"Armed with the pitchfork, Teddy march e d valiantly to the combat, followed at a safe distance by Mill i e. "--PAGE 17.
JoLLY Goon TIMES; 01'1., on a jfatm. Bv P. THORNE. BOSTON: LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.
Copyright, 1875, 1903, BY MARY P. WELLS SMITH. 8, J. PARKHILL & CO., BOSTON, 0, S, ..\
01' THADDEUS COLEMAN WELLS, '1'RIS LlTl'LB BOOK 18
CONTENTS. ..... L SPRING's A-cOMING!, . . 9 n. THE SAP HousE 23 m. A RAINY DAY . . 37 IV. THE FRESHET 58 v wORK .AND PLAy 64 VI. D1scnvERIN G .AN IsLAND 81 vn. SUNDAY 98 vm. STRA WBERRYING ON THE MoUNTAIN 114 IX. MAKING fuy 131 x. A FUNERAL 151 XI AN ExcuRSIOK 165 XII. CATTLE SHOW 189 xm. FALL WORX. . . 205 XIV. HusKING 220 XV. "HY SPY" 237 XVL THANJtl!GIVDrG . . .2fi5
JOLLY GOOD TIMES; o:a, CHILD-LIFE ON A F AID1. =t: I I . "SPRING'S A-COMING." TEDDY and Millicent were out under the wood-bouse, cracking butternuts. As Mr. Kendall's house stood on a slight eleva tion, the ground sloped away behind it so rapidly that quite a space was left under the wood-bouse. Here the wagons and the grind stone were kept, and here the children often played in winter. This morning the sun shone warmly in on them, the drip, drip, of the eaves pattered cheerfully down, and there was a hopeful, spring-like feeling in the air. "I'll tell you what's let's do," said Teddy. "Let's pick out a whole lot of meats and give 1
10 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. 'em to grandma for a birthday present. Her birthday comes next week." "Well," assented Millie. We can hide 'em somewhere, and I'll make a nice bag to put 'em in Then we can surprise her. Now don't you go and tell her beforehand, Teddy." "You don't 'spose I'd be so mean as to go and tell, do you? "Well, you know you always do tell grandma every thing." As Millie "hated" to sew, and always shirked, if possible, her daily stint of patch work, the offer of the bag was a self-sacrifice grandma would fully appreciate. Presently Teddy found an obstinate nut that would not crack. He lost his temper, an acci dent that happened to Teddy tolerably often. His round face grew red under the freckles. "I'll see if I can't crack you," he said, with emphasis. There I And, setting his teeth together, h e brought the hammer downwhack I on his thumb! "Ow," roared Teddy, throwing the hammer
CHILD-liFE ON A F.A.RM. 11 half-way down to the corn-house, and wringing his thumb. "It's that old hammer! I never saw such a mean hammer!" Never mind, Teddy," said Millie; I'll crack till your thumb feels better," and she began cracking, or, rather, smashing the nuts, while Teddy went off with an injured air and sat down on a pile of board s, h o ldin g hi s thumb. But Teddy's temper-fit s never lasted long. Pretty soon he began to laugh. Look, Millie," he said; see the old roo s ter fool the hens." South of the corn-house was a large patch of bare ground. The old rooster stalked around on it with an important air, tempered by a touch of old-school politeness. Occa sionally, he affe c t e d to find a choice morsel of something, calling "cut, cut," to the hens, who came running from all quarters with a funny, headlong sort of waddle, to find-nothing at all "I shouldn't think the hens would believ e in him any more," said Millie.
12 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Oh, they will. They're just so silly." "Perhaps he only means he's glad spring's a-coming," suggested Millie, anxious to excuse the seeming deceitfulnes s of the old rooster. "I'm glad, ain't yon, Teddy? " Y es-sir-e-e, I bet I am. We can have t:luch fun playing out in the lots And I heard father tell Aaron this morning we must be making maple-sugar soon, if this weather held. I wish it was time now." Just here Ralph sauntered up, hands in his pockets, cap pushed back on his head, whistling slowly Yankee Doodl e '' I'm going to set the old gray hen," he said. "Come, Millie, you run into the house and get some eggs. I'm tired." What are you tired for ? asked Millie, suspiciously. Ralph was rather apt to be "tired" or "busy" when any errands were to be done. "I've b een way up in the north lot with Aaron, and the snow slumps so, it's awful hard walking. Aaron says he guesses he shall tap
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 13 the trees t o -morrow. The sap would run like e very thi n g to-day." "Oh, g oody!" cried Teddy and Millie, breaking out on the spot into a sort of wild Indian war-d a nce, expressiv e of rapture. Come, Milli e ," continu e d Ralph, run along and get the eggs. Mind you don't fall down and s mash 'em all, or come hippity-hop ping along, and shake 'em up so they won't hatch; you always get so excited." R alph never gave way to excitement him self, and of course wondered any one else could be so fooli s h. Whe n Millie returned with the eggs, they all s tarte d in s i ng le file along the narrow, foottra mpl e d pat h l eading to the barn. I t don't see m as if these eggs would make chic ke ns, do e s it ? said Millie. I suppose the yolk s m ake the bodies, and the whites the feathers." "I should think they'd all be white chickens, then," said matter-of-fact Teddy. "And where do their legs come from ?
JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "Oh, they just grow, you know The barn-yard gate fastened with a peg that went through a hole into the post. As they passt:d through, Ralph said,"Now, Millie, you fasten the gate, I've got these eggs." "Let Teddy, Ralph." "He's too short, he can't reach." "Well, then, you wait for me; and Millie, climbing up on the bars, and twining round the post, managed to get the peg in. Looking round, she saw the boys half way across the yard, and several of the cattle coming up to inspect their visitor. Wait! boys, wait for me! she cried; and tumbling hurriedly down from the bars, rip went her dress. "Oh, dear! she said, "there go my gathers again! And away she ran across the yard, splashing through the puddles in her hurry to overtake the boys, who were already in on the barn-floor. The floor ran straight through the barn, with
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 15 a big door at each end. .Bays for the hay were on each side of it; bey()nd them, stables for the cattle and horses. High up in each gable was a heart-shaped hole, through which a ray of sunlight streamed in, full of dancing motes that looked like golden dust. Last summer the hay mows were so high that the children had looked out of these very windows. Now the mows were low down. Kate, the old horse, and Tom, the colt, stuck their noses out over the manger, and whinnied affectionately to the children. "No apples for you to-day, old boy," said Ralph, stroking Tom's nose. While Ralph was installing the gray hen on a nest full of eggs, Teddy said," Come, Millie, let's hunt for eggs. Aunt Olive says she'll bake a little cake Saturday for the one that finds the most eggs this week." They climbed up, by some wooden pegs in a beam, on the scaffolding over the horse manger. It was pretty hard work for Teddy's short, fat legs; but when Millie offered him her hand, he said, with lofty scorn,-
16 JOLLY GOOD T1MES. "I can get up myself. I guess I can do any thing a girl cant and tugged away manfully till he struggled up on top, and nearly rolled down into the horse-manger below before he could regain his balance. Teddy struck for the west hay-mow, while Millie prowled off into a dark corner over the cattle-stalls. Here she discovered a deep crevice between the hay and side of the barn. Lying down flat on the hay, and peering over, she thought she could see a black object low down in the hole. I do believe the old black hen has stolen a nest here," she thought. Thrusting her arm over in, suddenly she touched, not feathers, but fur. At the same time two green, glassy eyes glared up at her from the darkness. Screaming, she started to run, but catching her toe in the rough boards, she fell at full length. "What's the matter?" cried Teddy, running down from the west mow with his hat full of eggs. ('I don't know-something awful-a wild
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. li animal, I guess -up in the corner l gasped Millie. "Wait till I get the pitchfork, and I'll kill him l shouted Teddy. Armed with the pitchfork, Teddy marched valiantly to the combat, followed at a safe dis tance by Millie. on, Millie," shouted Teddy, going somewhat slower himself as he neared the dan gerous corner. "What are you 'fraid of? "Don't go so near, Teddy l He looked awful fierce t" "I'll just poke the hay a little, and make him come out." Teddy stood off, holding the pitchfork at arm's length, pronging the hay. A rustling noise was heard. "He's coming l Run, Teddy, runt cded Millie, setting the example. She heard Teddy roaring with laughter, and, looking back, saw Blackie, the amiable old family cat, looking down from the hay in meek surprise at all tl;ds uproar
18 JOLLY GOOD TiMES. "How fierce 'he' looks! -hey, Millie?" "Well, I don't care; you jus t ought to have s e en h e r eyes. 0 Teddy, she must have some kittens in there! Pulling away the hay from the old eat's cun ning cubby-hole, sure enough there were four tiny kittens. Their eyes were not open yet, a nd their little pointed tails stood up straight in the air. They cr a wled and tumbled around over each other in the most reckless fashion. What little beauties I You think so, too, dou't you, Blackie? Blackie purred loudly, rubbed up against Teddy aff e ctionately, and then fell to licking her kittens so ardently as to tumble them over worse than ever. "This is mine," said Teddy, picking up a Maltese kitten with a white nose and four white feet. '' This is the prettiest, I th ink," said Millie, cuddling in her neck a gray kitten, striped tiger fashion with black. "This is mine. Let's carry 'em all in, and make a bed for 'em in the wood ..
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 19 house. You take Blackie and I'll carry the kittens in my apron "What shall we do with the eggs? "Oh, we can put them in our pockets." After the y had scrambled down the beam with their load of eggs and kittens, Millie said,"I' ll t e ll you some splendid names for our kittens. Don't you remember that old pin Aunt Olive showed us once, when she was looking over her box? " The one with a log cabin and a cider-barrel on it?" Yes; and it said, Tippecanoe and Tyler too.' Let's call 'em that. Then we can cal! 'em Tip and Ty for short. Tippecanoe and Tylertool Don't it sound just like poetry?" And, shouting Tippecanoe and Tylertoo," they scampered off for the house, and burst into the kitchen all out of breath. 0 mother, what do you think?" Blackie's got four kittens! " Yes, and Millie thought she was a wild animal!"
20 '.JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Their names are Tippecanoe and Tyler .. too." "And I got a pitchfork and went to kill him." "Mine's striped like a tiger." Mine's got white stockings on I "We found lots of eggs, Aunt Olive." "Can't we have an old blanket, mother, tc make 'em a bed?" "Mercy sakes I exclaimed grandmother, who was peacefully knitting in the comer when this tornado burst upon the kitchen. 4 What crazy children! " Children, children, not so loud," said Mrs. Kendall. Yes, they are very pretty. Aunt Oli ve will get you something for a bed, I guess. But, dear me, Millie, where have you been? Just look at your shoes and those clean stockings all spattered with mud, and you've torn your dress again. I never saw such a careless girl!" "I couldn't help it, mother. I didn't mear. to. The boys went off and left me, and -
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 21 Where are my eggs ? asked Aunt Olive. "Oh, I forgot. They're in our pockets. Ob dear, here's one gone and broke itself," and Millie, with a rueful countenance, pulled h e r dripping, yellow pocket inside out. "Millicent! how could you do such a care less thing "I didn't think." A girl that never thinks must be made to think. Go into my room and stay this after noon. By and by I will show you how to mend your dress. You must mend your dresses yourself, you tear them so often." Millie went tearfully towards the bedroom ; while Teddy, his round face looking quite solemn with sympathy, made haste to pick up the straggling kittens and retreat to the wood house. Late in the afternoon Teddy went in to see Millie in her imprisonment. "I never knew such a long afternoon," said Millie. "It seems like a year. What havE' you been doing, Teddy?"
70LLY GOOD TIMES. Me and Aaron and Ralph got down the sap buckets" There I knew I should lose some fun! "And washed 'em all out. Then we went over to the pasture and cut a lot of sumach sticks for spouts. We split 'em, and got the piths out, and sharpened one end, so they're all ready to go into the trees to-morrow. I made three. I cut my finger, too, like every thing ; and Teddy showed the lame finger, done up in a tallowed rag by grandma. I wish I were a boy! sighed Millie, envi ously. "Boys don't have to sew." You are most as good as a boy. You can whistle and climb trees fust rate, for a girl. Ralph said so. But come out doors now. Mother says you may. I'm going to play cars with my sled, and I want you for the passengers."
n THE SAP HOUSE. THE sap house was a most fascinating place to the children, especially in the ev e ning Half its charm lay in its rudeness. It was simply boarded up, unplastered, with many cracks and chinks through which the wind whistled in wild, wailing notes that made the warm, bright interior seem only the cosier. Its floor was the earth itself, strewn with chips and butternut shells. In one corner were piled big sticks of wood to feed the fire under the arch. On the beam above the wood pile stood a pitcher of cider. The sap boiled and bubbled in the pans, and sent fragrant clouds of steam rolling up among the brown, age-discolored rafters. "Oh, isn't it nice down here," said Millie, one evening when the children were all there,
24 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. helping Aaron boil sap. "It's a great deal pleasanter than our house. I should like to live here all the time." The only light was the fire under the arch, whic h sent a warm glow out on Aaron tipped back in a rush-bottomed chair, and the children perche d in front of it on sticks of wood. But in the corners, and up among the rafters, where the fire-light did not shine, all was dark and mysterious. It seems like camping out, -like pirates," suggested Ralph, whose literary tastes were decidedly blood-thirsty. ''I wish I were a pirate." "I'd rathe r be an Indian," said T eddy It must have been jolly to be an Indian." Why, Teddy Kendall exclaimed Millie, "you ought to be ashamed of yourself Indians were awful. I wouldn't be one, not even Pocahontas. Just think what dreadful things they used to do." Well, I don't care; I bet they had good times themselves, any way."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 25 "Only suppose now that we were settlers, and this was our house, and it was all woods round here. Some night we might be sitting round our fire just like this, and we should look round and see eyes looking at us through the cracks." Here Millie cast a fearful look over her shoulder at the black cracks in the wall. "Then a lot of Indians would come whooping in and scalp us all. Boo-oo-o," shud dered Millie, how awful it would be! It scares me to think of it." "Ho, I shouldn't care," said Teddy. "I'd! kill 'em." "Men wouldn't be afraid, of course," said Ralph. They'd go out and fight, and drive 'em off." "Somethin' like Millie's story did really happen once, not fur from here," said Aaron. ''You've hearn me tell of my Uncle As a? " Oh, yes! said the children, all on the alert; for Uncle As a had been an early settler and Indian fighter, and when Aaron brought 2
26 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. out Uncle A sa, they knew something interest ing was coming. Good! Now Aaron is going to tell us a story," said Millie, wriggling around so excit edly that she tumbled off her stick of wood to the ground. '' Well, then," said Ralph, you keep still, and give him a chance." "Wa'al," began Aaron, deliberately, tipping back still farther in his chair, "you see Uncle Ase, as folks called him, was sparkin' Rhody Fox. The Foxes lived over on wha.t your father calls the Fox lot." "Where that old cellar-hole is? ''Yes, that's where their house stood. After old Mr. Fox died, the boys sold out and went West, and your father bought the home lot. Wa'al, as I was sayin', Uncle Ase was sparkin' Rhody,-a haudsum gal, I've hearn tell. One Sunday night, along about this time in the spring, Uncle Asa was up to the Foxes'. He and Rhody were settin' in the front room with out any light. The laat thing they were think
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 27 in' on was Injuns. There hadn't been any round for a good while. They didn't gener .. a1ly cum round much in the winter." ''Why not? " They lived up in Canada, you know, and the snow was so deep in the woods they couldn't git round very easy. But when the snow was gone, then look out for 'em. W a' al, as they sot there talkin', there cum up a thun der-shower. Jest as a bright flash of lightnin' cum, Uncle Ase happened to look towards the winder, and there he see, plain as day, an Injun all crouched over, listenin'." Here the wind shook the door roughly. The children threw side-glances over their shoulders at the dark corners, and instinctively drew up a little nearer Aaron. What did he do then? asked the boys. "What did Rhody do? asked Millie. "Oht he didn't tell Rhody. It was all dark again in a minit. Uncle Ase thought there was a lot of 'em, of course. One Injun gen .. erally means more. He slipped out to go up
28 JOLLY GOOD TIM liS. stairs, and call two soldiers that were stayin' at the Foxes'. You see these towns along the Connecticut River were frontier settlements then, and men used to be sent up from Con necticut to help defend the settlers. These men used to work on the land; but what they were here for was to help fight Injuns. As Uncle Ase stepped out, there cum another flash, and Rhody see the Injun. She giv a big screech, and the Injun run." "How mean I Didn't they catch him? "No; that was the last they ever see of him. 1 He put for the woods; and you might as well look for a needle in a haymow as for an Injun in the woods, when he'd once got the start of you." ''That's just like a girl, to go and scream and spoil it all," observed Ralph, with a supe rior air. "If she'd only kept still, Uncle Ase would have killed him." "Tell us another Indian story, Aaron," said Teddy,-" a real good one, with lots of fight ing in it."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 29 W a' al, let me see. Did I ever tell .You about what happened over to 'the Bars,' in Deerfield? "No matter if you did; we'd like to hear it again." "Up between North Adams and Williams lown used to be in them days Fort Massach U setts, one of the northernmost forts there was then. It was a mighty poor place for a fort, -down in a hollow, among all them moun tains, where the Injuns could look right down into the fort, and see jest what was goin' vn. Sargent John Hawks was in command of the fort. The ammunition was runnin' low, and the settlers began to be su:;picious of Injuns around. So Sargent Hawks sent a party of men off through the woods to for ammunition. When them men went along, there was a party of fifty Inj uns not fur from the fort, hid in the woods, so near the trail they could have touched 'em with their guns." ''Why didn't the Injuns :fire on 'em?" '' Oh I they meant to wait till these men go1
80 70LLY GOOD TIMES. away, and then take the fort. If they fired then, the fort would be alarmed ; and, besides, some of the men might escape to Deerfield, an
ON A FARM. 81 girl about your age, Millie, Eunice Allen, was knocked down by a tomahawk, and her skull fractured; but, in their hurry, they left her unscalped. They left her for dead; but she got well, and lived to a good old age. Her little brother, Samuel, the Injuns canied off to Canady. Uncle Ase has often hearn him tell about it. Two Injuns took him between 'em by the arms, and run so fast with him that his feet didn't touch the ground. He lived up there with the Injuns about eighteen months. But he liked the Injun life so well that, when his uncle went up there after him, he tended not to know him, wouldn't talk English, and finally they had to carry him off by main force. He lived in Deerfield to be an old man; but he always said the Injun way of livin' was the happiest." There, Millie, said Teddy triumphantly, didn't I tell you so? " Why didn't the men fight and kill the Indians ? asked Ralph. They did fight, but they were took by Rur
S2 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. prise, you know, and the Injuns outnumbered 'em, too." ""What happened next ? " The young folks over in D ee rfield Street were goin' to have a rid e The horses were all saddled, and standin' tied in front of the hou ses." '' Saddled l You mean harnessed, don't you AaNn?" "No. In those days they didn't have car riages, because there warn't any roads. They had to go on horseback, in narrow bridle-paths through the woods. The young men were go in' to take the girls behind 'em, on pillions. Wa'al, as I was sayin', the minit the fust gun was fired over to the Bars, they heerd it in Deerfield Street, and knew at once what was the matter. The young meri jumped on their horses, and jest run them over there. One young feller run his horse so hard, he killed it. The General Court give him an other. He was fust on the ground, and haC! two shots at the Iujuns. They starte d whe n they see him."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. S3 ' I shouldn't think they would run for onE" man!" They knew, of course, there was plenty more behind him." "Did he kill any of the Injuns? "I dun 'no. Folks thought some of 'em were killed, but the Injuns always carried off their dead, if possible, so no one ever knew for sartain. A party started in pursoot of the Injuns as soon as they could git off, but they never overtook 'em. Injuns was spry critters, and sly. The only sign they ever see of 'em was up in 'Patten,' in Shelburne. There they found a moccasin track in some fresh earth dug out of a woodchuck's hole. On this pursoot the Deerfield folks first found out that Fort Massachusetts was took. When they got up onto Hoosac Mountain, they looked down, and see the fields near the fort all white. Then they knew there was trouble." ''What made 'em white? " The Injuns had ripped up the feather-beds. But, land's sakes, childre n! it's time you were
34 JOLLY GOOD TIME!,. abed," exclaimed Aaron, consulting his big silver watch. "Your mother '11 be after me, if I let you stay down here so late." "I'm 'fraid," said Millie, peeping furtively JUt of the door. "It's awful dark out. You go up to the house with us, won't you, Aaron? " Pshaw., Millie, come along I said Ralph, starting forth with the traditional boldness of the lion. There ain't any Injuns round here now, is there, Aaron ? "asked Teddy, like Millie somewhat doubtful about striking out into the darkness after Aaron's stories. "No, of course not. Come, run along. I'll leave the door open till you git to the corner.'' The open door threw a track of bright light out on the snow, almost to the corner of the house. Millie and Teddy started on a run, hand-in-hand. Meantime, up at the house, Mrs. Kendall had been wondering why the children stayed so late. "Aaron ought not to let them stay down
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 36 there so," she said. ''It's almost nine o'clock. Father, I guess you'll have to go for them." "Eh! What ? exclaimed Mr. Kendall, waking up with a start from the tired nap he had fallen into over the newspaper. Mercy on us cried grandma, who had also been nodding in the corner over her knit ting-work. "What's that?" A clattering and banging was heard in the kitchen. The sittingroom door burst open, and Teddy tumbled head first into the room, and Millie over him, both pale with fright, their eyes literally standing ont of their heads, and screaming at the top of their voices. What is the matter ? cried every one, jumping up. The Indians! The Indians! cried the children. "0 father, don't let 'em get us! and Millie seized hold of her father's coat. What do they mean ? asked Mrs. Ken dall, in utter perplexity. "Hush, my dears; there are no Indians here." Ralph now appeared on the scene, laughing, and much pleased
36 '.JOLLY GOOD TIMES. What is the meaning of all this, Ralph?'' a s ked Mr. Kendall. 'Why, nothing much. Aaron's been tell i n g u s Indian stories, and I came on ahead, a nd put a buffalo robe over me, and hid round the c orner, just to give Teddy and Millie a li f.tle scare when they came along. You ought t o have seen 'em, when I jumped out and boo-edt Millie hopped a foot right up into the air!" Pretty business for a great boy like you t I'm a s hamed of you. Children have been made idiots by just such senseless tricks as this." "I only did it for fun." "Never let me know of any fun of that sort occurring again. Go to bed, sir." Ralph stayed not on the order of his going, but went at once, decidedly crestfallen. It is tM> trying to be unappreciated.
m A RAINY DAY. QNE morning the children rose to find certain ominous clouds of the previous evening fulfilling their threats by a lieavy down-pour of rain. "I never see any thing to beat it," saiC. Aaron, as he came in dripping from the barn setting down the milk-pails to shake himself, dog-fashion. "It rains like a thunder-shower, -one steady pull. I don't believe it's goin' to let up to-day." "It acts like the line-storm," said Mr. dall. The children's faces grew long. "Can't we go out to the barn, mother? No. You and Teddy must amuse your selves in the house to-day." " Rain, rain, go away, And come aiain an<'tb.er daJ,'"
88 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. chanted Teddy, lying across a wooden chair, and seeing how high he could kick up his heels in that position. I think it's real mean, any way! grumbled Millie, her face snarled up in an unbecoming scowl. "Why, Millie! exclaimed her mother, "you don't think what you're saying. Who sends the rain?" God, I s'pose," said Millie, hanging her head, and twisting her apron corner. Then isn't it very wrong to find fault with it? Where would all the flowers you like so much be, and the grass .and grain and fruit, if God sent no rain? "I didn't think of that." "Yes, children," said grandma," God knows best. I've lived seventy-eight years in the world, and I've learned it don't do to quarrel with God's ways. He knows best." And grandma sighed, and looked as if she were thinking of something far away. "It's grandma's birthday to-day," whispered Teddy.
CHILIJ-LIFE ON A FARM. 39 "So it is! Bimeby, when she goes into her room, let's give her the surprise. But now let's get the kittens, and have some fun with 'em." The y carried the kittens into the sitting room, old Blackie following, and calmly pro ceeding to make herself immensely comfortable on the forbidden ground of the soft, patchwork cushion to grandma's rocking-chair by the stove. Tip and Ty had grown to be full of comical antics and capers. Ty especially, was of a venturesome and exploring turn of mind whi c h often led him into trouble. Several times he had narrowly escaped drowning in the milk pail, and he was stepped on e nou g h every day to have discouraged an ordinary kitten. "Ty, behave yourself! Ther e now, keep still, sir! Lie down and be good," said Milli e pulling Ty off her shoulder, where he had managed to climb, and putting him on the floor, where he began chasin g his tail round and ronnel
40 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "I never saw such a cat! He's an awful 'sponsibility," observed Millie, with a grownup air. Tip's the good est cat, -ain't you, Tip? said Teddy. Tip, a fat, round kitten, who loved to be comfortable, and was now snugly curled up in Teddy's lap, purred a loud assent. "I'll tell you what l et's do," suggested Millie. "Let's play Pilgrim's Progress." May I be Mr. Greatheart? "Yes; and I'll be Christiana, and Tip and Ty can be my children This game involved a general overturning of chairs and moving of table s, to make hills and valleys for the pilgrims to travel over, and a deal of tremendous fighting by Mr. Greatheart. By and by Aunt Olive came in, to find a room that looked as if a s izable whirlwind had been let loose in it, Millie nowhere visible, and Teddy, red in the face with his 0 xertions, stoutly pounding thE' lounge pillow with t.he fire-shovel.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 41 "Teddy Kendall! What are you doing? You mustn't do that! exclaimed horrified Aunt Olive. "I'm Mr. Greatheart, and I'm killin' Giant Despair! puffed Teddy, all out of breath. '' Where' s Millie ? "He's got her in his castle. I'm killin' him, so's to get her out." '' Here I am, auntie; and Millie stuck her head out from under the lounge. The kittens imprisoned in Millie's apron did not enter into the game as heartily as could be wished, but were mewing, and trying their best to get away. Come right out," said Aunt Olive, half amused, half vexed. "You mustn't play this any more." '' Oh, dear! what shall we do? It's such. fun! and it rains so we can't go out doors." Help me put the room in order first Then I'm going up garre t to spin, and you can come up there, if you like." Here grandma passed through to her room, and Teddy gave Millie a significant nudge.
42 '70LLY GOOD TIMES. Every day grandma went away, into the stillness of her own room, and sat down to read the Bible. Grandma did not care much now for any book but the Bible. This morning, although the big Bible lay open on the round stand under grandpa's picture, she was not reading it. Birthdays take people back into the years that are gone. So this morning, while the rain dripped down the window-panes, grandma sat reading old let ters, -letters whose pap e r was yellow, whose ink faded, whose creases were worn almost apart. Going back thus into the love s, the hopes, the lo sses of long ago had made grandma feel sad and lonely. But presently she heard in the entry the familiar clatter of certain small, copper-toed shoes. The door opened a little way, and rreddy's tousled, yellow head appeared. "May we come in, grandma? " Yes, certainly, my dears." In burst the children, all excitement over their surprise.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 43 Grandma! here's a birthday present for you I shouted Millie, holding out a calico bag, whose sides stood out with fatness. A present? for me? exclaimed grandma, looking over her spectacles in the most gratifying surprise. "It's butternut meats I "Millie made that bag herself," said with the air of pride becoming one who is joint partner in a great work. "It's a little skewy, and the stitches would be big," said Millie modestly; "but it holds a whole lot, don't it, grandma?" "Well, I never! exclaimed grandma, as much pleased as if the pre sent had been less indigestible. What good children to remem ber grandma's birthday! It's no matter if I can't sec to pick out butternut meats myself when I have such bright young eyes to do it for me. The bag is a very nice one, Millie, and it will always he handy to keep things in; and here grandma actually had to take off her glasses and wipe her eyeR.
