last night," she said 
to herself. " Likely it was something of impor- 
tance to keep them so long. I wonder what ? 
Maybe about going to the seashore, or some- 
where, for the hot months, as we always do." 

She slipped out of bed and began a brisk 
toilet, determined to be ready to receive her 
father whenever he might come. 

She and Gracie were together in their own 
little sitting-room looking over their tasks for 
the day, when hearing his approaching footsteps 
they hastily laid aside their books and ran to 
meet him. 

"Good-morning, ray darlings ; you look well 
and bright," he said, bending down and opening 
his arms to receive them. 

" Good-morning, dear papa," they answered, 
running into them, and putting theirs about his 
neck. "Yes, we are well, and hope you are 
too," hugging and kissing him with ardent 
affection. 

105 



106 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

"Now, papa, wont you give me that long 
talk you said I should have this morning?" 
pleaded Lulu. 

"Yes; don't I always keep my promises?'* 
he asked, taking possession of an easy-chair and 
allowing them to seat themselves one upon each 
knee. 

' • Yes, indeed you do, papa; sometimes when I'd 
rather you wouldn't," returned Lulu laughingly. 

" Would you be willing to lose faith in your 
father's Avord, dear child ? " he asked, with sud- 
den gravity. 

" No, papa ; no indeed ! " she answered earn- 
estly ; " that would he worse than being pun- 
ished, when I deserve it, for naughtiness that 
you've said you'd have to punish me for." 

" I trust there will never again be any call for 
me to keep such promises," he said caressing 
her. "You have been ver}^ good for some time 
past, and intend to keep on trying to be so, do 
you not ? " 

" Yes, sir ; but I'm afraid the badness that I 
still feel inside sometimes^ will crop out again 
one of these days," she said, half -sadly, half- 
jestingly. 

" The same danger threatens your father, 
too," he said, " and the only safety for either 
of us lies in constant watching and prayer." 

^' But, papa, how can we be praying all the 
time ? " 



1 

ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. lOf 

« The Bible," e replied, " bids us ' Pray with- 
out ceasing,' not meaning that we are to live 
on our knees, or with words of prayer always 
on our lips, for that would be impossible with- 
out neglecting other duties enjoined in God's 
Word — such, for example, as * Six days shalt thou 
labor and do all thy work,' * Distributing to the 
necessity of saints,' and so forth — but that we 
are to live near to God and with so much of the 
spirit of prayer in our hearts that they will be 
often sending up swift, silent petitions, or songs 
of praise and thankfulness. 

" Well, Lulu, I know you are curious to hear 
what Max and I were conversing about last 
night." 

"Oh, yes, sir, indeed! if you are willing I 
should know," she responded eagerly. 

" Quite willing," he said. " It was of his choice 
of a business or profession. I had received a 
letter offering an appointment for my son as a 
naval cadet ; so, as I wish Max to choose for 
himself, it was necessary for him to decide, and 
to do so promptly, whether he would accept that 
offer or decline it." 

" Oh ! which did he choose to do, papa ? " 

" He said he had quite made up his mind to 
go into the navy, if he might, and asked me to 
write an acceptance for him ; which I did be- 
fore I went to my bed." 

" You are always so prompt, papa,'' remarked 



108 ELSIE AND THE RATMONDS. 

Lulu, putting her arm round his neck and gaz- 
ing with loving admiration into his face. 

" Yes," he said, " I must try to be all I would 
have my children, for * example is better than 
precept. ' " 

" And Maxie will have to go away and not be 
in school with us any more ?" Grace said, half 
inquiringly, tears filling her eyes. 

" Yes, daughter," her father answered with a 
Blight sigh; " boys can't be always kept at home; 
but I hope to keep my girls a long while yet," 
he added, drawing them into a close embrace as 
he spoke. 

" Dear, dear ! how we will miss Max ! " ex- 
claimed Lulu, " but then how nice it will be 
-when he comes home for his vacations ! " 

" So it will," said the captain. " But now I 
have something else to tell you ; something 
which concerns you, Lulu, a little more nearly." 

" I hope it isn't that I am to go away too ! 
you can't make a cadet of me, though Aunt 
Beulah called me a tom-boy when I was with 
her," Lulu remarked laughingly. 

" No ; but there are other places more suita- 
ble for girls," her father replied, with a grave 
look and tone that she was at a loss to inter- 
pret. 

" Oh, papa, you can't mean that really I — I'm 
^oing away too ? " 

"Perhaps some better instruetor than your 



EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 10^= 

present one might be found for you," he begaa 
meditatively, then paused, as if considering 
the matter. 

"Oh, no, no, no ! " she cried, " there couldn't 
be a better one, I'm sure, and I just love to be 
taught by you, and couldn't bear to have any- 
body else teach me ; 'specially if I had to go- 
away from you. And wouldn't you miss me »^ 
little, papa ? " she asked, with tears in her voice- 
and hiding her face on his shoulder. 

" Yes ; a great deal more than a little should 
I miss the darling daughter always so ready^ 
even eager, to run papa's errands and wait upon 
him lovingly," he said, pressing his lips again^ 
and again to her cheek. " In fact, her com- 
panionship is so sweet to me that, having to go 
upon a long journey, I would prefer to take her 
with me. 

" But I shall not force her inclination ; if yoa^ 
would rather stay at home with Mamma Vi and 
the little ones, you may do so." 

"Oh, papa, what do you mean ? " she asked^ 
looking up in joyful surprise, not unmixed with 
perplexity. " Wont you please explain ?" 

" Yes ; I am going out to the far West on a. 
business trip, shall take Max with me, and you, 
too, if you care to go." 

" Care to go ! wouldn't I ! " she cried, clapping 
her hands in delight, and half smothering him 
with caresses. " Oh, I think I never dreamed 



110 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

©f anything so, so, so delightful ! Papa, you are 
fiuch a dear, dear father ! so, so good and kind 
to me ! Oh, I ought to be the best girl that ever 
was made ! and if I'm not it shan^t be for want 
of trying." 

*' But tears were rolling down Grade's cheeks, 
and with a little sob she drew out her handker- 
chief to wipe them away. 

*' O Gracie, dear, I wish you could go too ! " 
©xclaimed Lulu. 

" If she were only strong enough," her father 
«aid, caressing her with great tenderness, " she 
too should have her clioice of going or staying ; 
but I know the fatigue of the journey would be 
more than she could endure." 

"I don't want to have a journey," sobbed 
'Grace; *' but how can I do without papa ? without 
Maxie ? and without Lulu? all gone at once ? '* 

" But mamma and the babies will be left, and 
you love them dearly, I know." 

" Yes, papa, but I love Max and Lu, and oh, 
I love you better than anybody else, in all the 
world ! " clinging about his neck and laying 
her little wet cheek to his. 

** Sweet words for papa to hear from your 
lips, darling," he returned, holding her close and 
kissing her many times, " and papa's love for 
you is more than tongue can tell." 

*' Then why will you go away and leave me, 
papa ? " 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, HI 

" Because business makes it necessary for me 
to go, darling, and you are not strong enough 
to go with me. But cheer up ; it will be very 
pleasant at home with mamma and the babies j 
Grandma Elsie and the others coming over from 
Ion and Fairview very often ; and after a while 
you will all be going to some nice seaside resort, 
where I hope to join you with Max and Lulu 
before it is time to come home again." 

" That will be nice, papa," she said a little 
more cheerfully. 

" And how would you like to get a letter from 
papa now and then ? from Max and Lulu too ? 
and to answer them ? You can write very nicely 
now, and a talk on paper to your father will be 
better than none at all, wont it ? " 

*' Oh, I'd enjoy it ever so much, if you'll ex- 
cuse the mistakes, papa ! " she exclaimed with 
animation. 

" Indeed, I will," he said ; and just then the 
breakfast-bell rang. 

Violet's face as she met them in the break- 
fast-room was not quite so sunny as husband 
and children were accustomed to see it. She 
was feeling very much as Gracie did about the 
captain's contemplated absence from home ; also 
it^was a sad thought to her that Max was not 
likely ever to be again a permanent resident of 
his father's house ; he would be at home now 
and then for a vacation, but that probably would 



112 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

be all, for after graduating he would go out into 
the world to make a career for himself ; and it 
seemed hard to give him up, for she was fond 
of the lad — her husband's son, and like a dear 
younger brother to her. She noted the traces 
of tears on Gracie's cheeks with a fellow-feeling 
for the child's distress. 

" So papa has been telling you, dear ? " she 
said, bending down to kiss the little girl. 
** Well, we wont fret ; we'll try to just keep 
thinking of the joyful time we shall have when 
they come back to us." 

" Oh, that will be nice, wont it ? " exclaimed 
Lulu. " I'm just wild with delight at the pros- 
pect of going, but I know I'll be ever so glad 
to get back ; for this is such a dear, sweet 
home." 

" And papa will be in it again when you get 
l)ack ; you'll have him all the time going and 
coming. I'm glad for you, Lu," Grace said, 
smiling affectionately on her sister, through her 
tears. 

But they had taken their places at the table, 
and all were quiet for a moment while the cap- 
tain craved a blessing on their food. 

Lulu asked a question the instant she was free 
to do so. " Papa, when will we start on our 
journey ? " 

" In about a week. Can you get ready in that 
lime?" 



EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS, 115^^ 

'* Oh, yes, indeed, sir ! I don't believe I have 
anything to do but pack my trunk. I have 
plenty of nice clothes and pretty things ready 
to wear ! " 

" Yes, plenty of them, such as they are ; but 
you will need something plainer and more dur- 
able than the dresses you wear at home." 

" Shall I, papa ? " she asked, in surprise and 
dismay. " Surely, papa, you wont want me ta 
look shabby, and I've heard that people dres* 
quite as handsomely and fashionably away out 
West as they do here or anywhere else." 

" That may be so, daughter," he said, " but 
sensible people dress according to circumstances ^. 
suitably for time, place, and occupation ; for 
instance, a sensible lady wouldn't put on a ball 
dress in the morning and when about to engaga 
ki domestic duties, any more than she would 
wear a calico wrapper to a ball." 

" Nor I wouldn't think of doing either of those 
things, papa," she returned laughing. "But 
you don't expect to set me to doing housework 
out there, do you ? " 

" Perhaps we are to live in a tent and have 
jrou for our housekeeper, Lu," suggested Max. 

" Oh, is that it ? " she exclaimed, with a look 
of delight. " Oh, that would be fun ! Papa,. 
are we to do so ? " 

"I have no such scheme in contemplation,'' 
lie said, smiling kindly into her excited face* 



114 ELSIE AND THE RATM0ND8. 

** I rather think we will find a place to board, 
and that it will not be one where you will find 
occasion for much fine dressing. Beside I shall 
not care to take any one tricked out in laces and 
ribbons with me to climb mountains, roam 
through forests, or go down into mines, or to 
ride an Indian or Mexican pony, or a mule, over 
rough roads, and that not always in fine 
weather." 

*'0 papa, are you going to let me do such 
things as that ! " she cried, laying down knife 
and fork to clap her hands in glee, and feeling a 
strong inclination to jump up and dance about 
the floor. 

" Some, or possibly all of them, if I can have 
you in suitable attire," he answered ; " but cer- 
tainly not otherwise." 

" What additions to her wardrobe do you 
-wish made, my dear ? " asked Violet. 

*' Two or three dresses of some material not 
easily torn or soiled ; flannel perhaps ; and they 
must be plainly and strongly made, no flounces, 
furbelows, or trimming of a kind that would be 
liable to catch on twigs or bushes or points of 
rock." 

" I shall look like a fright, I'm afraid," re- 
marked Lulu uneasily, and coloring deeply ; 
** but I'm willing to for the sake of pleasing 
you, papa, and being taken everywhere with 
you." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 115 

" That's right, dear child," he said, giving her 
a smile of approval. 

" And I think you will look very nice and 
neat, Lu," said Violet. " My dear, mamma and 
I are going into the city this morning for a lit° 
tie shopping, and if you can trust our taste and 
judgment we will willingly purchase the goods 
for Lulu's dresses. Then I will set Alma to 
w^ork upon them at once, and try to get Susan 
Allen to help her ; for I think it will take both 
to finish them in season." 

" An excellent plan, my dear," the captain re- 
plied, " and I shall be exceedingly obliged if yovs, 
will undertake it, for I should sooner trust yout 
and mother's taste and judgment in such things 
than mj own." 

" Can't I go along and help choose my own 
dresses, papa ? " pleaded Lulu. 

* If it didn't involve neglect of lessons, you 
might, daughter," the captain answered in a 
very kind tone, " but as that is the case, we- 
must leave the selection to your mamma and 
Grandma Elsie." 

A slight cloud gathered on Lulu's brow, but 
it cleared again, when Max said, " You know, 
Lu, our school days together are almost over. 
And you don't want to miss any of them ; at 
least I don't, for I shall never have another 
teacher so good at explaining, so kind and so 
fond of his pupils, as papa." 



116 BLaiE AND THE BATMOIWS. 

The lad's voice trembled a little with the con» 
eluding words, in spite of himself. 

"I'm sure you wont, Max, and I'm sorry for 
you," returned Lulu, with a slight sigh; " for 
myself too, that I'm not to have your company 
in the school-room after this week." 

" Please don't talk about it," begged Grace,, 
hastily wiping away a tear. "I'll just have to 
try not to think of it, or I'll be crying all the 
time." 

" Which would not be at all good for your 
eyes," added her father, " so you would better 
take your mamma's advice and turn your 
thoughts upon pleasant subjects. I have some- 
thing to suggest ; make out a list of all the toys, 
books, and other presents you would like to 
have (supposing some fairy should come and 
offer to supply them)," he interpolated with 
playful look and tone, " the places you would 
like to visit, and all the agreeable ways of 
spending your time this summer that jom can 
manage to contrive; and when your list is done 
let me see it." 

Grace knew her father well enough to feel 
quite certain that the making out of such a list 
at his suggestion would not be labor lost. 

" I will, papa," she said, smiling through her 
tears ; '' I think 111 begin this afternoon, soon as 
my lessons are learned." 

Lulu found no small difficulty in fixing her 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMOKDS. lit 

attention upon her tasks that morning ; her 
thoughts would fly off, now to the Naval Acad- 
emy, where her brother was likely to be domi- 
ciled in the fall, now to the far West, with the 
fresh pleasures there awaiting her father. Max, 
and herself. 

Glancing toward her the captain saw that, 
though a book lay open on the desk before her, 
her eyes were fixed on vacancy. He called her 
to come to him. She started, coloring deeply, 
rose, and obeyed. 

" You are not studying," he said, in a grave, 
though not unkindly, tone." 

" No, sir ; I meant to, but — O papa, I just 
can't study when I have so much else to think 
about." 

" Can't is a lazy word, ray daughter," he 
replied. " You have a strong will — which is 
not altogether a bad thing, though it has given 
both you and me a good deal of pain and trouble 
in past days. I want you to exert it now 
and force your truant thoughts to fix themselves 
upon the business in hand. Will you not ? 
because it is your duty, and to please your father 
who loves you so dearly ? " 

" Indeed, I will, papa ; and perhaps I shall 
succeed if I try with all my might," she an- 
swered, holding up her face for a kiss, which ho 
gave very heartily. 

Returning to her seat, she set to work with 



118 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

such earnestness and determination that whea 
summoned to recite she was able to do so to the 
entire satisfaction of both her father and herself. 

Max and Grace did equally well, and tutor 
and scholars withdrew from the school-room in 
a happy frame of mind. 

A carriage was coming up the drive, bringing 
Grandma Elsie and Mrs. Raymond on their 
return from the proposed shopping expedition,, 
and at once Lulu was all excitement to see what 
they had bought for her. 

" May I see my dresses, Mamma Vi ? " she 
asked, following Violet and her mother through 
the hall and up the wide stairway. 

" Yes, Lu, certainly," replied Violet, " though 
Pm afraid you will not think them very pretty 
to look at," she added, with a deprecatory smile» 
" You know I could only try to carry out your 
father's wishes and directions." 

" And that I am sure is just what a little girl 
who loves her father so dearly, and has such 
confidence in his judgment, would wish to have 
done," Grandma Elsie remarked, in a pleasant 
tone. " I think the goods we have selected will 
make up into very neat dresses, entirely suitable 
for the occasions on which you expect to wear 
them. Lulu, my dear child." 

" Yes, Grandma Elsie, and I mean to be satis- 
fied, even if they don't look pretty to me, be- 
cause I know that you and papa and Mamma 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 11^ 

Vi are mucli wiser than I, and if papa is satis- 
fied with my appearance, I suppose it really 
doesn't make any difference what other folks 
think," returned Lulu, seating herself on a sofa 
in her mamma's boudoir and undoing the pack- 
age handed her by a servant. 

" Three flannel dresses — a dark brown, a dark 
blue, and a dark green ; all beautiful shadei 
and nice, fine material," she commented. " I 
like them better than I expected to, but — " 

*' Well, dear ? " inquired Violet, as the little 
girl paused without finishing her sentence. 

" They are very pretty shades," repeated 
Lulu, *' but I think red — a dark shade," most 
black in some lights — would be more becoming 
to my complexion. Don't you, papa?" look- 
ing up into his face as he came and stood by 
her side. 

" Possibly," he answered, sitting down and 
drawing her to his knee, " but there might be 
times when it would prove dangerous. Some 
animals have a great hatred to that color, and 
'^with a red dress on you might be chased by a 
turkey gobbler or some large animal," he con- 
cluded laughingly, hugging her up in his arma 
and kissing her first on one cheek, then on the 
other. 

" Oh, yes ! I didn't think of that ! " she 
exclaimed with a merry laugh. 

*' Beside," he continued in the same sportive 



120 ELSIE AND THE MATM0ND8. 

tone, " so thoroughly patriotic a young Ameri- 
can as my Lulu surely does not want to be a 
redcoat ? " 

" No, papa, no, indeed ! that would never do 
for a blue-jacket's daughter, would it ? Blue'* 
the right color, after all, and I'm glad that it 
was the color chosen for one of the dresses." 

" And now the next thing is to go up to the 
sewing-room and have them cut and fitted,'^ 
said Violet. " Alma is there, and will attend to 
it at once." 

" And we're going to have Mrs. Allen and 
Susan here to help too, aren't we ? " queried 
Lulu, leaving her father's knee and gathering 
up the new purchases. 

" There will be some parts they can work on 
at home," said Violet. 

" You and I will drive over with some work 
for them this afternoon. Lulu," said the captain j 
" and call at Fairview and Ion on our way 
home, so that you can have the pleasure of tell- 
ing your little friends, Evelyn and Rosie, about ' 
the trip you are expecting to take. Here, give 
me that bundle ; it is a trifle heavy for you to 
carry, and I'll go with you to the sewing-room." 

" Oh, you're just the goodest papa ! " she 
returned merrily, readily yielding up the pack- 
age, putting her hand into his, and dancing along 
by his side as he led her to the sewing-room ; 
** you're always contriving something to give me 



BL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 121 

pleasure. It'll be fun to tell the girls, and I'm 
in ever such a hurry to have a chance." 

" Yes, my daughter Lulu is very apt to be in 
a hurry," he said, smiling down indulgently 
upon her, " and it is well not to dilly dally when 
there is anything to be done, yet sometimes 
■wisest to make haste slowly." 

" Papa, don't tell Alma or Susan that, please," 
she whispered, in a merry aside — for they were 
nearing the open door of the sewing-room — 
** because I want them to make haste fast this 
time." 

" No, only that they must be deliberate 
enough to make sure of doing the work right ; 
for otherwise it would but be the * more haste 
the less speed.' " 

" Yes, sir ; I remember that old saw, and how 
I've sometimes found it true." 

In the neat living-room of their cottage home 
Mrs. Allen and Susan sat that bright June 
afternoon, the mother busily plying her needle, 
the daughter running a sewing-machine. 

The little garden was gay with flowers and 
the vines over the porch were in full bloom ; 
the drowsy hum of ihe bees came pleasantly in 
at the open door r d window, accompanied by 
the sweet scents .f the flowers, and now and 
then from an adjacent field or wood the cheery 
bird call, " Bob W hite ! Bob White 1 " 

*'How delightful it is here," remarked 



122 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

Busan, stopping her machine for a moment to 
readjust her work ; " the air is so sweet ; the 
Bounds are too. I like to hear that bird calling 
out so cheerily." 

"Yes," rejoined her mother, "it is a very- 
agreeable change from the old sounds of scold- 
ing, quarrelling, screaming, and crying that used 
to assail our ears in our former abode." 

" In Rose Alley ? Yes, I was just thinking of 
that, and how hot and stifling the air must be 
there to-day. O mother, I do believe I should 
have been left alone in the world before now if 
we had had to stay on there ! When I think 
of that I feel that I owe a debt of gratitude to 
Mrs. Travilla and Captain Raymond that I can 
never, never pay." 

" To them and to Him who put it into their 
hearts to do such great kindness and gave them 
the ability," responded her mother. "I feel 
like another woman — find it a pleasure to busy 
myself with this beautiful napery. See, I am 
at the last dozen napkins, and will be ready to 
begin on those linen sheets presently. Yes, 
this is easy and pleasant employment, yet I 
should prefer something that would keep me 
out of doors most of the day. Dr. Conly saj^s 
it would be the best thing for my health, and I 
have a plan in my head that perhaps I may be 
able to carry out if our kind friends approve, 
and will give me a little assistance at the start.* 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 123 

" What is tliat, mother ? " asked Susan ; then 
glancing from the door, " Oh, there is the 
Woodburn carriage ! " 

She sprang up and ran down the path to open 
the gate for its occupants and bid them wel- 
come. 

They were Grandma Elsie, the captain, and 
Lulu. They greeted her with a pleasant, 
" Good-afternoon," and kindly inquiries about 
her mother ; then Lulu, handing out a bundle, 
said, " I've brought you some more work, Susan ; 
parts of dresses for me. Alma says they are all 
cut and basted, so that you wont need any 
directions about them ; and Mamma Vi says you 
may please lay aside other work and do this as 
promptly as you can." 

" Yes, Miss Lulu ; but wont you all 'light and 
come in ? A bit of chat with you and the cap- 
tain always does mother so much good, Mrs. 
Travilla." 

They had not intended doing so, but that 
plea was powerful to Grandma Elsie's kind 
heart. 

" Yes, I can spare a few minutes," she said, in 
reply to the captain's inquiring look. 

He at once alighted, assisted her to do so, and 
then Lulu. 

They made only a short call, yet it was long- 
enough for Grandma Elsie's sympathetic listen- 
ing and (luestioning to draw from Mrs. Allen 



124 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

the secret of her desire for outdoor employment 
of a kind not too laborious for her slender 
strength, and her idea that she might find it in 
bee-raising, had she the means to buy a hive, a 
swai-m of the insects, and a book of instruc- 
tions. 

" You shall have them all," Grandma Elsie 
said, " everything that is necessary to enable 
you to give the business a fair trial." 

*' Many thanks, dear Mrs. Travilla," returned 
the poor woman, tears of gratitude springing to 
her eyes ; " and if you will kindly consider 
whatever you may advance me as a loan, I accept 
your kind offer most gladly." 

" It shall be as you wish," Mrs.Travilla re- 
plied, " but with the distinct understanding that 
the loan is not to be repaid till you can do it 
with perfect ease." 

"And I should be glad to have a share in the 
good work," remarked the captain. " Let it be 
my part to gather information on bee culture 
for you, and help in raising flowers for them to 
gather honey from. Doubtless they fly long 
distances in search of such, but it must be an 
advantage to have plenty near at hand." 

"Ah, sir," returned Mrs. Allen, "you too 
are always ready to do every kindness in your 
power. I hope God, our heavenly Father, will 
abundantly repay you both. I always think 
of you when reading the words of the psalmist, 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 125 

* Blessed is he that considereth the poor * ; for 
you give not only money, but time and thought 
and sympathy, considering their needs and how 
you may best supply them." 

While this talk went on in the parlor Lulu 
was telling Susan, out in the living-room, what 
the dresses were needed for, and going into 
ecstasies of delight over the prospect of her 
journey to the far West with her father and 
Max. 

Susan sympathized in her pleasure, and prom- 
ised to do her best toward getting her dresses 
done in season. 

" To Fairview," was the captain^s order to the 
coachman, when again they were seated in the 
carriage. 

It was but a few minutes* drive, and on their 
arrival Lulu was pleased to find Rosie there with 
Evelyn, so that she could have the satisfaction 
of telling her news to both together, and enjoy- 
ing their surprise. It was quite as great as siie 
had expected. 

" How splendid ! " cried Rosie. " You are a 
fortunate girl, Lu. I wonder if I couldn't per- 
suade mamma and grandpa to get up some such 
expedition and take me along ! " 

" I'm very glad for you, Lu, and hope it will 
be one long pleasure from beginning to end," 
Eva said ; you couldn't have a more delightful 
care-taker than your father, and Max will be 



126 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

good company too. But, oh dear, how I shall 
miss you ! " she concluded with a sigh, putting 
her arms round Lulu and holding her in a close 
embrace. 

"And I you," said Lulu. " But when we talk 
that way at home papa says we should not think 
about that, but about the joy of' reunion when 
we get home again." 

" Well, Gracie, what progress have you made 
with that list ? Is it ready for papa's inspec- 
tion ? " the captain asked, as the children clus- 
tered about him on the veranda after tea that 
evening. 

" I've put down some things, papa, but maybe 
I can think up some more before long, if I may 
have a little more time," she answered, with an 
arch smile up into his face. 

" You can have all the time you want, dar- 
ling," he said, caressing her ; " but suppose you 
let me see what you have already set down." 

At that she drew a half -sheet of note-paper 
from her pocket and put it into his hand. 

He glanced over it and a look of amusement 
stole over his face. " A spade, rake, and hoe ! 
I thought you had garden tools," he said. 

" Yes, papa, but these are to be big ones for 
Sam Hill to make his mother's garden with. 
He says he always has to borrow now, and the 
neighbors get tired lending to him." 

*' Ah, very well, you shall have money to buy 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 127 

them for him. But what do you want with 
twenty yards of calico and a piece of muslin ? " 

" Sam needs shirts, and his mother some 
dresses, papa." 

" And the slates and books are for the younger 
children ? " 

" Yes, sir ; and those other things are for the 
Jones children. You know their father doesn't 
buy them anything to wear, and sometimes he 
takes the clothes other folks give them and sells 
them to buy liquor." 

" Yes, it is very sad, and we must do the best 
we can for them. But you have not put down 
anything for my little Grace; is there nothing 
she would like to have ?" 

" I don't need anything at all, papa. I have 
so many, many nice things already." 

" But I want to give you something to help to 
keep you from being lonely while Lulu is enjoy- 
ing herself in the far West. Ah, I see there is 
something ! What is it ? " 

" A canary bird, papa, that will sing beauti- 
fully." 

"Dear child," he said, holding her close, 
" you shall have the finest that money can buy ; 
a pair of them ; and the handsomest cage we 
can find. I shall take you to the city to-morrow 
and let you choose them for yourself." 

" Oh, how nice, papa ! " she cried, clapping 
her hands in delight \ " then they will have a 



128 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

pretty home and be company for each other. I 
was afraid one would be lonesome all by itself. 
I was thinking, too, that I'd be ever so lonely, 
at night especially, without Lu ; but mamma 
says she will take me in with her while you are 
gone." 

" Very kind and thoughtful in mamma," was 
the captain's comment. 

"You'll take me to buy them to-morrow 
afternoon, will you, papa ? " she asked. 

" Yes ; if nothing happens to prevent." 

" And mayn't Lu and Max go along ? " 

" Certainly ; if they want to." 

" Thank you, papa ; I'll be very much pleased 
to go," Lulu said ; Max adding, " I too. So 
there'll be four of us to choose your two birds, 
Gracie." 

" Perhaps we may be able to persuade your 
mamma to go too," the captain said, as at that 
moment Violet joined them, " and then there'll 
be five of us." 

" Go where, my dear ? " asked Violet, seating 
herself by his side. 

He explained, and she accepted the invitation, 
with the remark that she did not want to lose 
his company for a moment of the week he would 
be with her before starting on his journey to the 
West. 



CHAPTER IX. 

They all enjoyed their trip to the city the 
next day, Grace perhaps more than any of the 
others. She was allowed to buy everything on 
her list, and some others she thought of while 
on the way or in the stores, selecting them her- 
self. 

But the first business attended to was the pur- 
chase of the canaries. They succeeded in get- 
ting a beautiful pair, fine singers, and a very 
handsome cage. Grace was full of delight, and 
her father pleased himself with the hope that 
the new pets would save her from the loneli- 
ness Lulu's absence would otherwise have caused 
her. 

They left her all drowned in tears when they 
set out upon their long journey, but, as Violet re- 
ported to the captain in a letter written on the 
evening of that same day, the canaries set up a 
song so melodious and full of joy that she pres- 
ently dried her eyes and hushed her sobs to 
listen. 

Violet herself indulged in a few tears over 
the parting, but for the sake of Grace and the 
little ones soon forced herself to assume an air 
of cheerfulness. 

129 



130 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

Max and Lulu were sorry for those left bekind, 
yet so delighted with their own good fortune 
in being permitted to accompany their father, 
that they speedily recovered from the sadness 
of leave-taking and were never in better spirits. 

It was on Saturday morning they began their 
journey ; the Lord's day was spent in a strange 
city, very much as they would have spent it at 
home, and on Monday they started on again, 
taking a through train that would carry them 
to their destination, and on which they spent 
several days and nights, finding excellent ac- 
commodations for eating and sleeping. 

The captain watched over his children with 
tenderest care — Lulu especially, as being the 
younger and of the weaker sex — and Max was 
constantly on the alert to wait upon both her 
and his father. 

The journey, the longest the children had ever 
taken, was without accident ; there was no de- 
tention, and the luxurious appointments of the 
cars prevented it from being very fatiguing. 

They made some pleasant acquaintances* 
among them an English gentleman and his son, — 
a lad about Max's age. 

Mr. Austin, a man of wealth and refinement, 
was travelling for his health and to seethe coun- 
try, and had brought his son with him as a com- 
panion ; thinking, too, as he explained to Capt. 
Raymond, after they had arrived at terms of 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 131 

comparative intimacy, that travel in a foreign 
land would be improving to the boy in an edu- 
cational way. 

The acquaintance began with the children. 
Albert had been watching Lulu admiringly for 
a day or so, from the opposite side of the car. 

" That's a pretty little girl over there, papa,'* 
he at length remarked in an undertone. "I 
fancy she's English too." 

"I think you are mistaken," returned his 
father. " The gentleman is assuredly an Amer- 
ican, and from his manner toward the children 
I fancy they are his own. There is a strong re- 
semblance, also, between the three." 

" But she has quite an English complexion, 
sir ; so rosy." 

" Yes, but such complexions are not so very 
unusual among the American women and girls." 

"No, sir, perhaps not. The boy's a nice- 
looking fellow and has very gentlemanly man- 
ners. Don't you think so, sir ? " 

" Yes ; they are evidently people of educa- 
tion and refinement. But what is the train stop- 
ping for ? " glancing from the window. " Ah, 
I see ; they are taking on a fresh supply of fuel 
for the engine." 

The same question had been just asked by 
Lulu and answered by her father in the same 
way, as he xof^ and took his hat from the rack 
overhead. 



