Bob Knight's diary at Poplar Hill school


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Bob Knight's diary at Poplar Hill school

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Title:
Bob Knight's diary at Poplar Hill school with sketches by Bob
Series Title:
Bob Knight's diary series
Creator:
Smith, Charlotte Curtis (author)
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
E.P. Dutton & company
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (248 pages)

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Subjects / Keywords:
Diary fiction -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Boarding schools -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Diaries -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Original Version:
Volume 1

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
029222103 ( ALEPH )
00339506 ( OCLC )
B37-00001 ( USFLDC DOI )
b37.1 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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BOB KNIGHT'S DIARY AT POPLAR HILL SCHOOL WITH SKETCHES BY BOB BY CHARLOTTE CURTIS SMITH DEDICATED TO JOE NEW YORK E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY JI WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET

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COPYRIGHT, I<)OO BY E. P. DUTTON & CO.

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808 KNIGHT'S DIARY Wednesday, September 15. I ARRIVED at Poplarui .-.... p-.1,.,_.,.. port this afternoon at 0]1 1 1;. / 1l' rl 1 1 5.30. Prof. Kane met me fl 1fl 1P at the station. We walked up the hill to the school. He told me that he expected to have eight boys this year, but that only four had arrived. I saw two boys peek ing at me from over the garden fence. One shook his fist at me. When I went into the house, Mrs. Kane was in the hall. She smiled, and said: Welcome, Robert, welcome." I like her. In a few minutes Prof. Kane rang a

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Bob Knight's Diary large bell. The four boys came into the house, laughing and talking about the games they had been playing. Mrs. Kane took me to the dining room, and gave me a seat at the table, saying : '' This is our new scholar, Robert Knight. A very good boy, I hope.'' She told me the names of the four boys, but I was so embarrassed I did not hear what she said. How those boys stared at me! I was not very hungry, but I ate everything Prof. Kane put on my plate, for fear the boys might think I was afraid of them. I saw them winking at each other. After supper we went upstairs to the schoolroom. The four boys studied. Prof. Kane gave me a page of examples in fractions to work on. It did not take me very long to do the examples, so I spent the rest of the time drawing pictures. I always draw pictures when I feel lonely. At nine o'clock we went to bed. In the hall one of the fel lows whispered to me: Look out for Fighting Jerry." There were four beds in the room where I slept; two boys were in two beds on the north side of the

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Bob Knight's Diary 3 room, and I slept in one of the beds on the south side. The other two boys slept across the hall. I undressed quickly, so as to scribble a little in my diary before the candle was blown out. I went to sleep wondering who Fighting Jerry was. Thursday, September 16. When I awoke the sun was shining right in my face. It was lucky I woke up, for I opened my eyes just in time to catch the two boys that slept in the other beds, creeping on all fours toward my bed. Hollo, fellows," said I, my name 's Bob. What 's yours?" They never said a word, but scudded out of the room like mad. I got up and was going to dress, but I could not find my shoes and stockings; and my trousers were gone too. So I whistled a lively tune and went out into the hall. The door of a room was open ; I walked in. There stood a boy in his undershirt, washing his face. Hollo! said I. Is this the wash-room ? Guess I '11 wash up." You get out of here," the boy growled. I thought this was a good chance to find out about Fighting Jerry, so I said in a very confiden tial tone: Say, who 's Fighting Jerry ?

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4 Bob Knight's Diary The fellow turned quickly and glared at me. Then he hissed : Who do you think he is ? '' Jingo! said I to myself, this is the chap." I p o 1 i t e 1 y bowed to him. None of your man ners to me, he replied, with an impudent shake of his head. I '11 settle with you right now. Hand me every cent of money you 've got." The fellows in my room have run away with all my clothes," I told him. Jerry stepped to the door, and yelled : Dick! Sam Those two boys obeyed like soldiers. In a second they came running down the hall, dragging my trousers and coat after them. "Hand me those trousers," demanded Jerry. Introduce me to the fellows," I whispered, nudging Fighting Jerry. "Here, you cub, you 're too funny," said Jerry; at the same time he was going through my pockets. All he fou 'nd was ro cents, my knife, and a lead pencil.

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Bob Knights Diary Is that all ? he demanded. Yes," I meekly answered. 5 I hoped that he did not want my knife, for I think a good deal of it. Grand-mother gave it to me last Christ'--o : : I ? mas, and I have not lost it once. But Jerry pocketed my last IO cents and my knife, then threw my trousers at me. Thank you," I said. I 'm sorry I have n t something more for you.'' My lead-pencil fell on the floor unnoticed, so I picked it up, thankful to get that. If a fellow can't have a knife, a lead-pencil is his next best friend. I went back to my room to dress, and my two roommates f o 1 lowed me. "My name's Dick Thistle,'' said one. Mine 's Sam Gale," said the other. :'it My name is Bob Knight," said I. In a minute we were all good friends. They are about my age, and I think I shall be in their classes. When the breakfast bell rang, we went down stairs to the dining-room. I sat between Dick and Sam. Jerry sat opposite me, and kicked my shins

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6 Bob Knight's Diary unmercifully. I felt more at home than I did last night at supper. We all have milk to drink. Sam does not like milk, so he swapped his glass of milk for Dick's meat. Dick does not care much for meat. The boys were swapping something or another all the time. But I did not play at that game, because I was hungry, and wanted all my breakfast. I missed Grandmother's doughnuts dreadfully. I hope we shall have some on Sunday morning. I must get acquainted with the cook. On the playground I again met Fighting Jerry. He gave me a cuff as he passed me and knocked off my cap. I suppose it was a challenge; but I did not want to fight. Jerry is a head taller than I, and wears long trousers. The boys played football. Not a regular rough-and-tumble game Prof. Kane won't let them; they just kicked and tossed the ball around. We had lots of fun. I feel very sorry for a boy that works at the school. He can't come out and play with us fel lows, because he has to take care of Prof. Kane's twins. He sits at the window, a baby in each arm, watching us boys have fun. I tell you what, that must be terribly hard! Dick said that the boy has no father nor mother nor any name. Prof. Kane picked him up in the street in New York City, and brought him to the school to work for his board and clothes. Everybody calls him Poky, because he is

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Bob Knight's Diary 7 so plaguey slow. He is the forlornest looking chap I ever set eyes on. I feel very, very sorry for him. If Jerry had not tak--en my would Poky. IO cents, I U!l!!Eii!liitil!Ml'ii' "ii) give it to After having such a jolly time kicking that football, I could not put my mind on my arithmetic les son. Sam helped me out. I missed ten words out of one hundred in spelling. I am an exceedingly poor speller. The Professor scowled when he looked at my paper. Fighting Jerry cuts up like a monkey in school. I would enjoy giving him a good licking; but he is the biggest boy here, and it is not fair for two of us to pitch on him at once, and I can't thrash him alone. He flourishes my jack-knife in my face every time he gets a chance; and jingles my IO cents in his pocket. This noon we had liver for dinner. I don't like it, so I traded with Sam for his glass of milk. I was glad to have something to swap, because all the fellows were swapping. It looked piggish in me not to be in the swapping business too. Poky did

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, 8 Bob Knight's Diary not sit at the table with us fellows. I guess he ate in the kitchen. I hope he gets enough to eat. He has a hungry look. This afternoon I had my lessons a little better. Jerry pulled my hair; he is getting ready for a fight with me. I miss my jack-knife dreadfully. Friday, September 17. Nothing of importance happened this morning. In the afternoon I missed so much of my gram mar lesson that Prof. Kane kept me after school to study. I don't like grammar, anyhow. Just as I get a rule down pat in my head and I think I know all about it, along comes a lot of exceptions to that rule, and then I don t know what I know. In fact, in English grammar, I believe there are more excep tions than rules. But I was glad I was kept after school, because I got acquainted with Poky. He came in to sweep the room. Hollo! said I. I did not want to call him Poky, it seemed so disrespectful to the chap; so I just said, Hollo! He gave me a saucy look and began sweeping the room. I thought of my jack-knife and my IO cents, and I wished I had them, so as to give him one of them. He looked so lonesome. I broke my lead pencil in two, and sharpened the end, then I said:

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Bob Knight's Diary 9 Don't you want a lead-pencil ? Poky opened his eyes wide and half smiled, then he asked: Ain't you foolin' ? Honor bright," I said, holding out to him one of the halves of my pencil. Poky came quickly to ward me and took it. '' Thanks,'' he said. '' I 've been looking for a pen cil this long while. I al ways pick them up off the floor; but I ain't been lucky lately." When do you study ? I asked him. '' Oh, I study nights; that is, if the twins don't cry. But I have to rock them most every evening,'' he told me. That 's pretty hard on you," I said. But he quickly answered: I like 'em, I do, and they like me.'' '' What are their names ? '' I inquired. Roy and Ray," Poky replied. While Poky was sweeping the room I told him that I was an orphan, but I had an Uncle Ralph.

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IO Bob Knight's Diary Then Poky said that he was all alone in the world, but he hoped some day to find a boy who would be a brother to him. He said: You see I hain't got no name, and I want some boy to share his name with me." Why, Poky!" I exclaimed, I 'll share my name with you ; that is, if you like the name of Knight.'' Oh, I likes it real well," he quickly replied; but you 'll be for changing your mind. A dozen boys have offered to share their names with me, but they all backed out; and you 'll do the same thing.'' "No, I won't," I promised. Just then we heard some one coming, so Poky went to sweeping as fast as he could make the broom fly, and I began to study. Prof. Kane opened the door and told me to go into another room to study. I was sorry to leave my new brother. I expect to stay after school a great many times, so I shall have lots of chances to see Poky again. Saturday, September 18. Hurrah! No lessons to-day! This morning when we fellows were dressing, Dick said to me: '' Keep shy of Fighting Jerry. He always spends his time on Saturdays thrashing the fellows. And you'll catch it to-day, for you are the latest comer."

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Bob Knight's Diary It Sure enough, the first thing after breakfast Jerry lit on me hard. We were out on the playground. In the twinkling of an eye he knocked me flat as a pancake. I jumped up and struck at him, but his arms are a mile long, so I had not any chance at all. He knocked me around right lively for about ten minutes, then he walked off satisfied. I was wrathy, but I laughed at the top of my voice, and that provoked Jerry more than anything else I could have done. Stop your laughing! he yelled at me. Then I bent over double and kept on laughing, for I had something to laugh at. On the ground, right at my feet, lay my dear old jack-knife. I picked it up, and put it down deep in my right-hand trousers-pocket. It must have fallen out of Jerry's pocket when he was thrashing me. I would take fifty thrashings from Jerry to get my knife back again. Won't he storm when he finds that knife missing! This afternoon I got very well acquainted with the fourth boy. He rooms across the hall with Jerry. His name is Ben Clinton. I like him first-rate. Ben and I did not play ball, because Fighting Jerry bossed the game, and would not let us play. So we sat on the fence as

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12 Bob Knight's Diary spectators. We yelled and hooted at Jerry, and made lots of fun of him. Ben don't love Jerry, either. I asked Ben if he was acquainted with the cook. He said that he was not. I must get an in troduction to her. There is nothing like being on the right side of the cook. Doughnuts! Dough nuts!! Doughnuts!!! Sunday, September 19. We boys went to church. Jerry sat at the end of the seat, and when the collection plate was passed he put on my IO cents. I felt as poor as a church mouse, without a cent in my pockets; but I smiled, and whispered to Jerry: Much obliged for giving my 10 cents." I 'll lamm you this afternoon," he hissed back at me. But he did not keep his promise. Prof. Kane heard what he said, and after dinner Fighting Jerry was shut up in the garret while the rest of us fellows went for a walk in the woods. We had a jolly time without him. The woods were full of red squirrels and chipmunks; and not one of us boys threw a stone at the cute little animals. I was sorry Poky was not with us. I suppose he had to take care of the twins. We fellows wanted to play Indian," but we did not because it was Sunday. So we went

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Bob Knight's Diary to see an old Hermit that lives in the woods over by Owl Creek. We found him sitting outside of his log hut, smoking a corncob pipe. Hollo, Captain," Ben sang out. The old man nodded his head. "Where's Tige?" Ben asked. Hunting," the Hermit replied. We fellows sat down on the ground, and began asking questions. Don 't you ever get lonesome ? '' Ben asked. '' No,'' answered the Hermit. Have you any rel atives ? '' Sam asked. No," answered the Hermit. '' What do you do for a living ? '' I asked. Sell herbs," said the Hermit. '' How old are you ? '' Dick asked. For a minute the old man did not answer. Then he said: "Now, you boys, just quit your questions, or I '11 set my cat on you.''

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14 Bob Knight's Diary He got up and shuffled into his hut. I knew the old man's dignity was hurt, and I felt terribly embarrassed. I wanted to go right back to the school, but Ben said: Oh, that 's the old man's way. He '11 be all right in a minute or two." Sure enough, he soon came out again and whistled for his cat. A beautiful gray cat came bounding from the underbrush. Its name is Tige. I held it in my arms a long time. Ben and I fell in love with it. I peeked inside of the hut and saw a rustic table and a lot of wooden boxes, and a fireplace made of mud and stones. In one corner there was a heap of hemlock boughs where the little old man sleeps. We fellows were very much interested in the Hermit and in his wild, free way of living. And on the way home, we decided to be hermits when we get old enough. We are going to live together in a little hut just like the Hermit's. Ben said that hermits always live alone. But we fellows thought that we would be lonesome all alone in the woods, so we are going to live together. When we reached the school we heard Poky's sweet voice singing the twins to sleep. The crickets were also singing. I felt a little homesick; so I wrote a letter to Uncle Ralph, asking him to senc;l me 25 cents.