4:4 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Teddy and Millie stayed in grandma's room till dinner-time, looking at the pictures !n her Fox's Martyrs, of saints being sawn asunder, burned alive, dragged by wild horses; which pictures never failed to afford them a fearful sort of pleasure. At dinner-time Ralph said the river was rising very fast, and Mr. Kendall said there would be a big freshet if it kept on raining all night. So after dinner Teddy and Millie went up garret to see if this delightful predic tion were likely to be fulfilled. Through the wide meadow that lay below the house ran Green River. In summer it was shrunken in its stony bed to little more than a respectable brook, and crept along drowsily enough, sometimes almost going to sleep in deep, still pools, under the overhanging wil lows. But when the spring rains melted the snow up around its sources on the Vermont hills, it swelled into a fierce torrent, sweeping all before it, and spreading out far and wide over the lowlands.
f..''HILD-LIFE ON A FARM. -4:5 Teddy and Millie stood at the back window of the garret, looking out through the driving ram. "Just look," said Teddy; "the river's even full now, clear up to the banks each side." "And look at the bend. It's coming in there. Oh, I'm so glad I I hope it'll rain all night I" "I hope it'll rain forty days." "Why, Teddy Kendall I You ought to be ashamed I That would make a real flood, like the picture in grandma's Bible. We should all be drowned, and the kittens and hens and every thing." We shouldn't be drowned either. We should all go in the ark. I tell you, wouldn't it be funi" You wouldn't go in the ark, unless you was good." Well, I should be good a purpose, if it rained like that." Aunt Olive was spinning, stepping briskly to and fro, holding the blue roll in one hand,
'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. with the other whirling the big wheel which went swiftly round and round, with a cheerful hum. "I don't see how you do it," said Millie admiringly, as the soft roll twisted into yarn in her aunt's deft fingers. "It looks just as easy when you do it, but when I try, the roll all comes to pieces." "Practice makes perfect," said Aunt Olive, adding another roll. "Come, Millie," said Teddy; "let's hunt up !:lOme things and dress up." In the garret were the accumulated off-casts of many years. Chests of drawers, propped up on three legs, bottomless chairs, cracked mirrors, old pitchers full of odds and ends, ancient garments dangling from the rafters, all lived up here in a sombre world of their owu. The garret had an old, musty smell, and the farther end was too suggestively dark to be quite plea s ant. The children were not fond of going up there alone, but now Aunt Olive's presence gave them the covet e d opportunity to ransack this treasure-house.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARAf. 47 Way down under the eaves, where the raiu pounded on the roof as if it would come through, Millie found an old poke bonnet. The crown peaked up behind, and the front stood up to match, and it was trimmed with large bows of faded green ribbon. Millie's head went out of sight in it. "See what I've found," said Teddy, crawl ing out from behind a barrel in a cobwebby blue coat with brass buttons, that covered him completely, and trailed on the ground behind. He held out a queer-looking felt hat, with a wide flapping brim, that came down on his shoolders when he put it on. "Look, Aunt Olive, see us I" cried the children, dancing forth from behind the chim ney in their odd array. "Why, that's an old cocked hat, Teddy," said Aunt Olive. "Here, let me fix it." Aunt Olive pinned the brim up on three sides, and lo! it was a genuine cocked as 'Millie observed, "just like the one that Wash \ington always crosses the Delaware in, in the
(8 70LLY GOOD TIMES. Here a slow and feeble step was heard on the stairs, and grandma's head appeared above the stairway. "I thought I'd take a look at the freshet,' said grandma. "Why, I never I where did you unearth that bonnet, Millie? I haven't seen it for years. That's the bonnet I wore the first time I ever saw your gTandfather; and grandma looked tenderly at the old poke bonnet. "How awfully you must have looked! " No, I didn't. That bonnet was admired by every one; and all the other girls envied me, I can tell you. It was the first one of the new style ever seen in town. Father bought it for me in Boston, when he went down to sell his produce. It was a handsome bonnet, enough sight prettier and more sensible than the silly, good-for-nothing things the women wear now-a-days," observed grandma, with some warmth. ",Whose hat was this, grandma?" asked Teddy.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM: 49 That must have been your great-uncle Obed's hat. He was in the Revolutionary War, and was so badly wounded in the battle of Bennington that he never got over it. He came home, lingered along a year or so, and then died." Oh, yes! I remember," said Millie. "Don't you know, Teddy, that black stone in the graveyard, tipped over sideways, that says, 'Sacred to ye Memory of Obed Kendall'?" Tell us some more about it, grandma," asked Teddy, looking with respect at the old hat that had been in real battles. Could that round hole be a bullet-hole?" "Well, I don't know's I can. It all hap pened long before my day. Obed was a grown-up man when your grandfather was born. Near's I remember, Obed was over in Pittsfield, studying medicine; and he went from there in Parson Allen's company. Whe_n the British left their camp on North River, and stmck over towards Bennington, General Stark sent an officer down to Pittsfield to urge the a
50 70LLY GOOD TIMES. B erks hire men to come up and help him. This officer address e d Parson Allen's congregation. T h e n the old parson followed him, speaking with great warmth, telling the people it was their duty to go. One man spoke up," We've no one to lead us.' 'I'll lead you myself,' said the old parson; and he did. He was full of pluck and patriot ism. As the Berkshire men drew near Ben nington, General Stark sent messengers down to tell them to hurry up, as the fight was going pretty hard with him. "'Tell General Stark we're a-coming,' said the old parson, calmly keeping on at the same steady gait; and that was all they could get out of him. "When he came on the battle-field, he halted his men, and sent a summons to the British to surrender. They laughed at it. The old parson led his men in prayer, and then marched 'em right into the thickest of the fight, and their coming turned the battle. So I've heard the story. I don't know's it's all
rHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 51 true; but there was lots of just such men in those days." Grandma soon went downstairs ; and the took another look at the freshet. They found the meadow already turned into an island; and Aunt Oliv-e said it would be wholly covered by morning. "Now, let's play stage-coach," proposed Teddy. The loom for weaving rag-carpets made a capital stage-coach. Teddy, in the trailing brown coat and cocked hat, sat up on the seat, and was the driver, while Millie and Eva Isa bella went inside as passengers. Eva Isabella was Millie's doll. She wap made of rags. Her head was broad and flat, and on the back of it black wool was sewed for hair. There was considerable sameness to her expression, and her arms stood out straight each side. In fact, she was too often dropped on the floor, left out-doors in the wet grass all night, and otherwise maltreated, to have pre served any original beauty she might have
52 70LLY GOOD TIMES. had. Millie was especially fond of her, how ever, chiefly because there was no possibility of hurting her in any of the many parts Eva Isabella was called upon to enact. The children played stage-'coach with great pleasure, until suddenly they noticed Aunt Olive had stopped spinning and gone down stairs. It was growing dark and mysterious in the corners of the garret, and the black clothes swaying from the rafters looked un commonly like people hanging up there, people who might possibly take a fancy to come down and walk around a bit for a change. "Eva Isabella's hungry," said Millie. "I guess it's 'most tea-time." "I guess so, too. Wait for me, Millie," cried Teddy, hopping down from his high seat, and struggling to get out of the brown coat, while Millie was already half-way downstairs.
IV. THE FRESHET. JN the morning the meadow was oue wide lake of muddy water from the foot of the hill to the wooded heights across the nver. It was really a grand sight, especially to chil dren who had never seen any body of water larger than the mill-pond. After breakfast, it stopped raining. Aaron was going down to catch drift-wood; and Mrs. Kendall, after some hesitation, consented to let the children go with him, provided he would take good care of them. Out-doors the ground was spongy, soaked full of water; and there was a smell of fresh earth in the air, a hint, as it were, of grass coming, that made Millie draw in long breaths, saying, "How nice and springy it smells out-doors this morning!"
64 'JOLLY t,.'r/OD TIMES. "Yes," said Aaron; "the spring will come right along now fast. This rain has used up the last of the snow." They went down the cart road leading into the meadow, which now ran right into the water at the foot of the hill. Only a fringe of willows standing out of the water showed where the brook and river usually rau. Whirling along in the swift current were cakes of ice, and sticks and logs of all sorts and sizes Aaron had a long pole in his hand "What is that pole for, Aaron?" asked Teddy. "I'm goin' out on the end of that knoll. The main current of the brook runs by that point now, and I calculate to catch a few of them logs. You children must stay here. Ralph may come, though. Perhaps he can help m:: some." 0 Teddy just see that tree cried Millie A large tree, roots and all, floated down b y undermined and torn away from its mountain home, mile s up s tream.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 55 How awful strong the water looks I said Millie. "I shouldn't like to fall into it." If I was a giant, I wouldn't care. I'd wade clear out to them apple-trees." Why, the water's way up to the brancheR You'd be drowned." "I shouldn't if I were a giant, 'cause I should be tall's our meetin'-house steeple." Aaron, meantime, had succeeded in landing several logs with his long pole. Whenever the current brought one near shore, Aaron pulled it in, and Ralph helped him land it. Where do these logs come from, Aaron? asked Ralph. "From somebody's saw-mill up stream some where, I suppose. We may as well have 'em as to let 'em float out to sea. That's where they'd go finally, I reckon, if nobody caught 'em." Aaron rolled four or five logs down into the still water that set back behind the knoll. He contrived to lash them together with a rope, and laid some boards on top. Then he and
JOLLY GOOD TillfES. Ralph got aboard, and pushed along shore with their poles, to where Millie and Teddy etood. Come, children," said Aaron, "hop on, and I'll give you a little ride." "I'm afraid, I don't dare," said Millie. "Don't be such a goose," said Ralph. "Of course Aaron won't go where it isn't safe. I guess he knows." I shall keep right along shore here, where it's still and shallow," said Aaron. "You don't ketch me runnin' any risks on water, not if I know it. I had too big a scare once when I was a boy." Come, Millie, jump on. Just see me," cried Teddy, sitting on the bottom of the raft in great glee. Millie finally consented to embark, and seated herself on the boards close to Teddy, keeping a tight hold of his jacket. She had never been on the water before; and at first the swaying, uncertain poise of the raft, as it floated up and down, filled her with. terror
CHILD-Ll.FE ON A FARM. 57 Every time Aaron bore down as he pushed, th e raft s ank a little on that side, and Millie w a s certain they were all going to the bottom. But soon she became used to this, and began to enjoy the novel sensation of floating on the water as much as did the boys. u I'm going to be a sailor when I grow up," observed Ralph. "So am I," said Teddy. I guess you'll change your minds by that time," said Aaron. "Sailors have a tough life of it." "Why, I'm sure the boys that run away to 3ea in books always have splendid fun, Aaron," said Millie. "Like enough in books. Real life's another thing. I had a cousin go to sea once, and I've hearn him tell things that knocked all the po'try out of goin' to sea." What was that scare you had when you wer e a boy ? asked Ralph. Why, you see the spring after my father moved over into Northfield, there cum one of
58 70LLY GOOD TIMES. the biggest freshets ever known in the Con. necticut River. We lived near the river, and of course I was crazy to be in the midst of the fun. So I went down to the river, with Pete Jones and some other boys. The river was on the rampage, I tell you. It was full of logs, and all sorts o' things from folk's houses. I remember we saw, 'mongst other things, a cradle, and a hencoop, and a dead cow drift down by. Pooty soon what should cum floatin' along but a boat, a regular leetle beauty it was, too, one that some one felt mighty sorry to lose, I reckon. This boat drifted right along close to shore, and finally lodged not fur from us." Sez Pete, sez he, Hooray, boys, here's some fun! Let's git into that boat! "Now Pete was a harum-scarum sort o' feller. Father didn't like to have me go with Pete much, and perhaps that's one reason I always wanted to so bad. He was one of those braggadocio, consequential sort o' chaps, that boys is pooty apt to think are dretful
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 5i:' smart We boys all supposed that what Pet<> didn't know wan't wuth knowin' at all. "I didn't ]ike to have Pete think I was afraid to git into that boat; so I sez, "'Cum on, boys,' and we begun to pile m. "Pete sez, You git in fust, Aaron.' So I did, and then he foll e red. The motion we made gittin' in started it away from shore a leetle. 'Look out, Aaron t She's a-goin' off shouted Pete, jumpin' ashore, and almost tumblin' into the water in his hurry. "His jumpin' giv' the boat a shove that sent it out where the main current got hold of it, and afore I knew it, a'most, I was goin' down stream." "What Wid you do, Aaron? You must have been awfully frightened." W a' al, 'twan't the most agreeable sitiwation for a small boy to be in, I can tell you. I held onto the side of the boat tight's I could. It kept tippin' this way and that, sometimes whir lin' clear round in a big eddy. 1 expP.cted
60 10LLY GOOD TIME.S. every minit some of the big logs :floatin' in the river would smash into it and knock it over. The boys giv' the alarm, and sum men near by run along the shore arter me, shoutin and makin' motions; but the river made sech a noise, I couldn't hear no thin'. More men kep' jinin' of 'em, till there was quite a crowd follerin' me along the banks; but they couldn't do a thing to help me. "By and by I begun to hear, above every thing else, the roarin' of Turner's Falls. It was the awfullest sound I ever heerd in my life, before or sence. It's all mighty fine to stand on the shore in a freshet and see the fierce water plungin' and tumblin' seventy ) feet or so down them falls; but when you think you're a-goin' over there yourself, there ain't much fun in it. I thought I was a dead boy, then, I can tell you. I was 'most dead froD1 fright." ."I don't see bow they ever saved yon, Aaron," said Millie. "Why, you see the logs and drift-wood had
! CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 61 lodged up jest above the falls, so of course the boat stopped there too. One of the men tied a rope round his waist, the rest held onto it, and he cum out over that jam of logs, and carried me ashore. It was an awful resky thing to do. He hadn't but jest got ashore, when the jam started, and the logs went plungin' over the falls. If he'd ben a minit later I shouldn't be here now a-tellin' you this story." He must have been a brave man," said Ralph. "Yes, there's no doubt about that. 'Tain't every one would resk his life for a boy he never see before." "I'd rather be brave than any thing I said Teddy, emphatically. W a'al, that depends on what you call bravery. I thought I was gittin' into that boat 'cause I was brave; but really it wall because I was afraid, afraid Pete Jones would laff at me. If I'd ben brave, I should jest 'ave stayed out, and let him laff. But that kind o'
62 '70LLY GOOD TIMES. bravery's pooty hard. Most folks don't love to be laffed at." "I hatE:: cowards," said Millie, ''though I'm afraid sometimes myself." Folks that are the most afraid are some times the bravest," said Aaron. Men and women too." "I don't see how that can be," exclaimed Ralph incredulously. Their bodies may be afraid, but their souls ain't. They think they'd orter do a thing, and they do it, if they be afraid, jest because it's their dooty. That's the stuff that makes real heroes. You don't hear that kind braggin much aforehand 'bout what great things they're a-goin' to do; but when the time comes, they're there. Now I'm goin' to pole you over to that nighest apple-tree." The water was nearly up to the branches of the tree. Ralph took out his knife and chipped oft' a piece of bark from the trunk. There," he said, next summer we can see how high the water was."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 63 Here they heard the dinner-bell. I declare," said Aaron; who thought of its bein' dinner time yit awhile ? I must pole yot:. ashore in double-quick time." The sun had come out from behind the clouds, glorifying the drenched earth with warmth and brightness. As they were climb ing the hill, Aaron suddenly exclaimed,"Hark!" They all stood still and listened. From a tree not far off came a liquid, rippling song, a sound as of bottled summer gurgling out. "A bluebird, true's I live!" said Aaron. "Winter's over now, sure. You can't fool the bluebirds!"
v. WORK AND PLAY. ''RALPH," said Mr. Kendall, one bright April morning," I want you and Teddy to harness up old Kate, go down on the meadow, pick up a load of drift-wood, and carry it down to Miss Tryphena and Miss Bashie. Drive Kate right home again, because I've got to go to mill this morning. Then you'd better go back, and saw up some of the wood for the old ladies." "Yes, sir; all right," responded Ralph cheerfully. Not that sawing wood was by any means his favorite diversion ; but it was fun to drive the horse, and get the wood. Then his particular crony, Roy Whitaker, always came over to help, and Miss Bashie was al ways so obliged. '' I'd just as lieve saw wood for Miss Bashie
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 65 all day as not," Ralph had once observed; ''but I wouldn't care if Miss Tryphena frozf' to death." "Why, Ralph!" said grandma. "You shouldn't talk so. Miss Tryphena is a most excellent woman; a very pious woman." Well, she needn't be so cross about it. Looks as sour as vinegar if a feller happens to call there after sundown Saturday night for his jacket or any thing, and like's not gives you an old moral lecture." The two sisters lived in a little, old, black house, about half a mile below Mr. Kendall's near the Whitakers. Miss Tryphena was a dressmaker ; Miss Bashie, a tailoress. With some help from the neighbors, they managed to support themselves very comfortably. Never were there two sisters more unlike. Miss Bashic was a cheerful, grateful old body, seeing special mercies in every thing, equally astonished at the goodness of Providence and the neighbors, and a great lover of children. Rhe thought the young Kendalls and Whita
6& JOLLY GOOD TIMES. kers the most remarkable children that eve1 existed; and they returned the compliment by liking Miss Bashie immensely. Miss Tryphena was straight, austere, un bending. Naturally proud-spirited, it was hard for her to be poor, and obliged to receive help. No one kept Sunday so strictly, no one was so constant at church, as Miss Tryphena. Out of her poverty she always managed to have something to send the missionaries whenever the contribution-box came around. But her relig ion was, like herself, austere and forbidding, -a cross to be borne in mortification of flesh and spirit. When the boys drove up from the meadow with their load of wood, Millie appeared at the back-door with a bundle. "Wait a minute, boys," she said; "I'm going, too. I've got to go down and have Miss Tryphena fit my calico dress." "Ha!" said Ralph, "I'm glad I'm not you. Won't you just catch it, though As they drove out of the yard, Ralph felt
CHlLD-LlFE ON A FARM. 61 disposed to show off a little. He gave old Kate a smart cut of the whip, just as they came to a "thank ye ma'am'' in the road. Old Kate sprang forward as she felt the pain of the Llow; bump went the wagon, and over keeled Mr. Ralph on his back, his long legs waving helplessly in the air. Millie and Teddy both giggled; and Ralph picked him self up, looking rather sheepish. It was so provoking they should meet 'Kiah Gould and his sister just then I As they drove up to the little black house, Miss Bashie came limping out, all smiles, to meet them. Miss Bashie was lame, her face was red and disfigured by some disease, and her weak eyes were always shedding tears. Her thin, gray hair was drawn back in a tight knot, and she wore a rusty black dress, with an odd little cape. But the poor, disfigured face, with the tears running down, always wore a radiant smile of love and cheerfulness; and it had never occurred to the children that Miss Bashie wasn't handsome, she was '' so Dice."
88 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "Well, I never t" exclaimed Miss Bashie, with both hands raised "If you hain't brought us a load of wood l Just as we were 'most out, toot I don't believe any one had such neighbors as we have." ''We're a-go in' to saw it all up for you, too, Miss Bashie." Well, I never did see such good boys in my life t I'm S?tre I don't know how we can ever pay you." Is Miss Tryphena at home? asked Millie, devoutly hoping she wasn't. "Yes; come right in. Dear, dear, how you do growl I shall lose my little Millie before I know it. She'll be a grown-up young lady." "No, I'm never goin' to be a young lady," asserted Millie. "I couldn't go out to the barn, or climb trees, or have any fun. I should have to wear long dresses, and do my hair up behind, and be proper; and oh, I hate itt" Miss Tryphena sat by the north window sewing. The south window, with a petunia
CHILD-LIFL! ON A FARM. 69 !n it full of blosaoms, was Miss Bashie's. Near the north window was the bed, with a large rag-mat before it, the looking-glass, and black, profile pictures of Miss Tryphena's par ents adorning the wall. This end of the room was the parlor. The other, where the cooking stove stood, was the kitchen. If there was any thing Millie particularly disliked, it was having a dress fitted. She stood first on one foot, then on the other, and fidgeted about until Miss Tryphena quite lost her temper, and gave her a most unsancti:fied twitch and shake. The human form was an earthly vanity Miss Tryphena was not disposed to give in to. She always mad e dresses as homely and wrinkly as possible on principle. I should like a ru:ffie on the bottom of my dress, like Sarah Piper's," suggested Milli<-< timidly. Miss Tryphena looked very glum; sighed deeply. "I am sorry, Millicent," she said, "to your heart set on dress so young. In this
70 70LLY GOOD sinful, dying world, to be thinking of rnfHes t Think of your immortal soul, child, not of ruffles." "Now, Tryphena,'' broke in Miss Bashie1 '' you know Millie don't care about dress. Why don't you let the child have a ruflle, if she wants one? "Bathsheba, at your time of life, you ought to be in better business than encouraging thoughtlessness and vanity. If Mrs. Kendall requests me to put a ruffie on, I shall have to, I suppose. But my skirts are clear. I've freed my conscience. I don't know, I'm sure, what this world is coming to! Tinkling orna ments, and veils and bracelets, mincing as they go ; '' and Miss Tryphena shook her head gloomily. Pretty soon Miss Bashie slipped a doughnut into Millie's hand. She also carried similar refreshment to the wood-bouse, where Ralph was sawing, Roy Whitaker splitting, and Teddy piling the wood. Miss B as hie made uncommonly good doughnuts ; and the boyfj unanimously voted her a brick."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 71 .As they sat on the_ wood-pile, in their shirt sleeves, munching doughnuts, Ralph said,-" Why can't you and Chet come up to our house this afternoon? "Well, I can, I guess," said Roy, "afte-r I've done some chores for mother. Lois is going up to see Millie this afternoon; so there'll be a whole lot of us, and we can play Injin first rate. Girls are better'n nobody." "Millie and Lois are jolly, -just as good as boys. They ain't like that prigged-up Sarah Piper, so 'fraid of hurtin' their ruffles and \hings, they can't have auy fun," said Teddy. I love to plague Sarah Piper," said Roy. ''She thinks boys are so dreadful.' This is the way she walks; and Roy, his mouth full Qf doughnut, took hold of his pantaloons each side, and minced affectedly across the wood bouse, to the delight of Ralph and Teddy. Soon after dinner, Millie saw her friend Lms coming up the road, and ran out to meet her. Lois was what people call a "natural lady." She managed with pt:rfert ease the thank
72 70LLY GOOl.J TIMES. you's" and "if you please's," that came so hard to Millie, n e ver forgot the h a ndles to her "yes's" and "no's," was mod est and gra ceful but self-possessed, in the presence of strangers, and her sewing was something quito wonderful for her age. Mrs. Kendall was al ways holding her up as a mod e l to Millie. You never see Lois doing that. What would you think to see Lois twisting on her chair in that way?" &c. But Lois was so good and pretty, so wide awake and ready for fun, that Millie couldn't help loving her, in spite of her being held up so often as a pattern. This afternoon Lois's face did not wear the expression of unalloyed rapture appropriate to the meeting of bosom friends. "Isn't it mean ? she said; "Roy and Chet are coming too. I think it's too bad in mother to let Roy come, when she knows how he always plagues us." "We'll go off by ourselves somewhere where the boys can't find us, and play keep house.'' said Millie.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 73 Here Roy, Chet, and Bose appeared on the scene. Chet, Chettie, or Chester, as he was variously called, was a small, black-eyed, white headed boy, at just that uncomfortable between age when he was too big to play with the girls, and not big enough to be wanted by the boys. Bose was Roy's dog and inseparable companion, -a yellow dog with a stump tail, homely, but knowing. Ty was snoozing peacefully in the sun on the back door-steps, unconscious of danger. Roy said," Sig him, Bose! and Bose, only too glad of the chance, flew at Ty. But Ty was "spry as a cat." In an instant he was safe on a in the wood-house, where, with green eyes and swollen tail, he crouched, growling at his loudly barking enemy below. "You're the meanest boy I ever knew, Roy Whitaker," said Millie, very red in the face. "You're just as mean as you can be; and 1 wish you'd stay at home where you belong!
74 70LLY GOOD TIMES. "It didn't hurt your old cat any," said Roy. "Gave him a little exercise, that's all." These opening remarks did not look very favorable for the boys' plan of playing" Injun." Ralph and Lois both exerted themselves as peacemakers; and finally Roy said he shouldn't have let Bose hurt the cat, and that he only did it for fun any way, and the girls consented to go out in the pasture and play Injun." The snow had been gone some time, and the grass was beginning to grow green in damp hollows and on southern hillsides. An old sheep-rack stood out in the pasture. This the boys took for a fort. They were settlers, the girls the settlers' wives. "Now," said Ralph, "we must go out hunting, and you must get dinner. Don't let the Indians surprise you while we are gone." The boys, with long sticks for guns over their shoulders, marched off in single file, fol lowed by Bose, reconnoitring all the bushes carefully as they went, for fear of Indians lying m ambush. Hv and by Bose fell out of line,
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 75 .. and began sniffing around a hole in the side hill. Then he fell to barking and digging into it furiously, making the dirt fly in all directions. "There's a woodchuck in there, you may bet on that," said Roy, all excitement. After trying the hole with their sticks, and finding it too deep to pay fo1 digging out, the boys went on, old Bose staying behind, Rnd mounting a silent guard close by. Farthe1 on the boys found a large patch of winter greens, full of berries. As they were picking into Teddy's cap, a party of Indian s surprised them. After much loud banging of the guns, the Indians were repulsed with heavy loss. On the way back old Bose met them, dragging a dead woodchuck by the neck, which he laid at Roy's feet. Roy patted him, saying, Good old Bose, splendid fellow I and Bose wagged his tail in rapture till he fairly wagged all over. The woodchuck, finding all quiet, had stepped out her front door to reconnoitre, when sly old Bose, who had been for this, at once pounced upon her.
