Skip to main content

Full text of "Grandpa's darlings"

Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for general ions on library shelves before il was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

Il has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often diflicult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parlies, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the plus We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a b<x>k is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 

countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means il can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's hooks while helping authors ami publishers reach new audiences. You can search through I lie lull text of this book on I lie web 
at |http : //books . qooqle . com/| 



f~ 



T.K.Kelsey 




Cm 



M>.^t 



tS 






r> 



J^. ^C 




4* 



ji 



S^£^ <lX /$$~' 



u 



I 



A 



3 



1 



GRANDPA'S DARLINGS. 



BY 

PANSY. 

AUTHOR OF "THREE PEOPLE," "ESTER RIED," 

"JULIA RIED," "WISE AND OTHERWISE," 

" HOUSEHOLD PUZZLES," ETC. 



CINCINNATI, OHIO: 

vVESTERN TRACT SOCIETY, 



Copyright by D. Lothrop & Co. 1875. 



Of 

/J - ~ 7 - 9 3 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGB, 

"SEEPINS" . . . . . 7 

CHAPTER II. 

GOING TO CHURCH . . . • . . 20 

£ CHAPTER III. 

"MAKING BELIEVE .... 30 

^ • CHAPTER IV. 

"? REAL THINGS 43 

* CHAPTER V. 

SHOWERS AND SUNSHINE ... 54 

CHAPTER VI. 

MISCHIEF 68 

CHAPTER VII. 

GOING SHOPPING 79 

CHAPTER VIII. 

PROMISES. 91 



IV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

CHURCH GOING . . . . . IO4 

CHAPTER X. 

SECRETS Il8 

CHAPTER XL 

QUIET TALKS 1 33 

CHAPTER XII. 

PRESENTS 141 

CHAPTER XIII. 
gracie's letter 152 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE PARTY 164 

CHAPTER XV. 

PRAYERS 177 

CHAPTER XVI. 

QUEER IDEAS igO 

CHAPTER XVII. 
gracie's applications . . . 204 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
gracie's bible stories . . . 217 



CONTENTS. V 

CHAPTER XIX. 

ARGUMENT 229 

CHAPTER XX. 

CHEESE 242 

CHAPTER XXI. 

PRAYING 257 

CHAPTER XXII. 

SONGS AND SERMONS .... 270 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

MINIE'S WISDOM 280 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

MINIE'S CONFLICT 289 

CHAPTER XXV. 

THE QUESTION SETTLED . , . 302 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

HOME 312 



GRANDPA'S DARLINGS, 



CHAPTER I. 



" SEEPINS." 



It was a queer looking room. Auntie Julia 
had swept and dusted it, and done her best to 
give it a cleared-up air, but it didn't look cleared 
up a bit. In the first place the little round table 
was out of place, drawn up before the fire, and 
then it had strange articles on it for a sitting- 
room table ; there was a little bit of • a hair brush, 
about six inches long, handle and all, and in it 
the. very tiniest specimen of a fine comb that you 
ever saw. Oh, it wasn't as long as your littlest 
finger ; there was a littlt white silk heart, stuck 

(7) 



8 Grandpa! s Darlings. 

full of bits of pins, and for these things the books 
and papers were pushed one side, as if they were 
of no consequence ; then I think there was some- 
thing on every chair in the room. I know there 
was a white cloak, very long, and lined with 
blue, and the funniest little speck of a white silk 
bonnet, about large enough for the cat, lying in 
the large rocking-chair. Then on the sofa-chair, 
which was drawn up before the fire, was a 
wonderful little heap of flannel, and cambric, and 
lace. Another chair did duty as a towel-rack, for 
there were to be unusual proceedings in the 
sitting-room that morning; but the low rocker 
contained the sum and substance of all this 
disturbance — a crowing, dancing, laughing baby, 
with great, beautiful eyes, and wonderful, long 
eyelashes ; not a large baby, nor yet a small one ; 
at least, not a very young one, but she was 

dainty enough in size to have answered very well 

» 
for a large wax doll, only I should pity the poor 

little hands that should hold this springy, flutter- 
ing doll, in one place, for one minute at a time. 



" Seepins." g 

Dear me! how she kicked, and crowed, and 
spatted her mites of hands together, as one- 
troublesome garment after another fell off. 

Baby didn't believe in clothes ; she generally 
yelled when they were being put on, and fairly 
chuckled when the last pin was drawn out, and 
the fair limbs were free and light. Gradually 
the company gathered to see the performance — 
grandma and aunties. Generally, baby was 
dressed in her own room, but on this particular 
morning her fire had gone out, and the room 
grew chilly, so mamma and all the aunties had 
been rushing up and down stairs, making ready 
the sitting-room for her royal highness. 

Grandma had to be waited for a little ; she was 
in the kitchen, with the sharp knife and two fat 
chickens ; but presently she came, and baby was 
dumped into her bath tub. Ah, you should have 
seen her then ; such a kicking, and splashing, and 
splattering, and yelling as there was ! She had 
several little accomplishments; one was to toss 
water at us, with her two tiny hands, and 



io Grandpa's Darlings. 

another, to put up her sweet rose-bud lips, all 
dripping with water, as if to kiss you ; and when 
you had almost got the precious kiss, suddenly to 
draw back and bury her round wet head in 
mamma's lap. What a baby she was, and what a 
long process the dressing was, to be sure ; with 
first one auntie and then another to claim a kiss, 
with baby in her little skirts to insist on going 
that minute to grandma for a frolic, without 
waiting for her dress, which, to tell you the 
truth, she never liked. If her plump little 
doubled-up fists were coaxed into the embroid- 
ered sleeves without my lady's giving a good loud 
yell or two, we considered that there had been a 
triumph. Then we had the usual discussion as 
to whom she looked like. 

"I declare!" grandma would say, "I never 
noticed before that her eyes were so much like 
Isabella's." 

Then I : " Oh, mother, how can you think so ? 
They're exactly like her papa's." 

Then Auntie Julia : " Oh, nonsense 1 They 



"Seepins" n 

are not like anybody's eyes that ever / saw 
before." 

Then mamma: "They are very sleepy eyes, 
and I want her to have her walk before she 
sleeps." 

Then there was a rush for the white cloak and 
the cat's bonnet, and such a squirming, and 
kicking, and squealing as there was, before that 
bonnet Was tied under the ridiculous little chin. 
Grandma danced up and down, and clapped her 
hands ; Auntie Julia knocked on the window, and 
rattled the string of spools, and blew on the 
whistle ; I barked like a dog, and peeped like a 
chicken, and crowed like a rooster, and mewed 
like a cat, and at last she was ready, and I 
carried her off in triumph. 

I'll not tell you about our walk — it would take 
too long , but in due time we returned, and found 
the sitting-room restored to order, and mamma in 
the sewing-room, finishing an important dress for 
our important baby. From her presently came a 
request. 



12 Grandpds Darlings. 

" Would Auntie Belle get baby to sleep ? 
Mamma is in such a hurry." 

Ah! would I? — that was the question. I 
would try\ but nothing certainly looked more 
improbable than that those great, dark, wonder- 
ing eyes would shut, and that busy little head 
that bobbed so restlessly on my shoulder would 
consent to lie quiet in the crib. Still there was 
nothing like trying, and I distinctly remember 
that I tried. At first we sat by the window, but 
baby worked industriously at catching the one 
fly that buzzed there ; then when I had disposed 
of him, she bent all her energies on catching a 
sunbeam that was playing with the leaves outside 
and their shadow within. I meekly drew down 
the shade, changed my seat, and tried again. 

I sang a song so sleepy and soft that I thought 
she could not resist it. I fitted words to it as I 
sang, about the door, the floor, the light, the 
night — anything to keep my tongue steadily 
moving, and when I had completed the twenty- 
seventh verse, her eyes st\one like stars, and the 



" Seepins? 13 

head cuddled in my neck, and bobbed as vigor- 
ously as ever. Then I tried quick music, and 
the result was that the head came round to my 
face, and presently two baby hands were pulling 
earnestly at my mouth, and as I opened it to 
laugh, the wondering eyes looked eagerly down 
v my throat. Evidently she was looking for my 

tune. She wanted to seize it in her baby fingers, 
and pick it to pieces. 

Oh, foolish little darling ! Working so busily 
to catch the shadow of a few leaves on the carpet, 
and failing in that, to try to pick from my throat 
the poor little tune, instead of doing your duty, 
and going to sleep ! 

I looked in despair at my writing materials on 
the table, for I was a writer of books then as 
now, and I may as well tell you just here, that 
this same baby of which I write now spends long 
hours curled up in some out-of-the-way corner, 
reading my books ; but she did not care that day 
whether there was ever another book written or 
not I laid her flat on her back, and softly 



14 Grandpa's Darlings. 

trotted her, at which she laughed merrily. I put 
her over my left shoulder, and she reached after 
the curtain tassel, and swung it gleefully. I 
tried the right shoulder, and she clutched at a 
handful of my hair with a yell of delight. I said : 

"Oh, baby! baby! What shall I do with 
you ? " and she answered : 

" Agoo-ba-ba-mam-mam-mam-gah-yah-agoo-o," 
drawing out the " oos" with great satisfaction. 

At last she succumbed, the fringed lids 
drooped, and the little hands relaxed. I sang 
softly, more softy, and softer still, and presently 
went with cat-like tread, and laid her in the crib. 
With what care I tucked her in, and how care- 
fully I turned to tiptoe away, when, to my 
dismay, I heard a low musical " Agoo." 

Oh, the naughty darling ! How she tried my 
patience that day! There was another siege 
with the fly, the tassel, the hair, and with the 
• card-receiver and the inkstand added thereto; 
then another, and I said, " A real victory this 
time, surely!" 



" Seepins." 15 

Another trip to the crib, and a tucking up. 
Then grandma came on tiptoe, and whispered : 

" Is she asleep at last ? " 

" I should hope so." 

" I don't believe she is. Her eyes don't look 
shut." 

" She is. She has cheated me once, but it is 
real this time." 

" She isn't. There is a roguish pucker to her 
mouth." 

And at that particular moment the wicked 
little sprite opened wide her dancing eyes, and 
laughed the merriest of laughs. 

" Well, now, you may lie there," I said, em- 
phatically. "You are a naughty little Brownie 
and I shall not take you up again." 

And I walked away and left her, and she 
kicked, and chuckled, and played " Bo peep" at 
me with the corner of the blanket, but I wrote 
on, unheeding. 

By and by there came a yawn, and when I 
looked that way again, one little pink arm was 



1 6 Grandpa's Darlings. 

tossed over her head, the other still reached out 
for her blanket, but the eyes were soundly and 
sleepily shut, and the soft, regular breaths 
showed that she had gotten herself to sleep. 

In vain, after that, did I try to continue my 
story. Quiet reigned, but I could not write. 
The baby had bewitched me. I fell to conjectur- 
ing what the thoughts were that kept her busy 
brain awake so long. 

Finally I wrote out the result of my conject- 
ures. I have read it to her since, and she says I 
am undoubtedly correct. I will copy it here to 
solace other troubled aunties. 

" ' By O baby/ That's what my auntie sings, 

over and over. I know what that means; it 
means shut your eyes and go to sleep. But I 
can't go to sleep ; my eyes won't stay shut ; they 
fly right open. Why don't auntie pin them, I 
wonder ? She pins her collar on. Pins scratch ; 
I scratched my finger one day. I wonder, would 
they scratch my eyes? Then why don't they 
scratch my auntie's collar? There's a fly; he 



a 



Seepins? I J 



creeps all over the window. I wish auntie would 
rock him to sleep. Maybe he could go ' by-by ;' 
I can't. He says ( z-zzz' all the time. I tried 
to pick the sunshine off the carpet. I got my 
hand all full, but it slipped away. I want the 
sun ; I never had it ; I told auntie to get it for 
me, but she didn't understand. Auntie don't 
understand very well; nobody does. The sun 
is bright ; so is the fire. I wanted the fire last 
night; mamma wouldn't let me have it; people 
won't let me have anything. There's a green 
tassel ; I pulled it ; I pulled auntie's hair, too ; 
auntie squealed ; the tassel didn't squeal ; it don't 
speak at all; I wonder why? Maybe it hasn't 
any mouth ; but the fly hasn't any either, and it 
speaks. 

"lam awful tired, but I can't seepins. Auntie 
put me in the crib once, because I shut my eyes 
to rest them, but then I opened them again right 
away, because I don't like my crib ; it don't sing ; 
auntie keeps sings in her mouth; I looked in it, 
but I didn't see them; but they are there. I 



1 8 Grandpa's Darlings. 

wish the pussy cat would come in ; I wish that 

old song was all gone. I don't think it's pretty. 

I wish mamma would come, or grandma, or 

something. There's the ink in that round box. 

Auntie writes ; I want to write ; I can ; I tried 

once, and it writed just like auntie. I'll snatch 

at it; I didn't get it; auntie held me tight; 

they always do, when I want things. Then I 

squealed, and she moved her chair away from all 

the pretty things. 

" I'm in my crib now ; there's, nothing to do. 
Auntie's gone ; she don't love me, ' cause I don't 

go ' by-by' ; but I fcan't. Auntie is writing with a 

bright yellow stick ; the stick says, ' st-st-st/ and 

makes little marks; it talks like the fly, some; 

but I don't know what it says. Why don't my 

crib sing to me ? it don't have any mouth to keep 

sings in ; I've got a mouth ; I can sing ; I'll sing 

to myself — ' Ah-ah-ah-ah !' that's my sleepy song. 

Now I guess it's night ; my eyes ' most shut up ; 

I can sing myself seepins — 'Ah-ah-ah-ah!' I 

guess I'm all asleep ; when I wake up I'll tip that 



M 



Seepins? 19 



pitcher over, and see the water run away from 
me ; I know just how I can do it. There's a pin 
on the floor ; when I get up, I'll pick at it, and 
put it in my mouth ; I always put pins in my 
mouth. I want to feel of the bright light that 
they have when it gets dark ; I'm going to do it 
to-night. There's a book ; books talk when you 
tear them ; they say, ' sk-sk-sk ; ' I'll tear that into 
little bits when I wake up ; then I'll put the bits 
in my mouth ; I always do. Now I'm gone ; by- 
by. I'm good b&by now." 





CHAPTER II. 



GOING TO CHURCH. 



One day we took her to church — her very 
first appearance there. I dressed her myself; 
and it seemed to^me I should never, never get all 
the funny little skirts and dress and things on 
right-side-out, and buttoned and pinned and tied 
to my satisfaction; then the crowning act of 
triumph was to get the dainty white hat tied 
under her chin. Throughout the process she 
capered and danced and crowed and chattered. 
To go to church was something for which her 
Little soul had longed ever since she had balanced 
herself on her toes in the big chair and watched 

(20) 



Going to Church, 21 

the people pass on their way thither. At last we 
were started, not without many anxious injunc- 
tions from mamma, who was to follow us a few 
minutes later. Her parting sentence, given 
between the last two or three kisses, was : 

"Now, Minie will remember not to speak a 
word when the minister stands up in the pulpit. 
He will talk, you know, and Minie will not speak 
a word, will she ? " 

And Minie's answer was slow and impressive . 

" No, indeed, not at all. When the ministei 

speaks Minie will keep Just as still'* 

Fairly seated in the great church, with the 

solemn-toned organ pealing through the building, 

surprise and awe kept the little midget very 

quiet; pretty little pink flushes came and went 

on her fair face, and her lips were parted in the 

eagerness of listening and looking, for the people 

were coming in one constant procession past our 

seat. Ever and anon Minie caught glimpses of a 

familiar face ; but the awe was upon her still, and 

beyond lifting up a small fore finger and 



22 Grandpa's Darlings. 

solemnly pointing it at them she made no dem- 
onstration. Presently came the home faces, 
grandma and grandpa, and papa and mamma, 
and aunties — one, two, three. 

Now grandma had chosen this unfortunate 
Sunday in which to appear in a new bonnet, in 
the soft white border of which there nestled one 
wee pink flower, so dainty and perfect that 
Minie's absurd little nose was all in a tremble to 
smell of it. The organ had softened into the 
lowest and tenderest of trembles; plenty of 
friends surrounded Minie, faces that she always 
haw about her ; somewhat of the strangeness had 
worn away; she looked about her eagerly, the 
minister was certainly not speaking ; to her short- 
sighted vision he was nowhere to be seen. She 
spoke in breathless haste lest he might get ready 
to speak before she finished : 

" Oh, grandma, grandma ! hold down your head 
quick, and let me smell the posy." 

Then such a shaking of heads and whispering 
as followed ! Mamma even gave her a little bit 



Going to Church. 23 

of a shake, and took her quite away from my 
protecting arms and set her down firmly on the 
seat beside herself. She did get one smell, 
though. As she was whisked past the beautiful 
flower she snuffed up her little nose with a noise 
that even the minister must have heard. There 
was a sudden putting of handkerchiefs to people's 
mouths, and a good deal of unnecessary coughing 
done. 

The minister for that particular Sunday was no 
other than the little lady's " Uncle Sharlie," 
which accounted for her being there herself, 
everybody being so anxious to hear him that we 
almost could not stay at home to look after 
midget. She settled into absolute quiet and 
looked up at the pulpit with a face as wise as an 
owl's. So perfect was she that her mamma, 
beguiled into forgetfulness, relaxed the hold of 
her little hand, and we all gave undivided atten- 
tion to "Uncle Sharlie" for the space of five 
minutes. I think it was all that any of us heard 
of that sermon. 



24 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Taking advantage of our trust in her goodness, 
the small sprite slipped suddenly and silently 
from her seat, and in another second had glided 
past two astonished aunties, and was marching 
solemnly down the aisle. 

Mamma looked at grandma the picture of 
despair, and telegraphed her a question, to which 
grandma shook her head. The question asked 
was: "Shall I try to catch her?" And grand- 
ma's eyes and head said : " No, no ! You know 
she will squeal like a little Indian if you try to ; 
perhaps she will be quiet." Those dreadful 
squeals, shrill as bugles, that the naughty little 
maiden was in the habit of giving over things 
that did not suit, kept us all meekly in our seats, 
using our fans vigorously to keep down the rising 
blood, and waiting for what would come next. 

Very softly the slippered feet moved down the 
carpeted aisle — no cat could have done it better. 
Now and then she stopped when she saw a 
familiar face to make a call ; occasionally she took 
a seat on some foot- stool, and looked industri- 



Going to Church. 25 

ously for "picsures " in a hymn-book, then slipped 

out on her travels ; occasionally she paused in 

her slow walk, and fixed her great wise eyes on 

the minister. 

Every second I expected to hear her ringing 

voice peal out " Uncle Sharlie ; " but no, the little 

lips were puckered into a determined silence, and 

after looking at him steadily for a moment or two 

she would move quietly on. As she neared the 

pulpit our hearts fairly stopped beating. What, 

oh, what should we do if she should take a fancy 

to mount the steps and pay " Uncle Sharlie " a 

visit? The squeals must be endured in that 

case, and the wee culprit be carried out of 

church. I almost saw her little feet kicking in a 

frantic attempt to get away, but I closed my fan 

and put up my Bible, making ready to start at a 

minute's notice. She would go quietly with me 

if she would with any one. But her good genius 

must have walked beside her just then. She 
paused by the pulpit steps ; she even put one tiny 

foot on the first stair, but as quickly dr***v it 



26 Grandpa's Darlings. 

back, and slipped silently across the church to 
the other side, and continued her social visits 
here and there. 

I hope "Uncle Sharlie" will never again 
preach so long a sermon as he did that day ; at 
least so long a one as it seemed to me. Why, I 
thought it must have been hours since she first 
began to walk softly through that great church. 
I wore my fan out, and midget's mamma bit a 
hole in the corner of hers, and grandma mopped 
her face every two minutes with her handker- 
chief, and unpinned her lace shawl. It was not 
so much what the little morsel did — she was 
quiet enough — a mouse would have made more 
noise ; but there was all the time the wonderment 
as to what she would do next. 

At last the sermoa was ended, " Uncle Sharlie" 
sat down, and the pastor arose and read the 
closing hymn. Meantime midget made a call on 
a solemn old gentleman, who looked at her 
sternly through his glasses. When the organ 
rolled its voice through the church she started 



Going to Church. 2J 

and turned around — not a familiar face was near 
her ; she stood on tiptoe and looked up and down 
the aisle. Her mamma gave me a despairing 
nod, and whispered : 

" She'll cry now. I mean to go for her." 

" No, she won't," whispered grandma. " Let 
her alone. I want to see what she will do." 

What she did was to come with swift, silent 
steps up the aisle, around the corner seat, with a 
very sober face, until she caught a glimpse of 
" Uncle Sharlie" in the pulpit, then she subsided 
into her jog trot again — she had discovered a 
friend. Just as the minister had reached the 
"Amen" of the benediction her naughty little 
feet stepped into grandpa's pew, and recognizing 
in the rustle and- bustle and whispering all about 
her that the hour of silence was over, she looked 
up at mamma with a serene face, and said : 

" I didn't speak a word, not a single word at 
all, did I, mamma?" 

What a grieved, astonished pucker her lips put 



28 Grandpds Darlings. 

on as mamma nervously grasped her hand, and 
said: 

" Speak a word ! you little midget. You might 
as well have spoken twenty words." 

At home we all sat down with our hats and 
sacks still on to rest and breathe after the 
morning's excitement. Mamma fanned herself 
with great energy. 

" I declare," she said, " I haven't had such a 
sweat this summer. Did you ever see anything 
like it ? " 

" I expected every minute that she would take 
the preaching into her own hands," said " Uncle 
Sharlie." 

" I thought she would go and make you a 
call," said grandma. " She looked it out of her 
eyes." 

" I'm only too thankful that she didn't squeal," 
said I, tugging at my glove that was wet and 
would not come off. 

Under all this fire of comment Minie sat on 
grandpa's lap, where she had taken refuge, look- 



Going to Chunk. 29 

ing with wondering eyes from one to the othen 
and speaking only the one sentence over and 
over again: 

" I didn't speak a word, not a word at all, did 
I, grandpa?" 

"Not a word," said grandpa, hugging his 
darling close to his heart. "You did the best 
you knew how, and that is what can't be said 
of everybody. They told you you mustn't make 
speeches, and you remembered it. Next time 
maybe they will think to teach you that you 
mustn't take walks. Meantime see if we all 
succeed in doing as well as she did — behaving 
the best we know how." 

Dear grandpa, there never was a time when he 
had not a shielding word for those who intended 
right 




CHAPTER III. 



it 



MAKING BELIEVE. 



» 



It was a summer morning, bright and clear, 

* 

but yet it was cold. The sun was just peeping 

up behind the hills at our back door — not awake 

enough yet to warm the great earth that was 

waiting for him. Things had been astir at 

grandpa's for some time; so they had been at 

the "other house." The other house meaning 

Minie's home at the upper end of the garden. 

Grandma had gone very early to the other house, 

for there was a journey in prospect. A very 
early start was to be taken, and somehow no one 

in our family ever could get ready to do anything 

(30) 



" Making Believe? 3 1 

without grandma's help. "Auntie Dule" and I 

had been left to get the breakfast, and she rattled 

the fire until the tea-kettle puffed, and the coffee 

bubbled, and the potatoes in the spider sissed; 

then, bidding me see that things didn't boil over 

or burn, she threw her apron over her head and 

ran up the hill. Just where I wanted to go ! I 

hadn't seen my darling in twelve hours, and 

wished that people didn't have to eat breakfasts 

when they were going away, or that I didn't have 

to get them, or something. 

Pretty soon "Auntie Dule" came down the 

hill faster than she had gone up, and burst in the 

kitchen door. 

" They want you to come up and see if you can 

do anything with Minie," she said, as she jerked 

the bubbling coffee-pot to the corner of the 

stove ; and added : " Those potatoes are burniiyj. 

What a creature you are to get breakfast." 

"What is the trouble with Minie?" I asked, 
anxiously, looking around for a bonnet. 

"Oh, she is cross; won't let anybody touch 



32 Grandpa's Darlings. 

her. It is almost time for the stage, and she 
isn't dressed." 

In three minutes more I stood in her mamma's 
room. Shall I ever forget the funny little figure 
that I found curled up in a* great arm chair ? 
One tiny arm and shoulder, slipped out from her 
white nightgown; the other, just ready to be 
slipped. Just so far had Minie's toilet pro- 
gressed when the poor, sleepy darling roused 
to the thought that she was being dreadfully 
ill-treated, being waked up in the night, and 
picked out of her snug bed, and her pretty 
dream. She had been told every morning for 
years — so she thought — that she was "going 
away off to auntie's house one of these days," 
until the truth was she didn't believe a word 
of it — didn't believe there was any "auntie's 
house," and was heartily tired of the whole story. 
Such a pitiful little lip as was puckered up 
at me, and quivering voice said, pleadingly: 
"Auntie Belle will take Minie? She is tired, 
and sleepy, and cold." I sat down in a low 



« 



Making Believe? 3 3 



chair and gathered the queer little bundle into 
my big house apron, and, without a word of 
dressing, I began to tell a story about a wonder- 
ful kitten with brown tail and white feet, and 
someway the kitten could only be found at 
auntie's house. Pretty soon I. began to bathe 
the pretty little limbs and take away the ugly, 
chilled feeling with some vigorous rubbing: 
then, before she knew it, the ridiculous little 
skirts were going on, the kitten story continuing 
with increased interest. As I settled the dainty 
.linen suit into place, my small lady roused to 
consciousness : 

" Why, auntie, you are putting on my travel- 
ing dress!" 

"Of course I am, darling. Don't I tell you 
that you are going to travel ? " 

She peeped out at the other room with shining* 
eyes. 

"And mamma is all dressed up," she said, 
eagerly ; " and papa has his duster coat on, and 



34 Grandpa's Darlings. 

the big trunk is packed. Why, we're really, 
truly going ! Why, I'm so delighted." 

Then came "Auntie Dule" to get a glimpse 
of her darling. 

"Oh," she said, as the trim little vision in 

braided linen suit and brown traveling boots 

» 

caught her eye. "Dear me! you look so very 
nice, I'm afraid all the little boys will fall in love 
with you." 

" Fall where ? " asked our astonished little 
maiden. 

This was new language to her. Instead of 
plaining, « aU taghed a, fte amazed look in 
her eyes. She put her head on one side and 
thought; then a radiant smile broke over her 
face, and she said, eagerly : 

"Auntie Dule, do you mean they will love 
me?" 

Auntie nodded, and then Minie clapped her 
bits of hands together and said : 

"Oh! Why, won't that be ever so nice?' 



u 



Making Believe" 35 



Which sentence she seemed to consider the 
height of proper language. 

Meantime grandpa had come up, and at this 
point he took the small lady in his arms, saying, 
as he stood her on the center table to shake out 
her skirts: 

" Little woman, did you ever hear of an old 
saying with five words in it : ' Handsome is that 
handgome does?'" 

" How does that mean, grandpa ? " the little 

woman asked, tilting her head on one side like a 

canary bird. 

"It means that even the little boys, silly 

I beings though they often are, will not love 

anybody who doesn't act very nice, no matter 

how pretty they look. You may be dressed in 

your nicest, and if you are cross, or selfish, or 

sullen, nobody will love you. Will you always 

remember that?" 

" Um," said Minie. I don't know that that is 

quite the way to spell it, but it is as near as I 

can get to the word that she was fond of using 



3j5 Grandpa's Darlings. 

instead of Yes, sir. "Um, 'member it ever, 
always." Which was another sentence of her 
own making, which she seemed to think was very 
strong language. Grandpa laughed : 

" See that you do," he said, in a tone which 
said: I presume you will forget all about it in 
an hour. "Now give me ten kisses and I'll 
carry you down to get some breakfast." 

The kisses were given with a will, m^ny a 
loving hug and pat thrown into the bargain. 
Minie loved her grandpa " much dearly," so she 
said, and truly she had reason. God never gave 
a better grandpa to any of his little ones than he 
gave to her. For the benefit of those who would 
like to know some things that she did while 
on her journey, I will copy a letter from her 
mamma : 

Dear Grandma: — We reached here safely 
last evening. Minie did not seem tired at all, 
and is as fresh as a bird this morning. She 
made a great many friends on the cars. People 



u 



Making Believe? 37 



came to borrow her every little while, and I could 
hear them laughing at what she said. I suspect 
she told some remarkable stories. I heard one 
of them. A gentleman sitting before us asked 
her to come and sit with him, and she went 
promptly enough. 

" Can't you go home with me and be my little 
girl ? " he asked her. 

" I don't know," she said, putting her head on 
one side, as if she were thinking about it. 
" Have you any mamma there for me ? " 

" No," he said, laughing and blushing ; " but I 
think I could hunt one up." 

"Oh!" she said, loftily. "Well, mine is 
hunted up, you see. I wouldn't have to wait for 
her." . 

After he got done laughing at that, .he said : 

" I've got an old yellow cat at home and two 
cunning little white kittens. I don't believe you 
have any at your house." 

" Oh, yes I have," she said, promptly. " I've 
got an old/ cat and five little cunning kittens. 



38 Grandpds Darlings. 

They are brown and white and gray, and oh, all 
colors." 

" Indeed ! " he said. " That is rather ahead 
of me. What can your kittens do ? " 

" Oh, play with their tails, you know, and run 
after a ball, and lots of things." 

" Do you put them in the barn to sleep ? " 

" Oh, no ! " she said, with a horrified air. " No 
indeed, not at all. I've got a little crib for them, 
and little sheets and pillows and everything ; and 
I rock them to sleep in my arms every night. 
They've got cunning little white night-gowns and 
night-caps with lace on ; mamma made them." 
Don't you think he must have thought her 
mamma was an idiot ? He seemed wonderfully 
amused and kept asking questions; among 
others, " Do they sleep well all night ? " 

"Well, yes," Minie said, "most always; only 
one night they were sick, every one of them, and 
I had to sit up with them all night, and mamma 
gave them aconite and belladonna every two 
hours, and they got better." He laughed so 



"Making Believe." 39 

hard that he shook the seat, but he went on with 
his questions, " What in the world made them 
sick, do you think ? " 

" Oh," said the ridiculous little mouse, " we 
didn't know, but we most expected they had 
been eating tommytoes and pillarcats and flut- 
terbys for their supper." 

"Eating what?" he asked, in great astonish- 
ment. At this point I, who had been listening 
in a kind of maze, thought it quite time to inter- 
fere. 

" Why, Minie, Minie !" I said, leaning forward, 
"what dreadful nonsense are you telling the 
gentleman ? " 

"Why, mamma!" she said, turning her won- 
dering little face to me, "I'm only making 
believe, you know." 

I took her on my lap and we tried to have a 
very grave talk. Do you believe I could make 
the queer little mouse understand that she had 
done wrong in telling such stories ? 

" They didn't mean to be stories, mamma," she 



40 Grandpds Darlings. 

said again and again. " I was only playing that 
I had five kittens, and put them in a crib to 
sleep. I would if I had any ; I think it would 
be real nice, don't you ? " 

" But, darling," I said, " the man didn't know 
you were playing ; he thinks you really have five 
kitties." 

" But, mamma, I know I was playing ; I know 
it isn't true." 

And I could not make her understand. 

" Darling," I said, " see here. Suppose I 
should write to grandpa like this : * Minie is very 
sick ; I had to sit up with her all night ; I give 
her medicine every two hours.' Would it be 
true ? " 

" No, ma'am," she said, promptly. 

"But suppose I wrote to him the next day, 
and said, ' I was only playing that Minie was 
sick ; she isn't sick at all.' Would that make it 
all right ? Do you think grandpa would say we 
had done right to make them all so much sorrow 
and trouble just for play ? " 



u Making Believe? 41 

She thought a minute, then she said : " But, 
mamma, the man didn't love my kitties; he 
didn't care whether they were sick or not. 
Mamma, I don't think I made him any trouble." 

I hope you see how useful my illustration 
was. 

After a good deal more talk I either partly 
convinced her, or else she thought she would put 
an end to the whole matter, for she suddenly 
leaned forward and said, in a clear, ringing 
voice : 

" Man, man, I was only ' making believe,' you 
know. I haven't got any kitties ; are your kitties 
make-believe ones, too? I never had any, and 
they sleep in the barn ; I mean they would if I 
had any. Only we haven't got a barn, and I 
didn't mean to tell you stories. I was just 
' playing/ and you musn't ever tell stories, ever at 
all ; it's wicked, and Jesus won't love you a bit if 
you do. You don't ever do it, do you?" By 
this time everybody around us was laughing. 



42 Grandpds Darlings. 

"Is it possible," the gentleman asked me, 
" that the child hasn't any kitten ? " 

" Never had one in her life," I told him, " ex- 
cept her play kittens, which certainly seemed as 
real to her as if they were alive." 

" I should think so," he said. " She certainly 
has a vivid imagination. What in the world 
does she mean about their eating 'Tommy toes 
and pillarcats ? ' " 

Then I had to tell him that story, over which 
he laughed, as though he might have a little one 
at home whose queer doings had taught him to 
be amused with the children. 

This is only one of the many adventures that 
your darling had. I was thankful when I had 
herself and her absurd little tongue safe within 
the walls of Uncle " Sharly's" house. 



CHAPTER IV. 



REAL THINGS. 



Minie's little palate was a great trouble to us. 
It knew the taste of good things, and longed 
after them, and her pretty little tongue coaxed 
for them, in a way that was heart-rending to 
refuse. But there were so many things that she 
could not eat, and no sooner was an article set 
down to that long list of things that made Minie 
sick than her perverse little stomach was seized 
with a desire for that thing, and nothing else. 
One of the dainties that she longed for was 
currants, and currants she could not eat. All 
sorts of devices were resorted to, to save the 
plaintive little face from growing sad over the 
(43) 



44 Grandpds Darlings. 

sight of the forbidden fruit. "Auntie Dule," 
particularly, was very wise in planning so that 
the baby might live in a perpetual state of 
forgetfulness over its existence ; but it wasn't 
always easy, for her eyes were very bright and 
watchful. 

On a certain summer afternoon, when the 
little lady was down at grandpa's, visiting, as it 
(hew toward tea time "Auntie Dule" stole away, 
bowl In hand, to pick some currants for tea. 
Mllllii \vuH supposed to be going home before tea 
llhHS No her heart was not to be disturbed by the 
M^hl of them, Trot, trot, went the little feet 
tM\ta* the kitchen floor, and just as "Auntie 
DulvV* Mill bonnet was vanishing through the 
\\\\*\\- II WM oheeked by a shrill voice : 
" Aimlh* Unle, where is you going?" 
"Oh| M fttltl tuintlc, hesitatingly, "to China, 

Mh»W %\\*Wl know where China was, but she 

\\ i»v w\\w%to\ H\\\\ In her auntie, and, for ought she 

• * \\\\w\ misfit be just outside the garden 



" Fliillerbys and Pillarcals." — Page 45, 



Real 1 kings. # 45 

gate; so she accepted the statement and went 
on: 

" Well, what is you going to do with that bowl 
when you get to Sina ? " 

" Oh, dear me ! " auntie said, growing puzzled. 
" Pick butterflies and caterpillars, maybe." 

" For tea ! " said Minie, her eyes opening wide 
with startled horror. 

" Aye, I guess so. Do you want some ? " 

Away flew Minie with her astonishing piece 
of news, through the kitchen, through the sitting- 
room, straight into her place of safety, grandma's 
arms, her cheeks aglow, her voice trembling with 
excitement. 

"Oh, grandma! grandma! Auntie Dule is 
gone away to Sina, to pick a bowl full of flutter- 
bys and pillarcats for tea. Do people eat them, 
grandma ? " 

Meantime " Auntie Dule," chuckling over the 
success of her surprising statement, escaped to 
the garden with her bowl. 