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Bob Knight's Diary 15 Monday, September 20. A new fellow came this morning. His name is Otto Lester. I suppose Jerry will let up on me and go for the new fellow. Ben and I are going to hover around the new chap to protect him, because he wears glasses. Jerry will go for those goggles the first thing. I told Dick and Sam our plan; so at noon we introduced ourselves, and secretly acted as guards. But Otto has a wheel, and he jumped on it and rode around the yard with the airs of a prince. Of course that was the death of him. Jerry gritted his teeth, clinched his fists, and went for Otto. In two minutes, Otto, the goggles, and the wheel lay scattered around the yard. We fellows tried to stop Jerry; at the same time we yelled to Otto to call in his airs, but he would not listen to us. Jerry however, took the nonsense out of him. We fellows declared that Otto was roughly treated, yet we were glad to see some of the dudish manners taken out of him. Prof. Kane shut Jerry up in the garret for the rest of the day. Otto went down to Poplarport to get his wheel and glasses mended. Ben and I went with

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16 Bob Knight's Diary him. On the way we met the boys from the Port school. They gave their warwhoop: Biff Bang Boom Snort Rah, rah, rah Poplarport We yelled back : "Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top! We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah! Bang We marched right along, because we did not want to have a scrape. It cost Otto 2 dollars to get his wheel and glasses mended. But he did not seem to mind it; he has lots of money to spend. He treated us to pop, and Ben bought gum. I told the boys that I was dead broke, but I expected 2 5 cents very soon. I promised to buy something for them the next time I went to the Port. The village is called the Port, because the canal runs through it. We saw three canal-boats pass under the Main Street bridge. We stopped a while to watch them. Tuesday, September 2I. A boy named Harry Beebe came to-day. Jerry let him off with a few cuffs, saying: You 're not worth the powder."

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Bob Knight's Diary Harry is a queer chap. All the time we fellows were playing football, he leaned against the fence, and would not play. I guess he is bashful. Wednesday, September 22. A jolly-looking fellow, of the name of Antonio Liberato, appeared at the school this afternoon. He is not a bit bashful. I like him. He is an Italian, and his father and mother travel with a circus. If the circus ever comes to Poplarport, he is going to take me to it. For once Jerry was a little polite, and did not even cuff An tonio. Maybe Jerry was polite because Antonio is a foreigner. Antonio is very backward in his studies. I shall help him all I can. I feel very much indebted to him for the circus invitation. He sleeps in the bed next to mine; so when we went to bed he showed us fellows a lot of tricks. He is an acrobat, and can twist himself into all sorts of shapes. Can you fight ? Dick asked. You bet, I can," said Tony. (He told us to call him Tony.) '' Well, then, we have a fellow we want you to lick," Dick said. Where is he ? asked Tony, up his sleeves. '' Oh, not to-night. You wait till he pitches into 2

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18 Bob Knight's Diary you; don't you strike the first blow; let him strike first," Dick explained to him. Who is he ? said Tony, full of fight. He 's the biggest boy here Jerry," Dick said. I '11 do him up in one round; but I shall let him strike first," Tony said, cooling down a little. We fellows are tickled to death to find a match for Fighting Jerry. Thursday, September 23. To-day after school we took Ben into the secret, and we all had a good laugh. We are very anxious for Jerry to pitch into Tony. But I believe Jerry knows that Tony is a fighter, because I never saw Jerry so polite to any fellow as he is to Tony. I have my knife yet. Jerry has not said anything about it. I suppose he thinks he has lost it. Friday, September 24. I received a letter from Uncle Ralph to-day; it was a very short letter, but it had a dollar in it. I feel as rich as a king. After school Ben and I got permission to go to Cheap John's store at the Port. I bought four bottles of pop, four packages of gum, and a pound of candy. I had 70 cents left.

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Bob Kni g ht's Diary When we got back to the school I called all the fellows, and we had a regular picnic. I asked Mrs. Kane to let Poky come out, but he had to take care of the twins. So I gave him s o m e g u m a n d candy. He was tickled to death. Poky is very ---,--.-rn fond of gum. I treated Tony very generously on account of the circus in vitation. Jerry is v e ry much interested in Tony, and treats him like a gentleman. Otto and Jerry speak now; but they still growl a little at each other. Satur day, Septembe r 25. Ben and I were out in the y ard thi s morning, and I said to Poky: Say, Poky, introduce Ben and me to the cook, will you ? '' Better not; she 's cross as two sticks,'' Poky answered. '' What makes her cross ? '' Ben asked. Oh, you boys," said Poky, with a wise shake of his head. I never teased her," said Ben. Nor I," said I.

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20 Bob Knight's Diary You better let Polly alone," Poky told us. Just then he heard the twins cry, and away he ran into the house. Ben and I went to the kitchen door and knocked. Out flew Polly with a broom in her hand. Go 'long, you rascals, don't bother me! Polly yelled. She waved the broom furiously at us. Do n't you want some help ? I asked. "Away with you! "screamed Polly, slinging the broom at us. I was not one bit afraid of her hitting us, because I no ticed she slung the broom with her left hand. '' Let us get you a pail of fresh water from the well," I said, very kindly. None of your impudence," said Polly. I 'min earnest. You must have a good deal of work to do," I said, with a sober face. Honest In jun, Polly. Let us help you," said Ben. Polly stared at us. Want to help me, do you ? Well, you 're the first boys I ever saw that wanted to work,'' she said. Then she laughed. When I heard that laugh, I knew Polly had a big

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Bob Knight's Diary 2 r heart. I was not one bit afraid of her. I was sure I should get those doughnuts some day. Ben and I took the pail and went to the well. When we came back we marched right into the kitchen, bold as lions. Here, I don't allow boys in my kitchen," Polly yelled at us. Oh, our shoes are clean. We just want to know if you 'd like some wood split,'' I asked. Well, I don't mind if you do chop me a little. Poky is such a slow-poke, he does not chop half enough," Polly said, very pleasantly. When Ben and I heard that poor little Poky had to chop all the kitchen firewood, we went to work with a will, and chopped a pile of it. Polly was very polite to us when we brought in the wood, so I ventured to ask her about the d oughnuts. Polly," said -I, is it very much trouble to make doughnuts ? '' 'Deed and 't is," she answered. She looked so cross that I was afraid to say any more. Ben and I went. to the playground. But I shall get those doughnuts some day, sure pop! Nothing of importance happened this afternoon. Sunday, September 26. We fellows went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson is our teacher's name. She is

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22 Bob Knight's Diary sad-looking, yet I think she is pretty. I gave 5 cents. We all behaved very well. After dinner we were going for a walk, but it rained; so we boys sat in the schoolroom and read. I read a book about wild animals. Jerry was as uneasy as a fish out of water, but he managed to live the day through without exploding. Monday, September 27. Tony is musical. He made up a whistle for us boys. It goes r like this. We have been prac-W (, er rl re r 1 tising it all day. Poky caught it the first thing, and whistled it like a nightingale. He has just the best kind of a mouth for a whistle. Tony was furious when he heard Poky do the whistle so fine. Here, you monkey, don't you whistle our whistle," Tony yelled. But we fellows said, Oh, let Poky alone." So Tony let Poky whistle. Jerry is calm, but a fight is brewing within him. I can see it flash out of his eyes when Tony comes too near him. Jerry growls a little at Otto and Harry. I keep my knife down deep in my pocket.

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Bob Knight's Diary 23 Tuesday, September 28. This morning I met Poky in the yard, and I said to him, Do you get enough to eat ? He always looks so hungry. I guess I do. I don't 'zackly know. But I never have too much," he answered. Is Mrs. Kane kind to you ? I inquired. '' Oh, yes, she 's kind ; she lets me have all the sass that 's left." Then Poky whispered, And I licks the sass-dishes when Polly ain't a-looking.'' I felt sorry for the little fellow, so I told him I would leave him some of my sauce, and I would tell the other fellows to leave a little of theirs. At supper now, when I see a fellow scraping his dish too clean, I am going to say, H'm." Then he will understand he is to leave a little for Poky. I missed seven questions in Latin grammar, so I had to stay after school this afternoon. Poky came in to sweep the room. I said to him : Look out for sauce to-night, Poky. I told the boys, and they all agreed to save a little for you.'' Ain't you Coolin' ? Poky asked. Honor bright," I replied. All right," said Poky. I shall be on the lookout for it. I hope the twins won't cry and keep me upstairs till after Polly has washed the sass dishes." After supper Ben and I stole round to the kitchen

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24 Bob Knight's Diary and looked in at there we saw Po licking the sauce one. Ben and I times repaid for Poky half of our the window, and ky, all smiles, dishes, one by felt a thousand l e av i n g poor plum-sauce. Wednes day, September 29. Jerry and Tony have had a scrap. It happened this afternoon on the playground while we fellows were playing ball. Tony is a boss batter. He has been the king of the diamond ever since he came. That makes Jerry furious. To-day Tony batted such swift balls and made so many home-runs that Jerry just up and exploded. He called Tony a whole lot of names, and struck him in the face. Tony pitched into him. We fellows yelled: Lick 'im lick 'im We were glad to have Jerry find his match; but when we saw Tony grow fierce, we yelled for him to let up. Tony stopped fighting, and Fighting Jerry walked off as meek as a mouse. Tony did not appear at all puffed up over his victory. He picked up the bat, saying: Let 'shave another game, boys." Jerry walked off toward the house. We played till the supper-bell rang. When we went in I expected to hear Prof. Kane say:

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Bob Knight's Diary Antonio Liberato, go up into the garret." But not a word did the Professor say. So we knew that Jerry had not told on Tony. Jerry was very sober during supper, and kept on the shady side of Prof. and Mrs. Kane. When I saw him scraping his sauce-dish, I said H'm! but he did not pay any attention to me. He was too cross to think of Poky. It did not matter much, Poky does not like apple-sauce very well. When we went up to bed Ben offered Jerry some witch-hazel to rub on his eye, but Jerry scornfully replied: "Go 'long! My eye will open to-morrow morning. It's just a little tired to-night.'' We fellows giggled. Jerry was furious, but he did not dare to touch one of us, because Tony was with us. I will draw Jerry's likeness before Dick blows out the candle. Jerry's face is terribly swollen, but I can't help laughing. I am glad that Tony rooms with us. I feel as safe as though I had a policeman for a bedfellow. Thursday, September 30. This morning when we awoke, not a sound did we hear from Jerry's room. He is always the first one in the wash-room, but there was no splashing of

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Bob Knight's Diary water in there. Dick and I tiptoed down the hall, and peeked into Jerry's room. Get away from my door! he growled. Dick and I went back to our room, for we did not want to hurt Jerry's pride. We knew that he felt very sore over his defeat. Tony was unconcerned; he dressed and went down-stairs. Jerry did not appear at breakfast, so Prof. Kane went up-stairs to see what the trouble was. I don't know what Prof. Kane said ; all I know is, Jerry remained in his room all day, and Tony was shut up in the garret. We fellows had a very quiet day. For once, we had sole possession of the ball-ground. It was a relief not to have some one bullying us all the time. Otto strutted like a peacock, and put on a lot of airs. Harry forgot his bashfulness and played like the rest of us fellows. We all had lots of fun ; but we did miss Tony and Jerry a little bit. While we were play ing ball we heard a whistle; we looked up at the garret window, and there was Tony. Give me a catch, boys," he said, in a loud whisper. We boys took turns throwing the ball to him; so he had a little fun to break the dull time in the

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Bob Knight's Diary garret. I did not see Jerry at all. It was an off day with him. Tony came down at bedtime, and he told me he was longing for a square meal, for he had had nothing all day but bread and water. Friday, Oct o ber I. I am thankful I am going to write a different month at the beginning of each day. I got terribly tired writing Septem her for so many days. But I am going to keep on writing in my diary for Grandmother's sake, and to let the world know what kind of a boy I was. I may be a great man some day. Tony ate a tremendous breakfast this morning. Each of us gave him something. Ben gave him milk, Dick gave him toast, and I gave him all my hash. We had a big time trying to fill him up. Jerry is still in his room. I guess he is waiting for his eye to open. He is afraid we will laugh at him. Poky has been taking care of him, so I hunted up Poky, and said: How does Jerry look ? "Awful," said Poky. Is his left eye open ? I asked. Naw, it's shut tight," said Poky, shutting one of his eyes to show me how Jerry looks '' Does he eat ? '' I asked. "Naw, he won't eat," said Poky.

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Bob Knight's Diary Poor Jerry! I know he is sick. '' Who takes his meals to him ? '' I asked. I do, but he won't eat. He give me all his milk and bread and everything,'' Poky said, smiling. What said I. Is Jerry good to you ? '' Yep, he never cuffs me nor nothing. And once he gave me a ball,'' Poky told me. I feel better toward Jerry since I heard of his kindness to Poky. Boys are always kind-hearted. And I might know that Jerry has a good spot in his heart. I feel very, very sorry for him. At noon I told the fellows what Poky said, and we all agreed to send Jerry a note. Tony wrote it, and we all signed it. This is the note : Jerry, old boy,,' What are you lying abed for when we fellows are going chestnutting ? Be on hand at eight A.M. to-morrow, sharp. Don't forget. BEN CLINTON, BOB KNIGHT, DICK THISTLE, "SAM GALE, OTTO LESTER, HARRY BEEBE, "TONY LIBERATO." After Poky had carried the note to Jerry, we asked what Jerry said.

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Bob Knight's Diary Oh, he just grunted," Poky said. Hurrah for the woods! I hope we shall have a hard frost to-night to open the chestnut burrs. I am going to ask Prof. Kane to let Poky go with us. S aturda y O ctobe r 2 ] erry came down to breakfast cross as a bear. Nobody said anything to him. Ben offered him an extra glass of milk, but he would not take it. After breakfast I asked Mrs. Kane if Poky could go chestnutting. Of course, just the same old tune, He had to take care of the twins.'' Poor Poky! I will bring him some nuts. At eight o'clock we started. ] erry was with u s Poky stood at the window, holding the twins, and watched us start for the woods. I did not look back but once, it made me f eel so sorry to see Poky staying at home. He is the best-natured chap I ever knew. Well, we did have a great time! It was jolly fun picking u p t h e nuts. Jerry forgot to sulk, and Harry forgot to be bashful. Tony was full of his circus tricks. He climbed the trees, and jumped from branch to branch just like a monkey. Otto got off his dignity and scrambled for nuts like a genuine

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30 Bob Knight's Diary boy. Sam went on all fours a good part of the time. He said that he could see the nuts bet ter. Dick, Ben, and I hunted for chestnuts while the others were monkeying. At noon we sat on the sunny side of the woods and ate our luncheon. Polly had filled the basket chuck-full. We had a big luncheon. After we had emptied the basket we filled it with nuts. It was then three o'clock by Otto's watch, so we started for home. We went around by way of the Hermit's. The old man and his cat were sitting outside in the sun shine. The cat put up its back and hissed at us. When the Hermit saw our nuts, he said: Been robbing, have you ? These are Prof. Kane's woods," Dick replied. But you 've robbed the squirrels," said the Hermit. \Ve had never thought of the squirrels, and we did not know what to answer. The Hermit laughed, and said: "Need n't worry 'bout robbing the squirrels. They gather their share before you are up.'' "We 'll divide with you," Ben proposed. "No, thank you. I 've plenty. I go nutting with the squirrels. We have an understanding," the old man explained. We all laughed, for we saw that the old Hermit was joking.