76 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Meantime, the settlers' wives had been mak ing things comfortable at the fort by getting hay for beds, clean chips for dishes, and by provisioning the fort, in case of siege, with a stock of cookies from the house, all of Aunt Olive's last baking she could be induced to part with. The boys appeared in sight, bearing the woodchuck tied by its tail to a stick resting on the shoulders of Ralph and Roy. What have you got ? cried the wiyes, climbing over the sides of the fort, and running to meet them. "This is a bear we killed. And here's some rabbits for supper, said Teddy, handing over his cap half full of spicy red berries. "Did you see any Indians while we were g-one? "We saw something prowling round, over there by those trees," said Lois. "It's Indians, you may depend," said Roy. "They're all around here. We just killed twenty. I guess I'll be the scout, and go over there and spy 'em out;" and Roy crawled away on all fours, carrying his gun, sometimes
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 77 stopping to put his head to the ground to listen. When he reached the trees, he stood up, slipping carefully from tree to tree, and peeping out cautiously around them. "I wish you'd carry that woodchuck off somewhere, Ralph," said Millie; "I hate to see the poor thing." That's Roy's woodchuck," said Chettie. He's goin' to him home and skin him; he's got three skins nailed on the corn-house now; and he says he's goin' to get enough to make him a overcoat." Roy now returned, reporting a party of a hundred Indians encamped on the meadow below, who intended to attack the fort that very night. Then we'd better eat our suppers right away," said Lois. The supper, consisting of a scrupulously equal division of cookies and checkerberries set forth on chips, having been disposed of, the settlers to their hay beds, leaving Teddy, as sentinel, to walk up and down outr side, l!lln over his shoulder
18 JOLLY GOOD TJMI:!.S. Millie, whose imagination was strong, was so absorbed in the game that she really felt afraid. Suddenly Roy gave vent to a pierc ing, unearthly yell. Millie jumped, and. Lois cried," Don't, Roy; you nearly scared us to death." "'Twa'n't me," said Roy; "it's the Indians. ThM.t's their war-whoop." I should think it was! said Lois. Here they come! shouted Teddy, jumping over into the fort. Now began a terrific b9.ng I bang I of guns. The wives loaded guns for the men, and even took an occasional shot at the Indians themselves, through the loop-holes of the fort. The Indians, thus bravely met, soon beat a retreat in great dis order. All the settlers were severely wounded, but recovered at once on partaking of some checkerberry balsam, which their wives had prepared by mashing berries on chips. Now, let's be Indians ourselves," proposed
<-HILD-LIFE ON .A FARM. 79 Ralph. "Let's find a good camping-ground, a.nd build a wigwam." Down by the brook was a grassy little meadow, lying warm and sheltered under a hillside covered with hemlocks. Here they first drove down a centre-pole; then they cut big branches of hemlock as the boy15' jackknives would saw off, and leaned them up, tent fashion, around the pole, leaving a small opening on the side towards the brook. This they could barely crawl through on their hands and knees. Inside there was just room for them all, by sitting close together and bending their heads forward, Ralph putting his feet out the door. A few minutes passed in this luxurious man ner were found perfectly satisfactory; and, when Roy proposed a grand Indian war-dance, every one was willing to come out. Just as they had tied their hair on the top of their heads, like Indians in the geography pictures, and while Roy was elaborately painting their
80 70LLY GOOD TIMES. faces w1th a bit of charcoal, Aaron came down from the plain with the ox-cart. "Hooray I Here's Aaron I Let's take him prisoner I And with loud war-whoops the whole tribe fell upon Aaron, and were soon triumphantly riding off home in the ox-cart.
VI. DISOOVERING AN ISLAND. NOW it was May. The tender new leaves, just unfolding, gave all the woods a misty, hazy look; the apple-trees were in full bloom, the whole air was sweet with flower fragrance and trembling with bird songs, and this old earth seemed like fairy-land. Mr. Kendall and Teddy were working down on the meadow. Teddy was riding horse for his father to plough. His legs were so short that they stuck out each side nearly straight, and once, going under an apple-tree, the low branches brushed him off. When Teddy was first promoted to riding horse to plough, he felt it a great honor and privilege ; but the charm of novelty had long since fled, and riding horse" had become as stupid as any other
82 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. work you're obliged to do. This morning he:s much have preferred carting manure with Ralph and Aaron, to jogging up and down, up and down, ou old Kate's back. But boys on a farm have to work, and girls too. This bright May morning, when every thing said, Come out doors and play," when lihe wanted to go for wild flowers, Millie had to stay in, wash dishes, make beds, run up stairs and down on errands all the forenoon, because her mother was cleaning house. Aunt Olive, who was making doughnuts, let Millie cut out a doughnut man and fry him. The doughnut man seemed to suffer untold agonies in the process, bobbing up and down in the hot fat, and swelling out in the most unexpected places, till his resemblance to the human form was slight indeed. But Millie regarded him with the fond pride the true artist always feels in his work, and carefully saved him to astonish Teddy with at noon. Teddy liked to be astonished with doughnut men, about dinner-time.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. When Teddy came up from the meadow, Millie met him down by the cornhouse. "Guess what I've got for you," she said, holding her hands behind "I don t know. Something good?" "Yes, a doughnut man," displaying prodigy with pride. Ho, is that a man? How his legs stick out!" Tho s e ain't his legs, those are his arms," said Millie, in an injured tone. "Well, any way, I'm glad he's a big one. Let's eat him now ; and the doughnut man, rent limb from limb, soon looked his last on the fair world around him .After dinner, Millie and Teddy went down into the m e adow, Tip and Ty both following them, like little dogs. Sometimes they let the children carry them, but usually they preferred scampering along on their own hiding in the grass and pouncing out at each other, turning somersets, prancing along side ways with high arched backs, and behaving
84 rOLLY GOOD TIMES. generally in a way that often appeared to very much shock their dignified mother, old Blackie. There is no better playfellow in summer time than a brook. You can have no end of fun with a brook. To-day Teddy said, "Let's go down to the brook and see what the freshet did." The spring freshets often altered the course of the brook, changed its banks, and made it almost a new stream. Millie pushed and squeezed through a thick fringe of pussy willows on the brook's bank. "0 Teddy," she cried, "what do you think? Here's an island, a real, true island! The brook had divided into two parts, en closing quite a piece of land. "What a jolly place to play Robinson Cru soe! said Teddy. But how can we get over there?" asked gazing ruefully at the stream which flowed between them and this promised land. "If we try to jump it, we shall tumble into the water. It's too wide to jump."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 85 Teddy looked puzzled for a moment; then his face Lrightened with an idea. "I'll tell you. Here's a way." He bent down one of the supple young wil lows. It reached over to the island. Stand ing on it, and holding by a branc h above, he sidled safely across, at the s a me time enjoying a delightful teeter on the bending bough. Then Millie tried the new-fashioned bridge. All went well till she jumped oft' on the other side, when up snapped the willow, catching Millie's skirts, and suspending her in the air about a foot above the ground. Here was a nice situation. Teddy colllldn't have reached the branch to pull it down, even if he hadn't been laughing so hard. There was nothing for it but he must leap the brook, splashing into the water on the other side, and come over on the branch again to release the dangling Millie. "Did it tear my dress much?" asked Millie when once more on earth. "Not much. I guess Aunt Olive'll mend it for you."
86 70LLY GOOJJ 'J "No; I've got to do it myself said Millie, twisting her neck to look anxiously at the gaping r e nt. Tip and Ty had to be brought over n e xt. "There!" said Teddy, warm and red w i lh his exertions, a s he l anded the last cat, "here we are, all the inhabitants. Now, this is our country. We discovered it. We can do any thing we're a mind to here." It was agreed that Millie, b eing more f a mili a r with the book, should be Robinson Crusoe ; Teddy, Man Friday; and the kittens l a ma s The lamas, however, w ere not a success. The y would climb tre es, and the y would n't h ave burdens tied to their backs, s o finally th e y were allowed to be the wild anim a l s p ec uli a r to this island. A thic k c lump of w illow bushes, into which Teddy and Millie c ould just squeeze themselves by cutting out some of the branches, was the ca v e. The i s land was mo stly c overed with sand, its chief natural products being willow bus h es a little thin, wiry grass, and colt's-foot. As
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 81 ( Aunt Olive used colt's-foot for cough medicine, Millie and Teddy were confirmed in their opin ion that this was one of the most remarkable islands ever discovered. It was to be called Kendall's Land," after the discoverers. 'J..1hey would bring corn and beans down there, and plant a garden. Then," said Millie, who was of a hopeful turn of mind, we can sell all we raise to father. I know he'll buy it, 'cause he prom ised to give us ten cents for every hundred squash bugs we'd kill this summer, and of course he'd be gladder to have us raise things ours elves. We'll get real rich, Teddy." ''Yes," said Teddy, "perhaps we shall have two dollars apiece by fall. What shall you do with your money? '' I shall buy a microscope," responded Mil lie promptly. Ever since she had somewhere read about the wonders revealed by micro scopes, her ambition had been to possess one. To look into the unknown worlds hid in water .. drops, what delight that must be!
88 70LLY COOD TIMES. "Pooh, I shan't," said Teddy. "I shall buy a sheep of father. Then I shall have wool and lambs to sell, and before long money enough to buy a farm of my own. You. can come and live in my house if you want to." "I'd rather live with father and mother; but '11 come a-visiting, and bring the microscope too." South of Kendall's Land they discovered another little sandy island. This they called "Lookout Island." Millie took off her l:lhoes and stockings, and they waded out to Lookout Island, and built a nice bridge to it, of stones and driftwood; nice to look at, but when they tried to cross on it over it rolled, and splash they both went into the brook. Then Teddy made some willow whistles, while Millie, not being equal to whistles, dug out and walled up with stones a harbor for the commerce of the island. As she worked, her dress dipped into the water, then rubbed around in the sand; but she was too busy to notice it. As they were earnestly at work, suddenly a
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 89 voice shouted ''Rullo!" so near they both jumped. There was .Aaron's head looking through the bushes. He and Ralph, at work north of the brook, had been attracted by the sound of voices "This is our island," said Teddy. "But you can come over here if you want to." Thus cordially invited, .Aaron and Ralph leaped the brook, and sat down to rest for a few minutes on the gravelly beach. It was a pleasant place to rest. The brook prattled by gayly over its stony bed. In its clear water were reflected broken, dancing images of the overhanging trees and bushes, one tangle of wild-grape vines. The sunshine was mellow and warm, and the robins, bluebi r d s phrebes, seemed to be trying to outsing each other .Aaron took off his hat, and let the soft breeze blow his hair all about, while Ralph drew out his jack-knife and fell to making a whistle on the most gigantic scale,-a "regular buster," b e said. Ty was crawling low on all fours towards a
90 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. robin, that, not far off, was hopping along in the grass. ''Ty is a wild animal," explained Teduy. "He's a tiger, hunting his prey." There's a good deal of the wild animal in cats," said Aaron. A panther's nothin' but a great savage cat." ''Did you ever see a panther, Aaron?" "Only once, in the menagerie; but they used to be all about here, not so very long ago, either. Uncle Ase used to hunt 'em, over here on the mountain." "0 Aaron, tell us a panther story, a true one." "One of the last panthers Uncle Ase ever see was up in Shelburne. He and Captain Kemp went out hunting one day. They didn't have much luck. They followed Dragon brook down to Deerfield River, then went up along the other side the river, but they didn't start any game. Coming back, jest below where the Shelburne Centre Church stands now, their dogs begun to act queer Uncle Ase couldn't
CHILJJ-LIFE ON A FARM. 91 think what ailed the critters. He couldn't make 'em go on. They acted sorter scared, and lagged behind. Jest then they cum to an open place in the woods, where a lot of spoon wood grew, and what do you s'pose they see there?" "A panther?" "Four of 'em; an old one, and three half grown young 'uns, eatin' a deer. Uncle Ase and the Captain didn't exactly like to open fire on the critters. If they only killed one, they'd have all the rest onto 'em at once. So they jest stood still and looked on. The panthers never offered to touch 'em, but jest kep' on ea:tin'. Sometimes one of 'em would stop, walk a little ways towards the men and growl, as much as to say, 'You mind your bizness, and we'll mind our'n,' then go back to eatin' again. Finally, havin' eat enough, I suppose, they slunk off, one by one, into the woods, growlin' as they went." "Uncle Ase went home, got a bear trap and .set it there, with such a big clog fastened to it
92 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. he was sure it couldn't be moved. The next mornin' he went over. The trap was gone, clog and all, and the bushes not broke down a mite, neither. Uncle Ase didn't know what to make on't. But pretty soon he thought he heard a noise in a big hollow log near by. He went and looked into it, and there was his trap. He'd caught one of them young panthers, and it waa strong enough to drag the trap, clog and all, into that log. Uncle Ase took the panther home. A queer thing about it was, it would let a man handle it and be meek as Moses; but if a dog came near, it would fly at him in a minit." Did Uncle Ase tame it? "No, he had to kill it. 'Twan't safe to have sech varmint around. Did you know your grandfather see the last wolf ever seen in Shelburne ? "Why, no. Did he ? " Yes. He and his brother Walter went to school 'cross lots, through the woods. Comin' home one night, they see a wounded wolf
t.HILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 93 draggin' itself along. They scampered for home, fast as they could run, and told their big brothers, thinkin' they'd go and shoot it. But they didn't. Most likely they thought it would die any way. The next spring the boys were boilin' sugar out in the lots near a piece of woods. They bad two young puppies they sot every thing by. These puppies would run into the woods a little way, then cum yelpin' out, scared half to death, apparently. The boys couldn't think what ailed 'em But the next day the Jones boys, who kep' hounds, r un a large wolf out of that very piece of woods That was the last of wolves in Shel burne." "Now tell us another, Aaron." "Not to-day. Ralph and I must go back to plan tin' corn. Your father don't hire me to spin yarns to yon young 'uns." Mter Aaron's departure, the children began building a dam. But Tip and Ty bad evidently grown exceedingly tired of island life They stood on the shore, dipping their front paws
94 I 70LLY GOUlJ TIMES. in the water, shaking them daintily, mewiug plaintively, and looking longingly over towards the main land. So Millie with an apron full of colt's-foot leaves for Aunt Olive, and Teddy with a cat under each arm, leaped the brook, splashing in, of course. But both were already so wet and dirty it didn't make much difference. At the house, Mrs. Kendall had unexpected company to tea; a distant cousin, Mrs. Prouty, who lived in the village. Mrs. Prouty had no children of her own, but her ideas as to how those of other people should be trained were most correct. She often said, If I had chil dren, they should do thus and so." She had been edifying Mrs. Kendall, this afternoon, with a minute account of her Jligh bor Mrs. Judge Jay's method of managing and dressing her children. The little Jays, it seemed, had any amount of silk dresses, and were, in every respect, the sweetest, properest children ever seen. Mrs. Prouty was just saying,-
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 95 ' I should think you might contrive some very genteel every-day dresses, like Isabel Jay's, for your own little daughter. Get some bright plaid for underskirts, and then, it you have an old silk of some pretty color, make her a ruffled overdress;" not aware, probably, that Mrs. Kendall's only silk, her wedding dress, hung in the sacred seclusion of the front chamber closet, a thing of awe, not to be lightly approached; when the door burst open, and Millie and Teddy came troop ing into the room, followed by a string of cats. Teddy was barefoot and in his shirt-sleeves, his cotton pantaloons, too short any way, wet to the knees, and hanging by one suspender. On his head was a big palm-leaf hat, one of Miss llashie's best efforts, that looked as well as any hat could you'd just been carrying stones and mud in, to build a mill-dam. Teddy bolted at once, at sight of a stranger; but Millie was too far in for escape. Her calico dress, old and faded at best, was torn, wet, and draggled, her shoes and stock
96 'JOLLY GOOD ingE muddy, and stuck full of beggar lice. Her sunbonnet, hanging down her back, ex posed her hair, unbraided one and blown all over her eyes. Over each ear she wore a dandelion curl, and a chain of dandelion stems adorned her neck. Mrs. Prouty looked shocked, almost fright ened. But, as she often observed, a really gente el person never forgets herself. How do you do, my little dear? she said, smiling sweetly, and extending a hand redolent of scented soap. Millie was naturally bashful, and, in an emergency, apt to forget the "manners" in which her mother had so often drilled her. She hung her head and blushed. "I'm pretty well," r:3he mumbled awkwardly, giving Mrs. Prouty a very dirty hand, and, in her embarrassment, contriving to drop a pile of wet colt's-foot leaves into that lady's nice grey lap. Mrs. Prouty arose, shook herself, and looked as if she would have enjoyed doing the same
CHIL!)-LIFE ON A FARM. 97 by Millie, poor Millie, who was tumbled out of the room, colt's-foot and all, and consigned to Aunt Olive's tender mercies for a general furbishing up. But it was too late to retrieve her place in Mrs. Prouty's good graces. Mrs. Prouty had already privately resolved to bee stow her old light silk on some worthier re cipient.
vn. SUNDAY. TOOT Too-oo-oot shouted Teddy at the top of his voice, as he rounded the corner of the house, making believe he was a steam-engine. Grandma at once ap peaied at the back door, with a look of reproof on her mild face. Teddy," she said, don't you know it's Saturday night?" The sun ain't down yet." "Yes, don't you see, it's just set." Teddy looked at the western mountain's edge, standing out dark and clear against the yellow sky, where the sun had just dropped down out of sight. Oh, dear I" he said impatiently, going slowly and reluctantly indoors. Sunday began Saturday night, and boys
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 99 couldn't play Sunday; hence Teddy's "oh, dear I Sunday wasn't so bad after you were actually in it; some parts of it were rather pleasant than otherwise. But Saturday night you had to stop playing, study your Sunday school lesson, and be washed. Teddy con sidered washing the ears a useless and painful ceremony, insisted upon by mothers and aunts for some peculiar advantage or pleasure to themselves, and felt it a duty to howl and writhe about in apparent agony during the process under all circumstances. The church which the Kendalls attended was over a mile distant, at the Corners. In pleasant weather the children usually walked, going across lots with Aaron. So the next morning found them all walking across the meadow in Sunday attire, Sunday-school books and Tes taments in hand. There never was a pleasanter June morn ing. Every thing was so sweet, pure, still. A light breeze blew across the tall grass, rippling it in green waves, swaying gently the
100 'JOLLY GOCD TIMES. great drooping elm boughs, blowing clover fragrance all about. Now and then a bobo link went singing off up into the deep blu<> sky, as if it would go on and up for ever. The children all felt that it ;was Sunday, partly fi:om the deep stillness, partly because they were oppressed by the solemn conscious ness of having on their best clothes. Millie wore a white dress, a straw hat with a blue ribbon round it, and carried a bunch of lilacs and a faded green parasol that was formerly Aunt Olive's. Her hair was braided with unusual smoothness, and she walked demurely by Aaron's side, a prim little maiden, very unlike the wild, harum-scarum Millie of week-days. The boys wore checked cotton pantaloons, and jackets made by Miss Bashie out of their father's old blue coat. Where clothes were concerned, Miss Bashie had but one idea of a boy,-that he grows; grows deliberately and with malice aforethought to get away from his clothes. But it took an uncommonly active boy to get ahead of one of Miss Bashie's
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 101 jackets. She was ready for him at every point. The collar came up to his ears, and the sleeves down to his knuckles, and this, with the length and wrinkly looseness of the whole garment, gave a boy quite the venerable air of being his own grandfather. The boys were usually half-way to church before their faces lost the disgusted, discontented look left by their vigorous protests against these bated garments. But nothing gave the children so strong a sense of Sunday as the change in Aaron. There was something morally elevating in tho blackness of Aaron's boots, the height and whiteness of his shirt collar, the depth of the wristbands cutting into his sunburnt hands, the roundness, stiffness, specklP-ssness of his felt hat. Any one would know, only to look at Aaron on Sunday, that he belonged to the minister's Bible-class and had money in the savings-bank. This morning there were a good many things to attract the children's attention.
102 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Just look at that big patch of strawberry blossoms! said Ralph. ' We must remem ber, now, just where that is. There'll be a lot of berries there by-and-by." On the southern slope of a knoll they found any quantity of "youngs ters." Aaron let them pick some youngsters but when they climbed the fence over into the dusty road and saw a snake's zig-zag track acro s s it, he would not let Teddy look for the snake. "vVhy can't I?" asked Teddy, in an injured tone. "It's Sunday," said Aaron. Hooray! exclaimed Ralph, '' here's some tumble-bugs!" Sure enough, ,there they were, pushing along with their heads and fore feet a round ball of dirt bigger than themEselves, often rolling over with it in their ardor. The children wanted to linger on the bridge over the river, it was so cool and shady there, and it was such fun to look down into the deep hole and see their own faces Jleeping up
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 103 from the bottom, but the jog, jog of an old horse's trot was heard, and Aaron said,-" I declare, h e re comes Deacon Foskett now. We must hurry up." So they went on up the hill to the church. There were two doors to the church. The women and girls clustered in little knots around one door, the men and boys at the other. As they lived widely scatt e r e d and seldom met except on Sundays, a good deal of sedate gossip and visiting was usually trans acted on that day. When old Dr. Churchill was seen starting out from his house, every one went into church, and for a few minutes the bang, bang of pew doors sounded not un like the rattle of mu s ketry. Dr. Churchill had been mini s t e r here for over forty years. His hair was long and gray, and brushed straight bac k from his foreh e ad. This and his long gray b e ard and dig nity of m anner gave him a v ery vene r a bl e look. M il lie supposed Abra ham mu s t h av e looked just
104 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. like Dr. ChurchilL His sermons werA rather hard for children to understand, so they be guiled the time in various ways. Millie smelled of her bunch of lilacs and played games with it in her own mind. The big blossoms were big fairies, the little, half open blossoms and buds baby fairies. When she pulled one off then it died, and the rest wept and had a funeral, -a game whose so lemnity Millie felt made it perfectly proper for Sunday. Ralph watched Miss Tryphena. Miss Try phena had a peculiar Sunday expression, which always came on about fom o'clock Saturday night and lasted till Monday morning. Her eyebrows were raised very high, the corners of her mouth drawn down very low, and she swayed her head solemnly back and forth as she listened to the minister. The effect was heightened by the queer little black bonnet she wore, shaped much like a wheelbarro". As Ralph was watching her, he happened to catch Roy's eye across the church. Roy
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 105 gave him such a droll look that, before he knew it, Ralph smiled right out in meeting. Then he blushed very red, drew down his face into a soberness rivalling Miss Tryphena's own, and gazed :fixedly at the minister. Fina lly, feeling rather shaky on his Sundays chool lesson, he fell to taking occasional sly peeps into his Testament. Teddy ate some youngsters which he had thoughtfully put into his pocket for this very emergency. Then he played "Here's my mother's knives and forks with his fingers, till his mother shook her bead at him. Then he wished he were a man so his feet would come down to the floor. He believed one of his feet was asleep now. He would just swing it a little and see. Bang! went his foot against the seat, with a noise that to Teddy seemed to echo through the church like a clap 'Jf thunder. Teddy turned red, curl e d down, and sat very still. He thought what a good time those lambs were having out on the hill; how pleasant it looked out the windo w, how "'
106 70LLY GOOD TIMES. nice the air felt blowing in, how sleepily that fly buzzed; and here a general sense of pleas antness overcame Teddy, and he fell sound asleep. When every one stood up for the last singing, Ralph nudged him, and he started up half asleep, leaning against the pew door. The door, not being buttoned, gave way, and out he sprawled in the aisle. "I hate to go to church, and I'm never go in' again, you see if I do," said Teddy to Millie as they walked home that day. The afternoon service was early and short, so people were usually home by half-past two. The children all put on their every-day clothes, and felt less Sundayfied and more at ease. "Now," said Ralph, "let's go out in our apple-tree and take turns reading out loud in our Sunday-school books." This apple-tree slanted off over the bank behind the house at such an angle as to be easily climbed. Its branches seemed to have accommodatingly grown just right for seats, making all sorts of natural sofas and easy-
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 107 chairs. The children each had a branch se lected for their own. Up in the topmost twigs was a robin's nest. The old birds seemed to know the children were their friends, and flew in and out without minding them in the least. It seemed to the children almost like being birds themselves to be high up here in the leafy tree above the earth. When the wind blew, the branches swayed and rocked in the most delightful manner. They had only been in the tree a short time to-day when they saw their father and mother coming out the back door. "Oh, goody! Father and mother are going to walk," cried the children; and down they all scrambled from the tree, not without the usual rent in Millie's dress. Pleasant Sunday afternoons Mr. and Mrs. Kendall often walked out in the fields with the children. Grandma did not quite approve of it; but Mrs. Kendall said,-"We are so busy all the week, it is almost our only time to be with the children. A quiet
1.08 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. ramble in the fields won't hurt them. One of these years, when, maybe, they'll be scattered up and down the world, far from home, it won't make them worse people to remember these Sunday walks with father, mother, and each other." "Where are you goin', father?" cried the children. "Up in the north meadow, I guess. Your mother thinks there'll be a good many wild flowers in the Nook now." Oh! then we can see if our bluebird has come this year." Going through the pasture, they could not h e lp laughing to see the lambs cape'ring around joyfully, but awkwardly, on their big legs. Mr. Kendall said they looked like half-grown boys,-a comparison Ralph did not thoroughly enJoy. Spot and Beauty, the two calves, came up and stretched out their noses, evidently e xpecting some attention. Ralph gave Spot his fingers to mumble, while T eddy found that Beauty had two round knobs of horns just
t.HILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 109 starting. She seemed to feel proud of them, running her head against Teddy to try them, and nearly pushing him over. When they crossed the old bridge over the brook, Millie ran ahead to an old hollow post in the fence. For two or three years : every summer, a bluebird had built a nest there. Millie peeped in through the knot-hole. "Here she is,'' she whispered, beckoning the others. The bluebird sat on her nest down in the post, turning her head from side to side, looking with her bright little black eyes up at the big blue ones staring in through her knot-hole window. Animals and birds often seem to know when you are friendly to them and mean them no harm. So the bluebird did not fly away, though she looked rather nervous, and the children considered it best to withdraw soon, resolving, however, to come up again before long to see the young bluebirds. They came to a low place in the ground where, except in very hot we ather, there was
110 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. always a little pond. Just this side of it Ralph picked up a large mud-turtle and carried it to his father. "Father," he said, "see here. 'AdamYear 1 is cut on his back." "That's a pretty old turtle," said Mr. Kendall; but I guess he don't date quite back to Adam's time. Some fellow cut that for fun." "Can't I put my initials on him, father?'' asked Ralph, feeling for his jack-knife. No, I wouldn't. It won't do you any good, and it will hurt the turtle,-that is, it will hurt his feelings." ''I didn't know turtles had any feelings," said Teddy. "They don't look as if they had." Don't you see how this old fellow has his head and legs all drawn into his shell out of sight? You may depend upon it, he's in a fine flutter, wondering what we great giants mean to do with him. Put him down, and see if he don't make off." Ralph dropped the turtle, and away he scram bled as fast as his short legs would carry him
CHiLD-LIFE ON A FARM. 111 splashing head foremost down out of sight in his mud-puddle home. I often think," said Mrs. Kendall, "of what the hymn says, God still is kindest to the kind.' God must love animals and birds, he has taken pains to make them so beautiful and wonderful. How dare we hurt or ill-treat creatures God loves so much? "A man that ill-treats animals will ill-treat folks if he gets a chance," said Mr. Kendall. When I see some men abusing a horse, I feel sorry for their wives and children." The Nook was so called because it was a bay of land, running in among hills. Opening to the south, it was always the earliest place for wild flowers. To-day they found Solo mon's seal, blue violets, bishopscap, ''baby's feet," as the children called flowering winter green, and wild geranium; while up along the hill-side a troop of scarlet columbines nodded lightly in the breeze. Won't Aunt Olive be pleased?" said Mil lie, as she held up her hands full of the delicat .. sweet flowers.