This story was told to grandpa at the tea table 



46 Grandpa's Darlings. 

after Minie had gone home, with many descrip- 
tions of her shocked tones and looks, and much 
laughter. Only grandpa looked grave. When 
the laugh was over he said to " Auntie Dule : 

" How many years do you suppose it will be 
before Minie will discover that you haven't told 
her the truth ? " 

" The truth ! " said auntie, in surprise. " Why, 
of course it wasn't truth. I was only in fun, you 
know. Who ever supposed that the absurd little 
monkey would believe it?" and she laughed 
again at the thought. 

" But you see she did believe it," grandpa said. 
"Believed it because you told it to her. She has 
great faith in your word, you see. I would be 
very careful not to give that faith a shock if I 
were you." 

" Why, dear me ! " auntie said, with puzzled 
face ; " I never thought about its being anything 
serious. Don't you think it is right to say any- 
thing in fun to a child ? " 

" I don't think it is right to say anything but 



Real Things. 47 

the truth to any one," grandpa said, emphatically ; 
" least of all to a child? 

Under the impulse of this talk auntie took 
pains to explain to Minie, with great care, that 
China was not out under the apple tree, but a 
great way off ; that people did not eat " pillarcats 
and flutterbys ; " and that, in short, she was only 
" making believe " in what she told her. Minie 
listened attentively, seemed to take in the idea 
and be satisfied. 

It was not long afterward that the letter came 
from her mamma, about which I told you last 
week 

After we had read it and laughed over it, 
grandpa turned suddenly to " Auntie Dule " and 
asked : " Do you see the fruit of your own plant- 
ing ? Minie learned to ' make believe ' out under 
the currant bushes, didn't she ? " 

We all took that home for a lesson, and after 
that tried to speak the exact truth to the queer 
little girl. And yet her ideas of things became 
very much mixed. For instance, she was very 



48 Graftdpds Darlings. 

fond of dogs, little curly blink-eyed creatures 
that waddled along the street, seeking for things 
to bark at. She knew I could hardly endure 
the sight of them, and she was very fond of me, 
and very anxious to secure my approval of every- 
thing that she said and did. One glowing 
summer day we took a walk, she in spotless 
white and charming silver-buckled slippers. As 
we turned down Fulton Street there came along 
one of those snarly wretches known as poodle 
dogs. 

Minie was in a flutter of delight. She clapped 
her hands and called after him, "Doggy, dear 
doggy ; wait a minute, till I see you better." He 
trotted on just ahead of us, and she expressed 
her satisfaction in every possible way. She even 
appealed to me to know if he wasn't a " darling." 
I said, " I guess so," in an absent sort of way ; 
and in reply to other exclamations of pleasure 
gave sometimes a half answer, sometimes silence, 
until suddenly she turned from the dog and 
looked up into my face. I suppose I looked 



Real Things. 49 

grave, for my thoughts were miles away from 
there, and I was puzzled and troubled about 
some bit of business that did not want to go 
right. Poor Minie thought my sober face was 
all owing to her raptures over his dogship. 
Instantly she was her dignified little self, trying 
to make me understand that her heart was all 
right. "I don't love him a bit, Auntie Belle," 
she said, in a grave, earnest way that she had. 
"Not a single bit at all. No, indeed. Only — 
he has got such a little cunning tail ! " 

Oh, how grandpa laughed over that when I 
told him about it — laughed until he had to get 
out his handkerchief and wipe away the tears. 
" The world is full of just such people," he said, 
afterward. " I meet them every day of my life. 
They don't care for this fashion or that amuse- 
ment, only — ' they have got such little cunning 

tails/ " 

The saying passed into a proverb with our 
family, especially with grandpa. Whenever he 
heard any one trying to make a foolish apology 



50 Grandpa's Darlings. 

for something that they wanted to do, or some- 
where they wanted to go — while they didn't 
want to have the name of caring for such things 
— he would be sure to say: "There's another 
dog that has a little cunning tail" 

It is queer what a fashion people have for 
telling little bits of people what is not quite true, 
and of telling them to do ridiculous things that 
you don't mean them to do. These were things 
that, as you have seen, grandpa particularly 
disliked. Yet so natural does it seem to be to 
indulge in them, that once he was caught in just 
that way himself. They were going to New 
York — papa and mamma and Minie — and the 
small lady, all in a flutter of delight, was getting 
bits of errands to do for each of us; something 
nice that she was going to buy us — a collar for 
grandma, a " wuffle " for " Auntie Dule," a pencil 
for me; and "what for grandpa?" she asked, 
staying her dancing feet before him, and speak- 
ing gleefully. The carriage was at the door; 



Real Things. 51 

everybody was waiting. What should grandpa 
say? 

" Oh," he said, hastily, " a cigar, I guess." 
Such a strange thing for grandpa to choose, who 
never touched a cigar, and didn't like to have 
any one else touch them ! Everybody laughed, 
understanding that for once in his life even 
grandpa was "making believe," and everybody 
forgot that Minie was an earnest-hearted little 
woman who believed that people said what they 
meant, and meant what they said. 

One day she went, dressed in her prettiest, 
down town for a promenade with Cousin Ed. 
Now, Cousin Ed. was a young gentleman who 
had much heart .and much money, and the ways 
in which he filled Minie's heart with comfort can 
not be told here. It would take too much room. 
The little maiden chose this particular time in 
which to do her shopping, and besides the collar 
and " wuffle," and pencil, what was papa's bewil- 
derment to find stored among his freight a large 
size box of "choice Havana cigars!" 



52 Grandpas Darlings. 

Gunpowder or brandy casks couldn't have 
surprised him more. But Minie was wisdom and 
gravity combined. 

"Why, papa, I know all about it. It is my 
present for grandpa. Cousin Ed. bought it. 
My cigar, you know. Grandpa sent for it. I 
told Cousin Ed. so, and he said one wouldn't last 
long, and he would get the man to put in some 
more. Oh, my! what a many! I didn't think 
there would be such a many as that. Won't 
grandpa be pleased ? " 

" Won't grandpa be dumbfounded ? " said papa, 
taking in the idea, and laughing loud and long. 
Wicked Cousin Ed. knew perfectly well that the 
grandpa at home hated the whole family of 
cigars and all their relations, though innocent 
little Minie did not. 

" Serves me right," said grandpa, after he 
could speak for laughing over his queer present. 
" Serves me just right. I had no business to tell 
the baby to bring me one. Only a little while 
since I lectured some of you about that very 



Real Things. 53 

thing, too. It only goes to show how deter- 
mined we are that the pure-hearted little things 
shall grow to believe that everybody is ' making 
believe.'" Then he stooped and gathered the 
waiting little woman into his arms. 

" Aren't you pleased, grandpa ? " she said, with 
a little quiver of the lips. " Minie thought you 
would be." 

" Yes," he said, pressing loving kisses on her 
lips, "grandpa is pleased with his little girl. 
She is a good, honest little woman. She does 
just as she promises to do, and is in real earnest 
about it all. Minie must do so always, and then 
she will be an honest big woman one of these 
days ; and as for grandpa, he will try to help you 
after this every time." 

Dear grandpa, there isn't a memory of Minie's 
young life that is not woven in with sweet 
thoughts about that precious, wise-hearted, faith- 
fall friend, who helped her " every time." 




CHAPTER V. 

SHOWERS AND SUNSHINE. 

Minie spent one very happy day in packing 
her trunk. That queer little trunk ! I wish you 
could have seen it. It was the shape and color 
of papa's ; had a lock and key, and leather strap 
— everything complete. But it was so little and 
cunning that even Minie could drag it around by 
the handle after it was packed. 

Well, it was locked and strapped and marked ; 
a card tacked on the end, like papa's, with 
Minie's full name and place of residence. Was 
she going # a journey ? Bless your heart, no. 
She was going down the garden walk to grand- 
(54) 



Showers and Sunshine. 55 

pa's, to spend a week, for papa and mamma were 
going to Buffalo. Such a time as we had 
getting that trunk packed to her satisfaction ! 
She couldn't have been more particular if she 
had been a young lady getting ready for Sara- ' 
toga or Long Branch. 

At last everything was ready, and we stood on 
the steps, watching papa ancj mamma start. 
Minie's cheeks were pretty red ; there were two 
tears in her eyes, and a hard lump in her throat. 
She kept swallowing and swallowing, and trying 
hard not to cry; and she didn't, for just at that 
happy moment who should drive up but grandpa, 
in the big wagon, and with the shop-boy beside 
him? 

Out they both jumped. " Is this trunk ready ?" 
asked grandpa, with a very business-like air; 
then they both took hold, grandpa at one end 
and the boy at the other « — exactly as the carmen 
had just done with papa's ; and Minie, very much 
interested, watched them place it in the wagon, 



56 Grandpa! s Darlings. 

and in giving directions and cautions, as papa 
had done, forgot to cry. 

For all that, it was a very sober little body who 
took hold of my hand, a few minutes afferward, 
and started on her journey down the garden. 
She gave me some good advice on the way. 

"Auntie Belle, you must say your prayers 
every night and morning, always, no matter if 
your mamma is away; because God isn't away, 
you know — he never packs his trunk and goes a 
journey; and you needn't stop saying them 
because your mamma's knee is gone away, 
because grandma's knee is just as good." 

V 

" But / haven't any grandma," said wicked I, 
willing to see what the sober little brain would 
answer. "My grandma went to heaven years 
ago. What can I do in such a case ? " 

" Why, there's grandpa," she said, eagerly. 
" Oh, no ; you haven't got any grandpa either, 
poor Auntie Belle ! No grandpa nor grandma. 
What will you do ? Well, / know ; you can go 
right straight to God's knee, then — that will do 



Showers and Sunshine. 57 

just as well, because he never will die and go to 
heaven. He always stays." 

Then the advice went on : 

"And you must be a good girl when your 
mamma is away, and do just what she would 
like, same as if she could see you, * cause God 
sees you all the time, you know — in the dark 
night, and all ; and he won't like it if you don't 
please your mamma. He said so." 

I received this kind advice very soberly, and I 
hope it did me good. It is certain that in my 
later days I have had a good deal of that thing 
given me that was neither so sensible nor so 
gently given as this. 

All through the long summer day Minie was 
brave and bright. She took her nap on grand- 
ma's bed instead of mamma's, where she had 
always been, before she went to walk with me ; 
and shut her eyes and talked very fast when she 
passed papa's office. She went through with the 
undressing for bed at night without a misgiving, 
popped her head into her pretty night-gown and 



58 Grandpa's Darlings. 

came up the other side of it with a chuckle of 
pleasure. She even knelt down and folded her 
sweet hands and murmured her " Now I lay me," 
even to the " Bless dear papa and dear mamma, 
and take good care of them all night, for Jesus' 
sake. Amen," without a single tear. Her 
womanly little heart had taken in the mother's 
teaching, " Grandma's knee will do just as well." 
It was not until the clothes had been folded 
away in a nice pile, ready for morning, and the 
boots and stockings laid beside them, by the 
neat little maiden herself, that, as she sat on 
grandma's knee and " Auntie Dule " brought the 
brimming glass of cold water that was always 
her "last thing before eyes go shut," a great 
sense of her loss and her loneliness suddenly 
rolled over her, and with one pitiful wail that 
touches my heart to think of even to-day she 
sobbed out, " Why can't my mamma hold it ? " 
and burying her head on grandma's neck she 
cried as if her little heart was entirely broken. 
What a time we had of it then ! How we all 



Showers and Sunshine. 59 

tried to comfort her at once. How "Auntie 
Dule " sputtered in indignation : " When / have 
a baby I won't go to New York, nor anywhere 
else, and leave her!." How grandma snuggled 
her, and kissed her, and whispered sweet little 
words in her ear ! How at last grandpa, walking 
the floor, grieved to the heart with her heavy 
sobs, said, suddenly : 

v " I wonder where the lady is that that trunk 
belongs to?" 

"What trunk?" asked grandma. 

"Why, a trunk that I brought in my big 
wagon to-day. They said there was a young 
lady coming to spend a week with us, and I 
thought we were going to have some pleasant 
times. I don't see why she didn't come. I'm 
disappointed." 

The wailing in grandma's neck suddenly 
stopped. Minie sat up straight, wiped her red 
eyes on her night-gown, then said, earnestly : 

"Why, she did come, grandpa. Fm the 
young lady." 



60 Grandpa's Darlings. 

. "You!" said grandpa, stopping in his walk 
and looking down at her. " It can't be. Aren't 
you the child I heard crying? Young ladies 
don't cry when they go to visit their friends. 
They are glad to go visiting, and they have a real 
nice time. There must be some mistake." 

" No," said Minie, positively. "I'm the young 
lady, and I don't cry, either — not a bit at all; 
no, indeed." And her eyes shone like two stars. 
Not another cry did we hear from Minie, though 
she staid with us a week and three days. No 
young lady could have behaved more properly or 
enjoyed herself more thoroughly than did she, 
and a nice time we had. 

She brought her kitten with her. It deserves 
telling about. It was a pretty brown thing, as 
kittens go, though I'm no lover of the biting, 
scratching little wretches; but, oh! how Minie 
loved hers. And grandpa didn't In fact I 
hardly ever knew any one who had such a dislike 
for cats as grandpa had. We never kept any, 
and he. never allowed one to come inside the 



Showers and Sunshine. 6l 

garden gate if he could help it. He didn't want 

Minie to have one, and for a long time her 

mamma wouldn't allow it ; but, dear me ! how are 

you going to keep kittens away from children 

or children away from kittens in this world? 

There's my Ray half wild at the sight of one. 

Well, Minie was just as bad, and a kitten she got 

somehow, we hardly know how, and she brought 

it with her down to grandpa's. We all agreed 

that it must be kept out of grandpa's way; it 

would never do to annoy him with the sight and 
soufid of it ; so it was carefully put away before 

business hours were over and grandpa at leisure 
But one evening we left the wood-house door 
open for about two minutes, and in popped kitty, 
hiding herself under the lounge until we had all 
forgotten her and were in the sitting-room, 
grandpa with his glasses and the evening paper ; 
then she walked in, and of all the places in the 
world to choose she sidled up to grandpa, rub- 
bing against his slippers, and filling the room 



62 Grandpa's Darlings. 

with that horrid "purr" that is so particularly 
disagreeable to people who dislike cats. 

Minie's face was a study then. She slid down 
from my arms and went softly and swiftly 
around to grandpa's knee, faithful to her little 
brown disobedient darling, even while she trem- 
bled for it. Not that she was afraid grandpa 
would hurt it. Dear me, no! grandpa never 
really hurt anything; but he would be almost 
certain to jump and say that heart-rending " scat," 
and more than likely he would give it a gentle 
push with the toe of his slipper to help it along ; 
and it seemed to Minie as if any of these things 
would just about break her heart. So she stood 
watching at grandpa's knee, saying not a word. 
Once she tried to take up the naughty kitten, but 
it drew away from her and actually mewed quite 
loud ; it seemed bent on its own destruction. 

Just then grandpa noticed it. He dropped his 
paper, leaned forward, and looked, first at Minie, 
then at the kitten ; then he said in a tone as 
gentle as Minie's own, " Poor pussy." Could we 



Showers and Sunshine. 63 

believe our eyes! What did he do next but 
reach down and put Minie on one knee and the 
kitten on the other. 

"Well, well, well!" said grandma, growing 
more earnest over each word, "wonders will 
never end. If there you don't sit holding a 
kitten ! What next ? " 

Grandpa stroked the brown-headed darling with 
his right hand and patted the kitty with his left, 
as he said : 

" She is a young lady visiting us, you know. 
We must be very polite to company." 

There was .a change in the order of things 
after that. Kitty came and went freely, undis- 
turbed by anybody, least of all by grandpa. The 
little maiden even dumped it into his arms to 
hold whenever she wanted to feel very safe about 
it. I never could discover that grandpa grew 
very fond of other cats ; he " scatted " them as 
promptly as before whenever they appeared on 
the wrong side of his fence ; but that particular 



64 Grandpds Darlings. 

little brown kitten was Minie's darling, and 
Minie was " grandpa's darling." 

I mean that she shed no tears over her fathers 
and mother's absence. She had her trials, how- 
ever. One warm afternoon I found her sitting 
on her low stool just in the shadow of grandma's 
door, her wee white apron doing duty to catch 
the tears that were slowly dropping one by one 
from the tip of her bit of a nose. In surprise 
and dismay I picked her up and carried her out 
to the privacy of the corner sofa to tell me what 
was the matter. Little by little, between heavy 
sobs and several tears, the sad story was told. 

She had been watching grandma take out her 
toosies and rub them and put them in a tumbler, 
and she went to the kitchen and got another 
tumbler, and was going to put her toosies in it, 
and they wouldn't come out — they stuck just as 
fast, though she pulled and pulled. She even 
took the sharp-pointed little scissors to them, and 
made the " hid" come, but the teeth wouldn't stir 
at all. She didn't think they were made like 



Showers and Sunshine. 65 

grandma's at all — something was wrong about 
them. Grandma didn't have a bit of trouble; 
hers slipped out just as easy. Now wasn't that 
trouble ? 

" Real, genuine trouble, too," grandpa said 
when we told him. "You needn't laugh about 
it. It is as real to her as most of our trials are 
to us." 

"But the idea of crying because her little 
pearls of teeth are her own instead of being 
false ones put on a plate," said grandma. " Who 
ever heard the like? Just as if she wasn't 
enough sight better off with them fastened in 
tight." 

" Aye," said grandpa ; " but the thing is to 
make her believe it. I suspect you and I are 
better off this minute without something that we 
think we want than we would be if we had it, 
only how are we going to be convinced of it ? 
Whoever undertook it would have as hard work 
as auntie did trying to prove that real teeth were 



66 Grandpa's Darlings. 

better than false ones ; and I don't suppose you 
succeeded," he said, turning to me. 

" No," said I, thoughtfully ; " I don't believe I 
did." 

The other day that same Minie, a tall slip of a 
girl, with nothing about her like the Minie of 
babyhood except her brown eyes, walked into my 
house, her strap of school-books on her shoulder, 
and a very dismal look on her face. 

"Auntie Belle," she said, "only think! I 
have seventeen teeth that will have to be filled, 
and the dentist said he didn't believe they were 
any of them worth filling. He said he shouldn't 
wonder if I should have to have false teeth 
before long. Won't that be horrid! taking out 
teeth and putting them in ? Ugh ! " 

"Ah, ha!" said I. "People change their 
opinions sometimes." 

Then I told her the story of the little maiden 
behind the door weeping her apron full of tears. 
Do you want to know what she said? She 
laughed merrily, then she said : 



Showers and Sunshine. 67 

" Oh, what a little ninny ! Oh, dear me, I feel 
real bad about my teeth. Auntie Belle, I'm 
wiser than I was then." 

And as she went away swinging her strap I 
wondered what she would say about herself and 
her wisdom after ten years more are added to her 
life! 




CHAPTER VI. 



MISCHIEF. 



Once in awhile there came a day when the 
very spirit of mischief seemed to enter into 
Minie. At those times she trotted from one 
delicious bit of wickedness to another, not seem- 
ing quite certain which was the funniest. Mam- 
ma was sick and lay on the lounge, trying to keep 
still. I reigned as mistress of the house, with 
occasional visits from grandma to see that all 
went well. It was one of Minie's mischief days. 
She had been through with the usual order, 
tipping over water-pitchers and sending shoes in 
swimming. Twice we had rescued her from an 

open razor, and once arrived in time to shut the 
(68) 



Misckuf. 69 

door to the cistern before misery came through 

" I should think you would be sick I M I said, 
despairingly, to mamma toward the middle of the 
afternoon. "The wonder is that you are alive. 
Why, my feet actually ache running after that 
child. Does she always act like this ? " 

"Well," said mamma, turning the pillow and 
trying to find a cool spot for her head, " I don't 
think she uses a great deal' of wisdom over the 
day's work at any time ; but she has been unusu- 
ally industrious and bewildering to-day I think. 
What is she doing now ? " 

" Oh, she is quiet for once in her life. I have 
given her a bar of soap and a paper of tacks, and 
she is supposed to be building a fence around 
grandpa's barn/' 

Then we went to talking, and the small lady 
was forgotten for the space of ten minutes. The 
utmost quiet reigned in the bedroom where *he 
was at work. Her mother bad ju#t *aid; "I 
think you would better look after Mink, I 



yo Grandpa's Darlings. 

never knew her to be still so long without being 
in mischief " — when we heard the little voice 
exclaim in a choked sort of way : u Massy sakes ! 
how it schmells." 

" Massy sakes " was a word that she had 
caught from some one, and only used it in times 
of great excitement. "Schmells" was a word 
that she had just succeeded in pronouncing, and 
she didn't quite pronounce it yet, you see. 

" What can she be about ? " said mamma ; and 
I went to see. On the floor behind the bedroom 
door sat my little lady, her fence but half built 
around the cake of soap, her tooth-brush .hammer 
lying idle by her side, while she mopped her face 
and rubbed her dripping head with a handker- 
chief that was soaked through and through with 
benzine ! 

" Minie ! " I said. " Oh, Minie, what have 
you been doing now ? " 

" Schmelling of mamma's fumery," she said, 
innocently. " And I wet my face with it to make 
me cool you know ; and I wet my hair with it just 



Mischief. 7 1 

as mamma does when she combs it — only I most 
guess I got too much on, and it doesn't schmell 
quite as nice as mamma's other bottle did." 

" I shouldn't think it did," I said, in utter 
dismay. "I'm sure I don't know what in the 
world to do with you." 

What I had to do was to get warm water and 
soap, and scrub and soak and brush the poor ill- 
used skin and head and hair, trying to get off a 
little of the dreadful perfume ; then the business 
of dressing had all to be gone through with for 
the third time that day, for once she had been in 
the ink and once in the water. Finally, after an 
hour of hard work, a meek little maiden, with 
very damp hair plastered down over her head, and 
with a faint ordor still of the horrible benzine all 
about her, went on tiptoe to tell poor sick mam- 
ma how sorry she was for this seventeenth piece 
of mischief. 

" Didn't you see how badly it smelled ? " said 
mamma, as they talked the matter over. 

" Yes'm," she said. "It schmelled dreadfully 



72 Grandpa's Darlings, 

much; but, mamma, I thought it was fashionable 
to schmell that way, so I thought I would have 
to stand it ! " 

" Why do you stretch your hair back in that 
way?" I asked Minie the other day, when she 
came in from school with her hair drawn back 
from her temples and fastened firmly at the back. 
" It looks very uncomfortable." 

" Oh, it isn't ! " she said, briskly. " I like it 
that way. They all wear their hair so nowadays, 
you know." 

" You are not quite as honest as you were at 
three yeas old or less," I told her. * " Then you 
were willing to own that you thought the 
'schmell' was 'dreadfully much/ but because it 
was 'fashionable' you thought you could stand it. 
Now you have reached the point when you are 
not only willing to stand it, but to ' make believe 
that it is very nice. ' " 

Mime laughed a little, but she questioned me 
closely about the benzine story ; and the next day 
she came in with her hair arranged in loose, 



Mischief. 73 

graceful waves, though stretching back from the 
roots was still " fashionable." She is a thought- 
ful young miss sometimes. 

Ten minutes of penitence in the little rocking- 
chair beside mamma's lounge, and then Minie 
begged to go back to her tack fence. 

" I hope* you haven't given the child a ham- 
mer ! " mamma said, a new wrinkle of dismay in 
her face. 

" Nothing more dreadful than a tooth-brush," I 
told her ; and she said, with a laugh : 

" A tooth-brush ! She will be using it on her 
teeth next." 

Luckless sentence! But for that the young 
lady might not have thought of her next bit of 
work. 

Grandma had come in, and I was stirring a 
johnny-cake for tea and talking with her, when 
an exclamation of dismay from the bedroom sent 
me there. 

" It tipped," said Minie, looking up with start- 
led face. " I held it just as tight, but it tipped 



74 Grandpds Darlings. 

itself and spilled all over ; it is mamma's ' Odont/ 
you know. I poured it into the wash-bowl and 
brushed my ' tooses ' all clean, and I was going 
to pour it back into the bottle for next time, but 
it wouldn't pour; it just spilled all over, and my 
apun is just as wet." 

" I should think so ! " I said in disgust. What- 
ever possessed you to meddle with the Sozo- 
dont?" 

" Why, I wanted to brush my tooses," she said, 
earnestly. " Mamma does, you know ; and it 
just dropped so slow out of the bottle I thought 
I'd empty it out, and put it all back again, but it 
wouldn't go." 

The dressing up had to be gone through with 
again, for the "Odont" had gone through the 
dress, even wetting her little flannel shirt. She 
was very meek and quiet during the dressing; 
she always was after any special piece of mis- 
chief. Then she took my hand and walked 
slowly and solemnly out to mamma, her eyes on 



Mischief. 75 

her shoes, the hem of her apron being twisted 
into a rope by the other hand. 

" She ought to be put in the bedroom in her 
chair, and have the door shut, and stay there 
until she could be a good girl," was grandma's 
severe sentence after being told of the day's 
trials. So I tramped the wee maiden back to the 
bedroom, lifted her into her little rocking-chair, 
and tied her in with a green cord, at which she 
complained because her dress was red, and red 
and green did not look well together, which bit 
of conceit, I shall have to confess, she learned 
from me. I went out and left her alone, but I 
left the door open, my heart not being sufficiently 
hard to shut her in. 

It might have been ten minutes afterward that 
a pitiful little voice, with a quiver of trouble in 
every note, called out : 

" Auntie Belle, why don't you shut the door? " 

" Why don't I what ? " I asked, coming to the 
doorway. 

"Why don't you shut the door? Grandma 



j6 . Grandpa's Darlings. 

said shut me up, and you have left the door wide 
open." 

There was a great tear rolling slowly down 
each cheek, and her eyes were red as if more 
tears had fallen. Her bits of hands were meekly 
folded, and her pale little face was very sad. 

" Do you want the door shut ? " I said. She 
shook her head. 

" I don't want to be in here at all," she said, 
putting strong emphasis on the " want." " But 
it is punishneff you know " ( she made that word 
Dut of punishment ), " and grandma said ' shut 
the door ; ' you ought to shut it." 

Thus reminded of my duty, I did shut the 
door ; but I shut myself in and kissed away those 
two tears, and finished the tack fence, and so 
beguiled the time of exile that she told her 
mamma that grandma's "punishneff" was nice 
when Auntie Belle was in it. 

By and by came grandpa, and to him was told 
the story of Minie's day of mischief. lie took 
the little culprit on his knee and held her hands 



Mischief. 77 

in his while he told her that he had a little piece 
for her to teach mamma that evening at bed-time ; 
and over and over she repeated the two lines, 
clasping her two hands together as she said the 

word "hands:" 

" Satan finds some mischief still 
For idle hands to do." 

" Why must I learn it ? " mamma asked, in a 
puzzled tone, after Minie had conquered the lines 
and gone about her work. Nearly always grand- 
pa's words had hidden meanings in them, and 
mamma was searching for hers. " Why must / 
learn it ? " . 

" The child's bands are not to blame for being 
idle," he said, gravely. " It is your business to 
keep them busy. If you fail to do it, don't com- 
plain of Satan for coming to her aid." 

" But, father," I said, feeling that on this par- 
ticular day it had been my business, " I did give 
her soap and tacks, and she left them and went 
in search of something that suited her better." 

" Yes," he said, still speaking gravely. " You 



78 Grandpa's Darlings. 

have given her one thing to work with, and 
expected her to be busy with it all the afternoon. 
Now Satan knows enough to give her variety." 

" But, father, it is utterly impossible to keep 
her interested in her playthings all the time. 
I've tried it, and it can't be done." 

The mamma raised herself on one elbow and 
spoke eagerly. She seemed astonished to think 
that she was mixed up in the mischief. The 
grandpa still kept a perfectly grave face as he 
answered : 

" Satan, it seems, is able to do it. I am safe 
in saying that the child has been very much 
interested in everything that she has done this 
afternoon. I don't doubt but that Satan is 
smarter than you, but if she were my daughter I 
should make a pretty hard fight with him as to 
which should find work for her hands, even while 
they were very little." 

"You do have such queer ideas," murmured 
mamma, as she sank back on her pillow ; but she 
studied that idea a good deal after that. 




CHAPTER VII. 



GOING SHOPPING. 



You can't think what pretty ways of coaxing 
Minie had. She didn't tease, nor whimper, nor 
whine, but right into the midst of your talk, 
perhaps, would come a pair of soft arms about 
your neck, and sweet little kisses would be laid 
gently on your cheek, on your nose, on your chin, 
while the pleading eyes besought you for some 
favor that you had almost refused, and the 
tongue said never a word. 

She and mamma had come down the hill to 

have an after-dinner chat with grandma and the 

rest of us. Papa had come as far as the door, 

had been kissed by his darling "eleven seven 

(79) 



80 Grandpa 9 s Darlings. 

times," her warmest token of love, and had gone 
to his office. The small lady stood on a low 
stool, and her pretty rosy lips were temptingly 
near to mamma's ear, but she did not whisper, 
she only kissed. 

"That child is coaxing for something, /know," 
said grandma, breaking into the midst of a 
sentence. " What is it she wants ? " 

" She wants some nuts," said mamma, laugh- 
ing to think how plainly grandma understood her 
darling's pretty ways. " I have almost promised 
her some for several days. But, Minie, don't you 
see there is no one to go with you after any ? " 

" Several days is a good while for a child like 
her to wait," said grandma, somewhat grimly. 

" I know it is, but I always forget it when I am 
down street. Auntie Belle, I don't suppose you 
want to take her down now, do you ? " 

" It is too warm to think of doing that, or any- 
thing else that makes it necessary to move," said 
I, lazily. 

Auntie Dule had a brilliant thought just then. 



Going Shopping. 81 

" Why don't you let her go by herself ? It is 
only around the corner, and she knows the way 
as well .as you do." 

" Fiddlesticks !" said grandma. "That baby? 
Though, to be sure," she added, reflectively, 
" you went of errands for me at her age." 

Meantime Minie's face was aglow with delight 
and her tongue forgot its silence. 

11 Do let me," she said, eagerly. "Do let 
Minie. She knows just where to go." 

" Well," said mamma, amused at the idea of 
making her baby useful, "you may go.. Get 
your hat and take your little basket on your arm. 
You may get a pint. Here is the money. A 
pint — can you remember ? " 

Oh, remember! Of course she could. She 
was all in a whirl of pleasure,* and kissed 
Auntie Dule three times, even in her haste, 
because she had the delightful thought. From 
door and window we watched the wee white- 
robed maiden start out into the world, for the 
first time, alone. 



82 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" I'm afraid she will get run over," said 
grandma. 

" Why, she doesn't have to cross the street," 
said mamma. " It is just around the corner ; but 
if she meets a large dog she will be afraid." 

Then Auntie Dule, who had been at the 
bottom of the whole proceeding, suddenly lost 
faith in her plan, and turned eagerly to me. 

" You are all dressed, suppose you run around 
the corner and keep an eye on her? You 
needn't let her see you." 

"What a very brilliant br£in you have this 
afternoon," I said, sleepily, but I hunted my hat 
in haste and went, and this is the way I came to 
know about the funny thing that happened. 

Through the crowd of men and boys, cigar- 
smokers and tobacco-spitters and the like, who 
stood around the corner, Minie quietly picked 
her way, I following at a safe distance, until she 
went slowly past the three large stores, looking 
earnestly up at the windows, and at the fourth 
she dodged in, something in the window had 



Going Shopping. 83 

remembered the place for her. It was a favorite 
store, but not a busy hour, and a dozen or more 
men were standing around, most of them waiting 
for the mail that was being distributed in the 
post-office next door. 

In the midst of this unknown crowd stood 
Minie, a shy, sweet white speck ; she had never 
been among strangers before without having a 
tight hold of some friendly hand. I stepped just 
inside, behind the shadow of a box, and watched. 
The buzz o£ tongues was suddenly checked, and 
one large, rough man said : " Halloo, here is an 
angel right in our midst." 

" She isn't an angel," said another, " she is a 
fairy." 

" Hey, little fairly queen, where is your train ? " 

Gravely sweet and dignified stood Minie, a 
good deal startled, very much wondering, but not 
afraid. .Nobody ever hurt her ; she hadn't the 
least idea that anybody ever would. One of the 
clerks who knew her now came forward and 
asked her errand. On him Minie bestowed a 



84 Grandpa's Darlings. 

shy, happy smile; it was very pleasant to have 
found a friend. The store was very still while 
she earnestly told what she wanted : 

" A pint of peekers." 

" A pint of what ? " said the astonished clerk, 
and the lookers-on laughed loud and long; but 
the clear little voice steadily repeated its errand, 
" A pint of peekers." 

" Well," said the clerk, " I declare I'm mud- 
dled. We've got almost everything in our line 
that has ever been heard of, but this is the first 
time that a ' pint of peekers* has ever been called 
for. What in the world can she mean ? Are 
you sure, child, that you have got it right ? " 

Yes, she was sure, Minie always was sure of 
everything. 

"Ask her to describe them," suggested one 
man, and the clerk, catching at the idea, asked 
what they looked like. 

Poor Minie blushed over this. "They were 
brown," she said, " and speckled a little, and all 
smooth and pretty." 



Going Shopping. 8$ 

Then they all laughed again, and I, behind my 
big box, laughed, too, and wondered which was 
the greater dunce, Minie for not telling him that 
they were " nuts," or he, for not asking whether 
"peekers" were to eat, or drink, or wear, * or 
what. 

"Well," said the puzzled clerk at last, "my 
small lady, I guess you will have to go home and 
tell your mamma that we don't keep ' peekers. ' " 

But at this Minie shook her brown head very 
decidedly. 

"That would be a story," she said, gravely. 
"Yon do, for I've seen them right here in your 
store lots of times." 

" Oh ho ! you have ; if that's so you can tell 
when you see thejn again, I presume. Well now, 
young lady, I'll tell you what we'll do — you and 
I will take a walk, you may walk on the counter 
and I'll walk behind it, and we'll look into every 
box and drawer and keg in this store until we 
find ' peekers.' Will that do ? " 

Minie nodded gravely, and he carried her in 



86 Grandpa's Darlings. 

triumph to the further counter, the men follow- 
ing to see the fun. Very busily she began to 
look up and down the rows of shelves and into 
drawers, as one after another was opened for her 
inspection. Presently the clerk bethought him- 
self to ask another question : 

" Where do we get them from when you come 
to buy them ? " 

"Away down there out of a drawer," said 
Minie, confidently, pointing with her small finger 
to the furthest end of the long store. Then 
what a chorus of laughter there was. 

"Why in the world didn't you tell me that 
before?" said the laughing clerk; "then we 
wouldn't have wasted our time in looking up 
here." 

" You didn't ask me," said Minie, sweetly and 
simply. "I thought maybe you kept them in 
lots more places." 

"Sure enough," said the laughing lookers-on. 
" You thought he knew his own business without 
your teaching him, didn't you ? " 



Going Shopping. 87 

Then they went down to the lower end of the 
store, and I, coming out of my retreat, followed 
behind the others. The clerks knew me very 
well, and smiled and bowed, enjoying the fun. 
The only one of them who didn't see me was the 
one who was so industriously waiting on Minie. 
It was very funny to see her. Her face, so quiet 
and grave, began to wear a very anxious look. 
She had been a long time away, perhaps she 
would have to go home without her treasures 
after all. She could not point out the drawer, so 
one after another was opened, until suddenly the 
sober look on her face gave way to one of great 
delight, and she said in a shrill little voice that 
rang through the store : 

"There! there they are! .Peekers, ever so 
many of them ; please give me a pint." 

" Pecans, as I live ! " said the astonished clerk. 
" What a dumbhead I was not to think of them." 

Things always do seem so clear and plain, you 
know, after you have been told all about them. 