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Bob Knight's Diary 31 Jerry kept behind us, but the Hermit spied him, and asked: What 's the matter with your left eye, bub ? Nothing," said Jerry. The Hermit went into the hut and brought out a bundle of herbs, saying: Here 's some wormwood, bub. Steep it in vinegar, and bind it on your eye." Jerry took the herbs, but I knew that he felt ter ribly cheap over it. He thanked the Hermit very shyly. On the way back to the school we hooted like wild Indians on the war-path. Poky heard us coming, and was at the window, holding the twins. The poor fellow nodded his head at us. We were as hungry as hunters for supper. I forgot to leave any sauce for Poky. But after supper I looked him up and gave him a hatful of chest nuts. Ben and Dick also gave him some. Polly is steeping the wormwood for Jerry's black eye. I can smell the odor of the bitter herb away upstairs in our room. Dick says, Blow out the candle." So I must stop writing. Sunday, October 3 It rained all day. I am glad it did not rain yesterday. None of us went to church to-day. All the fellows wrote letters home. It made me home sick. When a fellow has not any home it seems

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32 Bob Knight's Diary ridiculous for him to feel homesick; but, all the same, I am homesick. I wish I had a home like other boys. Anyhow, I have an Uncle Ralph, so I wrote to him, and asked for a pair of shoes. Mine leak. I gave Polly some of my chestnuts. I hope she will make those doughnuts before long. All the chestnuts I gathered yesterday are gone. Monday, October 4. Jerry's left eye is wide open. Now he begins to bully us fellows again. I am n.ot afraid of him, Tony is my roommate. But I fear Tony is down on me. This is the way it happened. For several days after school I had missed Tony, Otto, and Harry, and I began to suspect that some mischief was going on which they did not 1 et the rest of us fellows into. So to -day a f t e r school Ben and I watched, and we saw those three rascals riding Prof. Kane's white horse, Doll, to the post-office. Jingo! Doll looked like a genuine racehorse as she came on a run up the

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Bob Knight's Diary 33 hill. I felt proud of her, but I was wrathy at those three scamps on her back. When they rode into the barn, I said : "You 're pretty mean sort of fellows, you are, riding three on one horse.'' "It' s none of your business," Tony retorted. '' I say it is my business,'' said I. I will ride that horse as much as I please," Tony yelled at me. Otto and Harry never said a word. Haven't you any heart ? Ben asked Tony. Tony, Otto, and Harry walked off; Ben and. I climbed upon the fence to consider the matter. After a good deal of talking, we decided not to tell Prof. Kane, but to watch the horse. Tony did not speak to me at supp er; during the study-hour he made faces at me. Now he has gone to bed, wrapping himself head and ears in the bedclothes, Midnight.-Tony wrapped himself up so tight in the bedclothes that he rolled out of bed slam-bang on the floor in the middle of the night. We fellows did not laugh oh, no! It was moonlight. He got up, and whined 3

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34 Bob Knight's Diary '' What you laughing at ? '' We kept right on laughing. I say, stop your noise! Tony yelled at us. We kept right on laughing. '' Do you hear ? I 'd squelch you kids, if I wasn't so sleepy," he said: Then he tumbled into bed. Ill two minutes he was snoring. Tues day, October 5 Tony did not speak to us fellows when he got up this morning. Ben, Dick, Sam, and I ate a ton of oatmeal for breakfast, so as to get up a muscle to protect Doll. And we studied very hard, so we would not have to stay after school. When school was out we played at hide-and-seek in the barn, at the same time keeping watch of the white horse. Tony, Otto, and Harry also hung around the barn. No one said anything. At last Tony boldly marched right into the barn and led out Doll. I am not much of a fighter, but when I saw those three fellows about to mount the white horse, I felt goose-flesh creeping all over me. I took hold of Doll by the head and led her into the barn. Tony pitched into me, and we fought like tigers. Otto and Harry ran away, so I told Dick, Sam, and Ben to keep off, and I would do Tony up alone. Of course, I got the worst of it. He knocked me sky high, and I fell on the ground, seeing electric sparks

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Bob Knight's Diary 35 flying in every direction. I got licked, but Doll did not carry those three scamps to the post-office. I have lost my invitation to the circus, sure pop! 6 P.M.-I am in bed with a bandaged head. Tony is up in the garret. Doll is safe in her stall. Poky brought me my supper. I feel too dizzy to write any more in this diary. Wednesday, October 6. My head aches terribly. I am too tired to write. Thursday, October 7. I am almost a hero. All the fellows are on my side, except Tony and Jerry. Prof. and Mrs. Kane are very kind to me. Polly sent me a di sh of strawberry jam. Poky brings up the twins a dozen times a day to amuse me. Tony is still in the garret. Friday, October 8. It is fun to be a hero, but I don't like fighting a cent's worth. If I ever get well, I will never fight again, not unless those three rascals attempt to ride Doll to the post-office again. Otto and Harry were in to see me this morning. They feel sorry for me, I know, but they did not say so.

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Bob Knight's Diary Saturday, October 9. It rains. I am still in bed. Prof. Kane says that Tony shall stay in the garret just as long as I am in bed. I wish I could stay in bed a month, so as to keep Tony on bread and water, but I am too lone some. I am going to dress and go to dinner. Tony and I met at the table. He looked daggers at me. I don't want him for a bed fellow. I asked Prof. Kane to let Ben come in our room. The boys played shinney all the afternoon. I was dreadfully lonesome. I whittled a stick and whistled. At bedtime Prof. Kane put Ben in our room, and put Tony in with Jerry, Otto, and Harry. We fellows are glad to have Ben with us. We are a jolly quartette. Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang Sunday October 10. We all went to church. On the way, Jerry whis-pered to me: Say, Bob, I 'm glad you had a fight." I 'm not. I got licked," I replied. "Well, Tony had to live on bread and water in the garret, and I know how hard that is. I've been there myself," Jerry confessed.

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Bob Knight's Diary 37 Why don't you give up scrapping ? There is n't any fun in it," said I. I can't. It 's natural to me. I 've got so much muscle I have to exercise it," Jerry proudly answered. If you have so much strength, why don't you help Poky chop wood ? I asked. "Certainly, I'll do anything for exercise," Jerry said, with a great deal of airs. All right. Remember you have promised," said I. Just then we reached the church door, so we stopped talking. I gave 5 cents. Poky never goes to church, because he has no good clothes, and because he has to take care of the twins while Prof. and Mrs. Kane go. When I got home from church, I told Poky that Jerry was going to help him chop wood. Poky was glad, because he does not like to chop. No wonder! he has no more muscle than a rag-doll. During the afternoon the boys wrote letters home. It made me lonesome. I wished I had not eaten up all my chestnuts. Monday, October II, This morning I met Poky on the stairs, and he told me not to go near the kitchen, for Polly had

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Bob Knight's Diary the rheumatism, and she was as cross as a mad dog. I immediately hunted up Dick and told him about Polly. Dick is very sympathetic. We went to the kitchen and found Polly groaning with pain. I 'm dreadfully sorry for you," we both said. Oh, but that won't stop the pain or do the washing," Polly replied, rocking back and forth in a big rocking-chair. My grandfather always uses liniment for his pains," Dick told her. "And we 'II do the washing for you, won't we, Dick ? '' said I. "Certainly," said Dick. Away we ran to Prof. Kane and got excused from reciting, then we ran back and hauled the tubs out of the cellar. We filled them with hot water and got the rubbing-boards and soap, and went to washing on the back porch, Dick at one tub and I at the other. Cracky! how we did rub! I was plaguy glad to get rid of my arithmetic lesson, be cause I did not know how to do two examples. Dick and I rubbed for two straight hours; then we rinsed and blued and wrung the clothes, and hung them on the line. Polly kept bossing us all the time. She told us

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Bob Knight's Diary 39 not to use so much soap, but we made a big suds away up to the rim of the tubs. It was jolly fun. Dick's face was on a broad grin all the time, and I suppose mine was too. Polly was terribly cross when we began to wash, but she thawed out little by little, and I guess her rheumatism got better, any how, she was smiling when we hung the last pair of stockings on the line. "You 're little gentlemen. And I '11 do as much for you some day," she said, as we dumped the water out of the tubs. "Don't forget those doughnuts, Polly, dear," I said. Then Dick and I skipped. Of course the other fellows did not know what Dick and I had been doing, and we did not want them to know, either. Otto would sneer at us, and Tony and Jerry would guy us. But our hands gave us away; we could not get the wrinkles out of them. They were all shrivelled up like the Hermit's hands. The fellows plagued the life out of us at the dinner-table, calling us," Washee-washee," and Chinee." I did not care for myself, but I felt sorry for Dick, because I had pulled him into the scrape. At last I sang out: Doughnuts, boys, doughnuts!" How quickly those boys shut up, for they all like doughnuts.

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Bob Knight's Diary Honor bright ? asked Sam. And you ought to have seen him smile. Tuesday, October 12. Dick and I had to stay after school to-day to do the examples we missed in yesterday's lesson. We are paying a big price for those doughnuts. Poky came in to sweep the room. Hollo, brother Poky! said I. Didn't you forget I was your brother?" Poky asked, smiling. Not a bit," said I. Nor back out, neither?" said Poky. I never go back on my word," I told Poky. "Well, you 're the first boy what didn't go back on me,'' Poky said. I 'm never going back on my brother, Poky Knight. I 'll be your friend through thick and thin. See if I don't! I promised Poky. '' Well, then, I wish you 'd get me an ulster for this winter that 's coming. I 've never had an overcoat; and I 'bout freeze to death when the snow comes," poor, thin Poky said, shivering from head to feet. You shall have a coat, if I have to give you mine,'' I promised him. Oh, don't do that. But I 'd like to be warm for once in the winter time," Poky said.

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Bob Knight's Diary 41 I '11 see that you have a coat," Dick also promised Poky. In a few seconds Prof. Kane called Dick and me to recite, and we left Poky sweeping the room. Wednesday, October 13. I received a pair of shoes from Uncle Ralph. Jingo! wasn't I tickled! They fit me boss. Thursday, October 14. I have got my shoes, but I am all out of stock ings. I wish I knew how to darn holes in stock ings. I think that boys ought to be taught to sew. I suppose Uncle Ralph thinks boys don't wear stockings. I have 50 cents left of that dollar he sent me. To-morrow I shall get permission to go to Poplarport after some stockings. I wonder how many pairs I can get for 50 cents. Friday, October 15. It rained so hard that Prof. Kane would not let me go to the Port after my stockings, so Dick and I sat in our room after school and tried to darn our old ones. I had bad luck with my work; after I had sewed up the holes, I could not get the stock ings on my feet. Such is the fate of a boy that is dependent on a bachelor uncle. If I am ever a bachelor and have a nephew, I will send him some stockings when I send him a pair of new shoes.

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42 Bob Knight's Diary Saturday, October 16. To-day it did not rain. So Ben, Dick, Sam, and Rover (he is Prof. Kane's dog) and I went to the Port. We went to buy stockings. We almost bought out Cheap John. I paid 25 cents for two pairs of stockings. They don't look like the ones Grandmother used to knit for me, but they will do. Then I bought 20 cents' worth of candy. Dick bought soda-water, Sam bought gum, and Ben bought pop-corn fritters. On the way home we met a gang of Poplarport boys. They yelled at us, and called Rover a curly pup. They had a dog with them, and they dared us to sick Rover on him. But we think too much of Rover to set him on a dog. And we also felt -=::_::.... sorry for their snuff-colored pup. We did not want to see him get licked. Rover sat down on his haunches and simply ignored that snuff-colored cur. Rover is a noble animal. Sunday, October 17. Three cheers for Polly!!! We had doughnuts for breakfast. I was surprised when I saw them on the

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Bob Knight's Diary 43 table, yet I have been expecting them ever since last Monday. They were tip-top! Sam exclaimed: I wish I had a doughnut as big as the world, and had to eat it in one day." After breakfast we went to the kitchen and yelled: "Who 's a ll ri ght? Poll y 's a ll ri ght, e v e ry time! Rah rah ra h Polly! P olly! Polly! R a h, r a h r a h D o u ghnuts Polly was very much flattered, but Prof. Kane said that we were making too much noise, and he sent us to the schoolroom to study our Sundayschool lesson. We all went to church. I gave 5 cents. Jerry has not put a cent on the plate since the Sunday he g ave my IO cents. I suppose he thinks he has paid up for the whole year. He has never mentioned my knife to me. I suppose he thinks he has lost it. I keep it down in my pocket. Monday October 18. It will take a long time to square myself with Tony. He is angry clean through. I am sorry I am out with him, yet I could not see him abuse a horse, just for the sake of a circus invitation. He has not tried to steal another ride on Doll. This afternoon after school I was in the barn

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44 Bob Knight's Diary while Poky was doing the chores. I was helping him rub Doll. Poky said : Say, brother Bob, I lost that pencil you gave me.'' How 's that?" I asked. Oh, Roy chewed it up," Poky answered. '' What ? One of the twins ? said I. Truly! he ate it all up," Poky said. Did it make him sick ? I wanted to know. Naw, he eats everything," Poky replied. So I gave Poky another pencil. I like to give him things, because he always acts so tickled. When we were on our way to the house, he said : Don't forget my ulster." Tues day, Octob e r r9. This afternoon Jerry and I had to stay after school to study. When Poky came in to sweep, I said: Say, Poky, Jerry says he '11 chop a lot of wood for you. He 's just crazy to chop wood." Shut up! growled Jerry. But you told me so," said I. I 've changed my mind," Jerry replied. But you promised," said I. That settles it then. I '11 chop wood for Poky," Jerry said. I declare, there is a good deal of honor in Jerry.

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Bob Knight's Diary 45 Poky was scared almost to death ; he thought that Jerry and I were going to have a scrap. So he kept saying: "You needn't chop, Jerry. I 've got muscle. See!" Poky's arm is no larger than a broomstick. Wednesday, October 20. After breakfast, I whispered to Jerry: Don't forget Poky's wood." So Jerry and I went out into the back yard. There had been a white frost, making the air keen and bracing. Jerry laid hold of the axe with one hand like a young giant. All the fellows gathered around him. Jingo! I was proud of him. How he did make that axe fly! We fellows kept praising him, and he kept on chopping. Poky looked on in have chopped in a week. we had to go in. Jerry strutted off, with his hands in his pockets, as proud as a lion.