112 'JOLLY GOOD TI.'li'ES. They sat down on a bank and arranged them with sprigs of hemlock, whose new ends of a fresh and tender green were beautiful as flowers. Then they sauntered slowly home in the slanting sunlight, stopping to notice how the green spears of corn leaves were pricking through the dark earth, which Aaron and Ralph had planted so little while ago. Although they were out-doors, the children did not laugh and talk so loudly as on other days. Somehow they did not feel like it, every thing was so still and pleasant. Even the sun shone with a subdued, quieter light. There was a feeling of Sunday, a deep quiet, in the very air. The rushing sound of the brook the twittering of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, only seemed to make the stillness more profound. After supper, they all gathered in the sit ting-room, and read a chapter in the Bible aloud, each reading two verses in turn. Then the children sat out on the back-door steps, waiting for the sun to go down. It always
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 113 seemed as if the sun stood still in the sky Sunday nights. It went down as slowly as if really sorry to see the last of Sunday. And grandma was so particular! '' There, grandma," 8houted the children, as the welcome shadow of the mountain crept over the valley, "the sun's down!" Grandma came to the door. It shines over on that hill yet," she said. Grandma always insisted on that hill, way off miles and miles to the south-east. At last the shadow covered that hill even, and with shouts and capers of delight the chil dren ran up and down the yard like released prisoners. A whole week to play before another Sunday!
vm. STRA.WBERRYING ON THE MOUNTAIN. Q NE Friday night the children all came racing home from school out of breath. Dinner-pails, sunbonnet, hats, were all dropped on the kitchen floor. "Where's mother?" was the chorus. "In the pantry," and into the pantry tum bled all the children. Mother, can we go strawberryin' on the mountain to-morrow?" Roy and Lois and Chet are go in', and they want us to go, oh, perfectly awful! "Roy knows a place up in his father's pastllre where the berries are thicker'n spatter. You can pick a bushel in no time. Roy said so." When Mrs Kendall had said "Yes," the
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 115 next thing was to hunt up pails and baskets to carry, for they were to start right after breakfast, and farmers' breakfasts come pretty early in summer time. Their forethought proved unnecessary, however, as the next morning they were all wide awake when the birds began to sing, and up long before break fast. A thick fog made every thing look gloomJ at this early hour, especially the children's faces. Aaron was known to be a reliable weather prophet, so out to the barn-yard they all went, where Aaron was milking. Aaron, do you think it's goin' to rain to day? Aunt Olive says it is, 'cause the water boiled out of the pot so yesterday." Aaron said nothing for a minute. Spirt, spirt, went the straight white streams of milk on the pail bottom, while the children stood anxiously around, feeling that every thing hung on Aaron's words. "Wa'al," said Aaron finally, with delibera tion, "I dun'no P'r'aps your Aunt Olive is
116 70LLY GOOD TIMES. right, but I guess that rain won't come afore to-morrer. Things are :fixin' that way, bu;, 'twon't come to-day. Too many cobwebs on the grass, the swallows flew too high last night. It was clear as a bell when I went to bed last night. But it's goin' to be a mighty hot day. If you younkers don't sweat some pickin' berries out on the mountain, I'll lose my guess." When the sun was up a little higher, his rays began to penetrate the fog, and presently away it rolled in fleecy clouds up the mountaiu side and off into the blue sky, where it soon dissolved and disappeared. The children could eat but little breakfast, they were so excited. They said they weren't hungry, when their mother remonstrated, and they didn't believe they should want any lunch either; but when they were about starting Mrs. Kendall appeareu with a heavy lunch-basket. "Let's not look in it," suggested Millie, '"so's to be surprised bime-by. Mother always puts in such good things."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 117 Teddy insisted on carrying two big baskets, in spite of his mother's advice. Pooh! he said, "I guess I can fill these easy enough. I'll fill the lunch-basket, too, after we've emptied it." If you bring home enough so we can have a short-cake for supper Sunday night, I shall be satisfied," said Aunt Olive. At the gate they met Roy, Lois, and Chet, all laden with baskets and tin pails. Bose seemed to think he could pick strawberries too, as he was bounding around Roy in great delight, evidently feeling himself one of the party. They climbed the rail-fence, and stmck into the field that lay between them and the mountain's foot, feeling as bright and joyful as the morning itself. It was such a pleasant morning. Every thing was flashing with dew-drops, even to the airy cobwebs on the grass; the shadows still lay long and cool across the fields; bird songs rippled from every tree and bush, and the air was fresh and sweet with clover fragrance.
118 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. They lengthened the way by chasing the little yellow butterflies, by catching "bumble bees in their hats, by seaing who could walk longest on top of a rail-fence without falling off, by trying buttercups under their chins to see who loved butter. Crossing a piece of woods, Ralph found a nice sassafras bush, which they dug up for its spicy root. Then they came to a young moosewood tree. "Aaron says the Indians used moosewood bark for strings," said Ralph. "We'd better get a lot of this." But finally it was resolved to leave this, some swamp-apple flowers the girls wanted, and various other treasures of the woods, till they returned. After crossing the swamp by jumping from tuft to tuft of the long grass, they began to ascend the mountain. Down under some low bushes in the grass, Ralph, who always saw every thing, discovered a ground-bird's nest. While they stood admiring the cunningly-hidden nest, with its four speckled, brown, and white eggs, the ground
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 119 bird came, and flew b ack and forth as ne a r their h eads as s h e dared, with pitiful cri es of distress. One must be harder-heart e d than our children were, to resist such an appeal They passed on, leaving the little home un molested. To look at a mountain is one thing; to climb it quite another. A mountain is so deceptive. From the bottom it looks one even slope to the top; but once commence the ascent, and you find vall eys and gorges you never mistrusted below. There seems to be almost as much downhill as up. The children pressed stoutly on, stumbling over rocks and stones, slipping up in steep places sometimes, and catching on unnum bered bushes and briars. The more accidents happened, the more they laughed. Finally, only Deacon Foskett's pasture lay b e tween them and Mr. Whittaker's field, where the berries grew. The farmers who lived in the valley turned their cattle out into the moun tain pastures for the summer. Millie remem-
120 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. bered hearing that Deacon Foskett had a fierce bull in his pasture, so she was afraid to cross it, though not a creature was in sight. "W e'llleave you behind if you won't come on," said the others, after trying in vain to per suade her. They went on across the pasture, while Mil ;ie sat crying on the stone wall. The unkind c;st cut of all was that Lois should go over to tl,e enemy. All the pleasantness of the day darkened; she wished she hadn't come. _\.s Lois climbed the opposite wall, she lo(Jked back at the disconsolate figure of her friend in the distance. She had not felt quite comfortable in her mind before. Now she said, low, to Roy,"I think it's real mean in us to go off and leave Millie like that." "She needn't be such a 'fraid-cat then," said Roy. She can't help it. Folks are different. Come, now, Roy, you go back and bring her. I guess she'll come now. You ain't afraid, are you!"
ON A FARM; 121 No, sir-ee. Come on, Bose," and whist .. ling to Bose, back Roy went across the field. Millie hopped down to meet her deliverer, smiles radiating her tearful countenance. They started back together, Millie's fear overcome by her desire to join the rest. "Oh," she said, "how good you are, Roy. I'll never,-oh mercy, Roy, there he comes now! What shall we do? The bull had actually come out from behind a clump of young pines, and stood staring in amazement at the strangers. He seldom saw people out here on the mountain. '' If we run for it, I guess we can get across," said Roy; and, taking Millie's hand, he headed for the wall, behind which the other children stood, worse frightened, if possible, than Roy and Millie. Roy's course was not the wisest. If they had walked quietly along the bull might not have molested .them, but seeing them in flight, he at once started in pursuit, stopping now and then to paw the ground fiercely, bellowing,
122 CHILD-LIFE ON A and tossing his head in a warlike manner Roy and Millie ran as fast as they could, but between fright and running their breath was fast giving out; they were still some ways from the fence, and the bull was rapidly gaining on them. Millie, dragged along by Roy, stumbled on in a sort of blind fright, beyond screaming or crying. Old Bose was prowling along the stone wall, looking for possible woodchuck holes, when suddenly he heard all this uproar, and realized that his master was in danger. At once all his war spirit was roused, and he rushed to the rescue. In he darted, seizing the bull by the nose. The bull, unprepared for this sudden assault, stopped and tried to shake himself free. But old Bose shut up his eyes and hung grimly on, with a grip like iron. When Roy and Millie were fairly over the fence, Bose let go his hold, and was off and safely away before the infuriated, clumsy ani mal had time to recover himself and pursue him. The children ran till some bushes hid
CHILD-LIFE ON A FAR.W. 123 them, and then threw themselves down on the ground to rest and recover breath. Old Bose limped along after them, lame in one foot which the bull had stepped on, but otherwise wrlnjured. Every one patted him and made much of him. "Well," said Roy, "what do you think of Bose now?" "I'll never call him homely man's dog again," said Millie. "And when I'm grown up, Roy, I'll write a book about it and put you and Bose in." "Don't say any thing about me, it makes a fellow feel so spoony. And, my young friend, as the committee say when they make remarks, let me give you a little good advice. Don't you be so silly again. If you'd come right along in the first place, we shouldn't have had all this row." Don't yo1:. two get to quarrelling again," said Lois "I shan't ever quarrel with Roy again," Mid Millie, "no matter what he does."
]24 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "Let's cat our dinner now," proposed Teddy: "I'm starved to death." "So am I," said every one. "Now, I'll tell you what," said Ralph, '''taint anywhere near dinner-time yet. Let's pick some berries first, and rest while the sun is the hottest." The rest were reluctantly obliged to admit the force of Ralph's remarks, so the lunch baskets were left in a shady spot,. in Bose's care, and they went to picking berries How good the berries made their fingers smell, and how fresh and delicious they tasted! Only every other one, _on an average ever reached the baskets. It is surprising how many straw berries it takes only to cover the bottom of a big basket. At least so Teddy thought. Then the sun poured down such hot rays that their heads swam, and they were really dizzy btooping over. Before long even Ralph WaR ready to think it fu11y dinner-time. Under the thick, wide-spreading shade of a big oak tree a spring oozed out of the m 1un--
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 125 tain side, making a little pool of clear, pure water, and then trickled away down the bill, marking its course by the brighter green of the grass along its way. The boys threw off their hats, hy down on the ground, and drank right out of the spring. Lois and Millie made :mps out of maple leaves that would hold con siderable water, if they were very spry. The oak tree's shade made a pleasant din ing-room. It seemed so cool and shady after being out in the hot sun, and there was such a fresh, sweet-ferny, "pasturey" smell, as Millie said. Scattered rocks, bits of the moun tain's backbone priclcing through, made capital backs to the soft, grassy seats. Down below, they could look off over miles and miles of the Connecticut valley. There were houses, farms, villages; the fields looking like patch work, with their differentcolored crops, glimpses of the winding river shining in the sun, and, far beyond, hills and mountains t.he children had never seen before. In the north east, Mt. Monadnock towered up. They tried
126 'JOLLY GOOD in vain to distinguish "grandma's hill," whet' the sun always shone last Sunday nights. That remarkable eminence seemed to have mingled indiscriminately with a whole chain of mountains off in the south-east. The lunch, spread out on newspaper table cloths, made a goodly show, there were such broad, thick slices of bread and butter, such "hunks of gingerbread, such generous tri angles of apple-pie, such lots of cookies, doughnuts, and cheese. Mrs. Kendall's surprise was some large cranberry-tarts with crimped edges, one apiece for every one. This is what I call jolly," said Roy, making a large, semicircular hole in a slice of bread and butter. "I never ate such good bread and butter as this," said Ralph, who had "swopped" slices with Roy. "Don't you think it's very romantic to eat out-doors, Lois? asked Millie, as she dotted her bread over with strawberries. "Ye-es, but there's a good many bugs. I
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 127 didn't know there were so many kinds of bugs in the world," said Lois, gazing in some dis may at the variety of black, green, white, and striped ants, grasshoppers, and flies, sticking in various attitudes of distress all over the I'll eat your tart, Lois, if you're afraid to," generously proposed Chettie, sitting on the grass, his short legs sp read wide apart. Old Bose sat near by, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, his face wearing an insinuating smile, thumping the ground vigorously with his stumpy tail. Around his neck was a wreath of oak leaves the girls had made in honor of his heroism. Dogs really seem more sensible than people. Here was old Bose. He had done a brave deed, every one praised him, he was the hero of the occasion ; yet he put on no airs, sat meekly in the back gDund, and snapped up thankfully the many hits of dinner thrown him. Although the lunch was a large one to look at, it rrovetl an uncommonly small one to eat.
128 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Every one could have made way with more. E s pecially could a few more tarts have been easily disposed of. But there was no help for it, so they all fell to picking berries again with a will. When Millie's basket was two-thirds full, as she and Lois were bent over, poking under the strawberry leaves, something rustled and wriggled under the grass, and Roy called out, Look out, girls. Snakes I Both screamed and ran, Millie dropping her bask e t, spilling her berries, and falling down in the midst of them. The boys all laughed lo n g and loud. "'Twasn't a snake at all," said Teddy, finally; i t was only a long, crooked stick Roy had." Millie's face flushed. She was on the point of telling Roy just what she thought of him, when she remembered his kindness in the :morning, and her vow nevP.r to quarrel with him again. So she said nothing, but went to work, with Lois's help, picking up such of her berries as were unsmashed.
CHILll-LIFE ON A FARM. 12!} If Millie had only scolded, Roy would not have cared at all ; but now he felt rather ashamed. "Never mind those old berries," he said. Here, Millie," and he turned his berries into her basket. "I can get plenty more." When the sun was low down in the west, the children started for home, laden with bunches of pink and white mountain laurel blossoms, and with a good many berries, con sidering, though it must be confessed Teddy had only half filled one basket. They found it harder work going down the mountain than coming up. If they ran, they were sure to trip and fall down, and it was such hard, jerky work to hold back. Chettie's short legs ached so he could not help crying. About sundown, Mrs. Kendall, feeling a little anxious, went out to the gate. The Iag g:ards were just in sight,-such a tired, dirty, dragged-out looking set of children, with such strawberry-stained mouths. 0 mother, we've had such a splendid time! I
130 '70LLY GOOD TIMES. See what lots of berries we got. And, oh, our legs ache so I "And we're hungry as bears," added Teddy. "I never was so hungry in my life," said Ralph. "I could eat Ty up alive this minute," said Millie, picking up Ty, who rubbed his head into her neck affectionately, little fearing her cannibal designs. Large bowls of berries and milk, eaten on the backdoor steps in the dewy coolness of the twilight, soon filled the aching voids within, and then the children were only too glad to go to bed.
IX. MAKING HAY. THE thermometer 'll go up to ninety in the shade by noon," said Aaron at breakfast-time. "It's goin' to be a regular scorcher, and no mistake. We shall catch it mowin' up in the north lot, I reckon." Father," said Mrs. Kendall, you'd better not come home to dinner this noon, it's going to be so warm. I'll send your dinner up by Millie." Mr. Kendall consented; and, after stopping under the wood-bouse to grind the scythes, Aaron, and the boys all set off for their day's work in the north mowing, where the tall grass, rank and luxuriant, waved proudly in the morning breeze, little knowing it was so soon to be laid low.
132 70LLY GOOD TIMES. It was capital hay weather. Grass cut tn the morning would be almost dry enough to go into the barn by night. Mr. Kendall was driving his h a ying, both to improve the fine wea ther and because the hot sun was bringing the corn on so fast it needed hoeing again already. Ralph and Teddy were both pressed into serv ice, and had to be on hand all day, ready to spre a d and toss the hay, rake after cart, &c. There is no more agreeable diversion for a lazy person than to sit in the shade of a tree and watch other people mowing. The steady swing, swing of the scythes, the long swathes cut in the t a ll grass, the pleasant rhythm of the whetted scythe, the fragrance of the new mown hay, all savor strongly of the picturesque to the idle looker-on. But Mr. Kendall and Aaron had no time or taste for the romantic. They bent down to their work, swinging straight ahead, stroke by stroke together, like two machines run by clock-work, laying low great swathes of the tall grass at every stro ke. Close behind them
CHIL,D-IJFE ON A FANM. 133 fo[owed Ralph and Teddy with pitchforks, tossing the grass about that it might d1y sooner. The sun grew hotter and hotter, the air stiller and more breathless. Mr. Kendall and Aaron stopped now and then to whet their scythes, taking off their hats to mop their dripping foreheads. Their shirts fairly clung to their shoulders with perspira tion. Teddy noticed this, and his soul was fired with a noble ambition. He resolved to sweat like a man." He toiled away valiantly in the hot sun, till his freckles became invisible from the beet-like redness of his face, and his yellow hair grew brown and matted with moisture. Is my back wet any yet? he asked Ralph anxiously. "Just a little spot between your shoulders,' replied Ralph. Much encouraged, Teddy fell to tossing the hay about more vigorously than ever. Ralph's zeal, meantime, was running lower, as the sun
134 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. rose higher. For some time he had been look .. ing longingly over to the inviting shade o the big maple down by the brook. Finally he could withstand the temptation no longer. "I'm going to rest awhile," he said to Teddy, and away he sauntered, taking off his hat, and throwing himself down on the cool grass under the shadow. As Aaron turned the corner at the farther end of the lot, "Rullo!" he exclaimed; "what's Ralph up to?" Ralph seemed to be taking rather violent for so warm a day. He could be seen in the distance hopping violently up, down, and around, in a sort of wild m a niac dance, throwing his arms about catching hold of his pantaloons, slapping his head with his hat, jumping from one foot to the other. ''What's the matter, Ralph?" shouted Mr. Kendall. I've sat down in a darned old bumblebee's nest I roared Ralph.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 135 All hands ran to the rescue, and Ralph was finally delivered from his tiny tormentors and sent home to be linimented by mother. Millie, coming up with a big basket of dinner, met him on the rough little bridge over the brook. Ralph was limping slowly along, his face swollen so that one eye was almost invisible, his whole expression that of one who has been deeply injured. "Wby, Ralph," cried Millie, stopping short, and full of sympathy. "Wbat is the matter?" "Nothing," growled Ralph shortly, never stopping. He did not feel in a mood for sympathy just then. Ralph was usually so good-natured, that Millie stood still a moment staring after him in astonishment. Then she took up her bas ket and went slowly on, the sun being too warm for very rapid movements. It was a long walk from the house, and just beyond the brook Millie turned aside into the woods to rest awhile and cool off. The soft moss made a nice seat, with a tree-trunk for
136 70LLY GOOD TIMES. back. Overhead, the green branches inter laced so closely that only a ray or two of sun light darted through, dancing up and down the mossy tree-trunks Not only was it de lightfully cool in here, but there was such a good woodsy smell, a mingled fragrance of pines, ferns, and dead leaves. As Millie sat there, sunbonnet in hand, think ing how pleasant it was, suddenly she h eard a mysterious rustling in the underbrush behind her, and out from the bushes leaped a little grey rabbit. He stood up erect on his hind legs, his fore feet banging gracefully down, with his long ears pricked up straight, his bright, soft eyes wide open, listening intently. Millie thought she had never seen any thing so cunning and pretty. She fairly held her breath, for fear of frightening him; but in a moment he spied the intruder, and away he bounded into the thicket. When Millie reached the hay-field, it was about twelve o'clock, and every one was hun gry, warm, and glad of a nooning. Dinner
"Presently he felt a fly crawling on his ea r."-PAGE '3 7
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 137 was eaten under the broad shadow of the big maple, the brook near by furnishing plenty o cool, sweet water. Mr. Kendall and Aaron made inroads into the cold beef, pork, and potatoes, that would have astonished fastidious persons who never worked out-doors. Nor did they gaze with scorn on the generous wedges of rhubarb pie that adorned the bottom plate in the basket. After dinner, they stretched out on the grass and took a nap. Teddy thought it would be manly to do the same. He threw himself down, and drew his hat over his eyes, like his father and Aaron. Presently he felt a fly crawling on his ear. He slapped his ear. Then the fly crept lightly over his nose, till Teddy nearly rubbed that useful and orna I men.tal feature off his countenance. Then it lit Oli. his chin, and crawled into his neck. Teddy was particularly ticklish in the neck. He bounced up wrathfully. I'll kill that fly r There stood Millie laughing, holding a long, feathery bit of grass in her hand.
188 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "Don't be so stupid," she whispered. Come and have some fun. I'll show you something pretty I've just found." Leading the way to an old fallen tree-trunk, she stooped down and pulled open carefully the long grass. In a soft, round nest of dead grass lay four young mice. They were of a deep pink color, having no fur yet, and bulging blue spots showed where their eyes were going to be, by-and-by. They throbbed all over as they breathed. Teddy took off his hat and began putting the little mice into it. "What are you doing that for?" asked Mil lie, indignantly. "I'm goin' to take 'em home to Tip." Why, Teddy Kendall! How mean l You shan't, either." "I shall, teither," said Teddy, obstinately. Teddy and Millie seldom quarrelled, but now every thing looked favorable for an open and desperate war. u They're my mice. I found 'em myself,"
CHILD-LIFE ON A 5A'RM. 139 said Millie, "and I won't have 'em eaten up. How'd you like to have a great giant eat you up?" They're so little, they don't know any thing," said Teddy. "And they do damage. It's a good plan to get rid of 'em. I guess men know best." If you said Teddy should or shouldn't do any thing, it always made him so obstinate. Millie changed h'er tactics. "Just think, Teddy," said she, "how bad their mother'll feel when she comes home and finds her children all gone. See what pains she's taken to make 'em a nice home. You can do just as you're a mind to about it, but I wouldn't be so mean for any thing." And Millie turned and walked away, ready to cry. Teddy stood a minute, irresolute. He was really very tender-hearted; and, now Millie had given up, somehow he didn't seem to care so much about the mice after all. So he put them back in their nest, and called Millie to show her a raspberry-bush full of berries, he
140 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. had found growing in the fence corner. They strung long stems of grass full, to carry home to mother and Aunt Olive, besides eating now and then one, as they worked. Then they waded in the brook, trying to catch minnows in the dinner basket and Teddy's hat. "0 dear!" said Teddy, throwing him s elf down at full length in the shade, on the soft grass by the brook side, it's too hot to do any thing. Come, Millie, you tell a story. Have a giant in it, and all that, you know." Millie was quite famous among the children for her fairy stories. As she had an active imagination, and was rather romantic in her tastes, the stories never lacked startling dents and gorgeous details. She sat on the bank of the brook, sunbonnet off, paddling her bare feet in the cool water. "Once upon a time," she bega n, "a grea t many years ago, there lived a beautiful young princ es s. Of course she w a s v ery ric h, and had ev ery thing she wanted. She sat o n a gold throne, instead of a chair, and wore a
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 141 gold crown on her head all the time, and she wore wh ite dres s es with blue sa s hes every day She h a d, oh, lots of splendid picture-book s and dolls as big as she w as that could walk and talk too, just a little, you know. She had 'le ven blue cats with green ey es and pink tails, the loveliest cats you ever saw, and they all had gold collars on their n e cks, and each one lived in a little silver house by itself. She washed in cologne instead of water, and she lived on turkey dressing and rai s ins. If she tore her clothes, she just burned 'em up, and had some new ones. No one ever scolded her, 'cause she was a princess. It must be awful nice to be a princess! "We ll, one day when she was out in the woods all alone picking flowers, sudd e nl y s he heard an awful roaring noise that shook all the trees. She tried to run, but she couldn't stir a step." "Why not?" asked Teddy, deeply inter ested. "'Cause she'd been enchanted by a wicked
142 JOLLY COOD 1'/MES. old fairy that lived in those wooas. Then, first she knew, an awful fiery dragon came flying through the trees, roaring and snorting fire out of his nose, and snatched her up in his claws and carried her off through the air, more'n a hundred miles, to his master's castle. His master was a cruel giant who ate children, and the old fairy had helped him catch the princess, 'cause she hated the king, father of the princess. "When the giant saw the princess, he smiled so you could see all his teeth (his mouth was big as our barn-door, and his teeth were long as a crowbar), and then he said,"-here Millie assumed a deep growling tone,'" Let me feel of her bones.' He took her up on his great hand, and felt of all her ribs. Every finger was as big as I am, and he was so tall the princess couldn't see his head at all when she stood on the ground. She ain't fat enough,' he said. Put' her
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 143 in the black dungeon and feed her on hasty pudding and molasses.' So they did, but she was so unhappy she didn't grow fat a mite. She grew so poor that her crown wobbled all around on her head, and she cried so much that the tears were a foot deep on the bottom of her dungeon, and she had to sit on the table to keep her shoes dry. "Of course every one at home felt dreadfu11y when the princess didn't come back. The king sent his soldiers out to hunt for her, and offered a million dollars to whoever found her. Prince Pinnifeather, her oldest brother, felt awfully. So did the 'leven blue cats. They all wore black crape round their necks, instead of the gold collars, and they sat at the doors of their houses, night and day, me-yowing so you could hear 'em a mile off. One day the oldest cat, Pimlico, a very big, smart cat, said to Prince Pinnifeather, -" If you'll take me out into the woods, 1 guess I can find the princess.
