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S^£^ <lX /$$~'
AUTHOR OF "THREE PEOPLE," "ESTER RIED,"
"JULIA RIED," "WISE AND OTHERWISE,"
" HOUSEHOLD PUZZLES," ETC.
vVESTERN TRACT SOCIETY,
Copyright by D. Lothrop & Co. 1875.
/J - ~ 7 - 9 3
"SEEPINS" . . . . . 7
GOING TO CHURCH . . . • . . 20
£ CHAPTER III.
"MAKING BELIEVE .... 30
^ • CHAPTER IV.
"? REAL THINGS 43
* CHAPTER V.
SHOWERS AND SUNSHINE ... 54
GOING SHOPPING 79
CHURCH GOING . . . . . IO4
QUIET TALKS 1 33
gracie's letter 152
THE PARTY 164
QUEER IDEAS igO
gracie's applications . . . 204
gracie's bible stories . . . 217
SONGS AND SERMONS .... 270
MINIE'S WISDOM 280
MINIE'S CONFLICT 289
THE QUESTION SETTLED . , . 302
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
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
Then I : " Oh, mother, how can you think so ?
They're exactly like her papa's."
Then Auntie Julia : " Oh, nonsense 1 They
are not like anybody's eyes that ever / saw
Then mamma: "They are very sleepy eyes,
and I want her to have her walk before she
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
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 :
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
" 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
" She is. She has cheated me once, but it is
real this time."
" She isn't. There is a roguish pucker to her
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
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
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
"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
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."
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
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
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
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
" 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
" I thought she would go and make you a
call," said grandma. " She looked it out of her
" 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
" I didn't speak a word, not a word at all, did
"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
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
" 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
" 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
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
" Why, auntie, you are putting on my travel-
"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*
"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
" Fall where ? " asked our astonished little
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
Auntie nodded, and then Minie clapped her
bits of hands together and said :
"Oh! Why, won't that be ever so nice?'
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
" Little woman, did you ever hear of an old
saying with five words in it : ' Handsome is that
" How does that mean, grandpa ? " the little
woman asked, tilting her head on one side like a
"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
" 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
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
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
" 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
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
" 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-
" 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
" 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
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
" 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.
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
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
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
" 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
"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
" 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
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
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
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
" 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
"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
" 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."
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-
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
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."
" 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
"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
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
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
" 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
"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
" 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
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
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
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
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
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
" 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
" 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 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,
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
" 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
Luckless sentence! But for that the young
lady might not have thought of her next bit of
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
" 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-
" 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
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
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
"Why don't you shut the door? Grandma
j6 . Grandpa's Darlings.
said shut me up, and you have left the door wide
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
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
" 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
" 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.
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
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
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
" 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
" 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
"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
"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
"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
" 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
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.
" 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
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 :
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-
" With whom have you left the small lady ? " I
" 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
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
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
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
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-
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
" Did you notice how . she was wrapped ? "
mamma asked, a faint smile of pride on her pale
"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
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
" 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
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
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
Meantime, what might not have happened up
" 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
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,
She looked at me with troubled eyes.
" Auntie Belle, do they break them ? " she said,
f02 Grandpds Darlings.
" Yes, my dear little mousie, they do\ dread-
" 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
" 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 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
" 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
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
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
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
"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-
" 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
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
" She will have a hard life of it, I'm afraid," he
said, "if she has so much trouble about a
" 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
" Why, I don't know, grandpa ; but I suppose
he bought her of a man, just as Auntie Hosmer
"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-
" He made kitty, too," said grandpa, in gentle
" 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
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
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
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."
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,
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,
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
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
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
" 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
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
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
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
"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
" 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
Is my mamma invited ? " she asked, gravely.
" 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 ? "
" 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
Presently the door-bell rang, and Miss Susie
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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 ?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 :
" 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
" 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.
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
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
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.
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
"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
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."
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
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
" 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 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
" 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
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
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
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
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
" 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
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
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
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
" 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
last every pretty" little garment was laid carefully
away, and mamma said :
"Now my little girl is all ready for her even-
" 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
" 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
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
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
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.
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
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
"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
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
"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
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
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
" 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
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 ? "
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
" 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
Grade's Applications. 205
and bring the scissors, Grade's hand is all in a
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
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
" 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
" 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
" 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
Then his little granddaughter had an aston-
" 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
" 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.
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
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
" 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
"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
" 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
"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.
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
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
"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
" 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 :
" 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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
" May I have Grace ? " she said, and every note
of her fresh, crisp voice said to us that she was
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
" 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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
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.
"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
" 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.
"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
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
" 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 :
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
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
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
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
that Jesus gave for our copy has ' Thy will be
done* in it, and they say, 'I will have it any-
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
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
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
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
" 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.
" 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
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
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
" 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
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
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
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
" 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
"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
" 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.
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.
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.
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
"Why don't you take pen and ink?" I sug-
"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
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."
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
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
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
"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
Someway this thought seemed to give her
" 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
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
" 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-
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
" 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-
" 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.
" 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
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 ? "
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
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.
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
" 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
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
"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
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
" 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
And I think the papa's heart was satisfied.
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
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.
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
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
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
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-
"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
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.
— « •»
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
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 :
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.
* Sugar Plums, Miss Ella Farman. Price $1.00. Boston }
D. Lothrop & Co.
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
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
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
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
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. —
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.
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
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
ESTER RIED .
THE KING'S DAUGHTER
WISE AND OTHERWISE .
CUNNING WORKMEN .
JESSIE WELLS .
DOCIA'S JOURNAL .
BERNIE'S WHITE CHICKEN
A CHRISTMAS TIME
. JhJy ransy
. 1 50
. 1 50
. 1 50
. 1 5°
. 1 5°
. 1 25
• ft *
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.
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-
CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE. xzmo.
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
SONG VICTORIES of Bliss and Sankey Hymns. Illustrated.
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
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, $1. The set of 4 Vols, sent postpaid for 3 50
Mr. D. L. Moody says : " They have been to me a very key to
GRAGE AND TRUTH, under twelve different aspects. By
IV. P. MacKay, A. M. 7th edition. i2mo. 272 pages.
Cloth x 00
COMMENTARY ON THE INTERNATIONAL SAB-
BATH SCHOOL LESSONS FOR 1878. By Rev. J. E.
ToddnaAM. B. Riddle, D. D x 2$
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
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A great variety of MAPS OF PALESTINE. Among the latest
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MAPS. Cloth x 50
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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.
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S. C. x2mo.... 1.00
Meditations on the Last Sayings of Christ abounding in
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CONFESSIONS OF AUGUSTINE (The). Edited with an
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UNERRING GUIDE (The). By Rev. H. V. Dexter, D. D. 9
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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,
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NINETY AND NINE (The). By Elizabeth C. CU phone.
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MIND AND WORDS OF JESUS AND FAITHFUL
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Two new Books just ready. The most popular Children's
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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.
WIDE AWAKE PLEASURE BOOK.
By thb best American Authors.
On the finest paper. Numerous full-page illustrations. Page a little larger
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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.
' 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.