Well, she carried home the pint of peekers in 



88 Grandpa's Darlings. 

triumph, and we all shared them. In the evening 
I had been telling the story over to grandpa, 
especially dwelling on the, to me, very funny part, 
that she didn't, when asked to describe them, say 
that they were nuts. 

" That isn't so very funny," said grandpa ; " at 
least it isn't very strange. Older people than 
she, and those who are supposed to be wiser, do 
queer things in that line. What do you suppose 
my experience has been ? I have been half of 
this afternoon engaged in trying to find out the 
road to Deerfield. I wanted to map it out so 
clearly that when I started there would be no 
time wasted in correcting mistakes. 

" I went over to Judge Bryan's. I happened to 
know that he had had occasion to drive there 
several times, and I thought he would be likely 
to know the way. I wish I could remember the 
directions he gave me. I was not to turn at the 
red school-house nor the stone school-house, and 
there was a turn to the left just past the red 
school-house that I wasn't to take, or else I was 



Going Shopping. 89 

to, and he wasn't quite certain which ; and then I 
was to go on about three miles, or perhaps four, 
or it might not be more than two, and there the 
road forked, and I was to take the road that 
passed the mill about a mile ahead. I got into a 
complete fog, and I guess he did The more he 
told me the turns not to take and the red houses 
to pass the less I knew. 

" His daughter Louise was moving around in 
the library putting up the books, and after a 
while she gave her attention to us. Pretty soon 
she said to me : ' Why, isn't it to Deerfield that 
you wanted to go?' 'Yes,' I said, it was. 
Then she turned her gray eyes on her father. 
' Well, father,' said she, ' wouldn't it be well to 
tell him to follow the creek ? ' ' Yes, yes ! ' said 
the judge. 'Why, of course — certainly, child, 
you're right ; that is the whole story in a nut- 
shell — just follow the creek.' So you needn't 
laugh at Minie's description of 'peekers' any 
more." 

Grandpa walked back and forth through the 



90 Grandpa's Darlings. 

long sitting-room in silence for some minutes, 
then he halted again by my chair. 

" You are a Sunday-school teacher," he said, 
earnestly. " Don't you go to giving your schol- 
ars just such easily understood directions about 
finding Christ and heaven as Minie gave the 
clerk and Judge Bryan gave me. I've seen that 
done before now, and it is a much sadder mistake 
than about pecans or the road to Deerfield." 

I wondered then, and I have often wondered 
since, whether there was such a thing as a story 
so funny or so pointless that Minie's grandpa and 
my dear father could not get some helpful lesson 
from it for himself and for me. After that I 
tried to teach my class in Sunday-school the 
plain way to heaven. 




M 
* 




CHAPTER VIII. 



PROMISES. 



" Minie must be very careful indeed, today ; 
not go out of the house, even to the back kitchen 
for a drink of water, without first stopping to put 
her little shawl around her and something over 
her head." 

This was what her mamma said to her one 
winter morning when she was not yet three 
years old. Minie had been sick with a cold ; she 
was better, and we were very anxious to keep her 
so. The day was cold and stormy. 

" Will you remember ? " mamma repeated ; 
and the earnest brown eyes were lifted to her 
face, while the grave little voice answered : 

(91)' 



92 Grandpa's Darlings. 

"Truly I will, mamma — every time." 

" She is very good about keeping a promise," 
said mamma, to me. " I really think it would 
take considerable to make her forget." 

I don't think either of us had an idea of how 
much it would take. * It was toward the middle 
of the afternoon that I came up the hill from our 
house and dodged into Cousin Mary's, next door 
to Minie's home. There I found Minie's mam- 
ma. 

" With whom have you left the small lady ? " I 
asked her. 

" Left her alone," she said, laughing. "I just 
ran in of an errand. She promised not to leave 
the room where I put her, unless something won- 
derful happened. You know she always has an 
* if ' or two in her promises." 

"Can you trust to such small promises as 
hers?" Cousin Mary asked us, with a smile 
that said, "/shouldn't consider it safe." 

" They are not ' small ' promises," I answered 
her. " The body may be small, but the conscience 



Promises. 93 

* 

is very much in earnest. I would trust her 
where I wouldn't many an older person." 

The words were hardly spoken when Cousin 
Mary called our attention to the window. 

"Put not your trust in babies," she said, 
laughing. "There comes yours in spite of her 
promise." 

Sure enough ! there was the small sprite com- 
ing down the snowy steps, her blanket shawl 
pinned securely about her throat, and a cloud 
wound about her head. Mamma went in haste 
to the door and spoke quickly, not to say sharply : 

" Minie, what are you coming out in the snow 
for?" 

Minie's answer was prompt and hurried : 

"Oh, mamma! come quick, quick!" Then 
she dodged back into the house. 

"One of her 'ifs* has happened, you may 
depend," I said, as I followed the mother in 
haste. 

None too soon were either of us. A bright 
coal fire was glowing in the sitting-room, and 



94 Grandpa's Darling^. 

lest its heat and shining might fade the bright 
colors of the carpet the careful lady of thv house 
had laid down a newspaper before the grate. 
The coals, in settling, had lost one of their fiery 
company, and it had dropped on the waiting 
paper. When we reached the scene, not only 
that papdr but several others with which Minie 
had been amusing herself were in flames. Some 
very quick work had to be done to save more 
important things than papers. After the pitchers 
and pails had been put away, and the carpet 
mopped of the extra water we had thrown on, we 
found time and breath to question and be sur- 
prised. 

How could it have happened ? 

"Minie don't know," said the earnest little 
woman. " I was cutting out my ' picsures/ and I 
smelled ' somefing ; ' then I looked, and the paper 
was all curling up and getting black ; then I ran 
for mamma." 

" Did you notice how . she was wrapped ? " 



Promises. 95 

mamma asked, a faint smile of pride on her pale 
face. 

"Indeed I did," I said. "Minie, how came 
you to wait for your shawl and hood when the 
paper was on fire ? " 

The small grave face was turned slowly 
toward me, and great thoughtful eyes were fixed 
on my face as she said, slowly : 

"Why, Auntie Belle, I promised mamma that 
I would wear them every time," and Minie con- 
sidered that question entirely set at rest. 

Then came another question to my mind, how- 
ever, and the horrible thoughts coming with it 
made me shiver. 

" I am amazed," I said, " that such an impor- 
tant child as she is didn't try to put out the fire 
without calling for help. Oh, dear me: what 
might not have happened if she had. Minie, you 
are a sensible little girl for a three-year-old. How 
came you to let the burning paper alone and run 
for mamma. Didn't you think you could put out 
the fire?" 



g6 Grandpa! s Darlings, 

" Yes," she said, quietly, " I knew I could ; but 
mamma ' said : ' Never touch the fire. Never, 
never. No, indeed ; not at all/ and I promised 1 
wouldn't." 

" I don't see but that you can go and leave her 
safely enough," I said, half laughing, half crying. 
" You have her hedged about with promises." 

It was during that same winter that there 
came a stormy day when mamma and Minie were 
quite alone. The morning work was all done; 
papa had gone to his office hours before ; on the 
hot stove a kettle of soup bubbled and puffed ; 
genuine, old-fashioned Scotch barley soup it was 
to be, such as none but grandma and her daugh- 
ters know how to make. Mamma skimmed the 
pot, added more boiling water, then, partly cover- 
ing it, turned away and looked regretfully, first 
at a roll of flannel waiting to be cut, then out of 
the window, down the snowy path, to grandma's. 

If only she had that pattern of grandma's she 
could get the flannels nicely cut out before 
dinner time, but it would never do to send 



Promises.* 97 

Minie, the path was too snowy and too icy. 
Should she go herself and leave the small lady to 
be housekeeper? But there was the dreadful 
stove ; she had always felt afraid of fire ; a hun- 
dred times more afraid was she since the time 
the papers burned ; but she might put her so far 
away from the stove that there would be no 
danger from it. 

Finally she brought out the little rocking- 
chair, grandpa's latest gift to his darling, and set 
it by the south window, the furthest possible 
corner from the stove. "Minie/' she said, "will 
you come and sit in your little arm-chair, and not 
stir from it while mamma goes down to grand- 
ma's on an errand ? " 

Then began Minie's usual " ifs." " But, mam- 
ma, what if the bell should ring while you are 
away, couldn't I go to the door ? " 

"Well, you might do that I suppose," said 
mamma, speaking very doubtfully. "Or — no, I 
would rather not ; let it ring and never mind it ; 



98 Grandpas Darlings. 

mamma won't be a minute away, hardly; I am 
only going after a pattern." 

" And, mamma, if my blue ball or my red one 
should roll away the least little mite, couldn't I 
get down and pick it up ? " 

"No," said mamma, speaking positively this 
time. " I don't want you to move the least little 
mite while I'm away. Do you promise ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," she said, with a little sigh over 

the lonely prospect, and away went mamma 

* 

down the snowy hill. 

The errand took longer than she meant it 
should; errands generally do, I think. The 
pattern couldn't be found. Did you ever know 
a pattern that could be when it was wanted ? 
Grandma always knew where to lay her hands on 
anything even in the dark, everything but 
patterns ; she kept those in a great green box : 
but she used to declare that the one that she laid 
on the top, ready for use the next day, always 
dived down to the very bottom of the box and 
hid itself in the most unlikely corner. I don't 



Promises. 99 

know how that was, only I know that the flannel 
pattern was missing, and it seemed to the nerv- 
ous mamma that she waited for about an hour 
while they tumbled skirt patterns and sack pat- 
terns and sleeve patterns this way and that 
looking for the pattern. 

"Here it is at last," grandma said, with a 
relieved sigh. "I knew I put it in here,, and 
know I put it on top, too ; how it ever got under 
all those old basque patterns is a mystery to 
me. 

Meantime, what might not have happened up 
the hill? 

" What could happen ? " said skeptical Auntie 
Dule, who was only hindered by a piece of pork 
and mustard tied around a sore throat from flying 
up the hill to see for herself that all went well. 
" I'm sure I don't know," mamma said, nervously. 
"I might pick out twenty things, and none of 
them would be the ones ; they never are." With 
which very odd explanation of her fears she flew 
up the hill. 



IOO Grandpds Darlings. 

Auntie Dule raised herself on one elbow and 
looked after her. " I wish I knew that she was 
all right," she said, wistfully. 

" Why, what could happen to her," I said, toss- 
ing her own words back to her, as I came from 
the kitchen, where I was paring apples. 

" I don't know," she said, laughing. " Nothing 
at all, I presume, but when any one else has the 
fidgets I always get them." 

So, presently, mother sent me up to see if all 
was right. I found the mamma giving a good 
many extra kisses to her darling, and the stove 
covers were still sissing and smoking with some 
greasy substance, explained by the puddle of 
soup that slowly dripped from the hearth to the 
oil-cloth. The little housekeeper still kept her 
seat in the rocking-chair by the window. 

" You ought to have seen her," said the mam- 
ma, rising from before her with a flushed face. 
There she sat in her little chair, with one fore- 
finger pointing solemnly to the wasted soup. 
' There's your soup, mamma/ she said, with great 



Promises. 101 

gravity. 'There's your soup on the floor. I 
could have saved it, only you got me to promise 
not to stir/ Only think! if she had attempted 
to lift out that great heavy kettle she would have 
been scalded as sure as the world. I believe I 
will never leave her alone again." And she 
shuddered at the dreadful thought. 

Such a puzzled, troubled look was on Minie's 
face that it almost made me laugh, and she spoke 
with the slowness and the dignity of an old lady : 

" But, mamma, how could I have been scalded 
away over here ? It couldn't reach me here, and 
I couldn't go any nearer to it, because, don't you 
' member, I promised not to stir the least little 
mite ? " 

" The chicken hasn't the least idea that there 
is such a thing as breaking a promise," I said, 
laughing. 

She looked at me with troubled eyes. 

" Auntie Belle, do they break them ? " she said, 
earnestly. 



f02 Grandpds Darlings. 

" Yes, my dear little mousie, they do\ dread- 
fully." 

" But that is telling a wicked story," she said, 
in a horrified tone. " Isn't it, Auntie Belle ? " 

" Yes," I said, sobered into a quiet answer, for 
a long line of carelessly made and too often care- 
lessly broken promises seemed to come rushing 
past me as I looked at the solemn little face — it 
was a sober thought to realize that they were 
"wicked stories." 

" I wish every one could realize it," said 
grandpa, when we told him the day's adventures. 
" There's Mr. Cass been promising to bring me a 
load of wood every day for a week, and we are 
really in present need of it. Do you suppose 
that he has any idea that he has told five ' wicked 
stories' about it? I hope Minie will grow up 
with just such a sense of the sacredness of a 
promise as she now has." 

" She won't," said grandma, with a little sigh. 
" She has got to be among people who think 



Promises. 103 

promises are not worth much ; and she will learn, 
I'm afraid, to be like everybody else." 

I thought of that the other day. We were in 
the church preparing to have a rehearsal for our 
concert. One, two, three — six girls present, 
three to wait for, one of them Minie; five 
minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, then they 
came. 

" Why, Minie ! " I said, in dismay, " here you 
have made us lose twenty minutes. Don't you 
know you promised to be here at four o'clock?" 

She turned her beaming face, full of bright- 
ness, on me, and said, merrily : 

"Why, Auntie Belle, don't you think, we 
forgot all about it ! " 

And I am afraid that she has grown wonder- 
fully like other people, and hasn't the least 
remembrance that breaking promises is telling 
"wicked stories." 



CHAPTER IX. 



CHURCH GOING. 



I shall have to go back a little and tell you 
about some of her church-goings. When she 
was two years old she began to go to church reg- 
ularly ; and when she was a wee bit of a girl she 
would try to remember the texts "for grandpa." 
Sometimes she made very queer work of it. If 
the minister had always preached from the text 
that she said he did we should have had some 
funny sermons. Her papa and mamma attended 
one church, and grandpa and his family another; 
so she had a good chance to tell us what " her " 
minister said. It was a bright June Sunday that 
she came, in all the glory of bronze boots and 
(104) 



Church Going. 105 

blue silk parasol, to spend Sunday afternoon 
" with grandpa." Of course she had on a dress 
and hat, but those were of small importance com- 
pared with the boots and parasol. 

" Grandpa," said she, " I have been to church 
to-day, and I know the text, every word in it. It 
hasn't got but three words to it, anyhow. I wish 
verses never had but three words. I think they 
would be a ' great much* more interesting, don't 
you, grandpa ? " 

Grandpa agreed that at least they would be 
easier to remember ; then he said : 

" Now give us your three words." 

"Oh, grandpa!" she said, "you must guess 
them. Such little bits of words, I'm sure you 
can." 

So grandpa tried ; and having been told that 
they were cunning little words, he very soon 
thought of the precious little verse, "Feed my 
lambs," and was rather surprised to be told with 
a triumphant face that " that wasn't it at all." 

" What in the world can it be ? " said puzzled 



106 Grandpds Darlings. 

grandpa, after he had repeated every verse and 

part of a verse with three words, in it that he 

could think of. Minie was radiant with delight. 

She had puzzled grandpa, about a Bible verse, 

too; that was splendid. Grandpa tried again, 

and broke verses into bits, in a manner that 

would have horrified the minister, in order to get 

three " cunning little words out of them," but he 

had no success. " This is a mystery," he said, in 

a perplexed tone, that set Minie into fits of 

laughter. At last he gave it up. I wish I could 

make a picture for you of the triumphant face 

# 
she wore. 

"Why," she said, drawing in her breath; 
" why, isn't it splendid ? I didn't ever expect to 
know more than grandpa. My ! I'm so delighted. 
Shall I tell you, grandpa, what it is ? " 

"Yes," said grandpa, "right away. I'm all 
tired out trying to find out." 

" Well," she said, with a patronizing air, " Til 
tell you. It was ' Feed my kitties/ " 

How we shouted ! Sunday though it was. I 



Church Going. 107 

can seem to see grandpa get out his handker- 
chief and wipe his eyes after laughing until the 
tears came, and Minie looked at us with wonder- 
ing eyes. 

" What makes you laugh ? " she said, earnestly. 
" Don't you think it was a nice text, grandpa ? " 

" Very nice," he said, laughing again. " The 
only trouble is, I'm afraid the minister made it 
up. 

" Grandpa," she said, eagerly, " he read it out 
of the Bible. I saw him." 

There was no use in talking to her. She was 
a positive little thing, and what she thought was 
so was insisted upon. 

" What in the world does the child mean ? " we 
said to her mother, who came after her in the 
evening. 

" Why," she said, " I think it must be this 
way. Mr. Priest preached to the children this 
morning, and Minie was very much engaged, just 
at the moment when he announced his text, in 
fastening her fur collar around the church pillar, 



108 Grandpa's Darlings. 

that you know is in our seat, so she missed the 
text, and one of his illustrations was about a 
little girl feeding her kitty, that is, he told a 
story about his little Maude and her kittten. 
Minie was very much interested in that, and 
someway she managed to connect that story with 
the text, and now she seems to feel entirely 
certain that the minister read just those words in 
the Bible. I tried hard to talk her out of it ; but, 
dear me! you can't talk her out of things; she 
has a mind of her own." 

We all tried very hard to " talk her out of it ; " 
and at last I said, half impatiently : 

" Why, Minie, there isn't such a verse in the 
Bible. How could the minister preach on it ? " 

Such a surprised, grieved face as she turned 
toward me. 

" Auntie Belle," she said, " do you mean it 
doesn't say in the Bible that you must feed 
kitties?" I shook my head. "Not a single 
word ? " she said, in great dismay. " Doesn't it 
say a single word about them ? " 



Church Giiug. 109 

" Not a single word," I said, emphatically. 

She slipped down from grandpa's knee where 
she had taken a seat, and went over to her little 
stool beside grandma's chair. Down she sat, and 
buried her head in grandma's lap. Then there 
came from her lips a long, low wail, such as went 
to the heart of each one of us. 

" Poor child," said grandma, " she isn't used to 
being laughed at. You have broken her heart." 

"It can't be she is crying about that," said 
grandpa, with perplexed face. " She is too much 
of a woman for that." 

" It isn't that? she said, lifting a tear-stained 
face, "it isn't that. But it makes me feel so 
awful bad to think that Jesus forgot all about 
kitties." 

I can not describe to you the pitiful face she 
wore. There was no doubt about it's being a 
real grief to her. 

Then we all set to work trying to comfort her. 
It wasn't an easy thing to do. Minie's kitten lay 
very near her heart, and the thought that the 



no Grandpds Darlings. 

Bible remembered the lambs and was entirely 
silent as to kittens hurt her very much. Grand- 
ma was very eloquent, and " Auntie Dule " and I 
did our best, but to very little purpose. She 
cried on, not loudly, but with softly little sobs 
that made me feel like crying too. Her papa 
looked sober. 

" She will have a hard life of it, I'm afraid," he 
said, "if she has so much trouble about a 
kitten." 

" Oh, I don't know about that," grandpa said. 
" Her trials come to her in the shape of kittens 
just now. I suppose they bring her just as 
much trouble as your greater trials do you. By 
and by her trials will be about' greater things; 
that is all the difference." Then he called the 
weeping maiden to him and took her on his lap. 
" Tell me the whole story," he said, in a sympa- 
thizing tone ; and she poured out her grief. 

" Auntie Belle said the Bible didn't say a word 
about her kitty, nor any kitty, not a single word ; 



Church Going, 1 1 1 

and of course Jesus didn't care anything about 
them, and it seemed too dreadful." 

" Well, now," said grandpa, " listen to me. 
Auntie Belle was mistaken." 

Now you may imagine that Auntie Belle, sit- 
ting over on the sofa, pricked up her ears at this, 
and listened in great astonishment. Minie imme- 
diately got out her speck of a handkerchief and 
dried her eyes and looked hopeful. 

" Does your kitty eat ? " said grandpa. 

" Why, yes," Minie answered. " Why, grand- 
pa, you know she does. I have to buy milk for 
her in my little tin pail every day ; and I give 
her meat, and ever so many things." 

" And where do you get the milk that you feed 
her ? " 

" Why, papa buys it for me of Mr. Seymour, 
and I go after it every morning." 

" But where does Mr. Seymour get it ? " 

" Oh, he has a brown cow with white feet, and 
every night and morning she gives a great big 
pail of milk." 



112 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" Now, I wonder where Mr. Seymour got his 
cow?" 

" Why, I don't know, grandpa ; but I suppose 
he bought her of a man, just as Auntie Hosmer 
did hers." 

"But where do you suppose the man got 
her ? " 

Light began to dawn on Minie's mind. 

"Oh," she said, slowly and reverently, "God 
made her in the first place." 

" Indeed ! " said grandpa , " then it seems that 
God furnishes the milk for your kitty to drink." 

"So he does," said happy Minie. "And he 
makes the meat, too, that I feed her with, and 
the cake that I give her once in a while. Of 
course he does, grandpa, because he makes every- 
thing." 

" He made kitty, too," said grandpa, in gentle 
tone. 

" Why, so he did ! " echoed Minie. " I 
wouldn't ever have had my kitty if God hadn't 
made her, would I ? It doesn't make any matter, 



Church Going. 113' 

• does it, whether he tells us in the Bible to feed 
them or not ? He knows we will, don't he ? and 
so he made the things for us to use. But, 
grandpa, wouldn't it have been nice if he had said 
just a little word about them, as he did about the 
lambs ? " 

" He did," said grandpa, confidently. Where- 
upon I looked astonished again. "He doesn't 
put there name in ; but he tells us that he made 
everything, and takes care of everything, and 
that we must be kind to all the creatures that he 
has made ; and, of course, he means kitties too." 

Minie thought a little. 

" Grandpa," she said, at last, " if he makes the 
kitties and takes care of them, isn't it a sign that 
he loves them some ? " 

"Perhaps it is," "said unsuspecting grandpa, 
walking into the net that was being spread for 
his feet as heedlessly as the fly walked into the 
spider's house. 

Another little silence, then Minie spoke very 
slowly and with great earnestness: "Well, 



114 Grandpa's Darlings. 

grandpa, if Jesus loves the kitties some, and 
takes care of them all the time, don't you sup- 
pose that you ought to love them just a little 
speck t" " 

" That's the application," said I from my sofa 
corner. Then we laughed again. It seemed so 
funny that poor grandpa should have his little 
sermon that he was getting ready, all finished up 
for him. 

During that next week we had a strawberry 

festival at our church, and among other side 

entertainments was that of the " old woman who 

lived in her shoe." You remember that she 

" had so many children " that " she didn't know 

what to do." Well, we had a great pasteboard 

slipper made and covered with black paper, and 

bowed and buckled all in style ; and inside of it 

we sat a little old woman, one of our tiniest girls, 

dressed in a drab dress, with a white handker- 
chief crossed on the shoulders, a white cap with 

a deep border on her head, and on her funny 



Church Going. 115 

» 

little nose a pair of spectacles with the glass part 
of them knocked out. 

Over this trim-looking old lady dolls of every 
size and description were tumbling. They were 
pinned to her shoulders, on her back, and some 
wee ones were fastened to her cap border, while 
her arms were running over with them. When- 
ever any one stopped at the table she said in a 
soft little voice : " I have so many children I 
don't know what to do ; " and as the price of each 
doll was sewed to its skirt, one after another was 
sold away from the troubled little old lady. I took 
Minie with me to the festival, and "Auntie 
Dule " bought one of the old lady's dolls for her. 
She was perfectly delighted, and hovered around 
the great black shoe all the evening. 

The next Sabbath, as we were starting for 
church, in bounded Minie, arrayed in her whitest 
and prettiest, and announced that she was going 
to " grandpa's church." She was in a perfect 
bubble of delight, and could hardly keep her feet, 
from dancing as she walked beside us. No 



n6 Grandpa's Darlings. 

sooner was she seated, however, in the great sol- 
emn church, with the sound of the organ pealing 
down its aisles, than her face gathered in a frown. 
She gave one or two eager, expectant looks up 
and down the aisles, than she settled into a dis- 
gusted quiet, pouting little lips, and sadi almost 
tearful eyes. What could be the matter with 
Minie ? 

As soon as we were out on the steps again her 
little tongue was busy. " She would never go to 
grandpa's church again ; it was a still old church, 
and grandpas minister was a cross-looking man, 
not half so nice as Mr. Priest. She didn't love 
him a bit at all, so; and she would never, never 
go there again. And the old woman that lived 
in the shoe wasn't there at all." 

Ah ha! the secret was out. The silly baby 
had really supposed that the little " old woman 
who lived in her shoe " was to be a fixture in the 
church from that time forth; and she went to 
church to see her ! 

" I wonder how many were in the same state 



Church Going. 117 

of mind ? " said grandpa, when we told him about 
it. " I don't knpw that anybody expected to see 
the old lady in her shoe, but I heard some of the 
young men talking about being disappointed in 
the singing. One of them said he came to 
church on purpose to hear the leading soprano, 
and he might just as well have staid at home, for 
she was not there. And a certain young lady 
said, ' I would have gone to the Episcopal 
Church this morning, only I expected that Fanny 

Holmes would be out in her new Paris hat, and 

« 

I'm just dying to see it ; and there she wore her 
old spring one. I think it's real mean ! ' So 
there seemed to be several disappointed ones," 
said grandpa, with a sigh ; " and on the whole I 
don't see that their motives for coming to the 
house of God were much better than Minie's." 




CHAPTER X. 



SECRETS. 



I was lying on the lounge, coaxing a sick head 

ache, when the door opened softly, and Minie, in 

pretty summer freshness, entered. 

"Why!" I said, "how the little woman is 

dressed up ! What is that all about at this time 
of day ? " 

" Oh," said she, " I have been away. I've 
been taking a walk with papa. There's a secret 
about it. I'm not going to tell anybody. Why, 
yes, I can tell grandma, and Auntie Julia, and 
grandpa ; but I can't tell you, 'cause it's some- 
thing you mustn't know. But, Auntie Belle, 
(118) 



Secrets. 119 

don't feel bad, for you are to be told all about it 
— only you mustn't know it yet." 

" But where have you been ? " I asked. " Can 
you tell me that, or is that a secret too ? " 

"No," she saidp slowly, with a thoughtful air, 
" I guess that isn't a secret. I don't think it is ; 
mamma didn't say anything about it. I've been 
to Mr. Scidmore's. I had to stay a good while, 
but I got something real pretty. Papa said it 
was first-rate, but he said I mustn't tell you, 
because we must surprise you ; and I haven't told 
you, have 1 ? I wouldn't for anything, because 
papa trusts me, you know. I haven't told you, 
have I?" 

Now when I explain to you that "Mr. Scid- 
more's " was the only photograph gallery in town, 
you will see how natural it was to suppose that 
when a person had been there for a good while, 
and had got something nice, which every one but 
myself was to know about, and especially on 
being told that pretty soon I was to know all 
about it, that "that" something nice was a 



120 Grandpa's Darlings. 

picture of the little lady herself, which, when 
finished, was to be presented to me. Yet, after 
all, she hadn't told me ; at least she thought she 
hadn't. How was I to answer her ? 

" Why," I said, " I don't see how I'm supposed 
to know what you were about all the time you 
were gone." 

She laughed gleefully. 

" Of course you don't," she said, " and I don't 
mean to tell you. But it is something real nice." 

I didn't doubt it. But what an idea the child 
had about keeping a secret, to be sure. After 
she was gone I thought about it a good deal. I 
have thought about it more or less . ever since. 
It surprises me very much to see how many 
people there are in the world who are telling 
secrets that they don't mean to tell — not nice, 
pleasant little secrets like Minie's, but sour, snarly 
ones, or ill-natured ones of some sort or other. 

The other day Miss Jenny Swift came in to 
see me. There were three wrinkles on her fore- 
head and a sort of down look to her eyes. She 



Secrets. 121 

flung herself down on my couch with a forlorn 
sigh, and turned the leaves of a book as if she 
had no sort of interest in that or anything else. 

" Have you a headache ? " I asked her. 

" No, ma'am," she said, drearily. 

" What have you been doing to-day ? " 

" Not much of anything, ma'am. That is we 
studied, of course, and did all those things just 
as usual/' 

" Did the lessons go right ? " 

Jenny's cheeks grew red. 

" They didn't go as well as they do sometimes," 
she said, and she spoke a little more quickly. 

I seemed to be getting at it. 

" You all failed a little, did you ? " I said, 
cheerily. " Well, acidents of that kind will hap- 
pen once in a while, I suppose." 

Jenny is a very truthful girl. 

" They didn't all fail," she said, the blush grow 
ing deeper. "That Lucy Jenkins always has 
her lessons. She would have them if she had to 
sit up all night and steal a book to learn them out 



122 Grandpa's Darlings.- 

of. She is the meanest girl in school. Nobody 
likes her." 

Aha! Miss Jenny had told me a secret that 
she meant to heep to herself. It didn't need a 
prophet to tell me that she was jealous of Lucy 
Jenkins. It was that very evening that Paul 
Wheeler came to bring a message from his father 
to the minister, and hung around my chair while 
the answer was being written. Paul always had 
something to tell me. 

" We chose seats to-day," he said, and his glee- 
ful tone made me think there was something 
particularly nice about it all. 

" What, for next year ? " I asked. " Well, how 
did that go ? " 

" It went real nice," he said, laughing over the 
recollection. " Anyhow it did for some of us. I 
guess some of the fellows didn't like it so well." 
Paul has just arrived at that age when he thinks 
it is more manly to say "fellows" than boys. 
" You know that seat by the window, auntie ? 
Well, all the fellows want that seat because you 



Secrets. 123 

can see out of the window, and it's real fun to see 
what is going on outside. Mr. Wheatly said we 
might vote which of the fellows in the senior 
class should have the seat. 

" I wanted it awfully, but I did not expect to get 
it because I had it last year. But I didn't mean 
to give it up without some work, so I went 
around among some of the boys, and I told them 
all about my sugar party that I am going to have. 
I painted it off in glowing colors, I tell you. 
Then I worked it so that one of them would ask 
me how large a party I was going to have, and I 
said ' that would depend on how large a vote I 
got; that, of course, I would invite everybody 
who voted for me/ They asked me how I could 
tell who voted for me, and I looked awful wise 
and said I had ways of telling. And, auntie, 
don't you think that more than two-thirds of 
them voted for me, and I got the seat. Wasn't 
that rich?" 

Think of that ! And he didn't seem to have 
the least idea how many secrets he had told me. 



124 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Just count them. First he was selfish, that was 
as plain as day ; had the best seat in school for a 
year, and wanted it again ; so to bring about his 
selfish plans he did one of the meanest things 
that a boy can do, went about buying votes I 
Just ask your father if there is a meaner thing 
in all politics than that Next he acted a lie to 
gain his point. The idea of pretending that he 
could tell how the boys voted ! I felt ashamed 
of him ; I wished that he had no right to call me 
auntie. I have to be ashamed of a good many 
people in just that way. They tell me things, 
without knowing it, that they wouldn't have me 
know for anything if they only thought of it. 

" But to go back to Minie. I want to tell you 
about another secret of hers. There came a day 
which was rather important to me ; the fact is, I 
expected her uncle, and he wasn't her uncle yet, 
either ; some important words had to be said first. 
The day chosen for the saying of these words 
was the one on which Minie would be four years 
old. 



» • 



Secrets, 125 

"You will have to arrange matters with 
Minie," said her mother. "Three months ago 
she was promised a party on her birthday ; that 
was before I knew about your plans, and Minie 
has a good memory, you know." 

So I engaged to make it right with the little 
lady. She came down to see me one morning, 
and I thought I would talk with her about it. 

" Minie," I said, " when is your birthday ? 

" Next Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock/' 
she said, confidently. That, you see, was the 
time when the party was to "begin," and she 
counted time by the important things that were 
to happen. 

" I hear you are going to have a party," I said. 
" Are you going to invite me ? " 

" Course," she said, lovingly. " I wouldn't 
have a party without my Auntie Belle, would I ? " 

" Well, now, it so happens that I can't come ; " 
I said. She looked doleful. 

" Why not, auntie Belle ? " 

" The trouble is I want to have a party myself ; 



• 126 Grandpds Darlings. 

and I have chosen the very day that you did." 
" Can't you ' pone ' yours ? " she said, looking 

gravely at me. 

" Not very well, because some of my company 

are invited, and I can't send them word not to 



come." 



a 



Is my mamma invited ? " she asked, gravely. 

"Yes." 

" And did she promise to come ? " 

"Why, no, she couldn't do that, because she 
said she had promised to give you a party, and 
of course she wouldn't break her word, so unless 
you postpone yours I suppose they will both 
have to come on the same day. But it will be a 
great disappointment to iiie not to have your 
mamma and you." 

" Am I invited to yours ? " she asked, and the 
sober face brightened a little. 

" Why, of course ; and I expected you to take 
a ride with me after the party. " 

" Are you going to take them all a ride, Auntie 
Belle ? " 



Secrets, 127 

" No, only part of them. But I meant to take 
you. I was going to have you with me in the 
big barouche, and we were going down to see the 
cars come in." 

Her sad face had been gradually growing 
clearer- during this story, and now she said in a 
satisfied voice : 

" Auntie Belle, I'll 'pone* mine. I don't know 
but yours is to be the nicest. Anyhow I want 
to come to it." So that question was settled to 
the satisfaction of us both. 

We went on talking about the details, as to who 
were expected, and what I was going to have on 
the party table, and whether I was going to give 
each of the guests an orange to carry home in 
their pockets, as she had planned to do. I was 
very much pleased with my unexpected success, 
for this party had lain very near Minie's heart, 
and I hadn't expected it to be given up without 
some tears ; and, instead, she was in a real flutter 
of satisfaction. 

Presently the door-bell rang, and Miss Susie 



J 

< 



128 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Weeks came in to make a social call. She 
wasn't an intimate friend of mine, though I liked 
her well enough. The worst fault she had was a 
desire to know about everything that was going 
on. We had a very pleasant talk together. She 
was telling me something that I remember inter- 
ested me very much, though I'm sure I don't 
know now what it was. I had forgotton all 
about Minie. She wasn't apt to let herself be 
forgotten, but she was unusually quiet, busy it 
seemed with her own thoughts. Suddenly she 
spoke in a clear ringing voice : 

"I'm going to my Auntie Belle's party next 
Wednesday afternoon, and she is going to have a 
good many peoples, and I'm going to a ride with 
her after the party in the big barouche, and we 
are going down to see the cars come in, atod 
there's a gentleman coming to her party from 
away off." 

Just imagine, if you can, how much I felt like 
shaking the little sprite ! What was I to say to 
Miss Susie, who by this time knew as well what 



Secrets. 129 

was going to happen next Wednesday as I did ? 
And she was just the last person I would have 
chosen to tell the story to. Didn't I know just 
how she would enjoy telling this whole affair 
over just as often as she found a person to tell ? 
It seemed to me I could hear her going over it 
and describing every little thing. " I know it is 
true," she would say, " for Belle blushed as red as 
a peony, and looked as though she didn't know 
which way to turn." 

The consciousness that there would be a great 
deal of truth in this story of hers made my face 
turn redder still; and I am sure I could have 
given the innocent little maiden by my side a 
hearty shaking just as well as not. Dear me! 
what foolish people we are. I don't know why I 
should have cared so much about this, seeing it 
was all true. I certainly wasn't ashamed about 
being married, but someway I wanted all the 
telling about it to be done by myself. I dare say 
you will feel very much the same when you come 
to that time. Minie told grandma the whole 



130 Grandpa's Darlings. 

story about the big barouche and the ride to the 
cars — told it at the dinner table, I listening with 
very blushing face. 

" I shouldn't have thought that you would have 
told the child about it, since it disturbs you so 
much to have her tell it over." This grandma 
said, and I hurried to explain. 

" She never tells things if you tell her not to ; 
but I forgot that part." 