144 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "When they got into the woods, all at once Prince Pinnifeather saw wings growing out of Pimlico's shoulders. Catch hold of my tail,' said Pimlico. I smell the way.' Prince Pinnifeather caught hold of the eat's tail, and away they flew through the air, over the trees and houses, till they came ncar the giant's castle. Then Pimlico turned into a boy all of a sudden, and he and the prince filled their pockets full of stones. "The black dwarf, that kept the gate to tho castle, ran in and told the giant there were two nice, fat boys outside. So the giant in vited them, very politely, to come in and rest, meaning to eat them up, you know. But as soon as they were inside, Pimlico threw a stone that went right through the giant's eye into his head, and then Prince Pinnifeather threw another into his other eye, and he was so astonished he tumbled over backwards, and then Pimlico and the prince cut his head off with his own carving knife. He'd laid it out
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 145 on the table, ready to kill them with, you know. Then they killed the dwarf, and tore the castle down, and carried the princess off home the same way they came. The king was so pleased he didn't know what to do hardly. He wanted to make Pimlico a prince, but Pimlico said 'No.'" "I don't see why," interrupted Teddy. "Why, he was really a very powerful fairy. He turned into the most beautiful fairy you ever saw in your life, and, after thanking the princeSB for being so good to him while he was a cat, he flew away to his home in a wild lily,-the red ones that grow down in the meadow, you know. And that was the end of it." "That was a first-rate story," said Teddy, drawing a long breath. Rullo I father anJ Aaron are mowing again, so I s'pose noonin's over," and he went back to his work again, while Millie trudged slowly home with her basket, dreaming of fairies all the way. In the afternoon the heat gre'Y more unen-T I
146 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. durable than ever. Not a breath of air stirred. The leaves hung motionless on the trees, as if they had fainted from heat, and the parched grass seemed to almost simmer in the blazing sunlight. Grandma, with her cap-strings un tied, sat by her window, plying a feather fan, watching some white thunder heads peering up over the mountain-tops all around the west, and devoutly wishing for" a smart shower." Millie was suffering martyrdom over her patchwork "stent." A most aggravating fly kept coming and crawling on her face and bauds, her needle stuck, and finally broke; she lost the next one on the floor, and then her thread knotted up. There I exclaimed Millie, in a passion, throwing her patchwork out of the window, I'll never touch that again I " Millie," said Mrs. Kendall, go right out and get that patchwork. You're not showing a very good temper." "Well, I don't care," grumbled Millie, ashamed, but not liking to own it. "My old
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 147 thread acted so, and the bit me, and it's so awful hot. I wish I were a fish, I do," and out she went for the despised sewing, com forting herself by imagining herself a fish, with nothing to do but float around in the cool, shady brook. The clouds now began to roll more rapidly up over the sky, and Mr. Kendall appeared at the house. "We're going to have a hard shower right away," he said, "unless I'm greatly mistaken. There's a lot of hay over the river, just right to go .in, that I can't afford to have wet. Aaron and the boys are hurrying to get in all that's dry in the north meadow, and Millie'll have to come and help me get in what's over the river." Millie needed no urging. She clapped on her sunbonnet, and rushed out to the barn, delighted at this unexpected release from the hated patchwork. Mr. Kendall took old Kate &nd the long wagon, because Aaron had the ox-cart. Millie sat on the bottom of the
148 70LLY GOOD TIMES. wagon, bouncing about as the wagon rattled down the hill, across the uneven ground of the meadow, and down the steep bank into the river. Horses appear to catch instinctively their driver's mood. Old Kate did her best, without urging, seeming to know there was no time to be lost. Millie helped her father rake up the hay into windrows and cocks. Then he pitched it on the wagon, where she stowed it away and trod it down. The load increased tiil Millie was high up in the air, and Mr. Kendall could but just reach the last forkful up to her. Then he mounted the load, and they started for home. The sun was all clouded in now, and there began to be a cool breeze, while from off in the west came low mutterings of thunder. Millie sat in a comfortable hollow in the soft, sweet hay, her sunbonnet off, the breeze blowing over her wet hair and heated face, happy as a queen. When they went down into the river IJle load tipped and swayed so, Millie thought
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 149 it would certainly go over, but old Kate brought them through all right, and pegged away for home as fast as old age and a heavy load would permit. Mr. Kendall kept an anxious eye on the clouds, which became blacker every moment. The situation grew constantly more exciting. The mountains were already hidden in a white, driving sheet of rain, sweeping rapidly on towards them. At the foot of the hill, big scattering rain-drops began to fall. A moment more, and old Kate, hot and panting, scrambled in at the south door of the barn, just as there came a vivid flash of lightning, a loud clap of thunder, and the mighty down-pouring of the rain. It beat on the barn as if it would drive in its sides, and the rattling, cracking thunder peals seemed to echo and roll along the very roof. Aaron and the boys, on a still larger load of hay, drove in at the north door, laughing and excited from their race with the shower. "I tell you," said Teddy, throwing off his
I 150 70LLY GOOD TIMES. hat, "ain't this jolly? We got a good dous .. ing "Don't laugh, Teddy," said Millie, blinking at a bright flash of lightning. Millie consid ered thunder-showers a time for seriousness and meditation. When the lightning grew less sharp, the hay was unloaded, Mr. Kendall and Aaron pitching it up into the mow, where Millie and the boys stowed it away, finishing up with a grand slide down the side of the mow to the floor. The shower was over. The black clouds had rolled on, far down into the south. The sun, low in the west, beamed out with a sudden radiance that flooded all the land scape with a mellow, golden light. Every thing was dripping with rain-drops. Trees, bushes, grass, lately so dusty and dry, were now of a vivid, dazzling green. The birds sang as if they could not sing enough; the air was cool, fresh, sweet, and all nature seemed to breathe a hymn of praise to the Giver of the timely &hower.
X. A FUNERAL. QNE night, after tea, as Ralph was coming home from Roy Whittaker's, his atten tion was attracted by a singular sound, as of some animal in distress, coming from a clump of bushes near the road. He stood still and listened. It appeared to be a cat, mewing in a plaintive, peculiar way After hunting in the thick underbrush for some time, he finally discovered Ty, bleeding and evidently badly hurt in some way, lying in the covert where, unable to get home, he had crawled in to die. He knew Ralph, and showed pleasure at seeing one of his friends. Ralph was a big boy, but he came nearer crying than he liked when he f.ound Ty frisky, funny Ty-in so sorry a plight. He took off his jacket, made a cushion of it, and.
152 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. placing Ty on it as carefully as possible, car ried him home. As he was laying him down in the wood bouse, Millie came hippity-hopping out tte back door. "What have you got, Ralph? she asked gayly. When she saw Ty, for a moment she stood aghast, then threw herself on the wood-house floor in a torrent of tears, beside her poor little favorite. The whole household assem bled and stood around, trying in vain to offer consolation. Somebody shot him," said Ralph. "I heard a gun go off, when I was down at Roy's. I'd just like to get hold of the fellow that did that." "I bet a dollar I know who 'twas," ex claimed Teddy, jumping up from his seat on the wood-pile, in the earnestness of hi s con viction. 'Twas Jake Newell. I see him goin' off up north across lots this afternoon, with a gun, and that old brown dog of his."
CdiLD-LIFE ON A FARM. 153 Jake Newell was a boy about Ralph's age, belonging to a poor, ignorant family, living in a tumble-down shanty out on the mountain road. Jake seldom went to school, but spent his time hunting, fishing, and loafing about generally, and was not regarded with much favor in the neighborhood. No one knew any thing positively bad about him, but every one prophesied the worst. "I ha-ate Jake New-ew-ewell," sobbed Mil lie. I wish '' -and then she fell to crying again harde!' than ever She wanted to say she wished he were dead, but did not quite dare. I fear she wished it in her heart, all the same. "I'll kill his old dog," shouted Teddy ex citedly. "I will, the very first time I see him; you see if I don't." "Jake Newell'd better not let me catch him around here very soon," said Ralph. "Til give him one good thrashing, you may bet on that." Children, children I said grandma, much .,.
164 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. shocked. "What does the Bible &ay? 'Love your enemies, bless those who persecute you; forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.' " That don't mean when they're so awful mean as Jake Newell," said Millie. "Nobody could forgive any one so ugly as that, to go and shoot a good little cat, that never did him a bit of harm; and Millie fell to crying again. "Pd like to see myself loving Jake Newell," ()bserved Teddy with lofty scorn. Ralph said nothing, but it was evident Jake's thrashing only waited a fitting occasion. Ralph had what grandma called a "real stuffy disposition." Usually amiable, his wrath was slow to rise, but once raised, equally slow to abate; as different as possible from Teddy's quick coming and going flashes of temper. Grandma saw that the time for moral lessons to be calmly received had not yet come, and wisely dropped the subject for the present. Meantime every one tried to minister to poor Ty's comfort. Mrs. Kendall gave Millie
CHILD-LIFE ON .A FARM. 155 an old blanket for his bed, grandma brought him dried catnip from the garret, Teddy took a mouse away from Tip to tempt his appetite, while Ralph went off in the pasture for fresh catnip. But Ty cared for none of these things now. Millie sat by him until bedtime talking softly to him, telling him how much she loved him, how mean Jake Newell was, what a dear, good, precious, beautiful little cat he was. Who knows? Perhaps Ty understood a little, and was comforted somewhat in his dis tress by the warm, yearning love that could do nothing for him but love him. He some times looke d up into Millie's face with almost a human expression. Millie wanted to take him in on her own bed, but her mother persuaded her he would be much more comfortable in the wood-bouse; so she finally consented to leave him there and go to bed, sure that he would be much bett e r in the morning. Early in the morning, before any one wa s
156 70LLY GOOD TIMES. up but her mother and Aaron, Millie rose and hurried out into the wood-house. There lay poor Ty, stiff, breathless, cold. Millie could not believe he was really dead. She put her hand timidly on him, half expecting he would respond to her caress. But Ty was indifferent now to the hand he had loved so much. Millie sat down on the floor beside him, buried her face in her apron, and wept as one who refuses to be comforted. Ralph and Teddy found her, when they came down from upstairs. Teddy offered to give her Tip. Tip ain't Ty ," sobbed Millie, shaking her head. Finally, Ralph hit on the only possible means of consolation. "I'll tell you what, Millie," said he, we'll bury Ty in our cemetery. I'll make him a coffin, and you can wfite a poem about him, and I'll put it on his tqmbstone. Then we can invite Lois and Roy up, and have a regular funeral for him."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 157 Down in a shelving clay bank by the brook the boys had a cemetery. In the bank, tombs of various sizes were dug out and lined with pebbles, with flat stones for doors. Winding roads, with tunnels and bridg es, were cut out of the bank, wide enough to accommodate Teddy's little wagon that Ralph made. There were several graves, with suitable head and foot stones, and the whole was surrounded by a picket-fence made of old shingles. Any thing that died on the farm was a boon to the boys, from lambs down to birds, mice, and even flies and wasps. Millie was agreeably struck by Ralph's proposal. Since Ty was really dead, all she could do for him now was to give him an honorable burial. She resolved to ask Lois and Chettie to attend. The boys wanted Roy to come, but Millie said,-"No, I don't want him. He'll make fun of it all, and he sha'n't come." Millie devoted herself to composing a verse appropriate to the occasion. Then it occurred
158 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. to her there should be some flowers. Aunt Olive was rather shocked to discover Millie making a wreath by tying some of her choicest double pinks on a piece of old hoop-skirt wire. Mnfe," exclaimed Aunt Olive, "1 W88 saving those pinks to carry into Cattleshow!" "I knew you wouldn't care, 'cause it was for a funeral," replied Millie, with the calm superiority of one whom affliction has raised out of the ordinary round of blame and duties. But you should have asked. However, never mind now," said Aunt Olive, hacl no heart to scold. "But you mustn't ever do it again." When the invited guests had arrived, Ty was tenderly laid in the coffin Ralph had made, which was all nicely lined with "Weekly Trib lmes," and the box placed on Teddy's wagon. Around his neck was the wreath of pinks Long sprays of golden rod, stuck in the four corner s of the wagon, nodded over him like
c.H/LD-LIFE ON A FARM. 159 funeral plumes; were, in fact, an idea of Mil lie's, borrowed from a picture she had some where seen of a funeral among the English nobility. The procession started with, first, the wagon, dmwn by Ralph and Teddy. Behind it walked Millie and Lois, bearing, as chief mourners, Tip and old Blackie, who looked suitably unhappy in the decent bows of black cambric which adorned their necks. Chettie brought up the rear, only there was some difficulty in keeping him there, on account of the lively interest he took in all the proceedings, and his strong determination to be one of the horses." The ceremonies at the grave were not so impressive as M.illie could have wished. In the first place, Tip's conduct as a mourner was simply scandalous. She contrived to escape from Lois, and climbed a tree, where she capered about among the branches until she hung herself by her mourning. There would soon have been material for another funeral,
160 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. had not Teddy climbed the tree and rescued her. Then neither of the boys would be the min:ster, so there couldn't be a s e rmon, Millie had intended. Lois was every thing a sympathizing friend should be at such a time, but Chettie was wholly irrepressible. In fact, he enjoyed the occasion so much that the very next day he made a funeral of his own at home, by burying Lois's best doll in thP garden. The head-stone was a smooth shingle, prop erly rounded and shaped by Ralph. On it he had printed in large letters this poem, com posed by Millie: Here doth lie My dear Ty, So I cry." When this had been erected, Millie and Lois stuck a row of pinks and china-asters all around the little grave. "Now we ought to sing something," said Lois. "They 'most always sing' Sister, thou wast
CHil-D-LIFE ON A FARM. 161 mild and lovely,' at funerals," said Millie. "1 know one verse of it." The first verse of this hymn was sung, and that concluded the exercises. Teddy and Ralph said it was the best funeral they'd ev-13r had in their graveyard, and even Millie Jiad derived from it a degree of melancholy satis faction. Lois and Chettie stayed to tea. Millie had out her china tea-set that her father brought her from Boston, and all the children had supper by themselves, at a little round table set out-doors in the shade of the big maple. There was real tea in the teapot, judiciously weakened by Aunt Olive, and real milk and sugar in the little pitcher and sugar bowl, besides a little frosted cake with raisins in it that Mrs. Kendall had baked expressly for this occasion. They called each other Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Chettie being Jonathan Jones. ( l,hey all sat up very straight, and talked very precisely, and said "yes, sir," and J[
162 '.JOLLY GOOD TIMES. ''no, ma'am," to each other, sipping their tea from the small pewter teaspoons in the politest manner imaginable, just like grown people, only a great deal more so. By-and-by Teddy, tired of being polite so long, tipped back in his chair as far as he could, holding to the table by both hands, his mouth full of cake. "Mr. Jones! Don't! You mustn't do so, Mr. Jones! cried Millie, but too late. The unlucky Mr. Jones lost his balance, and over he tumbled, dragging with him table, table-cloth, and all. Fortunately the tea-set, falling on the soft grass, was not broken, but the refreshments presented a mixed appear ance when rescued from the ruins, and most of the tea and milk now adorned the jacket of Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Jonathan Jones, I regret to say, all laughed long and loud at this disaster, seeming to think it a decidedly good joke. Not so the indignant Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 163 "That's just like boys. Boys always spoil every thing," s aid Millie, warmly. "I know it," responded Lois, with emphasis. Later, when Lois and Chettie had gone home, Millie went with Teddy to drive the cows to pasture. The sun had set, but all the low-lying clouds along the western mountains were still bright with rosy light. Belated birds were flying in all directions, seeking their homes for the night. Their songs had ceased. There was only a faint, chippering, twittering sound, as they subsided into their nests. Suddenly Teddy caught Millie's arm. "Stopl" he said. "Hark a minutel There's my bird." Way off, from the woods across the river, came the sweet, melancholy notes of a wood thrush. They listened, as the twilight seemed to throb and quiver with the melody. When it ceased, Teddy said,"I call that my bird, 'cause I 'most always hear it when I drive the cows to pasture this
164: JOLLY GOOD TIMES. time o' night. I like to hear it, but it sounds sorter lonesome like, too." "I think it's lovely," said Millie. "It sounds like heaven. Do you know, Teddy, I believe there's a cat heaven somewhere, where good cats, like Ty, go when they die. It don't seem as if Ty were just nothing now, does it?" '' No," said Teddy. And I know lots o' horses that's better'n some folks, better'n Jake Newell, any way. I guess there's a horse heaven, too." I suppose," pondered Millie, looking off into the fading western sky, where the stars already began to faintly twinkle, "up in the cat heaven there are whole rivers of milk, and groves of catnip, and the sun always shines, and the cats are all fat, and play all the time, only when they lie down to sleep on velvet cushions,-red velvet, just like the pulpit cushion, you know." "I suppose so," assented Teddy.
XI. AN EXCURSION. QNE night Mr. Kendall, Aaron, and the children were all sitting out on the back-door steps, enjoying the dewy coolness of the dusky twilight, doubly refreshing after the toil and heat of the day. Aunt Olive, straining milk in the further pantry, was singing, in a cheerful tone, snatches from that most doleful air, "China." Up from the meadow below came the gurgling chant of the frogs and the shrill assertion of the katydid, and the air was heavy with the fresh fragrant odor which the night dampness distils from grass, trees, :flowers. Mr. Kendall said,"I guess Aaron, to-morrow 'll be as good a time as any for you to ride down to South Deerfield and see about that yoke of oxen Jones writes me he's had another offer for
166 'JOLLY GOOJJ TIMES. them, and wants to know right away what I'm going to do about it." "W a'al," said Aaron, "I'd as lieves go tomorrer as any time." "0 father," burst in all the children at once, '' can't we go too? We never went to South Deerfield in our lives. Oh, do let us go i,., "I was going to tell Aaron," said Mr. Ken dall, "he might take the two-seated wagon, and take you and the Whittaker children, if he was a mind to. The boys have worked pretty well this summer, and deserve a holi day, I think." Aaron was as pleased to have the children's company as they were to go, and they all started at once for Mr. Whittaker's to arrange the trip, the children giving themselves up to the most rapturous discussions and imaginings about the morrow's delights. The morning dawned warm but pleasant. Before the dew was off th e grasB Aaron, with his wagon load of children, was jolting briskly along the road to South Deerfield. On the
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 167 back seat sat Millie, Lois, and Ralph. The girls were the proud possessors of Mrs. whit taker's best sun umbrella, any portion of whose shade was, however, scornfully rejected by Ralph, as a weakness unbecoming a man. Roy and Teddy rode on the front seat with Aaron, where they commanded a full view of the horses, and were able to assist in the driving by carrying the whip, holding the reins when Aaron stopped to water the horses, &c. Chettie was stowed in promiscuously. Sometimes he sat in the girls' laps, sometimes he stood up, holding to the front seat, some times he sat on the bottom of the wagon. Once or twice he contrived to almost tumble out, going over big jolts in the road; and altogether he was regarded by the girls as a decided responsibility. Tom and old Kate, harnessed together, were not what would be called a thoroughly well matched span. Tom was a large bay horse, Kate a small sorrel, with white nose and feet. Old Kate jogged faithfully along, head
168 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. meekly hanging down, never minding the freakishness of youth as displayed by Tom, who, bead and ears up, saw all the suspicious monsters of stones and logs beside the road, shied, snorted, and would gladly have rnn away had Aaron and old Kate consented. The boys admired Tom immensely, and only wished old Kate were just like him. I want to see old Deerfield like every thing," said Ralph, "because Aaron has told us so many Indian stories that happened there." "Ho," said Roy, who was on this occasion rather disposed to give himself the insufferable airs of an old traveller, 'ti_ sn't much to see. 'Tisn't so big as Greenfield. I've been there twice." "I don't care," said Ralph ; I've been to Coleraine, and to Rowe, too; now." Whe11 they rounded the corner, into old Deerfield Street, even the childr e n were im pressed with the beauty of the place. Oh, what big elm trees," cried Millie.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 169 And how they meet overhead. It's ao cool and shady, it's just like riding through the woods all the way I "Some of these biggest trees must have been here in old Indian times, mustn't they, Aaron?" asked Teddy. "Wa'al, no, I guess not, hardly. You see that's goin' on two hundred year ago or so. They're pooty old trees, though. They've seen more'n one generation of folks come and go. Jest look at that old feller. Every limb would make a big tree, by itself." This street has seen. a good deal of fight ing, hasn't it, Aaron?" asked Ralph, anxious to get Aaron started on Indian r e miniscence s "Yes, the soil's all full of Injun arre r heads and sech things, and they say the folks over be!"e can go out in their dooryards and dig up an Injun skeleton any time they're a mind to. You know this street was picketed w i t h big t1mber pickets, drove down into the grou n d close together. The men folks went out day times to work on the medders, but they allers
170 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. took their guns. The old meetin'-house used to stand right in the centre of this common. On top of it was a sentry-box. I see the old meetin'-house once, when I was a leetle chap." "Was the sentry-box there then? How did it look?" asked Teddy. "Yes. It was jest a leetle box on top where a man could stand on guard, and look off all over the medders, while the men were to work. Of course he could see Injuns hangin' around when they couldn't. Then he'd give the alarm, and they'd git inside the pickets. Two men used to patrol this street all night long, every night, trampin' up and doWL the whole length, and meetin' and passin' each other in the centre. Uncle Ase has patrolled this street more'n one night. Every one had to take their turn. Boys had to go on guard when they was sixteen. How'd you boys liked to have lived in them days? "First rate ,'' responded the boys promptly. There was some fun in being a boy then," said Roy.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 171 ''I remember hearin' Uncle Ase say he never should forgit the fust time he had to stand l)n guard. He was only jest sixteen year old. One night, when he was eatin' supper, the man whose bizness it was to appint the gu ard cum in and told Uncle Ase it was his turn to go on guard that night. Uncle Ase said he felt pooty bad. He looked up, and hi s father was lookin' right at him. His father sez, I ll go for you to-night, Ase.' But Uncle Ase wouldn't let him. He wan' t goin' to back out, and let his father go for him, if he did feel a little skeery." Did the Indians ever come round while he was on guard?" asked Roy. I never heern him tell of but one time. One moonshiny night, when he got down to the south end of the street, he see something black under the shadow of the trees he didn't exactly like the looks of. It wa s so dark in under there, he couldn't make out wh a t it was. He thought he wouldn't be in a hurry to shoot; he'd wait till he met the other feller
172 'jOLLY GOOD TIMES. on guard, and see if he noticed it. They met in the middle of the street, and before Uncle Ase had a chance to say any thing, the other feller sez, sez he, 'Did you see any thing down there? Uncle Ase sez, Yes, he did see something he didn't exactly like the looks on. 'Wa'al,' sez the other feller, 'I see some thing queer there too. You'd better look out pooty sharp.' "When Uncle Ase got back to the south end, he see the thing agin. It looked like a dog trottin' up towards the pickets in the shade of the trees. A few nights afore this, a feller on guard shot a calf, and got tremen dously laffed at about it, so Uncle Ase thought he'd hold on and make sartin sure afore he fired. You see, he thought if it should turn out to be an Injun he could shoot him easy enough afore he could git over them pickets. All of a sudden that Injun up and over them pickets like a flash, afore Uncle Ase could begin to fire."
CHiLD-LIFE ON A FARM. 173 Then it really was an Indian. What do you suppose he was after, Aaron? asked Lois. Oh, he'd slipped in to spy round and see what he could find out. They were allers spyin' around. It didn't do for folks to git keerless. They bed to be on the lookout every minit. That's the way the town was burned in 1704. The folks bad got keerless and the sentinels was asleep; the snow had drifted over the pickets in one place and there was a good cru'St, so the Injuns walked right in and fairly killed folks in their beds they knew what was the matter." Below Deerfield Street the road turned down into the meadows and ran along through the fields unbounded by any fence, sometimes close by the river's bank. Tom's zeal of the early morning had somewhat cooled by this time, and he jogged along quite sedately, while Aaron told Indian stories, pointed out woodchucks in the distance, squirrels scampering up tree trunks, birds'-nests in bushes cloae
174 70LLY COOD TIMES. to the road, and all other objects of interest, far and near. The children noticed the wild grape vines that tangled so m an y tre es beside the road as they drew near Sou t h Deerfield. "Like's not, them vin es ," said Aaron, "are the descendants of the same grape s that led, so folks tell, to the bloody fight that took place right along here a piece. You see, the Injuns was round pretty thick and actin' ugly, so a lot of s oldiers was sent up to Hadley to help fight 'em, from down E a st, Boston way. The commander at Hadley found he needed more provisions, between these soldiers comin' and the folks driven in every day by the Injuns from the smalle r settlements outside. A lot of wheat had ben raised on Deerfield medders, so Captain Lathrop was sent up for it with a detachment of eighty men and some teams to bring the wheat back in." Here they came in sight of the little brook that runs acro s s the north end of South Deerfield's main street. Whoa! said Aaron, bringing thE' horses
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 175 to a stand-still. There, you see that brook and the swampy ground each side on't? W a'al, the fight took place right here. The swamp was wuss in them days, and it was covered with woods and thick brush then. You see, a party of some seven hundred Injuns had found out Captain Lathrop had gone up to Deerfield, so they picked out this spot and lay in ambush in the woods, each side of the trail, waitin' for him to come back. The trail crossed this brook just where that bridge is now. "Wa'al, when Captain Lathrop and his meu got along here, the heavy wagons stuck in this swamp, so they unhitched the horses and doubled the teams to git the wagons through. The trees all along beside the brook was cov ered with wild grape vines, the grapes jnst ripe. Folks say the soldiers threw down their guns, climbed the trees, and went to eatin' grapes. It don't seem's if Captain Lathrop would a ben so keerless as that, but he sar tainly ought to have thrown out scouts when
176 JOLLY GOOD T/MES. he was marchin' through woods full of Injuns. He wouldn't a ben surprised then. As it was, fust they knew while they was all in this dis order crossin' the brook, the lnjuns fell upon 'em, and made bloody work enough. Captain Lathrop and his men fought tremenjously, and if they'd knowed what was comin', and ben in a solid body, most likely they'd 'ave held their own. But they was scattered every way, behind trees, each man for himself, and the lnjuns killed all but seven or eight, who con trived to git into the woods and escape. Cap tain Mosely, up at Deerfield, heerd the :firin' and cum right down with his men. When they got there they found the Injuns strippin' and manglin' the dead. They charged back and forth in a solid body, and after sum hard :fightin' :finally drove the Injuns off." Here they crossed the brook. On the other side stood a small monument surrounded by trees. "That monument," said Aaron, "marks the spot where the battle was fought. We'll stop and see what it sez."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 177 Aaron stopped and sat in the wagon while the children went into the enclosure. Millie read the inscription aloud. It said:" On this ground Captain Thomas Lathrop eighty-four men under his command, including eighteen teamsters from Deerfield, conveying stores from that town to Hadley, were ambuscaded by about seven hundred Indians, and the Captain and seventy-six men slain, Sept. 18, 1675 (old style). '' The soldiers who fell were described by a contemporary historian as 'a choice company of young men, the very flower of the county of Essex, none of whom were ashamed to speak with the enemy in the gate.' '' And Sanguinetto tells you where tbe dead Made the earth wet and turned the unwilling waters red.' " Yes," said Aaron, this used to be called Muddy Brook. They changed its name to Bloody Brook, because it ran red with blood durin' the fight." The children gazed almost with awe on the little meadow-brook gliding peacefully along L
178 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. under its overhanging grasses. It was hard to realize it had ever :figured in such bloody scenes. The children stayed around the monu ment and brook while Aaron went to the house near by, where his errand took him. "When he came back, he said, It looks pooty showery off in the west, but I guess we can git up to old Deerfield afore it cums down." Aaron touched up the horses and they set off on a fine trot, animated by the fact of being homeward-bound. But the clouds rolled up fast, too. "It's no use," said Aaron, we shall have to put into this barn," and he drdve in on the floor of a barn, standing beside the road with wide-open doors. The black clouds broke, and down came the rain in great sheets and floods, turning the road into a river, rush ing in white cataracts out of the eave-spoutsJ sweeping down and hopele ssly flattening the tall corn in the cornfield near by. The children stood in the barn-door and
CHILD-LIFE ON .A FARM. 1 '19 watched the rain awhile; then they explored the barn, wondered at and admired a new kind of hens with turbans on, and patted the nose of a friendly old white horse standing in the stable. Then Roy began daring the rest to walk as he did across some beams running out over the place where the pigs were kept, down under the barn. When Aaron discovered them at this last dangerous amusement he soon stopped it. Then they all realized they were very hungry. "Wa'al," said Aaron, "I'd oughter 'ave brought somethin' to eat. I don't see why I didn't hev more gumption. But I told the folks I should be hum to dinner. You can stan' it, I guess, can't ye, till we git up to Deerfield Street, and then I'll buy you sum crackers and cheese." "Oh, dear," sighed Millie plaintively, "don't as if I could wait a minute longer. I'm 'most starved now." All the children echoed this sentiment, and Aaron felt in some per vlexity.