133 ELSIE AND THE EATM0ND8. 

** You are going out, papa ? " Lulu said in- 
quiringly. " Oh, don't get left, please ! " 

" I certainly do not intend to," he answered 
with a look of amusement. "I only want to 
gtretch my limbs for a moment, and shall not 
go any distance from the train." 

" Oh, can't we go too ? " she asked. 

"Max may, but you, I think, would better 
content yourself with moving about the car." 

" May I go out on the platform ? " 

"No, decidedly not," he answered, in a firm 
though kind tone, then hurried out. Max fol- 
lowing. 

Lulu rose and stood at the window, watching 
for their appearance outside. They were there 
in a moment, right below it. 

" Papa," she called softly. 

He looked up with a smile. " Dear child," 
he said, " move about the car, it will rest you. 
I know you are tired sitting so long." 

He walked on, and she stepped out into the aisle 
and promenaded it up and down several times, 
Btopping occasionally, now at one window, now 
at another, to gaze out over the landscape ; a 
seemingly boundless prairie on one side, with a 
great herd of cattle feeding in the distance ; on 
the other, woods and low-lying hills ; no sign of 
human habitation or of human occupancy any- 
where to be seen, except the little coaling 
station before which the train was standing. 



BL8IE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 13» 

The car was nearly empty now, almost all 
the passengers, excepting a few children and 
those in charge of them, having, like her father 
afid Max, taken advantage of the halting of the 
train to get a little outdoor exercise, Mr. 
Austin and Albert among the rest. 

The latter, however, returned almost imme- 
diately. As he stepped in at the car door his 
eyes fell upon a dainty white pocket-handker- 
chief lying on the floor. He stooped and picked 
it up, glancing around the car in search of the 
owner. 

Lulu, standing at the window near by, with 
her back toward him, seemed most likely to be 
the one, and he approached her at once, asking 
in a polite tone, "Is not this your property, 
Miss ? Excuse the liberty, but I found it lying 
on the floor, and it seemed likely to belong to 
you," holding out the article as he spoke. 

Lulu had turned round at the first sound of 
his voice. " Thank you," she said ; " yes, it is 
mine, for there is my name in the corner ; in 
papa's own handwriting." 

" Fm glad to have had the happiness of re- 
storing it to you," he said. " How extremely 
warm it is to-day. Do you not think so ? " 

" Yes ; especially now that the train is stand- 
ing still, but when it is in motion there's a 
nice breeze. '' 

'^ There are some things I like vastly about 



134 EL81E AND THE EAYM0ND8. 

America," he went on, "but the climate does 
not suit me so well as that of old England ; it's 
80 hot and dry, you know ; at least, don't you 
think so ? '* 

She gave him a slightly puzzled look. " I — 
I believe I've heard that the weather in England 
is rather cooler in summer, and that it rains 
very often ; but I never was there." 

" Why, aren't y©u a little English girl ? " 

" English ? " she exclaimed, opening lier ej^es 
wide in surprise, "no, indeed, I'm American, 
every inch of me ! " with a flash of jo}^ in her 
dark eyes and a little exultant laugh, as though 
to be able to call him or herself an American 
were the proudest boast any one could make. 

" I meant it as a compliment, most assuredly,"^ 
be said, coloring with a sense of mingled annoy- 
ance and mortification. " I'm very proud of 
being English." 

" And that's quite right," she said ; " papa 
says each one should love his own native land 
above all others." 

" Certainly. But you are of English descent 
surely." 

" I really don't know," laughed Lulu. " I 
know that my parents, and grandparents, and 
great grandparents were all born in America, 
and I never thought of asking about my ances- 
tors any farther back than that." 

" We think a great deal of family in England j 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 135 

it's a grand thing — a thing to be proud of — if 
one can boast of a long line of noble ancestors." 

" Yes ; papa says the knowledge that we're 
descended from honest, upright, pious people is 
something to be very thankful for. He says it's 
easier for such folks to be good — I mean honest 
and truthful and all that — than it is for the 
descendants of wicked people." 

" Perhaps so ; though I never thought of it 
before," and with a slight bow he withdrew to 
his own seat, for the passengers were flocking 
in again as the call, " All aboard ! " warned 
them that the train was about to start. 

Captain Raymond was among the first, and 
just in time to perceive that the English lad 
had been making acquaintance with his little 
girl. He was not altogether pleased. His 
countenance was unusually grave as he took 
Lulu's hand and led her back to her seat. But 
there was too much noise and confusion at the 
moment for anything like conversation, and 
he made no remark. 

Lulu felt that he was displeased, and several 
times her eyes were lifted to his face for an 
instant with a timid, half -imploring, half -depre- 
cating glance. 

At length as the train began to move more 
quietly, he bent down and spoke close to her ear. 
" I do not want a daughter of mine to be too 
forward in making acquaintance with strangers, 



136 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

especially men and boys. I would have her 
always modest and retiring. But I will not 
blame you unheard, dear child. Tell me 
about it." 

" I didn't make the first advances, papa," she 
said, putting her arm around his neck, her lips 
close to his ear. " Please don't think I could be 
so bold. I had dropped my handkerchief and 
didn't know it till the boy picked it up and 
handed it to me. He behaved in a very gentle- 
manly way, and when I had thanked him he 
began to talk about the weather, and presently 
asked me if I wasn't an English girl. Just think 
of it, papa ! " she added, with a gleeful laugh. 

" And what did you say to that ? " he asked, 
with an amused look ; " that you were not, but 
wished you were ? " 

" Oh, papa, no, indeed ! wish I was English ? 
or anything else but American ? I'm sure you 
know I don't." 

" Yes," he returned, putting his arm about 
her waist and giving her an affectionate hug, 
"I am happy in the knowledge that all my dar- 
lings are intensely patriotic." 

*' Because you've taught us to be so — to love 
our dear native land and the beautiful old flag, 
the emblem of our nation's glory ! " she re- 
sponded, her cheeks flushing and her eyes 
eparkling. 

Max sitting directly in front of them, had 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 137 

©auglit the last two sentences of their col- 
loquy. 

"Yes, papa," he said, "every one of us is 
that ; even Baby Ned laughs and crows and claps 
his hands when he looks up at the flag waving 
in the breeze. I noticed it at Ion, on Grandma 
Elsie's semi-centennial, where they had so many 
floating from the veranda and tree-tops." 

" Ah ! " laughed the captain, " that was 
doubtless an evidence of good taste, but hardly 
of patriotism in so young a child." 

Mr. Austin was beginning to share his son's 
interest in the Raymonds, and the two had been 
furtively watching the little scene, attracted by 
the animated expression of the faces of the cap- 
tain. Max, and Lulu, as they talked. 

" They seem a happy and affectionate trio," 
Mr. Austin remarked to Albert. 

" Yes, sir ; and you were right about their 
being Americans. I asked the little girl if she 
wasn't English, and to my astonishment she 
seemed almost indignant at the bare idea." 

" Ah, indeed ! then I fancy she has never 
seen England." 

" No, sir, she said she never had ; but if you 
had seen the look in her eyes when she told me 
she was every inch an American, you would 
hardly expect even a sight of old England to 
make her change her mind." 

" It's a great country, certainly ; immensely 



138 ELSIE AND THE EATMONDS. 

larger than our favored isle ; and had it been 
our birthplace, it is quite possible we might 
have shared her feeling ; but as it is, we assur- 
edly^ looked upon Great Britain as the most 
favored land the sun shines on." 

"And he shines always upon some part of the 
empire," responded Albert, with proudly beam- 
ing eyes. 

It was not until in the afternoon of the next 
day the Raymonds reached their destination, — 
Minersville, a town not yet three years old, that 
had sprung up within that period of time, upon a 
tract of land owned by the captain, and grown 
with a rapidity that might well remind one of 
Jonah's gourd, " which came up in a night." It 
was all the result of the discovery of gold in the 
immediate vicinity. The mine — a very produc- 
tive one — was still largely owned by Captain 
Raymond, also the greater part of the town, and 
a coal mine at no great distance from the place. 

The two yielded him a large income — aug- 
mented by the fortunate investment of verj^ con- 
siderable sums realized on the sales of stock and 
town lots ; so that he was indeed a wealthy man. 

He and Mr. Austin had made acquaintance 
by this time, and were mutually pleased. The 
game thing had happened with their sons, and 
the Englishman, after learning from the captain 
what was his destination, the history of Miners- 
ville, and something of the opportunities and 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 13^ 

facilities for hunting bears, deer, and other game 
in that region, had decided to make a halt there 
for a few days or weeks, Captain Raymond 
having given him a cordial invitation to inspect ' 
the mines and join him in hunting expeditions. 

The town already boasted several thousand 
inhabitants, two churches, a bank, post-oftice, a 
fine public school building, dry goods and 
grocery stores, mills, factories, and two hotels. 

To one of these last went Mr. Austin and 
Albert, but Captain Raymond — particularly on 
account of having his children with him — pre- 
ferred a private boarding-house, and, through, 
his business agent and mine-superintendent, Mr. 
John Short, had already engaged rooms with a 
Scotch lady, Mrs. McAlpine by name, whom 
Short recommended as a good housekeeper and 
one who kept an excellent table. 

Our party had scarcely left the train when a 
gentlemanly looking man approached, and lift- 
ing his hat, said, " My name is Short. Do I ad- 
dress Captain Raymond ? " 

" That is my name, sir," rejoined the captain, 
offering his hand, which the other took and 
shook heartily. 

" Glad to meet you, sir; very glad; have often 
wished you would come out and see your prop- 
erty here for yourself. It's well worth looking 
after, I assure you." 

" I am quite convinced of that," the captain 



140 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

said, with a smile. " Also I do not doubt that 
it has been well looked after by my agent, Mr. 
Short." 

" Thanks, sir," returned Short, bowing and 
smiling in acknowledgment. " And these are 
the son and daughter you wrote me you would 
bring with you ? " he remarked, with an inquir- 
ing glance at the children. 

" Yes," replied the captain, looking down at 
the two with fatherly pride and affection. 
" Max and Lulu are their names. I am so 
domestic a man that I could not persuade my- 
self to leave all my family behind when expect- 
ing to be absent so long from home." 

" Yes, sir ; I'm not surprised at that. Well, 
sir, I think Mrs. McAlpine will make you com- 
fortable. She has two sets of boarders, mill oper- 
atives and miners, who eat in the kitchen, and a 
few gentlemen and a lady or two who take their 
meals in the dining-room. But she has agreed to 
give up her own private sitting-room at meal 
times to you and your family (as you stated in 
your letter of instruction you wished a private 
table for yourself and children) ; for a considera- 
tion, of course," he added with a laugh. "But 
knowing you could well afford it, and were not 
disposed to be close, I did not hesitate to accept 
her terms." 

" Quite right," replied the captain. " And 
as to sleeping accommodations ? ** 



ELSIE AND THE EAYMOIWS. Ul 

" She can let you have a room of pretty goo4 
size for yourself and son, with a small one open- 
ing into it for the little girl — or perhaps I should 
rather say the young lady — your daughter." 

" She is only a little girl, — her father's little 
girl, as she likes to call herself," returned the 
captain, smiling down at Lulu and affectionately 
pressing the hand she had slipped into his while 
they stood talking. 

"Yes," she said, laughing and blushing, "I 
do like it ; I'm not in a bit of a hurry to be a 
young lady." 

" No, Miss, I wouldn't if I were you," laughed 
Mr. Short. "Those changes come to us all 
only too fast. Shall I show you the way to your 
quarters, captain ? I did not order a carriage^ 
as it is hardly more than a step ; and judging by 
my own past experience, I thought you'd be 
glad of a chance to use your limbs after being 
cramped up in the cars for so long." 

" You were not mistaken in that. I think we 
all feel it rather a relief," the captain made 
answer, as they moved on together. 

A very short walk brought them to the door 
of the boarding-house. They were admitted 
by a rather comely girl, apparently about fifteen 
years of age, whom their conductor addressed 
as " Miss Marian," and introduced as the 
daughter of Mrs. McAlpine. She invited them 
into the parlor, and went in search of her 



142 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

mother, returning with her almost immediately. 
She was a middle-aged woman, with a gentle, 
ladylike manner, that was very pleasing, and 
the remains of considerable beauty, but had, 
Captain Raymond thought, one of the saddest 
faces he had ever seen ; there were depths of 
woe in the large gi'ay eyes that touched him to 
the heart ; yet the prevailing expression of her 
countenance was that of patient resignation. 

" She is evidently a great sufferer from some 
cause," he said to himself ; " probably an incon- 
solable widow, as I have heard no mention of a 
Mr. McAlpine." 

She bade them welcome, and inquired what 
they would have for their evening meal, and 
how soon they would like it served. 

The captain answered these questions, then 
requested to be shown to the sleeping-rooms set 
apart for their use during their stay. 

" I fear, sir, they will seem but poor and mean 
after such as you and the young folks have no 
doubt been accustomed to," she said, leading the 
way: "but they are the best I can provide, and I 
trust you will find them clean and comfortable. 

" Our nights are cool, even when the days are 
very warm, and you will get the mountain 
breeze here ; which is a thing to be thankful 
for, to my way of thinking," she added, drawing 
back the curtain from an open window of the 
room into which she had conducted them. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 143 

The captain stepped to it and looked out. 
" Yes," he said, " and a fine view of the moun- 
tains themselves, with a pretty flower-garden 
and orchard in the foreground, a river and 
wooded hills between ; a beautiful prospect ; 
another cause for thankfulness, I think. The 
room, too, is of fair size," turning from the 
window and glancing about him. " That opeu 
door I presume leads into the one my little girl 
is to occupy ? " 

" Yes, sir. It is not large, but I have no 
other communicating bedrooms, and Mr. Short 
said you wrote particularly that they must be 
such, or yours large enough for a corner of it 
to be curtained off for the young miss." 

" Yes ; so I did : and she, I know, would 
prefer a small room with an open door into 
mine, to a large and better one with a separat- 
ing wall between," smiling down into Lulu's 
eager, interested face, at that instant upturned 
to his. 

" Indeed, I should, papa," she responded, slip- 
ping a hand confidingly into his and returning 
his smile with one of ardent, filial affection. 

Tears sprang to the sad eyes of Mrs. McAl- 
pine at the sight, and it was a moment before 
she could command her voice to speak. When 
able to do so, excusing herself upon the plea 
that domestic duties required her attention, she 
left them. 



U4 ELSIE AND THE ItATMONDS. 

"I want to see 'my room," said Lulu, hurry- 
ing toward the open door ; then, as she gained 
. a view of the whole interior, " I should say it 
I was small ! one window, one chair, a single bed, 
I a little bit of a wash-stand, and just barely room 
to move back and forth beside the bed. How 
different from my lovely rooms at home ! " she 
-ended with a pout and frown. 

" I am sorry it is not more to your liking, 
my dear child," the captain remarked, in a 
kindly, sympathizing tone, "but it cannot be 
helped now. Does my little girl begin to wish 
her father had left her at home ? " he asked, 
laying his hand tenderly on her head, for he 
had followed her and now stood close at her 
side. 

" Oh, no, no, dear papa ! and Fm quite 
iishamed of my grumbling," she returned, tak- 
ing his hand in both of hers and laying her 
cheek affectionately against it. 

" You wouldn't do to go into the navy, Lu, 
if you can't put up with narrow quarters some- 
times," remarked Max sportively. "So it's a 
^ood thing you're not a boy." 

" Of course it is," she answered in a sprightly 
tone. " Who that might be a girl would ever 
want to be a boy ? Not I, I'm sure." 

" Not even for the sake of being able to grow 
ap into such a man as papa ? " 

" No, I couldn't have any hope of that any- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 14^ 

how, for there's nobody in all the world like 
papa — so dear and good and kind and handsome 
and—" 

" There, that will do," laughed the captain, 
bending down and stopping the next word with 
a kiss full upon her lips; "it is enough, and 
more than enough, and we must be getting rid 
of the dust of travel and making ourselves neat 
for the tea-table," he added. 

" Yes, sir; I'm glad to be out of the cars for a 
while, after being in them so long ; and these 
rooms are neat as wax, if the furniture is scanty, 
and poor, and plain. I shan't mind that a bit,^ 
as it's only for a short time, and I wouldn't 
have been left behind for anything. I hope I'll 
not complain any more, papa; I don't intend to. 
But," in sudden dismay, " oh, where am I to put 
my trunk?" 

Her father and brother both laughed at her 
perplexed, woebegone countenance. 

" You'll have to decide that question very 
soon, for here they come," said Max, glancing' 
from the window. 

"Don't be troubled, dear child; we will find 
a place for it in this outer room," added her 
father cheerily, and glancing about in search of 
one. " Ah, it can stand in this corner close by 
your door. Does that suit your ideas and 
wishes, daughter ? " 

"Yes, sir; it will be the most convenient place 



146 ELSIE AND THE HAY3I0NBS. 

for me," she answered, in a bright, cheery tone, 
quite restored to good-humor. 

The trunks had already been brought in and 
deposited according to directions. 

" Will you have anything out of this, daugh- 
' ter ? " the captain asked, unstrapping Lulu's. 

" Another dress, papa, if you are willing to 
let me change; this travelling one feels hot and 
dusty." 

" My dear child, can you suppose I would 
want you to be uncomfortable ? " he asked. 
** Give me your key, and we will have the dress 
out immediately." 

" Thank you, papa," she said, taking the key 
from her travelling bag and handing it to him. 
" Please choose for me, the one you think most 
suitable." 

" Do you feel inclined for a stroll about the 
town with your father and Max after tea ? " he 
asked. 

" Oh, yes, sir, yes indeed ! " 

" You are not too tired ? " he questioned, 
emiling at her eager, joyous tone. 

" Oh, no, sir, not at all. I think I shall feel 
as fresh as a lark after I have washed and 
dressed and had my supper." 

" Then this will be quite suitable," he said, lift- 
ing out a cream-colored serge with collar and cuffs 
of red velvet and a bordering of Indian embroid- 
ery in which the same shade was quite prominent. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 147 

"The very dress I'd have chosen myself, 
papa," she remarked, with a pleased laugh. 
^' And when we take our walk I must wear the 
hat that matches. I do like to wear things that 
match or contrast prettily and suit my com- 
plexion." 

"Well, daughter, since our kind heavenly 
Father has made so many things beautiful to 
our eyes, the sunset clouds with their gorgeous 
hues, the myriads of lovely flowers and fruits, to 
mention only a few — I think it cannot be 
wrong for us to enjoy pretty things. Still, my 
dear little girl must be on her guard against 
vanity and pride, because of being well and 
tastefully attired, and careful not to give too 
much of her time and thoughts to drees.'* 



CHAPTER X. 

** Well, it is nice to be going to eat in a house 
again and no strangers by," remarked Lulu 
■srhen they had seated themselves at the table in 
Mrs. McAlpine's sitting-room, and the captain 
had asked a blessing on their food. 

"So it is," responded Max; "it would seem 
something like home, if we had Mamma Vi, 
Gracie, and the little ones here with us." 

" Yes," assented their father with a slight 
sigh," they make the best part of home. We 
must look for the post-office when we are out. 
I hope we shall find letters there from home, 
and I have one to mail to your mamma." 

" Why, when did you write it, papa ? " asked 
Lulu. 

" While you were dressing." 

" Was I so very slow ? " 

" No, but you see I had the advantage of you 
in not needing to change my dress." 

With that Marian, who had just brought in 
a plate of hot cakes, glanced admiringly at 
Lulu's costume. 

" What a pretty girl that little Miss Ray- 
mond is, and so beautifully dressed ! " she re- 
148 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 149 

marked to her mother on going back to the 
kitchen. " It must be a grand thing to be the 
daughter — " 

** Don't allow yourself to envy her, my child," 
interrupted the mother, " 'tis God appoints our 
lot, and we must strive to be submissive and 
content." 

" Mother," cried the girl, almost fiercely, "ye 
needna tell me God appointed this lot for you 
and me. I'll never believe it, never ! 'Twas the 
father o' lies brought us here an' keeps us here, 
and oh, but I wad we had never left bonny 
Scotland ! " 

** Hush, hush, child ! bairn, your wild words 
but add to the weight o' the cross already 
almost too heavy for your mother to bear," re- 
turned Mrs. McAlpine, catching her breath with 
a half sob. " Here, carry this to the guests in 
the sitting-room," giving her another plate of 
cakes, just taken from the griddle. 

"Can you tell me where to find the post- 
office. Miss Marian ? " Captain Raymond asked, 
as she again stood at his side, offering her 
cakes. 

" Yes, sir ; 'tis just around the corner, on the 
way to the mine. If you want to send there, 
fiir, Sandy, my brother, will go for you willingly. 
They must be making up the mail for the East 
now, and it will close presently." 

" Then I accept your offer of your brother's 



150 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

services, with thanks," he said, taking a letter 
from his pocket and giving it to her. "Please 
ask him to carry this at once to the post-office, 
and see that it gets into the mail ; then inquire 
for letters for Captain L. Raymond, Master Max, 
and Miss Lulu Raymond." 

"I will, sir," she replied, taking the letter and 
hurrying from the room with it. 

A few minutes later a boy who looked to be 
two or three years j^ounger than Marian came 
briskly in and, laying a handful of letters on the 
table beside the captain, said, " Several for you, 
sir, and one apiece for Master and Miss. And 
the one I took for you is gone with the rest o' 
the mail for the East." 

" I am much obliged," the captain said, put- 
ting a dime into his hand. 

The boy glanced down at it. " That's too 
much, sir, by half, the errand wasn't worth a 
nickel, and in fact I didn't expect any pay for 
doing it." 

" Then take the dime as a gift, my boy ; I 
like your honesty," returned the captain. 

" Thank you, sir," responded the lad heartily, 
and with a grin of satisfaction, as he turned 
and hastened away again. 

" Papa, is there one for me ? " asked Lulu, as 
her father took up the letters and glanced at 
the superscriptions. 

" Yes, daughter j and one for Max, But as 



ELSIE AND THE .RAYMONDS. 151 

•we have all finished eating we will go to our 
room to read them." 

The letters brought only good news ; the 
dear ones left behind were all well, and, though 
missing the absentees, content and happy, at 
least so far as could be gathered from the cheer- 
ful tone of their epistles. 

Lulu's was the joint production of Eva and 
Grace, and gave an interesting account of the 
doings and sayings of the babies and the parrot. 

The last-named, they said, was continually 
calling " Lu, Lu, what you 'bout ? Where you 
been ? " 

The letter told, too, of the beautiful sing- 
ing of Grade's canaries, the doings of her 
kitten, and of Max's big dog Prince. There 
was more about the last-named in Max's own 
letter, which was from Violet, with a postscript 
by Grace. 

The captain read his letter from Violet, first 
to himself, then portions of it aloud to the chil- 
dren ; then they offered him theirs, and he read 
them aloud in turn, and chatted pleasantly with 
them about the contents of all three. 

" Well," he said at length, " if we are going 
to take that walk, it is about time we were set- 
ting out. Lulu, you may put on your hat, 
while I glance over these other letters." 

That was a welcome order to the little girl, 
and it did not take her many minutes to obey 



152 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

it. They found Mr. Short on the pavement 
before the front gate as they went out. 

" Ah, captain," he said, " I was just coming 
to ask if you did not feel inclined for a stroll 
about the town. May I have the pleasure of 
acting as your guide ? " 

" It will be conferring a favor, sir, if you will 
do so," replied the person addressed, and the 
two walked on, leaving Max and Lulu to follow. 

" I wish he hadn't come," she muttered dis- 
contentedly. " I thought I was going to have 
the pleasure of walking beside papa with my 
hand in his." 

"That's very pleasant for you," said Max, 
" but I think you might care almost as much to 
walk with me, considering that you'll probably 
not have many more such opportunities to 
do so." 

" Oh, I forgot that ! Oh, I wish you weren't 
going away from home. Max ! " she exclaimed. 
" I seem to grow fonder of you than ever when 
I think of that ! " 

"Yes, blessings brighten as they take their 
flight," he returned, with a little laugh that 
sounded rather forced. 

The new home made by his father for him 
and the others, and especially the being taken 
by that father into a close intimacy, friendship, 
and confidence, such as are seldom given by a 
parent to a son of his age, had been so delight- 



ELStE AND THE RAYMONDS. 153 

ful that the thought of going away among 
strangers, leaving all the dear ones behind, and 
having communication with his father only by 
letter, instead of the pleasant daily and hourly 
familiar intercourse, could not fail to cause the 
boyish heart a pang. 

Yet, on the other hand, there was joy and 
exultation in the thought that he was about to 
enter upon special preparation for his chosen 
profession, the work that he was to do as a 
man ; it seemed to him the beginning of the 
putting away of childish things, the putting on 
of the armor, and the gathering up of the 
weapons, for the great battle of life, and at 
times he was eager for the day when he should 
appear before the examiners at Annapolis. 

" Yes, and you are a blessing to me, Maxie ; 
you always have been," Lulu said in reply. 
"And I am sure papa thinks you a very great 
one to him." 

The captam's quick ear caught the words, and 
he glanced smilingly round at the two without 
pausing in his talk with his agent. 

Mr. Short gave the names of the streets as they 
passed along, pointed out the public buildings 
and the prettiest private residences, telling ta 
whom each one belonged, and sometimes adding a 
little character sketch in a humorous or slightly 
satirical vein. He seemed a good-natured, jovial 
sort of man, and anxious to entertain and amuse* 



154 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

It did not take long to traverse the town, and 
having presently reached the outskirts, they 
ascended an eminence from whence might be 
obtained a bird's-eye view of the whole place 
and its surroundings of valley and wooded 
hills. 

They paused here to gaze upon the landscape 
spread out at their feet, and Lulu, stepping to 
her father's side, quietly slipped her hand into 
his. His fingers closed affectionately over it, 
and he gave her a pleased, loving look, though 
he seemed to be listening attentively to some- 
thing Mr. Short was saying about the mine. 

" I must visit it to-morrow, if the weather is 
favorable," the captain said in reply. " I want 
to take my children with me, and as I expect to 
be in the vicinity for several weeks, there is no 
special haste ; no need of hurrying out there 
through a storm." 

" Oh, I do hope the weather will be good ! '* 
exclaimed Lulu, while she and Max exchanged 
glances of delight. 

" I think there is every indication of pleasant 
weather for some days to come," remarked Mr. 
Short. 

" Is it far to the mine ? " asked Lulu ; " will 
we have to ride or drive ? " 

" No, Miss ; I think even you could easily 
walk it," replied Mr. Short. " The distance is 
not over a mile." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 155 

" Then I can," she said ; " I've walked moi'e 
than two miles many a time." 

" No doubt of it," said her father ; " but yon. 
must have a pony for longer excursions. Have 
you succeeded in securing a suitable one, Mr, 
Short ? Horses for myself and son, also ? " 

Short replied to the effect that he had suc- 
ceeded in procuring a steed for each of thera,^ 
which, though probably by no means equal to 
those they were accustomed to at home, would^ 
he hoped, answer their purpose quite well. 

"Are you accustomed to riding horseback, 
Miss ? " he asked. 

"Oh, yes," Lulu said. "Papa gave me a 
pony of my own more than a year ago, and 
before that I used to ride one belonging to 
somebody else." 

" Here come Mr. Austin and Albert up the 
hill," said Max, and the next moment the Eng- 
lish gentleman and his son had joined them- 
selves to the little group. 

They and Mr. Short had already made ac- 
quaintance. Polite greetings were exchanged, 
and then all stood together watching the sun as 
he sank behind the western hills. 

It was a grand sunset, the whole western hori- 
zon ablaze with gold, orange, and flame color, 
shading off here and there into the more deli- 
cate shades — rose, pale-green, and amber. 

They lingered for many minutes, silently 



156 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

gazing upon the ever-changing panorama until 
most of its glories had faded away, then slowly 
"descended the hill and wended their way back 
to their temporary abodes. 

It was growing dark, the stars coming out 
one by one overhead, and a young moon show- 
ing herself above the hilltops, when the captain 
and his children re-entered Mrs. McAlpine's 
gate and walked up the path leading to the 
front porch. 

There were several persons sitting there, 
among them the lady of the house. She rose, 
said " Good-evening," and turning to a gentle- 
man who had risen also, introduced him as the 
Rev. Mr. Green. 

He and Capt. Raymond shook hands cordially, 
each expressing pleasure at the meeting, and 
when Max and Lulu had also been introduced, 
and all were seated, the two gentlemen fell into 
earnest discourse, the mission work and its in- 
terests and needs in that region of country 
being their principal theme. 

The children listened in silence, and pres- 
ently learned from the remarks of the minister, 
what was news to them — that their father had 
given town lots for church, parsonage, and 
schoolhouse, and nearly the whole amount of 
money their erection had cost. 

" Papa must be rich, very rich. Max," whis- 
pered Lulu in her brother's ear. 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 157 

" Yes ; and generous too ; far more generous 
and liberal than most folks," Max whispered 
back. " I'm proud as can be of being his son." 

*'And I of being his daughter," she returned. 

They gave expression to these sentiments in 
talking with their father when, a little later, 
they found themselves alone with him in his 
room. 

" My dears," he said, " as I have often told 
you, the money is the Lord's and I am only his 
steward. How, then, could I do otherwise than 
use it for the advancement of his cause and 
kingdom ? " 

" Yes, papa, and you did it for the good of 
our dear country, too, didn't you ? " asked Lulu, 
taking a seat upon his knee and putting an arm 
affectionately about his neck, 

" Yes, daughter ; for if we would ensure her 
safety, we must all do battle earnestly against 
the threatening evils of ignorance, error, and 
superstition ; the only way to preserve the lib- 
erties of this land, and make her a power for 
good to the rest of the world, is to instruct and 
evangelize all classes, whether native or foreign 
born. 

" Now," he continued, opening a Bible which 
he had taken from his trunk and laid upon a table, 
before going out, " we will close the day with 
reading and prayer, as we do at home, and go to 
our rest, for we are all in need of it, I think.'* 



158 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

He kept Lulu on his knee while he read, one 
-arm about her waist, and Max's chair was drawn 
close up on the other side ; then they all knelt 
together, while the father gave thanks for all 
the blessings of the past day, made confession 
of sins, and implored the protecting care of 
their heavenly Father through the silent watches 
of the night ; for themselves and the dear ones 
ones far away. 

The captain had always been careful not to 
make family worship seem long and tedious to 
his children, and to-night it was shorter than 
usual, in consideration for their weariness, con- 
sequent upon the long journey but just com- 
pleted. 

When they had risen from their knees he 
took Lulu in his arms and kissed her tenderly 
two or three times, saying, " Now you may go 
to 3^our own little room, my darling, and when 
you are quite ready for bed set the door wide 
open, so that you can feel that papa is near 
enough to hear you speak, should you want 
anything in the night." 

" Max, too," said her brother laughingly, and 
giving her a kiss in his turn, " so that if any 
danger threatens you there'll be two knights to 
fly to the rescue." 

"Thank you," she returned gayly, "but if any- 
thing frightens me I shall run right to papa " ; 
giving him another hug as she spoke. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 159 

It was a very warm evening, and the windows 
of the room were wide open to admit the air. 
Through one of them, looking upon the garden, 
Marian McAlpine witnessed the little scene ; 
the words spoken did not reach her ear, but she 
saw the expression of the countenance of the 
captain and his children, and the caresses given 
and received. 