" I've known worse troubles than that to come 
because people neglected a little sentence that 
ought to have come in at the end." Grandpa's 
face was grave as he said this, and we knew he 
was thinking of somthing that had happened. 

" It reminds me of something," he said, at last. 
" I was talking with Mr. Smith last night, about 
our neighbor Mr. Stuart. I said I was always 
pleased with his remarks in prayer-meeting. 
' Yes/ he said, ' he talks well. I was wondering 
the other night how many people remembered 
old times. He happened to be surrounded by 
several who have reason to remember him.' ' In 



Secrets. 131 

what way?' I asked. 'Why, they lost by him 

very heavily. He failed, you know/ I said I 

didn't know it. ' Oh, yes/ he said, ' it was before 

you came here. . It made great excitement. I 

guess some of them will never forget it. What 

made the matter worse was, that so many who 

lost by him were poor people, and members of 

the same church with himself.' 

" This story made me feel badly. I had always 

thought so much of Mr. Stuart. I couldn't keep 

it out of my mind, and this morning I spoke of it 

to Deacon Holmes. I knew he could tell me 

something pleasant about it if there was anything 

to tell. 'Who told you about it ? ' he asked me ; 

and when I told him he said : ' Did he tell you 

that he paid up every cent after he got rich 

again ? ' ' No/ said I ; 'of course he didn't. 

Why, that makes a different story of it entirely. 

It can't be that Mr. Smith knows that part of it/ 

He must know it/ he said, ' for he was one of the 

creditors, and one of the first to be paid up/ 
' Then why in the name of wonder didn't he tell 



132 Grandpds Darlings. 

me?' I asked. ' Oh, I suppose he forgot that 
part/ he said." 

There is another reason why that story belongs 
in this chapter of secrets. I think Mr. Smith 
must have had a habit of speaking ill of his 
neighbor. I don't suppose he meant to tell 
Minie's grandpa of it, but, you see, he did for all 
that. 




CHAPTER XL 

QUIET TALKS. 

The next day was Sunday. After church she 
sat in the back door, looking up and down the 
quiet street — sat very quiet for her, for if there 
was anything that Minie thought was wicked to 
do it was to keep still. I'm sorry to say that she 
didn't like Sunday much, either. She thought it 
very hard that dolly had to be laid in her cradle, 
and the cradle set away in the clothes-press 
when Saturday night came. Sometimes she 
would talk to it in this way : 

" You poor dolly baby ! Minie sorry, so sorry, 
that you have to be shut up in the dark all day 
tomorrow. Aunty says it's naughty to let you 
(133) 



134 Grandpa's Darlings. 

out. I think auntie wouldn't want her little 
baby Lottie put up on that high shelf in the 
cold. Lottie wouldn't stay there ; she would cry, 
and roll over and over, and roll off. You don't 
cry ; you lie still ; you're good. Some day, when 
Minie is a big woman, as big as auntie — bigger 
than auntie — Minie won't put you on the shelf 
any more. No, indeed, not at all. I'll lay you 
in the bed, and I'll lay your head on a big pillow. 
I won't play with you, because that would be 
naughty. I'll pat you and love you." And then 
Minie would sigh, and shut the clothes-press 
door and trot away. 

But about that Sunday in which she sat in the 
door. She had been rather a noisy girl for an 
hour or so. Every few minutes either mamma, 
or aunty, or uncle had to say, " No, no, Minie ; " 
or, " Minie mustn't do so to-day — this is Sun- 
day." And at last she really began to feel that 
this was different from other days, or ought to 
be ; so she sat down on the door-step and was 
still as a mouse for as much as five minutes. 



Quiet Talks, 135 

Pretty soon the cows began to walk by, going 
home from their long, sunny day in the pasture, 
making a good deal of noise, as cows will, you 
know. Minie watched them, with the sober look 
on her face growing deeper and deeper ; and at 
last she shook her little head at them. 

"Cows," she said, "you must not moo on 
Sunday. It is very naughty." 

And at this we all had to laugh, she spoke in 
such a funny, wise way. But uncle did more 
than laugh ; he believes in helping little bits of 
girls, so he laid down his book and said : 

" Minie, come here, uncle wants to talk with 
you." ♦ 

So Minie went across the floor with a great 
many glad little hops, and perched herself upon 
his knee. This is what they said : 

"Do you really think, little Minie, that cows 
ought not to moo on Sunday ? " 

"Why, yes,, uncle; they run and shake their 
bells and moo just as they do every day." 



136 Grandpa 9 s Darlings. 

" Well, does mamma ever take her little Bible 
and go out in the yard and read to them ? " 

And at this Minie laughed even louder than 
usual, and shook her head a great many times. 

"One more question, Minie. Do you think 
that before cows go to sleep they kneel down and 
ask God to take care of them ? " 

Minie looked sober now. 

" No, poor cows, they can't speak." 

" Well, now, what do you suppose makes them 
different from Minie ? They can see and hear ; 
they can eat, and drink, and sleep and play. But 
they can't read ; they can't pray ; they don't know 
anything about Sabbath; they. don't even know 
there is any God. I'll tell you what is the 
matter. They have not any little, precious soul, 
as Minie has, that is going to live forever up in 
heaven if she will let it. Now, there is a verse in 
the Bible that the cows never heard. Do you 
want to learn it ? " 

Minie nodded, and uncle said, very slowly : 



Quiet Talks. 137 

"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it 
holy. ' " 

"Uncle," she asked, after she had said over 
the verse a great many times, " does ' holy ' mean 
keep still V 

" No, Minie, it means don't do anything to-day 
that the little heart which goes pit-a-pat inside 
here tells you is wrong. If you listen, you will 
hear it say : ' Mamma told me it was wrong to do 
so on God's day/ " 

In the evening, before any lamps except those 
in heaven were lighted, she came and climbed 
into my lap as I sat by the window, and, wonder- 
ful to tell, sat quite still in silence for several 
minutes, her little brain full of busy thoughts. 
At last she said : 

" Aunty, what is up there ? " 

" Up where, darling ? " 

" Why, up there, in the blue ? " 

" The stars," I said ; " don't you see them ? " 

"Yes, but what more. Does God live up 
there ? " 



138 Grandpds Darlings. 

" Yes," I answered, " and Jesus." 

" And who more ? " 

"All good people who have died have gone 
there to be with Jesus. Dear little babies who 
die go up there, too." 

" Is my little sister, baby Belle, there ? " 

" Yes, darling." 

She was still.then, with the thoughtful look on 
her sweet face ; by and by she said, earnestly : 

" Auntie, will Minie go there, too, some day ? " 

"Yes, darling, if she is a good girl, and one of 
Jesus' lambs." 

"And will my mamma, and papa, and you 
go ? " 

" We hope so, dear." 

" And my grandpa and grandma ? " 

Before I could answer she heard grandma's 
voice in the next room, and hopping down, said, 

as she ran away : 

" I'll go and ask her." 

Patter, patter, went the little feet, and I heard 
her sweet voice say: 



Quiet Talks. 139 

"Grandma, will you go up in the blue with 
Minie, and live with Jesus, some day ? " 

" I hope so," grandma answered/in sober tone, 
for truly it was a solemn question, though com- 
ing from baby lips. 

Back came the little girl, her face all bright 
with joy, that her dear grandma was going too, 
when she stopped before the sofa, on which lay a 
favorite auntie, tossing and groaning with the 
toothache. 

"Auntie Dule," she said, pronouncing her # 
name as well as she could, " will you go, too ? " 

" Go where t " asked auntie, speaking shortly, 
as people will who have the toothache. 

" Why, up in the blue with Jesus ; mamma, 
and papa, and grandpa, and grandma, and all of 
us, are going — wiWyou?" 

" Oh ! " auntie said, wearily, holding her 
to still the pain, " I'm sure I don't know." 

I shall never forget the trembling tor 
the quivering of little Minie's lip, as sh< 
quickly back to me, saying, over and over 



140 Grandpa's Darlings, 

"Auntie Dule don't know! Auntie Dule don't 
know / " 

Dear little children, boys and girls who read 
this — do you know? Are you sure that when 
you die God will tfend an angel to take you to 
himself ? 

Jesus says he will "gather the lambs in his 
arms, and carry them in his bosom." Will you 
kneel down to-night, and every night after this, 
while you live, and ask him to make you one of 
his lambs, and take you when you die up to his 
dear home in heaven, to be with him forever ? 





CHAPTER XII. 



These Christmas times, and the giving and 
receiving of presents, remind me of the troubles 
[hat Minie used to have in that line. I must tell 
you about them. She always had a long list of 
things that she wanted to buy, and she was 
troubled in the same way that a good many 
people are nowadays — her heart was larger than 

her purse. I was nearly alwa™ 1 c -' — * : - 

all Christmas matters, and a 
her preparations two month: 
they were needed it was no sr 
so many secrets. One aftem 



142 Grandpa's Darlings. 

doll hunting. A certain dolly was to be bought 
for a certain little cousin — a dolly who could 
open and shut her eyes, and whose dress could 
be taken off and put on again at the sweet will 
of her owner. Now, when I tell you that, added 
to this, she wanted to buy a big organ for her 
Auntie Dule, a pair of fur gloves for papa, a 
picture dictionary for grandpa, a furnished work- 
box for grandma, and a diamond necklace for 
mamma, and that to make all these fine presents 
she had seventy-seven cents, I hope you under- 
stand the embarrassment of my position. 

On the particular afternoon that we started in 
search of a doll the sun was shining brightly on 

the snow, and the air was crisp and fresh with 
winter brightness. Minie, with her new white 

furs, cape and muff, cuffs reaching to her elbows, 
rubber boots reaching to her knees, fur hat tied 
over her ears, looked like a cunning little bit of a 
Santa Claus ; and I am sure she felt quite as im- 
portant as that person ever did. 

" I've picked out my dolly, Auntie Belle," she 



Presents. 143 

said, as she trudged along by my side. " I saw 
it the other day, when I went to the office with 
papa. She is just lovely. She has a pink silk 
dress, and blue eyes, and her hair curls, and I 
should think maybe there was a trunk full of 
clothes for her in the store. Anyway, we could 
make some for her, couldn't we? and a night- 
gown, too ? " 

To all this I agreed, and then I bethought me ' 
to inquire the price. 

" I found out/' she said, triumphantly. " Don't 
you ' member, Auntie Belle, you told me I must 
always ask the price when I went to hjuy things ? 
And I did. We didn't have to ask, though. 
Papa read it on a card that she had in her hand. 
I know just what.it was. I 'membered all the 
words. It was two dollars and a half." 

These words were pronounced very slowly and 
very gravely, as if the small lady had a realizing 
sense of their importance. 

" Two dollars and a half I " I said, in dismay. 



144 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" Dear me ! isn't that more money than you have 
to spare ? " 

She knew as much about the value of money 
as a mousie does, and no more ; but I wanted to 
see what she would say. 

" Yes," she said, with a little sigh, " papa said 
it was a good deal more than I had for all my 
presents. But, Auntie Belle, I mean to try to 
strike her down to a shilling. Don't you think I 
can ? " 

There was no use in trying to keep from 
laughing then, though there was a sober little 
face looking at me very earnestly. 

"What do you mean, little pussie?" I said. 
" Where did you get that idea ? " 

" Why, that is the way. Don't you know ? 
Papa said a man tried to strike him down to two 
dollars on his paper yesterday." 

" Now, little Minie," I said, when I had sobered 
my face, "auntifc wants to tell you something 
that you must try to remember all your life. It 
isn't polite to try to strike people down, and real 



Presents. 145 

« 

ladies and gentlemen never do it. People are 
supposed not to charge more for things than 
they are worth, and if you try to get them for 
less than they are worth, you are not being 
honest ; don't you see ? " 

* "Yes, ma'am," the little woman said, with a 
troubled face. "But, Auntie Belle, how can I 
get the dolly, if I can't strike her down ? " 

™ You can't, as I see," I said. " You will have 
to find a cheaper one. That is no reason why 
you should try to get a thing for less than it is 
worth." 

Her first lesson in economy and in shopping. 
She looked rather sober over it, but I hope Minie 
will be kept from joining that large class of 
coarse women who go around the world in search 
of "bargains." 

I may as well say, just here, that we took a 
cheaper dolly, whose eyes staid open day and 
night; and I had to make her two little white 
night-gowns to console her little owner. But we 
paid the fair market price for her, with no - c ^" 



146 Grandpds Darlings. 

ing down about it The organ also had to be 
given up, and the diamond necklace. We made 
a fat pincushion instead, in the place of the neck- 
lace, and a mouse pen-wiper instead of the organ. 
The workbox we made in grandpa's shop. It 
was a beauty — a little white house, with two 
stories and an attic. It had chimneys and win- 
dows and doors, everything complete. It was 
made of pasteboard. We covered it with white 
satin paper and lined it with green satin. The 
windows had lace curtains, the doors were cov- 
ered with bronze paper, to look as much like 
mahogany as possible. Then we made little 
chairs and sofas and tables, all out of pasteboard. 
The sofas and chairs we covered with green 
velvet, for pincushions. The arms of the sofas 
had little flannel tidies on them, on purpose to 
stick needles into, and the table had a little 
velvet-lined hole in the middle just large enough 
to drop a thimble in. Then in the corner we set 
a lovely doll cushion. It was made by taking a 
little china doll, about three inches long, and 



Presents. 147 

standing it in a little round box ; then we filled 
the box with cotton and covered the whole with 
pink silk, gathering it at the waist, around Miss 
Dolly, and adding a waist and sleeves of white 
lace. Then we put on a bridal vail of white lace, 
and our young lady was complete. 

How we did enjoy making that house and the 
furniture. I think I was as wild over it as Minie 
was. Only while I am on that subject I may as 
well advise you, if ever you make such a box, not 
to stuff the cushions with cotton. I shall have 
to confess that I have heard my mother say : 

" As for sticking a pin in that thing, I would 
rather stick them into the pasteboard itself, and 
be done with it." 

The picture dictionary we took up a subscrip- 
tion for, and every one of the sons and daughters 
contributed. We got a beauty. Minie was to 
make a little speech when she presented it. So 
we had a great time getting that speech written 
and learned. I was to write it. It had to do 
with grandpa's birthday, as well as Christmas, 



148 Grandpa! s Darlings. 

and it must be something not too long for Minie 
to learn. 

Finally it was done, and the great day came, 
and Minie, in a blue dress and white frilled 
apron, stood up by grandpa's chair and said it 
very nicely. I will copy it for you : 

" Dear grandpa, we feel very happy to-day, 

To come hear and visit you on your birthday ; 

And your big sons and daughters, at home and away, 

Are all in the secret ; they want me to say 

That this big book beside me they ask you to take, 

And keep it and love it, and all for the sake 

Of the children who love you so much, and who pray 

That the dear Lord will give you a happy birthday." . 

You can see for yourselves that this wasn't 
remarkable poetry by any means, but by the 
smile on grandpa's face and the tears in his dear 
blue eyes we knew that he was just as pleased 
with it as though some real poet had written it. 

After the thanks and the talking and laughing 
were over, he took out his pencil and a bit of 
paper, and in a few minutes he gave us this nice 
little note of thanks : 



Presents. 149 

" I fhank the dear children, at home and away, 
Who kindly remembered me on my birthday ; 
And I thank the dear grandchild who gladly consented 
To make a nice speech when the book she presented." 

There are reasons why there will never be a 
dearer piece of poetry than that is. 

The most troublesome things were the fur 
gloves, Minie's heart was set on them. In vain 
I explained to her that fur glove would cost 
almost, if not quite, ten times the money that 
she had to spend. She shook her wise little 
head, and wanted to go and see just how much 
they cost. 

" Besides, Auntie Belle," she said, " you don't 
know how much I've got. It don't belong to my 
seventy-seven cent money. I've been saving up 
for it most a hundred years, I guess. It's ever 
since I can remember, anyway." 

We finally decided to ask grandpa's advice. 
So we went to him, bank in hand, and he 
counted the money. There were ever and ever 
so many pennies, and some three-cent pieces that 
kept slipping out of sight under the pennies so 



150 Grandpa's Darlings. 

as not to be counted. The counting took a long 
time. At its close he said : 

" Well, I think we shall have to see about this 
right away. Get the furs and boots all on, and 
we will call on Mr. Judson and see what he has 
to say to us." 

Grandpa told us afterward all about it. They 
went to the great room, where many men and 
women were at work, and where everybody was 
just as busy as could be. The owner of all the 
busy machines was there, and as he knew grand- 
pa he waited on them himself. Minie was a long 
time trying to decide what she wanted, but at 
last she found just the pair. The price was 
quite a good deal more than she had in her bank, 
but grandpa poured it out on the desk and said : 

" There is your money — count it." 

So' the gentleman went to work, and the three- 
cent pieces hid just as they did before. And 
first one man and then another came to ask him 
questions, and he lost his place and had to begin 
over again, until finally, having succeeded in 



Presents. 1 5 1 

counting out two dollars just as one of the work- 
men came for orders, he swept the little heap of 
pennies and wicked three-cent pieces that were 
left into the little bank. 

"There that will do," he said. "I haven't 
time to couht any more, and I'm not sure that I 
should promise to do it if I should lose twenty 
dollars by declining. The gloves are paid for, 
my little woman. Keep the rest of the money 
as a start on next year." 

What a delighted little mousie she was to find 
that the gloves were paid for, and she had a 
whole heap of pennies left. She came privately 
to me to know if I didn't think that she could 
almost get the organ for "Auntie Dule" now 
that she had so much money. We counted it, 
and there were just sixty-three cents. 




CHAPTER XIII. 



GRACIE S LETTER. 



Dear Cousin Minie : 

I guess you didn't ever know me, 'cause I 
didn't ever get any letter from you. I'm Gracie 
— that's one of my names — that is the way it 

* 

looks on paper, but I pronounce it " Dacie." I'm 
a big tall girl. I can stand up all alone — can 
you ? and I can hold the fork myself ; only some 
times it tips, and lets the tatoe all down in my 
neck ; but that is the fault of the fork ; it isn't my 
fault — oh, no, not at all. Once my mamma had 
society. Did you ever go to society ? Some of 
it is fun, and some of it is a great deal of trouble. 
For one thing you have to be dressed up. I do 
(152; 



Grades Letter. 153 

think that such a bother. The worst is having 
your hair combed Do the mouses get in your 
hair, and make little nots all through it ? And 
then they kiss you so much, and they say, 
" Come here, little darling," and you don't want 
to go a bit; but your mamma says you must, 
because it isn't pretty not to go when you are 
called Perhaps they don't do so to you, because 
you are not a minister's daughter. I think it is 
a great deal of trouble to be a minister's daughter. 
And so mamma had society. The getting ready 
was real fun. I helped. I tipped over the 
pitcher full of water on the chamber carpet. I 
didn't mean to do that. I was going to lift it up 
to help mamma, and it slipped ; but I took a tidy 
right off the big chair and wiped it all up nice, so 
it didn't do a bit of harm ; then I took the towels 
all off the rack and put them in the bath-tub, and 
set the water running, so they would be nice and 
clean. After that mamma sent me down stairs 
to help Anna. After dinner mamma wanted me 
to go to sleep, but I didn't want to, and I made 



154 Grandpa's Darlings. 

up my mind I wouldn't. Mamma rocked and 
sang, and rocked and sang, and I put my thumb 
in my mouth and my head over her shoulder, just 
as if J was going to sleep ; but the more she sang 
the wider awake I got. When papa came in 
mamma said : " I'm sure I don't know what is the 
matter with this baby ; she will not go to sleep, 
and it is long past her sleepy time." Then I 
said : " Ah ! ga ! ga ! ah ! " They didn't know 
what that meant, but it meant I was so tickled 
because they thought I was going to sleep. 
Then papa said: "Let me try her." So I was 
dumped over his shoulder, and he sang, " Peep, 
peep, go to sleep," and " Twinkle, twinkle," and 
everything else he could think of; and every 
once in a while he would move me softly around 
to see if I was asleep, and then I would laugh. 
At last they gave it up, and I was almost sorry 
that I hadn't gone to sleep after all, because I 
had to be dressed. Then the ladies began to 
come. They all kissed me, and were so glad that 
I was awake, and so was I. Mamma told them 



Grade's Letter. 155 

how hard she had tried to get me to sleep. She 
said she didn't know what was the matter with 
me, that I had never acted so before. She said 
she believed that I knew they were going to have 
company — a little bird must have told me. 
Just then I was drinking a glass of milk, and 
this tickled me so that I began to laugh, and 
then began to choke and we had a great time, 
and the milk got spilled right in Mrs. Snow's lap. 
The reason why I was so tickled was because it 
seemed so funny to hear mamma say that a little 
bird must have told me about the company, when 
she told me herself. Didn't they know I had 
ears ? and didn't I hear the talking and planning 
about it all the week ? It is so funny that folks 
should think that we don't hear because we don't 
talk all the time. At tea time I had a great deal 
of fun. I sat up in my high chair beside papa, 
and he told mamma that he would take care of 
me ; but papa always talks and forgets all about 
me ; so I took the spoon out of his tea and put it 
in his sauce, and put some of the sauce in my 



156 ^ Grandpa's Darlings. 

mouth, but it was dreadful sour, not half so good 
as milk, so I didn't take any more ; but I spread 
some of it on my dress, and it made a lovely 
color. Pretty soon papa found it out, and he 
looked so sober that I was sorry I did it, and 
Anna came and took me away. I cried some 
and wanted to go back, but she wouldn't let me, 
and she took off my pretty dress, and said I had 
spoiled it ; but I don't know what she meant by 
that, because it was a great deal prettier since I 
had painted it. While I was thinking about it I 
went to sleep, and when I woke up don't you 
think the people had all gone home, and it was 
morning. 

I am coming to see you. Papa and mamma 
and I are going to get in the ca'rs and come. 
The cars go " choo ! choo ! " Did you ever hear 
them ? That is every word they can say. In the 
night fhey talk too, and don't go to sleep. We 
are going to have a nice time. Are you so glad 
that we are coming ? I am glad. I can't write 
any more, because I must help mamma get all 



Grade's Letter. 157 

% ready. There is a great heap of clothes on the 
table. I am going right over there to pull them 
on to the floor. 

Good-by, 

Cousin Gracie. 

This was the letter that threw Minie into a 
perfect flutter of glee. She had each one in the 
house read it to her, until very soon it appeared 
she could read it herself without missing a word. 
The best of it was true. Cousin Gracie was 
coming to see us, and Cousin Grade's mamma 
and papa were coming with her, or she with them 
I don't quite know which it was. I was the only 
one of the family who had ever seen Gracie, and 
the last time I had the honor she was a wee 
mousie, only three weeks old. So we all shared 
Minie's curiosity to know just how she looked. 
There came a day when we were all very busy, 
doing those last things that always leave them- 
selves to be done at the last minute before com- 
pany comes. Quite the busiest one in the house, 



158 Grandpas Darlings. 

to judge by her hurried and important air, was 
Minie. All day long she trotted up and down, 
the hill leading from her father's house to 
"grandpa's," bringing her treasures with which 
to adorn the little comer's room. Her best dolly, 
the one with " real " eyes and a blue muslin dress, 
was laid on the small white bed that was to be 
Miss Grade's resting-place. 

" Why, Minie ! " we said, knowing how dear 
that dolly was to her heart, "Gracie is only a 
baby, you know. I'm afraid she will break this 
doll. Why don't you bring one of the others for 
her ? " 

"Why," said Minie, with grave and earnest 
face, " Emmeline Sarah has but one arm, and 
Susan Amelia's eyes have both come out You 
know they were made of beads, and one day they 
lost out, so I guess I will have to leave this and 
run the risk of her breaking it. I guess maybe 
she won't hurt it, at all, because I asked Jesus to 
take care of it. and watch her all the time she 
had hold of it." 



Grade's Letter, 159 

Wondering much just what the little girl's idea 
of prayer was, I said : 

" But, darling, what if, after all, Gracie should 
throw dolly on the floor and break her? You 
know she is only a little baby, and would not 
know any better." 

Will my faithless heart ever forget the look of 
the sweet earnest eyes that were raised to mine 
as she said gravely, not without the least bit of a 
sigh : 

"Well, then you know, Auntie Belle, it will 
have to be just right, the best way, because Jesus 
wouldn't let it happen unless it was, because I 
asked him to take care of her, you know, And, 
anyhow, we must give the best things to people, 
mustn't we ? or else we wouldn't love them so 
much as we do ourselves." 

I am so glad to tell you that Gracie handled the 
sweet blue-eyed dolly with as much tenderness as 
though it had been a real true baby and she had 
been its mother. There is another thing I ought 
to tell you, and that is, that Minie was by no 



160 Grandpa's Darlings. 

means in this angelic mood all the time. She 
could cry with all her might, and make herself 
and all the rest of us miserable over a broken- 
nosed darling, sometimes without regard to the 
fact that of course it was the " best thing " or it 
would not have happened. In fact, the little 
woman was very jnuch like the rest of us. She 
knew all about how she ought to feel about her 
little troubles ; but she could feel right about 
them before they happened a great deal better 
than she could afterward. I wish you could see 
the little white bed that grandma made ready for 
my lady Gracie — so sweet and white and puffy, 
with a white spread quilted by her own hands in 
wreaths and shells, and all manner of pretty 
things. It wasn't a cradle, for Gracie had never 
been rocked to sleep in her life ; nor yet was it a 
crib, being not the right shape to be called by 
that name. It just answered to the name that 
Minie gave it and no other, and that "a dear 
little baby bed." 

After all I was not at home when the much- 



Grade's Letter. 161 

watched for people arrived, or, rather, I was not 

within hearing, if the truth must be told. The 

very day before this, Minie's uncle, who was not 

yet her uncle at all, had come, and was claiming 

a good share of my attention ; so it happened 
that I came down stairs after something that was 

needed, and came plump upon a small morsel, 
with very large eyes and rosy lips, whose little 
body was dressed in blue and white, and whose 
little mouth said, with great earnestness and 
decision, " No I no ! No ! no ! " when I attempted 
to kiss her ; and that was my niece Gracie, grand- 
pa's other darling. You are to hear a good deal 
about her after this ; for though I did not have 
her near me so often nor so long as I had Minie, 
yet she was a lady about whom one could learn a 
great deal in a short time, as you will see when I 
tell you some of her sayings and doings. I may 
as well say just here that we had that party very 
soon after Gracie arrived. Indeed we had been 
waiting for her, as* they had been somewhat 
delayed. Minie carried out her programme ex- 



1 62 Grandpa's Darlings. 

actly, even to the ride in the big barouche, and 
cried with all her might when she found that I 
was not going to ride back with her, but was 
going off with the "new uncle gentleman." I 
think I should have cried a little too if I had 
known that it would be a whole year or more 
before I should see my little darling again. In 
fact, if you will never tell the " new uncle," nor 
anybody else, I will just whisper to you that 
when it grew dark in the cars I hid my eyes in 
the corner of the seat and put a few tears in my 
handkerchief, just to remember the day by. As 
for Gracie, she did some very loud screaming 
that afternoon ; not on my account. Bless you, 
she didn't care then whether she ever saw me 
again or not. On the whole, I think she would a 
little rather not have seen me any more. But it 
was such a thing as never happened to her in 
all her life before, to be left in the house with a 
strange cousin while her mamma went off to 
church. What did she care if her Auntie Belle 
was going to be married ! One day last winter 



Grades Letter. 



163 



I told her just how she acted, and she said: 
Auntie Belle> did I really f" Then after a little : 
"Auntie Belle, I don't see how babies can bear it 
to stay babies so long, they know so little, and 
they are so silly." 




CHAPTER XIV. 



THE PARTY. 



Such a bustle of preparation as we were in at 
our house. " Our house " means the new uncle's 
and mine. We had been keeping it for nearly a 
year when Minie came to see us. Mamma and 
she came together, and papa was coming after 
them. Well, on this particular day we were 
getting ready for a party. On one unlucky day 
I had said in Minie' s presence that I had half a 
mind to invite my Sunday-school class to spend 
the afternoon and take tea with us while Minie 
was there. After that she gave me no peace 
until I promised ; and mamma and Nora and I 
had been for two days getting ready. You see 

(>S4) 



The Party. 165 

it was no small matter to invite my class to tea. 
It was not made up of half a dozen or so nice 
little girls, or manly boys. I had the infant 
class. Forty infants ! Some of them just old 
enough to cry and want to go home to mamma 
right in the midst of the lesson. " The very little 
ones will not come, I suppose," I said, when we 
talked the plans over. " They will be afraid to." 
When you grow up and have an infant class, and 
are going to invite them to tea, you needn't plan 
in any such way. Every single one of them 
came. We called it coming to tea, but coming 
to milk would have been the truer name. They 
didn't drink tea, and they did drink milk. The 
long table looked very pretty when we had it all 
arranged. There was a large bouquet of beauti- 
ful bright flowers in the center, and at each end 
a smaller one. There was a cup at each plate 
filled with rich milk. Some of our guests we 
knew were too small to be trusted with goblets, 
and of course we had to treat them all alike ; so 
we used cups. There were nice light biscuits, all 



1 66 Grandpa's Darlings. 

spread, and with a slice of tender chicken tucked 
away between each one. There were little puffy 
patty cakes, brimful of raisins, and frosted so 
thick that they looked like snowballs. This last 
piece ' of folly Minie is responsible for ; she 
begged for it. " Such nonsense ! " said Minie's 
mamma; but she beat the eggs with all her 
might and looked on well pleased. We hadn't a 
great deal of cake. We had just sense enough 
left to remember that the mothers would thank 
us to be very sparing of that ; but we had great 
pound sweetings, baked to just the right shade 
of brown ; and the crowning beauty, at least in 
Minie's eyes, was a glass dish full of bright 
yellow oranges, one for each. At precisely three 
o'clock they came. Not one at a time, ringing 
the door-bell and walking in properly as there 
elders do; they didn't even come by twos and 
threes. Somewhere on the road they had gath- 
ered, and been waiting the exact moment that 
they had been invited, for as the clock struck the 
gate clicked, and in they rushed, the whole forty. 



The Party. 167 

You needn't expect me to give you any idea of 
the din there was. I couldn't do it. They all 
wanted their hats and sacks taken off at once; 
and then they wanted them on again to go out- 
doors, and we managers almost lost our senses 
trying to keep them straight. Such an afternoon 
as that was ! We couldn't leave the little mortals 
alone for two minutes without having an accident 
or a quarrel ; and they were every ope of them 
trying to be perfect, too. The only trouble was 
that, like the most of us, they didn't succeed. 
Minie had brought out her treasures with which 
to entertain them. Among other things was 
Albertina Seraphina, a new doll, with real hair, 
and a silk dress with lace puffings. It was before 
the days of overskirts, or she certainly would 
have had one. That doll which we had meant to 
be such a joy to them was a source of trouble all 
the time. Before the afternoon was over I 
heartily wished that the pink-checked darling 
was three hundred miles away, safely shut up in 
her grandmother's bureau drawer. First one 



1 68 Grandpa's Darlings. 

child cried to hold her and then another, and 
little Minie's face was red, and the tears stood on 
the edges of her eyes half the time lest her 
precious child should be dropped or bruised. 
Finally the trouble reached its height. Susy 
Phelps and Carrie Stone, two of the more quiet 
children, had been allowed to take Miss Abbie, 
which was the short for Albertina, over into a 
corner to look at her, while I showed the great 
album full of pictures to the smaller ones ; but 
Susy and Carrie quarreled, and this was the way 
of it. 

" She is bigger than any doll you ever had," 
said Susy, in a superior tone, and with a disa- 
greeable emphasis on the " you." 

" I guess I've had as big dolls zsyou have, any 
day," Carrie said, quickly. 

Then Susy : " Oh, Carrie Stone ! what a story ! 
I've had the biggest doll ever was in this town." 

" You haven't, either." 

" I have, too ! " 

"I say you haven't! You are an old story- 



The Party. * 169 

teller. I'll tell my mother, and she won't let me 
play with you any more." 

" I don't care ; I don't want to play with you. 
And I shan't ask you to my party ,either." 

" You needn't, I won't come if you do. But 
my doll is bigger than yours for all that." 

" She isn't, either. Mine is bigger than this." 

" Oh, that is a story ! She isn't near as big." 

"She is!" 

" She isn't ! " 

" She is ! " 

And then they talked so loud and so fast that 
we couldn't tell what either of them said, and 
they were too angry to even attend to me when I 
put down the album and came over to talk to 
them ; and finally Susy Phelps burst into a 
perfect storm of tears, and ran screaming down 
the yard out at the gate, and so home, without 
hat or cloak or sack. After that we locked Miss 
Albertina Seraphina into my clothes-press and 
wouldn't let her come out again while the party 
lasted, though she was much the best behaved 



170 Grandpa's Darlings. 

person there : and Minie's mamma said if we 
would send some of the guests into the other 
clothes-press and lock them in we should have a 
much better time. Pretty soon we all went to 
tea, all but Susy Phelps. I am glad to say that 
her mother wouldn't let her come back, so. she 
ate her supper at home if she had any. We had 
great trouble in getting our company seated ; at 
least a dozen of them wanted to sit at the head 
of the table. As we had called this Minie's birth- 
day party, I had arranged to seat her at the 
head, and put the basket of puffy cake in front 
of her plate. I think it was that cake that made 
the mischief, and very troublesome mischief there 
was. I didn't know how naughty a party of 
little people could act when they tried. 

" If I can't sit there, I don't want to sit any-, 
where," one of them said. 

And another : " I ought to sit there, I'm the 
oldest." 

" No, you ain't," said a pet little mousie of 



The Party. 171 

about five, " I'm sure I am the oldest ; I bad a 
birthday last week." . 

I hadn't the least idea what to do with any of 
them. It was new business to me. I had never 
had any but grown-up company before, who sat 
where I told them to, and waited until they got 
home before, they made any remarks. 

" Minie," I said, " suppose you take this seat, 
and we will let Trudy sit there, as she is older 
than the rest. 

And you can imagine the wicked state of mind 
into which we had all got when I tell you that 
our little Minie, who had had the most careful 
teaching not only as to what was polite but what 
was right, actually puckered her lips and said she 
" wanted to sit there where Auntie Belle had said 
she could, and she wasn't going to sit anywhere 
else. Then indeed I was at my wits' end. I 
thought if the minister were only here — did I 
tell you that the new uncle was a minister ? — he 
would be sure to do something ; but he had been 
sent for just a little while before. It began to 



172 Grandpa's Darlings. 

look to me very much as though we should none 
of us get any supper; but suddenly Minie's 
mamma, who had managed young parties before, 
came to the rescue, 

"Now," said she, briskly, "I'll tell you what 
we are all going to do. You are each of you 
going to take a seat just exactly where I put you 
and we are not going to say another word about 
it, only if there is any one who would rather not 
have any supper than to sit where I put her, she 
needn't eat a single bit ; we will excuse her, and 
let her go and sit on that lounge until the rest 
are through. Now, Minie, I'll seat you first ; you 
are to sit here/' pointing to a seat half way down 
the table; "and that little girl in a pink dress 
may come and take this seat at the head." 