180 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. The rain had now abated somewhat, aud presently they saw a man coming out of the house near by, to which the barn belonged. He was an old man, with white hair, but a cheerful, ruddy face. ' Good morning, sii-," he said to Aaron. "Pritty paowerful rain we're a hevin'." Yes," said Aaron. "We had to put into your barn for shelter." W a'al, thet's all right. N aow you jest unhitch them horses, and give 'em some oats, and cum along into the haouse with them children. My woman sez she wants to give them children some bread and milk." The children's faces all brightened. They thought what a nice woman this must be. W a'al," said Aaron, '' the children are pooty hungry, but seems to me it's a comin' rl.own on your folks ruther hard, so many of us." "Don't you say a word about it,'' replied the old gentleman, heartily. "We like chil d ren to our haouse, and I hain't seen sech a
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 18] passel o' boys and gals, I don't know when. You jest cum right along in, and don't say another word." Thus urged, Aaron could hesitate no longer, and they started for the house, Millie keeping close to Lois, and relying on her good manners to do the proper thing for them all in this emergency, while the boys hung bashfully in the rear. But no one could feel bashful long with good Mrs. Brown, for that was the name of the fat, motherly old lady, with the beam ing, good-natured face, who met them all at the back door, shook hands with Aaron, kissed the girls and patted the boys' heads, as if she had known them all her life. After the children were all seated around the table, and supplied with big bowls of bread and milk, Mrs. Brown, contemplating them with a look of great satisfaction, said,-'' I declare, father, this duz look like old times. You see," she explained to Aaron, we had seven children, four boys and three girls, though we didn't raise tut four. Maria
182 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. and Susan got married and went off, and Samuel went out West to live, and JohnJohn was the youngest, and he was go in' to live on the old place with us, but he went into the army and was killed at Petersburg. Maria lives close by, and she and her children cum over often, but the old house feels pretty empty sometimes, and it does seem good to see a table full of children again." And Mrs. Brown wiped her eyes, and went off into the pantry for a new apple-pie, some cheese of her own making, and some crisp cookies, cut leaf-shape and filled with caraway seeds; the best cookies, Teddy thought, he ever ate in his life. Millie was much shocked because Teddy took the third cooky, but Mrs. Brown said, "Do let the boy have all he wants. There's 'l. plenty of 'em.'' Before long the children were all talking 88 if they had known Mr. and Mrs. Brown all their lives. Mrs. Brown took the into her parlor and showed them John's pict-
CHILD-LIFE ON .A FARM. 183 ure and the sampler she worked when she was a little girl, and a wonderful rag mat, made by her daughter Susan, representing the old Indian house; and Millie borrowed a book full of the most interesting stories about wolves in Russia. When the rain stopped and they started for home again, the boys had arranged with Mr. Brown for an exchange of hens' eggs the next spring, and they all promised to visit Mr. and Mrs. Brown again some time, and Mrs. Brown sent her love to Millie's grandmother Kendall, whom it seemed she used to know years ago. And so, with the most cordial good-bys on both sides, they drove off, the old lady and gentleman standing on the back steps, and watching them till out of sight. The children all felt much refreshed by the dinner, the adventure of making Mr. and 1\Irs. Brown's acquaintance, and their cordiality, and were as wide-awake and animated as when they first set out in the morning. Then the
184 70LLY GOOD TIMES. a1r was cool and fresh after the rain, the dust nicely laid, and the horses quite gay from their lunch of oats. Even Aaron caught the spirit of the occasion, resolved to forego duty for once, and make a day of it." "I s'posc," he said, "I'd oughter be to hum, harve s tin' them oats; but as long's we've had our dinner, and got started, I dunno but we might as well make a day on't. I should kinder like to look around old D eer field sum myself, and there's no knowin' when we shall git started agin. We'll stop and see the old Injun door, ennyway ." As they drove up to the Pocumtuck House, where the door of the old Indian house is kept, Aaron pointed off across the common. Over there," he said, right behind the . meetin'-house, is where the old Injun house used to stand. When the Injuns surprised the town, in 1704, they burnt every house but this. They kept this to put their prisoners in as they captured 'em. Then they marcheC! ,em off for Canady. This house belonged to
0-I/LD-LIFE ON A FARM. 185 Capt. John Sheldon. The door was so firmly bolted the Injuns couldn't break it down. So they hacked away at it with their tomahawks till they'd cut a hole big enough to run a gun through. Then they stuck a gun through and shot Mrs. Sheldon settin' up in bed. She had woke, and was startin' to git up. The bullet thet killed her lodged in the wall behind the bed, and stayed there as long as the house stood. When they tore the house down they saved the door, and it's kep in here." They found the old door in a glass case, fastened against the wall of the hall. It was made of heavy planks, two thicknesses, fast ened with clumsy but stout nails, with similar latch, probably made in England. All over it were marks and cuts of the savage tomahawk, and in the centre the hole of which Aaron had told them. This seemed like coming pretty near the old Indian times. The chil dren could almost imagine that night of ter ror, nearly two hundred years ago; one side of this door the fierce savages-the other, the
186 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. trembling, panic-stricken settlers, roused from the peace and security of sleep to a horrible death in the darkness and confusion of the night. "Now," said Aaron, "we'll drive down to the old buryin'-ground, if you girls have got thick shoes on. The grass'll be ruther damp after the rain." The old graveyard lies back of the town, on what used to be the bank of the river. Here they found some very old graves, with the quaintest head-stones,-head-stones orna mented with death's heads and cross-bones, and other horrible designs, apparently intended to add terrors to death. The children were the most interested in the head-stone of Mrs. Eunice Williams, wife of the Deerfield minister at the time the town was burned. Aaron had told them about her; how the Indians had dragged her from a sick bed, and started to march her on foot through the snow to Canada; how, the first day, they killed her little baby right before her eyes,
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 187 and the next day, her strength failing as they were ascending a hill in the north part of Greenfield, they drove their tomahawks into her skull, and left her dead. Afterwards, people went up from Deerfield, found her body, brought it home, and buried it here. Her gravestone bore the usual grinning death's head, and this inscription: "Here lyeth the Body of Mrs. Eunice Williams, the k desirable Consort of the Revd. Mr. John Williams, & Daughter to ye Revd. Mr. Eleazer and Mrs. Esther Mather of Northampton. She was born Aug. 2, 1664, and fell by the rage of ye Barbarous Enemy, March 1, 1703-4. "Prov. 31.28. 'Her Children arise up & call her Blessed.' After rambling around here a while, they all set out, actually for home this time. Going through Greenfield village Aaron stopped at a drng store, treated them all to soda, and bought them some candy. This was the crowning feature of this most remarkable day. When, having left the Whittakers at their own home, theJ: drove into the yard, grand
188 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. mother, Aunt Olive, and mother all came out to meet them, and hear all about it. Language proved unequal to the occasion. The children all talked very loud, and all together, and it was one jumble of confused sound, among which could occasionally be distinguished the words, "Brown, Aaron, Injuns, hens, soda, old door, cookies, graveyard as Ralph, Teddy, or Millie's voice happened to be uppermost for the moment. Well," exclaimed grandma, in despair, "I guess you had a good but I can't make head nor tail of it. Who wa\ the woman with the turban on that gave yo11 the soda cookies, and did you say you saw th()se brown hens with the top-knot in the graveyard? This called out, first a burst of l()ud laugh ter, and then a clearer explanation. Millie summed up the whole of this most a.dventu rous day in their lives, by saying," Mrs. Brown is the best lady I ever kllews and I do love to travel so! I mean to trave1 lots when I get grown up."
xn. CATTLE SHOW. JT was the twenty-seventh of September. This may not seem a very striking date, but it was to the Ktmdall children, for then came Cattle Show, one of the great days of the year, hardly second to Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. For weeks they had been looking forward to it and planning for it. Ready money is not always plen t y on farms Mr. Kendall was obliged to be economical, and the children seldom had money to spend for themselves. Before Cattle Show they usually contrived to earn some, in preparation for the many fascinations of that day. By killing squash-bugs, at a penny for every ten slain, Ralph had earned ten cents, Teddy
190 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. twelve, Millie only five, because she disliked doing it so much. Then Ralph had swopped jack-knives with a boy at school and received five cents boot; a man whose bundle had dropped from his wagon gave Teddy five cents for picking it up; and Aunt Olive paid Millie ten cents for keeping the chickens off her flower-bed. As their father always gave them some money to buy a dinner, they felt very rich with all their own money to spend as they pleased, and often talked over how they would invest it. They were all dressed and ready to start rmmediately after breakfast. Then came a trying season of waiting. They must wait till their father, who went down early with Aaron to drive some cattle for exhibition, should return for them. It seemed as if he would never come. They walked out to the gate and looked down the road to see if he were coming; they sat on the front door steps watching the wagon-loads of people that went whirling by. The wagons
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 191 had been going ever since daylight, and each one that passed made the children feel as if the cattle-show would be all over before they could get there. But finally Mr. Kendall ret.m'lled, and at last they, too, were whirling along in the dusty procession of all sorts of vehicles, village-bound. To the children, used to the quiet of farm life, the village, with its crowds of people and carriages, was a most gay and exciting scene Bright red and yellow cloths draped the front of stores, whose windows, with their enticingly displayed fascinations, were every one a dangerous man or rather woman-trap. Along the sidewalks were tables for the sale of candy, pea-nuts, gingerbread. Mr. Kendall unloaded the children near the entrance to the fair grounds. He said,"I shall have to leave you, as I'm on a committee and must be down by the cattle. Ralph, you are the oldest, I depend on you to see to the others. Be careful. Don't run any lisks or go anywhere you ought not. I will
192 'JO.lLY GOOD TIMES. come to the Hall for you about five this after noon." On their way down to the grounds the children's attention was drawn to a man who had a table beside the walk for the sale of cakes, &c. Gingerbread I he shouted. Real baker's only ninepence a sheet! Of a.ll the cakes my mammy makes, Give me the gingerbread. New cider I Five cents a glass I Walk up, ladies and gentlemen. Walk up, roll up, tum ble up, any way to get up I The boys, overcome by this remarkable wit and the potent charms of the gingerbread, each purchased a large card, and walked on, eating as they went. The fair grounds were a meadow, on ono side of which a sloping hill rose amphitheatre like, making a capital place to sit and look down on the gayeties below. The children found a nice seat close to the brass band, where they could see all over the grounds.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 193 'rhe scene was gay and apimated. Overhead was the intensely blue September sky, all around hills and trees touched with autumn brightness. Groups of well-dressed people sauntered on the hill-side, exchanging hearty "how d'ye do's" and hand-shakes with the friends they often encountered. Fond but verdant pairs of lovers strolled by, holding each other tenderly, yet bashfully, by the hand. Around the track drove rapidly fast young fellows with fast horses, fully sensible of the feminine eyes on the hill-side looking down. "Rallo! there's Mr. Colton; I know him. like a book," said Ralph, with a slight air of importance at knowing so great a man. Mr. Colton rode a spirited gray horse, that pranced sideways up and down the track. On his hat a band in large letters read "Marshal." All the boys s campered when he gal loped up and ordered them off the track, and Ralph and Teddy gazed on him with equal envy and admiration.
194 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "I shall have just such a horse as that when I'm a man," said Teddy. From the pens in the meadows below came the baaing of sheep, bellowing of cattle, crowing of roosters, drowned, every now and then, by the deafening roar of the brass band, which struck up suddenly with so loud a whang" of the big drum right in Millie's ears, that she jumped and came near losing her balance and rolling down hill. Boys rambled up and down the hill-side crying," Pop-cornl Candy I Nice fresh pea-nuts, only five cents 1 The children felt quite distracted between the various things they wanted to buy. Fifteen cents won't buy every thing. Millie, whose capital was unimpaired, bought candy and pop-corn, the boys pea-nuts, and then they divided with each other. Then there came along a man with cheap whips for sale. Ralph and Teddy immediately invested in whips, and walked about snapping them with a smart air, like the men and boys. Next, their attention was attracted by a
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 195 crowd collected around a man, who seemed to be very entertaining. They went nearer. He was mounte d on a dry goods box, and was dressed in the old Continental uniform, cocked hat, knee breeches, and all. Whenever the crowd began to thin, he drew forth an old violin and sawed out an accompaniment to some comic negro melody, which he bawled forth in a harsh, cracked voice. This never failed to draw another crowd, to whom he dis coursed after this fashion: -"Ladies and gentlemen! I offer you to-day such a bargain as you never heard of before. A cake of scented, superfine, toilet soap, each package containing a splendid article of jew elry, all for only twenty-five cents! Only twenty-five cents! Just think of it! Why, it's actually giving the soap away, say nothing about the splendid jewelry. Come, gentle men, here's a chance to buy a nice present for your sweethearts. Walk up, ladies. Don't be afraid. Secure the splendid jewelry before it's all gone."
196 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Millie's imagination was fired by this elo quence. She said, "Boys, I believe I shall buy some soap There's no knowing what beaut iful p resent I might find in it. Would you? " Yes, I would," said both the boy s equally anxious to see the unknown prize. So Millie resolved to invest. Ralph passed up the money, and they all retired to open the package. The soap looked doubtful and uninviting. The jewelry was a small shirt-pin with a red glass stone. The gold had a greenish hue around the stone, and smelt decidedly brassy. Millie was rather disappointed at this meagre realization of her bright visions, but said it would be a nice present to give Aaron. l'op-corn and pea-nuts, however delicious, are not filling." Millie exclaimed, "Ralph, what shall I do? I forgot all about dinner. I've spent all my money but five cents, and I'm almost starved." Let's see how much I've got," said Ralph.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 197 A search in his pockets produced seven cents, while Teddy, the hungriest of all, found he had only two cents left. There was no hope of seeing their father until night, and the prospects for dinner looked dubious enough "I'll t e ll you what," said Ralph; "you stay here, and I'll go over to that refreshment tent and see if I can't buy a pie or som ething with our fourteen cents. Then we'll divide it. You two stay right here till I call you." Tents for the sale of refreshments stood down in the meadow, across the trottingtrack. Ralph went into one, and presently re appeared, beckoning Millie and Teddy to come over. They waited until the track was clear, and then started to run across, hand-in-hand. Just then two men trotting. horses dashed around the turn, close upon them, shouting, "Hi! hi!" A marshal galloped rapidly towards them. from the other direction, shouting, Clear the track there! Clear the track, I say!,
198 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Women screamed, while men called out, Look out there 1 you'll get run over 1 The terrified children dropped hold of hands, and ran for their lives, they hardly knew how or where. When Millie finally stopped rtm ning, caught her breath, and rubbed the dust out of her eyes so she could see, she found herself in an unfamiliar part of the grounds, surrounded by strangers, all of whom were too engrossed in their own affairs to notice the troubles of a strange little girl. She did not know which way to go to find Ralph and Teddy. She dared not cross the track again, and was too bashful to ask help of any of the people about her. Millie, not knowing what else to do, like some older and wiser people in their troubles, began to cry. But presently Millie remembered some of the things her mother had told her about God's being and always ready to help us in our trouble. Millie had not thought much about it at the time; but now there was no one else to help. So Millie, in the midst
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 199 of the dust and uproar, turned her dusty, stained little face up to the still blue sky overhead and said to herself, Our Father, who art in heaven; not as she said it at home, sleepily mumbling it over, and tumbling into bed, to be tucked up by mother, but with all her might, especially the deliver us from evil." Then-she hardly knew why she felt comforted, taken care of, as if it would all be right now. God sometimes sends strange messengers. As Millie stood there, out of a knot of men and boys came Jake Newell, loafing along more slouchily than usual, even. Millie was so delighted to see a familiar face, that she ran to meet Jake as if he had been her best friend. "0 Jake I "she said, "do help me I I'm lost, and I don't know where the boys are, or where to go, or what to do I Jake looked both surprised and sheepishly pleased at this appeal Nice girls weren't apt to notice him, much less throw themselves on his protection. He said, -
200 70LLY GOOD TIMES. I see the boys back here a piece. You come along with me, and I'll fetch you to 'em." Millie looked at Jake out of the corner of her eye, as they walked along, remembering Ty, and wondering if Jake would be so willing to help her if he knew what she had said about him. Jake seemed to divine h e r thoughts; at least he suddenly blurted out, Roy Whittaker says Ralph says I killed your cat. I s'pose I did, but I didn't go for to do it. I fired near it for fun, jest to scare it, and it hopped up jest in time to git shot. I wouldn't a shot it a purpose for nothin'. " I'm glad you didn't mean to do it," replied Millie, much conciliated. Ralph, who had been greatly troubled by Millie's disappearance, was so glad to sec her again all right that he even forgot to be astonished at her company. Nor did this seem just the time to give Jake that" thrash ing." So he nodded to Jake in an off-hand way, while Millie thanked him most cordially,
CHILD-IJFE ON A FARM. 201 and Jake walked off, feeling, perhaps, more self-respect than ever in his life before. After Millie had told her story, and Ralph and Teddy their adventures, they proceeded to divide the large piece of apple-pie which Ralph had purchased with the fourteen cents. It was better than nothing, but, after all, a very insufficient dinner for three hungry children of healthy appetites. Now," said Ralph, we've stayed down here long enough. Let's go up to the Hall." The Hall was crowded with people. The children pushed and squeezed their way through the crowd, almost suffocated, sometimes, by the tall people, who forgot children hail their rights as well as grown persons. Millie ad mired immensely the Fine Arts collection, the chief features of which were a bright yel low colored crayon dog reclining on an equally bright red cushion, and a wreath made of old buttons. Nor could she enough wonder at the various red and white bedquilts of inde scribable patterns, especially the one of exactly II*
202 70LLY GOOD TIMES. one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three pieces, made by an old lady of eighty-five. But the boys cared for none of these things. "Come, don't let's stay here all day," ex claimed Teddy, impatiently. "Let's go and see Uncle 'Bijah's fruit." Uncle 'Bijah was Mrs. Kendall's brother in Shelburne. He raised much nice fruit, and generally took the fir s t prize at Cattle Show. The children's mouths watered as they gazed at the long rows of plates piled high with shining red, yellow, green apples; the great pears ready to burst with their own juice; the dewy, purple grapes; the one plate of lus cious peaches. They felt a tender tie of kinship to that fruit. They knew Uncle 'Bijah w ould give them some if he were only there But there was the big placard, Hands off," so they moved on to the next table, which was a worse trial still to people who had gone din nerless. Here were delicately brown loaves of wh eat and rye-bread, rolls of yellow butter, tempting
CHILD-UFE ON A FARM. 203 cheeses, cans of fruit, boxes of clear, golden honey. Never did any thing smell so aggra vatingly delicious as that bread and butter. "I tell you what," said Ralph, I just wish I was on the bread and butter committee. You'd better believe I'd give the things a fair trial." "Do you suppose they could put you in jail for just taking that little piece of bread? asked Teddy, whose principles were beginning to waver before his hunger. "Why, yes, of course they could," said Millie. "Don't you touch it, Teddy Kendall. It's stealing just as much as any thing." When Mr. Kendall came to the Hall at five he found three tired, dirty-faced children quite ready to go home. As they drove into the yard, Millie, whose senses were sharpened by hunger, announced that she smelt a johnny" cake, "one of the puffy, sweetened kind." Sure enough, Mrs. Kendall, with the pene tration peculiar to mothers, had foreseen that a substantial supper would probably be accept
204: 70LLY GOOD TIMES. able. There was not only johnny-cake, but cold baked beans and chipped dried beef, besides plenty of bread and butter and new gingerbread. "Well, I declare," said Aunt Olive, as she brought the third piled up plate full of golden squares of smoking hot johnny-cake, "you make me think of that conundrum, Why is a hungry boy like a chrysalis? Because he makes the butter fly."
xm. FALL WORK. nA ARON," said Mr. Kendall, one keen, frosty October morning, where's Ralph? I want him." Out to the cider-mill. I left him to tend the press while I fed the calves." Mr. Kendall went on to the cider-mill, which was in the same building with the sap-bouse. Ralph was nowhere visible. Old Kate was standing in the wide door, with her nose stuck out into the sunshine, eyes half shut, the image of blissful content. She was harnessed to the press, but, left by Ralph to her own devices, bad gone slower and slower, till finally she had yielded to the temptation of the open door and come to a dead stop. Mr. Kendall gave her a friendly slap with his hand, and she started
206 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. reluctantly on her tread-mill round again, the old press squeaking and groaning out of all proportion to the feeble trickle of juice ex torted from the cheese. Mr. Kendall seemed to know just where to look for Ralph. He went around into the sap-house. Pushing the door open, he saw what looked not unlike a gigantic six-legged spider spread out over a barrel. "Who's stealing my sweet cider?" said Mr. Kendall. The spider at once resolved itself into three parts, proving to be Ralph, Millie, and Teddy, who, with heads close together, had all been sucking cider from the bung-hole through long straws. "Is this the way you attend to business, Ralph?" asked Mr. Kendall. Well, Teddy and Millie came out with the straws, and I thought I'd just try it, and then I forgot." "A good business man works first and plays afterwards, when he's earned the right to play,"
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 207 said Mr. Kendall. I'll put Tom into the press now, and tend to the grinding myself for a while. I want you to take old Kate ana the long wagon and go up into the mountair orchard and bring down a load of apples Teddy and Millie may go with you to heir pick them up. Don't forget to take the side boards." This was a kind of job the children al. delighted in. Very soon they were rattling merrily along the road, Ralph standing up to drive, with his legs wide apart in a manly manner, while Teddy and Millie sat on the bottom of the wagon, both carrying baskets for any chestnuts they might find on the mountain. It was a wonderfully nice-feeling morning. The mountain, bright with all its autumn glories of red, yellow, brown, purple, looked so brilliant against the deep blue sky, the air was so clear, cool, and exhilarating, the sun shone so caressingly, every fence and stump was so gay in its fall trimmings of scariet
208 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. woodbine, fleecy clematis, bitter-sweet berries, that, altogether, one must have been either very sick or very stupid not to feel uplifted and happy-fied. As the children were neither, but, on the contrary, quite rampant with good health and spirits, they were wholly in har mony with the brightness of the morning. Teddy sat at the back end of the wagon, with his feet dangling off, whistling, and Millie was singing something about Swe-et Riv-er," the air being much diversified by Ralph's whipping up old Kate whenever they came to a rough place or a thank you, ma'am," expressly to bounce her and Teddy about. Even old Kate became quite frisky, and pricked up her ears, affecting to shy, and assuming other coltish airs decidedly inappro pliate to her age. The road up the mountain ran through a deep gorge, beside a wild little trout-brook that leaped and sparkled down its mossy rocks in all sorts of pretty cascades. By and by they came to Mr. Kendall's orchard. Teddy
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 209 let down the bars, but did not take them quite away. As the wagon jerked over them some thing snapped. "There goes that thill," said Ralph. "Now we're in a nice fix." Examination showed that one thill was, m fact, badly cracked. The boys had plenty of string in their pockets, but none strong enough for this emergency. "I don't see what we're going to do," said Ralph. "I wish I had that whip-cord I swopped off the other day for fish-hooks." "There comes Jake Newell," said Teddy. "Like's not he can help us. Folks say he's real ingenious, when he's a mind to try." Jake was loafing along on the hill above them, with a gun over his shoulder, a lank, disreputable looking brown dog slinking at his heels. Dogs have a lively sense of thdr master's worldly standing and position, and put on airs, or the contrary, accordingly. Jake evidently saw the children, but showed no disposition to join them, striking off in the
210 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. opposite direction, in fact; perhaps because the pockets of the old coat he wore were too suspiciously baggy and saggy for one found rambling in his neighbor's orchard. But Ralph hailed him. "Hullol" he shouted. "Come down here a minute, Jake." "What's the matter?" shouted Jake back, halting, and looking half defiant, half irresolute. Broke down. Come and help us.'' Jake hesitated a moment, then turned and came slowly down the hill. After examining the wagon carefully, he said," I can fix that so you can get home, I guess. I've got jest the thing in my pocket; some leather wood bark I found over in the swamp." He drew out some long strips of the tough, leathery moosewood bark and bound up the cracked thill as skilfully as if he had been a wagon surgeon all his days. Millie, meantime, was cultivating an acquaint with Jake's dog. At first he cowered
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 211 doWll, apparently expecting a cuff or kick, but finding the little hand, brown with tan, only wanted to pat him softly, that a gentle voice assured him he was a good doggie, so he was," his s pirits revived amazingly, and he wagged his tail, licked Millie's hand, jumped up on her, brought her sticks, and otherwise showed his lively appreciation of her blandish ments. When Jake had finished, not without a slight feeling of pride in letting the Kendall boys see he knew a thing or two, Ralph said," Won't you have some fall pippins? We've got some first-rate ones." Perhaps Jake was already aware of that fact. He said, No, I guess not," and, whistling to his dog, started off. Well, come down and trap musk-rat in our brook some day," said Ralph. All right," replied Jake, understanding these friendly overtures as plainly as if they had been the most elaborate thanks.
212 'JOLLY GOfJD TIMES. The children soon picked up a wagon load of the poorer apples for cider-making. Then they filled their pockets under the fall pippin tree with apples to eat on the way home, Millie loading hers down till it tore half out, while the boys stood out all over in odd lumps and bumps from concealed pockets-full of apples. The next thing was to go around to the chestnut-trees scattered through the orchard. The hard frost of the night before had opened the burs, and when Ralph poled the trees, the brown, glossy nuts rattled down like rain, and the baskets were soon filled. Then Teddy cut off a hemlock branch that had a big hornet's nest on it, old and deserted by its builders, but nice to stick up over the window in the sitting-room, which apartment was often adorned with similar natural curiosities. They found, too, a soft maple-tree with most curiously colored and spotted leaves, and some sumach leaves so bright as fairly to dazzle their eyes. They took all they could manage
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 213 to carry of these for Aunt Olive. Every fall Aunt Olive trimmed the sitting-room with pressed autuntn leaves. These, and her plants in the window, made the room look summery all winter long. I TJaden with all their treasures, they finally started for home, going slowly down the hill on account of the broken wagon, and arriving just in time for dinner, with keen appetites, in spite of all the nuts and apples consumed on the way. After dinner, Mrs. Kendall and Aunt Olive made soft soap out in the backyard. Grandma had to come out and see to it some, too. She couldn't quite trust the girls to do it alone. A fire was built on the ground, out of old chunks past splitting, and the big iron kettle was hung over it, on a pole resting on two crotched sticks driven into the ground. Mille always enjoyed this, it looked so gypsy-like. The boys, too, always found a flavor of wild life in it, agreeable to their tastes, and were usually on hand to poke the
214 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES, fire and "bother round" generally, as grandma said. It occurred to Millie that it was very odd the boys were nowhere to be seen to-day. She remembered seeing them whispering together right after dinner, and then they had disappeared. "Mother," she said," do you know where the boys are? "I saw them go into the corn-house awhile ago." Millie's soul was immediately fired with curiosity. Something was evidently going on, something the boys didn't intend her to know; bu.t she would know, in spite of them. She approached the corn-house cautiously, and tried to peep in somewhere, but the bins were full of corn, covering up all the available cracks. Then she slipped around to the door. "That's first-rate," she heard Teddy say, with a giggle. Then Ralph said, "'Sh, Millie's listening." Then, in a louder tone, "You needn't be peeking around here so sly. We can see you under the door."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 215 It's me, Ralph," said Millie, ban ging at the door, which was fast e ned. L e t m e in. 1 want to come in for something. I do, r e ally.' "Oh, yes, I dare say, but you ain t good looking, and you can't come in." "Won't you let me in?" whined Millie. changing her tactics to the pathetic. No, sir," very decidedly. ''I think you're real mean," responded :Millie in an injured tone. "What's the matter, Millie?" asked her father, coming along on his way to the barn. The boys won't let me into the corn house." "Oh, well, never mind. Come along with me. I'm going up to the corn-fi eld for a load of stalks and pumpkins, and you a n d I'll pick up a nice lot of butternuts under the big tree up there, for next winter." "There! shouted Millie triumphantly, I'm a going to ride with father! " Go ahead," replied the remorseless voice behind the corn-house door; and Millie went.