" What a good, kind father ! and what happy, 
happy children ! " she murmured half aloud, as 
she turned away with a sigh that seemed to say 
her own lot was not so blessed. 

Passing round the house and into the porch 
she found her mother, now sitting there 
alone. 

Taking a chair close by her side, " Mother,'* 
she said, " I think that Captain Raymond must 
be a very good man." 

"I dare say he is, child ; certainly he has 
been extremely liberal to the mission cause in 
this town." 

" And he looks so good and kind and seems 
so fond of his children," Marian went on. "I 
saw him reading to them to-night — the little 
girl sitting on his knee and the boy as close as 
he could well get by his side ; the Bible I sup- 
pose it was, for when he closed it they all three 
knelt down together, and I could hear his voice 
as if he was praying, thougli not the wordSo 
Then they got up and hugged and kissed eack 



160 ELSIE AND THE BAYM0ND8. 

other good-night. They're the very happieeft 
looking people I ever saw." 

" So I think. But, Marian, you shouldn't be 
spying out what they are doing in the privacy 
of their own room." 

"I didn't mean to, mother, but I happened to 
look up at their window — the light was so 
bright, you know — and I saw the girl help her- 
self to a seat on her father's knee, just as if she 
was sure he'd like her to, and put her arm 
round his neck, and it was such a pretty scene I 
couldn't help standing there and watching them 
a bit. They don't have to share their father 
with a lot of other children that are not their 
mother's too," she added, in a suppressed and 
bitter tone. 

" Marian, Marian, hush ! " exclaimed Mrs. 
McAlpine, in a low voice quivering with pain ; 
" is your end of the cross heavier than mine ? " 

"No, mother, dear, not half so heavy : the 
crudest part of it is seeing you suffer — you, 
who are as good and pure as an angel ! " 
returned the girl passionately. 

" Then for my sake, lass, try to suffer and be 
Btill. I've a hard enough fight with my own 
rebellious heart ; at times I feel I shall never 
be able to bring it into meek submission to His 
will who doeth all things well." 

" But it isn't His will ! it isn't His doing ! I'U 
never believe it, no, never ! " cried the girl, 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 161 

clinching hands and teeth in impotent fury ; 
" it's the will and the doings of the adversary 
of souls, the father o' lies, him that the Bible 
tells us was a murderer from the beginning, and 
abode not in the truth, because there is no truth 
in him." 

*' Marian, Marian, ye're tempting your mother 
to the sin she maun ficht against nicht and day,**^ 
groaned Mrs. McAlpine, relapsing into Scotch^ 
as they were both apt to do under strong ex- 
citement, " an' oh, beware, lassie, that you dinna 
wrest Scripture to ye'r ain destruction and to 
mine." 

" Wrest Scripture ! 'tis they wrest it,** cried the 
girl, in tones of fierce indignation ; but before 
the words had fairly left her lips her mother 
had risen from her chair and fled from her 
presence, as one would fly from temptation. 

Marian too rose, closed the house, and went 
to bed, while alone in her own apartment the 
mother spent a long time upon her knees wrest- 
ling in prayer for submission and strength ta 
endure the cross she mistakenly deemed that 
He, her loving Lord and Master, had laid upon 
her. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Marian McAlpine was setting the breakfast- 
table for the Raymonds, when Lulu came into 
the room looking bright and fresh in one of the 
new dresses her father had directed to be made 
for such excursions as that proposed for the day. 

" Good-morning," she said, in a pleasant, 
sprightly tone. 

Marion returned the salutation, and Lulu 
went on, " We are going to visit the mine to- 
day, and papa sent me to ask if you would like 
to go with us." 

" Thank you. Miss ; it's very kind in your 
father and yourself to invite me, and I should 
be blithe to go if mother could spare me ; but 
I'm afraid she can't. Good help is very scarce 
about here, and we have to do a great deal of 
the cooking and other work ourselves." 

" I'm sorry," said Lulu ; " I'd like very much 
to have you go, for my own sake as well as 
yours, for tliere will be no lady in the party, and 
no girl but me, if you don't go." 

"But you'll not mind that, with such a kind, 
tender father as yours," Marian said, a little 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 163 

tremnlonsly, and with a wistful glance into 
Lulu's bright, happy face. 

" No, I'd not mind going to the world's end 
with papa, and nobody else," returned Lulu, her 
cheeks flushing and her eyes shining with joy 
and filial love. "But how did you find out 
what a dear, kind father I have ? " 

" Surely, Miss, just the way he looks at you 
(as if to his mind there was nothing else so 
sweet and fair in all the world) is enough to tell 
the tale to any one but the dullest of the dull." 

The girl sighed involuntarily as she spoke, 
and turned away — busying herself at the china 
closet — to hide her emotion. 

" And you have none, I suppose ? Oh, I am 
so sorry for you ! " Lulu said, in a gentle, pity- 
ing tone. 

Marian turned toward her a pale, set face, 
opened her lips to speak, but closed them again 
as her mother entered the room. 

" Good- day, lassie, you look bright and blithe 
as the morning," Mrs. McAlpine said, addressing 
Lulu, with a smile that was sadder than tears ; 
and the little girl noticed that her face was 
paler than on the previous day, her countenance 
fuller of grief and woe, though she was evidently 
striving to be cheerful. 

"Did you find your bed comfortable last 
night ? " she asked. 

" Oh, yes, ma'am ; but I had hardly touched 



164 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

it before I went fast asleep, and I never moved", 
I believe, till the sun was up." 

" It must have seemed a short night to you. 
Sound sleep is a very great blessing," responded 
the lady. Then asked, " And what are your 
plans for the day ? I fear you will find little to 
interest you in this small town." 

" Papa is going to take us to look at the 
mine," said Lulu, " and we would be pleased to> 
take your daughter with us, if you can spare 
her." 

" Certainly; Marian gets few holidays, and I 
would be glad to have her go. Tell your papa 
I thank him for the invitation, and she will be 
ready in good season." 

Marian's eyes sparkled, and her face wore a 
glad, eager look for a moment ; then it changed 
and she said, " No, mother, I can't go and leave 
jou everything to do." 

" There is not so much to-day, lass, not more 
than I can easily do myself," returned the 
mother kindly, " and I shall enjoy hearing your 
report when you get back." 

Thus kindly urged, Marian gladly accepted 
the invitation. Few of what young folks are 
•wont to call " good times " came into her life, 
and a visit to the mine had never been one of 
them. 

They set out shortty after breakfast, the 
party consisting of Captain Raymond with his 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 165 

children and Marian, Mr. Austin and Albert, 
and Mr. Short, who acted as guide. 

The two girls walked together, but Lulu 
managed to keep very near her father. That 
pleased him, both as an evidence of her ardent 
affection and because, knowing so little what 
sort of companion Marian would prove, he 
wanted to be near enough to overhear their 
talk, that he might be able to judge what in- 
fluence she was likely to exert over his child. 
Mindful of the declaration of Holy Writ that 
** evil communications corrupt good manners," 
he was very careful in regard to the choice of 
his children's associates. Poverty, if not united 
to viciousness or vulgarity, was considered no 
ground of objection, while wealth, fine dress, or 
fine manners could not atone for lack of moral 
purity and refinement. 

Marian's appearance and manners had pleased 
him, and nothing that he saw or heard during 
the walk had any tendency to lower her in hi* 
estimation. It was a pleasant walk, much of 
the way being shaded by forest trees, and a 
refreshing breeze tempering the heat of the 
weather. The girls were almost sorry when it 
came to an end. 

But they found much to interest them in and 
around the mine. When they had seen all that 
was to be seen and were about to return to the 
town, Mr. Short proposed their doing so by a 



166 ELSIE A^D THE liAYMONDS. 

different route from that by which they had 
come. It was a little longer, he said, circling 
around among the hills, but would give them 
some fine views and an opportunity to gather a 
variety of beautiful wild-flowers. 

"Oh, then, do please let us go that way^ 
papa ! " exclaimed Lulu, looking up at him with 
a very bright, eager face. 

" If it suits the wishes of all the party, 
we will," he answered in an indulgent 
tone. " What do you say to it, Mr. 
Austin ? " 

" That it suits my inclination exactly," re- 
turned the English gentleman. 

" Mine also," added Albert, as the captain 
looked inquiringly at him. 

" And it's just what I'd like, too, papa," said 
Max. 

" And I offer my services as guide," said Mr. 
Short. 

" Then the question is settled in the affirma- 
tive," Captain Raymond said. " Mr. Short, will 
you lead the way ? " 

It was just dinner-time when they reached 
home, the girls bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked 
and with hands full of flowers. 

" Are you tired, daughter ? " the cai^taia 
asked, as Lulu was taking off her hat. 

" Oh no, indeed, papa ! not a bit," she ans- 
wered. *' What a delightful morning we have 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 16^ 

had ! Kow what are we going to do this after- 
noon ? " 

"The first thing is to eat your dinner," he 
said, smiling and pinching her cheek, then 
stooping to give her a hearty kiss. 

" Yes, sir ; I feel ready to do it justice," she 
returned, putting her hand into his, that he 
might lead her to the table. 

" I too," said Max, following them, " I don't 
know when I've been so hungry." 

The captain had asked the blessing, and 
Marian began passing the plate of bread, when a 
voice, apparently that of a boy speaking from 
the garden, said, " Please, Miss, gimme a piece. 
I'm awful hungry ! Didn't have a mouthful o' 
anything to eat to-day." 

Marian started in surprise, then went toward 
the window, saying, "A beggar. We don't 
often have them about here. Why," glancing 
out, " Avhere is he ? " 

A loud barking, that seemed to come from 
round the corner of the house, then a shrill cry, 
" Oh, oh, call him off ! he's got me by the leg ! 
he — he'll tear me to pieces ! " 

"Towser, Towser ! " called Marian, putting 
her head out of the window, " let him go, I 
tell you ! Come here, sir ! come here, and let 
that fellow alone ! " 

Then she rushed out to the porch to look for 
the boy and dog, but was back again in a mo- 



168 ELSIE AND THE BAYMONDS. 

ment all breathless with bewilderment and 
exertion. 

" I can't find either of them," she panted, 
"and where they could go so quickly I canna 
conjecture." 

Lulu was casting mirthful glances at Max, 
but he avoided her eye and went on with his 
dinner as if much too hungry to think of any- 
thing else. 

" Both hoj^ and dogs can move very rapidly 
sometimes," remarked the captain, in reply to 
the girl. " But don't be alarmed. Miss Marian, 
I dare say the beggar has come to no worse 
harm than a fright sufficient to send him off to 
get a meal elsewhere. And now, if you please, 
will you replenish the bread plate? Max is 
emptying it very fast." 

" Oh, yes, sir, and I hope you will excuse me 
for neglecting my business," she answered smil- 
ingly, taking up the plate and leaving the 
room. 

" Now, Max, own up that that was you," said 
Lulu laughing, 

" That what was ? " he asked, lifting his eye- 
brows in mock astonishment. " Do you mean 
to insinuate that I'm either a beggar or a dog? " 

" No," laughed Lulu merrily, " but you 
needn't pretend ignorance ; you know well 
enough what I mean. Well, I shant let Mar- 
ian into the secret if I can help it ; for I hope 



ELSIE Am> THE BAYM0ND8. 169 

-we'll have some more fun out of it. Papa, H 
was right good in you not to explain." 

" Was it ? " he asked. 

But Marian's entrance with a fresh supply of 
bread put an end to talk on that subject for the 
time. 

" Papa," said Lulu, " you haven't told me yet 
what we are going to do this afternoon." 

" How would you like to try the pony Mr. 
Short has engaged for your use while here?" 
he asked in return. 

" Oh, very much, if you will go with me ! " 

*' I shall most certainly not allow you to go 
without me," he answered with a tender, loving 
look into the bright eyes she had lifted to his. 

" You couldn't trust her alone, could yon, 
papa ? " Max said teasingly. 

" No, nor with you, nor you alone," answered 
his father with sportive look and tone. 

" There now, Maxie, don't you wish you'd 
kept quiet ? " laughed Lulu. " You see papa 
doesn't consider you so very much older or 
wiser than I am." 

" I don't hope I'll ever be too old or wise to 
be the better and happier of papa's company," 
Max answered, bestowing upon his father a look 
of deepest respect and affection. 

" Pm glad to hear that, my boy," the captain 
responded, his eyes shining with pleasure. 

"Well, then, I think we are all satisfied that 



170 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

the aiTangement is for the three of us to ride 
out together." 

"And Mr. Short to go along to show us the 
way ? " queried Lulu. 

"Yes ; he has kindly offered to do so." 

" I do think he has the wrong name alto- 
gether," she said laughingly, " he ought to be 
Mr. Long." 

"People hardly ever do get a name that fits," 
remarked Max sagely ; "Mr. Carpenter will be 
a shoemaker, like as not, or a merchant, and 
Mr. Shoemaker a hotel keeper, and so on." 

" Yes, that is rather apt to be the case," as- 
sented his father, " but occasionally a man does 
follow the trade that fits his name ; for instance, 
I used to know a Mr. Cobbler who made, and 
doubtless mended, shoes, too." 

" Max, don't you remember the Browns that 
lived next door to Aunt Beulah ? " asked Lulu. 

" Yes ; they were all very fair, and had liglit 
hair and eyes. And Tom White, who went to 
the same school I did, was dark-complexioned 
and had eyes as black as sloes." 

" Papa," asked Lulu, " will the horses and 
ponies be here soon? Will we take our ride 
soon as we are done eating ? " 

" No, not quite ; * after dinner rest awhile,' is 
the rule, don't you know ? You may do that for 
fully half an hour while I write to your mamma." 

" Oh, mayn't I write too ? I'm not tired." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 17 J 

" Certainly, if you wish to ; you and Max 
are both at liberty to amuse yourselves during 
the interval before our ride. Well, what is 
it, daughter? " noticing a slight expression of 
trouble and perplexity in her speaking counten- 
ance. 

"Only that sometimes I forget how to spell a 
word, papa, and what am I to do about it ? At 
home you always tell me to look in the diction- 
ary, but we haven't any here." 

" How will your father answer for one ? " he 
asked, with sportive look and tone. 

"Oh, nicely, if you'll let me use you," she re- 
turned, laughing. 

"I will when there's no printed one at 
hand." 

" Thank you, sir ; it will be a great deal less 
trouble than hunting for the word in a diction- 
ary. But why don't you let me use you always 
when you're with me ? " 

" Because I think the spelling will be more 
likely to be impressed upon your memory by 
the trouble of having to search out the word ; 
beside, I want my children to learn the lesson 
of self-help. We should never trouble others 
to do for us what we can do for ourselves." 

" I'll try always to remember and act upon 
that, p<apa," said Max. *' Isn't it the people that 
help themselves all they can, who are most apt 
to succeed in life ? " 



172 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

"Most assuredly, my boy," replied the cap- 
tain, as they left the table and retired to their 
own apartments. 

" My letter is going to be to Gracie," Max 
remarked as he took out his writing materials. 

" Mine too," said Lulu ; " I'm going to tell 
her about our walk this morning, and our visit 
to the mine." 

" Just what I intended doing," Max said. 

" Suppose you both carry out your intentions, 
and then compare accounts, to see how they 
differ," suggested their father. "Very likely 
each of you will tell something that the other 
will omit, and between the two letters Gracie 
will get a better idea of the little excursion than 
she could from either one alone." 

" And shall we show them to you, papa, when 
done ? " asked Lulu. 

" You may do exactly as you please in regard 
to that," he answered. 

All three pens were presently scratching away, 
the captain's more rapidly, and with fewer 
pauses, than the other two. Presently he laid 
it down and began folding his sheet. 

Then Max did the same, remarking to Lulu a 
trifle triumphantly, " I'm done first." 

" Why ! " she exclaimed, " I haven't finished 
telling about the mine, and have all the story 
about the walk home to tell yet." 

"Probably you are going more into detail 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 173 

than Max did," their father said, " and that is 
just what Gracie will enjoy." 

At that instant Sandy appeared at the opea 
door with the announcement that the horses; 
had come and Mr. Short was waiting. 

" And my letter isn't finished ! " exclaimed 
Lulu in dismay. 

" No matter, daughter, it is not one requiring 
special haste, and you can finish it at your 
leisure, to-night or to-morrow ; no, on Monday, 
to-morrow is Sunday," the captain said. " Lay 
it in your writing-desk and put on your hat. 
We will not keep Mr. Short waiting any longer 
than necessary." 

She obeyed with cheerful alacrity, wondering^ 
aloud the while what her new pony would be 
like. 

" Better tie that hat on tight, Lu," Max said^ 
in sportive tone ; " he may rear and make it fall 
off, if he doesn't throw you." 

" I'll fasten it as tight as I can," she said* 
"Oh, I wish I had Gracie or somebody to tie my 
veil for me ! " 

" You have two somebodies ; isn't that 
enough ? " asked her father, stepping up behind 
her where she stood in front of the mirror, and 
tying it for her as deftly as if he had been a 
woman. "You will always find your father, 
and doubtless your brother also, ready to per- 
form any such little service for you. As fo^ 



1*74 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

the danger of your pony throwing you, I think 
you may dismiss any such fear. Mr. Short told 
me he had secured a safe one for you." 

" Oh, I'm glad of that, papa ! I thought you 
wouldn't let me try a dangerous one. And 
thank you for tying my veil. I'm quite ready 
now," drawing on her gloves as she spoke. 

" Well, captain, what do you think of them ? " 
Mr. Short asked, with a look and tone that 
spoke confidence of a favorable judgment. 

The captain and his children stood on the 
sidewalk in front of the boarding-house, ready 
to mount the steeds the agent had provided. 

" They are far better in appearance, at least, 
than I had expected to see," replied Captain 
Raymond pleasantly. " That horse is a Spanish 
Mexican, is it not ? " 

" Yes, sir ; and what I call a grand piece of 
horseflesh for such work as you are likely to 
put them to. He'll stand a longer, harder 
gallop than any other horse I ever rode. 

" And those Indian ponies for the use of the 
young folks are hardy, strong, and well broken, 
and though not the handsomest steeds that ever 
were seen, will, I think, give good satisfaction 
to their riders." 

" I presume they will," the captain said, lift- 
ing Lulu to her saddle and putting the bridle 
into her hands, while Max mounted his pony 
without assistance. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 175 

" You'll ride beside me, wont you, papa ? " she 
asked, her tone expressing some slight timidity. 

" Yes, dear child : so near that I can seize 
your pony's bridle at any moment," he replied. 
" But I think you need have no fear that he 
will misbehave with you on his back." 

His horse was close at hand, and with the 
concluding words of his sentence he vaulted into 
the saddle. 

Away they went through the town, down the 
valley, passing near the mine they had visited 
in the morning, over the hills and far out on 
the grassy plains beyond. 

Lulu found her pony manageable, so that 
soon she could partly forget him and give her 
attention to the country they were passing 
through, and the talk of her companions. 

She and Max thought they would never for- 
get that ride ; it was so full of pleasure to 
them ; the air was delightfully fresh and pure, 
the motion of their steeds rapid and easy, and 
everything they saw was interesting, if only 
because of its dissimilarity to whatever they 
had heretofore been accustomed to. 

The principal topics of discourse between the 
two gentlemen were the natural resources of 
the territory and their development, the incom- 
ing tide of immigration, its character and prob- 
able influence upon the future of that regioa 
of country. 



J76 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

"You have some Mormon citizens?" the cap- 
tain said, half in assertion, half inquiringly. 

" Yes, sir ; quite a good manj^, though they 
are decidedly in the minority. By the way, 
you Eastern folks have little idea, I take it, of 
the aggressive character of Mormonism, its 
enmity to the Federal Government, and far- 
reaching schemes to gain the balance of power 
in, not Utah alone, but as many more Territories 
and States as possible. Believe me, the Union 
has no bitterer foes, and none who need to be 
more vigilantly watched and guarded against." 

" I believe you," the captain returned, with a 
look of grave concern ; " and I think too that 
the Eastern people are at least beginning to 
awake to the danger. One object I had in view 
in coming out here was to see for myself the 
extent of the evil and the best remedy to be 
applied ; also to decide the important question 
of my own duty in the matter." 

" They are mostly an ignorant set," remarked 
Mr. Short ; " the foreign portion know so little 
about our government that they believe the 
l^dng assertions of their hierarchy that it is the 
worst and most despotic in the world." 

" Whereas, it is the very best and freest ! " 
exclaimed Max indignantly. " Isn't it, papa ? " 

" Certainly, my boy," returned the captain, 
jsmiling at the lad's heat. 

Mr. Short smiled too, and giving Max an ap- 



ELSIE AND THE RATMONDS. \1t 

proving look, remarked that he liked nothing 
better than to see boys full of patriotism. 

" I wouldn't be my father's son if I didn't 
love my country," said Max. 

"Like father, like son, eh?" laughed Short. 
" Well, it is very apt to be the case." 

" There's a cattle ranch I must take you to 
see, Captain," pointing in a southwesterly direc- 
tion, where, far in the distance, might be dimly 
discerned a dwelling with out-buildings, and 
herds of cattle grazing near by. " It's too far 
for us to go to-night, but some time next week, 
perhaps, it may suit your plans to ride out there,, 
and I think you will find it pay to do so, as I 
understand you want to learn all about this 
region of country." 

The captain assented to the proposal, adding 
that he thought it was now time to turn theie 
horses' heads toward home. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Tea was not quite ready when they arrived 
at their boarding-house, and they sat on the 
porch while waiting for it, Captain Raymond 
looking over the daily paper just taken from 
the mail. 

Sandy McAlpine and a younger brother 
named Hugh were sitting near by looking over 
a picture-book together. 

" Is your mother not well, boys ? " asked the 
oaptain, glancing from his paper to them. "I 
think I have not seen her at all to-day." 

" No, sir," replied Sandy ; " She's lying down 
with a headache." 

"She got a letter," added Hugh ; " one of those 
letters that always make her cry and get a bad 
headache. I wish they wouldn't come, ever any 
more." 

" Hush, hush, Hugh ! " muttered Sandy, 
frowning at his brother and nudging him with 
his elbow. " You know mother wouldn^t like 
you talking so, especially to a stranger." 

" I haven't said anything wicked," returned 
the little fellow. "May be you like to see 
mother cry and have a headache, but I don't, 
178 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. IV^ 

and I'd just thrash the man that sends her such 
horrid letters, if I could ; and I will, too, when 
I'm a big, strong man." 

Captain Raymond was seemingly quite occu- 
pied with his paper during this little aside be- 
tween the lads, but he heard every word, and 
was thinking to himself, " It is probably some 
financial trouble, and I must see what I can do 
for her relief ; there are very special promises 
to widows, and as one of the Lord's stewards it 
becomes me to be ready to assist them in dis- 
tress." 

Marian came to the door at that moment with 
the announcement that tea was ready. 

The Raymonds at once rose and obeyed the 
summons, the captain with his newspaper still in 
his hand. He laid it aside before sitting down 
to his meal, and forgot it on leaving the room 
after supper. 

He presently remembered it, however, and 
went back in search of it. He found Mrs. 
McAlpine there alone, in tears, and with an open 
leter in her hand. He would have retreated, 
but perceived that it was already too late. She 
was aware of his presence, and opening her lips 
to speak. 

" Excuse me, my dear madam," he said. " I 
had no thought of intruding upon your privacy, 
but—" 

" You are entirely excusable, sir," she 



180 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

answered gently, and with an effort to recoyer 
her composure; "this room is public to you and 
your children, and you have a perfect right to 
enter it unceremoniously when you will. Will 
you take a seat ? " 

"Although I merely stepped in to get my 
paper, which I carelessly left here, I shall accept 
your invitation with pleasure, dear madam, if 
if you will allow me the privilege of talking 
with you as a friend," he said, in a deeply sym- 
pathizing tone. "I can not be blind to the fact 
that you are in trouble, and if in any way I can 
assist you, it will give me sincere pleasure to 
do so." 

Then with the greatest delicacy he offered 
financial assistance, if that were what she stood 
in need of. 

" Sir, you are most kind," she said, with 
grateful emotion," but it is not that; it is some- 
thing far worse ; — it is that this wicked, rebel- 
lious heart will not submit, as it ought, to the 
cross He — my blessed Lord and Master — has laid 
upon me. Oh ! " clasping her hands together, 
while the big tears streamed down over her 
pale and sunken cheeks, " I fear — I very much 
fear — I hae loved the creature more than the 
Creator, and that this is why this cross has been 
laid upon me ; this cross, so heavy that it bear* 
me to the earth ! " 

She sank sobbingr into a chair. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 181 

He drew up another and seated himself beside 
her. " Dear madam," he said, in moved tones, 
" * we have not a high-priest who cannot be 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but 
was in all points tempted like as we are, yet 
without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto 
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need.' 

" I know not what your trouble is, but sure I 
am that thus you may find grace, mercy, peace, 
and the fulfillment of the promise, * As thy days, 
so shall thy strength be ! ' " 

" Yes, yes, I know," she sobbed, covering her 
face with her hands, "and whiles I'm willing 
to bear whatever He sends ; but at times the 
cross seems heavier than mortal strength can 
endure, so that it crushes me to the very earth ! 
O Willie, my Willie, how happy we were in 
those early years o' our married life, when you 
were all the world to me and I was all the world 
to you ! but now — I can no longer feel that yoa 
are mine. Others hae come between us; they 
have stolen your love from me, and my heart is 
breaking, breaking ! 

*' But, oh, this is sinful, sinful ! Lord, help a 
poor, frail wonn of the dust to be obedient and 
submissive to Thy will ! " She seemed to have 
forgotten the captain's presence, but light was 
dawning upon him. 

" I think you are accusing yourself unjustly,. 



182 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

my dear madam," he said, in pitying tones j 
" are mistaking God-implanted feelings for the 
suggestions of the evil one." 

" Alas, no ! " she sighed. " Has not God 
given a new revelation to his prophet, ordaining 
that * it is the duty of every woman to give other 
wives to her husband, even as Sara gave Hagar 
to Abram, and that if she refuses it shall be 
lawful for the husband to take them without her 
consent, and she shall be destroyed for her dis- 
obedience ' ? " 

"No," returned the captain, and there was 
£tern indignation in his tone — not against the 
poor, deluded woman, but toward her base 
deceivers — " a thousand times, no ! any pretence 
to a new revelation, no matter by whom it may 
be set up, must be a base fabrication. Listen ! — '* 

" Ah, sir, you mean kindly," she said, " but 
I must not listen to you, for I perceive — what 
I had already suspected — that you are not one 
of the saints; that you do not believe the teach* 
ings of the new gospel." 

" New gospel ! " he exclaimed, his eyes kindl- 
ing. " Tell me, Mrs. McAlpine, were you not 
brought up to believe the Bible ? " taking out a 
pocket edition constantly carried with him, a»^ 
he spoke. 

" Surely, sir, and I may say with the Psalm- 
ist, 'Unless thy law had been my delights, I 
ehould then have perished in mine affliction.' '• 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 18$ 

He opened hi8 Bible, and turning to the first 
chapter of Galatians, read aloud : " I marvel that 
ye are so soon removed from him that called 
you into the grace of Christ, unto another gos- 
pel ; which is not another ; but there be some 
that trouble you and would pervert the gospel 
oi Christ. 

*' But though we, or an angel from heaven, 
preach any other gospel unto you than that 
which we have preached unto you, let him be 
accursed. As we said before, so say I now 
again, If any man preach any other gospel 
unto you than that ye have received, let him be 
accursed." 

" Could anything be plainer or stronger than 
that ? " he asked, with emphasis. 

" No," she said slowly, looking like one waking 
from a dream. " Why have I not remembered 
those words before ? But — there has been a 
new revelation ; at least, they told me so." 

" A new revelation!" he repeated, in a tone of 
utter incredulity. " Listen again to God's own 
word, inspired and written many hundreds of 
year before the birth of your so-called prophets, 
(* false prophets, dreamers of dreams, Avho have 
spoken to turn you away from the Lord your 
Ood ... to thrust thee out of the way which the 
Xiord thy God commanded thee to walk in)." 

Opening to the very last page of the New 
Testament he read again : " I testify unto every 



184 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

man that heareth the words of the prophecy of 
this book, If any man shall add unto these 
things, God shall add unto him the plagues 
that are written in this book ; and if any man 
shall take away from the words of the book 
of this prophecy, God shall take away his part 
out of the book of life, and out of the holy 
city, and from the things which are written in 
this book." 

She gazed at him for an instant in awestruck 
silence, then rousing herself, said slowly, ** But 
they say there are corruptions, mis-translations.^ 
She paused, leaving her sentence unfinished. 

"There is no lack of proof that the Scriptures 
are the revealed word of God, that the writers 
were inspired by God, and that if any corrup- 
tions or mistranslations have crept in they are 
BO few and slight as to be of little account, 
making small difference in the meaning," he 
said. " The proofs of the authenticity and in- 
spiration of the Scriptures are so many that it 
would take a long time to state them all." 

" There is no need in my case, sir," she inter- 
rupted. "I know they are divine ; the internal 
evidence alone would be all-sufficient to me." 

" And yet their teachings are directly opposed 
to those of Mormonism." 

" Not against polygamy, surely ? God knows 
I would be glad to think so ; but how many of 
the prominent characters of the Old Testament 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 185 

had a plurality of wives. Even David, *the 
man after God's own heart,' had many more 
than one." 

*' But the Bible nowhere tells us that God ap- 
proved of the practice ; and how often the his- 
tory it gives shows that polygamy brought sin 
and misery on those who practised it. God 
made but one wife for Adam." 

*' But Sarai gave Hagar to Abram." 

** But God did not command it, nor are we 
anywhere told that he approved it. It was a 
sinful deed done in unbelief, and brought forth 
the bitter fruits of sin." 

For a moment or more she sat silent, evidently 
in deep thought. Then she spoke : 

" I believe you are right, sir ; though it has 
not struck me in that way before. It did 
bring ' forth the bitter fruits of sin,' very much 
the same fruits that polygamy brings forth here 
and in this day," she concluded with a heavy 
sigh. 

Captain Raymond was again turning over 
the leaves of his Bible. "Listen to the words of 
the Lord Jesus Christ," he said. 

" Have ye not read, that he who made them 
at the beginning made them male and female, 
and said, * For this cause shall a man leave 
father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife ; 
and they twain shall be one flesh I Wherefore 
they are no more twain, but one flesh." 



186 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" That passage is from Matthew, and Mark 
also gives these words of the Master," the cap- 
tain said. "And have you not noticed how 
Paul in his epistles always seems to take it for 
granted, when speaking of the marriage tie, 
that a man can lawfully have but one wife at a 
time ? 

" * For the husband is the head of the wif e^ 
(not wives). 

" ' He that loveth his wife loveth himself,* . . . 
* Let every one of you in particular so love his 
wife even as himself.' 

" * A bishop then must be blameless, the 
husband of one wife.' 

" But Mormonism teaches that bishops may 
have, and ought to have, many wives. Poly- 
gamy is encouraged on the ground that the rank 
and dignity of its members is in proportion to 
the number of their wives and children. Is not 
that the fact ? " 

"Yes," she answered with a heavy sigh, " it 
is according to the revelation made to Bishop 
Young." 