Wise mamma! The little girl in the pink 
dress was the smallest and quietest and poorest 
of all the company, and was perfectly astonished 
at the notice taken of her. What a queer way to 
treat company, I couldn't help thinking; but it 
had the effect that we wanted. Each one slipped 



The Party. 173 

quietly into her seat. There was that in the 
lady's face that said I mean what I say, and no 
one, it seemed, had the least idea of going with- 
out her supper. After that we had a peaceful 
time. To be sure, there were rivers of milk 
spilled, and some of the very little ones would take 
more cake than we dared let them eat, but those 
things we expected. The minister came home 
before we were through supper, and after it was 
over he carried them all off to the parlor, and 
they had a happy time. " If you had kept him 
at home to play with the children this afternoon 
I don't believe we should have had a bit of 
trouble." This was what Minie's mamma said as 
she heard the gleeful laughs that came to us from 
the parlor. The next thing that happened was 
a hard shower. It came up so suddenly that we 
all started in amazement, as the rain rushed in at 
us from the open doors and windows. Then 
what a hurrying to and fro we had, closing win- 
dows all over the house. As we met each on the 
stairs we would say, " I hope it is only a shower ;" 



1/4 Grandpa's Darlings. 

or, " How will those children ever get home ? " 
But if it was a shower, it meant to last until we 
would call it by a more dignified name. It rained 
and rained, and the more we tried to comfort the 
children with the thought that it would soon be 
over the harder the rain seemed to come. Some 
of the younger ones added to the shower with 
many tears lest they would never get home 
again. At last we began to change the tone of 
our comfort and say, " Oh, they will send for you 
don't be afraid." But "they" didn't. They 
evidently thought that people who had gotten 
themselves into such a scrape as that might get 
out the best way they could. It grew to be a 
serious question how the little mortals were to be 
got home. We held many counsels over the 
kitchen table ; we talked by twos, the third one 
going in to keep guard over the little prisoners 
while the others discussed ways and means. It 
ended in the minister getting out rubbers and 
umbrella, and going across lots to a great-hearted 
neighbor's ; from whence he presently came in a 



The Party. 175 

long hay wagon, with big brown horses harnessed 
before it Into this wagon, after much struggling 
with hats, shawls and gloves, we rolled and tum- 
bled the little sprites, and it was with a sigh of 
great relief and satisfaction that we saw the 
brown horses move slowly away. What an after- 
noon we had had! We told each other with 
much laughing that we should never forget it, 
never — and I don't believe we ever will. The 
minister did his sighing somewhat later in the 
evening, and I don't think there is any danger of 
his forgetting the first party that we ever gave. 
The next day we lived the funny part of it over 
again in a letter to grandpa and grandma, and 
after a few days there came back this answer : 

"Grandpa says, 'Tell Minie I am very glad 
that she shut Albertina Seraphina into the 
clothes-press. I should hardly have liked her to 
be influenced by all the little people who were 
around her ; and tell Auntie Belle that I rccom» 
mend her before she gives another party to rctul 



176 



Grandpds Darlings. 



the story in the Bible of the man who, before he 
built his house, sat down and counted the cost. 
Perhaps she did, though, and if she had interest 
on her money, all right." 

I studied a little over this message before I 
decided just what it meant. I wonder if you can 
all tell? 





CHAPTER XV. 



PRAYERS. 



The next time I saw the two little girls they 
were at grandma's house. We were all there 
spending a vacation, and having such a good 
time as was to be had nowhere else in the world, 
Gracie was a little three-year-old darling, as full 
of fun and frolic as a mortal child could be. Oh, 
the mischief that that morsel could get through 
in a day ! It seemed to me that the little feet 
and hands and tongue must ache at night; but 
they were never quite ready to have night come 
— in fact as it drew toward bedtime she seemed 
to have more to do than before, and many a nice 

(W) 



178 Grandpa's Darlings. 

plan was spoiled right in the best of it by the 
call to bed. I don't suppose there ever was a 
child who had queerer ideas about things than 
our Gracie had. The most unluckly thing that 
could happen was to have her waken in the 
morning with the announcement, " Gracie is a 
naughty baby this day." She seemed to think 
that this made everything straight, and nobody 

had a right to complain as long as she took the 
pains to explain to them what she meant to do. 
Sure enough, from morning until night every- 
thing went wrong. If she had planned every- 
thing that was to happen, with the direct aim of 
helping her to be a naughty girl, she could not 
have done it better ; so that we grew to dread the 
days that were begun with that sentence, " Gracie 
is a naughty baby ! " The worst thing about it 
was her serene unconsciousness of having done 
anything wrong. Hadn't she told us that she 
meant to be naughty? Very pleasant days 
those were in which she announced with bright 
eyes and smiling face, " Gracie is a good girl to 



Prayers. 179 

day ! " And a good girl she would be. Troubles 
that in her bad days would have caused a perfect 
tempest would roll off and leave not a shadow 
behind them. 

" Why can't you always be such a sweet, pleas- 
ant little girl?" I would ask her after one of 
these sunshiny days. I can see now the aston- 
ished look in her great gray eyes as she said : 

" Why, Auntie Belle, this is my good day. I'm 
not a naughty baby to-day at all. But I can't 
always be good, you know." 

It is about the close of one of the naughty 
days that I want to tell you. A great deal of 
mischief had been done, the last being to burn 
her little fat finger in taking hold of a certain 
stick that she was not to touch. The finger was 
done up in cotton, after a vain attempt on grand- 
ma's part to put a " claster " on it. She seemed 
to think that a" claster " was something a great 

deal harder to endure than a burn, and screamed 
as hard again over the prospect of having one on 
as she did at the accident. At last she settled 



180 Grandpas Darlings. 

down, and we said good-by to the people down 
stairs, and mamma and she and I went up to get 
ready for sleepy time. Sober talk was going on 
all the time the chubby cheeks and hands were 
being washed, and when at last the white night- 
gown was on, and buttoned from throat to toes, 
her face was grave and thoughtful. 

"Well," she said, looking into her mother's 
face, and speaking slowly and solemnly, "I've 
got a good deal to say to-night, haven't I? I 
wish I had come that last time when you called 
me, I shouldn't have felt quite so bad then. It 
was so near night I should have thought I could 
have remembered. Mamma, which do you think 
is the baddest thing that I did to-day ? " 

" I don't think I can tell," mamma said, with a 
sober, troubled face; "and that isn't the thing 
that you are to think about, anyway. It makes 
no difference which is the worst thing; every- 
thing that you knew was wrong to do has made 
Jesus feel badly, and you want to ask him to for- 
give you for them all ; besides, you want to ask 



Prayers. 181 

for a new heart, so that you will be willing to try 
not to be so naughty." 

There was never a time in her little life that 
Gracie wasn't ready for an argument. She tried 
to get one up now. 

" But, mamma, if I could find out which was 
the very baddest thing that I did I could make 
up my mind that I certainly true would never do 
that again, and then I would be sure not to be so 
bad next time. Don't you see ? " 

I shall have to confess that I felt very much 
like laughing. She was such a little bit of a mouse, 
and she was trying so hard to be wise. But hex 
poor troubled mamma did not smile. 

" I see that you don't know what you are talk 
ing about," she said. "I can only hope that 
when you are older you will be a great deal 



wiser." 



This was certainly hard for a little girl who 
thought she made a very sensible remark. She 
gave a little bit of a sigh, and then knelt down 
beside her mamma. Very slowly and reverently 



1 82 Grandpa's Darlings. 

she went through the prayer that I think every 
little girl in the world must know, " Now I lay 
me down to sleep." After the " Amen " she 
always added a little prayer that she said came 
right out of her own heart ; and to-night it was, 
"Dear Jesus, please bless Gracie; make my 
heart not feel so bad ; make me feel just as 
though I was a very good girl, and take away my 
naughty sins and give me some good sins." 
That was really the most that Gracie knew about 
it. There seemed to be no use in trying to 
make her understand that everything that wasn't 
right was wrong, and that God thought so. It 
troubled the mamma a great deal to see that her 
little girl was getting the idea that because there 
"were some things that she didn't do, and that 
other little girls did do, therefore she was a 
much better girl than they after all. 

" Do you think that is so very strange ? " 
grandpa said, as she talked it over with him after 
we went down stairs. "Why there are older 
people than she who reason in just that way. It 



Prayers. 183 

isn't an hour ago that I was talking with John 
about not speaking in a very respectful manner 
and he said, ' I never swear, anyway. Jim White 
used to swear every time you told him anything 
that he didn't want to do. I knew you didn't 
hear him very often, but that was the way he 
used to do. / never swore in my life." And the 
poor fellow looked as though he thought I ought 
to call him a remarkably good boy, because he 
had reminded me of a sin that he never was 
guilty of." 

" That is the very feeling that Gracie seems 
often to have," mamma said. " Don't you think 
it strange ? I don't know how to deal with it." 

" I don't think it is an unusual feeling by any 
means," said grandpa. "In fact, I don't know 
but every one has more or less of it. Don't you 
remember how* the man in the Bible prayed, 
'Lord I thank thee that I am not as other 
men ? ' " 

Now I wonder if you can think why I am 
telling you this talk, which sounds very sober to 



184 Grandpa 's Darlings. 

you perhaps? The reason is that those words 
of my dear father set me to thinking. I have 
thought of them a great many times since, and I 
have been very much surprised to see how many 
times I have had just the same thought; how 
many times I have found pleasure in thinking. 
"Well, I wouldn't do as that girl did for any- 
thing," as if God cared anything about that. I 
wonder if you ever have any such thoughts ? 

I must tell you about another of Grade's 
prayers. It was at the close of a long summer 
day. She and Minie had been playing from 
early morning away into the evening, and a more 
weary little being than the one who slowly clam- 
bered up the long stairs, yawning at every step, 
could hardly be imagined. She was very inde- 
pendent though, as usual. She wouldn't be 
helped ; she would take every single step herself 
on her weary little feet ; she would unbutton the 
brown boots, and unfasten the blue sash, and 
unstrap the white stockings, just as usual. At 



Prayers. 185 

last every pretty" little garment was laid carefully 
away, and mamma said : 

"Now my little girl is all ready for her even- 
ing prayer." 

" No," Gracie said ; and I can seem to see the 
little determined face that she gravely turned 
toward her mother, and hear the decided ring to 
her voice as she said it — "No, mamma, no 
prayers to-night." 

" Oh, yes," said mamma, gently and coaxingly, 
" my little girl don't want to go to bed without 
asking Jesus to take care of her to-night, and 
thanking him for giving her such a happy day." 

"Yes she did," she said, "want just that. She 
was tired of saying a prayer every single night 
of her life ; she had done it for ever and ever so 
many years, ever since she was born, and there 
was no use of always doing it ; she couldn't say a 
single prayer to-night." And she laid herself 
down in her little white bed as though the 
matter was settled, and to all mamma's coaxings 



1 86 Grandpa *s Darlings. 

she answered just that one sentence, "No 
prayers to-night." 

Mamma looked very much puzzled. She wasn't 
in the habit of allowing her little girl to do just 
as she liked : in fact, Miss Gracie had been very 
carefully taught to do just as mamma said, which 
made it seem all the more strange that she 
should suddenly take the control of herself in 
this way. I felt very badly. I was sure that 
mamma would think that she must make her 
little girl do as she told her, and the poor little 
thing was so tired and so determined to have her 
own way that I felt sure there would be trouble. 
There we stood, mamma with the little boots in 
her hand, I with the lamp in my hand on the 
way to the hall, and Gracie in her crib looking 
solemnly up at us. In a few minutes the troubled 
look cleared from mamma's face, and she said in 
a quiet, grave voice : 

"Very well, if my little girl wants to go to 
sleep and lie through the long dark night without 
asking Jesus to keep her, why she will have to 



Prayers. 187 

dolt. If it were something that you were to do 
for me I should have to make you do it ; but Jesus 
doesn't care anything about prayers that people 
say because they are obliged to. He will not 
make you pray ; he does not care for your prayer 
if you don't want to say it. Come, Auntie Belle, 
you and I must go- down stairs." 

Little Gracie was astonished. She had never 
been deserted in that way before. She turned 
her great wide open eyes full on her mother, but 
she hadn't the least idea of giving up her own 
way for all that. 

" Don't you mean to kiss me ? " she asked, in a 
very sober tone. 

" No, I think not," said mamma, in an equally 
sober way. "I can't think you care anything 
about my kisses when you don't care that you 
make me feel badly. Besides, if you don't care 
for Jesus' love I'm sure you can't want mine." 

And still Gracie kept her grave face. Down 
stairs we went, although it almost broke mam- 
ma's heart to go away without a good-night kiss 



1 88 Grandpas Darlings, 

from her darling. For about ten minutes she 
fidgeted around down stairs, near enough to the 
door to hear any sound that might be made in 
the room above. Then we heard a little body 
roll out of bed, and two small feet rushed across 
the room to the stair door, and a trembling little 
voice called out, " Mamma ! " It took only about 
a second for mamma to answer that call, and by 
the time she reached the room above Gracie was 
ready to rush into her arms, and with a burst of 
tears she said, " Gracie wants to say her prayers. 
She does want Jesus to take care of her; she 
does want your kisses." And a perfect shower 
of them she got. Through a great many tears 
the evening prayer was said, and in five minutes 
more the little girl was in a happy sleep. 

" How much better it was to manage her that 
way than it would have been to whip her into 
saying her prayer," Auntie Julia said in a burst 
of admiration over the mamma's management. 

Grandpa had been walking the floor, wearing a 
sober face, during this time. When either of his 



Prayers. 189 

darlings were in trouble it always sobered grand- 
pa's face. I wondered just what he was think- 
ing, and pretty soon he told us. 

" I can't help wishing," he said, " that every 
one's heart was so tender, so willing to melt 
when Jesus has been grieved. I wonder how 
long it is before we call to him after we have 
hurt his feelings by having our own way ? " 

Grandpa had such a strange way of talking 
about these things, just as if Jesus were right 
here with us. 





CHAPTER XVI. 



QUEER IDEAS. 



My Ray said something this morning that 
made me think of some of Minie's sayings of 
which I had forgotton to tell you. We had com- 
pany. Ray in his high chair, sat looking steadily 
at the stranger's face, his mind busy with won- 
dering thoughts. I think I can guess what some 
of them were. Only a few days ago he discov- 
ered that each person in the world had a name 
that was his or her own property. Up to that 
time he had imagined that the general name 
"lady" or "gentleman" was all that anybody 
owned. This new thought was evidently troub- 
ling him. He only waited until I had taken my 
(190) 



Queer Ideas, 191 

seat beside him to say with earnest face and a 
ringing voice, " Mamma,* what is that man's 
name?" The question took me back ten years 
and more, to the time when Minie was bent on 
asking questions, and I mean to go back and tell 
you about it. 

She was very much given to asking just that 
question that my Ray did, and she always 
pointed her wee finger right at the person about 
whom she was talking. Now if you have never 
tried it, you haven't the least idea how awkward 
it is to be sitting among a room full of people, 
some of them strangers, and have a shrill little 
voice shout out just in a pause in the conversa- 
tion, so that everybody is attending, "Auntie 
Belle, who is that man ? " This was the uncom- 
fortable thing that Minie of three years was very 
apt to do. We tried very hard to break her of 
it, but she was always in such solemn earnest, 
and was so sure that she was asking in just the 
right time, that it was hard to scold her. 

One day there was a great meeting in our 



1 92 Grandpa's Darlings. 

church, and the town was full of strangers, minis- 
ters and teachers, and all those good people who 
are apt to go to great meetings. Almost every 
house in town was turned into a willing hotel to 
entertain the guests. You may be sure that 
Minie's grandpa, was not behind in this pleasant 
duty, and our house was full. Minie had been 
very much interested in the strangers, and had 
asked the usual number of questions; so I 
thought I would be wiser than she for once, and 
get rid of some of them. It chanced that on the 
second day of the meeting we were to have two 
more guests at dinner. I was combing Minie's 
hair and putting on her third clean apron to get 
her ready for dinner, when it occurred to me to 
give her a lesson at the same time. 

" Minie," I said, " there are to be two gentle- 
men to dinner to-day whom you have not seen 
before. They are to sit right opposite you, at 
grandpa's right, and auntie wants to tell you 
about them. They are ministers, one is an old 
gentleman and one is young. Their names are 



Queer Ideas. 193 

Mr. Eastman and Mr. Briggs. They live a great 
way off. I have forgotten the name of the place. 
Now you must say those names over a good 
many times, so you will remember; and you 
won't ask me at the table what they are, will 
you ? because it isn't polite, you know. If you 
forget you will wait until after dinner to ask, 
won't you ? " 

* f I won't forget," said Minie, very gravely. " I 
don't ever forget, Auntie Belle. I shall know 
their names always." 

This was true. She had a wonderful little 
memory, especially about things that were not 
worth remembering. 

"Very well," I said, quite satisfied with my 
teaching, and feeling glad that I should be able 
to eat my dinner without the fear of being asked 
that embarrassing question. 

Half an hour afterward Minie, in ruffle apron, 
hair combed smoothly and tied back by the pink- 
est of ribbons, sat in her high chair, and with 
grave face and folded hands waited while the 



194 Grandpa's Darlings. 

white-haired minister asked a blessing. She was 
very busy studying the faces of the two strangers, 
so busy that her little tongue was, very quiet. 
So perfect was she in her behavior that the 
younger of the two gentlemen finally said : 

" Your little one is remakably well behaved for 
one so young." 

It was just at that important moment, when 
the attention of every one was called to her, that 
she suddenly spoke in the clearest, most ringing 
voice imaginable : 

" Auntie Belle, which is Mr. Briggs, and which 
is Mr. Eastman ? " And she pointed her two 

# 

little forefingers, one at each, as if she meant to 
shoot them. Of course they were a good deal 
astonished, and of course a long explanation had 
to be made as to her way of getting acquainted 
with people; and then I had to tell about my 
attempt to teach her beforehand. The way I 
had succeeded they could see for themselves. 
They seemed wonderfully amused, and laughed 
until they brought a red glow all over Minie's 



Queer Ideas. 19^ 

cheeks, and she hardly knew whether to laugh or 
cry. 

" It was all right," grandpa said, as later in 
the day he held the little girl in his arms, and 
patted the brown head and kissed the quivering 
lips and flushing cheeks, for by this time Minie 
thought we had laughed enough, and had almost 
made up her mind to cry. " Tell Auntie Belle 
that next time she must teach the whple of the 
lesson instead of stopping half way. You kept 
your promise, and didn't ask what their names 
were." 

" I 'membered," said Minie, with a little sob. 
" I know their names now." 

" Of course you do, and. if you couldn't tell 
which was which that can hardly be called your 
fault." 

" Half-way teaching," said grandpa again, after 
the little girl had been comforted and gone 
happily to her play. " There is a world of mis 

« 

chief done by that kind of teaching. If you are 
going to be a teacher you want to take this for a 



I 



196 Grandpa's Darlings. 

lesson, and be careful that you don't forget half 
of the lesson." 

Grandma was rather afraid that I would feel 
hurt. She was a grandma who all her life was 
looking out for and being careful of other people's 
feelings, so now she said : 

" But, after all, father, this was only fun, not 
real genuine 'teaching. It really doesn't make 
much difference how many of her funny little 
questions Minie asks as long as she is such a 
little bit of a mouse. Don't you think we may 
take things too soberly in this world ? " 

And then grandpa turned his 9ear loving eyes 
on me to see whether* I was taking it too soberly, 
as he said : 

" I don't think there is any harm in getting an 
earnest lesson for the future even out of our little 
Minie's queer sayings and doings, I suppose that 
is one reason why the sunny days of babyhood 
are given to us, instead of our having a grown-up 
young lady all at once." 

Years after that I had two little girls who 



Queer I dens. 197 

came to recite arithmetic lessons. One day they 
had to be kept to get their lesson. It was a line 
in the multiplication table. They whispered 
together a minute, and then they set about their 
work with energy. When they came to recite 
Laura went through with the first half of the 
line very perfectly, then she stopped. " Go, on," 
I said, and I have to smile yet to think of the 
absurd little voice that said, " Sister Ann learned 
the other half ! " It brought back in a minute 
my half lesson to Minie and my fathers' words. 
I told the little girls the story right away, and 
tried to make them want to do things with all 
their hearts, and not half way. 

Minie had some other queer ideas. Once 
when I was dressing her for a walk she was very 
anxious to wear a wide blue sash with a bright 
pink merino dress that she had on. 

" Why Minie," I said, " that would be dressing 
in very bad taste. Don't you know that pink 
and blue don't look nicely together ? " 

u Why don't they ? " she said, not inclined to 



198 Grandpds Darlings. 

be convinced. It was a question not easy to 
answer to a three-year-old child, so I said : 

"Never mind why they don't*. You cant 
always have the reason explained. You must be 
content to know that it is so because Auntie 
Belle says so." 

I had my little bit of a lesson out of that. We 
were in grandma's room putting the finishing 
touches to the dressing. Grandpa was at the 
table shaving. 

"It is a pretty heavy responsibility that 
' Auntie Belle ' is taking," he said, looking around 
at us just then. " After that sentence you must 
be very careful indeed that what you say is 'just 
so. 

How many times I have thought of that since 
when I have been tempted to say " I haven't 
time," when I" meant " I don't want to ;" or to say 
" In a few minutes," when I meant as many 
hours. H 

But I started out to tell you how Minie applied 
her new idea. The next morning I was up at 



Queer Ideas. 199 

the other house, waiting for Minie's mamma to 
go out with me. She stood at the glass arrang- 
ing her hat, and Minie at her side was looking up 
soberly and thoughtfully into the glass. 

"Somebody feels rather grave over the pros- 
pect of a walk being taken without her," mamma 
said, in a low tone, calling my attention to the 
sober face. But it seemed that she was mis- 
taken as to the cause of the gravity. Just then 
Minie spoke ; 

"Mamma, I don't think your face is in good 

taste at all." 

" Not in good taste ! " said mamma, very much 

astonished. " What in the world, can the child 

mean ? " 

" It is so, mamma. Your eyes are blue like 

the sky, and your lips and cheeks are just as red ; 

and Auntie Belle said that red and blue were 

very bad taste, and that I was never to wear 

them together, and you have to wear yours all 

the time. I am so sorry for you, mamma." 



200 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Mamma left off trying to tie her bonnet strings 
into a nice bow, and sat down in the nearest 
chair to laugh. 

" I don't know what will come next," she said, 
as soon as she could speak. " If my little girl 
has got so that she objects to my cheeks and 
eyes because they are not in goo(J taste, I must 
be prepared for anything. Is Auntie Belle's 
teaching all going to be as inconvenient as 
that ? " 

We heard a good deal about it after that ; and 
I am not sure even to this day whether they 
laughed most at Minie for her queer idea, or 
at Auntie Belle for her queer teaching. 

Grandpa had a different way of teaching. Let 
me give you one other little story that will show 
you how he did it. Among the many wedding 
presents that my friends gave me was a butter- 
knife. That I think I thought more of than of 

« 

most all the others, because my dear little Minie 
was the giver. I brought it home with me when 



Queer Ideas. 201 

I came on a visit, and we used it on grandma's 
table to please Minie. One day she watched her 
papa very anxiously as he helped himself to 
butter, and seemed relieved when he set down the 
dish. 

" What now ? " he said, with a little laugh, as 
he noticed her thoughtful face. " Have I done 
anything to hurt your little bits of feelings ?" 

" Why," said Minie, with a little sigh, " I was 
most afraid. You scraped it so hard, papa, I was 
most afraid you would lose the name off in the 
butter, and somebody would eat it up, and we 
couldn't find it any more." 

" What name ? " papa said, in great amazement, 
while the rest of us burst into merry laughter. 

"Why, the name, papa," she said, struggling 
with her embarrassment. "Don't you know we 
had the man put words on it, ' Auntie Belle, from 
Minie,' and I was afraid you would scrape them 
off." 

At this point the laugh became so loud that 
Minie slipped down from her chair and ran to her 




202 Grandpa's Darlings. 

refuge, grandma's lap, hiding her face in grand- 
ma's neck. It was on the evening of the same 
day that grandpa took his darling in his arms, 
and I, passing back and forth at my work, heard 
bits of the sweet talk that they were having. 

man engraved the name on the knife," 
grandpa said, " and after that no one could get it 
off, no matter how hard they might try." Then 
followed a very plain talk about engraving, how 
it was done, and why it couldn't be got off. 
When I went that way again they had gone to 
another part of the subject. 

"There is a verse in the Bible about it," 
grandpa was saying. "It says he will engrave 
our names on his hand, Jesus' hand, you know. 

That means that if we love him he will be just as 
sure not to forget us as you would be not to 
forget the name of a dear friend if it were 
engraved right on the palm of your hand here, 
where you could read it every time you looked 
down. Wouldn't you like to have Jesus think as 
much of you as that ? " 



Queer Ideas. 



203 



And I, as I passed out of hearing, thought, 
11 That is grandpa's way of teaching. It is a 
lesson better worth learning than the one about 
pink and blue ribbons ; and it hasn't been ' half 
taught* " 





CHAPTER XV. 



gracie's applications. 



" What is that ? " she said to me, as she 
leaned over my chair and watched me tugging at 
the strings of her shoe. "What is the matter 
with Grade's shoe ? " 

" It is in a hard knot," I said : ' and I am 
afraid Auntie Belle will have to cut the string, I 
can't pick it out." 

Nevertheless I worked at it industriously until 

my patience gave way, and then I took the 

scissors. Only an hour or two afterward I heard 

her ringing little voice calling through the hall : 

" Auntie Belle ! oh, Auntie Belle ! come quick 
(204) 



Grade's Applications. 205 

and bring the scissors, Grade's hand is all in a 
hard knot." 

I went in haste ; she was trying to get her little 
blue dress off, working with much tugging, and 
inside of the sleeve her chubby little hands was 
caught. 

" It is in a hard knot," she explained as I came 
in ; " bring the scissors quick." And to all my 
explanations she could only answer, with a wise 
little shake of her head, " It is in a hard knot." 

This is only a specimen of her queer ideas. 

Once we all went to Cleveland, Ohio, to spend 
our vacation — her papa and mamma, and herself 
of course, and my minister and I. Some time I 
will tell you about the funny times we all had 
there together. Enough queer things happened 
to us to make a big book of, but about this one 
day : It was very warn 
had yet; we said so of 
came. We sat at the d 
over, and Gracie had left 
the dining-room door, w 



206 Grandpds Darlings. 

our dessert and visited as hard as if we had not 
been doing that same thing and not much else 
for three weeks. There was a stuong lake wind, 
and Grade's blue dress and white apron fluttered 
back and forth like little flags. She was a little 
bit of a mousie, she had been sick all summer, 
and her cheeks did not puff out like peaches any 
more. As we sat looking at her there came an 
unusually strong wind, the door against which 
she stood blew suddenly shut, and away went 
Gracie out and down the three steps to the 
ground. We all sprang up, with little shrieks 
and exclamations, and ran to the door. Uncle 
Ross was first, was there indeed before I could 
get my chair pushed from the table, and as we 
reached the door \fre met him coming with the 
fallen maiden in his arms. She was not shriek- 
ing as I expected, neither was she speechless 
from injury and fright as I had half feared. I 
wish you could have seen her face. Her eyes 
were as bright as two stars, her cheeks were 



GraciJs Applications. 207 

glowing, and her face was all in a sparkle of 
delight 

" I flew ! "* she said, as she came toward us, 
" Did you see me, Anntie Belle ? Oh, mamma, 
did you see me fly? I went just as nice, just 
like the robins ; and uncle Ross caught me before 
I came down ! " 

Now did any one ever hear such a description 
of a fall before ? She was the most perfectly 
delighted little darling that you ever saw. She 
could talk of nothing else all day. Every one 
who came in she told the story of her wonderful 
journey up in the air, " just like the robins," and 
how Uncle Ross caught her before she fell. 

"Don't let us tell her anything about it," her 
mamma said. " It is really a pity to undeceive 
her ; it is such a pretty idea. Let her think so 
for a little while." 

We need not have been afraid of unr 1 — !,,; — 
her; it wasn't an easy thing to do. 
became apparent that it was very imp. 
try. She was never given to being % 



208 Grandpa's Darlings. 

things, not half so much afraid as would have 
been convenient; and we found that after her 
flight into the air she grew to thinking that she 
was certainly different from other little girls — 
perhaps she had wings hidden away somewhere 
so that she could fly again. When we told her 
to be careful about going to the end of the high 
piazza for fear she might fall, she would look up 
at us with an air half wistful, half roguish, and 
say: 

" Perhaps I might fly instead of falling. I did 
once, you know ;" and this she thought was an 
argument that was perfectly unanswerable. 

" We must certainly explain that to her," mam- 
ma said one day, " or she will be trying to climb 
out on the roof and fly off to the ground." So I 
engaged to attempt an explanation. 

"You mustn't think, Gracie, that you really 
flew that day when the wind blew you out of the 
door. Uncle Ross was beside you so quickly, 
and picked you up before you had time to know 
that you had fallen, almost before you touched 



Grade's Applications. 209 

the ground, that is what makes you think that 
you flew ; but the truth is, if the ground had not 
been soft and grassy, and you hadn't been picked 
up so quickly, you might have been badly hurt ; 
and you must never try to fly, because you have 
no wings and were not intended to travel in that 
way." 

She had been so sure of her trip that I was 
very sorry to spoil the pretty idea, and I expected 
her to feel very badly, perhaps to shed a few 
tears. I prepared to comfort her. She 'did not 
say a word for several minutes, and her face was 
so grave, so almost offended in its look, that I 
decided to wait and find out what was passing in 
her queer little mind. 

"Auntie Belle," she said, speaking at last in a 
slow, grave tone — "Auntie Belle, did you ever 
fly?" 

" Why, of course not, darling. Don't you see, 
I have no wings either. 
one but birds, and hei 
people can not, and tha 



210 Grandpa's Darlings. 

foolish in you to say that you can, because you 
were not made to fly." I gained a great deal by 
that explanation, as you will see. 

"Then you don't know at all how it feels to 
fly?" 

" Not at all. The nearest I expect to come to 
it is to go up in a balloon. I mean to try that 
way of traveling some day, and I think very 
likely I may take you with me — that is, if you 
would like to go. I should think it might be 
almost ks good as flying." 

" Well," she said, still speaking in that grave, 
wise tone of hers, and treating my last sentence 
exactly as if I had not spoken it, " if you never 
flew in your life, of course you can't know how it 
feels to fly, and you can't know as much about it 
as I do, because I have flown away up in the sky. 
I think I went out of sight, but it didn't take but 
a little minute, for flying is done just as quick — 
oh ! quicker than you can think ; and I came 
back just as Uncle Ross and all of you got to the 



Grade's Applications. 21 1 

door ; but of course you think it isn't so, for you 
never tried it, and I did." 

Talk of trying to explain things to her, when 
she didn't hesitate to say that she knew more 
about it than I did ! To all our explanations and 
advice she gave this unanswerable reply. 

" But, mamma, I have tried it, you know ; and 
how can I help knowing that I didn't fly, when I 
did?" 

" What is to be done with the ridiculous little 
morsel ? " her mamma asked, half in amusement 
and half in despair. " I am really afraid she will 
get a serious fall. I have to watch her all the 
time. I know she thinks us all a set of skeptics, 
and she means to prove to us that we are mis- 
taken the first chance she gets." 

" I don't know but we will have to select the 
place and let her try it, just to prove to her that 
there are people in the world who know more 
than she does." This her papa said, but mamma 
shivered as she answered : 



212 Grandpa's Darlings. 

* 

" I am afraid of that way. We can never be 
sure how little a fall may be a serious one." 

We were not in Cleveland when we had this 
talk, but at grandpa's, whither we had come to 
finish our vacation. He sat at the round table, 
reading the Tribune, and, as we thought, not 
hearing a word we were saying; but in the 
twilight of the next evening, just before it was 
time for Gracie to go to bed, he took her on his 
knee, and they had a little talk together, part of 
which I heard. 

" So you really think you can fly, little lady ? " 

" Why, I know I did fly, grandpa, and I can't 
see why I couldn't do it again." 

Grandpa said not a single word in answer, at 
which the little mousie seemed to be a good deal 
astonished. She took shy looks at him from 
under her lashes, until presently she said : 

" Don't you think I flew, grandpa ?" 

f€ No," said grandpa, shaking his head, " / don't 
think you did. Shall I tell you the reason ? It 



Grade's Applications. 213 

is because I can't find anything about it in the 
Bible." 

Then his little granddaughter had an aston- 
ished face. 

" Why, grandpa ! " she said, and her voice was 
full of exclamation points, " what can you mean ? 
Of course it isn't in the Bible, for it happened 
thousands of years afterward ; but I did fly." 

"That is, you think you did. But I can't 
think it, because I have been looking it up in the 
Bible to-day, and I find a great deal about people 
like you and me walking. It tells us to ' walk in 
love,' to 'walk honestly;' it says, 'This is the 
way, walk ye in it,' and 'walk humbly;' it says, 
'Walk in the light,' and ever so many other 
directions. Then I looked for some directions 
about flying. There are a good many of them, 
but the trouble is they are all about the angels, 
not a word to you and me, or people like us. It 
tells about one good man, one whom God loved 
very much, and to whom he used to give great 
blessings. He wished one day that he had wings 



214 Grandpas Darlings. 

like a dove, but God didn't give him any; and 
only once did I find anything about our flying. 
It speaks of one time when we shall fly away, but 
even then I find we have to leave our bodies 
behind. You know when your little friend Clara 
died, don't you remember that her body lay there 
where you could look at it, but that part of her 
that used to talk and laugh was gone — Clara 
had flown away; and I am hoping that the 
time will come when my little Gracie will fly 
right up to heaven to be with Jesus ; but I feel 
certain that when that time comes she will leave 
her body here, because God has nowhere said 
that she could fly with it." 

It was just at this point that mamma called 
her little girl to go to bed. She kissed grandpa 
good-night, and went up stairs with a very 
thoughtful face; and it was not until she was 
almost ready for bed that she said, gravely : 

" Well, . mamma, I must have been mistaken 
after all, because grandpa has read the Bible 
through about it, and he says there is no such 



Grade's Applications, 215 



\ 



thing. I have got to leave my body*down here 
with you when I go flying, and I dorify; want to 
go that way yet, so I won't ask Him to let me. 
Of course if He wouldn't let the very good man 
who wanted them so much have some wings, of 
course He wouldn't let me, for I do suppose I do 
some wrong things once in a while ; so, marfcma, 
I mean to give up trying to fly, and I must have 
blew out that day — only I didn't fall, and it felt 
ever so much like flying." And she gave a ^ 
troubled little sigh, as though it was very hard to 
give up her lovely belief that she had been up in 
the air. 

" It is the very first time I ever knew her to be 
convinced by arguments," her mother said, with 
great satisfaction, as we went down stairs after 
wingless Gracie had fallen asleep. " She is the 
most positive child I ever saw, and you know 
how absurdly she can argue. But think of going 
to the Bible for arguments with which to con- 
vince her that she didn't fly! I shouldn't have 
thought of it in a lifetime." 



216 Grandpa's Darlings. 

"Do you suppose there is any lesson that 
father can not find a way of teaching from that 
same book ? " I asked, as we stopped on the lower 
stairs to finish this bit of a talk. 

" I don't believe there is," she said ; and then 
" Oh ! wouldn't you give a great deal to be able 
to bring the Bible into every little thing as 
father can ? " 

And then we both said for the hundredth time 
what a blessed thing it was to have such a father, 
and for Gracie to have such a grandfather. 





CHAPTER XVIII. 



gracie's bible stories. 



We were at Grade's home making a visit ; the 
summer Sunday afternoon was drawing to a close. 
We had been to church and Sabbath-school, and 
then the heat seemed to have overcome every 

■ 

I one of us except Gracie. I wonder why the 

weather has no power over little bits of people ? 

They seem to be just as fresh and bright as 

robins, without any regard to the little drops of 

mercury, shut up in glass cases, that seem to 

know so much about the weather. 

Grade's mamma was asleep in the bedroom ; 

grandma was asleep up-stairs; Uncle Ross was 

(217) 



218 Grandpcts Darlings. 

in the study, yawning over the sermom that he 
was to preach that evening if he got awake 
enough ; I was asleep on the lounge, and Grade, 
the last I had known anything about her, was 
hovering from one room to another like a lonely 
bird in search of a mate. 