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Bob Knight's Diary Poky said: "Much obliged, Jerry. I 'm plaguy glad to have so much wood ready for the wood box. '' Jerry enjoyed being the hero of the day. We fellows declared that we never had seen so much wood chopped in so short a time. I would like to be as strong as Jerry. I would not waste my muscle, however, fighting small boys. Thursday, October 21. Prof. Kane is extra kind to me since I pitched into Tony for abusing Doll. The Professor has a lot of patience with me when I stumble along through my Latin exercises. He gives me a lift now and then. Otto is a tip-top scholar; he would rather study than play; so, of course, he always has his lessons, and appears so much smarter than the rest of us fellows. He gives me a snub every time he gets a chance for putting a stop to his riding the white horse. Otto has brains, but no heart. Friday, October 22. Nothing of importance happened to-day. Saturday, October 23. We fellows were going to have a game of ball with the Poplarport boys. This afternoon we were practising out on the diamond, and Jerry bullied us so much that I could not stand it. He just bossed

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Bob Knight's Diary 47 everything, keeping the bat himself almost all the time. So I said to Dick: Let 's play something else. I 'm tired of Jerry." Dick and I walked toward the house, and there we saw Poky standing alone at the window. We beckoned for him to come out. He shook his head, and whispered against the window-glass: Can't. Twins asleep. Got to watch 'em." Dick and I went into the house, and asked him if he wanted to see the boys play ball. Yep," said Poky, jumping right up in the air. Go along; we 'll watch the twins," Dick and I told him. Poky skipped off right lively. Dick and I sat down by the side of the crib. We were all upset about the game; we wanted to play, but we could not stand Jerry's bullying. We were glad to give Poky a chance to get outdoors. The twins woke up before Poky was out of sight, and how they did yell! Dick and I whistled and sang and danced, and tried every way to stop their noise, but those youngsters would yell in spite of everything we could do. I was afraid they would burst their lungs, so I proposed tying up their chins. Dick thought it a brilliant idea. Dick tied up Roy's chin, and I tied up Ray's. What a marvellous effect it had on those squalling kids! They stopped short, and never squalled again while we were taking

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48 Bob Knight's Diary care of them. They enjoyed the joke immensely. When Poky came back we told him what we had done, so now he is going to tie up those kids' faces the next time they cry. Sunday, October 24. We had whopping big doughnuts for breakfast. We fellows went to church and Sunday-school. During the sermon Jerry fell asleep and snored. I guess he played ball too hard yesterday. Tony pinched him and woke him up; then he was angry at Tony. I gave 3 cents. In the afternoon Prof. Kane read us a story out of a Sunday-school paper. I was not lonesome to-day. Monday, October 25. Next Sunday is Hallow-e'en. We are going to celebrate on Saturday. Prof. Kane has given us permission to go after pumpkins. Won't we have fun! We are going to buy them of one of the farmers. Tony says that he will steal his; he is out of money. I offered to lend him some, but he would not take it. We were so excited over the pumpkin question that all of us, except Otto, had to stay after school to study. Of course, Otto did not want to go alone after the pumpkins, so he did

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Bob Knight's Diary 49 not go. We all made up our minds to study hard to-morrow. Tues day, October 26. We had our lessons to-day. After school we started across-lots to Farmer Ashford's to buy pumpkins. Prof. Kane told us to be back by halfpast five. Otto always carries the time. We along and first thing he did was to hunt for woodchucks, and we had heaps of fun looking for woodchuck holes on a side-hill. Rover was just crazy when he found one, going into it head first. We fooled around till six o'clock, and never got a pumpkin. Prof. Kane scolded us for being late for supper, and he told us that we could not go again to-morrow. 4 Wednesday, O c t o b e r 27. We had a stupid time to-day, nothing but study! study! study\ Prof. Kane was as cross as a bear, and he would not let us have our play-hour, because we were late for supper yesterday. I have

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50 Bob Knight's Diary nothing to write in my diary because we did not have any fun to write about. Thursday, October 28. Well, to-day we started again for those pumpkins. We left Rover at home, for we knew that if he ran after woodchucks we would never get our pumpkins. We walked as straight as a bird flies to Farmer Ashford's. He was out in the field husking corn. Well, boys, what do you want ? he asked, coming to the fence. Pumpkins," we all cried. Take your pick," said Farmer Ashford, pointing at the field. How we did scamper over the fence into that cornfield! The big yellow pumpkins lay scattered among the corn-shocks just waiting for us to make them into jack-o' -lanterns. Farmer Ashford told us to take two apiece, so we did. Then when we asked him how much he charged for them, he said: '' Just nothing at all. Have a good time, boys, on Hallow-e'en." We walked off with our pumpkins, hollering:

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Bob Knight's Diary 51 "Who 's all right? Farmer Ashford 's all right Rah, rah, rah Farmer Ashford We ran every step of the way back to the school, and reached there in time for supper. We put the pumpkins in the barn. To-morrow we are going to make our jack-o' -lanterns. I wish to-morrow was here. Friday, October 29. It was a long day, I tell you! I kept thinking about my jack-o' -lanterns all the time. I studied hard, because I did not want to stay after school. three o'clock. Prof. Kane let us out at Away we ran to the barn, and began cutting a face on each of the pumpkins. The instant Jerry spied my jack-knife, he said: '' Give me that knife!'' I won't," said I. You will," he roared, cuffing me. Let Bob alone, or I '11 cuff you," sang out Tony. That 's my knife; I lost it over four weeks ago,'' Jerry declared. Don't you dare lay your hands on it," Tony told him. Jerry walked off, growling like a wildcat. I felt

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Bob Knight's Diary exceedingly indebted to Tony, yet I did not know what to say. I kept still a minute, then I said: Much obliged, Tony, for protecting my knife.'' Oh, that's all right," Tony answered. "I'm glad to be friends again with you," said I, extending my hand to him. So am I," he acknowledged, shaking my hand heartily. Then we went to work at our jack-o' -lanterns. It was more fun than a picnic. We finished them before dark. I made one for Poky, because he could not come out; he had to take care of the twins. We wanted to stay all night in the barn and play with our jack-o' -lanterns, but the supper-bell rang, and we had to go into the house. I gave all my gingerbread to Tony. I wanted it myself, but I felt so much indebted to him for keeping Jerry from taking my knife away from me. And, too, I do not want him to forget the circus invitation. Saturday, October 30. 'vVe got up at sunrise and went to the barn to see

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Bob Knight's Diary 53 how our jack-o' -lanterns looked. After breakfast we went to the Port to buy candles of Cheap John. We ran all the way there and back. We were all day getting ready for the parade. We could hardly eat our supper, we were so anxious to start. For once, Poky was allowed to march with us. We put him at the head of the line, but he moved so slowly and kept looking back so much, that we were obliged to put him in the rear. Jerry led. We marched down to Poplarport, singing, We won't go home till morning." We called on Cheap John, and he treated us to wintergreen candy. We did not go any farther, because the Port boys hooted us out of the town, throwing stones and tin cans at us. We scudded for Poplar Hill lively. Then we marched through the woods to call on the Hermit. The old man crawled out of his nest like a sleepy old bear.

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54 Bob Knight's Diary Hey! boys, what you up to ? he asked, opening his door. Hallow-e'en! we sang out. The Hermit hunted around in his hut and brought out some chestnuts for us. We thanked him and started on again. We marched across the fields to Farmer Ashford's. He saw us coming and opened the door, saying: Hollo, boys! Come right in. Glad to see you.'' We marched into the house, yelling: Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang Mr. Ashford gave us all the apples and pears we could eat, and all the sweet cider we wanted to drink. I guess he knows' what boys like. His wife was just as kind as he was. She asked us our names, then she went into the pantry and brought out a big jar full of cookies, and told us to eat all of them. We pitched in and ate every one. How Poky went for those cookies! He had enough for once, I know. We stayed till nine o'clock. Jingo! how dark it was when we went outdoors. Our candles had burned out, and we were afraid to go home. But Farmer Ashford gave us some more candles, and

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Bob Knight's Diary SS then we were all right. We thanked him a hundred times for his pumpkins, apples, pears, cider, cook ies, and candles, then we started for the school on a dead run. Poor Poky could not keep up with us. He kept yelling: Hold on, boys, don't go so fast! But he managed to run nearly as fast as we did, for he was not far behind when we reached the school. But he was all out of breath, and almost scared to death. We gave our jack-o' -lanterns to Polly and asked her to make pies of them. She did not say whether she would or she wouldn't. I had so much fun that I dreamed all night of jack-o' -lanterns, apples, and cookies. Sunday, October 31. No doughnuts for breakfast. Sam was so disap pointed he kept kicking the leg of the table all the time. I must do another washing for Polly. I shall get Sam to help me. None of us fellows wanted to go to church. Prof. Kane told us that we should never have another Hallow-e'en march, if it made us too tired to go to church the next day. So we all piled off to church. I did not have but one cent to give in Sundayschool. In the afternoon I wrote to Uncle Ralph for a

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Bob Knight's Diary new reefer and a dollar. Prof. Kane says there will be a frost to-night. I would like to ask Uncle Ralph for a coat for Poky, but I don't feel well enough acquainted with him to ask for two coats. But Poky shall have a warm coat, if I have to give him mine. Monday November I, I went round to the kitchen door this morning to see if Polly was going to make those pies. Ben went with me, and we found Polly with the tooth ache. My mother always puts ammonia on my tooth when it aches, and it stops it short," Ben told her. Ben knows all about toothaches. Away with you kids! Polly yelled at us. Don't you want some help ? I asked. No, I don't," she answered. Did n't Dick and I do the washing all right ? I inquired. Yes, but I can't be bothered with you to-day. So away with you,'' she said, driving us out of the door. Just as Ben and I were walking away, we saw a ragged man scudding around the end of the wood pile. We were going to give chase, but the bell rang, and we had to go in. We were dreadfully disappointed, for we suspected it was a tramp. We

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Bob Knight's Diary 57 told the rest of the fellows, and there was great excitement among us all day. We met after school to make plans for capturing the tramp. We feel sure that he is a fugitive from justice. Polly's toothache is better. She used the am monia. But she did not make the pumpkin-pies. Tuesday, November 2. I am glad to be friends again with Tony. Jerry and Tony have also made up. We found it hard work to study, having that tramp on our minds all day. In addre1Jsing Prof. Kane, twice I said, Prof. Tramp." But I corrected myself so quickly he did not understand what I said. At four o'clock we met at the woodpile to arrange for the pursuit. Each one had a different plan. No two agr(!ed. So we decided that each fellow should go his own way. But when we came to think that over, we were afraid to meet the tramp single-handed. Then we decided to go in twos. Jerry and Tony started for the woods, Sam and Dick went across-lots toward Owl Creek, Otto and Harry kept watch around the house, and Ben and I went over by the canal. It got dark so soon that Ben and I did not have very much time to hunt for the villain, and we were afraid to meet him after dark, so we scudded back to the school. We found

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Bob Knight's Diary the rest of the fellows by the woodpile. No one had seen the tramp. But we were sure he was around the school some where, for Polly told us that someone had stolen Prof. Kane's shirt and stockings off the clothes line last night. Wednesday, November 3. We had so much planning to do about the capturing of the tramp that we did not have one of our lessons, consequently we had to stay after school to study. I think Prof. Kane does not appreciate the efforts we are making to recover his lost shirt and stockings. Thursday, November 4. We all had our lessons to-day, so we were out on time. We decided to keep together and go to the woods. Over by Owl Creek we found a place where a fire had been built; the embers were still smoking, and there were an old stewing-pan that looked very much like ones I had seen Polly use. We looked around for the 'shirt and stockings, but we did not find them. We did not coffee-pot and a take the coffee-pot and stewing-pan, because we

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Bob Knight's Diary 59 thought it would be stealing. And, too, we did not want to spoil the tramp's camping outfit. We have been camping ourselves. We returned quickly to the school and told Prof. Kane what we had found. He said that it was too late to send to the Port after a policeman. We believe that he is afraid of the tramp. Polly is terribly nervous. And Pokr, when we told him about the tramp, he hugged the twins closely to him, saying: The old tramp won't get Roy and Ray." I dreamed about tramps all night long. Friday, November 5, It rained hard the livelong day. I wonder what the poor old tramp did. It was impossible for us to continue our search. We regret it immensely. We fear he will break camp and move on before the weather clears off. I received a dollar from Uncle Ralph. He prom ised to send my reefer soon. Saturday, November 6. Last night Polly set a big pan of baked beans out to cool, and some one stole it. Of course it was the tramp. We are down on him, because we lost the beans. Prof. Kane told us to get track of the tramp, and he would send for the policeman at the Port. So at eight o'clock we struck out for the

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60 Bob Knight's Diary woods. We crept cautiously toward the old fellow's camping-ground, but he was not there. The coffeepot and stewing-pan were gone; so we knew he had changed his camp. We did not see anything of the pan of beans. We went over to the Hermit's, but he was out. By that time it was noon, so we went home for dinner. Polly stood at the door. Hain't you seen that old thief yet ? she in quired. ''No,'' we told her. If you boys don't get track of him this after noon, I won't give you any supper. Mind that, now," she said, shaking her fist at us. It began to look very serious for us. We wished that we had not commenced the hunt for the tramp. But we are in for it now, and we won't back out. Polly gave us a pesky mean dinner-just fried pork and boiled potatoes. A happy thought struck me while I was eating. I told the scheme to the fel lows. After dinner we went round to the kitchen door, and I said: Say, Polly, if we produce the tramp, will you make us the pumpkin-pies for dinner to-morrow ? That I will," she replied, nodding her head good-naturedly at us. Then stew the pumpkins this afternoon, for we will not return until we have found the tramp," I assured Polly.

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Bob Knight's Diary 61 Cracky what fresh spirit and strength the promise of those pies gave us! We set out determined to find the tramp. Poky went with us, and we thought perhaps he would be a good detective, and help us find the old villain. We started on our search through the fields and woods. Rover went with us a little way, but he became interested in woodchucks, and we could not coax him to leave the side-hill. Poky was greatly excited; every few minutes he would sing out: '.' There, there! I see something! We kept in good spirits till five o'clock, then we began to despair. No tramp! No supper! No pumpkin-pies! We walked slowly toward the house, talking all the time about the loss of the pies; we were very downhearted. We dreaded to meet Polly, so w e sat down on the ground in the yard to wait for the supper-bell. All of a sudden a man's head popped up above the garden fence right in front of us, and a husky voice said: Hollo, chappies Can't you get your un cle something good to eat ? Jingo! were n't we scared We sprang to our feet and ran for the kitchen door.