" A revelation indeed ! though, as we have 
seen, the record was closed in the time of the 
Apostle John, and a fearful curse pronounced 
on any who should add to it. A revelation 
opposed to all the teachings of God's word on 
that subject. It came from the father of lies, 
for God never contradicts himself j all th©^ 



ELSIE AND THE RATMOIiDS. 187 

teachings of every part of his word are con- 
sistent with each other, which is one of the 
proofs of the divine inspiration of the Scrip- 
tures. 

" From Genesis to Revelation the teaching, 
both direct and implied, is that God made of 
twain one flesh, and a man may have but one 
wife. Adam had but one, and in the book of 
Revelation John tells us the angel said to him, 
* Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, 
the Lamb's wife,' — not wives, you will observe ; 
there was but one." 

"You shake my faith in Mormonism," she 
said, with a startled, troubled look. 

" I rejoice to hear it," he responded ; " would 
that I could shake it to its utter destruction. 

" Popery has been well called * Satan's 
masterpiece,' and Mormonism is another by the 
same hand ; the points of resemblance are 
sufiicient to prove that to my mind." 

" Points of resemblance ? " she repeated,, 
inquiringly, " I have never thought there were 
any, and I have a heart hatred to Popery, as 
you may well suppose, coming, as I do, from a 
land where she slew, in former ages, so many 
of God's saints. But surely in one thing the 
two are very different — the one forbidding to* 
marry, the other encouraging men to take 
many wives." 

"The difference in regard to that is not so- 



188 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

great as may appear at first sight,** he returned ; 
"both pander to men's lusts — for what are 
nunneries but * priests* prisons for women,* as 
one who left the ranks of the Popish priesthood 
has called them ? 

" Both teach children to forsake their parents ; 
both teach lying and murder, when by such 
crimes they are expected to advance the cause 
of their church." 

" Ob, sir, so bad as that ? '* she exclaimed, with 
a shudder. 

"It is computed that Popery has slain fifty 
millions of those she calls heretics, and often- 
times she has secured her victims by the basest 
treachery. All that in past ages, to be sure, 
but she claims infallibility and denies that she 
has ever done wrong ; besides, to this day she 
shows the same persecuting spirit, and actually 
kills, too, wherever she has the power. 

" As to Mormonism doing likewise, look at the 
Mountain Meadow massacre, the lying and per- 
jury to prevent convictions for polygamy, and 
the private assassinations committed to carry 
out their fearful and wicked doctrine of blood 
atonement. 

" In that doctrine also — asserting that the blood 
of Christ does not cleanse from all sin those who 
accept his offered salvation — they agree with 
the Church of Rome, whose teaching is that for- 
giveness of sins and final salvation are to be ob- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 189 

tained by penance and good works supplement- 
ing the finished work of Christ ; that good 
works are to be done not — as the Bible teaches — 
because we are saved, but in order to earn sal- 
vation ; thus flatly contradicting God's word, 
which says : 

"*A man is justified by faith without the 
deeds of the law.' 

" ' By grace are ye saved, through'faith ; and 
that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God.* 

" * The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleans- 
eth us from all sin.' " 

Again he opened his Bible and read : " * Ye 
are of your father the devil, and the lusts of 
your father ye will do : he was a murderer from 
the beginning, and abode not in the truth, be- 
cause there is no truth in him ; when he speak- 
eth a lie, he speaketh of his own ; for he is a 
liar and the father of it.' 

" * He that is of God heareth God's words ; 
ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not 
of God.' 

" Are not those words of the Master pecu- 
liarly applicable to all those teaching doctrines 
so diametrically opposed to his ? " he asked. 

" They certainly are applicable to any who 
teach false doctrine," she replied. 

" And can you call the Mormon doctrine of 
* blood atonement,' by any softer name ?" 

" No, for I believe God's word, ' the blood of 



190 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin ' ; 
and its teaching that he is the one sacrifice for 
sin." 

"And yet you call yourself one of them?" 

" I have done so. I stood out against it for 
a time — in the old home in Scotland — but the 
man — a Mormon missionary — was very plausi- 
ble and seemed veiy devout, quoted Scripture, 
won Willie, my husband, over first, and they 
both kept at me till I grew fairly bewildered 
and half crazed, and at last, when Willie told 
me he was bound to come over to America and 
join the Latter-day Saints, I gave up and agreed 
to do the same ; for how could I part from him ? 
and no word at all had been breathed to either 
of us about polygamy ; we had not thought it 
was one of their doctrines." 

A spasm of pain convulsed her features, and 
for a moment she seemed unable to go on. 

" Does that speak well for their honesty ? " 
he asked, in stern indignation. 

She shook her head. " No," she said chok- 
ingly ; " and the thought of that has sometimes 
made me grow weak in the faith till my heart 
would almost stand still with fright." 

The last words were spoken in a suppressed 
tone, little louder than a whisper, and with a 
half -terrified glance from side to side, as if she 
feared they might be overheard. 

" And no wonder, considering their fiendish 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 191 

practice of * blood atonement,' he responded, 
regarding the poor, trembling woman with deep 
commiseration. " I presume you had not been 
long a dweller in Mormondom before you were 
more fully instructed in regard to those two 
important doctrines ? " 

" No, sir, not long," she replied, " as to poly- 
gamy at least ; and when my husband declared 
his intention of carrying that into practice, I 
was heart-broken and entreated him to forbear, 
remembering his solemn marriage vow to cleave 
to me only so long as we both should live. 

" He tried argument with me at first, coaxing 
and persuasion, but finding I was not to be 
moved by those, he grew very angry and abu- 
sive, and hinted darkly at the danger of the 
blood atonement doctrine being carried out in 
my case if I continued obstinate in refusing my 
consent." 

" And so you gave it ? " 

" Yes. Oh, sir, it was like consenting to have 
my heart torn from my bosom ! " she exclaimed 
in a low tone tremulous with pain. " But to 
withhold it would do no good, and would en- 
danger my life — my life, no longer valuable save 
for the sake of my dear children : but for their 
sake I did desire to live. Ah, sir, I could not 
but ask myself, * Is this what it is to live in free 
America ? ' " 

" I blush for my country, in view of the out- 



192 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

rages she has allowed in the name of religion ! '* 
he exclaimed, his fine, manly countenance flush- 
ing with shame and indignation as he spoke. 
" And yet," he continued interrogatively, " you 
came to believe it right for a man thus to break 
his marriage vow ? " 

" I grew bewildered with misery," she said. 
" I had no choice but to submit, and felt that I 
should go mad with the thought of my hus- 
band's wickedness if I held fast to the teach- 
ings of my childhood. I could not answer their 
arguments (ah, I see now that more prayer and 
searching of the Scriptures might have enabled 
me to do so ; yet the result would have been a 
violent death ; probably by Willie's own hand, 
making him a murderer as well as — a breaker of 
the seventh commandment), so I resigned my- 
self to my fate — so far as I could — and have 
ever since been fighting with the anguish and 
rebellion in my broken heart." 

She was silent for a moment, struggling with 
her emotion, then with a grateful look at him, 
" I don't know how it is, sir, that you have so 
quickly won my confidence," she said. " I have 
never before breathed a word of all this into 
any mortal ear. Even Marian knows no more 
than that I suffer because — other women share 
the affection that in former, happier days was 
all my own." 

*' It is sometimes a relief to unburden our 



ELSIE AND THE RATM02WS. 193 

hearts to a fellow- creature," he replied ; " there 
is healing and comfort in human sympathy, and 
I assure you, dear madam, that you have mine 
in no slight measure. The man who can so 
wound the heart of a loving wife must be worse 
than a brute. 

" But the government has at last come to the 
rescue of these oppressed wives. I trust the 
Edmunds Bill will prove the complete destruc- 
tion of polj^gamy, and efface this bar sinister 
from my country's scutcheon." 

*' I cannot but desire it, if only for my 
daughter's sake," she returned. " Marian will 
soon be a woman, and, if your government does 
not help, may be forced into a polygamous mar- 
riage. She would never go into it of her own 
free will ; she is no Mormon, but, young as she 
is, has always declared intense hatred and ab- 
horrence of both polygamy and the blood atone- 
ment doctrine — and practice," she added, after a 
moment's hesitation. 

"Oh, sir, no small part of my suffering is 
occasioned by the change in my child's feelings 
toward her father ; from loving him with an 
ardent affection, she has turned to hating him 
with a bitter hatred, as the destroyer of her 
mother's peace and happiness." 

She ended with a burst of uncontrollable 
weeping. 
^ Captain Raymond's kind ^heart was sorely 



194 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

pained by the sight of her distress. He felt 
himself powerless to give relief, but spoke 
gently to her of the love and sympathy of 
Jesus, the " Friend that sticketh closer than a 
brother," and to whom " all power is given in 
heaven and in earth." 

" Carry all your griefs, your fears, and anxie- 
ties to Him," he said. " There is no trouble too 
great for his power to remove, too small for his 
loving attention. His love to his people is in- 
finite, and he never regards their sorrows with 
indifference. 

"In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and 
the Angel of his presence saved them." 

"It is true," she said tremulously; "I have 
found it true in my own experience. * In his 
love and in his pity he redeemed them ; and he 
bare them, and carried them all the days of old.' 
And so he has done with me — ^his most un- 
worthy and doubting servant. Ah, sir, you, I 
am sure, are one of God's own people, whatever 
may be your views with regard to the Mormon 
creed, and I beseech you to pray for me that my 
faith in God, in Jesus, and his gospel may be 
gtrengthened and increased." 



CHAPTER Xin. 

On leaving the tea-table Max and Lulu had 
seated themselves in the porch, along with their 
father, and just as he went in search of his paper 
they were joined by Albert Austin. 

" Ah, good-evening, Albert," said Max, mak- 
ing haste to place a chair for him near his own, 
^* I'm pleased to see you." 

" Thanks ; I'm pleased to come," returned 
the English lad, accepting the offered seat. " I 
was bored with listening to papa and some 
other gentlemen talking on some subject that 
didn't interest me in the least, so I slipped away 
after telling papa where I could be found when 
wanted." 

" He doesn't object to our society then ? " 
remarked Max, in a playfully inteiTogative 
tone. 

" No, indeed ! I fancy he thinks I could hard- 
ly be in better company. He's taken a strong 
liking to your father, and I think I may add to 
yourselves, also," glancing admiringly at Lulu 
as he spoke. 

" In spite of my not being an English girl ? ** 
she returned laughingly. 
105 



196 ELSIE AND THE RATMONDS. 

" Ohj assuredly, Miss Lulu ! That could make 
no difference ; in fact, I believe Englishmen are, 
as a class, great admirers of American ladies." 

"In which they show their good taste," 
laughed Max. " My father says American ladies 
compare favorably with those of any other 
nation. I wish you could see Mamma Vi and 
Grandma Elsie." 

" Who are they ? " asked Albert, with a puz- 
zled look. 

"Mamma Vi is papa's wife; his second wife, 
while we are the children of the first. Her 
name is Violet ; she isn't old enough to be our 
real mother, so she told us to call her Mamma 
Vi. Grandma Elsie is her mother, and we call 
her that to distinguish her from an older lady 
whom we call grandma also." 

" Ah, yes, I think I understand. That's one 
of your American ways, I suppose. And where 
are those ladies you would like to show me t 
not in this state, I fancy, as I remember seeing 
you on the cars long before we entered it." 

" Yes," replied Max, with an amused look, 
" our home is so far away that we crossed 
several states in coming here. But this is not 
a state." 

" Isn't ? What then ? " 

" A territory." 

"Ah, excuse me, but I don't know the dif- 
ference." 



EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 197 

** ril try to explain," said Max. " Papa has 
taken some pains to give us a clear understand- 
ing of our government and its workings. 

" Each of the thirty-eight states has its own 
constitution, elects its own governor, legislators, 
and judges. It elects two senators to send 
to Congress, too, and from one to thirty-four 
representatives, according to its population. 

" But the territories can send only one delegate 
to Congress, and he has no vote ; they are 
governed by Congress, with a governor ap- 
pointed by the president." 

"Ah, yes, I see the difference, and that the 
states have the best of it. The territories, I 
presume, look forward to becoming states ? " 

"Yes; but they must have a certain number 
of inhabitants before they can hope to be admit- 
ted into the Union ? " 

" Your father's an army officer, isn't he ? " 

" No ; he belonged to the navy, but resigned 
»</t very long ago." 

" The American navy is quite small, isn't 
it?" 

" It isn't so large as it ought to be," returned 
JJax shortly. 

" Britannia rules the wave ! " quoted Albert, 
in an exultant tone. 

" Yes ; when Columbia isn't there to inter- 
fere with her," retorted Max, a little mischiev 
ously. 



198 ELSIE AND THE MAYMONDS. 

" I'm thinking 'twill be a sorry day for Colum- 
bia when she attempts that," sneered Albert. 

" It hasn't always been in the past," remarked 
Max quietly. 

" When wasn't it ? " asked Albert. 

" When John Paul Jones in the Bon Homme 
Richard fought Capt. Pearson in the Serapis, 
for instance." 

" Well, yes ; but that was a very close fight. 
Beside, you had six vessels and we only two.'* 

" Two of ours were pilot boats and kept out 
of the fight altogether," said Max. 

" So did the Vengeance ; though she had been 
ordered to render the larger vessels any assist- 
ance in her power ; she didn't even try to over- 
haul the band of flying merchantmen. 

" Then the Alliance, commanded by that bad- 
tempered Frenchman Landais, who was so en- 
vious of Jones, went into the battle only at the 
last moment, and instead of helping her allies, 
fired her broadsides into the Richard. The fight 
was between the Richard, with forty guns, and 
the Serapis with forty-four ; the Pallas, twenty- 
two guns, and the Countess of Scarborough,, 
with twenty-two. So there was no advantage 
on our side. If Landais had been in command 
of the Richard he wouldn't have tried to fight 
the Serapis at all." 

" Why do you think that ? " 

" Because, as he dashed past her in the Alii- 



ELSIE AND THE BAYMONDS. 199 

ance, pushing ahead to reconnoitre, before the 
fight began, he cried out that if the enemy 
proved to be a forty-four, the only course for 
the Americans was immediate flight. He prac- 
ticed on that idea, too, hauling off and leaving 
the Richard and the Pallas to do the fighting. 

" Our French allies did us more harm than 
good in the naval battles of the Revolutionary 
War. If Captain Landais wasn't crazy, he 
must have been one of the greatest scoundrels 
that ever trod a quarter-deck." 

" Yes, indeed," said Lulu, " when I read about 
his firing into the Bon Homme Richard — when 
the poor fellows on it had been fighting so hard 
and long, so many of them dreadfully wounded, 
and the ship almost sinking already — I felt as 
if I could hardly stand it to think he escaped 
being well punished for it. He ought to have 
been hung ; for his fire killed some of our poor 
fellows." 

" So he ought, the miserable coward ! " as- 
sented the English lad. " I'm not partial to the 
French anyway," he added. " Of course my 
own countrymen come first in my estimation, 
but I put the Americans next. We're a sort of 
cousins, you know." 

" Yes," said Max. " But wasn't it a crazy 
idea that this great big country should go on 
being ruled by that little one across the sea ? 
Most absurd, I think." 



200 ELSIE ASL THE BAT^IOyi^S 

"At the becdnniiior of the trouble between 
them it must hare looked like great follv for 
the thirteen weak colonies to go into the fight 
with England," remarked Albert. 

" Particularlr to the English, who didn't know 
how in love with libertv, and determined to 
keep her, the Americans were," said Max. 
*•' Papa says we triumphed at the last because 
our cause was the cause of right, and God 
guided our counsels and gave success to our 
arms." 

'' I don't believe I'm as well-read on the sub- 
ject as you are," remarked Albert, '" I presume 
I would naturally take less interest in it than 
you would,*' 

"Yes, I suppose so," replied 3Iax. ••I've 
studied the history of the United States, my 
native land, a great deal, especially in the last 
year or two, and have had many talks with 
papa about the events, and especially the doings 
of the navy ; they interested me more than any 
other part ; first, because papa was a naval 
ofiicer, and then because I'm hoping to go into 
the navy myself." 

'• And those studies didn't increase your love 
for us — the English, I mean ? " said Albert in- 
terrogatively. 

'•So, not a bit," returned Max with a slight 
laugh. He paused a moment, then -grent oa 
more eravely. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 201 

"The treatment tliey gave the Americans 
they took prisoners, was simply barbarous ; 
unworthy of a civilized — not to say Christian — 
nation." 

*' Yes, perfectly dreadful ! " chimed in Lulu. 

" Now I really don't remember any such 
barbarity," remarked Albert, rather apologeti- 
cally. "But you know the Americans were 
considered rebels, and I — suppose the British 
officers may have thought it a duty to — refrain 
from coddling them." 

" Coddling indeed ! " exclaimed Max. " Do 
you remember about the ' Old Jersey ' prison* 
ship ? " 

" Can't say that I do." 

" It was a dismasted hulk — an old sixty-four 
gun-ship moored in AYallabout Bay, near New 
York City. She was so old and worn-out and 
rotten that she wasn't fit to go to sea ; so they 
used her as a prison for Americans whom they 
captured, and starved them and treated them so 
horribly in every way, that eleven thousand 
died in her." 

" Wouldn't it be charitable to suppose the 
starving may have been because of an unavoid- 
able scarcity of provisions ? " queried Albert 
mildly. 

"There was no such unavoidable scarcity,'* 
asserted Max, " yet the poor prisoners were 
sometimes so hungry as to be glad to eat 



202 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

cockroaches and mice when they could catch 
them." 

" On that vessel ? " asked Albert. 

"I think it was on that very vessel," said 
Max musingly ; ** but possibly I might be mis- 
taken ; there were other prison-ships, but the 
Old Jersey was the worst. But I'm certain it 
was American prisoners in the hands of the 
British near New York. A piece of wanton 
cruelty the jailors were guilty of, was bringing 
in a kettle of boiling soup, or mush, and setting 
it down before those starving prisoners of war, 
with never a spoon or anything to dip it up with." 

"Yes," said Lulu, "and another time they 
marched some prisoners for four days without a 
mouthful to eat, then rolled out barrels of salt 
pork for them to eat raw. And another time^ 
when they were exchanging prisoners with the 
Americans, they put pounded glass into the last 
meaPs victuals they gave to the American sol- 
diers before they let them go." 

" Well, if they did that 'twas mean and 
wicked enough," admitted Albert. " But don't 
you think the world has grown a little better 
since those days, and that then other nations 
were quite as cruel, if not more so? always 
excepting the Americans, of course," he addedy 
with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. 

" I believe that's so," admitted Max. 

"And some Americans — the Tories — were 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 20^ 

worse than the British," said Lulu ; "some of 
their deeds were perfectly dreadful, shockingly^ 
wicked and cruel ! beside, it was so contempti- 
ble in them to turn against their own country^ 
and ill-use — even to robbing and murdering— 
their own countrymen." 

" Well, yes," said Albert, " but then, we must 
remember that the way they looked at it 'twaa^ 
only being loyal to their king." 

"The English king, you mean," she retorted. 
" But most of them — the Tories — were low^ 
mean, wicked fellows that really cared for 
neither king nor country, and were only glad of 
an excuse to rob wherever they could." 

" Then please don't blame my country with 
what they did," said Albert. 

" No ; it isn't worth while ; she has sins 
enough of her own to answer for," returned 
Lulu demurely. " And then she's so little, poor 
thing ! " 

Albert looked nettled at that. "The sun 
never sets on the British empire," he said, 
straightening himself proudly. " And, big as 
your country is, I don't believe either her army 
or navy can compare with ours." 

" Yes, our regular army is small, I know," ad- 
mitted Max ; ^' but we have a great army of 
militia, and all so devoted to their country that 
they make splendid fighters when called on to 
defend her. Our navy's small, too, but com* 



204 ELSIE AXB THE RAYM02sDS. 

pares better in size with yours than it did at the 
beginning of the war of 1812-14, and it came 
out of that with flying colors." 

'•^ Really, I don't remember what was the dif- 
ference then, or just what the fight was about," 
acknowledsred Albert modestly. 

" Don't you ? " asked Max, in some surprise. 
*' Well, I shouldn't either, if papa hadn't turned 
my attention to such subjects and talked with 
with us about them in such an interesting way. 
He says he wants his children to be well ac- 
quainted with history, especially that of their 
own country. That's how I happen to be posted 
on those questions. 

" When the United States declared war 
against England in 1S12, our nayy consisted of 
twenty yessels, the largest carrying forty-four 
guns, most of the others rating under thirty, 
while England had oyer a thousand ships on the 
rolls of her nayy, two hundred and fifty-four of 
them ships of the line, mounting over seyenty- 
four guns each. 

" It really wasn't much wonder the British 
laughed at the idea of our attempting to fight 
them ; especially as Britannia had ruled the 
waye up to that time." 

" Yes ; the Americans must haye been a 
plucky little nation to try it," laughed Albert. 
" they must haye been desperately angry about 
fiomething." 



ELSIE AND IBE RAYMONDS. 205 

" They were, and with good reason," returned 
Max. " 01), such wrongs as our poor sailors had 
endured for years from British naval officers ! 
It makes my blood boil just to read, at this late 
day, of their arrogance and injustice, and the 
dreadful cruelties they were guilty of toward 
Americans they kidnapped from our vessels." 

" Kidnapped ? " repeated Albert. 

" Yes ; what else could you call it when a 
British man-of-war would stop an American 
merchant- vessel on the high seas — in time of 
peace — board her, order the crew mustered aft> 
pick out any man they chose to say was an Eng-^ 
lishman, and carry him off to their own vessel 
against his will ? " 

"Oh yes, I see you refer to the right of 
search." 

" Right of search, indeed ! " exclaimed Max 
hotly, " there was no right about it, it was all 
an outrageous wrong. The British had no more 
right to search our ships than we had to search 
theirs." 

" But deserters should be caught and pun- 
ished," said Albert. 

" Perhaps that's so," said Max : " I don't say 
it is, or it isn't ; but they often and often took 
native-born Americans, asserting, without a 
shadow of proof, that they were English. 
American captains said they always chose the 
most ship-shape sailors in the crew, and, of 



206 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

course, those wouldn't always be the Englishmen, 
supposing there were any Englishmen among 
them. 

" One can imagine that it was exceedingly 
exasperating to be forced in that way into for- 
eign service, especially that of a nation their 
own country had been having a bloody war with 
only a little while before ; under the red flag of 
England, too, instead of the beautiful Stars 
and Stripes they loved so well. 

" And if one of them showed any unwilling- 
ness to serve his kidnappers, he was triced up 
and flogged till his back was cut to ribbons, and 
the blood spurted at every blow. 

*^ Of course 1\\qj detested the seiwice they 
had been forced into, and that was made so 
dreadful to them, would desert whenever they 
had a chance ; and if they were caught 
again they were speedily hung at the yard- 
arm." 

* It was hard when a mistake was made and 
a real American impressed," conceded Albert, 
** but, of course, the English government had a 
right to take her own men wherever she could 
find them." 

" I have no objection to Englishmen submit- 
ting to such tyranny, if they choose," sneered 
Max, "but Americans are made of different 
stuff ; they are free and glory in their freedom, 
and never would, and never will, put up with 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 207 

such treatment. And I say again, British offi- 
cers had no right to board our ships without 
leave or license, and forcibly rob them of part 
of their crew. It was an abominably cruel and 
tyrannical thing for them to do, even before the 
Revolution, and most outrageously insulting 
beside, after the war when we were no longer 
colonies of Great Britain, but free and indepen- 
dent states." 

" I don't recall the occurrence you refer to," 
said Albert, "but surely before the war they 
had the same right to impress American sub- 
jects as they had to take their fellow-subjects of 
Great Britain." 

" Let me recall one incident to your memory, 
and see if even an Englishman can approve of it 
in these days," said Max. 

"In 1764 — eleven years before the beginning 
of the war, you will remember — the British 
man-of-war * Maidstone ' lay in the harbor of 
Newport. It was a time of peace, and the offi- 
cers had nothing to do ; so they amused them- 
selves sending out press-gangs to seize any 
luckless American sailor who happened to be on 
shore, and force him into his Majesty's service 
aboard their vessel. 

" The life on board a British man-of-war was 
a dreadful one in those times, for any sailor ; 
the cat-o'-nine-tails was flourished so often, and 
for such slight offenses, and even a boy mid- 



208 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

shipman could order a poor fellow to tlie grat- 
ing to have his back cut to ribbons. 

" So no wonder American sailors dreaded be- 
ing forced into it ; they had no peace of their 
lives with those press-gangs roaming the streets 
in search of them every night, and breaking 
into the taverns where a group of them might 
be smoking and chatting together, to seize 
and carry them off. 

" But the incident I was going to speak of 
was this : One day a brig came sailing up the 
l)ay into the harbor of Newport. She had been 
on a long voyage — to the west coast of Africa — 
and the poor fellows aboard of her were just 
wild with joy to think they had reached home 
at last and were going ashore presently to see 
their mothers and wives and sweethearts, and 
all the rest of their dear ones they had been 
separated from so long, and who had crowded 
on the dock to watch the brig coming in. 

" Oh, I can imagine how they felt ! for I re- 
member how glad we always were when papa's 
vessel came in from a long voyage, and we 
knew that he'd be with us presently ; and so I 
know something of how terrible, how perfectly 
unbearable, it must have seemed to them, when 
just as their ship was anchored, a couple of long- 
boats from the man-of-war came pulling up 
alongside of the brig, and two or three officers 
and a lot of sailors climbed on board, and the 



ELSIE A^D THE RAYMONDS. 20& 

head one ordered the American captain to call 
his men aft, saying ' His Majesty has need of a 
few fine fellows for his service.' 

" It was bad enough when they thought he 
was going to take some of them, each poor 
Jackie fearing he might be the unfortunate one, 
yet hoping he might not ; but just think of it ! 
the officer ordered every one of them to go below 
and pack up his traps. 

"The American captain expressed his astonish- 
ment and indignation, saying that the poor fel- 
lows were just home from a long voyage and 
hadn't seen their families yet. But it did no 
good ; every man jack of them was carried off 
to the man-of-war and forced to serve aboard of 
her. 

"It was such acts of tyranny as this that drove 
the colonies to rebel, and finally to be deter- 
mined to be free and independent." 

"And that drove them into the war of 1812, 
too," said Lulu, " Oh, the States, I mean ; they 
were not colonies then, though the British did 
not seem to have found it out." 

"It was a plucky little nation to declare war 
with England," again remarked Albert good 
humoredly. " I don't know how they ever got 
up courage to pit their twenty vessels against 
her tliousand," 

" Love of libertj^, and self-respect, and abhor- 
rence of insult and tyranny nerved them to it," 



210 ELSIE ASD THE RAYMONDS. 

said Max. " Do you remember that affair of 
the Chesapeake and Leopard ? " 

" Xot at all ; if I ever heard of it, it must 
have made but little impression on mv mind." 

"Well, I suppose it would naturally make a 
deeper one on an American boy's," said Max. 

"It happened in 1807, when we were at peace 
"with England, and it seems to me the most in- 
sulting thing ever heard of. 

" The Chesapeake, an American man-of-war 
lying at the navy-yard at Washington, was put 
in commission and ordered to the Mediterranean 
to relieve the Constitution. 

" It took nearly a month to get her ready, 
and while that was being attended to the British 
minister informed our naval authorities that 
three deserters from His British Majesty's ship 
■'Melampus' had joined the crew of the Chesa- 
peake, and asked to have them given up. 

" Our government was willing to do it, but 
on inquiring into the matter found that the men 
were really native-born Americans who had been 
impressed by the British and forced into their 
Beryice. They were able to prove it. So, of 
course, they weren't given up. 

"The facts were slated to the British minister, 
and as he didn't protest any further, it was sup- 
posed he was satisfied. 

" A few weeks after this the Chesapeake left 
the navy-yard and dropped down the river to 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 211 

Hampton Roads. There she stayed for some 
days, taking on guns and stores and adding to 
her crew till she had three hundred and seventy- 
five men ; then she weighed anchor and started 
on her voyage. 

"But she started before she was in really 
proper condition. A quantity of things, such as 
stores, ropes, lumber, trunks, and furniture, were 
piled on the decks, instead of being stowed away 
in their proper places. Somebody was to blame 
for that, of course, though papa says it was not 
Commodore Barron, who was in command, and 
nobody could have dreamed of the mischief the 
confusion was to cause, remembering that it 
w^as in a time of peace, and right on our own 
coast. 

" But there were four English men-of-war 
lying quietly at anchor in Lynn Haven Bay, and 
as our ship passed out into the ocean there 
was a stir on their decks ; then one of them 
weighed anchor, set her sails, and started in 
pursuit. The Chesapeake had to tack fre- 
quently, on account of a stiff breeze that was 
blowing, and the American officers noticed that 
the Leopard — the British ship — did the same, 
and kept right in their wake ; but it never oc- 
curred to them that she had any but peaceful 
intentions. The ship kept on her course, and 
the sailors set busily to work putting the decks 
in order. 



212 ELSIE A^D THE EAYM0ND8. 

*' Presently the Leopard bore down rapidly^ 
and when she got near enough, hailed, saying 
that she had a dispatch for Commodore Barron. 
So the Chesapeake hove to and waited for a 
boat to be sent. Now the two ships were lying 
broadside to broadside, less than a pistol-shot 
apart. Still the commodore did not suspect any 
mischief. Some of the younger officers noticed 
that the Leopard had her cannon all ready to 
fire, and they ought to have told the commo- 
dore ; but they didn't. 

" Soon a boat put off from the Leopard, bring- 
ing an English officer. One of the American 
officers received him and took him to the com- 
modore's cabin. There he produced an order 
from the British Admiral Berkeley, command- 
ing all British ships to watch for the Chesa- 
peake and search her for deserters. 

"Commodore Barron said he didn't harbor 
deserters, and couldn't permit his crew to be 
mustered by an officer of any foreign power. 
Just then there was a signal from the Leopard 
recalling her officer. Then Commodore Barron 
came out of his cabin, and was much surprised ta 
see that the Leopard was quite in fighting trim." 

Sand}^ McAlpine had drawn near the little 
group, and was listening with profound interest 
to Max's story. " And did they have a fight 
between the two ships ? " he burst out, as Max 
made a momentary pause in Kis narrative. 



ELSIE AND THE BAYM0ND8. 213 

" A fight ! " echoed Max. " No ; there was 
a disgraceful, insulting attack by the Leopard, 
which the Americans had not power to respond 
to, because, though their guns were loaded and 
they ready to use them with a will, no matches, 
powder-flasks, wads, rammers or gun-locks 
could be found. 

" While they were hunting for them, there 
was a hail from the Leopard. Commodore Bar- 
ron shouted back that he did not understand. 
They hailed again : 

" ' Commodore Barron must be aware that 
the orders of the vice-admiral must be obeyed.' 

" The commodore again answered that he 
didn't understand, and after another hail or two 
the British fired a gun at the Chesapeake, then 
poured in a full broadside. The heavy shot 
crashed through the sides of the American ship, 
wounding a number of men." 

" And they could'nt fire back ? " queried 
Sandy. 

" For want of matches and the other neces- 
sary things that were not to be found, they had 
to let their guns keep silence, though they were 
filled with fury that they had no chance at all 
to defend themselves and show their insolent 
foe how American blue-jackets can fight. They 
heated pokers red-hot in the galley fire, but 
they cooled too much before they could get 
them to the guns. 