" Why can't that child be warm and tired, and 
want to rest, instead of being as full of plans and 
energy as she was when she first opened her 
eyes this morning ! " This her mamma had said 
with a yawn before she went to sleep. I was 
waking up, rubbing my eyes and yawning fright- 
fully, and trying to fancy myself a reasonable 
being, who cared anything about anything. The 
parlor door stood open, and the sound of voices 
floated into my sleepy senses. I roused a little ; 
Grade and her papa were having a talk. " What 
a shame ! " I said, raising myself on my elbow 
and looking around for a listener, " what a shame 
that we should all have gone to sleep and left the 
management and amusement of that child to her 
father, just as if he wasn't as tired and warm as 



Grade's Bible Stories. 219 

any of us. But there was nobody to listen to me, 
and the father didn't seem to need my pity ; his 
voice sounded fresh and bright as though he was 
having a real nice time. 

" He is telling her a Bible story," I said, as I 
caught a sentence. " There is no harm in listen- 
ing to that ; I want a new story for my infant 
class; perhaps this will be a new one to me." 
So I lay back on the lounge and gave myself up 
to the pleasure of listening. This was what I 
heard : 

" Why, daughter, do you suppose there will be 
any Frenchmen there like that man down at the 
corner of Clinton street, who can not speak a 
word of English ? " 

" Oh, yes, papa, there will be some Frenchmen 
there, of course." 

" But what makes you think so ? " 

" Why, papa, didn't you just this minute read 
it yourself ? s It said ' of all nations.' " 

" Ah, so it did : well, do you think there will be 
many people there ? " 



220 Grandpa's Darlings. 

"Why, I know there will, ever and ever so 
many; it said 'a great multitude;' doesn't that 
mean a great many people ? " 

"Well, yes, I think it does, but about how 
many do you think ? As many as there were in 
church this morning ? " 

" Oh, papa, ever and ever so many more." 

" More than were in church ? almost as many 
as there are in this whole city, should you 
think ? " 

Grade's head, which I could just see through 
the crack of the open door, was tipped a little on 
one side, a habit she had when she was very busy 
thinking ; pretty soon she said : " Don't know, 
papa, but I think — yes, I am almost sure that 
there will be more people there than ever lived in 
the biggest city in the world." 

"What! more people than there are in New 
York? Don't you remember when you were 
there last winter, how you stood at the window 
hour after hour and watched the people go by, 
and there were so many of them that you told me 



Grades Bible Stories. 221 

it seemed as if all the folks there were in this 

world had gone by the window ? " 

" I know, papa, but still I think, I am quite 
sure that there will be more people in heaven 

than that ; I'll tell you why ; don't you know you 

told me just how many people lived in the city 

of New York, and somebody must have counted 

them or you wouldn't have known ; and it says in 

the Bible so many people that no man could 

number them." 

"Ah," said papa, again, "so it does: that 
seems to settle the question that there will be a 
great many, doesn't it ? But do you really think 
there will be any Irish people in heaven ? " 

'* Why, papa, yes! You forgot that it says 'all 
nations.' Of course the Irish people will be 
there." 

" All of them, daughter ? " 

There was a moment of silence. 

" No, I suppose not," she said at last, speaking 
very slowly. " I suppose some will be left out. 
Papa I wonder which they will be ? " 



222 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" Do you suppose some will be left out of all 
the different nations ? " 

The silence this time was longer than before ; 
then she said with very great gravity : 

" I suppose there will. 

"Then there is just one other thing that I 
want my little girl to think about — is she going 
to be one of the ' left out ones ? ' Papa is very 
anxious that she should decide that question." 

That was all he said, every word. He turned 
to his own reading after that, leaving Gracie to 
think, which she did for as much as ten minutes. 
Nobody knows how much that ten minutes of 
thought may have done for her. But I know 
what the story did for me. I had a new Bible 
story, and I had learned how to tell it ; not only 
that one, but a great many others. It is wonder- 
ful how many stories there are in the Bible when 
one learns to make the words into pictures. 

Telling you about that reminds me of another 
story that her papa told her. It was about the 
Prodigal Son. Do you know that story ? If 



Grades Bible Stories. 223 

you don't you must look it up. You will find it 
in the 15th chapter of Luke, from the nth verse 
to the end of the chapter. We were at grandpa's 
when that story was told. It was Grade's after- 
dinner talk with her papa ; she sat on his knee 
and listened with great eagerness, asking ques- 
tions when she didn't understand, and comment- 
ing on the foolish acting son with great freedom. 

" She takes it in remarkably well,'.' papa said, 
with a gratified air. " I hope she will be as fond 
of Bible stories when she grows older." 

As for Gracie she retired to a corner just back 
of her father's chair, and began an eager talk 
with Minie. Papa turned to grandpa and gave 
himself up to politics. In the midst of an ani- 
mated discussion they were interrupted by a 
curious noise coming from the corner behind 
them, something between a groan and growl, 
accompanied with a strange shuffling noise not 
unlike the sound which proceeds from a pig-pen. 

'• Gracie ! Gracie ! " papa said, in astonished 
reproval; "why, what in the world is the mean- 



224 Grandpa's Darlings. 

ing of such strange noises? What can you be 
trying to do ? " 

Gracie, very much astonished that her per- 
formance had been noticed by others than those 
for whom it was intended, said with a shy sweet 
way she had when she was a little embarrassed ; 

"Why, papa, I didn't think I was making a 
loud noise. I was only showing Minie the way 
Prodigal acted when he ate with the pigs ! " 

Just imagine how we shouted! Her busy 
little brain had been engaged in getting up a 
scene in which poor Prodigal was the principal 
character, and acting it out for Minie's benefit. 

" It isn't a bad idea," grandpa said, laughing as 
hard as any of us, but finding something besides 
laughter in it. "She is making the story just as 
vivid as she can ; no matter if she has to act out 
some of it, I ventured to say that Minie will get 
a more impressive idea of the whole story from 
that very acting." 

But the queerest experience we had with the 



Grades Bible Stories. 225 

funny little mortal was the time when she 
applied a sermon. It had been a sermon 
preached to the children, and although she was 
considered too yqjing to understand sermons 
very well she was allowed to go and hear it, her 
first evening sermon. She sat like a very mouse, 
listening with eyes as well as ears, to judge by 
the way she fixed them on the speaker. By the 
way, I happen to know that the minister felt very 
much encouraged and helped by the way in 
which that Qne little girl looked at him and 
seemed to listen. The text, or rather the sub- 
ject, was the two men who were invited to the 
vineyard to work. One of them, you remember, 
said, "I will not go," but afterward he was sorry 
and went. The other said, " I go, sir/' but he 
didn't go after all. And the minister explained 
that there were boys and girls now who made a 
great many promises as to what they would do, 
but forgot them almost as soon as made. It was 
late — for Gracie — when we reached home, and 
we went directly to our rooms without any talk 



226 Grandpds Darlings, 

about the sermon. It chanced that the next 
morning Grade's mamma, always remarkable for 
enjoying a morning's nap, had an uncommonly 

sleepy fit. Papa called as he passed the door on 

« 

the way from his dressing-room : 

" Come, mamma, you'll need all your time to 
get ready for breakfast." • 

"Yes," mamma said, in the sleepiest of half- 
awake tones, and the next second was sounder 
asleep than before. Pretty soon papa came that 
way again, stopped as before, and said : 

" Why, mamma ! you will be late." 

Mamma rolled over and muttered : 

"I'm going to get up right a — " And the 
rest of the word was put into the dream that she 
was busy on. Ten minutes, and papa came to 
the door, saying : 

" Mamma ! mamma ! come, you really must 
wake up ; the breakfast bell will ring in twenty 
minutes." 

"Will it?" drawled mamma from under the 
the blanket. " I must get up ; I meant to." 



\ 



Grade's Bible Stories. 227 

And the next sound was a snore. Just at this 
moment up popped a little head from off the 
pillow that lay on the crib at the side of the 
large bed, and Grade's wondering eyes that we 
supposed were still shut with sleep were fixed on 
her mother : and presently Grade's voice said in 
the gravest and most astonished tones : 

" Well ! I should say that you belonged to the 
' I go, sirs.' " 

The tone, and above all the words, coming ' 
from that baby tongue, at last succeeded in mak- 
ing mamma very wide awake ; and we all shouted 
together over this queer sermon coming from 
such a young preacher. 

"It is the best kind of preaching," wrote 
grandpa, when we wrote a letter telling the 
family out there the funny story. "It has an 
illustration and an application. But there is a 
verse in the Bible that I want Grade to learn, 
and when she has learned it I want her to go to 
her father and get him to explain what it means : 
then I want her to dictate a letter to me, to tell 



228 Gtamdpds Darlings. 

me whether the verse applies to her. Look in 
the 2d chapter of Romans, the last half of the 
first verse, to find what I want learned." 

As this chapter is already too long you will 
have to find the verse for yourselves ; and if any 
of you really want to know what her grandpa 
meant, or if any of you guess what he meant, and 
would like to know whether you guess right or 
not, you will have to write and ask me. P. O. 
address, Box 694, Utica, N. Y. 




CHAPTER XIX. 

ARGUMENT. 

We sat in mamma's room, Gracie and I. 
Grade was sewing, making a basque for ber 
dolly out of crimson velvet, and trimming it with 
gold-colored satin. That is, the crimson velvet 
was a bit of bright red calico, and the gold- 
colored satin was some yellow thread. I was 
making a basque for myself; the material being 
not quite so nice as Grade's, it was nothing but 
simple grenadine. Occasionally Gracie paused 
in her sewing to take long looks out of the 
window, and say : 

" Wouldn't it be so nice, Auntie Belle, to see 
(229) 



230 Grandpds Darlings. 

papa coming down the walk this minute? I 
think he will come to-morrow." 

I was foolish enough to imagine that she really 
understood when " to-morrow " was, and would 
be disappointed at his not coming, so I said : 

" Papa will not come to-morrow, darling. The 
very first that we can hope to see him will be on 
Thursday, two days more." 

"No," she said, with great positiveness, "he 
will come to-morrow." 

I felt like arguing, and so continued : 

" No, Gracie, there will have to be two more 
days and two more nights, and then he will 
come." 

"Two days is one," she said, with all the 
dignity of a judge, and as if that settled the 
question for all future time. 

How grandpa laughed when I told it to him 
several weeks after, as we sat together in the 
twilight, and I tried to call together all the 
pretty and funny things that I had heard Gracie 
say, on purpose to feed his hungry, loving heart. 



Argument. 23 1 

It seems to me I can here his laugh this minute. 
Then he said : 

" I've heard people argue in that way precisely, 
people who were more than \three years old, too. 
Why, we were talking about going to heaven, 
Mr. Stuart and I, and on such an important sub- 
ject as that he talked in just about that way." 

But I was going to tell you what Gracie said. 
I gave over trying to convince her that papa 
would not come to-morrow, and said ; 

"Why do you want him to come so badly? 
Is it because you want to see him ? " 

"Why, of course," she said, "that is one 
reason ; but I don't know but I could wait one 
more day for that ; but I do so need my new 
parasol. The sun is so very hot, and I have to 
take so many walks, and it seems to me that I 
shall faint away to-morrow if I don't have it. If 
he knew that I suppose he would come to-night. 
Don't you think so?" 

" He might," I said, trying to look properly 



232 Grandpa's Darlings. 

sober. " But I thought you had a parasol to go 
down street with ? " 

" Do you mean that old green cambric thing?" 
she said, looking at me with utter contempt. I 
nodded my head. 

" Why, Auntie Belle ! " she said, " why ! that 
looks dreadful? 

" That may be ; but, after all, it keeps the sun 
off. I thought it was because you were afraid 
you would faint ? " 

Now, thought I, my little lady, I do believe you 
are caught. Not a bit of it. She looked thought- 
ful for a minute, then she said : 

" Well, don't you think that silk is a good deal 
cooler than cambric? It feels ever so much 
cooler, so soft and nice. The new one is to be 
of silk, you know — blue silk, lined with gold 
color, and with a beautiful red tassel right on the 
top. And I know that it will keep me cooler." 

This was such a funny argument that I didn't 
undertake to answer it, except with a laugh. 
After a little she said : 



Argument 233 

" If he shouldn't come to-morrow, I most know 
he will ; but if he shouldn't, then I think he may 
send it to me." 

" How could he send it ?" I asked. " There is 
no one to bring it." 

" Why, Auntie Belle, he could send it on the 
cars — put it on, you know, and let it come. 
Don't yon know the cars come here ever so 
many times a day?" 

" But your parasol isn't going to have feet, is 
it ? How can it get up and get off the cars when 
they stop here ? " 

She looked at me in great astonishment. 

"Why, Auntie Belle! don't you know about 
the conductor ? There is a conductor on every 
car, and papa could just put the parasol in his 
hand and tell him to bring it to me." 

"But how in the world would the conductor 
know who you were or where you were? He 
couldn't leave his cars to hunt you up." 

She gave me a look of almost contempt as she 
said: 



J 



1 

j 



234 Grandpas Darlings* 

" I don't see how a big lady can know such a 
little bit about things. Don't you know that 
papa could write my name on the parasol.? He 
would roll it all up, you know, and tie a paper all 
around it, and then the conductor would leave it 
down there at the depot, and I would go down 
and say, ' Is there a parasol here for me done up 
in a roll ? and then the man would hand it out." 

"Well, what if the conductor should never 
leave it at the depot, but should carry it away 
off home with him, and you should never hear of 
it again ? " 

She looked indignant, and spoke sharply. 

" My papa would never give my parasol to a 
naughty, wicked conductor. He would pick out 
a good one." 

I was trying to have the last word, so I said : 

" But he might think it was a good man, and, 
after all, he might be bad. He might be very 
much tempted, you know. Suppose he should 
say to himself, 'Now I presume this little girl 
has ever so many nice things — her papa looked 



Argument. 235 

like a man who would be apt to get her all she 
wanted — and there is my little Jane away out 
there in our house who can't have nice dresses 
and books, and who never had a parasol in her 
life. How delighted she would be to have this. 
I shouldn't wonder, if that little Gracie knew how 
few things my little girl has, she would say, " Mr. 
Conductor, take this parasol right along to her; I 
have so many things that I never shall miss it in 
the world/ " 

She was still for several minutes, and I could 
see that little Jane's sad condition had worked 
upon her tender little heart. At last she said in 
a low voice : 

" I don't think my papa would give it to a man 
with a little girl named Jane that hadn't any 
parasol at all, and never had one in her life. I 
think — I'm most sure he would pick out a man 
who had no little girl." 

" But what if there isn't any such man ? " 

" Oh, but I'm sure there must be. They 
haven't all got little girls ; of course not." 



236 Grandpds D&clings. 

" But don't you hope they have ? Just think 
how dreadful it must be not to have any little 
girl to love and to bring things. How very, very 
lonesome the poor man would be ! " 

" He might have a woman to. live with him — 
a mamma, you know — and then he. wouldn't be 
lonesome." 

"Let us see about that. Your papa has a 
mamma to live with him, but can yo^ imagine 
how lonely he would feel if he should come home 
some evening and fipd you gone away, and that 
you were never to come back again ? " 

That was a troublesome question. She sat 
perfectly still and sewed away on her basque in 
silence. I laughed softly. It was the first time 
I had ever worsted her in an argument, but she 
really seemed to have nothing to say. I was 
mistaken. Half a dozen long stitches, and she 
returned to the charge. 

"But, Auntie Belle, don't you know that 
people who have never had any little girls don't 
like them a bit ? They think they make a noise 



Argument 237 

and are in the way, and they look cross at Ihem. 
I would have a man who had. never had any little 
girls in his life, and then he wouldn't want any, 
and he wouldn't want the parasol at all. I do 
hope papa will find him and send it to-morrow." 

I put down my sewing and laughed loud and 
long, much to Grade's surprise. 

"There is one person that I have decided 
never to try to have an argument with," I said to 
mamma, who came in just then. " I am sure to 
get the worst of it, or at least I never get the last 
of it, and you know that is what arguers are 
always after. She is sure to get up an answer 
to anything." 

However, I did try it again a great many times. 
It used to amuse me so much to hear her explain 
things. Once when we were at the water-cure 
we spent a long three months there, her mamma 
and I, and some funny things happened that I 
will tell you at some other time. This talk that 
I am going to give you we had the evening 
before we left there. We had been packing all 



238 Grandpa's Darlings. 

the afternoon and were tired. I think I was a 
little bit cross. Gracie lay on the bed pretend 
ing to study the railway guide. She had been 
flying back and forth to the room of one of her 
paticular friends for the last half hour, and had 
come for the guide for them to study. 

"Auntie Belle," she said, "do you know the 
way we are to go on the cars to-morrow ? I can 
show you all about it. Miss Clifton and I found 
it all out in the guide. See, we go so to Bing- 
hamton, and then we go to Corning, and we stop 
there twenty minutes." 

I was just in the mood to be contradictory, so 
I said : 

"Not a bit of it, ma'am. You and Miss 
Clifton will have to study your lessous over 
again. We don't even go through Corning." 

"Why, she said so," Gracie answered, fixing 
her great blue eyes on me in surprise. 

" Can't help that, it is a mistake. We go the 
other way, not anywhere near Corning." Then I 
said in undertone to the mamma : " I do wonder 



Argument. 239 

how she will get over that ; she will never own 
herself to be mistaken." 

I wasn't left long in doubt. After a few min- 
utes of earnest thought she said, gravely : 

" I see how it is. I wonder that I didn't think 
of it before. Auntie Belle, see here, I can 
explain it to yon. Miss Clifton is what people 
call 'far-sighted;' and this little road down here 
that we go on she didn't see at all, because it was 
so near to her. I saw at once that we were more 
than twenty minutes away from Corning, but she 
didn't see it at all, and it is just because she is so 
far-sighted." 

Now I want to know if you ever heard of any 
one who could give a queerer reason than that 
for having her own way ? 

" She is a genius," said grandpa, when we told 
it over to him. "A perfect genius for getting 
out of small places, and making herself out to be 
right. It is a dangerous talent. There is a 
crazy man who has been around the streets this 
summer giving lectures. He says over a great 



240 Grandpds Darlings. 

many Bible verses. He seems to know the 
Bible by heart, and he repeats these verses that 
are about a great many different things, and says 
they are all about ladies wearing hoops. He 
says all these verses say they ought not to do so. 
T asked him once how he connected all t&ose 
verses so that they meant the same thing, and he 
said he did it by drawing his pencil down one 
side, and making a mark all around them ! After 
all, he makes as good use of his Bible verses as a 
great many people do who are not crazy. His 
reasoning reminded me of Grade's." 

" Dear me ! " I said, " I must certainly tell 
Grade that the way she reasons reminds you of a 
crazy man. She will not be so proud'of it after 
that." 

Grandpa looked searchingly at me. 

" The reasoning of a great many people reminds 
me of him," he said, at last. " The other day I 
heard somebody say that if it was right for Mary 
Holmes to get angry and make such a talk as 
she had, it was right; for her, and she shouldn't 



Argument. 241 

try to keep from talking about it any more. 
What do you think of that reasoning ? " 

Now as that " somebody " of whom he spoke 
was myself, you can imagine that my cheeks 
were a bit red ; but after a minute, like Gracie, I 
tried hard to take my own part 

" Well," I said, " she is a church-member, and 
what is right for her is right for me." 

" Is that verse in the Bible ? " asked grandpa, 
and I laughed a little and had no answer to 
make. I have often wondered what Gracie 
would have found to say if she % had been there. 
I am certain that she would have made some 
answer. 





CHAPTER XX. 



CHEESE. 



Tap, tap, came a knock at our door. Mamma 
raised her head from the pillow of her bed across 
the room, and I Trom my bed in the corner did 
the same, and we both drowsily said, "Come." 
We were taking our " half packs." I don't sup- 
pose you have ever been to a water-cure to find 
out what delightful things they are. But I 
haven't time to tell you about them. The door 
opened softly, and Miss Clifford peeped her 
head in. 

" May I have Grace ? " she said, and every note 

of her fresh, crisp voice said to us that she was 
(242) 



Cheese. 243 

fresh from the tonic of a "sponge" bath and 
ready for a walk. 

Might she have Grace ! Why, would any- 
thing be more delightful than to let somebody 
have her for the next half hour? Wasn't she 
trying with all the power that her little will 
possessed to keep " still as a mouse," that we 
might have our rest ; and hadn't she dropped the 
scissors three times, and caught her finger in the 
window once, and spilled a glassful of water into 
her neck, and all in the space of the last five 
minutes ? 

" Yes, indeed," said mamma, with more energy 
than she had shown for some time. " I'm sure if 
you will take her with you we shall be very 
grateful. Where are you going — to walk? 
Won't that be nice? Gracie, make haste and 
get ready, so as not to keep her waiting." 

If we were glad we were nothing compared 
with the little maiden herself. She slid from her 
chair with a squeal of delight, and rushed herself 
into sack and hat with such haste that she left us 



\ 



244 Grandpds Darlings. 

exhausted, but thankful, when the door finally 
closed upon us both. To feel that she was to be 
safe and happy for the next half hour or so, and 
not only that, but that the room was to be still, 
was a delight. 

We were up and dressed when the small whirl- 
wind rushed in from her walk, flushed, and dusty, 
and disordered generally, and with by no means 
so happy a face as we had expected. She flung 
herself into a chair and swung her hat disconso- 
lately as she said, in rapid, excited tones : 

" I just know you won't let me eat it. I told 
the man so, and I told Miss Clifford so, but she 
said perhaps you would ; but I told her you never 
had any perhapses; and I think it is too bad 
when I like it so much. The man said it 
wouldn't hurt me a bit ; but I told him it wasn't 
any use at all ; and I know it isn't ; and I like it 
so very much I don't know what to do." 

By this time we were both laughing. 

" What a very remarkable story," mamma said, 
at last. "Where have you been, and what has 



Cheese. 245 

happened to you ? I'm sure we can't imagine 
what it is all about." 

Then, with many bewildering explanations, the 
story was told. It was so lovely and warm that 
they had walked on until they came to the 
cheese factory; and there were some lovely 
flowers in the window of the cheese-factory- 
man's house, and she went just as close to the 
window as she could, to get a smell of them ; and 
the man at the long table was shaving cheeses, 
and he saw her through the window, and he 
asked her if the flowers smelled nice, and said 
that he didn't think they smelled as nice as his 
cheese ; and she told him she thought flowers 
smelled nicer than cheeses, but she thought that 
cheeses tasted better than flowers. At that he 
laughed, and said that she was the girl for him : 
and he cut off a long, thin, lovely slice of cheese, 
and gave it to her. She wanted to eat it so 
much that she could hardly stand up; and they 
all told her to, Miss Clifford and all ; but she told 
f:hem her mamma wouldn't allow her. / 



246 Grandpa's Darlings. 

they said it wouldn't hurt her the least bit in the 
world; but she didn't eat a speak of it, not a 
single speck , and the man wrapped it up in a 
for her, and here it was ; and now she cer- 
tainly must eat it; she couldn't do without it 
another minute. 

We couldn't help laughing over this story. 
Poor Gracie had evidently had such a hard 
struggle to keep from eating her treasure, and 
was evidently so vexed because she could not 
enjoy it. She had just enough strength to keep 
her from doing what she had been forbidden, but 
not enough to keep her from being sadly vexed 
because she had been forbidden. I felt sorry for 
her. The little mousie was ridiculously fond of 
cheese. It was to her what candy is to most 
children, and the very fact that it made her sick 
to eat it seemed to make her more perversely 
fond of it. 

I can seem to see the dusty, tired little girl as 
she sat kicking her feet against the chair and 
looking the very picture of defiance. Hadn't 



Cheese. 247 

that wise woman. Miss Clifford, said that she 
didn't believe it would hurt her in the least? 
Was it to be supposed that it could harm her 
after that ? Altogether there were symptoms of 
a very stormy time. It was seldom that the 
little girl wore such a sullen face. Mamma was 
very grave and very decided. 

"I am sorry that you went to the cheese 
factory," she said. " I don't think the walk has 
helped you. You may take off your sack and 
put on your slippers, then brush your hair and 
try to get rested." 

"What shall I do with my cheese?" Gracie 
said, and there was a deepening of the troubled 
look in her eyes. 

Mamma was provokingly calm. 

" You may throw it away, I suppose," she said, 
gravely. " At least that is all / can think of to 
do with it ; you know you can not eat it." 

" Miss Clifford said it wouldn't hurt me a bit, 
and the man said so, too ; and he makes cheese 



248 Grandpa's Darlings. 

all the time, and I should think he ought to 
know." 

I can't begin to tell you how crossly she said 
this. Still mamma was very quiet and positive. 

" The trouble is," she said, soberly, " that you 
are not the man's little girl, nor Miss Clifford's, 
either. You seem to forget that you are mine, 
and that you are to do as / say, without regard 
to what other people say. You may put away 
your things." 

I can't help thinking that if her mamma had 
ever been a little girl she would have been just a 
little bit more tender to the poor mouse whose 
teeth fairly ached to gnaw the cheese. I think 
she, in company with a great many other moth- 
ers, must have been born grown-up ladies, and so 
know nothing of how small people feel. That is, 
I thought so just then. She wasn't apt to make 
one think that; she was a very loving mother. 
Just at this point Gracie set up a wail that 
might have been heard in the farthest hall. If 
we had but realized it, her brain had been having 



Cheese. 249 

a heavy strain. She had safely withstood a 
great temptation, but Satan had gotten the 
better of her just then, and she needed a little 
help. She didn't get it from me, I am sorry to 
say. I meant to be helpful, I felt sorry for her, 
and I went to work to show it in the most bun- 
gling manner possible. 

" I wouldn't be so silly as to cry for a little bit 
of cheese," I said, in a very contemptuous tone. 
" That would be enough if you were a mouse — 
when it makes you sick, too. I didn't know you 
were such a baby ! " 

Now, reasonably enough, this didn't help her 
at all. You may just imagine yourself tired and 
warm, and having a ill-used feeling, and see if 
you think that sort of talk would help you to get 
good-humored. I am almost sure if I had known 
enough to say, In a gentle tone, " You were a 
good girl not to eat the cheese after your mother 
had told you not to ; I think she must be proud 
of you," that Gracie would have tried to smile at 
me through her tears. But as it was, she kicked 



250 Grandpas Darlings. 

her feet stormily against the chair and cried 
louder and louder. There was no use in trying 
to talk with her, her voice drowned every at- 
tempt. 

Mamma looked perplexed and sad and an- 
noyed, all in one; she was not used to such 
scenes. Meantime the crying grew terrific, and 
something must be done. 

" Grade ! " said her mother, and I am sure the 
little girl had never heard her name spoken in 
such stern tones before, "if you do not stop 
crying this instant and obey me, I shall—" 

Just what she would have done, I don't think 
we will ever know, for the next thing was a 
knock, a peculiar, light running knock, that 
stopped our voices and sent dismay into our 
hearts ; we knew the knock. In a moment more 
Miss Greene opened the door and glided softly in 
upon us. You don't know Miss Greene ? Well, 
how shall I ever describe her ? She was the life 
and power and heart and soul of that great water- 
cure — a doctor of wonderful skill, a woman 



Cheese. 25 1 

whom everybody respected and loved and obeyed. 

" Why ! why ! " she said, in a brisk fresh tone, 
" what is the matter here ? We were afraid that 
Grade had fallen down stairs, or that her dolly 
had a broken nose; something dreadful has 
surely happened." 

No sooner had her face appeared inside the 
door than the small lady's cries suddenly ceased, 
showing plainly that she could stop whenever 
she thought it quite necessary. There seemed 
no way to do but to tell Miss Greene what was 
the matter, as she stood looking at us in a way 
that showed she plainly expected to be told. So 
mamma, with a face almost as flushed as Grade's, 
gave an account of the trouble; she was very 
much ashamed of her little girl. No sooner was 
it told than the doctor went over to the small un- 
happy morsel who crouched behind her mother's 
chair. She was not very penitent : in fact, her 
face was still working nervously, and she looked 
as though she might cry again any moment. I 
fully expected that she would the very moment 



252 Grandpa's Darlings. 

that Miss Greene asked her if she was not sorry 
for being such a naughty girl. Of course she 
would say that, it was the right and proper thing 
to say, the thing that people always did say. I 
thought if Grade succeeded in keeping her little 
tongue still, instead of saying that she " was not 
sorry a bit, not at all," I should be very thankful. 
This is what she said : 

" Do you suppose you are a selfish little girl ? " 

Gracie turned her great wondering eyes around 
so that she could see the lady's face. She was 
astonished at the question ; she couldn't see what 
it had to do with her crying, neither could I. 

"I don't know," she said, slowly, somewhat 
doubtfully. " I don't think I am very!' 

" When you have nice things that you think a 
great deal of, do you like to share them with 
other people ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," said Gracie, decidedly : and this 
was true, she was always ready to share her 
treasures. In fact, she wasn't quite happy un- 
less she had some one to enjoy them with her. 



Cheese. 253 

"Very well, then/ said Miss Greene; "that 
was exactly what I had supposed about you. So 
you have a piece of cheese ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," in a low voice and with a very 
red face. 

" Do you know how many people there are in 
my family ? " 

" No, ma'am, not quite." 

" Well, there are just forty-one. Now, do you 
think you would like to have a plate and knife, 
and cut your cheese into forty-one pieces, and 
when the dessert is served pass it around so that 
every one may have a piece ? — and there will be 
a piece left for you, because you belong to my 
family, and are one of the forty-one." 

I wish you could have seen Grade's face; it 
was in a perfect glow of delight. 

" Oh, yes, ma am ! " she said, catching her 
breath ; " that would be so very splendid." 

" Very well, I am on my way to the kitchen 
now ; I will have a plate and knife sent up to you 
at once. It is half-past eleven ; I think you will 



254 Grandpds Darlings. 

have just about time to get the cheese ready for 
dinner. You must count the pieces very care- 
fully, because you know if there shouldn't be 
enough to go around it wouldn't be pleasant." 

• If you should cut a slip of paper into forty-one 
pieces, each about as large as your thumb nail, 
you would have an idea of the size of Grade's 
slice of cheese. It was a very little thicker than 
paper. But I can give you no sort of idea what 
a nice time she had over it. She was as happy 
as a bird ; she seemed to have forgotten that she 
ever was naughty or. tearful ; she had to cut the 
slices over several times before she could get 
them the 'proper size, and the entire hour was 
taken up. Then the dinner bell rang and we 
went down. When the dessert bell rang, the 
small triumphant maiden who sat between us 
slipped down from her chair, and went softly up 
and down the long dining-room distributing her 
treasure. Everybody took a piece of cheese, 
even to Miss Greene herself, and Gracie ate her 
tiny morsel with a face of perfect delight. 



Cheese. 255 

"After all," mamma said, when Gracie was 
snug in bed, " I want to ask you. Miss Greene — 
I am very thankful that you came to the rescue 
this morning, for the child was very tired and so, 
was I ; but I want to know, for the sake of future 
days, do you think I ought often to give her 
some amusement in the place of what I do not 
want her to have ? Ought I not rather to 
require perfect obedience ? " 

" I do not know," Miss Greene said, in slow, 
thoughtful voice, with the sweetness in it that 
we alt loved. " I would not presume to dictate 
to a good mother. I would rather send her to 
Jesus for teaching ; but don't you think that 
sometimes when we are very eager after some- 
thing and are a little inclined to be naughty, if 
we think we are not to have it, that the dear 
Father in heaven pats us on the head very lov- 
ingly, and says, ' Here, dear child, take this 
instead ? ' " 

It seemed such a queer t 



256 Grandpa's Darlings. 

prised us so much. We talked about it a great 
deal after we came back to our room. 

" I'll tell you what /think," said mamma, after 
thinking over it for some time. " Miss Greene 
felt that there were plenty of times to teach little 
girls lessons, and I believe she thought, instead 
of trying to teach Gracie one, she would give her 
mother a lesson in gentleness and patience, and 
I am sure I am very glad that she did. I will 
remember it." 



CHAPTER XXI. 



She wasn't three years old ; indeed, she couldn't 
have been more than two and a half, when one 
day she came to mamma with a long face, and 
said: 

" Gracie's nose is very sore ; can't mamma 
cure it ? " 

Mamma examined the nose very carefully, and 
found that a little bit of a boil had settled itself 
in a snug corner almost out of sight She tried 
to explain to Grace what was the matter, but the 
small lady asked so many questions that it would 
have taken at least a doctor to answer, that at 
last she said in despair : 

(257) 



258 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" Oh, dear me ! I really can't explain it to you : 
but in a little while your nose will be well again. 
You must try to be a good, patient little girl 
until then." 

It is a good deal easier to tell people to be 
patient than it is for them to follow your advice, 
especially when it is a little two-year-old baby, 
and she has a boil in her nose. She didn't feel 
patient a bit. She poked at her nose a great 
deal, and often made it ache harder than it would 
have done. I have seen older girls a great many 
times since then who made their troubles worse 
by poking at them and thinking about them 
At last Grade came to her place for comfort. 

" Mamma, I want you," she said, speaking in 
a grave, earnest tone — "I want you to kneel 
right down and ask God to give me a new nose. 
He made this one, papa said, and of course he 
can make another. Don't you think maybe he 
has some already made ? Anyhow, it won't tako 
him long, and I do need a new one ; this aches 
dreadfully, and I am so tired of being patient to 



Praying. 259 

it. I don't think I ought to be patient any 
more. Will you tell him about it, mamma ? " 

"Darling," said mamma, trying not to laugh, 
" I will ask him to make your nose well again, 
and help you to be patient until it is well. That 
is the best thing that I can ask for my little 
girl." 

She was not quite satisfied with this, but as it 
seemed to be the best that she could do she sub- 
mitted, and ran away to her play. Three or four 
times during the day she asked her mother if she 
had asked God to cure her nose, and on being 
told that she had, would walk away with a rather 
sober face. Toward evening the nose grew sorer 
and sorer, and Gracie, who was tired out with a 
long warm day of trotting up and down the 
world, was feeling very much out of sorts. I 
wish I could make a picture of her as she stood 
in the middle of that bright little room, her dolly 
at her feet, her little pail under her arm, dolly's 
bonnet in her hand, and with the spare hand 



260 Grandpa's Darlings. 

feeling of the poor despised nose. It was swollen 
badly now, and looked red and angry. 

"Don't touch it, darling," I said; "you will 
only make it ache the harder." 

She made no answer, but marching across the 
room, with an indignant face and angry voice, she 
said to her mother : 

" Mamma, I want you to kneel right down here 
where I can hear you, and tell ' Our Father ' that 
I must have another nose this minute : I can't 
wait another second. I have stood this nose just 
as long as I will." 

Dear, dear ! how many times I have thought 
of what grandpa said about it when we told him. 
It was impossible not to laugh at it, she was such 
a little mousie, and knew so little about what she 
was saying ; but almost as soon as grandpa had 
laughed his face grew grave. 

" It is funny in her," he said, " because she is 
such a little one ; but what a sad thing it is to 
hear people all the world over praying in just 
that way ! They have forgotten that the prayer 



Praying. 261 

that Jesus gave for our copy has ' Thy will be 
done* in it, and they say, 'I will have it any- 
way/ " 

I've heard a great many prayers myself like 
that. I always think of it when I see people 
determined to have their own way. Speaking 
of this reminds me of the water-cure again, and 
of the strange time that we had with Grade one 
day. She was very much given to making calls 
on the ladies who boarded in the house. It 
seemed ' so funny/ she said, ' to call on ever so 
many people without going out in the street/ 
that she could hardly resist the temptation ; the 
less so, because little girls were rather scarce in 
the family, and everybody was glad to see her 
bright young face ; so, after awhile, she grew to 
thinking that the only important thing to do in 
the world was to make calls. She wanted to flit 
like a butterfly from room to room, only taking 
care to keep away from the room where she her- 
self belonged. Mamma did not like this kind of 
education for her little daughter, and had made a 



262 Grandpa's Darlings. 

law that Gracie should only call on her friends at 
a certain hour of the day. This rule was very 
hard to follow. She constantly forgot it, and 
was beguiled into making several visits that were 
against the law, until at last mamma felt that she 
couldn't accept the excuse of "I forgot" any 
longer. And on this particular day poor Gracie 
sat on the foot of the bed in tears, because as a 
punishment for her forgetfulness she had been 
told that she could not go down to dinner at the 
long table, but must stay in her room and have 
the dinner brought to her. Oh, dear ! how she 
cried. It was a terrible punishment to her. 
She was very fond of being perched in her high 
chair between us, and carrying on a conversation 
with all the ladies around us. Suddenly she slid 
down from the bed and ran into the clothes-press, 
shutting the door after her. In a minute she 
whisked out again, and began to coax her mother 
to forgive her this once and let her go. 