216 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES .As she was picking up butternuts in her apron, she saw a squirrel dart down from the tree, run out to the pile she had already gathered, seize a nut in his mouth, and start back for his hole in the tree. She stood still and watched him. Once he stopped a mome nt to listen, sitting on his hind feet, and holding the nut in his paws. His bushy tail curled up over his back, giving him a pert, saucy, jaunty look. Then he took the nut in his mouth again, scampered up the tree and into his hole. Mr. Kendall said: "He's laying up stores for the winter, like you and I. Probably he has a family up there to provide for." It seems too bad for us to come and get his nuts, because we can eat other things," said Millie. "Oh! there's a plenty for us all," said Mr. Kendall. Squirrels are pretty sharp. They know how to look out for number one. Aaron says you'd better put your walnuts up garret. He says the squirrels run up that maple
<-HILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 217 by the wood-house, through a knot-hole into the wood-house chamber, and they're carrying off all your walnuts." In the evening, all the family except Aaron and the boys, who were down at the corn house, husking, were gathered in the kitchen, p r eparing apples for drying. Mr. Kendall, with the apple-parer f a stened to a w ooden chair, astride of which h e sat, turned off appl e s as fast as the res t could quarter and c ore. Two tallow candles gave but a dim light; and Millie, whose hands were already stained black with apple-juice, and who had eaten a piece of every apple she had quartered, yawned, and professed to be very sleepy, leaning back in her chair with a listless air. Suddenly she gave an ear-piercing scream, jumped up, sending her knife, pan, apples, flying across the flo or, and then retreated under the table. "Goodness! What's to pay now?" ex d aimed grandma, sur v eying Millie an xiou s ly over her spectacles, with the idea that she had been taken in a fit. 18
218 70LLY GOOn TIMES. Every one turned to learn the cause of this commotioll, and there, .at the window opposite Millie, saw what almost startled them all, at first. Two horrible great faces glared in at the window, with fiery eyes, no s es, and grin ning mouths full of jagged teeth. These heads now bobbed up and down, as if in some agita tion, and a suppressed giggling was heard under the window. "The boys have made some jack-o'-lanterns." said Mr. Kendall. "I knew that was it all the time," said Mil lie, coming ou.t from under the table with the air of only having retired there to obtain a better view. The boys now came into the kitchen, and displayed their work with much pride. They had hollowed out some pumpkins, cut eyes, nose, &c., on the front, as horrible as their ingenuity could devise, and lighted them up inside with candle-ends, cribbed from the pantry in the afternoon. Mounted on long sticks, in the darkness of the night, these made very respectable giants.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 219 There was another for 1\tlillie, the work of the corn-house cabal of the afternoon, and she went out in the yard with the boys, and raced around with her jack-o'-lantern in the frosty starlight, not feeling a bit sleepy when, an hour later, her mother called to come in and go to bed.
XIV. HUSKING. JT was a still, cold evening, late in October. Every star twinkled and shone brilliantly, and the keen frosty air tingled in the veins, and made one feel like running a mile or two, from pure exhilaration of spirits. The ground'll freeze some to-night, I reckon," said Aaron. "Yes,'' said Mr. Kendall, "rm glad we've got every thing in under cover. We can afford to let Jack Frost do his worst, now." Mr. Kendall, Aaron, and the children were all down at the corn-house, husking. They sat around a big pile of unhusked corn lying in the middle of the floor. On a barrel stood the old tin lantern, its open door sending out a streak of light, and hanging down from
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 221 overhead was a candle, tied to a rake's tail thrust in from the outside through a crack. The illuminat1on was not brilliant, but it an swered every purpose. Every one worked briskly, to keep warm. Had Millie been obliged to husk corn, she would have thought it a great hardship; but, viewed in the light of fun, she enjoyed it immensely. She had heard Aaron promise the boys, (whose interest in husking was decidedly flagging since the first novelty had worn off) that he would tell them some Indian stories this evening if they would work well, so she had resolved to be on hand. Besides, the corn-house in the evening, like the sap house, had a flavor of wild life far preferable to the tame monotony of sitting-rooms and kitchens. "Now, Aaron," said Ralph, "you know what you said." "Oh, yes, I hain't forgot," replied Aaron, with a good-natured grin. "Let me see. I've spun so many yarns to you young 'uns,
222 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. fust and last, that I scassly know what fve told you, and what I hain't. There's one of Uncle Ase's stories, about a woman and a baby, I guess Millie'll like." Well, let's hear that." You see this woman lived up to Clark's :Fort, in Coleraine, but she'd ben down to Deerfield, sick. There want no doctor, in them days, nowhere about here, only in Deerfield. When she was well enough to start for home, she had to go a horseback, a carryin' of her baby in her arms. It was all woods then, you know, between Deerfield and Cole raine, and the only road was a narrow bridlepath through the woods. "An escort of twenty men went with her, and Uncle Ase was one of 'em. When they got up in Shelburne, jest this side of where the graveyard on the Falls road is now, they halted for the woman to nurse the baby. Some of the men struck off into the brush, and there, close by, they found a place where, as nigh's they could calculate by the looks of
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 223 things, as many as forty Injuns bad camped the night afore. The brakes was all tramped down, where they'd slept, and their camp-fire was still a burnin'. Of course they knew the Iujuns want fur off, that more likely than not they were close by, watcbin' 'em that very minit, -ready to fall on 'em the fust good chance." What did they do? asked Millie. "Why, the only thing they could do was to go on. To go back, or to stay there, would 'ave ben jest as resky. So they threw out scouts, and started on, keepin' their eyes and ears wide open, you may depend on't." That woman must hav-e been awfully scar e d." "Yes, it must 'ave ben a pooty lonesome, tryin' sort o' time for her. There she was, ridin' along through the thick, gloomy woods, a huggin' her little baby tight up to her, expectin' every minit Injuns would jump out from behind the trees, snatch it out of her arms, and kill it right afore her face and eyes.
224 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. She must 'ave thought of her husband, too up to Clark's Fort, waitin' for his wife and baby to cum, when perhaps he'd never see 'em. And there, I das say, that leetle tot lay in its mother's arms, and slept jest as sweet as if it'd ben in a cradle in your settin'-room, instid of jouncin' along on horseback out in the wild woods, with Injuns and wild beasts all around." "Oh, I hope they didn't kill it I" exclaimed Millie, half ready to cry at the thought. "No, they got to Clark's Fort all right, without bein' even attacked. I guess there was sum happy folks in that fort that night. But now, you see, them Deerfield men'd got to go home agin. They waited till dark, and then sot out." "I should think they'd rather have gone by daylight, especially when they knew the Indians were around," said Ralph. No, they stood a better chance in the night, because the Injuns couldn't see to ambush 'em so easy. Then the Injuns might think they
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 225 was goin' to stay all night at the fort, and so go off. "W a'al, as I was sa yin', they started, after dark. When they cum to North river, the captain halte d 'em, and told 'em to cross one by one. He'd go fust. When they heerd him cum out of the river on the other side, the next man was to go in, and so on. They were to keep jest that distance apart, all the way, unle s s they heerd a gun fired, when they must all rush up to the rescue. You see, the idee was, if the Injuns undertook to ambush 'em, they could only kill one man afore the rest would have a chance to rally and defend themselves." "I shouldn't have liked to be the last man," said Teddy. 'Twan't very pleasant for any of 'em, I reckon, goin' alone, as you might say, in the dark, through woods full of Injuns. A man must hear a good many queer noises when he's a listenin' as hard as they must 'ave ben. They went that fur apart, all the way home, lo-t ..
226 70LLY GOOD TIMES. fordin' the Deerfield river in the same way, when they cum to it. And they finally got home without seein' or hearin' an Injun. Either the Injuns thought they was goin' to stay at the fort all night, or else they missed of 'em somehow, in the dark." "That's a pretty good story," said Teddy, "but I like it better when the Indians really come, and they have to fight 'em. Tell U51 some of that kind, Aaron." "W a'al, I'll do the best I can for you. You know my stories are all true, and I have to tell things jest as they happened." Aaron pulled a lot of unhusked corn towards him, and prepared to take a fresh start all around. You know there was a string o' forts up through here, to guard these towns in the Connecticut valley, which were omall frontier settlements then, from Injun attacks. Every day they used to send a scout from each fort to the next one. If he see any signs of Injnns, he reported it when he got in. Then the
CHILD-LIFE ON .A F.ARM. 227 cannon banged from that fort to the next, all over the country, and folks knew that meant Injuns was around, and so was on their guard. Sum of them scouts had lived in the woods and hunted Injuns so long, they was sharper than the Injuns themselves. They'd know, in a minit, if a leaf had ben stepped on, or a twig bent. One day a party of men started off over west from the fort up in Charlestown, New Hampshire, called Number Four. In the course of the day, they made up their minds they was follered by Injuns. They didn't see nor hear a thing, but somehow they knew it, felt it in their bones, as folks say. W a'al, when night cum, they built their camp fire jest as usual. But, instid of lyin' down around it themselves, they cut sum logs of wood, wrapped their blankets around the logs, and laid them around the fire, so that, in the dim light, they looked jest like men lyin' there, with their feet to the fire. Then they went on into the woods a piece, and lay low
22g 70LLY GOOD TIMES. "Before long, pop, pop went a lot of guns, and a whole party of Injuns leaped out of the woods into the circle by the fire, thinkin', of course, that they'd surprised the camp asleep. you see, the men had the Injuns jest where they wanted 'em, where they could pepper 'em well, without bein' exposed them selves." "That's tip-top. Now tell us another," said Teddy, who was stripping off the husks as furiously as if each one had been an Indian's scalp. Another time," continued Aaron, two young fellers went out of Fort Massachusetts, which stood up between Williamstown and North Adams. They was go in' over towards Pittsfield. Afore a great while, they cum on the trail of Injuns. They follered it along, cautiously. By and by they struck a high, rocky ledge, and walked along on that a piece. Fust they knew, they see an Injun down below. "He didn't see them. He stood bent over,
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 229 with his foot up on a log, :fixin' his moccasin. There was lots o' tall brakes all round him, and they thought likely the rest o' the Injuns was lyin' down in them brakes. One of the young fellers proposed that. he should shoot the Injun they see. Then the rest would pop up out o' the brakes, and the other feller could be all ready, and git a shot at them. It was regular boys' venturesome ness. They didn't know nothin' how many Injuns might be lyin' hid there, but most likely they supposed there want more'n three or four. At any rate, the first feller let fly at the Injun, and see him give a leap up into the air and fall down. In a jiffy, from fifty to a hundred Injuns popped up out o' the brush. The other young feller fired, 'cordin' to agree ment, and then the boys run for their Jives, and need enough, too. The Injuns was after 'em, close behind, fairly howlin' for vengeauce. "When the boys cum to the end of this rocky ledge they was on, they jest dropped
230 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. right down into the hemlock brush below, and lay low. The Injuns went by on a run, whoopin' like mad, and bran.dishin' their toma hawks. The boys lay still till dark, and then worked their way, mighty keerful, you may depend on't, back to Fort Massachusetts. The cannon was fired soon's they got in, and pretty soon all the cannon w a s bangin', from fort to fort, to put the settlers on their guard. The next day, a party went out from the fort to the place where the boys see the Injuns. They found the graves of two Injuns, and dug 'em up to get their scalps. You see the Gineral Court paid a big bounty for Injun scalps in them days." Folks had to have their wits about them in those days," said Mr. Kendall. They had to think quickly, and act quickly. Half a second made all the difference, sometimes, between killing an Indian and being killed by him." "Yes," said Aaron, and they had to shoot quick, too. We don't have any sech marks men nowaduys as used to be plenty enough
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 231 th e n. I've heerd Uncle Ase say that up at Fort IIoosac they used to cover a hoop with deer skin, and roll it down hill, as a mark for the soldiers, to train 'em to shoot Injuns a runnin'. One of the soldiers there, by the name of Bass, was a famous marksman. One day he s e e two hawks a flyin' overhead. He shot one, snatched a gun out of another feller's hands and shot the other l:>efore the fust dropped to the ground. That's pooty fair shootin', I call it." "Didn't there ever any Injun stories hap pen right around here, in Greenfield, father?" asked Millie. "Why, yes, I suppose so. I used to hear my father tell some when I was a boy, but I've forgotten 'em mostly now. I rem e mber hearing father tell once about a Mr. Allen that lived in Greenfield, out at the foot of burne Mountain. This Mr. Allen, it seems, went out hunting wild turkeys one day jus t north of where the village i s now. There were but few houses in the village tht:n They used
232 'JOLLY GOOJJ TIMES. to make whistles out of the bone of a turkey'10o wing, that made a noise much like the calls turkeys give to bring their flock together when scattered. "Mr. Allen shot one turkey, when, of course, the flock scattered. Pretty soon he gave the call on one of these whistles, and it was an swered. Somehow he thought it didn't sound just right, not quite natural. After a while, he gave the call again. It was answered again, this time nearer than before. He didn't like the sound of it any better. By and by he called the third time, and it was answered still nearer. Then he knew it wasn't turkeys, and it was between him and the settlement. He didn't stop there long to meditate. He struck right over east, across Rocky Mountain, down to Connecticut river, followed that down, and so worked his way round home. Later that day, a party of men riding along near that same place was fired on by Indians." So nothing but his sharpness to hear and notice saved his life." said Ralph.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM'. 233 "Probably. Peoples' senses were sharpened in those days by constant use. Folks had to be alive all over then. Another Indian story, I remember hearing father tell, was located j"Jst at what is now the west end of Main Street, in Greenfield. Of course it was mostly woods all over here then. There was some cleared land around the houses; and out west of the settlement, over the brook, about where the brick-yard is now, there was a cleared field, where the settlers pastured their horses. One night, along towards sundown, a man went out to put his horses in this pasture. The road bowed, and there was a foot-path through the woods, across lots, considerably ,:;horter. Coming back, he thought he'd take this short cut home. After he'd got along a into the woods, he happened to look through the trees to the west, and there, against the bright sky, he saw an Indian standing on the bank behind a tree, gun in hand, looking down into the road. The Indian had evidently seen him going to pasture, and was
234 70LLY GOOD TIMES. waiting there to shoot him as be came back But now the shoe was on the other foot. The man shot the Indian, and be was buried right there in the bank, somewhere near where Major Keith's house stands now. "Another time, some men who had a corn patch up at Country Farms went up there to hoe it. There had been no Indians around for some time, and they had grown careless. So they stacked their guns at one end of the row, then went out to the other end and hoed towards them. All at once, some Indians popped out of the woods and in between them and their guns. Of course their only chance was to run for it. One or two took to the woods, and managed to escape, but the rest the Indians killed or took prisoners. One old man they took prisoner, and left two Indians to guard him while they went for the others. But the old man was too much for them. He con trived to kill both the Indians with his hoe, and got away after all."
CHILD-LIFE. ON .A FARM. 235 "How much killing there used to be then," said Millie. "Yes, those old Indian times were bloody enough.'' Folks didn't think any more of killin' an Iujun in them days," said Aaron, than they would o' shootin' a wolf." For some time Millie had been growing colder and colder, although she said nothing about it, for fear her father would send her into the house. But now her hands were almost purple, and her feet icy cold. Millie sat first on one foot, then on the other; she breathed on her cold fingers and tucked them under her shawl to warm, but all in vain. She could endure it no longer, she must go in. The great round harvest-moon had just swung up into full view in the eastern sky, and all out-doors was light as day." All the frosty fields gleamed silvery white in the moonlight. Millie and the boys ran a race down the
236 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. road, half way to Miss Bashie's and back, to warm themselves up, and a little later burst into the sitting-room with glowing red cheeks and shining eyes, panting for breath, and 'most melted."
XV. "HY SPY t" F ALI.J is a busy time on a farm. In-doors and out every one is at work, getting in a stock of provisions against the long, close siege old Winter will soon lay at the door. One morning, early in November, business was unusually brisk at the Kendall's. In the kitchen, grandma and Mrs. Kendall were making the winter supply of candles. Out in the wood-bouse, at the arch, Aunt Olive was making cider apple-sauce; and Ralph, who had been reluctantly pressed into the service, was churning, stopping so often to look into the churn that Aunt Olive told him he didn't give the butter a chance to come. Millie had made a mysterious disappearance, no one seemed to know where.
238 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "I don't see what Millie is thinking of," said Mrs. Kendall, to go off in this way, when she knows how much I want her. I could use three girls to good advantage if I only had them, I do believe. Teddy, you must go and find her." Teddy stuck his head into grandma's room. No Millie there. He looked in the corn-house, called "Millie 1 in stentorian voice through the barn. No response. Where could she be? He rambled out to the brow of the hill, to view the landscape over for some trace of the missing one. Ah! there she was at last. Down in the meadow, joining the garden, was the nurs ery, where young fruit-trees were set till old enough to be thrust out into the world on their own responsibility. The little trees so closely together that it was impossible to mow between them, so the grass had grown tall, ripened, and browned, undis turbed. On this soft bed of dry, dead grass, Millie
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 239 lay stretched out at full length, propped up on her elbows, reading. She wore an old red plaid shawl and a gingha m sunbonnet. Her feet, complacently crossed, displayed to good advantage the large patches which adorned the sides of her leather shoes. On her back sweetly dozed old Blackie, basking in the warm sunlight, and keeping time to her own comfortable purring with a gentle knitting of her paws. Here Millie appeared to be, in the midst of such prosaic surroundings, but really she was far away, figuring in scenes of courtly magnificence. She was reading, for the first time, the "Arabian Nights," which Lois had lent her only yesterday. Its fascinations had borne her far away from the actual world. With Prince Ahmed she entered the enchanted grounds of the Fairy Paribanon. "He had not advanced many steps, before he entered a spacious and beautiful garden; and at a little distance he saw a very magnifi cent palace. As he drew near it, he was met
240 70LLY GOOD TIMES. by a very beautiful lady; her air was graceful and majestic, yet sweetly easy and encouraging; her dress brilliant beyond imagination; and a large troop of handsome and well dressed attendants bespoke her quality. She rec e ived the prince with a bewitching smile, Raying-" Here something struck Millie's arm. It was an apple. She jumped, roughly waking up poor Blackie. Looking around, there stood Teddy on the brow of the hill, taking aim for another shot. Mother wants you to come right into the house, this minute, and wash some potatoes for dinner," shouted Teddy. "Come right along now. I've been looking everywhere for you." And Teddy, with an air of injured dignity, turned to go into the house, not waiting for Millie, but condescending to go con siderably out of his way in order to rustle through some hollows full of dead leaves. "I'm a-coming," shouted Millie after him, dislodging old Blackie, and slowly gathering herself uo.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 241 Here was a rude coming down from dream land. It was such a hazy, dreamy Indian summer morning. A blue smoke lay over all the landscape, lending softness and warmth even to the bare, brown mountains and leafless trees. The air was sweet with the smell of withered leaves and grass, and it was so still, too. The only sound Millie heard, as she lay there, was the far-off, rushing sound of the brook. It was the sort of weather when genii, and roc's eggs, and valleys of diamonds, and talking birds, and fairy princesses, seem much more congenial and suitable than washing potatoes in a tallow-scented kitchen. "Oh, dear! sighed Millie, as she slowly climbed the hill, tugging old Blackie and her precious book, I wish I were rich. I wish I had Aladdin's lamp, just for a minute." All the rest of the forenoon Millie stayed in the kitchen and worked. After all, work has its compensations. Millie certainly felt better satisfied with herself, more comfortable 11 p
24:2 70LLY GOOD TIMES. arOlmd the heart, than when out-doors, shirk ing duty; and then mother let her make two mmiature candles for her own little tin candle stick. In the afternoon Lois came up, and they went out to the barn to play. In one of the vacant stables, Mr. Kendall had stored a quantity of crook-necked squashes. Let's play keep school with these squashes," said Millie. "The boys aren't round anywhere to bother us, and we can have real fun." "I slipped out the front door, so Roy needn't know I was coming," said Lois. With an old stump of a broom they swept the stable all out nicely. Some three-legged milking-stools made good seats for the teacher and the "company," and the squashes were leaned up in a row against the wall opposite. ' Now," said Lois, "we must scratch their names on 'em with pins, or we never can remember, they look so much alike." "Let's give 'em the prettiest names we can think of," said Millie.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 243 So "Louisa," "Eva," "Helen," Augusta," '' Rose " Grace " Minnie were scratched ' h1 big letters on the squashes' smooth skins. "Lees call this one Mary Jane, she's so homely," said Lois, holding up a dark-colored squash, covered with wart-like bunches. One of the girls' school-mates, whom no one liked, was named Mary Jan e. "No," said Millie, to whose lively imagina tion the squashes had now become real, living scholars. I don't think we ought to hurt her feelings, just because she's homely. She can't help it, you know. Let's call her Florence, and play she's real smart." When every one was named, Millie said, "Now I'll. be the teacher, and you be the committee to come in and visit the school. Play it's examination day." Lois retired. Presently, as the class were spelling "Ba-ker" in very loud tones, a rap came at the stable-door. Millie went to it. "Oh! how do you do, Mr. Jones? I am very happy to see you. Won't you walk in?"
'.JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Doffing her sunbonnet with an important air, Lois walked in and took a seat on the sitting up very stiffly, and looking with a dignified expression at the scholars, supposed to be much terrified bY: this imposing pre s ence. "Now, Grace," said Millie with a prim air, "le t me hear you spell 'candy.'" Kan-de," spelt Grace, in a squeaky little VOICe. The next." Kan-di." "No. Florence, spell 'candy.'" "Can-dy," spelt this prodigy, in loud, prompt tones. Go to the head." That Florence," whis pered the teacher to the committee, is my smartest scholar." She looks as if she might be," politely responded the committee. "Would you like to hear 'em do any thing in particular?" asked the teacher. "Yes. I'd like t11 hear 'em say the table of sixes. backward
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 245 H'm, I'm 'fraid they don't know it very well. You'd better hear 'em sing. Clas s sing 'One little, two little, three little Indians.'" As the sweet strains of this song were rising on the air, the school was suddenly interrupted in the most unexpected and startling manner. Through the scaffolding over the stable a cow hide boot suddenly appeared, followed by the larger portion of a long leg, and loud laughing was heard from above. "The boys have been up there listening all the time I exclaimed Lois, with a red face. "It's just as mean as it can be," responded Millie, warmly. Ralph now swung himself down into the manger, followed by Roy and Teddy. "I wouldn't be a listenin' round where I wasn't wanted," observed Millie, loftily. "We want listen in'. At least, we were up there when you came out, and then we couldn't help listenin', it was such fun. Ralph broke through the scaffolding, or you wouldn't have found us out."
246 ]OLLY GOOD TIMES. "Well, do go away now, then, and let us alone." "No, sir-ee, we want to visit the school. Hooray, here's Florence, the smart Florence! What a beauty! and Roy snatched up that beloved pupil by the head and whirled her around so rudely that her delicate neck snapped in two, leaving her headless. "I hope you feel satisfied now," said Millie, with an awful calmness. "I say, girls," said Ralph, let's have a good game of 'Hy Spy.' Let your old school go. You can play that any time. Come on, and have some fun." Both the girls being very fond of" I spy," they concluded to forego their wrath for the present, and join in the game. They all went out on the barn floor and stood in a semicircle, while Ralph went around, repeating with much solemnity and exactness,"Eggs, cheese, butter, bread, Stick, stock, stone dead," w see who should be it."