214 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" So for eighteen minutes the Leopard kept 
on firing at a helpless, unresisting foe. Then 
the Chesapeake's flag was hauled down, two 
British lieutenants and some midshipmen came 
in a boat from the Leopard, boarded the Chesa- 
peake, and again demanded the deserters. 

" Of course, there was no choice but to give 
them up. Four sailors were seized and carried 
aboard the Leopard in triumph. One of them 
they hung, one died before he could escape, but 
five years later the other two got back to the 
Chesapeake." 

" Max, you are forgetting that one shot was 
fired from the Chesapeake ? " said Lulu. 

"Yes, you tell about it." 

" There was a Lieutenant Allen among the 
officers of the Chesapeake, who cried out in his 
anger, * I'll have one shot at those rascals, any- 
how,' ran to the galley fire, picked up a live 
coal in his fingers, and, never caring for the 
pain, ran with it to one of the guns and fired it 
off just as the flag came fluttering down." 

" He was a brave fellow," commented Sandy. 
*^ Well, I s'pose the British didn't fire any more 
after they got what they wanted. But hadn't 
their shot made some big holes in the Chesa- 
peake ? " 

" I presume so," replied Lulu. " Anyhow, 
she turned and went back. 

** Everybody in the whole country was f uri« 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 216 

©us on hearing the news — which I don't blame 
them for, Pm sure ; but it was a great shame 
that the government punished Commodore Bar- 
ron, by suspending him from the service, with- 
out pay, for five years. Papa says it was very 
unjust, for it wasn't his fault that things were 
not in order on the vessel, but the fault of the 
fitting-out ofiicers. And I feel perfectly cer- 
tain that the commodore and everybody else 
on the Chesapeake would have fought bravely 
if they'd had half a chance, and whipped the 
insolent Briti h well. Oh, I do wish they had 
had a chance ! " 

" Well, never mind," said Max. " We whipped 
them well in the war that followed a few years 
later." 

" Now, if I remember nght, the Americans 
didn't always whip in that war either on land 
or on water," said Albert. 

" No, not always," acknowledged Max, " but 
a good many times ; and the war accomplished 
what we went into it for : putting a stop to their 
insolent claim to a right to search our vessels, 
and their impressment of our seamen." 

"Was that mentioned and given up in the 
treaty of peace ? " 

" No," acknowledged Max, " but they haven't 
tried it since, and they'd better not, as I guess 
they know." 

" Perhaps you mightn't have fared so well if 



216 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

we hadn't had another war on our hands at the 
same time," retorted Albert. 

But just here the talk was interrupted by 
Captain Raymond and Mr. Austin joining them, 
the former coming from his interview with Mrs. 
McAlpine in the sitting-room, the latter enter- 
ing from the street. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

" Can't we go to our own rooms now, papa ?" 
asked Lulu, when their English friends had bid- 
den good-night and gone. 

"Yes," he said, taking her hand and leading 
the way. Max following not at all unwillingly. 

"I suppose you want to finish your letter now, 
Lulu ? " the captain said, as they entered his 
bedroom, which they made their sitting-room 
also when desirous of being quite to themselves. 

"No, sir, I don't. I'd rather let it wait till 
Monday, if I may sit on j^our knee a little while 
and have you talk to me." 

" Have me talk to you ? or let you talk to 
me ? " he asked with playful look and tone, as 
he sat down and drew her to the coveted place. 

" Both, you dear papa," she answered, put- 
ting her arms around his neck and giving him 
an ardent kiss. 

" And am I to do nothing but listen ? " asked 
Max, pulling forward a chair and seating him- 
self close beside them. 

" Just as you please, young man," laughed his 
father ; " but I doubt if you can refrain from 
putting in a word now and then.'* 
217 



218 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" He's been talking ever so fast almost all the 
evening," said Lulu; "only letting me have a 
word now and then." 

" Ah, indeed ! I hope it has been good- 
humored and sensible talk ? " 

" Very sensible (I was quite proud of my 
brother ) " replied Lulu, giving Max a laughing 
glance, " but I'm not so sure about the good^. 
humor. I shouldn't wonder if Albert Austin 
had made up his mind by this time that Max 
and I are not very partial to the English." 

"I hope you haven't been rude to Albert, my 
children ? " the captain said, with sudden 
gravity. 

" I hope not, papa ; I don't think we were, 
thoiigli we stated a few historical facts — per- 
haps a little strongly," replied Lulu. 

" What were they ? " he asked, " you may tell 
me about it if you like." 

They then repeated the substance of their 
conversation with Albert, their father listening 
with evident interest. 

At the conclusion of the story, he said, " I 
think from your account that Albert showed 
much good temper and moderation in the way 
he bore your strictures on his country and 
countrymen. You can not be too patriotic to 
please me, my dears, but I want you to be care- 
ful of the feelings of others, never wounding 
them unnecessarily. Albert and his father may 



ELaiE AND THE RAYMOND 8. 21» 

be considered, to some extent, our guests, as 
strangers visiting our country, so that we should 
be doubly careful to be kind and considerate 
toward them.'' 

" I'll try to keep that in mind, papa," said 
Max, " standing up for my own country always 
but not abusing his — when I can help it. Just 
as we were separating to-night he said to me in 
a low tone, * We must have some more talks on 
the subject we were on to-night. I haven't any 
books at hand to consult, but I must inform 
myself by questioning papa, and then I'll 
be better prepared to stand up for old Eng- 
land."' 

" Did he look cross when he said it ? " asked 
Lulu. 

"No," replied Max; "he's quite a gentleman, 
I think." 

" As his father is," remarked the captain, 
" * Like father, like son,' is an old saying, so re- 
member, my children, that people will judge of 
me by your behavior." 

" Yes, sir," said Max, " I think I shall be the 
more careful to behave well on that account." 

" I too," chimed in Lulu. " It would be a 
dreadful thing if we should disgrace our father. 
Wouldn't it, Max ? " 

" Yes, indeed ! " exclaimed the lad earnestly. 
*'I have often felt, oh, so thankful that I had a 
father I could respect and reverence and honor; 



^20 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

for I've known boys whose fathers were drunken, 
wicked, men, that they couldn't help being 
■ashamed of." 

" Give all the glory and thanks to God, who 
has kept your father from drunkenness and crime, 
my boy," the captain said, laying his hand af- 
fectionately on his son's shoulder, and giving 
him a look full of fatherly affection. " But for 
His restraining grace I might have been the 
worst of criminals." 

Then taking up the Bible and opening it, 
*' Now, we will have our reading and prayer," 
he said, " and then go to our beds." 

" I just know Gracie is longing for this, if 
she's awake," said Lulu, as her father took her 
in his arms, after prayers, to give her a good- 
night kiss. 

" I trust she is asleep ere this, the dear pet ! " 
he replied. "I seem to see the dear little face 
lying on my pillow with the sweet blue eyes 
closed in sleep and almost a smile on her lips ; 
the babies asleep in the nursery, with the door 
open between, and Mamma Vi seated some- 
where near, writing a letter to her absent hus- 
band. Ah, I should be homesick to-night if I 
hadn't these two of my loved flock with me." 

" And I'd be dreadfully homesick if I wasn't 
with my dear father," she responded, clinging 
lovingly to him. " You are a good deal more 
than iialf of home to me, papa ; and, oh. 



ELSIE AND THE MAYMONDS. 22 L 

but you were good and kind to bring me with 
you ! " 

" And me, too," added Max. " Papa, I am 
sure this trip to the far West will be something 
to remember all my life." 

" I hope so, my boy," his father said. " It has 
been my desire to make it so enjoyable to you 
both that it will be to you a pleasant memory 
all your days. 

" To-morrow we will attend morning and 
evening service at the mission church — Sunday 
school also — and in the afternoon have our 
usual home exercises, going on with our regular 
Bible and catechism lessons exactly as if we 
were at Woodburn. 

" On Monday I expect to take you to see the 
cattle ranch Mr. Short pointed out in the dis- 
tance, this afternoon." 

Both thanked him, expressing themselves 
pleased with the plans he had mapped out for 
the two days. 

*^ Papa, shall I dress for church when I get up 
in the morning ? " asked Lulu. 

*' Yes," he answered. " Wear one of your 
plainer dresses. I think we should not dishonor 
God's house by being shabby or slovenly in our 
attire, nor should we dress in a way to attract 
attention and divert the thoughts of others from 
the service." 

" Yes, sir, I know that's what you have told 



222 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

me at home, and that you never let me wear my 
gayest things to church. And I suppose it 
would make even more difference here, where 
most of the congregation must be quite poor 
and ignorant?" 

*' I think so," he said ; " and also that you 
will be less likely to be taken up with thoughts 
of yourself and your own appearance if you are 
not gayly dressed." 

Captain Raymond's arrangements for spend- 
ing the holy hours of the Lord's Day were duly 
carried out. The hour for morning service in 
the church he had provided for Minersville, 
found him and his son and daughter seated 
among the worshippers. The Austins were there 
also ; and it was the same again in the evening. 

They all visited the Sunday school, too, and 
took part in its exercises. The two gentlemen 
had not been acquainted many hours before dis- 
covering that they were followers of the same 
Saviour, and each felt it to be a closer bond of 
'Union than would have been that of the same 
nativity without it. 

The Austins joined the Raymonds by invita- 
tion, in Monday's excursion, and indeed in 
almost every other one taken while they all re- 
mained in Minersville, which was for several 
weeks. 

Captain Raymond took his children with him 
almost everywhere that he went ; to Lulu's 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 223 

extreme satisfaction her days were spent prin- 
cipally in walks and rides, the latter becoming 
more enjoyable as she made better acquaintance 
with her pony and grew confident of her ability^ 
to guide and control it. Her father, however,) 
always rode by her side, and kept constant 
watch over her safety. 

Their evenings Avere apt to be spent on the 
porch, as the weather was such as to make 
that the most enjoyable spot at that time. 
Often one or more of the McAlpine family 
would be there — perhaps at the farther end of 
the porch, so as not to seem to intrude upon the 
Raymonds and their guests, for Mr. Austin and 
Albert were apt to be with them ; Mr. Short,, 
too, not unfrequently. 

But occasionally the young people were there- 
without their elders, the captain, perhaps, busied 
with some writing in his own room. 

The lads, Albert and Max, were very good 
friends, in spite of an occasional tilt over the 
respective claims of the two countries to pre- 
eminence in one thing or another, usually in re- 
gard to the bravery and competence of her 
soldiers and sailors. 

One evening Albert began lauding Nelson as 
the greatest naval hero the world had ever seen, 
winding up his eulogy with a challenge to Max 
to mention any one to compare to him in sea* 
manship, fighting qualities, or bravery. 



224 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

" Well, I don't know of any other English- 
man to compare to him," replied Max coolly, 
** but weVe had a number of officers in our navy 
that I think were quite equal to him." 

" Which, pray ? " sneered Albert. 

" There was Commodore McDonough, who 
whipped the British in the battle of Lake Cham- 
plain. It was so terrible a fight that one of the 
British sailors engaged in it, and who had been 
with Nelson at Trafalgar, said that battle was a 
mere flea-bite in comparison." 

" But in the action at Trafalgar Lord Nelson 
defeated the combined navies of France and 
Spain." 

"Yes, the British whipped them, and the 
Americans whipped the British," said Max. 
^* You ought to think it a greater feat to whip 
the British than to conquer in fight with French- 
men and Spaniards," he added laughingly. 

" But the odds against Nelson were very much 
greater. Our force in the battle of Lake Cham- 
plain was only slightly superior." 

" I am not so sure about that," replied Max, 
*' I know at least one historian says it was 
decidedly superior. But McDonough was a 
Christian, and before going into the fight he 
called his officers about him, and kneeling on the 
quarter deck, asked help of God in the coming 
battle." 

*'Then, if his prayer was granted, he had 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 22^ 

better help than all the navies of the world 
could have given him." 

" That's so," said Max. " And he gave the 
glory of the victory where it belonged ; in his^ 
dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy he said 
God had granted it. 

" He was gallant and generous as a conqueror; 
when the British officers tendered him their 
swords after the surrender, he put them back, 
saying, * Gentlemen, your gallant conduct makes 
you worthy to wear jouv weapons. Return 
them to their scabbards.' 

" Commodore Perry was another of our naval 
heroes. He won the victory in the battle of 
Lake Erie in the war of 1812, and wrote that 
famous dispatch, * We have met the enemy, and 
they are ours, two ships, two brigs, one schooner, 
and one sloop.' 

"Then there were the great naval com- 
manders of our civil war," Max went on. " I 
don't believe a greater one than Farragut ever 
lived, or as great a one, unless it might be Por- 
ter, who had a large share in the taking of New 
Orleans ; helping ever so much with his mortar 
boats. 

" Why, the undertaking was so difficult, that 
a number of English and French naval officers- 
who visited Farragut while he was in the lower 
Mississippi completing his preparations for pas- 
sing on up to take the city, told him they had 



226 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

carefully examined the defences of the Confed- 
erates, and that it would be sheer madness for 
him to attack the forts with wooden ships such 
as his ; he'd be sure to be defeated. 

"But he was not to be discouraged — the brave _ 
old man ! He said, * You may be right, but I was 
sent here to make the attempt. I came here to 
reduce or pass the forts, and to take New Orleans, 
-and I shall try it on.' And so he did try it on, 
^nd succeeded." 

"I admire such grit," said Albert. "I've 
xead quite a good deal about that war — a tre- 
mendous one it was — and I think there were 
some very plucky things done on both sides." 

" Yes," returned Max ; " I'm proud of the 
bravery shown by both the * Yanks ' and the 
* Johnnies,' as they called each other." 

Here Lulu, who had thus far contented her- 
self with listening, put in a word : 

" I don't believe there ever was or could be a 
braver or more wonderful feat than Lieutenant 
Cushing performed when he blew up the rebel 
ram Albemarle. He dashed up along side of 
it, in his little vessel, through a perfect shower 
of bullets, then, finding that the ram was behind 
a wall of logs, he sheered off and dashed over 
that, he standing up in the stern of his boat, 
with the tiller ropes in one hand and the lanyard 
of a torpedo in the other, never flinching, though 
« big gun was trained right on him ; but he got 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 227 

bis torpedo just where he wanted it under the 
ram, gave his lanyard a jerk, and fired the thing 
off, so that it blew up the ram at the same in- 
stant that their great gun sent a hundred pound 
shot riglit through the bottom of his boat. Oh, 
such a roar as the two — the torpedo and the 
gun — must have made, going off together in 
that way ! " 

" It was a wonderfully brave deed ! " ex- 
claimed Albert with enthusiasm. " Did Gush- 
ing himself, or any of his crew, escape alive ? I 
have forgotten, if ever I knew about it." 

" Yes," replied Lulu ; " he escaped to the 
Union fleet, after almost incredible hardships 
and dangers, the only one of thirteen who had 
set out on the expedition two days before." 

" And tlie ram was destroyed ?" 

" YcM, she was a total wreck. Gushing 
wasn't suie of it till, while he was lying in hid- 
ing in a swamp and half covered with water, 
two Gonfederate officers passing along near him, 
said to eacli other that the Albemarle was a 
total wreck. 

" They didn't see him, but he heard what they 
said, and it was such good news that it gave 
him fresh courage to bear his sufferings and 
exert himself to get back to the Federal fleet." 

" Your father was on the Union side, I sup- 
pose?" Albert said inquiringly. 

" Yes, indeed ! " replied Max and Lulu, both 



228 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

speaking at once ; then Max went on, " but he 
was only a boy, younger than I am now, when 
the war began." 

" And what was it all about ? " asked Al- 
bert. " I'm not sure I ever clearly understood 
that?" 

" The Confederates were trying to break up 
the Union, and the Federals fought to save it," 
replied Max. " Papa has made it very clear to= 
me that the Revolutionary War was fought to 
win freedom from Great Britain's galling yoke^ 
and make ourselves a nation ; the War of 1812 
to convince the British that we were free and 
independent, and not to be maltreated with im- 
punity. Those two wars did that for us ; — 
made the dear old Union ; and the Civil War 
saved it from being destroyed by those who 
ought to have been ready to defend and preserve 
it at the risk of their lives. I do believe they 
would now," he added ; " or rather the new 
generation, who have taken their places, would. 
I believe, if England or France or any other 
nation should attack us, the people of the South- 
ern states would fight for the Union quite as 
bravely and with as much fury and determina- 
tion as any men of any other part of our great 
big country." 

"Is that so?" said Albert. " Well, I trust 
there will be no more wars between England 
and the United States." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 220 

** I am sure I can eclio that wish," returned 
Max. "It seems a dreadful thing for two 
Christian nations to go to war with each other." 

" Very true," said Albert ; " it would cer- 
tainly look strangely inconsistent to the hea- 
then peoples we are both trying to convert." 

" It couldn't fail to do so," assented Max. 
**■ War is a dreadful thing ; reading descriptions 
of the awful scenes of bloodshed and carnage 
on board of vessels, and in land battles, too, I've 
sometimes thought Satan must take great and 
fiendish delight in it." 

" Yes," said Lulu, again joining in the talk ; 
■** I've heard papa make a remark^like that, but he 
eaid at the same time that there were worse 
things than war, when it was waged to secure 
liberty, not only for ourselves, but for others ; 
that war could never be right on both sides, but 
it often was on one. On the side of America in 
her two wars with England, for instance." 

" My father surprised me by saying the same 
thing when I questioned him on the subject 
after that talk we had about it before," said 
Albert. " He added that, of course, England 
being his native land, he loved her better than 
any other, and always should, but for all that 
he couldn't shut his eyes to the fact that she had 
not always been in the right. 

"The colonies were oppressed, and had a 
right to be free if they desired separation fron) 



230 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

tbe cAOther country ; and that after they had 
been acknowledged free and independent states^ 
they were no more under English rule than any 
other foreign nation, and as, according to inter- 
national law, the public and private vessels of 
every nation are subject, on the high seas, to 
the jurisdiction of the State they belong to, and 
to no other, and no nation has the right of visi- 
tation and search of the vessels of another na- 
tion, Americans were justly indignant over the 
insistance upon, and the carrying out, of the so- 
called right of search by British men-of-war ; 
especially, as native-born Americans had no 
security against being impressed as Englishmen, 
and indeed very often were. It must have been 
awfully hard on them, I'm sure." 

" Yes," returned Max, " and your father must 
be an honorable and just man to acknowledge 
it." 

" Just my opinion," Albert said, with a frank, 
good-humored smile; "but if it's noble to ac- 
knowledge one's own individual faults, why not 
to own that your country may have sometimes 
been in the wrong ? " 

" Certainly," said Max, " and I've heard papa 
say he thought we were the aggressors in the 
war with Mexico, and that our government had 
done grievous wrong to the poor Indians." 

" It's very true that a good many Americans 
were impressed," remarked Lulu ; " thousands 



ELSIE AND TEE BAYMONDS. 231 

%i them ; even while we were fighting France 
and so helping England, she kept on impressing 
our sailors and seizing our ships whenever she 
could find the smallest excuse for doing so ; 
they didn't respect even the ships belonging to 
our government when they — the British, I 
mean — were enough stronger to put resistance 
out of the question on the part of the Amer- 
icans. 

" And they even impressed three of our sail- 
ors after the War of 1812 had begun. I read 
about it not long ago, and remember very well 
how shamefully they were treated. 

" They refused to serve against their country, 
and for that w^ere punished with five dozem 
lashes, well laid on. Still they refused, and two 
days later got four dozen more, and two days 
after that two dozen more. 

"But all the beating the British could give 
them wouldn't make them fight against their 
country ; so they put them in irons for three 
months, till the ship reached London. 

*' There they heard of the glorious victory of 
the Constitution over the Guerriere and were so 
rejoiced that they made a flag by tearing up 
some of their clothes into strips and sewing 
them together, then hung it on a gun and 
cheered for the Stars and Stripes. Of course, 
they got another flogging for that. 

*' But there were twenty thousand American 



232 ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS, 

seamen in the British navy, five times as many 
as we had in our own navy, and quite too many 
to beat into subjection, so they imprisoned 
thousands of them in old hulks, where they 
froze in winter and sweltered in summer and 
suffocated all the time — so crowded together 
they were hardly able to get a breath of fresh 
air ; eaten up by vermin also, and only half -fed ; 
on very poor food, too. 

"Of course they grew sick, and altogether 
had a dreadful, dreadful life ; all because they 
wouldn't fight against their country.*' 

" It was awfully hard on them," admitted Al- 
bert, "but please. Miss Lulu, don't hold English- 
men of the present day responsible for what 
was done so many years ago." 

" I'll try not to," she said with a smile ; " cer- 
tainly I shall not hold you responsible, for I feel 
quite sure you would never be so unjust and 
cruel." 

" Thanks," he returned with a gratified look^ 
and she went on. 

" I know there were Englishmen, even in that 
day, who wouldn't have had one poor sailor so 
treated if they could have helped it. Captain 
Dacres, of the Guerriere, for one. 

" He had an American captain prisoner on his 
vessel at the time of his battle with the Consti- 
tution, and before the fight began politely told 
him, as he supposed he didn't want to fight 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS, 233 

against his country, he might go below, if be 
chose ; and he gave the same privilege to tea 
American sailors who had been impressed on to 
bis ship." 

" Yes," said Max, " He was a fine fellow ; and 
if all his countrymen had been like him, I don*t 
believe there would have been any war between 
England and America." 

" I admire his conduct," Albert said, " and 
bope I should have ac^^ed as he did, had I been 
in his place." 

" I dare say you would," said Max. 



CHAPTER XV. 

" Papa," said Max, on finding himself alone 
with his father and sister that evening, " we'll 
spend the Fourth here, wont we ? " 

" Probably, my son," was the reply. " I do 
not now expect to leave Minersville before the 
middle or perhaps the last of July. But why 
do you ask ? " 

" I was thinking whether we mightn't get up 
Bome sort of a celebration," said Max. 

" Oh, yes, do let us, papa I " cried Lulu. " It 
would be such fun." 

" Would it ? " he said, smiling at her eager- 
ness. " I should think that would depend on 
how we celebrate. What would you two like 
to do to show your patriotism on the nation's 
birthday ? " 

" We shall want your help in deciding what 
might be done," papa," said Max. 

" We might treat the mission school, couldn't 
we, papa ? " asked Lulu. 

" I like that idea," he answered, " but we must 
consider what sort of treat it shall be." 

'' Good things to eat, such as they do not get 
every day — nuts, candies, raisins, oranges, fige^ 
284 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 235 

cakes, anything nice that we can get. Could we 
send away somewhere for such things, papa ? 
I'm afraid they are not to be had in the stores 
here ; at least not many of them." 

" I think I can order by telegraph and have 
them brought in season by express on the rail- 
road," he answered. " We have about a week in. 
which to make our arrangements." 

" Oh, good ! then you'll do it, wont you^ 
papa?" 

" I think so," he said, in an indulgent tone. 

" And let's distribute some small flags among 
the children," said Max. " And have fireworks 
in the evening." 

" Oh, yes, yes ! " exclaimed Lulu, clapping her 
hands and jumping up and down in delight. 
" Mayn't we, papa ? " 

" I think we will," he said ; " but before we 
quite decide the question we will talk the matter 
over with Mr. Short. He knows the tastes of 
the people here much better than we do, and 
may have some good suggestions to make." 

" Perhaps the minister and the teacher might 
give some good suggestions, too," Max said. 

" Very likely," replied his father. " We will 
consult them also." 

The proposed consultations were held early 
the next morning, and the necessary orders dis- 
patched to the nearest points where they could 
be filled. 



23G ELSIE AND TEE BATM0ND8. 

Max and Lulu were very full of the subject, 
and talked of it at the table not a little, exciting 
a good deal of interest and curiosity in the mind 
,of Marian, as she overheard a remark now and 
again while attending to their wants. 

There was a fine natural grove of forest trees 
on the outskirts of the village, and there it had 
been decided the town's people were to be in- 
vited to assemble on the morning of the Fourth 
to listen to an oration by the foremost lawyer 
oi the place, and the reading of the Declaration 
-of Independence by Captain Raymond ; also to 
join in the singing of patriotic songs. 

The children of the mission-school would be 
taken to the grove in a body, marching in pro- 
gression, carrying flags and banners. After the 
exercises were over they would be marched back 
to the schoolroom and treated to cakes, candies, 
fruits and ices. 

There were to be fire-works in the evening, 
set off in front of Mrs. McAlpine's boarding- 
house, which, cornering on two very wide 
streets, was quite a good place for the display. 

" Mr. Short seemed really pleased with the 
idea of having a celebration, didn't he, papa ? " 
Lulu said, at the dinner table. 

" I thought so," returned her father. " And 
it was fortunate that he knew some one capable 
of delivering an oration on the subject at so 
ehort notice, and that arrangements could be 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 23T 

made in season for a little advertisement of oup 
plans for the Fourth, in this week's issue of the 
county paper." 

"I daresay it will be the first oelebratioa 
of the Fourth of July ever seen by Albert or 
his father," remarked Max. " I ho^^e every 
thing will go off nicely, so that they may \>& 
favorably impressed." 

On leaving the table Lulu seated herself in- 
the porch with a book. She was still sitting 
there alone when Marian came out with her hat 
on and a basket in her hand. 

" Do you feel inclined for a walk, Miss Lulu T"^ 
she asked. " I am going down town on an 
errand for mother, and should be delighted to 
have your company if you would like to go." 

" Yes, I should," returned Lulu. " Til go if 
I can get permission. Papa is in his room 
writing letters ; can you wait a minute while I 
run and ask him ? " 

" Oh, yes, indeed ; two minutes, if you wish,'** 
replied Marian sportively, and Lulu hurried into- 
the house. 

She was back again almost immediately, with 
hat, gloves and parasol. 

" Papa says I may go with you to do your 
errand, but must come directly home again.'* 

"I didn't suppose you would have to ask per- 
mission just to go down town with me," re* 
J^iaj^'iad Marian, in surprise, as they walked o» 



238 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

together; " your father seems to pet you so that 
I had an idea you could do exactly as you 
pleased." 

" Oh, DO, indeed ! " Lulu answered, with a 
contented little laugh. " Papa pets and indul- 
ges us all, but still he is very strict about some 
things. I must never go anywhere without 
asking leave ; not outside of the grounds, by 
myself, when I'm at home." 

"I suppose that is because he's afraid some- 
thing might harm you ? something or some- 
body ? " Marian said, interrogatively. 

" Yes, I know that's his reason, and it's be- 
cause he loves me so dearly. If it wasn't for 
that I'd be very rebellious sometimes, I'm afraid; 
for I'm naturally very wilful, always wanting to 
have my own way." 

"Yes; but one would bear almost any thing 
for the sake of being loved so," Marian said 
with an involuntary sigh ; then suddenly 
changed the subject. 

"Miss Lulu, wont you tell me about the 
celebration you were talking of at breakfast 
and dinner to-day ! I mean particularly why 
Americans should make so much of that 
day ? I'm afraid you must think I ought 
to be ashamed of my ignorance, and I suppose I 
ought ; but you must remember that I've lived 
in America only a few years, and have not 
mingled much with native-born citizens. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 239 

** It was a Mormon missionary that persuaded 
father and mother to come over, and most of 
the people I've known about here have been 
Mormons from foreign lands, and they are all 
taught by the Mormon leaders to believe that 
the United States Government is the worst and 
most tyrannical in the world, and to hate it 
accordingly. 

" So, of course, they haven't made anything- 
of celebrating the Fourth of July. I do know 
enough to be aware that it's the patriotic people 
who do that." 

" We keep it because it's the nation's birth- 
day," said Lulu ; " and we've good reason to ba 
glad, and thankful to God, that our nation was 
born ; for instead of our government being the- 
worst and most tyrannical, it is the very best 
and freest in the world." 

" The nation's birthday ? How do you mean ? 
I don't quite understand." 

"It was the day of the signing of the Declar- 
ation of Independence. The Continental Con- 
gress signed it. 

" You see, when the colonies began the strug- 
gle with England that we call the Revolution- 
ary War, they had not thought of separating 
from her (they loved her, and called her the' 
mother country), but as the fight went on the 
breach grew wider and wider, till, after a while^ 
the people began to see that it could neve^ 



240 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

be healed ; and that the only thing to do, if 
they would be anything better than slaves to 
Great Britain, was to become a separate na- 
tion ; declare themselves free and independent, 
and fight the British till they forced them to 
go back where they belonged and let us alone. 

*' Of course the declaration had to be made 
and signed by the leaders of the people, and 
that made us a new nation — one by ourselves — 
and so we call it the nation's birthday ; although 
most of the fighting to carry it out, and make 
the British and other nations own that we were 
really what we called ourselves, had to be done 
afterwards. 

" It's quite a nice story about the signing, 
and if you like I'll tell it to you some time. To- 
morrow, papa and Mr. Austin and Max and 
Albert are all going with a hunting party, and 
I shall be at home alone ; that will give me a 
good opportunity to tell the story, if you can 
find time to sit with me for awhile." 

" Thank you. Miss Lulu," said Marian ; " I 
shall certainly try to find the time, and will be 
very glad to hear the story." 

Here the conversation came to an end, as 
they were just on the threshold of the store to 
which Marian's errand led her. 

While she attended to that, Lulu, glancing 
curiously about, spied a box of narrow ribbons 
of various colors, asked to be allowed to look at 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 24t 

them, inquired the price, and selecting a red, a 
white, and a blue piece, said, " You may please 
wrap these up for me," and taking out her purse,, 
paid for them. 

She noticed that Marian watched the proceed- 
ing with some little surprise and curiosity,, 
though she asked no question and made na 
remark. 

"I suppose you are wondering what I bought 
these ribbons for ? " Lulu said, as they left the 
store. 

" Yes," replied Marian, " but still more that 
you should buy them without asking permission, 
when you couldn't even walk down the street 
with me till you had asked your father if you 
might." 

" Oh, that was quite a different thing : " said 
Lulu. " Papa allows me to spend my pocket 
money as I please, — at least, within certain 
bounds. He wouldn't let me buy whiskey or 
tobacco or dime novels, of course," she added, 
with a laugh. 

"I should think not, indeed," said Marian^ 
joining in the laugh ; " yet I dare say he w^ould 
be as likely to let you, as you to wish to da 
so." 

" Yes ; I can't say that I have any inclina-^ 
tion to spend my money so, even to prove my 
independence ; though, now I come to think of 
it, I'm pretty sure I would be allowed to bu^ 



242 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

tobacco if it was as a present to some of our old 
colored people who are very fond of it." 

*' It must be fine to have money of your own 
to do as you will with," remarked Marian, " I 
never was so fortunate, but I hope to earn for 
myself some day. Poor mother has always had 
a struggling time," she went on, " and I could 
never have the heart to take pocket money from 
her, if she offered it, but the folk about town 
say your father is very, ver}^ rich. Miss Lulu." 

" Just say Lulu, Marian ; you needn't call 
me Miss," Lulu said. " I suj^pose it is true that 
papa is rich, but he never says so, and always 
tells us he is only the Lord's steward, bound to 
use the money entrusted to him for the up- 
building of Christ's cause and kingdom, and 
that no one — no matter how rich — has any right 
to be wasteful, extravagant, or idle. And he 
says that not only money, but time and ability 
to do anything useful, are talents entrusted to 
us to be used and increased — the money and 
talents, I mean, are to be increased — that at 
last the Lord may say to us each, * Well done, 
good and faithful servant, enter thou into the 
joy of thy Lord.' " 

*' I think your father must be a very good, 
Christian man," was Marian's answering re- 
mark. 