" I forgive you, of course," said mamma. " You 
know I am always ready to forgive you when you 



Praying. 263 

are sorry ; but I must keep you in your room, as 
I said, to help you to remember. You know you 
have forgotten what I told you several times; 
now I want to help you." 

Before this sentence was finished Gracie was 
crying again, and to our surprise she rushed back 
into the clothes-press. Pretty soon she appeared 
again, and said : 

" Oh, mamma, do please let me go this time. 
I truly will remember after this. I will make 
myself remember." 

Mamma looked astonished. 

" Why, Gracie ! " she said," " I thought my 
little girl knew better than to coax after I had 
said ' no.' " 

It seems to k me that I can hear even now the 
astonished little squeal that Gracie gave; she 
seemed so surprised as well as grieved, I think, 
too, that she was a little bit angry; at least, she 
went back to the clothes-press with such a bang- 
ing of doors that the last one swung open again, 
and showed the queer little girl kneeling before 



264 Grandpa's Darlings. 

her mother's big trunk, and in her excitement we 
heard her say, " Oh, dear Jesus, do please make 
my mamma let me go down to dinner ; make her 
so hard that she can't help letting me ; I want to 
go so much; and I know she won't let me unless 
you make her ; and if you will, I'll try very hard 
not to forget again." Now did you ever hear 
such a strange way of praying as that? I 
thought then that I never had; but I have 
decided that a great many of our grown-up 
prayers are made after the same pattern; not 
perhaps so plainly spoken as Grade's was, but, 
after all, they mean about the same thing. 
" Give me just what I want, and then I will try 
to be good." That would be a queer sounding 
prayer, too ; 7 but did you never hear any one pray 
to God to give them something that they wanted 
very much, and promise him if he would they 
would try to serve him ? That was just Grade's 
idea, spoken a little more plainly ; but then she, 
you must remember, was a very little girl. I am 
sure you will want to know what her mother did 



Praying. 265 

about the dinner, and I assure you it was hard 
to decide what to do, for she saw that Gracie was 
trying to prove the truth of the teaching that 
God hears and answers our prayers. It was 
plain to be seen that Gracie thought her mother 
would have to yield and let her go because she 
had asked God to help her. We talked it over. 

" What would you do ? " said mamma. 

" Dear me ! " said I, " don't ask me. I don't 
know. I shouldn't know what to do with her 
half the time. I'm glad I don't have to manage 
her.". 

" Well," said mamma, " I wouldn't, for the sake 
of keeping my word, have her get wrong ideas as 
to prayer ; but I think she needs as much as any- 
thing the teaching that is in those words, ' Thy 
will be done.' I don't think her prayer is in the 
spirit of submission." 

So Gracie ate her dinner between the sobs, 
sitting on the foot of the bed. 

Once she went with us to a ladies' prayer- 
meeting. She was too young, we thought, to 



266 Grandpa's Darlings, 

notice much about it, and the only reason we 
took her was because we had no one with whom 
to leave her. One of the ladies asked us to pray 
for her little boy. Grade was fidgeting from one 
end of the sofa to the other. I hadn't the least 
idea that she heard a word that was said; but 
when we reached home she was very sober and 
thoughtful. She called for a pencil and a piece 
of paper, and sat down by her mother's side. 
She was just learning to make the large letters 
with a pencil. She worked at them, much as a 
scholar would at a picture that she was sketch- 
ing with a good deal of care. It took her a long 
time to make one letter. She had a large sheet 
of paper, and I think it was nearly an hour that 
she worked at it without speaking, except to get 
a whispered word of advice from mamma once in 
awhile about the shape of a letter. At last her 
work was done. She did not show it to me ; she 
was very grave over it, and seemed to think it 
something that must be kept secret between her 
mother and herself. 



Praying. 267 

" Mamma, will you send it by telegraph ? " she 
asked, with a sober face, as she folded it. 

"By telegraph!" said mamma, trying not to 
laugh. " Isn't it to be sent to the post-office, as 
my letters are ? " 

" Oh, no, mamma, I shouldn't feel safe about it 
being sent in that way ; I would rather have it 
go on the telegraph." 

Mamma promised that if it was left to her 
judgment she would see that it was sent in the 
very best way ; and that satisfied Gracie, for she 
had that trust in mamma which made her think 
that what she attended to was sure to be done in 
the best way. She gave the letter into her keep- 
ing and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. 

" It must be to a minister," said mamma to me, 
when we were alone. " Her papa had occasion 
to telegraph to a minister last week, and I think 
she must have concluded that letters addressed 
to them must go by telegraph. I am glad that 
she did not make me promise not to show it, for 
I am sure your curiosity must be aroused." 



268 Grandpds Darlings. 

So unfolding the paper she bent over it, gave a 
little exclamation of surprise, laughed a little, and 
then actually put her hand to her eyes to brush 
away a tear ! And when I came and looked over 
her shoulder I did not wonder. This is what 
was on one side, printed in very large letters : 
"Dear God, make him good." These letters 
were so large they filled nearly the whole side of 
the sheet, and on the other side the first word 
was a very large O ! with an exclamation point 
carefully made near to it ; she had learned only 
the day before to make them. It read : "Oil 
mean Charlie." This was the name of the little 
boy for whom we had been asked to pray. So 
Gracie had heard enough of what we said to feel 
anxious for Charlie, and to want to do something 
for him. 

You will be glad to know that her mamma 
sent the letter, not by telegraph, nor yet by mail, 
but in a quicker, better way than either of these. 
She got down on her knees and said, "Our 
Father in heaven, hear the prayer that my little 



Praying. 269 

girl has made to thee for her playmate Charlie. 
Make him a good boy, for Jesus' sake." 

It was only the next we^J; that Grace told her 
mother that it was wonderful what a change 
there had been in Charlie since she wrote that 
letter. 

" Why," said she, " he is really a pretty good 
boy now, and he used to be naughty sometimes. 
I know the letter went, because Charlie began to 
be better right away ; and he is trying real hard, 
for he told me so himself." 

When we told this story to grandpa he had 
another verse. This time it was for Grade's 
mamma, and you will find it in the nth chapter 
of Matthew, the 25th verse. I hope you will all 
learn it. 





CHAPTER XXII. 



SONGS AND SERMONS. 



Gracie was very fond of music ; when she was 
a wee baby she would lie still as much as ten 
minutes at a time if somebody would sing to her. 
Papa used often to spend the twilight with her, 
after she was tucked into her crib for the night, 
singing cradle hymns. 

But papa was a very busy man, having prayer- 
meetings, and teachers' meetings, and meetings 
of all sorts, to look after, so, often and often, it 
came to pass that the little maiden had to go to 
sleep without a song. 

One teachers' meeting evening, after papa had 
(270) 



Songs and Sermons. 271 

departed, Grade tossed in her crib, and asked for 
a drink of water, and turned over her pillows and 
tried in vain to go to sleep. 

"If somebody would only sing," she said, at 
last, with a meek little sigh, " I think I could get 
asleep." 

Mamma had company, a lady who boarded in 
the room across the hall and often stopped in on 
her way from the dining-room to spend an hour. 
Mamma pitied the restless little girl in the crib, 
and knew very well that her friend's tongue was 
not helping to bring sleep. 

" Suppose we sing to you," she said, suddenly, 
" Mrs. Harris and I." Now, " Mrs. Harris and 
I " could sing just about as much as two June 
bugs, but Gracie caught eagerly at the idea, so 
the singing began. Their voices were sweet 
enough, soft and gentle, but the trouble was they 
didn't know the tune they were trying to sing, 
nor any other tune, and they didn't know enough 
about music to know that they didn't know it. 

They pitched it low in the first place, and kept 



272 Grandpa's Darlings. 

falling lower and lower with every word. Grade, 
with her correct ear, and the taste acquired by 
listening evening after evening to the rich, full 
voice of her father, endured the song as long as 
she could, until patience ceased to be a virtue, 
and just as the singers were nodding to each 
other with self-satisfied air, feeling that their task 
was nearly done, she popped her little head 
above the side of the crib, and, eyeing the musi- 
cians with a solemn air, said, slowly and gravely, 
"Aren't you afraid that song will drop down 
your throats?" It dropped into laughter at 
once, and I don't think "Mrs. Harris and I" 
ever tried to sing her to sleep again. "My 
pride had a sudden fall," wrote mamma, after 
giving a merry picture of the scene to grandpa, 
and he replied : " There are two ways of looking 
at most things. The time may come when 
Gracie will look back upon that song of ' moth- 
er's ' as the sweetest music her ear ever heard ; it 
is not so much what we did as why we tried to 
do that is pleasant to remember." 



Songs and Sermons. 273 

Speaking of pride reminds me of Grade's 
verse one morning at prayer : " Charity is not 
puffed up:" she said it over the second time, 
looking puzzled. In the* afternoon, when she sat 
at her mother's side, making dolly a basque, she 
inquired into it : 

" Mamma, what does ' puffed up ' mean ? Does 
it mean to puff up just as the gems do when you 
put them in the oven ? " 

" Not quite," said mamma, laughing. " Let me 
explain it to you, my daughter. Yesterday, 
when you were dressed in your new blue dress, 
and your broad sash, and your buttoned boots, 
you remember you went out to play in the yard, 
and Susie Miller came along, and don't you know 
how you tossed your head and told her your 
dress was fifty cents a yard, and your boots had 
eleven buttons on them, and you, asked her what 
made her wear such awful looking old shoes ? I 
am afraid my little daughter was all puffed up 
with pride then ; she was vain of her clothes, and 
she thought herself better than Susie Miller." 



274 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Gracie bent her head lower over her work and 
twitched dolly's basque this way and that, but 
didn't speak. Mamma began again: "And 
then this morning whdh you went to the office 
you put on your kid gloves because — " Here 
Gracie suddenly raised her head and spoke nerv 
ously : " Mamma, I understand all about it now, 
just how it is ; would you please tell me about 
one oiyour puffed ups now? " 

"Do you know what it made me think of?" 
wrote mamma in her letter to us at home. 
"There flashed into my mind the verse: 'And 
why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy 
brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that 
is in thine own eye?' Gracie often preaches 
unconscious sermons to me." 

Sometimes she commented on other people's 
sermons. 

" Daughter," said her papa to her one summer 
morning when I was there on a visit, " to-morrow 
a strange minister is going to preach in our 
church. I am going to-day on the cars to his 



Songs and Sermons. 275 

house, and he is to come here — an exchange, 
you know. I want you to take notes of his 
. sermon, so you can tell me all about it." 

The next morning I came very near not get- 
ting to church at all, the reason being that I had 
to make a book, a tiny thing, two inches wide 
and three inches long, with four leaves. It was 
sewed through the middle, and had a cover of 
yellow paper. This was to write the sermon on. 
Her mamma says I broke the Sabbath in making 
it ; and I think myself that it might better have 
been done on Saturday. I have that little book 
in my hand this minute, and I am going to copy 
v it here for you, letters and capitals just as she 

made them : 

" paGe 1. HyM 2 hundred and 64. 5 cHap- 
Ter s jaMes. tHen He MaDe A prAeR. 

PAGe 2. Hym 16. TEX j AmEs 1 1 veRSE. 

PAGe 3. TeX beHold we cAnt Hapy wicH 
A Re Door." 

pAGe 4. o o O HoW He yEls ! ! ! " 

How much do you suppose the papa knew 



276 Grandpa's Darlings. 

about that sermon? More than you would 
think, after all. When we told grandpa about it 
he said : 

" Tell the minister of that ; and if he is a wise 
man it will help to cure him of an unpleasant 
habit of speaking too loud." 

But I don't think papa took his advice, because 
he knew that people are so silly in this world 
that they do not like to be told of their faults ; at 
least there is only now and then one who is so 
wise as to be grateful. 

Soon after this we all went to grandpa's to 
spend vacation. Those were fine times foi 
Minie and Gracie. I wish I could tell you all 
about their plays ; but- it would take a large book 
to do that, for the/ were playing all the time 
from morning till night, and they didn't like to 
stop to go to bed. One of their favorite plays . 
was to "keep house." Minie would have a 
house in one corner and Gracie in the of her; 
then they would "gp visiting" and have tea. 
One evening they were in the midst of this play 



Songs and Sermons. 277 

« 

when I came in very quietly and took a seat at 
one side. Tea was just ready, spread out on a 
chair, little bits of shells for dishes. Minie was 
the lady, of the house, and she said to her guest : 

" Will you ask a blessing ? " 

Gracie looked shocked. 

" Why, Minie," she said, in a dignified voice, 
"that isn't the way to play. You mustn't ask 
me to ask a blessing. We are ladies, you know, 
and ladies don't pray." 

" What an idea ! " said Minie, shocked in her 
turn ; just as if ladies didn't pray just as well as 
gentlemen." 

"I tell you they don't," Gracie said, positively; 
" or, yes, they pray, of course, when they are all 
alone, and sometiftes with their little girls, but 
they don't ask blessings at the table. I know 
better than that." 

And of this she was so sure that when Minie 
insisted that it was the right way to play she left 
her in disgust, and wouldn't play at all for as 
much as ten minutes. Finally they agreed to 



278 Grandpa's Darlings. 

leave the matter to me, and both talked at once. 

"Auntie Belle, don't all good ladies ask a 
blessing when the papa is away from home ? " 

" Auntie Belle, do ladies pray before folks ? " 

"Some do," I said, a little in doubt how to 
settle this question. The next one was more 
troublesome, coming from Minie's earnest lips : 

"It is the right way to do, isn't it, Auntie 
Belle ?" 

" Yes," I said, gravely, I thought it was. 

Then came the last question* with Grade's 
great eyes fixed on me as though she were going 
to look me through and through : 

* 

"Auntie Belle, do you ever do it? Because 
if you do I never heard you, and papa has been 
away lots of times when we had supper." 

To that there was simply nothing to be said, 
and grandpa, walking up and down the room, did 
not help my side much by saying just then : 
" ' Out of thine own mouth do I condemn thee.' " 
What do you suppose he meant ? 

By the way, some of the little girls who may 



Songs and Sermons. 



279 



have read about " Mrs. Delexity and Mrs. Felter- 
spell" in the Pansy will think that these two 
little girls acted very much like them; and I 
may as well confess that the real names of those 
two ladies are Minie and Grade. 





CHAPTER XXIII. 



minie's wisdom. 



The two children together were almost too 
much for mortals to manage. What one couldn't 
think of the other could, and endless were the 
plans that they got up that had to be nipped in 
the bud by some cruel mamma or auntie. In 
general they agreed very well, but there was 
occasionally a storm that would last for several 
minutes. I can seem to see Minie now as she 
came from the yard one morning, and curled her- 
self in a desolate little heap in the great rocking- 
chair. She looked forlorn enough to have lost 
all her friends, and she rocked to and fro in a 

dismal way, saying not a word to anybody. 
(280) 



Minie's Wisdom. 281 

"What is the matter?" I asked her at last, 
struck with the woe-begone expression on her 
wise little face. " What has happened to trouble 
you ? " 

" Oh, nothing very much, I suppose," she said, 
with a heavy sigh. " Only, Auntie Belle, Gracie 
thinks this whole world was made on purpose for 
her and nobody else." 

It was a real trouble, but I could not keep 
from laughing. It was a good description of the 
positive little cousin, with her emphatic voice 
and determined views of things. Minie had 
been used to being a very queen among her 
friends; hardly anybody disputed her right to 
rule ; but she did it with a graceful prettiness, 
winning her way by kisses and caresses, where 
anything more positive would have barred the 
door. This was not by any means Grade's way ; 
she ruled because it was right to do so and so, 
or wrong to say this and that, and many a dis- 
cission they had. 

"The clifferqpce between them is just this," 



282 Grandpds Darlings. : 

grandpa said one day when we had been talking 
about them. "Minie kisses her auntie into giv- 
ing her just what she wants, and Grade will not 
take it as a gift unless she can make you under- 
stand that it is her right." 

Still Minie was very wise in her own eyes, too. 
She thought that she understood everything that 
she saw going on, and often took occasion to 
explain what other people did when they were in 
straits. One day her auntie had occasion to 
write a hurried note, and, as was a usual thing 
when they were wanted, no pencil could be found 
in our house ; they have a very provoking way, 
you know, of going and hiding themselves just 
when they are needed. 

"What in the world shall I do?" she said, 
glancing nervously at the clock. " I wanted to 
have this note reach him before he left the 
office." 

"Why don't you take pen and ink?" I sug- 
gested. % 

"Because every bit of ink in the hbuse is ia 



Minies Wisdom. 283 

the study, and that is locked. This afternoon 
the papa had some papers that he didn't want the 
children to meddle with, and so he turned the 
key before he went out." 

Minie had been in her auntie's company for 
only a few days, and was rather afraid of her, but 
the desire to give information, as well as a desire 
to help, overcame her timidity, and she came 
with soft speech to the table. 

" Auntie, I have often seen papa write with a 
feather when he hadn't a pencil. If you like, I 
can go to the barnyard and get you a feather. I 
know where there is a white one." 

Dear me ! how we laughed, and how her little 
sweet lips puckered and a surprised tear stood in 
her eye ! She had made such an effort to give 
help. Still she was perfectly certain that her 
words were true, and even after we had explained 
the mystery of writing with a feather she looked 
doubtful, and was found slyly trying it with a 
piece of the tail of the old yellow rooster before 
she could feel perfectly certain that we were 



284 Grandpds Darlings. 

right and she was wrong. It reminded me of a 
day when we took her to ride, and having gone a 
new road, part of it through the woods, she 
began to fear that we did not know the way- 
home. Her uncle explained to her that, although 
he had never been that way, he knew by the way 
the sun was setting, and by the way he turned 
his horse when he started, that the* road would 
surely lead intojthe main one by which we were 
to go home. She couldn't see what the sun had 
to do with the matter, and she evidently thought 
it absurd to suppose that he knew anything 
about roads, when all he did was to shine with 
all his might away up in the sky ; so she only 
looked as sober as a judge, and said in a low, 
dismal tone every once in a while : " I hope 
Uncle Ross is right ; but I don't know." 

" And that child never will succeed in know- 
ing much that she doesn't see right before her," 
her papa said. " I hope I am mistaken, but I am 
afraid it is going to be very hard for her to 
trust." 



Minie s Wisdom. 285 

Sometimes her reasoning led her into very 
funny places, and sometimes she succeeded in 
making things very embarrassing for us. 

They had a nice old lady at grandma's to wash 
for them. The first time Minie ever saw her the 
old lady will not soon forget what she said. I 
had the care of the little lady that morning, and 
feeling afraid that the sight for the first time of a 
colored person might frighten her, I tried while 
I was dressing her to explain about the washer- 
woman. When we came from the bedroom she 
went at once to the kitchen to see the strange 
sight that she had been hearing about. There 
was Mrs. Leggins, rubbing away with all her 
might, her white eyes and her white teeth both 
seeming to smile on the astonished little girl, 
who stood and looked at her. From the crown 
of her woolly head, neatly arranged under a 
turban, to the trim boots on her feet, Minie 
gazed, letting her eyes wander up and down the 
tall form as if they couldn't take in the whole, of 
her at once. Then they began to turn from her 



286 Grandpds Darlings. 

to some object near the stove, then back to her 
face again ; at last she went to the stove and took 
up the poker ; very slowly and gravely she passed 
her hand down its length ; the result was a black 
hand. By this time Mrs. Leggins had stopped 
her tune on the washboard, and was watching 
the little girl with laughing eyes. She put down 
thejDoker, and went with shy steps to the old 
lady's side. She was very timid, and a soft little 
pink flush spread over her face ; but she seemed 
to have decided that there was an important fact 
to be proved, and she mustn't shrink from the 
work ; so she touched with three very soft and 
gentle fingers the fat black arm, bared to the 
elbow, then looked long and steadily at them. 
Surprise seemed at last to get the better of her 
fears, for she spoke in a clear, ringing voice : 

" The poker is black and so are you ; but the 
black rubs off the poker, and it doesn't off of you. 
What makes the difference ? " 

Now wasn't that a lovely thing to say to a nice 



Mime's Wisdom. 287 

old colored lady ! I didn't know what to say. I 
was almost afraid to look up for fear the old 
lady's face would show me that she felt very 
much hurt. I might have known better than 
that ; she had too much good sense. Her face 
and eyes and teeth all seemed to laugh at once ; 
she shook and bent forward, and rolled her eyes, 
and it was several minutes before she could 
speak at all. Minie meantime looked at her 
with a grave, astonished face, and the next thing 
she said showed the direction of her thoughts. 
" Will you be all white in heaven ? " 
This almost made the rest of us laugh again. 
Not so the old lady, she was sobered at once. 

" Bless your heart, honey," she said " that is a 
thing to think of, sure enough ; and I don't know 
as I ever thought about it before ; but as sure as 
I am a living woman I shouldn't wonder if we 
would. It is worth while to try for it anyhow. 
Bless her innocent little heart ! Her old auntie 
will try to have a white soul." 



288 



Grandpds Darlings. 



And as we went back to the sitting-room 
Grade's auntie whispered to me : 

" If her grandpa were here he would say, ' Out 
of the mouths of babes and sucklings God has 
ordained strength/ 



9 » 




CHAPTER XXIV. 



MINIES CONFLICT. 



One Sunday evening our great church was 
filled so full that the sexton had to bring in aisle 
seats, and chairs were put all around the pulpit, 
and people even sat on the pulpit steps. We 
had a missionary from some Western town. I 
have forgotten now just where he came from. 
But he had been on the field and worked hard, 
and he knew all about the missionaries, and what 
they had done, and what they had done without. 
This last surprised some of us very much. We 
had not known that men were willing to give up 
so much for the sake of preaching about Jesus. 
A hard winter was coming, and the missionary 

(289) 



290 Grandpds Darlings. 

who had been sent out to tell the story of work 
and suffering feared that a great deal of suffering 
was in store for the workers of the Far West. 
He told some sad stories of what he had seen. 
I wish I had time to tell you about them. 
They brought tears to the eyes of a great many 
people, and we took up a large collection for the 
missionaries that evening in grandpa's church. 
Among the people who listened was Minie. She 
hardly stirred during the entire evening. Her 
eyes looked almost as large again as usual, and a 
good many times she wiped away the tears. But 
when the collection was taken she shook her 
head. This surprised me very much, for I knew 
she had some money of her " very own," as she 
used to say, and I knew she had her little port- 
monnaie in her pocket. She was always ready 
to give her pennies in the collection; even 
anxious to share with the grown-up people in the 
pleasure of giving. I wondered what was the 
matter with her. On the way home she said 
not a word to me about the meeting, nor indeed 



Minies Conflict. 291 

about anything else, though she held my hand. 
When we were fairly in the house and the rooms 
were lighted, I noticed that she had a sort of dis- 
contented look on her face. 

" Did you enjoy the meeting ? " I asked her. 
About this time she had grown to be such a 
womanly little girl, at least about some things, 
that I used to find myself talking with her very 
much as if she were a grown-up woman ; there- 
fore I asked her, "Did you enjoy the meeting?" 

" No, ma'am," she said, gravely. 

" You didn't ! " I answered, feeling very much 
surprised, as she had listened so attentively. 
" Why, I thought you would be just the one to 
enjoy it very much." 

The air with which she looked up in my face 
and made her next remark would have fitted her 
grandmother. 

"Auntie Belle, do you enjoy hearing about 
how badly people are living, how little they have 
to eat and wear, and all those things ? " 

"Why, yes," I said, laughing a little. Her 



292 Grandpa's Darlings. 

face was so grave that I couldn't help it. "1 
like to be told about what is going on in this 
world, especially if I have some money Jo help 
them to get some more things with." 

"A few pennies won't do them much good," 
she said, in a forlorn tone. " I never had pen- 
nies enough in all my life to get one-half of the 
things that they need, not one-quarter. Oh, my ! 
I guess I haven't ! Why, they wouldn't begin to 
do it." 

Someway this thought seemed to give her 
great pleasure. 

" Don't you know about your piece that grand- 
ma loves so much ? " I said. 

" ' Little drops of water, 
Little grains of sand, 
Make the mighty ocean 
And the pleasant land/ 

Every little helps, you know ; and your pennies, 
put with ever so many other pennies, would make 
a great deal of money." 

She shook herself impatiently. 



Minims Conflict. 293 

" I don't want to hear aay more about it at all. 
The man told dreadful stories. I wish I hadn't 
heard him. If I had known it was going to be 
such a bad. meeting I wouldn't have gone." 

I was very much puzzled. "The child is 
nervous," I said to myself. " It is queer, I never 
thought she was — about such things." 

The family came in one by one, and we talked 
the matter over; but Minie kept perfectly still 
until she suddenly surprised us all by bursting 
into a perfect storm of tears. 

"What in the world is the matter?" said 

grandma, in alarm ; and mamma said, anxiously : 

» 

" Do you feel sick, darling ? " 

It was several minutes before she could make 
any answer ; then her words were all choked up 
with tears, but they amounted to this: "She 
though it was too bad. Here she had been 
wanting a pink and white fan, with feathers on 
the end of it, and a glass to see your face in on 
one side, and she had been saving her money for 
most a year, a long time, anyway; and every 



294 Grandpa's Darlings. 

single time that she got most enough some man 
came along in the church, or the school-house, or 
the hall, and told dreadful stories, and made peo- 
ple give him money. She had just exactly 
enough now to buy the fan, and she had meant 
to go in the morning and get Auntie Belle to 
help her pick it out. Mrs. Burlingame had beau- 
tiful ones, and she had been saving them up for 
her for a long, long time; and now this old mis- 
sionary man had to come along and spoil it all. 
It was just too bad!" And at this point the 
sobs burst forth so that it was impossible to tell 
what she was trying to add to the sorrowful 
story. 

I wish I could give you an idea of how forlorn 
the poor child looked. She was sitting flat on 
the floor, one little slippered foot curled under 
her, and her ruffled brown head leaning on the 
crimson cushion of grandpa's rocking-chair. She 
looked so pitiful, and yet it was all so funny that 
we could not keep from laughing ; only grandpa 



Minie's Conflict. 295 

and Minie's papa were very sober. Papa even 
looked sad. 

" It is a real struggle between the world and 
the cross," he said, in a low tone, looking just a 
little reproachfully at us laughers. 

" It is just a baby struggle," her mamma said, 
and we could see that she thought papa was 
taking too grave a view of it. 

But grandpa seemed to be of the same mind. 

" It is a baby struggle only because she is a 
baby," he said, very soberly. "When she grows 
up, that same heart will have ' grown-up ' strug- 
gles about this same matter, unless it is con- 
quered now." 

Mamma tried to look sober. 

" What shall I do with her ? " she said, as the 
heart-broken little maiden cried on. 

" Put her to bed," the papa said. " It is too 
late and she is too nervous to decide anything 
to-night* Teach her that the whole matter must 
be left until morning." 

I went to sleep very soon after that ; and the 



296 Grandpa's Darlings. 

next thing I heard was a ringing little voice 
saying ; 

" But, grandpa, can't you advise me ? " 

Then grandpa : 

" Why, yes, I can advise you. I can give you 
the very best of advice. You must do exactly 
what you think is the right thing to do." 

" But maybe I don't know what is right," said 
this grave little woman. 

" You know what you think," grandpa said. 

And then there was silence for a few minutes. 
Pretty soon she said in a timid voice : 

"Grandpa, Mrs. Burlingame has been saving 
the fan for me this ever so long. I might disap- 
point her if I shouldn't buy it. Would that be 
right ? " 

" Have you promised to buy it ? " 

" Why, no, not promised exactly ; but then she 
knows I want to do it, and that I meant to just 
as soon as I got money enough." 

" Very well. Then if you shouldn't have 



Miniis Conflict 297 

money enough this time it would have to wait 
until next time, wouldn't it ? " 

" But, grandpa, the summer days are almost 
gone. I should have to wait until next year, and 
I'm afraid it would get out of fashion." 

"Then you wouldn't want it, would you?" 
grandpa said, gravely. "I shouldn't think it 
would be well to buy a thing that was likely to 
go out of fashion so soon." 

Minie shifted her ground. 

"Oh, I could use it, you know, even if it 
wasn't/or/ the fashion." 

" Well, you know I told you that it wasn't a 
thing that anybody could decide for you. It 
must be done by yourself." 

By this time I was up, and I could see Minie 
from my window, following grandpa as he hoed 
the corn. She stood first on one foot and then 
on the other, and looked as unhappy and uneasy 
as ever a mortal could. At last she said : 

" Grandpa, it is going to be very warm all the 
rest of August. Don't you think it is ? " 



298 Grandpa's Darlings. 

" I don't know, I am sure," said grandpa, and 
he coughed a little as if he might be wanting to 
laugh, but thought he would better not. 

" Oh, well," she said, " the sky looks like it I 
think. It looks real red, anyhow. I feel almost 
certain I shall need my fan very much ! " 

" As to that," said grandpa, quickly ; " I heard 
your grandma say that a very good palm-leaf fan 
could be bought for ten cents, and they give a 
great deal of wind. You might buy one of them, 
and give the rest of your money to the mission- 
ary, I suppose, if you wanted to." 

" I shouldn't wonder if grandma wanted me to 

, set the chairs to the table," Minie said ; and she 

ran in as fast as her little feet could take her. 

She had had advice enough from the corn-patch. 

After breakfast she hung around her mother. 

" Mamma," I heard her say as I came down 
the stairs, " do you think I ought to give my fan- 
money to that man ? " 

" I think my little girl ought to do just what 
she thinks is right to do," said mamma, with a 



Minies Conflict. 299 

sober enough face. She began to see that this 
was really an important lesson in Minie's educa- 
tion. 

" It is very queer," said Minie, almost crying, 
" that no one will give me any advice." 

" Won't Jesus ? " mamma said softly. " Have 
you asked him what it would be best to do ? " 

And then Minie ran away. All that day her 
face was long and sad. She came to each one 
of us for our opinion, but the papa had asked 
that we would none of us try to influence her, so 
we had to be quiet. I shall never forget how 
sorry I was for her. I can't describe to you how 
much her heart had been set on that fan. The 
fact that it would have been an absurd one for a 
little girl to have did not help the matter a bit. 
She had been given the most perfect control 
over her monthly allowance of pocket money ; if 
she didn't buy anything positively wrong, it 
might be as foolish as it well could, no one would 
find any fault with her. They were very anxious 
to have her learn to have judgement for herself. 



300 Grandpas Darlings. 

* 

So the fan had long been a settled thing, over 
which mamma had laughed but found no fauit ; 
and to give it up for the sake of sending shoes 
and stockings to some people whom she had 
never seen was a hard thing to think of. I shall 
always remember what an anxious face her papa 
carried during the long hours of what was to us 
a funny struggle. 

• " It will have to do with her whole life," he 
said to . me, with an anxious face. " If she 
decides for self now, it will not be nearly so hard 
to do it next time." 

" Why don't you help her ? " I said. But he 
shook his head. 

" She doesn't need any help," he said. " It is 
just a struggle with her conscience. I believe 
she knows what she ought to do." 

" Do you really think that child ought to give 
up her fan that she has been saving and working 
to get for nearly a year, and send her money out. 
West ? " I asked him ; and I was a little bit dis- 
gusted with the idea. 



X. 



Minie's Conflict. 



301 



" I think that she thinks she ought to," he said, 
very soberly. "And what I want to know is, 
who told her so ? None of us have. Unless it 
is her conscience speaking to her, who or what is 
it?" 





CHAPTER XXV. 



THE QUESTION SETTLED. 



It was just as we were going to sit down to 
tea that Minie came, with a very resolute look on 
her face and a box in her hand, and stopped 
before her papa. 

" I have decided it," she said, quietly. " Papa, 

will you please send this to the missionary tight 

away t I want it to go to-night I wish I had 

sent it yesterday. Maybe somebody has starved 

because I didn't. Oh, dear me ! you don't think 

so, do you ? You don't believe God would have 

let anybody starve when he must have known all 

the time that I would decide to send it ? " 
(302) 



The Question Settled. 303 

"No, darling," papa said, gently, "I think he 
has taken care of the one that you want to help." 
Papa seemed to think that his little girl had 
suffered enough 

She opened the little paste-board box and 
emptied the contents into her father's lap. They 
rolled -about in every direction, pennies, and five- 
cent pieces, and three-cent pieces. We had a 
great time picking it up. 

" How much is there here ? " papa asked her. 

"One dollar and twenty-five cents, papa; just 
exactly the price, you know." 

" Are you going to send it all ? " said mamma, 
a little startled. "Wouldn't it be better to 
divide, and have half of it left for the next time 
that you want to give ? " 

" If you please, mamma," Minie said, looking 
earnestly at her mother, " I want to send it all, 
every cent of it. I have had such a dreadful 
time that I think it all ought to go ; and I think 
Jesus thinks so too." 

"Don't hinder the child," said grandpa, and 



304 Grandpds Darlings. 

his voice was a little husky. "She has had a 
better teacher than any of us, I guess." 

So the money was put up securely in a pack- 
age. It was Minie' s fancy that the very pennies 
that she had saved were to go to the missiona- 
ries, so, though it took more trouble, her father 
was determined that she should have her own 
way. Gracie, who was visiting at grandpa's at 
this time, had been very much interested in the 
whole matter, and she wrote a letter to her papa 
about that and some other things. As I liked 
the letter very much I will copy it for you : 

" Dear Papa : — Grandpa says you must come 
too. Minie gave ten whole shillings. I liked 
the man, but she didn't at first ; but when she 
got willing to give her ten shillings then she did. 
I went to see the pigs yesterday. I am fat. I 
go to Sunday-school here. I gave three pennies 
myself, that is all I have got. Grandma made 
apple turnovers, one for me and one for Minie ; 
they were good. Can I have a little kitten ? I 



The Question Settled. 305 

could bring it home in the trunk, and then it 
couldn't mew. Minie gave all the money she 
had, too. They had to go barefooted, and they 
don't sometimes have much to eat. We had a 
big turkey for dinner. Grandma fed it with a 
spoon. It was good. Now Minie will have to 
do without a fan. I am sorry for her. I drink 
fresh milk every day. I eat two apples for my 
dinner. It is nice milk. Can't I take my 
quarter of a dollar and get her a pink fan ? 

"Your loving daughter. 

" Grace." 

A few days after this we had another letter to 
read. It came from the Far West, where the 
precious ten shillings had been sent This is the 
way it read : 

"Dear Little Minie: — I want to write to 
you and tell you how much my heart thanks you 
for those ten shillings. What do you think they 



306 Grandpa's Darlings. 

bought ? A pair of shoes for my little girl, who 
has not been to Sabbath-school for three months, 
because her father could not afford to buy shoes 
for her, and because the road that she has to 
walk is so long and rough that when she tries to 
go without shoes she cuts her poor little feet so 
that they bleed. Her mother had decided that 
she must not go any more until the dear Father 
in heaven had sent her a pair of shoes. Can you 
think how glad she was that He whispered to 
you and told you that she was in such need, and 
that your unselfish heart was willing to give up 
the beautiful fan for her sake ? I wish you could 
have seen her this morning when she went joy- 
fully on her way to Sabbath-school. Think how 
hard it would be for you to stay away from yours 
for so long a time, then you will understand how 
happy she was. Dear Minie, her father and 
mother thank you, and they pray for you that 
you may never need even a fan ; that your life 
may be a sweet, unselfish, happy one ; that your 



The Question Settled. 307 

heart may be given very early to Jesus, even if it 
is not already his. God bless you, dear child. 