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 247 Ralph said this over and over, till every one was out but Teddy. ''There," said Ralph, "Teddy is it. Now, Teddy, don't you count too fast. Count ont loud, so we can hear you." Teddy hid his face on the post by the horse manger, and began counting very loud and fast, so that it sounded almost like one word. There was a great deal of tittering and scam pering about. Ninety-eight-ninety-nine one hundred!" shouted Teddy, whirling around. The barn was still as night. Apparently he was the only human being in it. Old Kate blinked over the manger at him in a wise way, as much as to say, "I know, but I sha'n't tell." Teddy looked sharply all around, keeping hold of the post with one hand. What was that bit of red down by the east hay-mow? He went, cautiously, a little nearer. Touch the goal for Lois and Millie t shouted Teddy, rushing back, while,-" Touch the goal for my own self f cried
248 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. Roy, hopping out of the horse manger and clasping the post before Teddy could reac,h it. Lois and Millie crawled out of a hole in the hay-mow, with hair full of hayseed and bits of straw. "How'd you know where we were?" asked Lois. I saw a piece of Millie's dress, and I knew of course you two'd be together. But now, where's that long-legged Ralph, I wonder?" Every one looked wise and important, as if nothing would induce them to tell. Teddy pried about, making longer and longer sallies from his post, trying to have eyes all over his head at once. The girls tittere d, and looked down the bay towards the cow stable. Teddy ventured a little farther that way, when, lo I Ralph swung himself down plump from the scaffolding overhead, and with long stride s made the goal before Teddy could half get there. "Now it was Millie's turn to be "it." Millie resolved ro be very sharp, and not let the boy s
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 249 out-wit her. She kept close by the post, reconnoitering the barn in all directions for some signs of the enemy. What was that small bunch projecting from the big beam overhead 7 Was it a knot, or a swallow's nest, or what was it Y She tiptoed cautiously out for a better view. Ha! it moved; it was the toe of a boot. Whose boot, was now the question. If she called the wrong name, she would lose all the benefit. of the discovery. It must be Ralph or Roy. Teddy couldn't get up there. As she watched, an incautious elbow was also projected over. There was no mistaking the patch on that elbow. "Touch the goal for Roy Whittaker I shouted Millie triumphantly. 'l'isnt fair. You didn't see me," said Roy, thrusting his head out over the beam. I did, too. You stuck over so I couldn't help it." "I kept telling you she'd see us, if you didn't lie stiller," said a smothered voice from the
250 'JOLLY GOOD TIME.S. "Touch the goal for Ralph," cried Milli&, and Ralph and Roy climbed down, much dis .. satisfied with each other. Ralph said Roy wriggled about like an eel, and spoilt all their fun, and Roy said of course such an old spindle shanks as Ralph could hide behind a half foot beam easy enough. There might have been a serious quarrel, but, just then, loud cries were heard from Tom's manger. Oh, come here! Come quick! said the voice, in tones of distress. Lois, it seemed, had hid in Tom's manger, and, being covered up with hay, Tom, in taking some hay, had also helped himself to a mouthful of Lois's hair, which he was proceeding to munch. The boys went to the rescue, and Lois was soon released, half laughing, half frightened. When Roy began to count, Millie whispered to Lois and Teddy,"I've thought of a first-rate place for us three, where Roy won't think of looking, I know. Lets all hide in the grain bin ;'
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 251 The grain bin was only partly filled with oats. By climbing up on the half-bushel measure, then on a barrel, they reached the top, when of course it was easy enough to hop down in. Millie, being the tallest and last in, dropped the cover carefully down after her as she jumped in, and there the three were as snug as possible. It was great fun to hear Roy prowling about outside, wondering where they could be, while they were sitting inside on the oats, nudging each other, and holding their mouths to keep from giggling aloud. By and by, Roy thought of the grain bin, and lifted the cover. Three jolly faces, red with suppressed laughter, greeted his eyes. He dropped the cover, and ran to touch the goal. Loud cries were now heard from the grain bin. "Roy! Roy 1 Come and help us 1 We can't get the cover up." Roy went back. Well, you are in a nice fix 1 I don't see
252 70LLY GOOD TIMES. how you'll ever get out of here. I don't believe you ever can." After teasing them awhile, Roy went to work, with Ralph's help, to get them out. But the slippery oats slid and gave way, and filled their shoes full. The more they strug gled to get out, the deeper in they sank. Finally, after Ralph had, as she said, pulled Millie's arms off without getting her out, he said he would go into the house and tell mother, and he and Roy went off. Millie, Lois, and Teddy sat down on the oats, looking rather sober. '' "'\V e shouldn't starve to death, if we had to stay here all night," said Teddy, "'cause we could eat oats, like the horses." They all tried the oats, and found them a prickly, tasteless food, decidedly inferior even to plain bread and butter. "Prisoners feel just as we do now," said Millie. "Let's play we are prisoners." "Play we're murderers," proposed Teddy. But Lois and Millie wouldn't be murderers.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 253 "Play," said Millie, "we're put in here 'cause we're so good, like the fox's martyrs in grandma's book." Lois and Teddy were both agreeably struck with this idea. '' How do folks act when they're so awful good?" asked Lois. "I don't know how to "Oh, you must look like this," said Millie, drawing down the corners of her mouth, elevating her eyebrows, and, in fact, assuming much of Miss Tryphena's Sunday expression. Of course we feel dreadfully to be treated so, when we're so good. Now we must all Aigh." They all heaved a loud sigh. Then they burst out laughing, their faces, especially Teddy's round, fat, contented looking visage, were so comical with this new expression. "I suppose they'll come and take us out, to saw us in two, to-molTow," observed Teddy, complacently. "0 Teddy, don't talk so! You make me scrooge all over," said Lois.
' 254 'JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Oh, you needn't be afraid. I shall fight 'em a ll, an9. take you and Millie right up o n my horse, and ride right away with you through the middle of 'em." Here footsteps were heard approaching, and soon Aaron's good-natured face looked over into the bin. "Hullo," said Aaron," these are the biggest rats I ever caught in my grain bin." Aaron put the half-bushel measure in for them to stand on . Then he took them, one by one, in his strong hands, and swung them out to the floor, and the young martyrs scam pered off for the house, quite satisfied with even this short experience of prison life.
XVI. THANKSGIVING. THE days grew colder, bleaker, shorter, the sun shone with a dimmer light, and old Winter was evidently drawing nearer, tightening down his grasp upon the earth for months of stern, frigid rule. But never had the children been gayer or more full of joyful anticipations than now, when all out-doors was so uninviting. For Thanksgiving was coming,-was close at hand. There really began to be a feeling of Thanksgiving in the air. Last Sunday, at the close of the morning service, Dr. Churchill had requested the congregation to be seated 11. few moments. Then he slowly unfolded the big proclama tion half covering the pulpit, and pro-
256 JOLLY COOlJ TIMES. ceeded to read it in earnest, impressive tonE"&. The children by no means understood all the long-named things they were told to be thank ful for; but they listere.:.l with deep interest, especially to the sonorous God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," at the close. "It seemed just as if I could smell roast turkey, when he said that," said Millie, on the way home from church. We're goin' to kill the chickens to-night. Did you know it? asked Teddy. "No. Isn't it splendidl I'm goin' to pin feather 'em all myself. Mother said I might." "I don't care. Ralph and I are goin' to pick 'em, and singe 'em, and that's more fun than pinfeatherin'." Monday afternoon every one went to work ironing, that the rest of the week mlght be devoted to cooking. Tuesday morning the kitchen was a busy place. .Aaron, assisted, as they supposed, by the boys, was building a fire in the brick oven, only heated on great
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 257 occasions A pot, boiling on the stove, and sending out clouds of steam, contained pump kin for pi es Millie had her sleeves rolled up, and wore one of her mother's big aprons and an air of importance. She was beating eggs for the c ake Aunt Olive was making. "Let me beat now," teased Teddy. Boys can't cook," replied Millie, loftily. It was seldom she had an opportunity of being superior to the boys. "Here's something for you to do, Teddy," said grandma. You may pick over these raisins." Teddy's face brightened amazingly, whil.;, Millie, whose arm began to ache, wished she had let Teddy beat eggs. But you mustn't eat any," said grandma. "Why not?" asked Teddy, in some dismay. "Raisins make children have fits. But I'll give you all a few," added grandma, relenting. The idea that raisins were forbidden and dangerous imparted an untold to them.
258 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. "Come, Ralph," said Mrs. Kendall, "don't bother your Aunt Olive now. She'll let you s c rape the pan when she gets through. Come and chop this meat for my mince-pies." Ralph, nothing loath, went to plying the chopping-knife briskly, occasionally helping himself to especially tempting pieces of meat. Every little while Aunt Olive looked into the oven to see how it was heating. A half cart load of wood was blazing inside, roaring up the chimney. The children peeped in, almost with awe. They always imaginecl the "burning fiery furnace of Shadrach, Me shach, and Abednego as looking just like the brick oven when in full blast, only on a larger scale. Teddy, after finishing the raisins, dogged Aunt Olive about, watching all her movements closely. By and by she went into the pantry and brought out three little scalloped tins, which she began to butter. "Hooray I" shouted Teddy, careering around the kitchen table, and contriving to kick over
CHIL!J-LIF.E ON A FARM. 259 !l chair full of milk-pans. Aunt Olive's a goin' to bake us all a little cake,-a cake with raisins and citron in it! Wednesday, after tea, Mrs. Kendall said, "Children, I want you all to go down and carry some things to Miss Tryphena and Miss Bashie." They followed their mother into the store room. It was enough to make any one hungry only to look into the store-room. The shelves seemed almost to bend down under the long rows of pies, -mince-pies, apple-pies, ''apple-pudding pies, and last, but by no means least, pumpkin-pies, looking like smooth yellow lakes, even full, with crimped brown banks. There were pans full of cookies, and loaves of frosted cake, and chickens, tied together by the legs, dangling from every convenient nail, to say nothing of the turkey himself, his legs and wings ignominiously bound down, propped up on sticks in the dripping-pan, all stuffed and ready for roasting. One might not unreasonably have
260 70LLY GOOD TIMES. posed the Kendalls had undertaken to provi sion an army. Mrs. Kendall proceeded to load down the children. Here, Ralph, you take the mince-pies, and then Teddy can carry the chickem, and Millie the apple and pumpkin pies. Tell them I'm 'most ashamed to send down my mince-pies. I don't think I had so good luck as usual this year. But mine'll be better than none, I sup pose, as they don't make mince-pies them selves. And I want you should ask them to take dinner with us to-morrow. Father'll drive down and get them after meeting. Say we depend on their coming, and they mustn't disappoint us." Thursday morning dawned cloudy, cold, and raw, just the morning to make the smoke curling up from all the kitchen chimneys along the road look exceedingly suggestive and inviting to the passers-by. Quite a thick coat of ice covered all the little puddles and holes tilled with water.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 2C .. Ralph thought the Bend would bear, and got down his skates, but, on grandma's earnest remonstrances, Mr. Kendall interposed and prevented his going. Grandma, not without reason perhaps, looked upon skating, especially when practised early in the season, as a sure method of ridding the world of its boys. The brick oven was again heated, and Mrs. Kendall and Aunt Olive, aided by the active superintendence of all the children, the chicken-pie and puddings. Aunt Olive was noted for her chicken-pies. No one could make a crust quite so thick, puffy, flaky, melting, delicious as she. When done, it looked like a sort of temple, it towered up so majestically above the nappy. "There," said Aunt Olive, regarding this grE:at work with an air of satisfaction. "Now, Millie, you may trim it." This was a much-prized privilege. Millie cut out leaves of dough with the cookie cutter, and arranged them on the top, the boys look on with deep interest.
262 JOLLY GOOD "It's about time you were getting ready for meeting," said Mrs. Kendall. "Why, we haven't got to go to meeting to-day, have we?" asked Ralph, with a look of lllingled surprise and disgust. "Yes, certainly, your father and grandma are going, and you children must go to help fill up the pew. The service will be short, and I guess Aunt Olive and I shall get along quite as fast without your help." So to church the children all had to go. But they had plenty of company, the rather slim congregation being mostly composed of fathers and children, with a sprinkling of old and young ladies. The mothers were evi dently all at home getting dinner, and all equally impressed with the advantages of hav ing the children attend church. Dr. Churchill always "preached politics" Thanksgiving day, letting himself out on sins of the nation with the bottled-up indig nation of a whole year. To-day he preached with unusual vigor, even for him.
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 263 "A powerful discourse," said Deacou Foskett to Deacon Twichell, as they walked down the aisle together. "Yes, sarchin', very sarchin' ," replied Deacon Twichell, impressively. When the children came home from church, cold with their ride in the keen air, they all cried with one accord, as they entered the kitchen," Oh, how good it smells Every time Aunt Olive or mother took down the oven door to look in at the dinner, there came out such delicious, hungry-fying whiffs of turkey and chicken-pie, whilst the fragrance of a bubbling pot of onions filled the whole house. The children began already to feel quite hollow with hunger, and dinner was not coming until two o'clock. Fortunately their attention was soon diverted into another channel. "Here comes Uncle 'Bijah, Aunt Maria, and Will I cried Ralph from the window. Will is perhaps sufficiently described by
264 jOLLY GOOD TIMES. saying he was what people call a regul a r boy." His cousins were all very fond of him, and a fine pow-wow now arose over his arriv a l, in the midst of which another wagon was heard rattling over the frozen ground, and up drove what looked like a load of mummies, so rolled up and bundled up was every one in shawls, hoods, veils, cloaks, and comforters. This was Uncle Joe and his family, who had driven down from the Coleraine hills, ten miles, this frosty morning. Besides Uncle Joe and Aunt Patty, there were Sam, Polly, Ollie, and the baby. There was a great bustle and how-d'ye doing, when every one was at last in the sitting-room. It was, "How glad I am you could all come I Why, how well you look, mother. Younger than any of your girls, now. How Ralph has grown I Here, Millie, take your aunt's things. You must be nearly frozen. Let me take that baby. Come to the fire, Ollie," and so on, every one talking together, and no one, in
CHILD-LIFE ON A FAkM. 265 this cheerful excitement, hearing what any one else said. Then Mr. Kendall drove up with Mi.'!s Tryphena and Miss Bashie, each bearing a small basket containing her best cap, and both, as Miss Bashie herself said, quite flustered" by this unusual gayety of dining out. Before they were fairly settled, a gig camE\ dashing into the yard, at sight of which Aunt Olive beat a hasty retreat into the pantry, and was not seen again for some time. The pleasant-looking, middle-aged gentleman in the gig was Dr. Pelton, a far-away cousin of Mrs. Kendall's. The doctor being a poor, lone bachelor, with no kith or kin of his own, it seemed only proper he should be invited to eat his Thanksgiving dinner at the Kendalls', especially as he had taken to dropping in there quite often lately, in the most friendly, cousinly way imaginable. Every one had settled down in the sitting room, although the paper curtains were all rolled up in the parlor, and a bright fire was ...
266 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. blazing in the fire-place. It seemed eo much more home-like in the sitting-room. "Now," said Mrs. Kendall, "we're going to turn you all out. We want to set the table here, and you must all go into the parlor." So every one went into the parlor but the doctor, who persisted in staying in the sitting room, I don't know why, I'm sure, there b ei ng no one out there but Aunt Olive, flying briskly about, setting the table. Aunt Olive looked uncommonly well. She wore her new brown dress, and a pink bow in her hair, and her cheeks were unusually rosy, probably from looking so often into the oven at the chicken-pie. As there had to be three tables put together and propped up on blocks to match, it was the doctor stayed out, he was so useful and willing to help. When, at last, they were all seated around the table, Mr. Kendall asked a blessing, or rather made a short prayer of thanksgiving to the Giver of so much happiness. The : .un broke out from the clouds, streaming in
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 267 through Aunt Olive's chrysanthemums in the south window, and just touching grandma'A 8ilver hair, as if in benediction. It was a sight worth seeing, to look around the long table, from grandma's wrinklecl face, placid with a serene joy, past the bowed heads of the strong men and women in life's prime, to the round, rosy faces of the children at the foot of the table, their eyes shining with expectation, trying hard to remember their mothers' cautions about manners, but with a decided tendency to relapse into their natural state of wriggle and giggle. In fact, Teddy did giggle aloud, right in the midst of the blessing. Miss Tryphena looked horrified, and his father ordered him away from the table. "Well, I couldn't help it," whined Teddy, teluctantly rising to go. Will tickled me right in the ribs." "Will, you may leave the table, too," said Uncle 'Bijah. But grandma could not see her. Teddy sent s.wa;y from table Thanksgiving day.
268 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. Oh, let 'em stay," she said. They'll be good boys. They don't mean any harm. They're so full of mischief, it must bile over somewhere. It's Thanksgiving day, too." "Boys will be boys," said Miss Bashie, with the air of one who offers a new and striking thought. So the boys were allowed to stay, and were for some time quite subdued and solemn. But after Miss Tryphena had drank her second cup of tea, and began to unbend, and be so gracious and agreeable that Millie fairly stared at her in astonishment, Will and Teddy recovered their spirits, and diverted them selves by kicking each other under the table, stealing Ollie's wish-bone, Millie's bread, and doing such other sly mischief as they dared. What if the tables, in spite of the doctor's propping, didn't quite match, and were of varying heights, so that people seated along the division lines had to be careful not to tip over their tea? What if every one could see just where the table-cloths lapped? Wasn't
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 269 the turkey a bouncer, and wasn't he beauti fully browned, and who ever saw a puffie r more tempting -looking chicken pie? Cer tainly not the doctor, for he was heard to say as much to .Aunt Olive. After dinner, while all the mothers were bestirring themselves to help Mrs. Kendall clear the table, and when the fathers had gone out to the barn to examine Mr. Kendall's stock, the children felt quite dull, possibly from a too thorough course of turkey, chicken-pie, &c. They fidgeted about, wishing it were evening, not knowing what to do with them selves. Uncle Joe came bustling in, rubbing his hands and laughing. "Who wants to run a race with me, down to the oak-tree and back?" asked Uncle Joe I," and I," and "I," shouted all the children, wide-awake, at once. They liked Uncle Joe, he was always so jotly and full of fun. "Come on, then," said Uncle Joe. "I sup
270 JOLLY C:OOD t'IMES. pose you young folks think you can outrun an old fellow like me easily enough, but you'll have to do your best, now I can tell you." They formed in a line at the back door. Then Uncle Joe counted,-" One, two, three 1 At the word "three," off they went, Uncle Joe striding ahead, followed closely by Ralph and Sam, while Will, Teddy, Millie, and Polly straggled along behind, and fat little Ollie brought' up the rear. Ollie was such a round, roly-poly little body, she couldn't keep up, though she did her best. Pretty soon she caught her foot in a thick bunch of grass, and down she fell. There goes Pudden," said Will, aggravatingly, as he dashed along. You shan't call her names, and you'll fall down yourself if you laugh at other folks," shouted Millie after him, as she stopped to pick up poor Ollie. Sure enough, just then the bold anu dashi n g Will stumbled over a tree root, and went J tiR
CHILD4IFE ON A FARM. 271 whole length on the ground, soiling the knees of his best pantaloons in a manner calculated to considerably astonish his mother. Teddy, close behind him, was going so fast he couldn't stop himself, so he tumbled right over Will. And Uncle Joe, turning his head to see what was the matter, slipped somehow, and down he went too. No one could help laughing now. They all sat down on the ground and laughed, Ollie, with the tears still wet on her cheeks, loudest of all. When they started again, Uncle Joe carried Ollie pick-a-pack, and almost beat the boys then. They came back to the house, fresh and glowing from their race in the cold. When the work was done, in the early twilight, every one, grown people, children, and all, sat in the parlor with no light but the dancing, flickering blaze of the open fire, and told The children were well content to listen, it was so interesting to hear what father did when he was a boy," or mother when she was a girl."
272 JOLLY GOOD TIMES. As candles were being lighted, Roy, Lois, and Chet appeared, to spend the evening. The Whittaker and Kendall children took turns in spending Thanksgiving evning at each others' houses. Certain games were an established thing on these occasions. For instance, it wouldn't have been Thanksgiving evening without an uproarious game of blind man's-bu:ff in the kitchen. There never was a better place than the Kendalls' kitchen for blind-mau's-bu::ff. It was large and square, with only one nook, a sort of p assage way into the pantry, which was a just temptingly dangerous enough place for capture to make it fascinating to the boys. A circle of chairs was placed around the cooking stove, lest some blind-man run on it, and Uncle Joe came out to join in the game. Lois was blinded first. Lois was not a catcher to be trifled with, and made things lively for the rest. She flew around, making frantic clutches here and there, just missing
CRILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 273 ever so many timC's, while the children dodged about, over the table, under the table, sometimes forced to their hands and knees, making all sorts of hair-breadth escapes, which excitetl much half suppressed tittering and giggling. "There," cried Lois, "I guess I've caught somebody now," as she penned some one in the corner. "All but!" shouted Roy, as he contiived to dodge under her outstretched arms and escape. Finally, Lois cornered Uncle Joe in the pantry passage. "I'm too big to dodge under," said Uncle Joe, so I shall have to give up, caught." Uncle Joe made a tremendous catcher. He seemed to be everywhere at once, and his long arms went sweeping arouud him, before and behind at the same moment, so that it was almost hopeless to dodge them. "Let's play some sitting-down game now," proposed Millie, after Uncle Joe had caught Po1ly.
274 :JOLLY GOOD TIMES. The children were so warm and out of breath after the active exercise Uncle Joe bad given them, that the y were glad to fall m with 1 his proposition. "Let's play stage-coach," said Millie. They all sat around in a circle, while Millie went round naming them the black horse," the white hor se ," "the wheels," "the thills," "the driver," "the whip,'' "the old lady pas seng e r," "the old lady's bandbox," "the big d og," &c. Now," said Millie, "I'll tell a story. Whenever I call your name, you must get up and whirl around. When I say, 'the stage coach tipped over,' everybody must change seats with some one else, and the one that don't get a seat will have to tell the next story ." :Millie stood in the centre of the circle and t old the sto ry, while the rest listened intently, on the alert for the signal to change. '' One pleasant day,'' commenced Millie, the Turner's Falls coach started for Green-
CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM. 275 field. Just as it crossed the bridge, the driver (here Teddy rose and whirled round) snapped his whip (Sam whirled here), the black horse and the white horse (here Roy and Ralph prallced around in a fast horse manner) both started to run away. The old lady (Ollie whirled here) screamed, and dropped her bandbox (here Uncle Joe whirled with great solemnity) right out of the window, on the big dog's head (here it was Polly's turn to whirl), and the stage-coach tipped"-Here every one started from their chairs, and began to change. "Almost over," continued Millie, laughing at her successful cheat, as the rest subsided into their chairs again. Well, after this, every thing went on nicely for a while, when, going over a stone, the thill.s snapped (here Lois whirled), and the stage-coach tipped over I No one was expecting it this time, so there was a grand scrambling for chairs, and Chettie was left out in the cold
276 70LLY GOOD TIMES. I can't tell a story," said Chettie, looking rather disconsolate, and half inclined to cry. lloy whispered something in his ear. Chet tie laughed and stood up in the floor ready to begin, while every one listened to hear his story. The stage-coach tipped over l shouteu Chettie, and then every one had to change again in a hurry. After playing this a while, they tried Con r:;equences," and Shouting Proverbs," until Mrs. Kendall came out and invited them into the sitting-room to eat nuts and apples. Then it was time for the Whittakers to go home. "Let's all see 'em home," proposed Teddy; so the whole troop of children started out. The old long wagon stood in the yard. "Hop on, and we'll give you a ride," said Hoy and Ralph. The children piled in, on the bottom of the long wagon, while Teddy, adorned with an old blue gingham sunbonnet he had found in the sat up in front on the rack, as
. CHILD-LIFE ON A FARM 277 driver. Ralph and Roy, with Sam b e hind to push, after once starting their load, rattled it along right merrily over the hard, frozen ground. There was considerable noise. What Miss Tryphena and Miss Bashie thought was passing their house, as the din p e netrat e d their respectable nightcaps, I'm sure I don't know. When the Kendall troop returned, they burst into the sitting-room, shouting in gre at excitement," It snows I It snows I " Why, is it possible I exclaimed every one. Yes, just look on our jackets. Oh, go od isn't it splendid I cried the children, hopping about, as glad to see the snow come again a s they had been to have it go in the spring.
New Colonial Sto1iesjor Young People OLD DEERFIELD SERIES By MARY P. WELLS SMITH Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth. $1.25 each ANEW series of colonial and revolutionary stories by the popular author of "The Young Puritans Series" with its scenes laid prin cipally in Western Massachusetts. 1. The Boy Captive of Old D eerfield Mrs. Smith is the first to use the story of Stephen Williams, the captured son of Parson Williams, and his adventures among the Indians will be new to all young readers. The descriptions of Indian ways are faithful to truth. -Boston Journal. 2. 'l1he Boy Captive in Canada Tells in a life-like manner young Stephen's adventures during his wanderings as captive.-Philadelphia Press. 3 Boys of the Border Tells in a spirited way the events in the Deerfteld valley from 1746 to 1755 as they affected the Rice family. There is plenty of lively action. -Philadelphia Press. 4. Boys and Girls qf Seventy-Seven A story of the Revolutionary War, more especially of the events culminating in the surrender of Burgoyne. LITTLE, BROWN, & CO., Publishers M BEACON STREET, BOSTON
Historicall!J Accurate Adventure Stories "THE YOUNG PURITAN" SERIES By MARY P. WELLS SMITH 1. Tm: YoUNG PuRITANs oF OLD HADLEY 2. THE YOUNG PuRITANS IN KING PHii.IP's WAll. 3. THE yOUNG PURITANS IN CAPTIVITY 4. THE yOUNG .urn OLD PURITANS OF HATFIELD lliustrated. Cloth. $1.25 each. MRS. Smith deserves very hearty commendation for the admirable pictures of Puritan life which are drawn with a skilful hand in this book (" Young Puritans of Old Hadley "). She has chosen a representative Puritan village as the scene, and the period of very early settlement of western Massachusetts for her story, a village which retains many of its early features to this day.The Churchman, New York. Mrs. Smith has proven that she can write as simple and natural a story of child-life when the scene is laid two hundred and My years ago as when she chooses to de scribe country life in the New England of the present century.Christian Register. She shows the same power of graphic description, the same faithful use of the best available material, and the same logical way of putting it into shape. Commerical Advert iser, New York. Mrs. Smith has made history live again in her life-like narrative. The children of to-day may well learn something of the sterner virtues in reading this story of the endurance and fortitude of children of two centuries ago. Springfield Republican. She catches the very spirit of Puritan life.Chicago IntwOcean. LITTLE, BROWN, & CO., Publishers 34o BEACON STREET, BOSTON
CHAPIN RAY'S ANNA "TEDDY" STORIES Miss Ray's work draws instant comparison with the best of Miss Alcott's: first, because she h a s the same genuine sympathy with boy and girl life ; seco ndly, because she creat e s real characters individual and natural, like the y o ung pe o ple one knows, actually working out the same kind of prob lems; and, finally, because her style of writing is equally uooffected and straightforward.-Christian Register, Boston. TEDDY: HER BOOK. A Story of Sweet Sixteen Illustrated by Vesper L. George. 12mo $1.50. This bewitching story of "Sweet Sixteen," with its earnestness, impetuosity, merry pranks and unconscious love for her hero, has the same spring-like charm.Kate Sanborn. PHEBE: HER PROFESSION. A Sequel to "Teddy: Her Book" Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill. 12mo. $1.50. This is one of the few books writt e n for young people in which there is to be found the same vigor and grace that one demands m a good story for older people. -Worcester Spy. TEDDY: HER DAUGHTER A Sequel to "Teddy: Her Book," and "Phebe: Her Profession" Illustrated by J. B. Graff. 12mo. $1.50. It is a human story, all the characters breathing life and activity.-Bttjfa/o Times. NATHALIE'S CHUM Illustrated by Ellen Bernard Thompson. 12mo. $1.50. Nathalie is the sort of a young girl whom other girls like to read about.-Hartford Courant. URSULA'S FRESH MAN. A Sequel to "Nathalie's Chum" Illustrated by Harriet Roosev e lt Richards. 12mo. $1.50. The best of a seri e s already the be s t of its kind.-Bost o n Herald. NATHALIE'S SISTER. A Sequel to "Ursula's Freshmanu Illustrated by Alice Barber Stephens. 12mo $1.50. Peggy, the heroine is a most original little lady who says and does all sorts of Interesting things. She has pluck and spir i t. and a temp e r but she i s very lovable, and girls will find b u r deli g htful to read about.-Louisville E ve n ing Post LITTLE, BROWN, & COMPANY, Publishers H BEACON ST., BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Mrs. Smith's Story of Country Life FOUR ON A FARM By MARY P. WELLS SMITH ruustrated. 12mo. Cloth. $1.50 MRS. SMITH'S latest book, like all the others she has writ ten, is not only bright and natural, but wholesome and inspiring. -Providence Tel e gram. The author knows her ground, for she has reproduced the atmosphere of New Hampshire farm life to perfection.Wash ington Times. It would be well for American city youth if more such books descriptive of the joys and healthfulness of country life could be written. -Pittsburg Chronicle Tele graph The story of their everyday happenings is told naturally and entertainingly, and its ethical tone is strong and wholesome.Congregationalist, Boston. In its pages children are taught to appreciate and enjoy the beauties of country life and the happiness to be attained by helping one another. -New Orleans Picayune. It is a pleasing story, which will aid in making young people appreciate the beauties and delights of the co untry. -Philadelphia Press. The author of the "Jolly Good Times" stories writes enter tainingly of the jolly good time four young people, from eleven years of age down to the kilt period, two little boys and two girls, had on a farm. -Providence News. LITTLE, BROWN, & CO., Publishers 34 BEACON STREET, BOSTON