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62 Bob Knight's Diary Polly, Polly! we yelled, the tramp is after us. Let us in, quick! We rushed into the kitchen almost frightened to death. Poky did not forget the pumpkin-pies; he sang out: We 've found the tramp, Polly. Make the pies, make the pies '' Where is he ? Shut the door," Polly screamed. Oh, right out there," Poky said, pointing out into the dark yard. Why didn't some of you boys catch him ? Polly asked. Not one of us answered. Jerry and Tony walked off with a guilty air. You 're cowards! I won't make a single pie for you," Polly screamed at us. But we found him," said I. Get out of my kitchen! said Polly, waving her broom in the air. We went out, but not by the outside door; we crept up the stairs to the schoolroom. There we met Prof. Kane. We 've found the tramp!" we bravely ex claimed. He 's right out there by the garden fence.'' Where ? Where ? said Prof. Kane, running to the window. It was too dark for him to see anything, but he

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Bob Knight's Diary ran up-stairs and down-stairs, making a great fuss. We fellows were wild with excitement. We could hardly eat our supper. All the evening we stayed in the schoolroom without a light, and watched at the windows. The night was cloudy and dark, so we did not see anything that looked like the tramp. Jerry and Tony regretted that they did not grab the old fellow by the hair and yank him over the fence. They have lost one of the opportunities of a lifetime to distinguish themselves. We expect to dream of tramps all night. Sunday, November 7. And so we did. Every few minutes during the night one of the fellows would yell out: I see him! Here he comes after me! Open the door, Polly, and let us in! In the middle of the night Jerry jumped out of bed and grabbed Otto by the hair and began pound ing him. '' I 've got the villain! '' he yelled, thinking he had the tramp. Otto was wrathy, and demanded an apology the next morning. After breakfast we talked of nothing but the tramp. We wanted to stay home from church, but Prof. Kane said that we must go, and he forbade us mentioning the tramp's name during the rest of the

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64 Bob Knight's Diary day. I kept still till Miss Wilson finished the les son; then I thought she ought to know about the old thief, for he might rob some one at the Port. My! she was interested in our account of him, be cause she is exceedingly afraid of tramps, she told us. We boys walked all the way home with her. Polly did not make the pumpkin-pies; we had rice-pudding instead. During the afternoon we wanted to talk of the tramp, but we did not dare to say one word about him. We went to bed at seven o'clock: we could not stand the pressure any longer. Monday, November 8. There was a light fall of snow last night We fellows were up at daybreak and outdoors, looking for footprints of the tramp. And we found them. All around the wood-pile and along the garden fence was a row of tracks. We followed them across the field to the woods. There we found the tramp cooking his breakfast on the very spot where we first saw the coffee-pot and stewing-pan. It was broad daylight, so we were not afraid. We walked right up to him. He was roasting a chicken; one from Prof. Kane's roost, I know. Hollo! said Tony, in a friendly voice. Morning, chappies," the tramp said, nodding his head. He kept his face turned away from us. '' Cooking your breakfast ? '' Ben asked.

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Bob Knight's Diary The tramp nodded his head again. Seems to me I 've seen that chicken before," said Sam, looking at a heap of white feathers on the ground. The tramp gave a long shrill whistle then he whispered: Can't you youngsters get me some pie ? I 'd like pumpkin-pie." We fellows thought right away of the pumpkin pie we were to have, if we caught the tramp, so Tony said: "Yes, I can get you some pie, if you 'll meet me after school at the wood-pile." '.' Now, what you giving me, boy ? That 's too near the house. Meet me here at the edge of the woods this afternoon at dusk," the tramp whispered to Tony. He still kept his face turned away from us. "All right, I 'm your man," said Tony. Don't forget that pie," the tramp called after us, as we turned to go back to the house. We scudded to the house wild with excitement. We told Prof. Kane about the tramp, and Tony's ap pointment with him at the edge of the woods at dusk. We went to breakfast, and Prof. Kane sent to Poplarport for a policeman. We asked for a holiday, but Prof. Kane said there was no need of it, as the arrest would not take place till after school hours. At noon I ran down to the kitchen to see s

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66 Bob Knight's Diary whether Polly was stewing the pumpkin. She was, and I told the fellows about it. We felt that we had truly earned the pumpkin-pies. In the afternoon not one of us had his lessons, because we were so excited over capturing the tramp, but Prof. Kane did not keep us after school to study. We stayed in the schoolroom till the policeman arrived. He questioned us a while, then took Tony outdoors with him. The rest of us were told to stay in the house. I thought we should explode with excitement. To amuse ourselves we went to the kitchen to see Polly. '' Did you send the tramp a pie ? '' I asked. No, indeed, I don't waste one of my pies on that old thief," Polly scornfully replied. When are we to have our pie ? Dick asked. Not till I see the tramp handcuffed and led away by the policeman," said Polly. Of course we were anxious to have him arrested and taken to jail. We returned to the schoolroom and waited patiently. About six o'clock Tony came in. Where 's the tramp ? we all cried. He did not answer us, but coolly began taking off his coat and cap. Where 's the tramp ? we asked again. The policeman has him," Tony said, in a sad tone.

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Bob Knight's Diary Hurrah! Pumpkin-pies! Hurrah!" we yelled. Shut up, boys! you make me mad," said Tony, with a frown. Are n't you glad he 's arrested ? asked Dick. No, I ain't," said Tony. Just think of the pumpkin-pies," cried Sam. If you had seen that tramp as I saw him, you would n't yell hurrah. I never felt so sorry for a man as I did for that man, when he came to meet me, expecting to get some pie, and the policeman nabbed him. I shall never forget it," cried Tony, throwing himself on the floor, face downward. We fellows were dumbfounded. At last Jerry said: "You 're a big baby to feel sorry for that thief." But, boys, the man has been unfortunate," Tony explained. How do you know ? Jerry asked. I 'm acquainted with him," Tony replied. '' Who is he ? '' cried Dick. '' The clown in the circus. I travelled with him last summer," Tony said, in a husky voice.

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68 Bob Knight's Diary Oh, my! how sorry we felt that we had hunted down the tramp, because we always like the clown of every circus. It just made us sad. And when we went down to supper we could not enjoy the pumpkin-pie one bit. We felt that the pie was the price of the clown's freedom. We knew he was down in the jail, while we were eating pumpkin-pie. We went to bed early. Tuesday, November 9. The arrest of the tramp-clown has taken all the fun out of us boys. If he were a ringmaster or any other man in the circus we would not feel so sorry; but to arrest the clown just broke our hearts. Tony went down to the jail to-day to see him. We wanted to go too, but Prof. Kane would not let us. I had to stay after school this afternoon to study my arithmetic lesson So did Dick, Sam, and Jerry. Wednes day, November IO. Tony is almost sick over the capture of the tramp clown. He can't study or play. The clown's trial comes off this morning, and Tony is going down to ask the justice to let him off easy. We sent our regards to the clown, and we told Tony to tell him that if we had known that he was a clown, we never would have hunted him down like a common tramp.

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Bob Knight's Diary 69 I had to stay after school to study my Latin grammar. I was not alone,-Jerry and Ben were with me. Thursday, November II. Tony feels a good deal better, because the trampclown wanted to be sent to the Penitentiary for the winter, so he could have a warm place to stay. He went there this morning. He told Tony to tell us fellows that he would see us again when the frogs begin to sing. We shall be glad to see him in the spring. He sent Prof. Kane's shirt and stockings back with his (the clown's) compliments. I am sorry the jolly fellow did not get any pumpkin-pie. Friday, November 12. This afternoon Tony came near having a scrap with Otto over the tramp-clown. He is nothing but a common tramp, even if he was once a clown. I despise such low-down trash," said Otto, strutting around the yard like a peacock. Don't you call that clown low-down trash," said Tony, with fire in his eye. If a clown becomes a tramp, I say he is low down trash," Otto insisted. He has been unfortunate," said Tony. He was taken suddenly with rheumatism, and could not jump or leap, so he had to leave the circus.

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Bob Knight's Diary And, of course, not knowing any other business, he had to take to tramp-life." But I still say that clown is a tramp, every inch of him,'' Otto scornfully said. He was going to say again that the clown was low down trash, when I said : Keep still, Otto, if you don't want a black eye.'' So Otto shut up. He is very particular about his looks. Saturday, November 13. Life at Poplar Hill School is very tame since the capture of the tramp-clown. Tony says the clown's name is Victor Hinsdill. We shall welcome him back to freedom next spring with a right jolly old whoop. The Poplarport boys were coming to play ball with us this afternoon, but it snowed, consequently they did not come. I received a notice from the express company at the Port, saying that there was a package in the office for me. Ben, Dick, Sam, and I w a 1 k e d down to see what it was. When I opened the pack-age,cracky there was my new reefer. The weather was pretty sharp, so I put it on and wore it home.

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Bob Knight's Diary I treated the fellows, of course, to hot chocolate and peanuts. The reefer is a little too long, but I shall grow in length during the winter, so it will about fit me by next spring. Poky was in the yard when we returned. Say, brother Bob, where 's that overcoat you promised me ? '' he asked when he saw my new coat. I felt plaguy mean to be wearing my new reefer when I had not gotten Poky his ulster, so I said: You can wear this reefer half the time, Poky." I won't do it. Give me a coat of my own," he said. Sam, Dick, and Ben heard what Poky said, so we all set to work to plan a way to buy Poky a brandnew ulster. We shall ask the rest of the fellows to help us. Sunday, November 14. Doughnuts for breakfast Sam and I were happy. I wore my new coat to church and Sunday school. I think Miss Wilson noticed it. I gave IO cents. My warm coat made me feel rich. We had pumpkin-pie for dinner. Polly treats us royally since we captured the tramp. But she won't believe that he was once a jolly clown in a circus. In the evening Prof. Kane read us a story about the Greek gods and goddesses. I did not like it

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72 Bob Knight's Diary very well. I wish he would read about every-day people and not about those pesky old heathens. Poky and the twins came to the schoolroom to listen to the stories. Poky went fast asleep. Monday, November 15. It snowed hard this morning. We were wild to go outdoors for a snowball fight, but the sun came out at noon and melted every flake, leaving nothing but mud and water. Such luck! Tuesday,November 16. Now the football season is over, Jerry went to the Port and had his hair cut. Wednesday, November 17. I am getting along a little better in my classes. I have not stayed after school once this week. Jerry has a terrible cold; he caught it on the way back from the Port with his cropped head. He could not recite to-day. The weather is growing so very cold that we met after school to-day to plan about Poky's coat. After talking a long while we concluded to get up an entertainment for his benefit. We wanted Tony to show us how to get up a circus, but he says circuses are no good in the winter. We then

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Bob Knight's Diary 73 decided to have a winter show, each boy furnishing a part of the entertainment. Jerry is going to send home for his magic-lantern. Tony will give one of his circus acts. Otto will recite from Shakespeare. Harry will play upon the piano. Ben will sing. Sam will play upon the banjo. Dick will whistle and dance. I am going to be general manager. The show is to come off next Friday at 7 P.M. in the schoolroom. We have Prof. Kane's consent. We expect our audience from Poplarport. We are going to advertise, because we want a big crowd. We fellows are wild with excitement. Thurs d a y, November rB. This morning when Poky was chopping wood, we told him about the entertainment for his benefit. Ain't you Coolin' ? he asked. We told him we were in dead earnest. How the poor little fellow smiled as he went on chopping wood! Jerry has not chopped any more wood for Poky. Jerry enjoyed the praise, but he did not like the work. I missed five questions in geography, and had to stay after school. Dear me! I always have to stay after school when I am the busiest. I dislike to waste so much time studying, when I want to make arrangements for advertising Poky' s benefit. I could not go to the Port to-day.

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74 Bob Knight's Diary F ri day November 19. I studied hard and did not have to stay after school. During school hours I wrote an advertise ment to be pasted up on the fences and public buildings at the Port. There is no newspaper published at the Port. POKY'S BENEFIT. ENTERTAINMENT AT POPLAR HILL SCHOOL ON FRIDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 26, At Seven o clock Admi s sion, ro cents. Plea s e all come. I think this will arouse the people's curiosity, and everybody will come. Nov e m ber 20. This morning Ben, Dick, Sam, and I carried the copy of the handbill to the printers. It will cost us $1.00 for four hundred. We boys are going to pay for them; so we did not buy any trash to eat or drink, but came straight home, and saved our money. Ben bought the cloth for the sheet to show the magic-lantern pictures on, because Jerry

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Bob Knight's Diary 75 would not buy it. Jerry has spent all his allowance for this month. I guess he would buy the cloth if he had the money. During the afternoon, Otto was at the barn, exercising his voice. Harry was practising on the piano. Ben kept humming all the time, so as to keep his voice in tune. Sam spent all his spare time thrumming on his banjo. Tony borrowed Polly's clothes-line and went off to the woods, and would not let any of us go with him. Dick made us almost crazy with his whistling and double shuffies. I feel the responsibility of the whole affair. Sunday, November 21. All the fellows went to church. We told Miss Wilson about our show. I am sorry we did not have a handbill for her, but she promised to come. And she also said that she would do some advertising for us, if we would bring her some handbills. I gave 5 cents in Sunday-school. It was a very long afternoon. We wanted to go to see the Hermit, but it snowed, so we could not go; nor could we have a snowball fight. We went to bed early. Monday, November 22. Only five days (counting to-day) before Poky's benefit, and so much to do! I went to the printer's

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Bob Knight's Diary after the handbills. Jerry's magic-lantern came to day. I am too tired to write any more in my diary. --------Tuesday, N o vember 23. I have a head ache. Did not sleep very much last night. Cat-fight on the roof. Wednesday, November 24. We eight boys went to Poplarport after school, and we tacked our handbills all over the town. Cheap John took a lot, and so did Miss Wilson. And we gave one to everybody we met. We are sure the show will be a great success. We want a crowd, for it takes 100 people at IO cents a head to make $10.00. And we do not want to get a cheap coat for Poky. We intend getting a good one while we are about it. Thanksgiving. We were so excited over Poky's benefit that we forgot all about Thanksgiving till Prof. Kane told us this morning that it was a holiday, and we need not study. We gave a big whoop, and rushed out in the yard. Poky was there, and I said:

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Bob Knight's Diary 77 Hollo, Poky; ain't you glad it 's Thanksgiving?'' I ain't going to be thankful till I get my new ulster. Perhaps you boys won't get it after all your fuss," Poky answered. Now, Poky, did we ever go back on you ? I asked. No, but you might," said Poky, looking as wise as an owl. Say, Poky, what is Polly going to give us for dinner ? '' Jerry asked. I know, but I won't tell," said Poky. Why not ? Oh, tell us," we all cried. No, I won't. Polly told me not to tell," said Poky, shaking his head. Oh, come on, tell us," said Jerry. No, sir, I won't tell, 'cause Polly said I could n't keep a secret, but I can. For once she burnt up a cake and told me not to tell of it, and I never told on her to this day," said Poky, putting on one of his owl-like looks. We shouted, but Poky walked away, never dreaming that he had at last told on Polly. But, of course, the secret is perfectly safe with us. We shall never tell on Polly nor Poky. We boys had to go to church in the morning; then we came home and put up the sheet for Jerry's pictures. We had lots of fun, and the dinner-

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Bob Knight's Diary bell rang before we were aware it was dinner time. After washing up, we went to the dining-room, and there we found a big chicken-pie. Poky stuck his head around the kitchen door, and grinned at us. We grinned back at him, and Jerry shook his fist. Jerry did not mean fight, but he is so used to fighting, he forgets to be kind when he is pleased. Well, we enjoyed the chicken-pie hugely, and also the pumpkin-and mince-pies that followed. After dinner we went in a body and told Polly that we would let her in to the show free. We will make up the IO cents to Poky. In the afternoon we went over to Farmer Ash ford's to tell him about the show, and to leave some handbills with him. We hoped he would invite us in, for it was pretty cold walking across-lots. And sure enough he did. He asked us right into the sitting-room, where there was a roaring fire, and gave us all the apples we could eat, and filled our pockets full to take home. He was very much in terested in Poky, and asked all sorts of questio11:s about him. I said: Don't you remember that very, very thin boy that was with us on Hallow-e'en ?

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Bob Knight's Diary 79 Farmer Ashford remembered him, and said he would go to his benefit, and bring some friends. He also sent Poky four apples. We thanked Mr. Ashford and started back to the school, because it gets dark very early. Friday, N ovember 26. Prof. Kane gave us a holiday to-day. I suppose he thought we would not have our lessons, because we are so crazy over Poky' s benefit. We worked all the morning carrying boards to the school room to make seats for the audience. We opened two folding-doors into the next room, and placed seats in there. We found that we could seat 1 2 5 people in the two rooms. We made a little box office out in the hall for Poky to stand in and take the money. Of course I shall stand behind him to make change, but I thought it would look more businesslike, and perhaps it would appeal to the hearts of the people to have Poky take the money. And I thought that maybe somebody would be tempted to pay a little more than IO cents. All day Poky was too important for any use. He came up-stairs and ordered us around with the airs of a policeman. I did not mind his impudence, because I was glad to see the poor chap have a little spirit of his own. He cut up like a monkey all day. Prof. Kane said that Poky should never have

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80 Bob Knight's Diary another benefit if he did not take better care of the twins, and chop Polly's firewood. So Poky went to work and did a little better, yet he was in high glee all day long. He was too excited to eat either his dinner or his supper. We fellows were also very j ( f ; (\: \ ::d 1 r, 1 1 meals. It takes a good .. 'l i f f : : t te-.: \ ': ;\'., ---7deal to spoil our appetites -:;-.;:::: After supper we washed Poky, and put on him one of S am's co a t s and one of Otto's high collars and a tie. We did not change his trousers, because they would not show, as there was a long curtain around the box-office. We could not make his hair stay down on his head, because it always sticks out like the splints of an old broom; so we just wet it sopping wet and let it go every which way. When he was dressed we put him in the box. He felt the im portance of the occasion, looking as sober as a judge. After Poky was ready the rest of us dressed up in our Sunday suits. Otto had a terrible time parting his hair straight, and Ben combed his a dozen times before it suited him. The rest of us did not fuss much.

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Bob Knight's Diary 81 About six o'clock, as Sam and I were lighting up, we heard: Biff Bang Boom Snort Rah, rah, rah Poplarport We rushed to the window, and saw a gang of Poplarport kids coming up the hill toward the school. Sam finished lighting up, and I ran to tell Prof. Kane to let the audience from Poplarport in. He met the boys at the door and asked them to take off their hats and to go in single file up-stairs. And those kids walked up just as orderly as soldiers, paying their IO cents to Poky, and taking their seats like Sunday-school scholars. In a few minutes Cheap John and eight men and a lot of women and some girls came. The people kept coming and coming, and by half-past six every seat was taken, and there were a dozen people standing. When Mr. Ashford and his friends arrived there was no room for them. Miss Wilson and her friends also could not get in. I was dis appointed in having to turn away some of our kindest friends, but there was no standing-room left. Promptly at seven o'clock Prof. Kane announced that the show would begin. Poky and I put the money in a tin can and went in and sat with the 6

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Bob Knight's Diary audience. Then Prof. Kane said that Harry Beebe would play '' Boulanger' s March.'' Harry stalked out upon the rostrum and played just like a regular professional musician. I was proud of him. Poky applauded with all his muscle. Poky fully appre ciates music. Next came Jerry's magic-lantern pictures. Sam and I turned down the lights and swung the white sheet across the rostrum. Jerry adjusted his lamp in the lantern and threw a picture of a mule on the sheet. Then he whispered something to Ben and went down-stairs. The room was very dark and still, and I began to get uneasy. Ben knows some thing about magic-lanterns, so he stepped upon the rostrum and put in a slide to amuse the audience while Jerry was away. I thought it very kind of Ben, but in a minute Jerry returned and pitched at Ben for meddling with the lantern. Ben got wrathy and pulled down the sheet, saying: You can't have this sheet, for I bought it with my own money." They would have had a regular rough-and-tumble fight if Prof. Kane had not separated them. Sam and I put up the sheet again, and Jerry went on showing his pictures. It was Otto's turn next. He recited" Hamlet's Soliloquy on Death." I thought it a melancholy performance, but the audience applauded loudly.

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Bob Knight's Diary Sam came next. He played The Spanish Fan-dango on his banjo. The boys on the front seats yelled: '' More, more, more! '' So Sam played The Lizzie Polka." pleased the audience. Tony came next. None of us knew what he was going to do, but, I tell you, he knew. He came out like a circus actor, hung up his tra peze, chalked his feet, and swung himself That also upon the bar. Then he began swinging and whirling and turning somersaults and hanging by one foot just like a monkey. The Poplarport boys whistled, and cheered and yelled themselves hoars e. They got their IO cents' worth out of Tony's part of the show, I know; for when Tony landed on his feet on the rostrum, the Poplarport boys applauded with all their might and main. After Tony's performance, Prof. Kane announced that Ben would sing Annie Laurie." Mrs. Kane

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Bob Knight's Diary played his accompaniment. Ben stepped upon the rostrum and sang like a bobolink. I never knew that he could sing so well. I tell you, Ben's singing pleased the ladies and girls. I wish Miss Wilson could have heard him. The audience clapped so long that Ben sang the song again. The last number on the programme was Dick's performance, '' The Sunflower Song and Dance.'' Harry played his accompaniment. Dick warbled and trilled like a canary, and flung his heels round and round his head like a jumping-jack. It was a first-rate finish to our IO-cent show; it left everybody laughing. All unexpectedly to us fellows, Prof. Kane told the audience that the entertainment would be repeated on next Friday evening, because so many people were turned away to-night. This announcement was received with a burst of applause. We are glad that Miss Wilson and Mr. Ashford will see our show. While the audience was leaving the room, Prof. Kane and I counted the money in the tin can. We found we had made $13.70. Poky," I shouted," we've got enough money for your ulster.'' Ain't you Coolin' ? he asked. Look here, Poky," Prof. Kane said, showing Poky the money in the tin can.

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Bob Knight's Diary Cracky ain't I rich! he exclaimed, laying his thin little paw on the money. Aren't you going to thank the boys for their entertainment ? '' Prof. Kane said. The fellows know I 'm thankful without my saying anything, 11 Poky replied. And so we did. We were so proud and happy over the success of Poky's benefit that we did not want to go to bed. But Prof. Kane said we must go, for it was ten o'clock. Saturday, November 27. We had a pesky poor breakfast this morning, so we knew something had gone wrong with Polly. We rushed pell-mell to the kitchen and found Polly in a fit of ill-temper, because she had had to take care of the twins last evening, and cold not see our show. When we told her the show was to be re peated, she felt a little better-natured, yet she could not get over her cross fit right away. Prof. Kane wrote a letter to a large clothing firm to send him a catalogue of boys' ulsters. Sam, Ben, Dick, and I went to the Port to mail the let ter. While there, we found a box for Ben. It was his Thanksgiving box from home. The reason it was so late in getting here, was that it came

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86 Bob Knight's Diary on one of the canal boats. Ben was glad to get it. We willingly helped him carry it to the school. After dinner we went out to the barn and opened the box. Kii, yii, yii, yii if we did not have a picnic, eating nut-cake, chocolate-cake, and oranges! All the fellows were there, even Poky and the twins. We were glad that the box was late in getting here, because it gave us another Thanksgiving feast on Saturday. Ben gave Prof. and Mrs. Kane and Polly some cake. There was a lot of it. We ate so much that we did not want any supper. Poky said that he never had so much to eat in all his life. Sunday, November 28. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson said that she would come next Friday to see our show. I told her to come early and get a front seat. In the afternoon Dick and I walked over to Mr. Ashford's and told him the show would be repeated. He was pleased to hear of it. He invited us in, but we did not go, for fear he would think we wanted some apples. Monday, November 29. We had to begin studying again this morning. It was plaguy hard to come down to work after having so much fun getting up Poky's show. Poky is still full of his monkey-shines. He does not like to

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Bob Knight's Diary chop wood, but he takes good care of the twins. Dick and I helped him chop some wood this afternoon. And while we were chopping he told us to be on the watch for Jerry. He 's at his old tricks again," Poky told us. '' What 's he doing ? '' I asked. He is going to dress up like a ghost, and frighten Otto and Harry," Poky said. We thanked Poky for telling us; then we hunted up the rest of the fellows, and planned a trick on Jerry. Jerry was very quiet at supper, and went to bed early. We went up-stairs at our regular time and found Jerry snoring. So we knew we were safe for that night, because Jerry never wakes up after he once goes to sleep. Tuesday, November 30. After breakfast I hunted up Poky and asked him: Poky, are you fooling us about Jerry ? Naw," he said; I saw the ghost sheet he is going to wear." During the day Jerry kept away from the rest of us. And I knew he had something on his mind, because he missed in every one of his classes. He was the only boy that had to stay after school. He was furious. He slung his books all over the room, and talked so loud that Poky was afraid to go in to sweep the room. Jerry would not speak to any of

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88 Bob Knight's Diary us at supper, and ate up all his plum-sauce, never once thinking of poor Poky. In the evening Prof. Kane read a few chapters of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. We were very much in terested in the story, but Jerry was so impatient to begin his ghost act that he could not listen to it. When we went up to bed he ran ahead of us, and we could not find him anywhere, so we knew he had gone to dress in his ghost sheet. Each of us wrapped himself in a sheet; then we blew out the candle, and stood in a row in front of Otto's bed. We kept as still as mice, and waited. Pretty soon we heard him creep ing up the stairs. He came along the hall and pushed open the door slowly, and came in. We fellows began groaning, and bowing our heads. Fighting Jerry dropped his ghost sheet, threw up his hands, and stood stark still in the middle of the room. We gave a whopping big groan, and Jerry screamed like a madman. We heard Prof. Kane coming, so we ran and jumped into our beds. Prof. Kane came in with a light. '' Boys,'' he said, '' what does all this nonsense mean?"

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Bob Knight's Diary None of us answered. Vl e kept our eyes closed, and snored. Who 's been playing ghost ? he asked. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry! we all shouted at once. Jerry was hiding behind the door, but Prof. Kane spied him, and said: And so you 're the guilty one, Jerry Green? I shall settle with you to-morrow morning. Go directly to bed." Jerry tried to tell Prof. Kane that the rest of us had been playing ghost, but the Professor would not listen to him. We put our heads under the clothes and laughed for half an hour. Wednesday, December I. When we awoke this morning it was snowing hard. How we did hurrah! We dressed in a jiffy and ran down-stairs to have a snowball-fight before breakfast; but Prof. Kane would not let us out. We were dreadfully disappointed. We had forgotten all about Jerry's ghost till Jerry appeared at the table, glum as a bat. Jerry would not speak to any one of us all day, because he got a scolding for trying to frighten us. After school we had the snowball-fight. We chose sides and stood about a hundred feet apart and had a regular battle. When a fellow got hit he had to go over on the side. Jerry dodged

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90 Bob Knight's Diary every snowball, so at last he stood alone on one side, and all. the rest of the fellows were on the other side. Then how we did pelt him He yelled : Let up! Hold on! The game is over! But we kept right on pelting him. We paid him off for all the tricks he has played on us. Cracky but he was wrathy The canal closed to-day. There will be no more tired horses and mules hauling heavy boats on the canal till next May. Thursday, December 2. The catalogue from the clothing firm came today. It is full of pictures of overcoats, reefers, and ulsters. We showed the book to Poky and let him. pick out the ulster he liked. He chose a dandy one. Prof. Kane wrote a letter and sent a post-office order for an $8.oo ulster. Friday, December 3. We fellows studied this morning, but the Profes sor gave us the afternoon to get ready for the show. We worked hard till dark, arranging the seats and putting up the magic-lantern sheet. Dick and Sam went down to Poplarport to escort Miss Wilson up to the school early, so she could have a front seat. Mr. Ashford and his friends came early. At six o'clock I dressed Poky and put him in the

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Bob Knight's Diary box-office. The people came very early so as to get ahead of the Poplarport kids. But those boys did not come again. We had a roomful, but no one had to stand. Polly and the twins sat on the front seat. Poky sat with me at the back of the room. He said to me: I 'm not going to mind the twins this evening, 'cause it 's my benefit." The show went off as well as it did the first time. Jerry did not have a scrap with Ben. Miss Wilson clapped lively when Ben had finished singing Annie Laurie." Mr. Ashford laughed right out loud when Dick whistled and danced. I bet Mr. Ashford was a jolly kid when he was young. I enjoyed the show more than I did the first time, be cause I was sure of its success. We made $10.00. Prof. Kane is going to buy Poky a suit of clothes, a cap, and a pair of shoes. Poky has always worn Mrs. Kane's old shoes. Saturday, December 4. Poky is very anxious to have his ulster. Every day he asks us to go to the express-office. To-day Dick, Ben, Sam, and I walked to the Port, but Poky's ulster had not come. We saw Cheap John and he told us that he enjoyed the show tip-top. We boys were going to call on Miss Wilson, but we had on our school clothes, so we did not go.