" Your friend, 

" James L. Walker." 

That letter gave us all a great deal of pleasure, 
I think the thing which pleased Minie's father 
most was what she said when ft was read to her. 
She was very sober for a few minutes, then she 
said : 

" Papa, he is mistaken in me. He ought to be 
told that I am not an unselfish little girl. I 
wanted to keep that money awfully, and he 
ought to know about it. He thinks I am a good 
girl, and, papa, you know I am not." 

Papa promised to write and tell him all that it 
was necessary for him to know; and we all 
thought that the fan story was ended ; but a few 
days after, behold, there was another chapter 
added to it. There came a young lady to make 
us a visit ; she was a great pet of mine, and 
really she was one of the dearest girls I ever 



f 3o8 Grandpa's Darlings. 

knew. Some day I shouldn't wonder if I should 
tell you a pleasant story about her ; at least I am 
going to tell the little Pansy people, and perhaps 
you will read it there. Her name is Ella. To 
her I told the story of the fan, which was a 
very foolish thing for me to do, as I soon came 
to see. But I had been so interested in it 
myself, and I knew that Ella loved Minie so 
much that it would ber very nice for her to hear 
it, and I never once thought of the next thing 
that might happen. She went down town soon 
after I finished my story, rather slipped away 
from me in a way that surprised me; but I 
understood it soon after when there came a 
package about three inches wide and ten long, 
done up in brown paper, and addressed to Minie. 
She was in a great flutter over it, but I began to 
guess even before I saw the shape of the box. 
Sure enough, there was the very fan! — pink, 
feathered, mirrored, all complete. 

" What a dunce I was," I said, " not to think 
of that ! I might have known that you would go 



The Question Settled. 309 

and do it, and yet I never thought of such a 
thing for a moment. If I had I should have 
positively forbidden it." 

" I'm glad you didn't, I am sure," laughed Ella, 
" because you would have made me a great deal 
of trouble ; but I don't see how a person of any 
sense or any heart could help doing it. Upon 
my word I don't." 

" Especially if they had as much money to 
waste as you have," I said, speaking in a half- 
vexed tone, for I knew that Minie's father 
wouldn't quite like it, and I was afraid he would 

1 

blame me for bringing all this to pass. 

Oh, but wasn't Minie delighted ! She danced 
from room to room with her treasure ; she kissed 
it a dozen times, and we were just beginning to 
understand what a great sacrifice she had really 
made. 

"I declare," a certain cousin said, as she 
watched her, " I am ashamed of what I gave. I 
believe I will go right home and add another ten 
to it. Talk about sacrifice ! Why, that child is 



310 Grandpas Darlings. 

the only one among us who knows anything 
about it" 

When her papa came it was just as I expected 
Some one had called Minie, and she laid her 
treasure down on my lap and ran ; so I showed it 
to her father, and gave him its history. He 
looked as sober as if the poor little pink fan had 
been an enemy. 

"I am a little sorry," he said, hesitatingly. 
"I know it was done out of pure love, but I am 
afraid to have her get the idea that she is to be 
paid for being charitable. She only did what 
was her duty." 

" Now don't you go and be as solemn as an old 
owl," began Ella, merrily ; but grandpa, much to 
our surprise, came to her aid. 

"I don't know about that doctrine," he said, 
looking at the papa. "Did you ever do your 
duty in your life that the Lord didn't pay you for 
doing it ? In fact, hasn't he promised to do this 
very thing ? ' Give, and it shall be given unto 



The Question Settled. 311 

you. Good measure, pressed down, running 



over.' " 



" There ! there ! " Ella said, clapping her hands 
in great delight; "your own Book condemns 
you ! " 

Just then Minie came running in, her face all 
aglow with joy. She seized her fan and ran to 
her father's side, and her glad whisper was so 
loud that we all heard it : 

"Papa! oh, papa, look! see what Jesus sent 
me ! Didn't be send it quick ? I prayed for it, 
you know ; but I didn't think it would come so 
very quick." 

And I think the papa's heart was satisfied. 




CHAPTER XXVI. 



The happy days went by until there came a 
summer when Minie was eight years old and 
Gracie was four. We spent the most of that 
summer together, the aunties and uncles and 
cousins, all at the dear old home — grandpa's 
house. It was a summer which we never will 
forget, any of us. It was a very sad summer, 
and yet a pleasant one. The dear grandpa was 
sick, very sick ; we knew that he could not get 
well. I can not tell you how this made our 
hearts ache when we thought of ourselves, and 
yet, as I told you, it was a pleasant time. I 
think that sick room was the pleasantest place I 
(3-2) 



Home. 313 

was ever in. When I was a little girl I used to 
hope that I should never have to be with any- 
body who was very sick. I thought it would be 
so dreadful to look at anybody knowing that he 
was soon going to die. I found out that it made 
a great difference who it was, and how he felt 
himself. Grandpa was willing to die; he was 
not one bit afraid of it. He used to say to me : 
" It is nice to have my children all about me, and 
it seems sad sometimes that I must go and leave 
them — sad for them I mean ; but what a blessed 
thing it will be when we all get up there where 
none of us will have to go away any more. It 
will be vacation there all the time, won't it?" 
This he said, because for many years some of us 
had only been at the old home when there was 
vacation. Much of the time that summer Minie 
spent with me in grandpa's room. It was her 
delight to fan him, to arrange the pillows for 
him, to read to him in her soft, gentle voice ; to 
sing to him when he was restless and feverish. 
Many a time he would say to me : " Where is 



314 Grandpa's Darlings. 

Minie ? Doesn't she want to come and say her 
little piece for me?" A short time before that 
she had commenced going to school, and there 
she learned to recite many little pieces. One 
that grandpa used to love to hear I will copy 
here for you : 



" Jesus bids us shine 

With a clear, pure light, 
Like a little candle 

Burning in the night ; 
In the world is darkness. 

So we must shine, 
You, in your little corner, 

And I, in mine. 

" Tesus bids us shine 
•' • 

First of all for him ; 
Well he sees and knows it 

If our light is dim. 
He looks down from heaven 

To see us shine, 
You, in your little corner, 

And I, in mine. 



««. 



Jesus bids us shine 
Then for all around. 



Home. 315 

Many kinds of darkness 

In the world are found ; 
There's sin, there's want, there's sorrow, 

So we must shine, 
You, in your little corner, 

And I, in mine." 

Her voice was low and sweet, especially when 
she was reciting for grandpa ; and many a time 
have I seen his dear hand go up to wipe away 
the tears as she said these earnest words. 

" I hope she will shine," he said to me one day 
when she had said her little piece and gone. " I 
hope she will be a true light, showing the way 
to others, helping them to get through the dan- 
gerous places in the world, and land safely in 
heaven." 

He was very fond of hearing her sing, and 
perhaps the piece that he loved the best and 
called for the oftenest was " Rest for the weary." 

One summer afternoon the shades in grandpa's 
room were partly dropped to keep out the glare of 
light ; the birds outside were singing, and the soft 



316 Grandpa's Darlings. 

summer wind brought the breath of flowers in at 
the open window ; grandma had gone to lie down 
for a few minutes of much-needed rest ; each one 
of the large family was busy doing something for 
the future comfort of the dear grandpa, and 
Minie and I were on guard in his room charged 
by grandma to call her the minute he seemed 
tired or asked where she was, for often and often 
during the long weary days there came times 
when only grandma could do things to rest and 
help him ; we children, try as we might, were as 
nothing to the dear wife who had taken such a 
long journey with him ever since the early morn- 
ing of life. Minie had a long branch from off 
the elm-tree, which she gently waved to and fro 
to keep the flies from troubling grandpa, and as 
she waved it she talked in her low, gentle voice 
about the school and the lessons and the plays, 
for grandpa, in* all his weakness and his pain, 
never lost his interest in everything that had to 
do with this darling grandchild. Pretty soon he 
said : " Now you may read a few verses for me 



Home. 317 

from the book, and then you and Minie will 
sing." I knew very well what " the book " was. 
It was a long time since he had cared for any but 
the one book that had been his friend for so 
many years, so I got his own large-print Bible, 
all full of leaves turned down and verses marked ; 
no need to ask which was his favorite; he had 
left marks of his love all through the book. On 
this afternoon I read verses here and there as 
my eye caught a mark. "And they shall see 
his face, and his name shall be in their fore- 
heads." " And there shall be no night there." 
"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and 
come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy 
shall be upon their heads." Isn't that the way it 
reads ? I am trying to recall these verses from 
memory. I have thought of them so many times 
it is not likely I shall make many mistakes. 

This was one : " Fear not, for I have redeemed 
thee. I have called thee by thy name, thou art 
mine." I knew that it was almost the dearest 



318 Grandpa's Darlings. 

verse to my father in the whole Bible. " Ah ! " 
he would say, " isn't that a triumph ? What can 
Satan do after that ? ' Thou art mine.' Yes, in- 
deed, I am his ; he has called me by my name." 
After the verses were read, as many of them as 
I thought his tired head could bear, he said: 
"Now the hymn, I am getting tired. You may 
sing, ' Rest for the weary.' I shall soon know 
what kind of a rest that is." Minie came and 
stood by my side. Her voice trembled a little. 
If she had not tried very hard to keep it steady 
she would have cried. She seemed to feel that 
grandpa was slipping away from her, but she 
knew he wanted to hear her sing ; so she choked 
back the tears, like a strong-hearted little girl as 
she was, and sang low and clear his favorite 



But in that celestial center 
I a crown of life shall wear 



Then the chorus, with its oft-repeated sen- 
tence : " There is rest for the weary." 

"That is it," he said, when we finished it I 
had not sung much, just a softly little tone to let 
Minie feel that I was helping her, partly because 
someway I could not trust my voice, and partly 
because I knew that grandpa wanted to hear his 
little darling sing it once more. "That is it, 
thank you. I don't know, but it seems to me 
that the angels can not sing much sweeter than 
that. I shall think of it when' I hear them sing, 
I know I shall How soon it will be now— a 
few days more at the longest and I shall go to 



320 Grandpa's Darlings. 

the last song and the last talk that Minie and I 
• had with the dear, dear grandpa. In the gray 
light of the early summer morning the Jesus 
whom he loved sent an angel to bring him home 
to the rest that he had prepared for the weary. 
I can not tell you much about that morning, 
about how beautiful the dear face looked with 
the peace of God upon it, with the weary, painful 
look that had lasted through so many days gone 
out. Looking at him we could not doubt that 
the rest had surely come ; but, oh ! how desolate 
it was to think that he had gone from us, that 
perhaps it would be so long, so long before we 
could see him again! My sad heart felt like 
'repeating Minie's desolate wail: "Oh, Auntie 
Belle, if he could only have taken us all right up 
to heaven with him how sweet it would have 
been." We had many anxious thoughts about 
Gracie during that long morning. She was % 
' sleeping peacefully when her grandpa went 
away, and we dreaded the awakening. She had 



Home. 321 

seemed too young to understand* about the com- 
ing death ; she had been the only one in the house 
who had gone brightly, merrily through the days 
while we were stepping softly and waiting; but 
now that the dear face had changed and the dear 
voice would speak to her no more we feared that 
when she realized it her little heart would break 
with grief, for she loved her grandpa. Very 
gently mamma tried to explain it to her when at 
last she opened her eyes ; very carefully the lov- 
ing mother tried to choke back her own grief and 
speak cheerfully to the little girl. It was a 
strange story, that in the night Jesus had made 
up his mind that he wanted grandpa in heaven. 
Grandpa had been sick and suffering for a long, 
long time, and Jesus had said to an angel, " I 
don't want Grade's dear, good grandpa to have 
any more pain or trouble. You may go down 
and bring him up to me." 

Shall we ever forget the brightness that * 
glowed on that sweet baby face as she said, 



322 Grandpa's Darlings. 

clasping her hands together and speaking ear- 
nestly : 

"Well, I can be happy if he has gone to 
heaven can not you ? " 

Dear little boys and girls, my story is ended. 
Both Minie and Gracie are living now ; they are 
a good deal older. Grandpa has been four years 
in heaven. I might tell you much about them, 
but someway the brightness has gone out of my 
story ; I should miss the constant presence and 
love and care of the dear grandpa, so would you. 
I think you have learned to love him during 
these talks that we have had together about him. 
I want you to remember that this is not a story 
in a book about some people who never lived. 
We are just as much alive to-day as you are, and 
grandpa is just as much in heaven as you are on 
earth. What I want of you is to be sure to get 
acquainted with him. There is no telling how 
* many of you may meet Minie and Gracie and 
talk with them here on earth ; it will be strange 



Home. 323 

if some of you don't But as many of you as 
want to see the dear grandpa must get ready to 
go over the river where he lives. Isn't it nice to 
think that we are all invited to the same beauti- 
ful city ? Be sure that none of you are too late 
to get in. 

Lovingly, 

Pansy. 



THE END. 



Important Books. 

— « •» 

BEHAVING; or, Papers upon Children's Etiquette. By the 

author of "The Ugly Girl Papers." Price, $i oo 

Hundreds and thousands of American parents and teachers are 
under obligation to the enterprising publishers of " The Wjde 
Awake" and "Babyland" for the choice and instructive 
reading furnished the children. This volume adds another to 
the many books of special interest and value which D. Lothrop 
& Co. have furnished the young. Behaving is from the pen 
of Mrs. Power, who has just the qualities of style and adapta- 
tion which qualify her to write books, full of sparkling wit and 
wisdom, which entertain and instruct. While this book is de- 
signed for the youth of the land, we wish the young men and 
women of a score or more of years would read and follow its 
hints and advice. Its reading and heeding would vastly im- 
prove the manners and habits of our young people. Some 
general idea of its useful mission can be formed from the 
table of contents. The first chapter is entitled "Toward 
Mother's Company," followed by "Greetings and Nick- 
names," "To Stand, to Walk, and to Sit," "Manners at 
Home," "Party Etiquette," "How to Teach Y6ung Chil- 
dren,'' ** Manners Away from Home," etc. This book should 
find its way into every home, and we would urge parents and 
teachers to read it to their children and pupils. — N. E, 
Journal of Education. 

AT EVENTIDE $i %$ 

This is the title of a volume of discourses by the venerable 
Nehetniah Adams, D. Z>., of Boston, which furnishes the 
most satisfactory evidence that he is still bringing forth fruit 
in old age. We have been reading the discourses with great 
interest and pleasure. They are full of the tenderness, spirit- 
uality and grace which have characterized all the writings of 
the venerable author. Their history also commends them. 
Four or five years since, Dr. Adams made a visit to his son, 
an honored pastor at Charleston, S. C. While there he was 
frequently called to preach in the churches of different de- 
nominations, and on his return to Boston he received a re- 
quest, signed by ten of the Charleston pastors, asking him to 
furnish the sermons preached, to be published in a memorial 
volume. This is his compliance with that request. A strik- 
ing photograph, accompanies each volume as a frontispiece." 
N. Y. Oburvtr. 



OUR BOOK TABLE. 

MORE POETRY FOR CHILDREN. 

Not by Charles Lamb and his sister, whose " Poetry for Children " we 
■poke of here a few weeks since, but two other volumes, one called *Paems in 
Company with Children, by Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt; the other *Sugar Plums, 
made up of poetry by Ella Farman, the editor of IVidt A wake, and of pictures 
by Mus C. A. Northam. 

Mrs. Piatt, whose book is the larger of the two, is a lady living in Ohio; and 
not only is she a poet, but her husband, J. J. Piatt, is one too ; and it would be 
bard to say which is the better. We do not know that it is necessary to say 
that at all. A good many years ago, as we happen to know, a very heavy 
griefcame to Mr. and Mrs. Piatt; and the mother-heart, at least hasnev^i 
parted with it. All of her poetry is more or less tinged with the color of this 
grief, which had its occasion in the death of a beloved and beautiful boy under 
circumstances too painful to be recited here. We do not mean that all the 
poetry in this volume of hers is mournful, for it is not ; in fact there are many 
things in it which are bright and even merry. It is the best of poetry for chil- 
dren, musical, simple, tender, and true. We shall now quote some of it, to 
prove what we .say : * 

WHEN IT RAINS. 

Do ? — like the things in the garden. Oh ! 
Just keep quiet a while and grow. — - 

Do ? — like the bird. It shuts its wings. 

And waits for the sun. Do you hear ? — it sings t 

Do ?— like the lilies. Let it beat, 
Nestle below it — and be sweet. 

THE LAMB IN THE SKY. 

u There is a lamb," the children said :— 
Sweet in the grass they saw it lie. 

But the baby lifted the goldenest head 
And looked for the Lamb in the sky. 

.Then the children laughed as they saw him look 
At the high white clouds, but I know not why* 

For (have I not read in a beautiful Book ?) 
There is a Lamb, in the sky. 

* Poems in Company with Children, By Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt 
Price $1.^0. 



OUR BOOK TABLE. 

Miss Farman's book is very pretty by reason of the beautiful pictures in 
it ; pictures of children and child-life which are certainly among the best oi 
their kind. One of these pictures is of baby Dotty, fat-cheeked and chubby- 
legged, fast asleep on the sofa. Behind the sofa stands the dog Carlo, and 
this is what he is doing, and what comes of it : 

MOUNTING GUARD. 

He thinks bow-wow, at that fly 
Lighting down on Dotty's eye. 

Bow-wow, too, at little Sam, 
Letting that front gate go slam. 

Do you understand it? Carlo is watching his little friend Dotty, afraid that 
somebody, or something, will wake her up. 

He lifts up a warning paw, 
As puss, pushing with her claw 

At the lightly-swinging door, 
Patters in across the floor, 

Looks a bite towards papa. 
For his sudden ha-ha-ha 1 

Glares at the piano keys, 
Snaps at mamma for her sneeze, 

Eyes that baby in her lap, 
Just awakened from his nap— 

Coo-a-coo and goo-a-goo 
Goo-a-goo and coo a-coo — 

All so loud in mamma's lap, Carlo's wild ! 

Never minding Dotty's nap, That dreadful child ! 

'Cause it's baby, no one cares, No use no how— 
And poor Carlo quite despairs. Bow-wow, bow-wow- 
How she jingles spoon and cup — Carlo's self wakes Dotty up, 
Bite her I eat her ! chew her up I Not the baby with her cup. 

The Congregationalist. 

* Sugar Plums, Miss Ella Farman. Price $1.00. Boston } 
D. Lothrop & Co. 



i 



I HISTORIC HYMNS. | 

Collected by REV. W. P. CRAFTS. 

Music arranged under the supervision of Dr. E. Tourjfe. 

A COIXRCTION OF 

a hundred popular Standard Hymns, of which incident! 
are given in " Trophies of Sony" A pamphlet of thirty-two 
pages, in stout covers, which -affords 

A CHEAP HYMN BOOK 

for Sunday Schools, Congregational Singing, Praise Meetings, 
Concerts, Camp Meetings and Special Services. It has 
doubled the volume of congregational singing in churches, 
where it has been used, by furnishing the words, at a slight 
expense, to every person in the congregation. Besides the 
hymns, " Bible Readings," Responsive Readings, Introduc- 
tory Responsive Services, <&c, <fec, are also included. Com- 
mended by I. D. S ankkt, P. P. Buss, and other prominent 
singers* 

Price, In Stout Paper Cover, per 100, - - S7.00. 
" " Cloth, per lOO, ..... 10.00. 

Send ten cents for specimen copy. 



TROPHIES OF SONG. 

By Rev. W. F. Crafts. 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BT DR. R. TOURJRR. 

A COMPILATION OP 

200 STRIKING INCIDENTS, 

connected with the origin and history of our most popular 
hymns, both of the Church and Sunday School, together 
with articles by prominent writers on "Praise Meetings," 
" Congregational Singing," " Sunday School Singing," and 
all the various uses of sacred music. Its suggestions and in- 
cidents make it valuable to pastors, superintendents and 
choristers, and its numerous and thrilling incidents give it 
interest for the general reader and even for children. Price 
$1.25. 

D. LOTHBOP & CO., Publishers, 



:MHSS CTTJIjI-A. .A.. lELA-STM-A-lsr is one of the most popular 
of our modern writers. 

YOUNG RICK. By Julia A. Eastman. Large 

i6mo. Twelve illustrations by Sol Ey tinge . $i 50 

A brigtit, fascinating story of a little boy who was both a bless- 
ing and a bother. — Boston yournal. 

The most delightful book on the list for the children of the 
family, being full of adventures and gay home scenes and merry 
play-times. " Paty " would have done credit to Dickens in his 
palmiest days. The strange glows and shadows of her character 
are put in lovingly and lingeringly, with the pencil of a master. 
Miss Margaret's character of light is admirably drawn, while Aunt 
Lesbia, Deacon Harkaway, Tom Dorrance, and the master and 
mistress of Graythorpe poor-house are genuine "charcoal 
sketches." 

STRIKING- FOR THE RIGHT. By Julia 
A. Eastman. Large i6mo. Illustrated . 1 75 

While this story holds the reader breathless with expectancy 
and excitement, its civilizing influence in the family is hardly to 
be estimated. In all quarters it has met with the warmest praise. 

THE ROMNEYS OF RIDGEMONT. By 

Julia A. Eastman. i6mo. Illustrated . 1 50 

BEULAH ROMNEY. By Julia A. Eastman. 

16 mo. Illustrated 1 50 

Two stories wondrously alive, flashing with fun, sparkling with 
tears, throbbing with emotion. The next best thing to attending 
Mrs. Hale's big boarding-school is to read Beulah's experience 
there. 

SHORT-COMINGS AND LONG-GOINGS. 

By Julia A. Eastman. 16 mo. Illustrated. 1 25 

A remarkabls book, crowded with remarkable characters. It 
is a picture gallery of human nature. 

KITTY KENT'S TROUBLES. By Julia 
A. Eastman. 16 mo. Illustrated . . 1 50 

" A delicious April-day style of book, sunshiny with smiles on 
one page while the next is misty with tender tears. Almost every 
type of American school-girl is here represented— the vain Helen 
Dart, the beauty, Amy Searle, the ambitious, high bred, conserv- 
ative Anna Matson ; but next to Kitty herself sunny little Paul- 
ine Sedgewick will prove the general favorite. It is a story fully 
calculated to win both girls and boys toward noble, royal ways of 
doing little as well as great things. All teachers should feel an 
interest in placing it in the hands of their pupils." 



" 3&XSS Jt'jkJIEb'Mlj&.lsr has the very desirable knack of imparting 
valuable ideas under the guise of a pleasing story." — T/te New Century. 

MRS. HURD'S NIECE. By Ella Farman. 111. $i 50 

A thrilling* story for the girls, especially for those who think 
they have a " mission," to whom we commend sturdy English 
Hannah, with her small means, and her grand success. Saidee 
Hurd is one of the sweetest girls ever embalmed in story, and 
Lois Gladstone one of the noblest. 

THE COOKING CLUB OF TU-WHIT 
HOLLOW. By Ella Farman. 16 mo. 
Eight full-page illustrations . . . . 1 25 

Worth reading by all who delight in domestic romance. — Fall 
River Daily News. 

The practical instructions in housewifery, which are abundant, 
are set in the midst of a bright, wholesome story, and the little 
housewives who figure in it are good specimens of very human, 
but at the same time very lovable, little American girls. It 
ought to be the most successful little girls' book of the season. — 
The Advance. 

A LITTLE WOMAN. By Ella Farman. 16m. 1 00 

The daintiest of all juvenile books. From its merry pages, win-^ 
some Kinnie Crosby has stretched out her warm little hand to 
help thousands of young girls. 

A WHITE HAND. By Ella Farman. 12m. 111. 1 50 

A genuine painting of American society. Millicent and Jack 
are drawn by a bold, firm hand. No one can lay this story down 
. until the last leaf is turned. 



WIDE AWAKE. 

AN ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE 

For the Young Folks. 

$2.00 -&~EZ&* -A.3ST1TT73S^. IFOST-A-O-E 3PE,EI»^.I33. 

Edited by ELLA FARMAN. 

Published by B. IiOTHBOP & CO., Boston, Mass. 



It always contains a feast of fat things for the little folks, and folks who are no 
longer little findjjthere lost childhood in its pages. We are not saying too much 
when we say that its versatile editor — Ella Farman, is more fully at home 
in the child's wonder-land than any other living American writer. She is 
thoroughly en rapport with her readers, gives them now a sugar plum of poesy, 
now a dainty jelly-cake of imagination, and cunningly intermixes all the solid 
bread of thought that the child's mind can digest and assimilate. — York True 
Democrat. 



T> -A- 23T S Y ' S IF-A-O-E 



FOUR GIRLS AT CHAUTAUQUA. By 

Pansy, 12 mo. Illustrated . . . $1 50 

The most fascinating " watering-place' ' story ever published. 
Four friends, each a brilliant girl in her way, tired of Saratoga 
and Newport, try a fortnight at the new summer resort on Chau- 
tauqua Lake, choosing the time when the National Sunday-school 
Assembly is in camp. Rev. Drs. Vincent, Deems, Cuyler, Ed- 
ward Eggleston, Mrs. Emily Huntington Miller, move promi- 
nently through the story. 

HOUSEHOLD PUZZLES. By Pansy. 121110. 

Illustrated 1 50 

How to make one dollar do the work of five. A family of 
beautiful girls seek to solve this " puzzle." Piquant, humorous, < 

but written with an intense purpose. 

THE RANDOLPHS. By Pansy. 12 mo. Il- 
lustrated 1 50 

A sequel to Household Puzzles, in which the Puzzles are agree- 
ably disposed of. 

GRANDPA'S DARLINGS. By Pansy. 16 mo. 

Illustrated 1 25 

A big book, full of "good times" for the little people of the 
family. 

ESTER RIED . 

JULIA RIED 

THREE PEOPLE 

THE KING'S DAUGHTER 

WISE AND OTHERWISE . 

CUNNING WORKMEN . 

JESSIE WELLS . 

DOCIA'S JOURNAL . 

BERNIE'S WHITE CHICKEN 

HELEN LESTER. 

A CHRISTMAS TIME 



. JhJy ransy 


. 1 50 


» 


. 1 50 


• » 


. 1 50 


• 19 


. 1 5° 


• 19 


. 1 5° 


» 


. 1 25 


• » 


75 


• » 


75 


• 99 


75 


• 99 


75 


• ft * 


15 



1 



Sunday-school Helps. 

THE LESSON IN STORY. Pansy's Sunday-School Lesson 

Book, for Boys and Girls Price 10 

Every scholar will be delighted with its suggestiveness and 

can hardly fail to be benefited by the light and beauty of the 

lessons as unfolded by " Pansy " in the simple but strong 

language in which she tells them in story. —Bajbist Weekly. 

SUNDAY-SCHOOL CONCERT EXERCISES. Each 4 

Wide Awakb Ssribs. 
Sheets A — Leaves and Sheaves. "By Mary B. C. Slade. 
— Faith, Hope and Charity. By Mary TovonUy. 
— Plain Directions for a S. S. Entertainment. By Gee. B. 
BariUtt. 

Sheets B— The Lesson of the Wheat By Mary B. C. Slade. 
—The Christmas Story. By " " 

Sheets C— The Lilies. By " " 

—Ten Young Men of the Bible. By u " 

BIBLE LESSONS, for S. S. Concerts and Anniversaries. By 
Edmund Clark. 18 Numbers, as follows : 

No. 1. Temperance Band. No. 10. The Circle of the Graces. 

s. Roses. 11. The Six Days of the Creation. 

3. Flowers. 13. The Sea. 

4. Our Shepherd. 13. The Christian Graces, 

5. Names of Christ. 14. Consider the Lilies. 

6. Praise Concert. 15. Brevity of Life. 

7. The Morning Star. 16. The Two Ways. 

8. The New Year. 17. Rock of Ages. 

9. Faith. 18. Musieal Instruments of the Bible. 

Price 5 cents each. 
The same bound in one z6mo. volume, cloth 1 00 

CUNNING WORKMEN. By Pansy. i6mo. Illustrated.... 1 85 

A story of rare interest and value to all interested in Sabbath- 
school work. 



CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE. xzmo. 



a 00 



TROPHIES OF SONG. Rev. W. F. CrafU. i6mo x *$ 

A rich storehouse of articles and incidents illustrating hymns, 
and the power and ministry of sacred music. The hymns re- 
ferred to in this volume may be found in a small book entitled 
Historic Hymns. 

SONG VICTORIES of Bliss and Sankey Hymns. Illustrated. 

Boards 50 

Cloth . ( 75 

A few words, as to the history of a hymn about to be sung 
gives it fresh interest and power. 

HISTORY OF THE JEWISH NATION (A). By E. K. 
Palmer. Revised and edited by S. F. Smith, D.D. Fully 
illustrated. 8vo 1 35 



SUNDAY-SCHOOL HELPS. 

(Continued.*) 

SMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY. New edition, with adtfi- 
tional matter referring to recent discoveries in Palestine, to 
which is added a complete History op thb Jewish Nation^ 
by E. H. Palmer. Revised and edited by S. F. Smith, 
D.D. Thick 8vo. Cloth 400 

HELP FOR S. S. CONCERTS. By A . P. and M. T. Folsom. 

A choice selection of poems, xamo * 00 

THE STANDARD SUNDAY-SCHOOL RECORD, con- 
taining a place for recording all the necessary business of a 
Sunday-school. Price x 00 

SUNDAY-SCHOOL LIBRARY RECORD BOOK. Price, x 00 
Larger » x 50 

IMPROVED SUNDAY-SCHOOL CLASS BOOK, for at- 
tendance, contributions, book No., etc. Per dozen 75 

NOTES. 'fyC.H.M. Genesis, $1. Exodus, $1. Leviticus, $1. 

Numbers, $1. The set of 4 Vols, sent postpaid for 3 50 

Mr. D. L. Moody says : " They have been to me a very key to 
the Scriptures." 

GRAGE AND TRUTH, under twelve different aspects. By 

IV. P. MacKay, A. M. 7th edition. i2mo. 272 pages. 

Paper 50 

Cloth x 00 

COMMENTARY ON THE INTERNATIONAL SAB- 
BATH SCHOOL LESSONS FOR 1878. By Rev. J. E. 
ToddnaAM. B. Riddle, D. D x 2$ 

SELECT NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL S. S. 

LESSONS FOR 1878. By Rev. F.N.vcAM.A. Peloubet. x 25 

THE HAPPY YEAR. An Almanac, Diary, and Daily Food 
combined, with readings for each month selected by Miss M. B. 
Lyman. A neat pocket volume, in leatherette binding 15 

A great variety of MAPS OF PALESTINE. Among the latest 

and most desirable are HOBART'S OLD TESTAMENT 

MAPS. Cloth x 50 

Mounted a 00 

INTERNATIONAL S. S.MAPS, A& B, each, Cloth 2 00 

Mounted ...» 3 00 

A Full Line of QUESTION BOOK^f COMMENTARIES, MUS C 
BOOKS, and other requisites for the Sunday-school. 



i 



CURRENT RELIGIO US BOOKS. 

CONCESSIONS OF "LIBERALISTS" TO ORTHODOXY. 

By Daniel Dorchester, D. D. i6mo. . z 25 

AT EVENTIDE. By Nehemiah Adams, D. D. xamo. z 25 

THE SEVEN WORDS FROM THE CROSS. By Rev. 
Wm. H. Adams, Pastpr of the Circular Church, Charleston, 
S. C. x2mo.... 1.00 

Meditations on the Last Sayings of Christ abounding in 
" beautiful fancies, sweet sentiments and pathetic touches." 

CONFESSIONS OF AUGUSTINE (The). Edited with an 

Introduction by Prof . Wm. T. Shedd. nmo 150 

UNERRING GUIDE (The). By Rev. H. V. Dexter, D. D. 9 

Extra Cloth.. 1 50 

Morocco, gilt — 850 

This book is composed of selections from the Bible arranged 
according to subjects. It may be used for reference, for private 
or family devotions, for Bible Readings and Prayer Meetings, 
and is particularly useful for Ministers in furnishing ready 
material for Sermons, Lectures, &c. 

NINETY AND NINE (The). By Elizabeth C. CU phone. 
Quarto. Gilt edges % 00 

MIND AND WORDS OF JESUS AND FAITHFUL 
PROMISER. Ay Rev. y. R. AfacDuff. Complete in one 

volume, good type, in neat cloth binding 50 

Red-line edition • z 50 

MORNING AND NIGHT WATCHES. By Rev. J. R. M> 
Duff. Uniform with the above, at same prices. 

ROCK OF AGES. By S. F. Smith, D.D. New Edition; Re- 
duced price 1 00 

Red-line edition, reduced price z 50 

GRACE AND TRUTH. By W. P. MacKay,A.Hl. ramo. 

Paper 50 

Cloth z 00 

12 A^ E?v PLE ' \ Sermons by D. L. Moody. Each, Paper z 00 

OK£Al JOY. 



,E.} 
5. ) 



GLAD TIDINGS. ) Each, Cloth 150 

DAILY MANNA, for Christian Pilgrims. By", Rev. Baron 

Stow, D.D. 241110, plain 25 

Fullgilt... 40 

zomo, red line z 00 

MEMORIAL HOUR (The); or, The Lord's Supper in its Re- 
lation to Doctrine and Life. By yeremiah Chaplin, D. D. f 
author of " Evening of Life," &c. Large zomo. z 35 

STILL HOUR; or, Communion with God. By Prof. Austin 

Phelps, D.D. New Edition. Plain 60 

Tinted paper, gilt edged z 00 

More than 100,000 copies fefeve been sold, and we know of no 
other work of the kind having so constant a sale, or receiving 
such high commendations. 



Two new Books just ready. The most popular Children's 

Books of the Season, 
1st. 

SUNSHINE FOR BABY-LAND. 

By LAURIE LORING. 

Large print. > Charming stories. Quarto. More than xoo large illustrations, 

heavier, on better paper, and more elegantly printed than any 

book ever before issued at $1.95. 

2d. 

WIDE AWAKE PLEASURE BOOK. 

By thb best American Authors. 

On the finest paper. Numerous full-page illustrations. Page a little larger 

than M Chatterbox." About 400 pages, choicely printed at the 

University Press. Elegantly black and gold back 

die, chromo side. Price, $1.50. 

Six new and beautiful large Print Picture Books, 

Just Ready. In Beautiful Bindings. 

Illustrated Primer. I Book of Animals. 

JSasy Reading. I Book of Birds. 

Birds and Fishes. | Book of Natural History, 

Price, 40 cts. each. 



Six handsome new Story Books for the Little Folks. 

My Pet. I Falsely Acused. I A Brave Boy. 
The Plot. I Bohie Grey. | Little Gretchen. 

Only 95 cts. each. 



Four very elegant large Print Picture Books. 

Large Page, with colored Frontispiece. 

The Christmas Visit. I Somebody's Darlings. 
A Queer Carriage. | Our Bertie. 

75 ets. each. 



Two elegant and very choice Picture Books. 

Eighty-tight Full-plage Illustrations in each Book. 
The Holiday Album for Boys. 
The Holiday Album for Girls. 

Price, $1.00 each. 



CHILDREN'S PICTURE-BOOK, 

' Price, $1.50, 

I NEW EDITION of this book is now ready. The demand 
great for it during the Holidays last season, that orders for thou 
sands of copies could not be filled.