" Lideed he is ! " returned Lulu emphatic- 
ally, "he's always a Christian, always loving 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 243 

Jesus, and trying his very best to please and 
honor him by doing exactly as the Bible says." 

The captain had finished his correspondence 
and gone out to mail his letters, and as Max, 
too, was out, Lulu found no one in their rooms 
when she went back to them on her return from 
her walk with Marian. 

But on the table beside which her father had 
been sitting lay a pile of clothes fresh from the 
iron ; just brought in from the wash. 

" There," thought Lulu to herself, " if Mam- 
ma Vi were here she would soon take papa's 
clothes from that pile and see if there were any 
buttons to sew on or stockings to darn ; and if 
there were she'd sit right down and attend to 
it. She lets Christine or Alma attend to Max's 
clothes, but unless she is sick, no one but her- 
self must do papa's, because, as she says, it is a 
great pleasure to her to care for her husband's 
comfort. 

" I always love to do things for papa, too, 
and I like to be kind and helpful to Max, for 
he's a dear, kind brother to me. And of course 
my own mending belongs to me ; so I'll just sit 
down to this pile of clothes and put them all in 
order." 

She hastened to put away her hat and gloves 
and get out her work-basket, which was thor- 
oughly furnished with all the needed articles 
and implements, and when her father came in 



244 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

he found her seated in a low chair between 
table and window, busily plying her needle. 

" My little busy bee," he said, regarding her 
with a pleased smile, then bending down, kissed 
her foreliead. 

She laughed and held up her rosy lips in mute 
invitation. He kissed them, too, then laying 
his hand tenderly on her head, said, " My little 
girl looks quite matronly. Are you playing at 
being Mamma Vi ? " 

" Yes, sir, I am like her in at least one thing.'* 

" What is that ? " 

" In feeling it a pleasure to do anything for 
you, sir. Papa, I thought it was just dreadful 
when you wouldn't let me wait on you for four 
whole days, because I'd been disobedient and 
rebellious." 

" Yes, I know you did ; and it was hard for 
me, too ; hard to do without my dear little 
daughter's loving services." 

"But you denied yourself for my sake — to 
make me good, because you know no one can be 
happy who is not good — you dear papa ! " she 
said, with a grateful loving look up into his face. 

" Yes, my darling, that was exactly it," he 
said, repeating his caresses, " and it makes me 
very happy that of late I have rarely needed to 
punish, or even reprove you. It is so much 
pleasanter to commend and reward my children- 
than to punish them." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 24S 

He had drawn up a chair and seated himself 
by her side. " I did better for myself than I 
was aware of in bringing my eldest daughter 
al)i)g," he remarked. " I had no thought of 
snaking use of you to keep my clothes and 
Max's in order." 

" But you are pleased to have me do it, 
papa ? " 

"lam." 

"Papa, I bought something when I was at 
the store with Marian. See ! " opening a brown 
paper parcel, which she took from the table be- 
side her, and displaying the ribbons. 

" Ah ! what use do you expect to make of 
your purchases ? " he asked. 

" Badges for the school children. They are 
the national colors, j'^ou see, papa." 

*' Yes ; it is a good idea, and I presume the 
children will be much pleased. When do you 
propose to make your badges ? " 

" To-morrow, papa, while you and Max are 
off on your hunting expedition. But I mean to 
finish all this mending first." 

"That's right. I am glad you have found 
something to do to keep you from being lonely 
while we are away. I should like to take you 
along but for exposing you to danger." 

" Mightn't I as well be exposed to it as Max ? " 
she asked in a playful tone. 

" Max is older, and a boy," he said. " You 



246 EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

4re very fearless, I know, but women and girl& 
are not so strong physically as our sex, and it is 
not to be expected that they can endure the 
same amount of exposure and fatigue. You 
could hardly be of much assistance in fighting a 
grizzly, for instance," he added laughingly, 
bending over her and softly smoothing her hair 
as he spoke. 

" No, sir," she returned, laughing a little ; 
" Pm not fearless enough to enjoy the idea of 
facing one of them. And it frightens me to 
think of you and Max fighting one. Oh, papa, 
don't try it ! " 

"My child, would you have your father a 
coward ? " he asked. 

" No, sir ; oh, no, indeed ! I know you are 
brave, as brave can be, and it makes me very 
proud ; but what's the use of fighting bears ? " 

" To rid the country of them, as dangerous 
enemies to settlers. Also their flesh is good for 
food, and the skin, too is valuable. But here 
comes Max, and there is our tea-bell. Put up 
your work and let me lead you to the table." 

Max met them in the hall. 

" Where have you been, my son ! " asked the 
captain. 

" Out to the mine, with Albert, papa. You 
know you gave me permission to walk with him 
when I chose, provided we did not ^^ farther 
than that from the town." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 247 

" So I did ; Fm glad you went, for I should 
not wish you to be cooped up in the house in 
such weather as this." 

They sat down to the table, and after the 
blessing had been asked. Max began telling 
about his walk. 

" We found the sun rather hot, going," he 
said, " but coming back it was very pleasant, 
indeed; there was a nice breeze from the 
mountains." 

" Had you any adventures," asked Lulu. 

" No, hardly that," he answered with a slight 
laugh ; " but as we were going, Albert thought 
he heard a little child crying in the bushes, and 
started off to hunt for it. I kept straight on, 
and he was much disgusted with what he called 
my heartlessness. 

"I said, 'I don't believe there is any child 
there ' ; and he answered, * There is, then ; I'm 
certain of it, for I heard it cry, and dare say it's 
some poor little thing that has wandered away 
from home and is lost. Didn't you hear it ? ' " 
' "Then I said, 'I heard something, but I'm 
pretty sure it wasn't a child. I've read that a 
panther will imitate the cry of a child so that 
almost any one would be deceived, and hunting 
for the child might get so near the panther that 
it could spring on him before he could get out 
of its way, or even knew it was there. But, if 
you think best, I'll go with you into the bushes 



248 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

and make sure whether there is a baby there or 
not.'" 

"Oh, Max, you knew what it was all the 
time ; didn't you ? " laughed Lulu. 

" Yes ; but we went and hunted thoroughly 
through the bushes without finding anything. 
Albert never suspected and wondered very muck 
that we found neither child nor panther. I pre- 
sume he's wondering about it yet." 

" I'm glad he didn't find you out," Lulu said, 
with satisfaction ; " because I hope we'll have 
Bome more fun with him. You'll try it one these 
evenings when we're all together on the porch, 
wont you. Max ? " 

" Perhaps ; if I can think of something. 

" Albert's very full of the bear hunt for to- 
morrow, papa ; says he wouldn't miss it for the 
world." 

"Ah ? And how does my boy feel about it ? '* 

"Pretty much the same, I believe, papa,'^ 
Max answered, with a light laugh. " I'm sorry 
for Lu that she's only a girl and can't have the 
pleasure of going along." 

" I could if papa would let me," replied Lulu 
demurely ; " but I wouldn't be a boy for the 
sake of being allowed to go." 

" You think a boj^'s privileges are more than 
counterbalanced by a girl's ? " 

"Yes ; papa takes me on liis knee, while you 
can only sit by his side ; and I shall stay at 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 249 

bome with him, while you will have to go away 
to the Academy at Annapolis." 

" I go of my own free will," returned Max ; 
^* I don't believe papa would compel me against 
my will." 

" Not at all," said the captain, " and I am glad 
jou are both so well satisfied." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

The hunters started the next morning, shortly 
after an early breakfast. 

"Papa, when do you expect to be back?" 
asked Lulu, as she helped her father with the 
last of his preparations, some anxiety showing 
itself in her tone. 

" Toward evening, daughter ; I can't set the 
hour," he answered cheerily. " Better not ex- 
pect us too soon, lest it should make you feel 
lonely and disappointed. Your better plan will 
be to keep yourself busy with reading, writing, 
sewing — as you prefer, and you may take a walk 
about town with Marian, if you choose, but 
don't go outside of it. 

"Perhaps you will find letters at the post- 
office after the mail comes ; maybe have the 
pleasure of handing me one from your mamma 
when I get back. Now good-by, my darling." 

He held her in a close embrace for a moment, 
kissing her tenderly two or three times, released 
her, and was gone. 

Max was following, with a hasty " Good-by, 
Lu," but she ran after him, calling, " Max, kiss 
me, let me kiss you. Suppose the bear should 
250 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 251 

get hold of you and hug you so tight that I'd 
never have a chance to do it again," she added, 
laughing to hide an inclination to cry." 

" Just imagine now that he has hold of you,** 
Max said, throwing his arms round her and 
squeezing her so hard that she screamed out, 
** Oh, let me go ! you're bear enough for me ! " 

" Bears must be allowed to hug, for 'tis their 
nature to," he said, with a laugh, giving her 
another squeeze and a resounding kiss. " Good- 
by, I must be off now, to catch up with papa." 

Lulu hurried out to the porch to watch them 
mount and ride away, her father throwing her 
a kiss from the saddle, then went back, rather 
disconsolately, to her work of sorting over the 
clean clothes and giving them the needed re- 
pairs. 

She had finished that and begun upon her 
badges, when Marian came in with some sewing, 
and asked if she might sit with her and hear the 
promised story of the signing of the Declaration. 

" Yes, indeed ! I'll be glad of your company 
and glad to tell the story ; for it's one I lik© 
very much," said Lulu. 

" Thank you," Marian said, " but before you 
begin, may I ask what those pretty badges are 
for? You forgot to tell me what you weret 
going to do with the ribbons." 

" Oh, so I did ! These are our national colors,, 
and I'm making badges of them for the mis- 



252 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

sion-scliool children to wear on the Fourth* 
I'm glad you think them pretty. Now for my 
story: 

" It was in Philadelphia it all happened, on 
the 4th of July, 1776. But I must go back and 
tell of something that happened before that. 

" Of course you know about the Pilgrims com- 
ing over from England and settling in the 
wilderness that America was then, so that they 
might be free to worship God as they thought 
right; and about the settling of all the others of 
the thirteen colonies; and how King George the 
Third and the British Parliament oppressed 
them, taxing them without representation, pass- 
ing that hateful Stamp Act, and so on, till the 
people couldn't stand it any longer. 

" They just wanted to make all they could off 
the American people and give them nothing in 
return. But the Americans wouldn't stand it; 
they weren't the sort of stuff to be made slaves 
of; so when a tax was put on tea they said they 
wouldn't buy any; they would sooner go with- 
out drinking tea than pay that tax. 

" Great ship-loads were sent over, but they 
wouldn't let it be landed, and at last they grew 
so angry that they boarded a ship loaded with 
tea and lying in Boston harbor, and threw the 
ehests of tea into the water. 

" That was the Boston * tea-party * that is so 
often spoken of in talking about the struggle 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 25S 

between the colonies and Great Britain. That 
happened in 1773; then the next year — 1774 — 
there was another tea-party something like it, 
though not exactly, in New Jersey. It was at 
a small place called Greenwich on the Cohansey. 

" A brig named the Greyhound, commanded 
by Captain Allen, came up the river to Green- 
wich, and on the 22d of November landed her 
load of tea there. 

" It was put into a cellar not very far from 
the wharf, and somebody that saw it ran and 
told some one else. 

"The news spread very fast. People were 
astonished and angry; they had never expected 
such a cargo to come there, and they had no 
notion of letting it stay ; for most of them were 
quite as patriotic as the Boston people. 

" So a party of them disguised themselves, as- 
sembled together in the dusk of the evening, 
got the chests of tea out of that cellar, carried 
them to an old field, piled them up there and 
set them on fire; burned them entirely up." 

" Quite as good a way to get rid of them as 
by throwing them into the sea, I think," com- 
mented Marian. " But wasn't any one punished 
for it ? " 

" Not that I ever heard or read of," replied 
Lulu, "I suppose nobody who would have 
wanted to tell knew who the men were that did 
the deed." 



254 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" I think they had something of the spirit of 
our Scotch folk of early times, who would never 
submit to be ruled by the English," remarked 
Marian. 

"Yes; papa has told me that a good many 
who did good service to their country in the 
Revolution, were of Scotch, and Scotch-Irish 
descent. He says it is a race that never would 
brook oppression. 

" Well, the next spring after the burning of 
the tea at Greenwich — that is on the 19th of 
April, 1775 — the war began — with the battle of 
Lexington. Still, most of the Americans didn't 
think of anything but forcing the English 
government to treat them better; but the fight 
went on ; the British had no idea of giving up 
their oppressive doings, and soon the wise ones 
among the Americans began to see that there 
was no way to get their rights but by separating 
from England and setting up for themselves; 
and that was what brought them to writing and 
signing the Declaration of Independence." 

"But who did it ? the officers of your army 
who were fighting the British ?" 

" No, oh, no ! it was the Continental Con- 
gress assembled at Philadelphia. They ap- 
pointed a committee to draw up the paper, and 
when it was read to them every one voted for 
it ; then, one after another, each of the fifty-six 
members present signed his name to it. 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 255 

" It was a very dangerous thing to do, for the 
English king and his government would call it 
treason, and put the signers to death if they 
could catch them. So the people were quite 
afraid the hearts of the congressmen would fail 
them when it came to the signing, and the thing 
be given up. 

" A great crowd was gathered on the day of 
the signing, in the street outside of the State 
House, where Congress met, and there they 
waited, oh, so anxiously, to hear that the deed 
was done. 

" There was a bell at the top of the State 
House, and the ringer was there ready to let the 
crowd know by ringing the bell when the sign- 
ing was done. He was an old man, and down 
on the landing by the stairs leading to the bel- 
fry sat a little blue-eyed boy who was to call 
up the news to him. 

" All was very quiet indoors and out ; the 
crowd listening for the news — the old man and 
the little boy also — and the congressmen feeling 
very solemn because of the great risk they were 
running, and the necessity for taking it if they 
would save their country. 

" There was a death-like stillness in the room 
while one after another went from his seat to 
the table and wrote his name at the bottom of 
the paper ; and when all had signed, oh, how 
still it was for a moment ! till Franklin broke 



256 LSIE AND THE BAYIIOJWS. 

the silence by saying: 'Now, gentlemen, we 
must all hang together, or we shall surely hang 
separately ! ' 

" I suppose somebody then stepped to the door 
and spoke to the little boy. The old man in 
the belfry was saying sadly to himself, * They'll 
never sign it ! they'll never sign it ! ' when all 
at once the little boy clapped his hands and 
shouted, * Ring ! ring ! ' 

" The old man was all ready, with the bell- 
rope in his hands, and he did ring without wait- 
ing one instant, and with the first peal the great 
crowd in the street below set up a wild 'Hurrah ! 
hurrah ! ' almost going wild with joy„ 

" Then people farther off heard and caught 
up the shout, and I suppose not many minutes 
had passed before everybody else in the whole 
city knew that the Declaration was signed." 

" And everybody was glad ? " 

** Everybody but the Tories, I think. No 
doubt there were some of them even there." 

" But it seems to me the rejoicing was pre- 
mature, as they could not be certain of winning 
in the fight that was hardly more than begun." 

*' Perhaps so ; but they had been so very 
patient and borne repeated wrongs till they felt 
that they could bear no more, but would fight 
on till death, if victory didn't come before that. 

" Oh, I must tell you of a strange coincidence 
in connection with the bell that rang to tell that 



ELSIE AND THE BATM0ND8. 257 

the deed was done ! It had been cast years 
before, and there was a motto on it that couldn't 
have been made more suitable to what it did on 
that 4th of July, if all the doings of that day 
had been foreseen. 

"Oh, I'd forgotten that I've read that the 
declaration was only adopted on the 4th of July 
and proclaimed on the 8th." 

" But what was the motto ? " asked Marian. 

" It was a verse from the Bible," Lulu an- 
swered. " * Proclaim Liberty throughout all 
the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.' Wasn't 
it a strange coincidence ! " 

" Very, I think," Marian replied. " I'd like 
to see that old bell. I suppose they keep it in 
memory of that time ? " 

" Yes, oh yes, indeed ! I've seen it ; when 
we were in Philadelphia not very long ago, 
Papa took me to the State House or Indepen- 
dence Hall — it gets both names — and showed me 
the old bell (it isn't in use, because it has a 
large crack in it : but they keep it for people to 
see), and the Declaration — the very paper those 
brave men signed — and the pen they wrote 
their names with, and a great many other things 
connected with revolutionary and colonial times. 
Did you ever hear of Patrick Henry ? " 

" No, never. Who was he ? " 

" I think you will like to hear about him be- 
cause, though born in America, he was the son 



258 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

of a Scotchman. He lived in the times we've 
been talking about, and was one of our verj'- 
patriotic men and greatest orators. He was a 
Virginian, and in 1765 — ten years before the 
Revolutionary War began, and when George 
the Third was oppressing the colonies so, and 
had the Stamp Act passed — he belonged to the 
House of Burgesses. 

" They were debating about the Stamp Act, 
and Patrick Henry was wanting resolutions 
passed declaring that no one but the House of 
Burgesses and the governor had a right to lay 
taxes and imposts on that colony. 

" Some of the other members were very much 
opposed to his resolutions and grew very angry 
and abusive toward him ; but he wouldn't give 
up to them ; he went on with his speech and 
said some brave words that startled even the 
patriots and have been famous words ever since. 
They were : 

" * Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his 
Cromwell, and George the Third ' — just there 
he was interrupted by cries of * Treason ! ' trea- 
son ! ' — * may profit by their example,' he added* 
*If this be treason, make the most of it.'" 

" That was fine ! " Marian exclaimed, her 
eyes shining. '' I'm thinking he was a worthy 
descendant of some of our Scotch heroes. But 
did they pass his resolutions ? " 

" Yes J by a majority of one." i 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 259 

"Ten years after that — just a few weeks 
before the battle of Lexington, that began the 
war — he was talking in a convention at Rich- 
mond, in Virginia. He wanted to organize the 
militia and make the colony ready for defence 
against Great Britain ; but some of the others 
were very much opposed. 

" He made a grand speech to them, trying to 
convince them that what he wanted done was 
the wisest thing they could do, and in it he said 
some brave words which I admire so much that 
I learned them by heart, — committed them to 
memory, I suppose would be the more proper 
expression." 

" Oh, say them over to me ! " entreated Mar- 
ian, her eyes sparkling with enthusiasm, "I 
dearly love to hear brave, bold words that speak 
a determination to be free from tyranny of man, 
whether he would lord it over soul or body, or 
both." 

" So do I," said Lulu, " and no one was more 
capable of saying such words than Patrick Hen- 
ry. These are the ones I spoke of. 

" * There is no retreat but in submission and 
slavery. Our chains are already forged. Their 
clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston. 
The next gale that sweeps from the north will 
bring the clash of resounding arms. I know 
not what course others may take, but as for me, 
give me liberty or give me death.' 



260 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

"I think the convention couldn't hold out 
against such brave and eloquent words, for they 
passed his resolutions without any one saying a 
word against it." 

" I'm proud that he was a Scotchman's son,"^ 
Marian said. 

" And I that he was a native-born American,"^ 
said Lulu. 

"And your government is really a free one^ 
though the Mormons say so much against it ?"^ 
queried Marian. 

" Yes, indeed ! But I wish it had broken up 
Mormonism long ago." 

" So do I," responded Marian, almost fiercely,. 
" Yes, before it had time to get well started and 
could send out its missionaries to deceive folks 
in other countries and persuade them to come 
over here, where the women, at least, are noth- 
ing but slaves ! " 

Lulu looked at her in surprise and sj^mpathy, 
for she detected in her tones a bitter sense of 
personal wrong. 

" Was that how you came to emigrate to this 
country, Marian ? " she asked. " Are you and 
your mother Mormons ?" 

" Pm no Mormon ! " exclaimed the girl,, 
through her clenched teeth. " But they made 
one of my father, and led him to break my 
poor mother's heart, so that I hate him — I 
that used to love him next to her — and would 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 261 

never set eyes on him again if I could help 
myself." 

" Hate your own father ! " cried Lulu, aghast 
;at the very idea. " Oh, how can you ? " 

"He isn't like yours," Marian returned, in 
quivering tones: "if he was I'd love the very 
ground he walks on. He used to be kind, but 
now — he's cruel and heartless as — I'd almost said 
the father o' lies himself ! " 

" Oh, Marian, what has he done to grieve your 
mother so ? " 

" What the Mormons teach that every man 
ought to do if he wants a high place in heaven; 
taken other wives." 

" Why ! " exclaimed Lulu, " that's very, very 
wicked ! They send men to the penitentiary 
for doing it." 

" They deserve worse than that," said Marian, 
her eyes flashing. " I'm no Mormon, I say 
^gain. Do you know they teach the women 
that they can't go to heaven unless they have 
been married ? " 

" I know better than that," Lulu said emphat- 
ically ; " for the Bible says * Believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' 
And I know some very good Christian ladies 
who have never been married. I don't see how 
anybody who believes the Bible can be a Mor- 
mon." 

" No, nor I," said Marian; " for a good many 



262 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

thuigs tliey say one must believe, are directly 
the opposite of wliat the Bible says. For in- 
stance, that the blood of Christ doesn't atone 
for all sin, but some sins have to be atoned for 
by shedding the sinner's own blood. I think 
that — beside contradicting the Soriptures — it is 
the same thing as saying that Jesus' blood is not 
of sufficient value to pay for all the wickedness 
men have done, and buy their salvation, if only 
they choose to accept it as a free gift at his 
hands, believe in him, and love him with all 
their hearts, so that they will be his servants 
forever." 

" But," said Lulu, " I know that is the way 
the Bible tells us we may be saved, and the only 
way, and I'll believe the Bible — God's own 
word — though every human creature should 
contradict it." 

" So will I," Marian said firmly. " I'll never 
forget the good teaching of my minister and 
Sunday-school teacher in old Scotland. Every- 
thing they taught they proved by Scripture ; 
and from them I learned that man's teachings 
are not worthy of the smallest consideration, if 
they do not agree with the teachings of God's- 
word." 

" And I've learned the same from papa. 
How good our Heavenly Father was to give us 
His holy word, that we might learn from it just 
what he would have have us believe and do ! I 



ELSIE AND THE RATM0ND8. 263 

feel sorry for tlie poor heathen who haven't it, 
and I want to do all I can to send it to them." 

" Have you ever read anything of Scotland's 
martyrs, who laid down their lives for the love 
of Jesus and his word ? " asked Marian. 

"Yes, indeed ; and papa has told me about 
them ; as well as of martyrs who suffered in 
other parts of the world. How strange it is 
that men should want to persecute each other 
so, and pretend they do it to please God, who 
is so kind and merciful. You know the Bible 
says he proclaimed himself to Moses : 

"*The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and 
gracious, long suffering, and abundant in good- 
ness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, 
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, 
and that will by no means clear the guilty.' " 

" How do you explain that ? " asked Marian ; 
*^' I mean the not clearing the guilty, yet for- 
giving iniquity, transgression and sin ? " 

" For Jesus' sake, you know," returned Lulu. 
** Papa explained it to me, saying * God's law 
does not call him guilty for whom Christ has 
borne the punishment." 

" Ah, yes, I see ; Christ takes the sinner's 
guilt and gives him of his righteousness ; and 
to try to add some of our own is like fastening 
filthy rags on a beautiful white wedding gar- 
ment ; and what better is it to try to pour 
some of the sinner's own polluted blood into 



264 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

that pure fountain opened for sin and unclean* 
ness?" 

"Not one bit better, and Mormonism cannot 
be a true religion ; indeed, there can be but one 
true religion, I know — that which teaches salva- 
tion through the blood and righteousness of 
Christ." 

But the dinner hour was approaching, and 
Marian found she must go to her mother's as- 
sistance. 

Lulu spent most of the afternoon alone, but 
amused herself with writing letters to Evelyn 
and Gracie. Marian went with her to the post- 
office to mail them when done, and to Lulu's 
great satisfaction there were letters from home 
for her father, for Max, and for herself. 

" One of these is from Mamma Vi," she said 
to Marian, " and I'm so glad I shall have the 
pleasure of handing it to papa ; of course he's 
always very glad to get her letters." 

" Your mamma, did you say ? " asked Marian. 

"My young step-mother," explained Lulu. 
** She's not old enough to be my own mamma. 
My mother had been dead two or three years 
when papa married again." 

"It's all right, then," Marian commented, 
with some bitterness of tone, thinking of 
Mormon teaching that a man may have 
many wives living at the same time, " I never 
beard of any religion that teaches it is wrong 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 265 

for a man to marry again after his wife iu 
dead." 

They had entered the house and passed on 
into the sitting-room. At that moment there 
was the sound of horses' hoofs on the street and 
some seemed to pause at Mrs. McAlpine's gate. 

" Oh, I do believe they've come back ! " cried 
Lulu, in joyous tones, "Yes, I hear papa's voice," 
and she ran to meet him, Marian's eyes follow- 
ing her with a wistful, longing look. 

The captain had just stepped across the 
threshold as his little daughter came flying to 
him, crying, " Oh, papa, I'm so glad you're safely 
back again ! I was so afraid you might get 
hurt." 

He bent down, caught her in his arms, and 
giving her a loving kiss, said, " Yes, I have 
been taken care of and brought back unhurt. 
My little girl should have trusted me to our 
Heavenly Father's care, and not tormented her- 
self with useless, unavailing fears." 

" It was foolish and wrong," she acknowl- 
edged. Then catching sight of her brother, 
*' Oh, Maxie, I'm glad to see you safe, too ! " 

" Are you ? " he returned, in a sportive tone. 
^' I was beginning to wonder if it made any par- 
ticular difference to you." 

" Oh, did you see any bears ? " she asked, as 
they moved on into their own rooms. 

" Yes," answered her father, and Max added. 



266 ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 

" Papa shot him; right through the heart, so 
that he fell dead instantly." 

" I was almost sure papa would be the one to 
shoot him," Lulu exclaimed with a look of tri- 
umph. Then with a sudden change of tone, 
" Papa, you're very tired, aren't you ? " 

" Rather tired, daughter, and have a slight 
headache," he answered. " Were there any 
letters for me ? " 

He was taking off his coat, preparatory to rid- 
ding himself of the dust gathered during his ride. 

" Yes, sir ; one of them from Mamma Vi," 
replied Lulu. " Papa, won't you sit down in 
this easy-chair while you read it, and let me 
stand beside you and brush your hair gently to 
see if that won't help your head ? " 

" Yes, dear child ; I shall enjoy having you 
do so, if you do not find it too wearisome." 

" It won't tire me at all, papa," she asserted 
with warmth, " and there's nothing else I enjoy 
«o much as doing something to make you com- 
fortable." 

"My own dear little loving daughter," he 
responded, giving her a look that filled her heart 
with gladness. 

Max, no less ready than Lulu to wait upon 
their father, had seized a clothes-brush and the 
captain's coat, and carrying them to the win- 
dow was giving the coat a vigorous shaking and 
brushing. 



ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 267 

" Thank you, my dear boy," the captain said, 
as Max presently brought the garment to him, 
looking much better for what it had just gone 
through ; " truly I think no man was ever more 
fortunate in his children than I am in mine." 

" If there's anything good about our conduct, 
papa, I think your training deserves all the 
credit of it," replied Max ; " your training and 
your example, I should have said," he corrected 
himself. 

*' If so it is by God's blessing upon it all in the 
fulfillment of his promise, * Train up a child in 
the way he should go, and when he is old he 
will not depart from it.' I hope, my children, 
you will never depart from it in youth or in 
later days." 

"I hope not, papa," said Lulu. "Now 
please sit down and let me try to help your poor 
head. I'll brush very softly. There, how does 
that feel ? " after passing the brush gently over 
his hair two or three times. 

"Very soothing, darling. You may go on 
while I open and read my letters." 

There were several home letters, and they 
enjoyed them together as usual, the captain 
reading aloud, while Lulu continued her labor 
of love, and Max attended to his own toilet — 
brushing his clothes and hair and washing hands 
and face. There was nothing of the dandy 
about the lad, but he liked to be neat j for his 



268 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

own comfort, and because it pleased his father 
to see him so. 

By the time the letters were disposed of and 
the tea-bell sounded out its summons, the cap- 
tain was able to assure Lulu that his head was 
almost entirely relieved. He gave the credit to 
her efforts, and rewarded her with a kiss. 



CHAPTER XVn. 

" Good-evenin', Cap'n. So they tell me as 
'twas you shot and killed that big b'ar ? " 

The speaker was an elderly man, in his shirt 
sleeves, and with a pipe in his mouth, wha 
stepped into the porch and took a seat near 
Captain Raymond as he made the remark. 

" I reckon now we'll have to own that yer a 
better marksman than most o' the fellers about 
these here diggin's," he added, puffing away at 
his pipe. 

" That does not follow, by any means, Mr. 
Riggs," returned the captain modestly. " I 
happened to get the best opportunity to aim at 
a vital part. That was all." 

" Well, now, I'll say fer you that you don't 
seem to be noways stuck up about it, an' I've 
seen fellers as proud as a peacock over a smaller 
streak o' luck (or maybe 'twas skill) than that. 
But you're a lucky man, sir ; nobody kin deny 
that, seein' how this ere tract o' land that they 
tell me ye bought for a mere trifle, has riz in 
value." 

^'Yes, I have been very fortunate in that and 
many other things," replied the captain, with a 



2V0 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

glance at his son and daughter, seated near, that 
seemed to include them among the blessings 
that had been granted him, " though wealth has 
sometimes proved a curse rather than a blessing 
to its owner." 

" It's a curse as most folks is glad to git," 
laughed the old man, " and I tell you I was wild 
with joy when it fell to my lot to come upon the 
biggest nugget as has ever been seen in these 
parts. I began life poor, and never had no 
eddieation to speak of, but I've more money 
now than half the fellers that's rubbed their 
backs agin' a college." 

" But education has other uses than enabling 
a man to accumulate wealth. Also, there are 
things that contribute more to one's happiness 
than money. How many millions do you sup- 
pose would tempt me to part with my son or 
daughter, for instance ? " and with the question 
the captain turned his gaze upon his children, 
his eyes full of fatherly pride and affection. 

" Well, Cap'n, I don't s'pose you'd be for 
sellin' of 'em fer no price," returned the old 
man, with a grin. " They're a likely lookin' lot, 
and you've plenty o' the evil fur them and 
yourself, too." 

Lulu, mistaking the old man's meaning, shot 
an angry glance at him, moved nearer to her 
father, and slipped her hand into his. 

Riggs observed it with a laugh. " I wasn't 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 27 i 

tayin' nothin' agin your dad, miss," be said. " I 
was only referrin' to the way folks has o' callin' 
money the root o' all evil ; but I obsarve there's 
precious few on 'em that isn't glad to git all he 
kin lay his hands on." 

" Yes," said the captain ; " but do you know 
where they get that idea ? " 

" Well, now, they do tell me there's Scripter 
fer it." 

" That's a mistake, my friend ; the Bible 
gays, * the love of money is the root — or a root — 
of all evil.' But it does not say it of money 
itself ; it is a very good thing, if honestly got 
and put to right uses." 

" And what do you call right uses ? " 

" * Providing things honest in the sight of all 
men,' relieving the wants of the destitute, help- 
ing every good cause, and especially sending 
the light of the gospel into all the dark places 
of the earth." 