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92 Bob Knight's Diary Sunday, December 5. Polly gave us some whopping big doughnuts for breakfast. I guess she enjoyed the show. I hope Poky got one of those doughnuts. It snowed hard, but we went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson complimented our show. She said that we did remarkably well. In the afternoon all the fellows wrote letters, so I wrote to Uncle Ralph, and told him I wanted a little money to spend for Christmas presents. I wish he would ask me to visit him. I would like to go to New York City for the holidays. It will be very dull at Poplar Hill after all have gone home. I hope one of the fellows will ask me to go home with him, if Uncle Ralph does not ask me to New York. Monday, December 6. I missed a pile of questions in geography to-day, so I had to stay after school. Tony, Dick, and Jerry stayed too. Prof. Kane gave us a long lecture on-well, I don't know just what it was, for Jerry was pinching my arm so hard that I could not hear straight. It was dark when we got out, so we did not have any fun. I bet I will have my lessons to-morrow. Tuesday, December 7. I did not have to stay after school. Poky's brand-new ulster came this afternoon.

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Bob Knight's Diary 93 Jingo! how he danced around when Prof. Kane took it out of the box. I helped Poky put it on, and showed him how to button it up. He marched round and round the rooms of the house, and we could not coax him to take it off. It 's mine. I 'm going to wear it all the time," he kept saying. After a while he took it off and put it in the box, saying: Anyhow, I '11 wear it all day to.morrow out in the cold." We are glad we gave the show for Poky's ulster. Wednesday, December 8. I had every one of my lessons to-day; so did all the boys. After school we eight took Poky down to Cheap John's store, and bought him a suit of new clothes, a cap, and a pair of shoes. Clothes, $5.00. Cap, 50 cents. Shoes, $z.oo. Then we took him to the barber's and got his hair cut. Poky wore his new ulster, and he felt very grand and important. Otto took us to the drug-store and treated us to hot chocolate. We thought the warm drink would keep Poky from taking cold in his cropped head. And

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94 Bob Knight's Diary we ran him all the way home, by taking hold of his hands and pulling him along so fast that his feet hardly touched the ground from the time we left the drug-store till we landed him on top of Poplar Hill. We fellows paid for Poky's hair-cut. Thursday, December 9. After school to-day Prof. Kane called us together and told us that Poky had $8. 20 left, and he asked us what we thought best to do with it. I said: Put it in the bank." And all the fellows agreed with me. Tony proposed that we put the eight dollars in the bank, and give Poky the 20 cents for pocket-money. Prof. Kane called Poky into the room and explained to him about the money. All right," said Poky, I '11 keep that 20 cents for Sunday-school money. I 'm going next Sunday with the rest of the fellows. I guess they won't be ashamed of me now in my new clothes and ulster." Poky does not wear his new suit every day; he keeps it for Sundays. But he wears his ulster whenever he goes out in the cold. Friday, December IO. I wish it would snow. We want another battle. We play shinney every day after school. Jerry and Tony are boss players. Otto generally stands and

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Bob Knight's Diary 95 looks on. The rest of us have to jump around lively to keep warm. I received a letter from Uncle Ralph with $3.00 in it. I am going to spend it for Christmas pres ents. Uncle Ralph did not say anything about my visiting him. Probably he forgot it. I think he will write again before school closes and invite me to come to New York. Saturday, December II. This morning I was in the barn when Poky was giving Doll her hay.and oats, and he said to me,, very confidentially: Say, Bob, I wish I had a better name to go to Sunday-school with. Since I got my new suit of clothes and my ulster, and had my hair cut, I don't like the name of Poky. And now I can go a good deal faster, in my warm ulster." Well," said I, what name do you want ? I want the name of John. It sounds like other folks' names," Poky answered. I 'll call you John," said I. Will you ? said Poky, smiling at me. "Certainly. And I 'll tell the rest of the fellows to call you John," I promised him. All right," said Poky. Then he added: You needn't call me John only on Sundays. On week days you can call me Poky, 'cause I wear my old

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96 Bob Knight's Diary clothes then. But when I dress up and look like other fellers, I want a real name." Poky began cleaning off Doll, and I went to hunt up the rest of the boys to tell them about Poky's Sunday name. All the boys agreed to call him John on Sundays. We all love Poky; we can't help it, he is so childlike and helpless. Even Otto, with all his airs and his money, is very kind to poor Poky. Sunday, December 12. The first thing we heard when we awoke this morning was Poky in the wash-room, blacking his shoes. Dick called : What you doing, you rascal ? I ain't doing nothing. I 'm just shining my shoes for Sunday-school," Poky answered. All right, Poky, shine away," Dick said. Here, you rascal, call me John. It 's Sunday," Poky yelled at Dick. How we laughed! And all the time we were dressing we kept repeating, John, John, John," so we would not forget Poky's Sunday name. At ten o'clock Poky was dressed and ready to go to church and Sunday-school with us boys. Prof. Kane was with us, but Mrs. Kane stayed at home to take care of the twins. Poky strode off with his hands in his deep, warm pockets, feeling as big as

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Bob Knight's Diary 97 Jerry, and as rich as Otto. Poky sat beside me in church, and I found him the hymns in the hymnal. He sang every tune, but he could not read the words; he said, '' La, la, la! '' When we went into the Sunday-school room, he kept close by my side. Don't forget I 'm your brother," he whispered several times to me. The room was very warm, so we took off our overcoats. Poky took his off, too. Miss Wilson smiled at us when she took her seat in the class, and asked: What 's this little boy's name ? Poky jumped up quickly, and said, Please, ma'am, my name is John Knight." The poor boy was so afraid that we would forget and call him Poky. Bob, is he your brother ? Miss Wil son asked. I hesitated a few seconds, because I did not know what to say. Poky looked scared to death. I could not go back on the poor boy, so I answered right out loud: "Yes, he's my brother." Oh, how Poky smiled! and how his face shone with delight. I suppose I told a whopper, but I could not go back on Poky, because I had promised 1

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Bob Knight's Diary to stand by him through thick and thin. The fellows winked at me and laughed. I was very un comfortable, and forgot every word of my lesson, appearing like a dunce. I wished that Miss Wilson knew the truth, yet I could not tell her, and still be true to Poky. When Miss Wilson found out that Poky could not read, she was going to send him into another class, but he would not leave us, so she let him stay in our cl a ss. After Sunday-school was out I saw Miss Wilson talking with Prof. Kane. I hope he told her who Poky is, because I don't want to deceive her. On the way home the fellows plagued me, making fun of my new brother; but I stood it without say ing a word back. I tried to laugh at them to make Poky think they were joking. Poky did not say anything. He trudged along by my side, enjoying his warm ulster. When we got back to the school, Poky asked me to ask Mrs. Kane if she would let him eat dinner in the dining-room with us boys. I asked her, and she said yes. So Poky sat between Dick and me, and behaved himself like a little man. His new clothes have made a different boy of him, both in looks and manners. Poky took care of the twins in the afternoon. The boys wrote letters and read. I was very un happy and uneasy, so I went out to the barn and

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Bob Knight's Diary 99 lay on the hay. I was lonesome and homesick. I knew just how Poky felt when he asked me to be his brother, and I made up my mind to be a true friend to Poky, no matter how much the fellows plagued me. I am terribly worried about that whopper I told Miss Wilson, but I believe the Lord will straighten it all out for me. After supper I went to bed. Monday, December 13. Our exams. begin this week. I am cramming for them, so I don't have any fun. Tuesday, December 14. I was examined in arithmetic. Standing, 90. Latin. Standing, 85. No fun to write about. Geography. Standing, 95. Wednesday, December 15. Thursday, December r6. We fellows don't have a speck of fun. Friday, December 17. English grammar. Standing, 80. I received a letter this afternoon from Joe. Saturday, December r8. All the fellows are talking about going home next week. It makes me homesick to hear them

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100 Bob Knight's Diary talk and plan. I am afraid Uncle Ralph has forgot to ask me. I wish Ben would ask me to go home with him. The boys are so happy over going home that they forget that I have not any home to go to. We fellows had a fine game of shinney this after noon. The ground is frozen as hard as a stone, but there is no snow. Sunday, December 19. The first thing the fellows said this morning was: Bob, are you going to take your brother to Sunday-school to-day ? Of course I am," I replied. They all began to jeer, and to make hateful re marks about Poky's name. See here, boys," said I, I don't care a rap what you think of Poky's name, I 'm not going to change it." The boys did not say another word to me until we were on our way to church. Poky was with us. Then Jerry and Tony pitched into me again; and Sam made some pesky mean remarks about my letting Poky call himself by my name. I laughed and told them I was proud of my new brother. Poky did not say one word, but I know that the fellows' remarks hurt his feelings. Poky appeared very happy during church, singing all the hymns; but when we went into the Sunday-

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Bob Knight's Diary IOI school room he acted frightened. Miss Wilson was very kind to him to-day, and very polite to me, so I think Prof. Kane explained to her about Poky. For fear she did not understand, Ben stayed after Sunday-school and told her why Poky called him self my brother. I think that it was very kind of Ben to explain why I had to tell that whopper. Poky did not eat dinner with us to-day-he had to take care of the twins. In the afternoon when I was reading, he came to me and whispered: Say, Bob, I 'll give my name back to you. I ain't going to have the fellows plaguing you so hard.'' I laughed and told him to keep the name of Knight. It was his to keep. He seemed pleased, yet he said, doubling up his fists: '' If I was big enough, I 'd thrash Jerry and Tony, 'cause I know they are going to plague you every Sunday." I don't mind their nonsense," said I. Some day I '11 be a man," whispered Poky; then I '11 lick those two fellows bad. See if I don't! You '11 change your mind by that time," I told him. "No, I won't; no, I won't," Poky kept repeat ing, as he walked out of the room. I was lonesome, so I wrote a long letter to Joe.

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102 Bob Knight's Diary Monday, December 20. I had my examination in spelling to-day. Stand ing, 90. We were also examined in writing and reading, but I don't know what Prof. Kane marked me in those studies. Tuesday, December 2r. The fellows talk of nothing else but going home. They are in high glee,-! am forlorn. I wish I had a home; I would go there and take Poky with me. I feel sorry for every fellow that does not have a home to go to on the Christmas holidays. I sup pose Uncle Ralph does not think of me, because he is a bachelor. I am never going to be a bachelor. Wednesday, December 22. Just enough snow fell last night to make a sleigh slip along easily over the frozen ground. Prof. Kane hitched Doll to the sleigh and took the fellows to the station. Poky and I stood on the fence and watched Ben, Sam, Dick, Jerry, Tony, Otto, and Harry ride away. The fellows waved their caps and wished us a '' Merry Christmas! '' I called merrily back to them, yet all the time my heart was aching like the toothache. Poky did not seem to mind the departure of the boys; he told them to have a good time and come back again. I watched until the boys were out of sight, and I kept right on

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Bob Knight's Diary 103 looking down the road, trying to catch one more glimpse of them. I kept on looking till Poky nudged me and said: Say, Bob, I 'm your brother, ain't I ? Of course you are," I replied. I tried to be jolly, but it was pretty hard work to laugh when there was no laugh in me. I helped Poky chop wood and take care of Roy and Ray. I ate dinner with Prof. and Mrs. Kane. Poky ate with Polly in the kitchen. I had a pesky lonesome dinner; I missed Jerry's kicks under the table, and Dick's sly nudges and winks. In the afternoon, I chopped more wood to keep myself from missing the fellows. At night when I went up to bed I was lonesomer than ever, but after writing in my diary, I felt a little better. It is a great comfort to write my lonesome feelings on paper; they seem to stay there and let me go to sleep in peace. I am glad I took dear Grandmother's advice, and started this diary. Thursday, December 23. This morning I walked down to Poplarport and bought my Christmas gifts. I had hard work to buy nine gifts with $3.00. But I managed to get them all, and I had 50 cents left. So I spent 25 cents for candy for Poky and me.