" Well, sir, that's purty good doctrine, and I 
rayther think ye're livin' up to it, too, by all I 
hear. 

" As for me, I've been a hard-workin' man all 
ray days, 'cept since I come upon that are nug- 
get, and I 'low to take my ease fer the rest o* 
my days. I'm goin' ter fix up my house as fina 
as I know how. My gal she says 'taint nowheres 
big 'nough fer rich folks, and I'm goin' to build 
a condition to it with a portfolio at the back," 



272 ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 

" What's that ? he ! he ! never heard o' such 
a thing ! " cried a squeaky little voice that 
seemed to come from behind the old man's chair. 

He sprang up and turned round, asking in a 
startled tone, "Who's that? who spoke? Why, 
why, why ! where's the feller gone to ? " rolling 
his eyes in wild astonishment, as he perceived 
that no one was there. 

" Where are your eyes, man ? Here I am." 

It was the same voice, now coming appar- 
ently from behind a large tree growing a few 
feet from the porch, its spreading branches 
Teaching to, and partly resting upon its roof. 

"Humph!" ejaculated Mr. Riggs, hurrying 
down the porch steps and round to the farther 
side of the tree, " What are you up to, you ras- 
cal ? " 

" I'm no rascal, sir. What do you call me 
that for ? " queried the voice, sounding as if the 
speaker was making the circuit of the tree, keep- 
ing always on the side farthest from the old 
man who was pursuing him. 

" You were making fun o' me, that's why I 
call you a rascal, sir," panted Riggs. 

" Oh no, sir ; I was only wanting to know 
what your conditions and portfolios were ; such 
odd things to talk of adding to a house." 

" Odd, indeed ! I reckon you'll sing another 
song when you see 'em. But where under the 
sun are you ? " 



EL8IE AND THE RAYMONDS, 273 

" Here, right up here." 

The voice now seemed to come from among 
the branches overhead. 

" Well, if you ain't the spryest rogue ever I 
see ! I've a notion to climb after you and throw 
you down." 

" Come ahead then ; who's afraid ? '* the sen- 
tence ended in a mocking laugh. 

" I'll find a stone, and I guess that'll fetch 
ye," muttered Riggs, stooping and feeling about 
on the ground. 

" Ho, ho ! better be careful ; you might hap- 
pen to break a window. Good-by ; I'm off." 

The voice came from the roof this time, and 
was immediately followed by a sound as of 
scrambling and of shuffling footsteps ; at first, 
near at hand, then gradually dying away in the 
distance. 

Meanwhile the captain was fairly shaking 
with suppressed mirth, and Lulu nearly con- 
vulsed with her efforts to control an inclination 
to burst into uproarious laughter. Max laughed 
a little when Riggs was talking, but was sober 
as a judge when the strange voice answered. 

Riggs came stumbling up into the porch again, 
and dropping into his chair, panted out, " Well, 
if that isn't the beatenest thing ever I hearn 
tell on I how that fellar could git away so — 
keepin' out o' sight all the time — is more'n I 
can understand. I thought I knowed every* 



S74 ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 

body about these diggins, but that there woice 
didn't belong to none on *em. It sounded like 
the woice of an oldish man, but the villain sar- 
tainly did skedaddle equal to any youngster ever 
I see. Did ye ketch sight o' him, cap'n ? " 

" I saw no one but ourselves," returned Cap- 
tain Raymond, in a quiet tone. 

The four had had the porch to themselves, 
the other boarders being out, the McAlpine's at 
supper. But at this moment the gate opened 
and several gentlemen — Mr. Short and Mr. Aus- 
tin among them — came in. Most of them had 
taken part in the hunt that day, one or two 
others were old hunters who were interested in 
the affair and desirous to talk it over with the 
<3aptain. Also to tell of past experiences of their 
own. 

There were stories told of encounters with 
panthers, bears, deer, buffaloes, and smaller 
game ; all interesting, some amusing, some 
thrilling because of danger or death narrowly 
escaped. 

One told by a very old man whose busififSfe 
had been hunting and trapping in the early days 
when great herds of buffaloes roamed over the 
plains of the far West, was both thrilling and 
mirth-provoking. 

He said that on one occasion he had fallen in 
with a company of young army officers who 
were very desirous to shoot one buffalo or more ; 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 275 

they must Lave a taste of the sport, however 
dangerous. 

" And it is mighty dangerous," he went on, 
** mighty dangerous, as I told 'em. They're 
shy critters, them buffaloes, but if you wound 
one and don't kill him, he's very apt to turn and 
charge head down, gore you with his big horns, 
toss you up, and when you come down again, 
stamp you to death with his heavy hoofs. 

" But those young chaps wasn't to be skeared 
out o' the notion ; bein' soldiers, they was 
bound to show themselves afeard o' nothing, I 
'spose. So I led 'em along the buffalo tracks 
to one o' the critters' drinkin' places, and, sure 
enough, we found a big herd gathered round it. 
They was to windward of us, but we'd hardly 
come up with *em when by sight or scent some 
of 'em become aware of our vicinity, and off 
started the whole herd, we after 'em. 

" One young officer (I furgit his name now) 
had a swifter horse than the others, and presently 
he got near enough the hindermost ones to send 
a bullet into a big bull. The critter was hurt 
purty bad, but not killed by a good bit; so 
round he wheels and charges toward the feller 
that had hit him. He put spurs to his horse 
and it was a race fer life, now I tell you. 

" And to make matters worse, somehow the 
man lost his balance, or the saddle turned, and 
there he was a-hangin' with one foot in the 



276 ELSIE AND THE MATMONJDJS, 

stirrup and clingin' to the horse's neck with his 
left arm, the pistol in his right hand, the buffalo 
comin' up on t' other side o' the horse, and it a 
runnin' like mad. 

" Fer a bit it seemed the poor young chap 
would never come out o' that alive, but one o* 
Lis mates put another bullet into the buffalo so 
he staggered and fell dead just as it seemed 
there wasn't no escape for horse or man; and 
somehow the feller had got back into his saddle 
in another minute, though the horse was still 
tearin' over the praries at a thunderin' pace. 

" So it all ended well, after all ; he'd killed a 
buffalo — leastways he and the feller that fired 
the last shot into the critter — and 'scaped with- 
out no hurt worse'n a purty bad scare. 

"But here comes the fun o' the thing. He told 
us he'd about give himself up fer lost when he 
found hisself hangin' by the stirrup and the 
horse's neck, and that mad buffalo bull after 
him, bellowing and pawin' up the ground and 
comin' on as if he'd a mind to gore and toss 
man and beast both, so he thinkin' there wasn't 
no earthly help for him, concluded he'd better 
fall to prayin', but when he tried he couldn't 
fer the life o' him think of nothin' to say but 
the words his mother'd taught him when he was 
a leetle shaver, * Now I lay me down to sleep,' 
and they didn't seem no ways appropriate to 
that perticlar occasion. 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. 277 

" No ; I'm wrong thar ; he did say that, 
finally, somethin' else come into his head, but it 
warn't much improvement on t' other ; it waa 
the fust words o' the blessin' his father was 
used to ask afore eatin'. * Fer what we are 
about to receive make us truly thankful.' " 

When the laugh that followed the old 
hunter's story had subsided Mr. Austin re- 
marked. ** That goes to show the folly and 
and danger of neglecting prayer on ordinary 
occasions, — one is not prepared to employ it in 
emergencies." 

" True as preachin,' sir," replied the hunter. 
Then, rising, he bade good-night, saying he was 
used to early hours, and thought it likely the 
gentlemen who had been out that day would 
feel ready to go to bed . 

At that the others followed his example, and 
the captain and his children went to their own 
rooms. 

" What a funny old man that Mr. Riggs is ! " 
remarked Lulu, laughing at the remembrance of 
his talk that evening. " Papa, what did he mean 
when he said he was going to build a condition 
to his house with a portfolio at the back ' ? " 

" An addition with a portico, I suppose." 

*' And he couldn't imagine who or where the 
fellow was that laughed at him. Max, you did 
that splendidly ! " 

*' I did it ? " exclaimed Max, in astonishment 



278 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

so well feigned that for an instant she doubted 
the correctness of her surmise ; though before 
it had almost amounted to certainty. 

But the next moment she laughed merrily, 
saying, " Oh, you needn't pretend innocence ! " 
for I'm sure you were the naughty fellow. 
Didn't he do it well, papa ? " 

"Very, I thought," replied their father, re- 
garding his son with a proudly affectionate 
smile. 

" Papa, shall I call you dad ? " asked Lulu 
merrily, taking possession of his knee and put- 
ting her arm round his neck. 

" No, I shall think you very disrespectful if 
you do. You may say either papa or father, 
but I shall answer to no other titles from you — 
unless I should, some time when you have been 
very naughty, forbid you to call me anything 
but Captain Raymond." 

" Oh, papa, dear, don't ever do that ? " she 
pleaded, hugging him tight, " I think it would 
be a worse punishment than you have ever given 
me ; for it would seem as if you were saying, 
' You don't belong to me any longer ; I wont 
have you for my own.' " 

" No, my darling," he returned, holding her 
close, " I shall never say that, however ill you 
may behave." 

" And I do mean to be good ; always obedient, 
and never in a passion again j but I can't be 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 279 

sure that I shall ; it's sometimes so much easier 
to be naughty." 

" Yes, sad to relate, we all find it so," he 
sighed. " What a happy place heaven will be ! 
for when we get there we shall have no more 
inclination to sin, but shall be always basking 
in the sunshine of God's love and favor." 

"Yes, papa ; being so happy when you are 
entirely pleased with me helps me to understand 
how happy we shall all be when we are with 
our Heavenly Father and he smiles on us and 
has no fault to find with us. I like that Bible 
verse, * Like as a father pitieth his children, so 
the Lord pitieth them that fear him,' because I 
know you pity and love me when I'm in trouble, 
even when I've brought it on myself by being 
naughty." 

" I do, indeed, my child ; and God's love for 
his children is infinitely greater than that of any 
earthly father for his." 

'* It seems to me," Max remarked, " that if 
that oflicer the old hunter told about had been 
used to thinking of God as his kind, loving 
Father, and praying to him, it would have been 
easy enough for him to ask for help when in 
such danger." 

" I think you are quite right," his father said ; 
*' and now," opening the Bible, " we will read a 
portion of his word, then ask for his kind, pro« 
tecting care while we sleep " 



CHAPTER XVm. 

Me. Short took great interest in the plans 
and preparations for celebrating the Fourth, and 
was quite anxious that "the captain's young 
folks" should have their every wish in regard to 
them satisfied. 

Also he thought it would be a fine thing to 
give them an agreeable surprise. He had a 
private consultation with Captain Raymond, and 
one result was that Max and Lulu were unex- 
pectedly roused from sleep at sunrise of the im- 
portant day by the firing of cannon and the 
ringing of all the church bells, while at the same 
moment a flag was flung to the breeze from 
every public building. 

" Oh, it's the Fourth, the glorious Fourth ! '^ 
cried Lulu, springing out of bed and running to 
her window. " It's a lovely day, too ; and there 
are flags flying. Papa," she called, " is it toa 
early for me to get up ? " 

" No," he answered, " not if you wish to ^ 
Max and I are going to rise now. You may 
close your door and dress yourself for the day." 

She made haste with her toilet, arraying her- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 281 

self in white, which she considered the most 
suitable thing for the "glorious Fourth," and 
adding one of her badges to her adornment. 

Her father smiled approval when she came to 
him for the usual good-morning caress. 

" My little girl looks sweet and pure in papa's 
partial eyes," he said. 

"It's nice to have you look at me with that 
kind of eyes, you dear papa," she returned, giv- 
ing him a vigorous hug, and laughing merrily. 

" I think it's with that kind of eyes papa looks 
at all his children," remarked Max, " and I be- 
lieve it is for our happiness and his, too." 

" Very true, my son," rejoined the captain. 

Lulu was full of pleasurable excitement. 
" Papa, do you know if all the things you have 
sent for have come ? " she asked. 

" I think it likely the last of them came on 
the midnight train, which brings the express," 
he answered. " I will make inquiry after break- 
fast. Now try to forget these matters for a 
little, while we have our reading and prayer." 

She sobered down at that, and earnestly tried 
to give her thoughts to the teachings of the 
portion of Scripture her father read, and to join 
with her heart in the prayer that followed. 

That duty attended to, and the breakfast bell 
not having rung yet, they repaired to the front 
porch to wait for it. 

There seemed an unusual stir in the town, 



282 ELSIE AND THE BATM0ND8. 

people passing to and fro, early though it was, 
and fire-crackers going off here and there. 

" You seem to have stirred up the patriotism 
of the people here, Captain," Mr. Short said 
laughingly, as he came in at the gate and up the 
path to the porch steps. " Good-morning, sir. 
Good-morning, young folks. We are favored 
with as good weather as one could ask for, and 
your packages all arrived by last night's train ; 
so that everything looks propitious for your 
celebration, so far. I had the things taken 
directly to the school-house, and doubtless they 
will be unpacked in good season." 

The captain said "Thank you," and invited 
Mr. Short to walk in and take breakfast with 
them. The bell rang at the moment, and the 
invitation was accepted. 

" You are honoring the day, I see. Miss Lulu,'* 
remarked Mr. Short, with a smiling glance at 
her attire. 

"Oh, yes," she said, looking down at her 
badge, " I want everybody to know that I'm a 
patriotic American gu*l. I made this badge and 
a whole boxful beside for the school children to 
wear. 

" Papa, mayn't I carry them to the school- 
house myself, after breakfast, and help the 
teacher fasten them on ? " 

*' You may go, and I'll go with you," he said ; 
" and if the children fancy wearing them, and 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 285^ 

the teacher will accept our services, we will do 
as you propose." 

" I'll be bound the children wont object, but 
will be delighted with the gift of the pr^ttjr 
bunch of ribbons, whether they have, or have 
not, any patriotism in their make-up," laughed 
Mr. Short. 

" By the way, Captain, I met Riggs on th& 
street as I came here, and he informed me that 
he would be present at the oration, reading of 
the Declaration, and so forth, and that he hoped 
the people would turn out 'copiously.' He's^ 
rather original in the use of words." 

"So I have discovered," was the captain'a 
quiet reply. 

" Has he told you of his plans for improving^ 
his house ? " asked Mr. Short, with a humorous^ 
look. 

" Yes, and how he obtained his wealth spite 
of entire lack of education." 

" It was a lucky find, and he's one of the 
richest men of the town ; but if he had educa- 
tion he would get twice the satisfaction out of 
his wealth that he does as it is ; at least, I 
think so." 

" And I do not doubt that you are right,'^ 
assented Captain Raymond. 

" Well, Miss Lulu, how many pounds of fire- 
crackers do you expect to set off to-day ?** 
asked Mr. Short. " So patriotic a young lady^ 



284 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

will hardly be satisfied with less than two or 
three, I suppose." 

" Indeed, sir, I do not expect to fire one," 
she returned gaily. ** Papa has promised me 
something else in place of them ; I don't know 
yet what it is, but as he says I will enjoy it more 
I'm quite sure I shall." 

" Now, I shouldn't wonder if I could guess 
what it is," returned Mr. Short with a twinkle 
in his eye. 

*' Perhaps so, sir; but I don't want to be told 
till papa's time for telling me comes, or by any- 
body but him." 

"Good girl; uncommonly loyal and obedient," 
he said laughingly. 

" No, sir, you are mistaken in thinking me 
that," she said, with heightened color; " I'm 
naturally very wilful, so that papa has had any 
amount of trouble to teach me to obey. 

** But the lesson has been pretty thoroughly 
learned," said her father kindly, Mr. Short 
adding, " I'm sure of it ; and she is certainly 
honest and frank." 

The school children were delighted with the 
badges, the teacher glad of Lulu's help in pin- 
ning them on, and of the gentlemen's assistance 
in forming her procession. All were on their 
best behavior, and everything went prosperously 
with the celebration. 

The captain and his children following in the 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 285 

wake of the procession, returned to tlie school- 
room to see and assist in the distribution of the 
candies, cakes, and fruits. The delight and 
gratitude of the recipients was a pretty and 
pleasant thing to behold. 

By the time that was over the Raymond's 
dinner hour had arrived, and they hastened ta 
their boarding-house. 

As they left the table the captain caught an 
inquiring look from Lulu. 

"Yes, child, you shall know now; you have 
waited very patiently," he said. " I am going 
to teach you how to handle a pistol and shoot, 
at a mark." 

" Oh, good, good ! " she exclaimed, clapping- 
her hands in delight. " I always did want to 
know how to shoot, but I didn't suppose you'd 
ever let me touch a pistol or gun, papa." 

" I wont, except when I'm close beside you,"^ 
he said, " at least, not for a long time to come- 
But I am going to teach you, because there may 
be times in a woman's life when such knowledge 
and skill may be of great value to her." 

" Max will take part, too, wont he ? " she^ 
asked. 

" Yes, certainly; it is even more important 
for him to know how to use fire-arms than for 
you. Mr. Short will join in the sport, too, and 
you may invite Marian to do so also, if you 
choose." 



286 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" Oh, thank you, papa ! I will," she said, 
running back to the room they had just left, 
while her father went on to his. 

Marian was clearing the table as Lulu came 
rushing in, half breathless with haste and ex- 
citement. 

" O Marian," she said, " papa is going to 
teach me to use a pistol ; to shoot at a mark; 
and he told me I might ask you if you would 
like to learn too. Would you ? " 

" Thank you, yes; it's just what I've been 
longing to learn, for if the United States Gov- 
■ernment can't, or wont, protect me from the 
Mormons, I want to know how to protect my- 
self," returned the girl, her eyes flashing: " help- 
less women are their victims, but I don't mean 
to be a helpless one. I'll learn, if your father 
will teach me; then I'll get a pistol of my own 
and use it, too, if I have occasion." 

" Marian, what makes you so fierce at them ?" 
-asked Lulu in surprise. " Is it because they 
•persuaded your father to be a Mormon and leave 
Lis own country?" 

" Yes ; and because they force women to 
jnarry against their will : they force them into 
sin, making them marry horrid creatures (calling 
themselves men, but not worthy of the name) 
that already have wives; sometimes a number of 
them. 

" And if a v^'cman dares resist they say she is 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 287 

weakening in the faith — supposing she is called 
a Mormon — and according to their wicked, fiend- 
ish, blood atonement doctrine she must be put 
to death ; and so they murder her in the name^' 
of religion. '*■ 

" I know of one poor creature that ran away 
from her husband to escape that dreadful fate ; 
for he told her they thought she was weakening 
in the faith and that he was to kill her. Every 
night he hung a dagger at the head of her bed, 
and he told her that some night she would hear 
a tap at the window at midnight, and that would 
be a signal for him to stab her to death with 
that dagger. 

" Now do you wonder I think it would be well 
for me to have a pistol and know how to use it ? '* 

" No, indeed ! " exclaimed Lulu. " I'm sure 
I should in your place ; and I'm dreadfully 
ashamed that my government doesn't protect 
you so well that no one would dare do such 
things to you or to any woman or girl, or any- 
body. It's just awful ! I shall tell papa about 
it, and ask him if something can't be done. I 
think he'll find a way ; and I can tell you, if he^ 
sets out to do a thing it's pretty sure to be 
done." 

" You have great confidence in him," Marian 
returned, with a sad sort of smile. "Ah, you're 
very fortunate, Miss Lu, to have such a father.'* 

"Don't I know it?" replied Lulu, exultantly.. 



288 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

*' Max and Gracie and I think he's just the best 
man and kindest father that ever lived. He 
knows all about fire-arms, too, and if anybody- 
can teach us how to use them he can." 

" When do we take the lesson. Miss Lu ? " 
inquired Marian. 

" I suppose in a few minutes, but you can 
come just when you are ready, I must run back 
now and tell papa that you will join us." 

She was full of what Marian had just told her 
of Mormon doings, and at once repeated it all 
to her father, winding up with " Oh, papa, isn't 
it dreadful? Can't something be done to put a 
stop to such wicked, cruel doings ? I do think 
it's a perfect disgrace that such deeds can be 
done in our country." 

"And I quite agree with you," he sighed, 
^^ and am resolved to exert myself to the utmost 
to put a stop to the commission of such crimes 
in the name of religion. 

" Talk of the right of Mormon me^i to civil 
and religious liberty," he went on, rather think- 
ing aloud than speaking to her, " what has be- 
come of the loomari's right to the same, if they 
are to be permitted to murder her when she 
ceases to believe as they do, or to conform her 
conduct to the will of their hierarchy ? Oh, iT; 
is monstrous, monstrous, that this thing called 
Mormonism has been allowed to grow to its 
present proportions ! " 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 28^ 

** Can't you put a stop to it, papa ? " she asked. 

"J, child? /put a stop to it?" he returned, 
smiling slightly with amusement. " You may^ 
well believe that if I had the power I would 
need no urging to exercise it." 

" I'm sure I wish you had, papa," said Max. 
"But as you haven't, I'm afraid we may be 
obliged to fight one of these days to rid the 
country of that tyrannical Mormon hierarchy 
that is aiming to destroy our free institutions. 

" So, Lu, you will do well to make the best 
of your opportunities to learn the use of fire- 
arms ; for there is no knowing how much help 
we men and boys may need from the women 
and girls, if that tug of war comes," he added, 
suddenly dropping the serious tone in which he 
had begun and adopting a sportive one. 

" You needn't make fun of us, Max," she re- 
torted, " for I'm sure women and girls have 
sometimes done good service in time of war."^ 

" I willingly acknowledge it," he said ; " his- 
tory gives us a number of such instances. They 
have carried dispatches at the risk of their lives, 
concealed and befriended patriots when pursued 
by the enemy, taken care of the sick and wound- 
ed soldiers, made many sacrifices for their coun- 
try, and in some instances even put on men's 
attire and fought in the ranks. Perhaps that 
last is what you'd like to do," he wound ujv 
laughingly. 



390 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" No, I wouldn't," she said ; " but I think I 
could and would do the others if there should 
be any need for me to." 

" I believe it," her father said, " because I 
know you are both courageous and patriotic. I 
will give you this when you have learned how 
to use it," he added, taking a small, silver- 
mounted pistol from his pocket and putting it 
into her hands. " It is not loaded, and you may 
examine it and learn all you can in that way, 
while we are waiting for Mr. Short to come. 
He will bring the target and set it up in the 
shade of those large trees down yonder by the 
river, where we can shoot at it without danger 
of a stray shot striking where it might harm 
any one or any thing." 

Mr. Short came presently, the little party 
repaired to the designated spot, and the two 
girls took their first lesson in the use of the 
pistol. 

At first their bullets went wide of the mark, 
but after a number of trials they were able to 
come pretty near it, and were told they did very 
well — all things considered. 

The gentlemen, and Max also, took their turns, 
and the girls watched them with a feeling akin 
to envy at their superior skill. Max was a very 
respectable shot, Mr. Short still better, while 
the captain showed uncommon dexterit^^ 

** As I ought," he said, laughingly, when com- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 291 

plimented on it, " that being a part of my pro- 
fession." 

At length they had all had enough of it, and 
putting up their empty pistols, returned to the 
house. 

They seated themselves in the shaded porch, 
and had hardly done so when they were joined 
by Mr. Austin and Albert. 

" I heard some one say you were target-shoot- 
ing," remarked Albert to Max, " and that the 
captain hit the center of the mark every time." 

*' So he did," said Max, ** but shooting at a 
target is nothing to papa ; he shoots a bird on 
the wing. Indeed, I've seen him bring down 
several of a flock with one shot ; also throw up 
two potatoes and send a bullet through them 
both before they reached the ground." 

" I'd like very much to see him do that last," 
Albert said, "though I don't in the least doubt 
your word ; especially as all the men about 
here who have hunted with him say he's a capi- 
tal shot." 

At that Max turned to Sandy McAlpine, 
itanding near, and asked if he could get him 
two potatoes. 

" Cooked or raw ? " asked the boy. 

" Raw, of course," laughed Max, " and I'll 
hand them back when I'm done with them. I 
^on't think they'll be hurt much for cooking 
and eating." 



292 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

Sandy ran off round the bouse in the direc- 
tion of the kitchen, and was back again almost 
immediately with the desired articles. 

" Papa," said Max, holding them up to view, 
"won't you load your pistol and show what you 
can do with it and these ? " 

" Yes, to please you, my boy," the captain re- 
plied, taking out and loading the little weapon 
of warfare that Lulu began already to look upon 
as her property. Then taking the offered po- 
tatoes he threw them high in air, fired, and they 
came down each with a hole through it. 

" Admirably done, Captain ! '* exclaimed Mr, 
Austin. " I am considered a very fair marks- 
man at home, but I could not do that." 

" There is nothing like trying, sir ; and prob- 
ably you excel me in many another thing," the 
captain said pleasantly, as he stepped into the 
porch again and resumed his seat. 

Then the gentlemen fell into discourse about the 
event commemorated by that day's celebration, 

" Your Declaration of Independence handler 
King George the Third with much severity," 
remarked Mr. Austin, addressing Captain Ray- 
mond. 

" Yes, sir ; the truth is sometimes the severest 
thing that can be said," returned the captain^ 
with a good-humored smile. 

" You are right there, sir," pursued the Eng- 
lishman. " I cannot say that I altogether ad- 



ELSIE AND THE EAYMOFBS, 293 

mire the character of that monarch, though hb^ 
had some excellent traits, and in reading of the 
struggle of the colonies for freedom, my sym- 
pathies have always been with them. 

" As you are no doubt aware, many of the 
English of that day sympathized with them and 
rejoiced over their success. Fox, Burke and 
Chatham had kept the merits of their cause well 
before the public mind." 

" For which we owe them a debt of grati- 
tude," responded the captain ; " as we do John 
Bright, also, for his outspoken sympathy with 
our Federal Government in its efforts to put 
down the late rebellion, — a time of sore trial to 
Union-loving Americans ; a time ' when days 
were dark and friends were few,' and even such 
men as Gladstone and Guthrie showed them- 
eelves sympathizers with the would-be destroy- 
ers of our nation. 

** It seemed passing strange to loyal Ameri- 
cans of that day tliat the English, who had for 
many years so constantly reproached our land 
for allowing the existence of negro slavery 
within her borders, should, when the awful 
struggle was upon us, side with those whose aim 
and purpose it was to found an empire upon the 
perpetual bondage of millions of that race — 
their fellow-men ; for, as the Bible tells us, God 
*hath made of one blood all nations of men fof 
to dwell on all the face of the earth.' " 



294 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

" I acknowledge the inconsistency," returned 
Mr. Austin ; " but do not forget that not all 
Englishmen were guilty of it. Mr. Bright, ac- 
cording to your own showing, was a notable 
exception ; and there were many others. 

" Nor is inconsistency a fault confined ta 
Englishmen," he added, with a slightly mis- 
chievous smile ; " the readers of your Declara- 
tion, in the days whea negro slavery flourished 
in this country, must sometimes have felt un- 
comfortably conscious of the inconsistency of 
the two, — the contradiction between creed and 
manner of life." 

"No doubt," acknowledged Captain Ray- 
mond, " and thankful I am that the blot is re- 
moved from the scutcheon of my country." 

" 'Slaves cannot breathe in England ! ' ^* 
quoted Albert, with pride and satisfaction. 

" I think they were never deprived of that 
privilege in America," remarked Max soberly, 
but with a mischievous twj£kie iai n.^^ eye. 

" Ah, it is not meant m that sense , but Eng- 
lishmen have never been guilty of holding men 
in bondage — in their own land, at least." 

" Haven't they ? " cried Max, pricking up his 
ears. " Why, then, did your Alfred the Great 
make laws respecting the sale of slaves ? " 

" I had forgotten that for the moment," re» 
turned Albert, reddening : " but "^ vas thiakin^ 
only of negro slavery." 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 295 

** White slaves, they were to be sure," ad- 
mitted Max, in a slightly sarcastic tone, " but I 
can't see that it's any less cruel and wicked to 
enslave white men than darkies." 

" But those were very early times, when men 
were little better than savages." 

" Alfred the Great among the rest ? " 

" Assuredly Alfred the Great was no savage,* 
returned Albert, slightly nettled, " but then he 
was far ahead of his time, and I must still insist 
that you go very far back to fasten the re- 
proach of slave-holding upon Great Britain." 

The two fathers had paused in their discourse 
to listen to the talk of the lads, and they seemed 
to have forgotten the presence of their elders. 

" Well, then, to come down to a later day," 
said Max, "don't you remember the statute 
made by Edward the Sixth, that if anybody 
lived idly for three days, or was a runaway, he 
should be taken before two justices of the 
peace, branded with a V with a hot iron on the 
breast, and given as a slave to the one who 
brought him for two years ; and if during that 
time he absented himself for fourteen days he 
was to be branded again with a hot iron, on the 
cheek, with the letter S, and to be his master's 
slave forever ! The master might put a ring 
of iron round his neck, leg, or arm, too, feed 
bim poorlj% and beat, chain, or otherwise abuse 
him. 



296 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

" That wbite slavery in England was worse 
than ever negro slavery was in the United States 
of America." 

" Well, they who practiced it were the ances- 
tors of Americans as truly as of those of the 
present race of Englishmen, that have to bear 
the reproach of the slavery of the very early 
times you first spoke of," retorted Albert. 

" Maybe so," said Max ; " and I suppose 
they — the Americans — inherited their ancestors' 
wicked propensities (same as the Englishmen), 
which may account for their becoming slave- 
holders." 

" Well," Albert said, *' you can't deny that 
England has always been a foe to the slave 
trade, and — " 

" Oh ! oh ! oh ! how you forget ! " exclaimed 
Max. " History says that she began in 1563 to 
import slaves from Africa into the West Indies ; 
and the trade was not finally abolished till the 
spring of 1807. Also, that by the peace of 
IJtrecht, in 1713, England obtained a monopoly 
of the slave-trade, and engaged to furnish Span- 
ish America with one hundred and forty -four 
thousand negroes in thirty-three years ; that a 
great slave-trading company was formed in 
England, and Queen Anne took one-quarter of 
the stock ; that the King of Spain took another 
quarter, so that the two sovereigns became the 
greatest slave-dealers in Christendom. 



ELSIE AND THE BAYM0ND8. 297 

** That company brought slaves into the Amer- 
ican colonies, and to some extent slavery was 
forced upon them by what they then called the 
mother country. Queen Anne directed the New 
York colonial government to encourage the 
Royal African Company, and see that the col- 
ony was furnished with plenty of merchantable 
negroes at moderate rates. 

" In the face of such facts, can you deny that 
England was largely responsible for the slavery 
that has proved such a curse to this country in 
years past ? " 

Alfred's countenance wore a discomfited ex- 
pression, and instead of replying to Max's query, 
he turned to his father with the question, " Is 
he correct, sir, in the statements he has been 
making ? " 

"I am afraid he is," replied Mr. Austin, 
*' though some of his facts had slipped my mem- 
ory till he brought them up. Europe has no 
right to twit America on the subject of slavery 
or the slave trade ; especially now when negro 
slavery no longer exists in any part of the 
Union." 

" And our government abolished the slave 
trade in the same year that yours did," remarked 
Captain Raymond. 

" Yes," acknowledged Mr. Austin, " but the 
act for the abolition of slavery throughout the 
British colonies was passed thirty years before 



298 ELSIE AND THE BATM0ND8, 

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation set the 
last of the negroes free in this country." 

*• True ; but as a set-off against that, remem- 
ber that the first negroes brought to Massachu- 
setts (the first in New England) were sent home 
at the public expense, by the General Court of 
the colony. 

" That was in 1640. In 1652, Roger Williams 
and Gorton made a decree against slavery in 
Rhode Island ; while as late as 1672, white 
slaves were sold in England, to be transported 
to Virginia." 

" Not sold into perpetual slavery, however," 
said Mr. Austin. 

" No ; but for a tenn of years ; still, it can 
not be denied that they were slaves for the time 
being. 

" But I give England all credit for her per- 
sistent efforts to suppress the slave-trade since 
she abolished it in 1807." 

" By the way," said Mr. Austin, " I have been, 
since coming into this community, using every 
opportunity for studying the Mormon problem, 
and it strikes me as a strange thing that such a 
system of hierarchical tyranny and outrage has 
been so long permitted to exist and grow in this 
land of boasted freedom — civil and religious." 

" It can not seem stranger, or more inconsist- 
ent, to you than to me, sir," replied Captain 
Raymond, flushing with mortification. " I am 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 29& 

exceedingly ashamed of this bar sinister on the 
scutcheon of my country ; but I trust that vig- 
orous measures are about to be taken for itfik 
expunging. 

* Some have defended the let-alone policy on 
the ground that to restrain and punish them 
would be to abridge religious liberty ; but I can- 
not see it so. We have, in fact, allowed a most 
tyrannical hierarchy to persecute even to put- 
ting to death, those who, having unfortunately 
fallen into its power, attempted an escape from 
it, or refused to submit to its dictation in regard 
to either belief or practice. 

" Women have been forcibly detained among 
them (the self-styled " Latter-day Saints ") hor- 
ribly ill-used, and when caught in an attempt 
to escape, foully murdered. 

" The perpetrators and abettors of such deed» 
of darkness mistake liberty for license ; every 
man or woman has a right to life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness — yet only so far as he 
does not interfere with the exercise of the same 
rights by others. The victims of Mormon 
tyranny and intolerance have most certainly a 
right to complain that they have been deprived 
of both civil and religious liberty." 

" Very true," responded Mr. Austin ; " and I 
have learned with mortification, that the ranks 
of the Mormons are largely recruited from 
Great Britain." 



300 ELSIE AND imE RAYMONDS, 

" Yes ; I wish your government were as anx- 
ious to keep that class of its citizens as its sail- 
ors, particularly its man-of-war's-men," returned 
the captain laughingly. 

A short discussion as to the comparative 
amount of freedom enjoyed by the citizens of 
the two countries, and the comparative security 
of life and property, followed, each gentleman 
maintaining that his own was the more favored 
land. 

"Mormonism has for years destroyed in a 
great measure the personal liberty of the citizens 
of this part of your country, where it flourishes," 
remarked Mr. Austin, " and certainly there is 
neither civil nor religious liberty enjoyed with- 
in the walls of the nasteries and convents 
scattered over the wh le length and breadth of 
your land." 

" That is true, only too true ! " sighed the 
captain, " but, as regards monastic and conven- 
tual institutions, as true of your country as of 
mine. 

*' Who can tell what suffering — what martyr- 
doms, may be endured by the hapless inmates 
of those prisons for innocent victims ? 

" Some will say they should not be interfered 
with, because the shutting up of men and women 
in that way is part of the Romish religion, and 
that the victims go into their confinement vol- 
untarily; but it is certain that some do not do 



ELSIE AND THE BATMONDS. 301 

BO voluntarily, and that others are wheedled in by 
false representations of the life to be led there. 

" When they learn by experience what it really 
is, they often abhor it and long for the restor- 
ation of their freedom, but, alas, find themselves 
in the hands of jailors, fasf^,ened in by bolts and 
bars, and so forced to remain, no matter how 
unwillingly they are detained. Where for thenb 
is the liberty guaranteed by our Constitution to 
every citizen, from the highest to the lowest ? "" 

" It is a great wrong, both here and in Great 
Britain," Mr. Austin said. " One occasionally 
escapes, and thrills the public mind for a time 
by her tale of the horrors of her prison, but 
they — her tormentors — assert that she is insane^ 
her tale the fabrication of an unsound mind — 
and presently it is all forgotten by the fickle^ 
populace; drowned in thoughts of other matters. 

" But what remedy would you propose ? the 
abolition of monasteries and convents ? " 

" No; that would savor of interference with 
their religious liberty ; but I would have them 
obliged to open their doors to the visits and in- 
spection of the police at any and all times, with- 
out previous warning ; and the fact made cer- 
tain that every grown person in the establish- 
ment was left entirely free to come and go at 
his or her pleasure. While that liberty is not 
secured to them, it cannot be said with truth that 
they are free citizens of a free country." 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The little party gathered on the porch again 
after tea, and amused themselves with conver- 
sation while waiting till the setting of the sun, 
and the fading away of the twilight should give 
a better opportunity for the display of the fire- 
works. 

" I fancy,'' remarked Mr. Austin, half-inter- 
TOgatively, half in assertion, " that our present 
sovereign is more liighly appreciated in America 
than was her royal grandfather George the 
Third ?" 

" There is no comparison," replied Captain 
Haymond. " Americans highly appreciated 
your queen's kindly expressed sympathy in the 
sad days of our poor Gai-field's suffering, and 
she has many admirers among us." 

Just then Mr. Riggs came up the path from 
/ the front gate, and greeting the company, 
*' Good-evenin', cap'n, Mr. Austin, and young 
folks," took a seat in their midst. 

" Well, we've had a riglar old-time glorious 
Fourth," he went on, addressing no one in par- 
ticular, " on'y 'tisn't done yit, thank fortin', an' 
I've come round to see them fireworks set off. 
The folks did turn out copiously this mornin', 
802 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 305 

and I don't mistrust that they wont do it agin 
to-night." 

" Of course they will. Who wouldn't turn 
out to see fireworks ? " 

It was the squeaky little voice again right 
behind his chair, as on the former occasion. 

He sprang up as if he had been shot, faced 
about, and with a scared look asked, " Why^ 
where is he — the old raskil ? " 

" Rascal, indeed ! Pm no rascal, sir, but a 
patriotic, honest American citizen." 

It was the squeaky voice again, and this tim©^ 
sounded a trifle farther off, as if the speaker 
might be descending the porch steps ; but 
though distinctly heard, he could not be seen. 

" Well, now, if it isn't thebeatenest thing! I 
wonder ef I'm a-gittin' crazy! " exclaimed Riggs^ 
staring wildly round from side to side. " You 
all heered him, didn't ye ? but has anybody seen 
the raskilly feller?" 

The Austins and Mr. Short were struck dumb 
with astonishment ; the Raymonds did not 
speak either, but the next moment a load, " Ha^ 
ha, ha ! " coming apparently from among the 
branches of the nearest tree, was followed hy 
the squeaky voice : 

" You can't see me ? That's only because 
you don't look in the right place ; I'm bi^ 
enough to be seen by the naked eye, even at » 
considerable distance." 



304 ELSIE AND THE HA YM0ND8. 

" But ye'r always playing at hide and seek," 
said Riggs, " and a body can't never find ye." 

*' Why who is he? and where is he?" que- 
ried Albert, staring up into the tree ; " his voice 
seems to come from among those branches, but 
1 see nothing there." 

" It is growing dark," remarked Captain Ray- 
mond in reply. 

" Yes, sir ; but still I think I could see a man 
or boy if he were really there." 

" Come up on to the porch roof, all of you," 
called the voice, now seeming to come from 
there ; " it'll be the best place to see the fire- 
works from." 

"It is time to begin setting them off ; isn't 
it, papa ? " asked Lulu. 

" Yes," he said, and Max, springing down the 
steps and the walk to the gate, in another min- 
ute had sent up a sky-rocket, and as it darted 
skyward the same squeaky voice cried out from 
the upper air, " Up I go ! " 

" There, did ye hear that ? " screamed Riggs. 
** He's gone up with the rocket. He must be a 
wizard." 

" Ha ! there is certainly a ventriloquist among 
us ! " exclaimed Mr. Austin. 

" I agree with you," said the captain, " it is 
the only rational explanation of the phenome- 
non." 

" And it is yourself, sir ? '* 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 305 

" No, sir ; if I have any talent in that line it 
remains to be discovered by myself even." 

And without waiting for further embarras- 
sing questions, the captain hurried to Max's as- 
sistance. 

Mr. Short did likewise, and for the next hour 
or more the display of the fireworks absorbed 
the attention of every one present, almost ta 
the exclusion of thoughts on other matters. 

It was quite a fine display — for the captaia 
had been generous in his outlay for the celebra- 
tion of the Fourth, and many were the ex- 
pressions of delight and admiration from the 
crowd of spectators who had gathered to wit- 
ness it. 

There were rockets, squibs, Roman candles, 
Bengal lights, Catherine wheels, and others of 
more complicated structure, some of which sent 
out figures of men and animals. 

One of these Max reserved for the last, and a& 
a tiny figure of a man issued from the brilliant 
coruscation and darted upward, it cried out ia 
the squeaky little voice that had troubled Mr, 
Riggs so often, " Good-by ; I'm off ! " 

" There the feller is at last. I seen him this. 
time," screamed the old man. "Now did ye 
ever ? how did he git in there ? and how did 
he git out ? " 

The faces of the crowd were full of surprise 
and perplexity as they first gazed upward, thei» 



306 ELSIE AND THE EATM0ND8. 

turned toward each other in half -breathless as- 
tonishment. 

" There is a ventriloquist among us," repeated 
Mr. Austin ; " there must be, without doubt." 

" Ven — ven — what is it anyway ? " asked 
Biggs. 

" Ventriloquist ; one who can speak without 
moving his lips, and cause his voice to seem to 
•come from somewhere outside of himself ; from 
:Bome person or animal, or place near at hand or 
farther off." 

" You don't say. I never heered o' sech do- 
ins ! " exclaimed Riggs. While several others 
standing near cried out, " A ventriloquist. Is 
there one here? If there is, let him give us 
some more of his tricks. We'd like no bet- 
ter fun." 

" Just you keep quiet then, all of you, and 
perhaps he will," said Mr. Short, who, though 
he knew nothing absolutely in regard to the 
matter, began to have strong suspicions that 
Oaptain Raymond could tell all about it if he 
would. 

A short, sharp bark, that seemed to come 
from the coat-pocket of the speaker, made him 
Btart involuntarily and thrust his hand deep 
into it. 

He drew it out with a laugh. "Nothing 
there, as I might have known," he said. 

But the words were hardly out of his mouth 



ELSIE AND THE BATM0ND8. 307 

wlien a loud, furious barking, growling and 
snarling began in the midst of the crowd, caus- 
ing them to scatter pell-mell to the sidewalks, 
women and children screaming, men and boya 
«houting, bursts of laughter following, as they 
perceived that the cause of their fright was but 
another trick of the ventriloquist. 

" Who is he ! who is he ! " was the question 
bandied from one to another, but answered by 
no one." 

" Hoo, hoo, hoo ! " came from amid the 
branches of a tree in Mrs. McAlpine's yard. 

It sounded like the cry of an owl, but was fol- 
lowed by a human voice, " Good-night, friends. 
We have had a glorious Fourth, and now it is 
time to go home and to bed." 

"That means the show is done for to-night, 
I s'pose," remarked Riggs, " and we may as well 
git fer home. But I just wisht I could find out 
who the feller is," he mumbled to himself, as he 
moved down the street. 

The crowd dispersed and the Raymonds re- 
tired to their own apartments. 

" Oh, Max, how good it is that nobody's found 
you out yet ? " laughed Lulu gleefully. 

"I'm glad they haven't," returned Max. 
** Papa, did I do anything objectionable ? " 

" I have no fault to find with you, my boy," 
bis father replied, with a slight smile and a very 
affectionate look at his son. 



CHAPTER XX, 

Captain Raymond lingered some time longer 
in Minersville. 

It was near the middle of July, and his ar- 
rangements had been made for starting upon 
the homeward journey in a day or two, when 
early one morning he, Max, Mr. Short and the 
Austins set out upon their final hunt together. 

Lulu was, of course, left behind in the board- 
ing-house. 

As her father kissed her good-by he said^ 
" I am very sorry to leave you alone, dear child^ 
but I trust that you will be able to pass the time 
agreeably in reading, sewing or letter-writing — 
whatever employment you fancy that can be 
attended to in the house — for I want you to stay 
within doors ; the day is a very warm one, and 
I much prefer that you should not be exposed 
to the heat of the sun. 

" I hope to be back in season to take you for 
a walk or ride in the cool of the evening." 

" I shall like that, if you don't come home too 

tired, dear papa," she replied, clinging about his 

neck for a moment. " Oh, do take good care of 

yourself ! and don't be a bit troubled lest i 

308 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMOKDS. 305 

should be lonesome. I shall do nicely and be 
oh, so glad to see you when you come back." 

She followed him out to the porch, with a 
book in her hand, and after seeing the hunting 
party disappear down the street, took a seat in 
a comfortable arm-chair in the shade of the 
vines, and amused herself with reading until 
joined by Marian with a basket of mending. 

"There !" exclaimed Lulu, closing her book. 
^* I have some stockings to darn. I'll go and 
get them and my work-basket, and we'll have a 
nice time together." 

" I'd like that very much," Marian said, " but 
don't let me hinder you from reading your 
book." 

" I'd rather stop reading and talk awhile. I'm 
remarkably fond of talking," laughed Lulu, aa 
she hurried into the house. 

She was back again almost iinmediately, and 
as she resumed her seat Marian said, " I was glad 
to hear you say you were fond o .alking, be- 
cause I wish very much you would tell me about 
your home and your brothers and sisters — if you 
have any beside the one that is here." 

Lulu willingly complied with a glowing des- 
cription of Woodburn, " Mamma Vi," Gracie 
and the babies, and the happy life led there by 
the whole family. 

Marian listened with deep interest, tears some- 
times starting to her eyes as she was struck hf 



SIO ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

the contrast between that life and her own, 
most of all in the tender fatherly love and cara 
in which the Woodburn children rejoiced, and 
which had been so sadly lacking in her experi- 
ence since the blighting curse of Mormonism 
had fallen upon the McAlpine household. 

Lulu noticed her emotion, guessed at the 
cause, and made an effort to divert the poor 
girl's thoughts from the sorrows of her lot, by 
telling amusing anecdotes of little Elsie's sayinga 
and doings. 

*' Of course," she said, " Mamma Vi began as 
§oon as Elsie was able to talk, to teach her to 
say the little prayer, * Now I lay me.' She soon 
gaid it nicely, but whenever she came to the 
part, * If I should die,' she would put in ' but I 
wont die ! ' 

"Not long ago Mamma Vi told her she 
thought she was old enough now to learn the 
Lord's prayer. 'It is a good deal longer than 
the other,' she said, * do you think you can re- 
member it?' 'Yes'm,' Elsie said, 'I'll set it 
down.' 

" Then Mamma Vi began teaching it to her, 
but she has never succeeded in getting her to 
say it all right yet, for she always will ask for 
* daily corti bread.' We have corn bread on the^ 
table at least once every day, and Elsie likes it 
much better than wheat. 

"She often says things that make us all 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 311 

laugh. Once Mamma Vi had just finished a 
veiy pretty new dress for the little darling and 
put it on her for the first time ; then she took 
her to Grandma Elsie, who was visiting us, to 
ask what she thought of it. 

" * See, ganma,' little Elsie said, walking up to 
her. 

" Grandma Elsie said, * Ah ! just from Paris ?* 
And little Elsie nodded her head, saying, 
* Yes'm, ganma, just from parasol.' " 

" She must be a dear, amusing little thing,'* 
«aid Marian. " Is she pretty? " 

" She is a perfect beauty ! " replied Lulu, witb 
enthusiasm. 

" Ah, here comes Edith Kingsley ! " Marian 
exclaimed, as the gate opened and a girl a year 
or two younger than herself, a neighbor and 
intimate friend of hers, came tripping up the 
path. 

Lulu had met Edith several times and liked 
her, for she was a pleasant, sunny-tempered 
child, innocent and artless. 

" Good-morning, girls," she said. " I just 
ran over for a minute to tell you that a party of 
us are going berrying this afternoon, and to ask 
you both to go along." 

" I'd like to, if mother can spare me," said 
Marian. " But isn't it very warm ! " 

"Not so warm as it was," replied Edith; 
** there are floating clouds now, so that the sun 



312 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS, 

doesn't shine so hot, and a nice breeze hae 
sprung up. You'll go, won't you, Lulu ? " turn- 
ing to the latter. 

" Thank you ; I feel a strong inclination ta 
go, but I can't, as papa is not here to give me 
leave." 

" Oh, I'm sure he'd say you might go," re- 
turned Edith, with eager entreaty in her tones; 
** the place we are going to is only a little 
beyond the edge of town, and the berries are so 
thick we shall fill our baskets directly and be 
back long, long before dark. So what objection 
could he find?" 

" He said he wanted me to stay in the house 
till he came back," replied Lulu, " he didn't 
want me exposed to the heat of the sun, and 
hoped to be back in time to take me for a walk 
or ride in the cool of the evening." 

" Oh, if that was all, I'm sure he would say 
you could go, because the sun isn't hot any 
longer. And he didn't positively forbid you,, 
did he?" 

" No," Lulu said slowly, as if striving to recall 
his exact words ; " he only said he wanted me 
to stay within doors, and gave that reason for 
it ; and I'm pretty sure if he were here he would 
give me permission to go." 

" Then you will, w^ont you ? " 

Lulu considered a moment. The temptation 
to yield was very strong, but the more she re- 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 313 

•fleeted, the deeper grew her conviction that to 
do 80 would be disobedience ; disobedience to 
the kindest, dearest, most indulgent of fathers ; 
one who never denied her any pleasure that he 
deemed good for her. 

" Come now, do say you will," urged Edith, 
coaxingly. " Even if your father should be a 
little vexed at first, he will soon forgive you." 

** Perhaps so ; but it would be a long time 
before I could forgive myself," Lulu said, then 
added firmly, " No, Edith, I thank you very 
much for your invitation, but I can't go. I am 
quite sure it would be disobedience, and how 
could I be so ungrateful as to so grieve such a 
father as mine ? I couldn't bear to see the sorry 
look that would come into his eyes when he 
heard of it." 

" Oh, we wont tell on you," Edith said laugh- 
ingly. 

Lulu looked indignant at that. " I should tell 
on myself," she said. " I could never be happy 
while concealing anything from papa." 

Marian had left them to consult with her 
mother in regard to her own acceptance of the 
invitation, and now came back to report a fav- 
orable reply. She was much disappointed to 
hear that Lulu would not go, and joined her 
entreaties to Edith's that she would reconsider 
and accept. 

But Lulu was firm, both then and later, when, 



314 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

ready to start on their little expedition, they 
again urged her to accompany them. 

" I think we'll have a nice time," Edith said ; 
" it's just a pleasant walk, winding about a little 
way among the hills, and there are lovely wild 
flowers to gather as well as berries. Oh, do 
change your mind and come along with us ! " 

" I do wish you would, Lulu," put in Marian, 
*' I shan't half enjoy myself without you, and 
thinking how lonely you'll be here by your- 
self." 

" Please don't urge me any more," returned 
Lulu. " I think you wouldn't if you knew how 
very much I'd like to go with you, if I could 
have papa's permission ; but I know I couldn't 
enjoy myself going without that. My con- 
Bcience wouldn't give me any peace at all." 

So they left her. She sat on the porch watch- 
ing them out of sight, then opened her book, 
and presently forgot her disappointment in the 
interest of the story. 

She read on and on, taking no note of the 
lapse of time, though full two hours had passed 
since the berry gatherers disappeared round the 
eorner, till suddenly she became conscious that 
some unusual excitement was abroad in the 
streets of the town ; men armed with muskets, 
revolvers, and other weapons, were rushing past 
in the direction the girls had taken ; women 
and children were running hither and thither. 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 31& 

calling wildly to each other, some crying, all 
seeming full of anxiety and fright. 

" Oh, what is it ? what's the matter, Sandy?" 
asked Lulu, dropping her book and springing to 
her feet, as the lad came tearing in at the gate, 
his face white with terror and distress. 

" A bear ! " he gasped ; " a big grizzly got 
after the girls, and they all had to run for their 
lives, and he — he caught Edith — they say, and— 
and he's hugging her to death." 

" Oh ! oh ! " cried Lulu, bursting into tears 
and sobs, " can't anybody save her ? Oh, I wish 
papa was there with his gun to shoot the bear, 
he'd do it, I know he would. And, oh, where's 
Marian ? " 

" She's safe now ; they all got away from the 
beast but Edith. But Marian was so out of 
breath with fright and running and crying be- 
cause she couldn't save Edith, that she had to 
stop farther down the street." 

Mrs. McAIpine had heard enough of the bus- 
tle in the streets to alarm her, and now came 
hurrying out, asking, " What's happened, Sandy? 
Where's your sister ? " 

The boy repeated his story, had scarce fin- 
ished when Marian came in at the gate, her 
form drooping, her head bowed on her breast, 
sobs shaking her whole frame. 

" Have they got her?" asked Sandy. 

"Marian, my poor child, is Edith much 



516 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

hurt?" questioned her mother, drawing the 
weeping girl into the house. 

Marian did not lift her head ; she seemed un- 
able to speak. 

But Hugh came running in from the street, 
tears rolling down his cheeks. " Oh, oh, Edith's 
killed ! she's dead ! I heard a man say so. 
They've killed the bear, but he'd a'ready 
squeezed Edith to death, and tore her awful 
with his big claws and teeth." 

" Oh, don't ! don't tell it ! " shrieked Marian, 
covering her ears with her hands. *' Oh, if we 
only hadn't gone there !" 

" Her poor mother, her poor, poor mother ! 
how will she ever bear it ? " sobbed Mrs. McAl- 
pine, dropping into a chair and hiding her face 
with her apron. 

Lulu, too, was weeping bitterly. 

" What have they done with her, Hugh ? " 
asked Sandy, in a loud whisper. 

" Who ? Edith, or the bear ? " 

" Edith, I meant, of course. Stupid," returned 
the elder brother contemptuously. 

" They're goin' to bring her home ; I guess 
they're doin' it now," as a sound as of the tramp- 
ling of many feet smote upon their ears. 

The body was being carried past on a hastily 
improvised litter, and in another moment, as it 
crossed the threshold of the home she had left 
two hours before in the heyday of life and 



ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS. Slf 

health, a woman's wail of heart-breaking anguish 
rent the air. 

" It's her mother, her poor mother ! " sobbed 
Mrs. McAlpine. " Wae's me for the puir heart- 
broken thing ! but, oh ! thank God my lassie has 
come safe home to me ! " 

Marian burst into wild weeping, and Lulu, 
unable to bear any more, ran swiftly from the 
room to that of her father, where, falling on her 
knees by the bedside, she buried her face in the 
clothes and cried as if her heart would break. 

She seemed to see Edith standing before her^ 
bright and beautiful, full of life and health, as 
she had seen her — oh, such a little while ago! — 
then in the cruel embrace of the ferocious wild 
beast, crushed, bitten, torn, bleeding, and 
dying — dead. Then the poor body, at last res- 
cued from the clutches of the bear, but with na 
life left in it, carried along the high road on it» 
rude litter, borne into the house over the way — the 
happy home of the morning now darkened and 
made desolate by that sudden, fearful stroke of 
doom — the mother, bereaved in a manner so 
fearful, of her only child, bending over it in 
an agon)^ of woe unutterable. 

" And I might have been the one the bear 
attacked, if I had gone with them, papa mourn- 
ing over his dead daughter, his heart breaking 
with the thought that she'd been killed in the 
very act of disobeying him," thought Lulu. " I 



^18 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

can never, never be thankful enough that I 
didn't do it ; that God helped me resist the 
temptation." 

A hand rested lightly, tenderly on her head, 
,and she started up to find her father standing 
(by her side. 

She threw herself into his arms, and as he 
folded her close to his heart, hid her face on his 
breast, sobbing convulsively. *' Oh, papa, it is 
so, so dreadful ! so terrible ! " 

*' Yes," he said, in tones tremulous with emo- 
tion, " my heart aches for the bereaved parents. 
Oh, thank the Lord that I have my darling safe 
in my arms ! " caressing her with exceeding 
tenderness, as he sat down, still holding her fast 
as a treasure he would suffer no earthly power 
to snatch from his grasp. " You were not with 
them ? " 

" No, papa ; you bade me stay within doors — 
at least, you said you wanted me to — and how 
could I disobey such a dear, kind father ? Oh, 
I couldn't, though I wanted to go very badly I 
And if I had — oh, I might have been the one to 
be killed in that dreadful way ! " 

"And your father the heart-broken parent 
weeping over his lost treasure. My dear child, 
I think you will never regret resisting the temp- 
tation to disobey the father who loves you as 
his life." 

" Oh, no, I'm sure I shall not ! Papa, what a 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 31& 

good thing for me that you have trained me to 
obedience, for otherwise I should have gone 
with them and maybe have been killed, killed 
in that horrible way ! Y ou didn't say 1 musv 
stay in the house — only that you wanted me to — 
but I suppose it would have been disobedience^ 
if I'd gone ; wouldn't it ? " 

" Yes ; a truly obedient child will not go 
against the known wishes of a parent. I trusted 
my daughter loved me enough to obey my 
slightest wish, so did not think it necessary to 
put my injunction in the form of a command. 
We all prefer to be requested rather than 
ordered." 

" But I have really learned to love even to be 
ordered by you, my own, own dearest father ! " 
she said, creeping closer in his embrace. 

"Had I been quite sure of that it would have 
saved me some moments of great alarm and 
anxiety," he said. 

She looked up inquiringly, and he went on« 
" As our party came into town, on the side op- 
posite to that where this dreadful accident oc- 
curred, a man hailed us with the news that some 
little girls, out gathering berries, had been 
attacked hj a bear, one of them killed, and 
others badly hurt. 

" That last was a mistake, as we presently 
learned, but, oh, the pang that shot through my 
heart with the sudden fear that my dear little 



320 ELSIE AIW THE RAYMONDS, 

daughter might be among the injured, perhapt 
even the slain one. How I wished that I had 
positively forbidden you to leave the house at 
all in my absence ! " 

" But even then you couldn't have been sure 
that I wasn't with those girls, because there 
have been times when I've disobeyed your most 
positive commands," she said, in a remorseful 
tone. 

Her heart leaped with joy at his answering 
words. " But you have been so perfectly obed- 
ient for a long time now, that I have come to 
have great confidence in your careful observance 
of any order from me to do or not to do." 

Max, who had lingered in the street trying to 
learn all the particulars of the sad occurrence, 
which was the absorbing subject of thought and 
speech with every one for the time being, now 
43ame quietly in, looking thoughtful an-d dis- 
tressed. 

" They say she's terribly crushed and man- 
gled," he said, half-chokingl3^ ** Oh, Lu, what a 
fright papa and I had, thinking it might bo 
you ! " 

" But I could have been spared much better 
than poor Edith," she said ; " she was an only 
child, and papa would have four still left if he 
lost only me." 

" I should not know how to spare you or ap^ 
one of my darlings," responded her father, in 



ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 321 

moved tones, smoothing her hair with tender, 
caressing hand, and kissing her on cheek and 
lip and brow. 

" I'm glad we're almost ready to go away 
from here," remarked Max, " We've been hav- 
ing a merry, happy time, but it will seem verj 
sad after this." 

"When do we go, papa ?" asked Lulu. 

" I have set day after to-morrow," he an- 
swered. " But while we are here, let us strive 
rather to sympathize in the grief and suffering 
of those so sorely bereaved than to be thinking 
of ourselves and our own enjoyment. The 
Bible bids us weep with those that weep, as well 
as to rejoice with those that do rejoice ! " 

The captain earnestly strove to carry out that 
teaching, and nothing was omitted or neglected 
that he could do to show his sympathy with. 
Edith's heart-broken parents ; or with Marian, 
who grieved sorely over the loss of her friend — 
snatched from her in so sad a manner — and the 
news that Lulu, to whom she had become 
warmly attached, was soon to leave Minersville, 
probably never to return. 

Lulu had been seized with a longing for the 
dear ones at home — especially Gracie — and ex- 
pected to feel only joy in turning her back upon 
the little Western town in which she had so* 
journed so pleasantly for the last four weeks, 
but, when the time came, found she was a shared 



322 ELSIE AND THE RAYMONDS. 

to some extent in the grief at parting, that set 
Marian to weeping bitterly. 

" Don't cry so, Marian," Lulu said, with emo- 
tion. " I didn't think you cared so much for 
me." 

" Oh, I love you almost as if you were my 
sister ! " sobbed Marian, " and it nearly breaks 
my heart to think I shall never, never see you 
again." 

*' But perhaps you may. Isn't it possible, 
papa ? " and Lulu turned inquiringly to her 
father. 

" Yes," he said; *' I may be visiting my prop- 
erty here again one of these days, and in that 
case will be very likely to bring my eldest 
daughter along. 

" And Marian, my good girl, if ever you should 
be in need of a friend, remember that Captaiu 
Raymond will be glad to do you any kindness 
in his power." 

Marian and her mother both thanked him 
with earnest gratitude ; both felt that the day 
might not be far distant when they would stand 
in sore need of his friendly offices, and with the 
knowledge they had gained of his character in 
the last few weeks of daily intercourse, they 
could not doubt the sincerity of his offer. 

But the train that was to carry the Ray- 
monds on their eastward way was nearly due ; 
the rest of the good-byes were hastily said, and 



ELSIE AND THE BATM0ND8. 323 

in a few moments they were seated in the cara 
and speeding onward. 

It was a beautiful summer morning, and the 
spirits of the children soon rose to such a height 
that they must find vent in chat and laughter. 

" Papa," exclaimed Lulu, " you actually 
haven't told us where we are going next ! " 

" To the sea-shore, as the end of this journey." 

" But that's very indefinite ; for the sea-shore 
of our big country is a long, long strip," she 
said laughingly. 

" So it is ; but can't you trust me to take you 
to a pleasant part of it ? '' 

" Oh, yes, sir, yes, mdeed ! and I'm always 
glad to go anywhere with you," resting her 
cheek affectionately against his shoulder and 
squeezing his hand in both of hers. 

" And we are perfectly willing to wait for the 
information till you are ready to give it, sir," 
added Max. 

'* Good children," the captain said, smiling 
approvingly upon them. "I had thought of 
giving you a surprise, but have no objection to 
telling you now, that we have taken again the 
cottages we occupied the first summer after my 
marriage to your Mamma Vi, and that she and 
Oracle and the babies — the Ion and Fairview 
people too — are already there waiting for us to 
join them. Are you satisfied with the arrrange- 
ment, my dears ? " 



S2i ELSIE AND TEE RAYMONDS, 

" I am, perfectly, papa," Max replied. 

"And I, too," said Lulu. " Oh, I do think it 
will be very pleasant to spend a while there 
again ! And I hope I'll be a great deal better 
child to 3^ou than I was before, dear papa," she 
whispered in his ear, her arm about his neck. 

" Dear child ! " was all he said in reply, but 
the accompanying look and smile spoke volumes 
of fatherly love and confidence. 



THE SXD. 



•4*' .7 - 



JUL 24 191? 
FEB 1 4tgt3