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Bob Knight's Diary My List of Christmas Gifts: Mrs. Kane, an embroidered handkerchief. Prof. Kane, a silk handkerchief. Roy, a rubber dog. Ray, a rubber cat. Polly, a white apron. Poky, a pair of mittens. Miss Wilson, a bottle of perfume. Uncle Ralph, a silk handkerchief. The Hermit, a package of tobacco. I was thankful all the fellows had gone home, for if they had been here, I would not have had money enough for them all a present. I mail e d Uncle Ralph's handkerchief to him, then I started for home. Poky was watching for me at the window, but I stole around through the garden and went in at the kitchen door. I want to surprise him on Christmas. I miss the fellows terribly. Friday, Decemb e r 24. This morning Poky and I took a sled and went to the woods to get a Christmas-tree. We found a dandy little spruce about four feet high. We chopped it down and drew it home. We were going to take the tobacco to the Hermit, but it be gan to snow, so we scudded home. We were almost

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Bob Knight's Diary 105 frozen when we got back, but Polly had a hot dinner ready for us, and we soon got warm. The family had had their dinner, so I ate with Poky in the kitchen. While we were eating, Poky said: Do you know what I want for Christmas ? "No," said I;" what is it?" It 's a little fiddle that hangs up in Cheap John's store. I saw it there one day last week.'' What would you do with it ? I asked. '' I would play a tune on it,'' Poky replied. I laughed at him, but all the time I meant to buy that fiddle for him. It snowed hard all the afternoon, but I waded to Cheap John's store and bought that little fiddle with my last 25 cents. While at the Port I left the bottle of perfume with my card at Miss Wilson's. Christmas. Before daylight Poky was running through the house, calling, Merry Christmas! to everybody. I got up and dressed and tried to be jolly and gay, but I kept thinking of the fellows, especially Ben, Dick, and Sam. It snowed hard all day long, and the wind blew. I wanted to go to the post-office, but Prof. Kane said that I would get lost in the snow-storm. I was anxious to receive something from Uncle Ralph on Christmas Day, but I stayed at home and amused

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106 Bob Knight's Diary myself helping Mrs. Kane trim the Christmas-tree with pop-corn and candles. Polly gave us a royal good dinner of roast turkey and plum-pudding. Poky and the twins ate with Prof. and Mrs. Kane and me. Poky wore his Sun day clothes, and he whispered to me at the table: "Bob, I'm John to-day, 'cause it's Christmas." I took particular pains to speak to Poky a great many times, and every time I called him John. It made him very happy. The tree was not to be lighted till five o'clock. All the afternoon Poky and I played with the twins, and watched the snow blow and drift around the yard. Poky was as happy as a chipmunk; he did not hear the wind howling in the chimney, or notice how lonesome the rooms seemed without Dick, and Ben, and Sam. I thought five o'clock would never come. I told all the stories I know to Poky, trying to make him have a good time. The day was very, very long. At five Mrs. Kane drew down the shades and lighted the candles on the Christmas-tree. We all went into the room; Polly held the twins. Prof. Kane told us about the birth of Jesus, and the song of the angels, and the shepherds finding Jesus lying in a manger. Poky had never heard the story be fore, and he cried. Mrs. Kane played Hark! the Herald Angels Sing! '' and we all sang, and Poky

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Bob Knight's Diary 107 was the sweetest singer in the room. After the singing, Prof. Kane took the gifts off the tree, and read the names written on them, and we marched up and got our presents. Poky almost stood on his head when he saw the fiddle. It was fun to see Roy and Ray try to eat up their rubber dog and cat. Polly was very much pleased with her apron. Mrs. Kane gave her a calico dress. Poky got a lot of things, but the fiddle pleased him most of all. He snatched it out of Prof. Kane's hand, and began playing on it like an old fiddler. He played the song we had just sung. I don't see how he did it, for the fiddle has only three strings. I received Longfellow's Poems from Prof. Kane, a necktie from Mrs. Kane, and a mouth-organ from Poky. I '11 show you how to play on it," said Poky, taking the mouth-organ and playing "Yankee Doodle '' on it. Then he said : Had n't I better keep it in my pocket ? I 'll give it to you when you want to play on it." I told him to carry it in his pocket, because I saw that he bought the mouth-organ for me so that he could have it to play on. I appreciate Poky's kind ness in remembering me. When I went up to bed I was very, very lone some. I felt that I was all alone in the world. As I was writing in this diary, I heard a wee little mew." I went to the window and pulled up the

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108 Bob Knight's Diary shade, and there sat a half-frozen cat outside on the window-sill. She humped up her back when she saw me, and mewed. I raised the window and took her in. She was covered with ice and snow. Cracky I was glad to get that cat. I would rather have an animal for a Christmas present than anything else in this world. I can't imagine where the cat came from. Perhaps some hard-hearted person dropped her by the roadside, and she saw the light in my window, and climbed up one of the poplar trees and jumped on my window-sill. Anyhow, I have her and I am going to keep her. I was not lonely at all after I took her in and she began to purr. I ran down-stairs and got a saucer of milk, and I smoothed her wet fur with my own brush and comb. Now I shall not be lonesome. I am going to let the cat sleep with me, for I like to hear her purr. Sunday, December 26. Pussy was in my arms when I awoke. She was not purring, because she was fast asleep. I smoothed her back, and she stretched her paws and yawned just like we fellows do when we wake

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Bob Knight's Diary 109 up. I slid gently out of bed and left her sleeping peacefully. I kept one eye on her when I was dress ing, and I did not miss the fel lows one bit. When I went down to breakfast I shut the door tight. After breakfast I took Poky up-stairs and showed him the cat. Poky likes cats, and he promised to help me feed her. } But where we were to keep her was a puzzler. At last Poky said that he could hide her down in the cellar by the furnace during the day, and I could get her at night and take her up-stairs. The snow was so deep we did not go to church or Sunday-school. I stayed down cellar nearly all day and played with the cat. Poky ran down whenever he got a chance. We had lots of fun. At bedtime I took the cat up-stairs to sleep with me. Monday, December 27. Polly has not found the cat yet. Poky and I are having grand times down cellar. Tuesda y, December 28. I played with Pussy all day. Wednesday, December 29. I hope the fellows will be kind to my cat. I think more of her than ever.

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I IO Bob Knight's Diary Thursday, December 30 I wanted to go to the Hermit's to-day, but it snowed hard, so Poky and I played with the cat. Friday, December 31. Poky and I are teaching the cat a lot of tricks. She will chase a ball and bring it back to us just like a dog. Polly has not seen the cat yet. Saturday, January I. Prof. and Mrs. Kane were invited to the minister's to dinner. They went and took the twins. Poky and I were not invited, so we went to see the Hermit. The snow was very deep, so I walked ahead and Poky stepped in my tracks. We played we were Indians out hunting. We yelled the war whoop, and had lots of fun going through the woods. The Hermit heard us coming and. was looking out of his door. He was glad to see us. I gave him the package of smoking-tobacco. He filled his pipe right away and

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Bob Knight's Diary I I I began smoking. He said that his tobacco-box was empty. He had a rousing fire, and after we had gotten warm we said we would go home. '' Stay to dinner, boys, 11 said the Hermit. We thanke_d him and said we would be pleased to stay. Poky and I sat down on a pile of straw while the Hermit prepared the dinner. It was as good as a circus to be in that old hut. There was very little light, because the little window was covered with snow and frost, and the bright fire in the fireplace cast a red glare over everything. Poky1s face looked like an Indian's, and I suppose mine did too. Any how, we felt like Indians. The sides of the hut were covered with the skins of foxes, rabbits, wood chucks, chipmunks, muskrats, and weasels. The Hermit's coat was lined with the skins of these little animals. I bet he keeps warm in winter. His hair and whiskers are longer than they were last summer, so long that we could hardly see his face. Poky and I kept on our overcoats and caps; the hut was not very warm. The Hermit did not speak to us till dinner was ready ; then he said : Come, boys, and help me eat my New Year's dinner.'' His table was a board placed on a box, and we sat around it on boxes. The dinner was steaming

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112 Bob Knight's Diary hot. The Hermit raised his hat and bowed his head a few seconds before serving the dinner. Then he heaped up our plates with a lot of stuff, and told us to eat. I wondered what it was, but I did not dare to ask. Do you like it ? he said to Poky. Yep," said Poky, half scared to death. Do you know what you 're eating?" he asked me. No, sir," said I, a little scared. Well," said the Hermit, that meat is the hind-quarters of a fat woodchuck. I shot him last fall, and salted him down for my New Year's dinner. There is also some wild duck in the stew. I shot a pair of them last fall, and smoked them in my own chimney. Salted woodchuck and smoked duck make tasty stews. Don't you say so, boys?" I told him it was fine. And I was not fooling the old man, either. I liked it better than anything Polly cooks. Poky ate it like a little pig, so I knew he liked it. For dessert we had some sauce made of wild grapes and elderberries, which just tickled Poky. He had a big dish full, and he ate it all, and licked the dish. I 'll wash the dishes," Poky said, when we were through eating. I never wash them. I put them out in the snow, and they freeze clean," the Hermit said.

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Bob Knight's Diary I 13 As he opened the door to put the dishes outside, the wind blew a great cloud of snow into the hut. Oh, my! we must go home, I exclaimed. Not to.day. You can't find your way in this snow-storm," the Hermit said, closing the door. Poor Roy, poor Ray!" Poky cried. I was frightened, but I said: The twins are all right. It will be fun to stay here all night." Poky and I sat down with the Hermit in front of the fire, and the old man told some startling hunting stories. I wished all the fellows were there, and / especially my friend Joe. The hut was cozy and warm, but the wind whistled like mad in the chimney, and the snow made the fire spit and sputter. Tige came home all covered with snow. Then for the first time I thought of my pussy. My heart stood still for a minute, and when it began to beat again, it almost jumped out of my mouth. I felt sure that Polly would find the cat and put it outdoors. I was not very happy after that. I tried to make friends with Tige, but he growled like a dog at me. I told the Hermit about my pussy, and he said I might bring her to him, and he would take care of her. I thanked him, and said I would bring her to him when the fellows came back. Poky had the mouth-organ in his pocket, so he 8

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I 14 Bob Knight's Diary played a dozen tunes, which pleased the Hermit very much. Poky and I slept on a bed of straw and dried leaves, and had a covering of rabbit-skins. In the night I had frightful dreams about wild animals, but every time I awoke I found only Tige walking around the hut, growling like a wildcat. The Hermit kept the fire burning all night. I worried about my cat. I feared she would think I had deserted her. It was a very long night, and I was glad when morning came. The Hermit gave us some oatmeal and molasses for breakfast, then he told us we had better start for home, because Prof. Kane might worry about us. I was feeling very much at home in the hut, and I wanted to stay longer, yet I thought Poky and I had better go home, so we started. The Hermit went ahead of us, and broke a path through the deep snow in the woods. When we reached the open fields, we thanked him, and ran toward the school. When we came in sight of the house, Polly yelled, from the kitchen door: "You 're smart boys to keep us worrying all night about you." "We 're all right," we called to her. Polly went into the kitchen sputtering about heedless boys. Prof. and Mrs. Kane said that we were wise to stay until the snow-storm was over.

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Bob Knight's Diary I I 5 Poky hugged the twins, and I went to look for Pussy. I found her curled up round as a ball, fast asleep, by the furnace. Cracky wasn't I glad to see that cat once more! Poky was also glad to see her. We forgot all about its being Sunday, till Prof. Kane said that we must not snowball. We had lost track of the days while staying with the Hermit. I wonder how he can tell one day from another. The snow was so deep we did not go to church or Sunday-school. We spent a very quiet day. Monday, January 3, The snow is very deep. Poky and I shovelled paths all day. Ray has a tooth. Tuesday January 4 Sam, Ben, and Dick came this afternoon. I was tremendously glad to see them. They told me about their fine times at home, and I told them about the dinner at the Hermit's hut. The fellows wished they had been with Poky and me. Wednesday, January 5. Otto, Harry, and Tony came this morning. We began studying at nine o'clock. I missed in all my lessons; so did the other fellows. Prof. Kane did not keep us after school, but gave us the same les sons for to-morrow.

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116 Bob Knight's Diary After school I took the fellows down cellar to see my cat. Sam and Ben think she is a fine cat : they like cats. Otto stuck up his nose at her, and said: '' Only ninnies play with cats.'' Harry did not say anything. I think he likes cats, but he was afraid to say so. Tony does not know very much about cats. There are never any cats in a circus. But he knows a lot about elephants, camels, lions, tigers, and monkeys. Sam likes to hear cats purr, so I am going to let him hold the cat half the night, and I will hold her the other half. Thurs day, J a nuary 6 Now somebody will surely be killed Jerry has arrived with a gun. His father gave it to him for a Christmas present. Prof. Kane has not seen it yet. Jerry keeps it hid out in the barn. Otto and Harry are scared to death. I am afraid he will shoot my cat. This afternoon he marched round and round the yard, looking for something to kill. I told him to shoot rats, but he wanted larger game. We fellows make ourselves scarce when Jerry gets his gun.

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Bob Knight's Diary I I 7 Friday, January 7. This afternoon Otto and I were out in the yard, and I said: "What do you think of Jerry's gun?" I think very little of it," said he, with a sneer. Don't you like guns ? I asked, just to see what he would say. No gentleman carries firearms. Only ruffians and desperadoes stoop to such business," Otto replied. Jerry is a queer fellow," I remarked. I should say so! I have no use for a fellow that wears one necktie a whole month. It 's disgusting," Otto said, turning up his nose. For a minute I did not know what to say, because I had worn my red tie two months already. But I asked, very politely: How many ties have you ? I '11 show you," he answered, taking me up stairs to his room. On a line above his bureau hung a dozen ties, and he had two doz-en more in a box. He told me that he al ways kept a few on the line to air, a so that they

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118 Bob Knight's Diary would not smell of the box when he put them on. It is a wonder Jerry does not shoot holes through those ties. I don't know which is worse, a bully like Jerry, or a dude like Otto. Saturday, January 8 There is a large flock of sparrows around Prof. Kane's house and barns, and during the stormy weather they find very little to eat. We fellows (all but Jerry) are sorry for the little birds. So to-day we asked Prof. Kane if we might build a little house for them. He said we might, so we went to work with pieces of boxes, nails, hammer, and saw, and we made a dandy house for the sparrows to live in during the winter. Jerry did not help us; he was out hunting with his gun. If he shoots one of our sparrows, we are going to thrash him. The spar rows' house will make a grand retreat for them when Jerry is firing at them. Jerry did not shoot anything to-day. Sunday, January 9. This morning when I looked out of the window, I saw the sparrows flying in and out of their house. Poky had put some bread inside the house. There

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Bob Knight's Diary were a number of snowbirds enjoying a Sunday breakfast with the sparrows. When I was down cellar feeding my cat Poky told me that he was not going to Sunday-school to-day. I urged him, but he would not promise to go. The rest of us went. I did not have any money for the collection. Miss Wilson thanked me for the bottle of perfume. She gave each of us to-day a Christ mas card. This afternoon Poky played on his fiddle for the boys. They were very much surprised to hear such good music on such a poor fiddle. When Poky is playing on the fiddle he is so happy that he looks simply angelic. I believe Poky is a genius. I found out why he would not go to Sunday-school. He did not want the boys to plague me about him. I wrote to Uncle Ralph and asked him for 25 cents. I feel very poor. I hope he will send me a dollar. Monday, January ro Well, Polly found my pussy this morning by the furnace. To my surprise she likes cats, so I am Polly's friend. Now Pussy can lie by the kitchen stove, and be one of the family. There will be

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120 Bob Knight's Diary Polly and Poky and Pussy to eat their meals to gether. I let Ben take pussy last night. He is tremendously fond of cats. Tuesday, January II. Polly is hopping mad at the sparrows. She set a mince-pie on the window-sill to cool, and the sparrows thought it was put there for them to eat, and they ate it nearly half up. We fellows thought it a big joke on us, because we lost our pie for dinner. Jerry was furious. He declared he would shoot every sparrow on Poplar Hill. We were not very much frightened. Jerry is not a very good marksman; he can't shoot a bird on the wing, or a bird on a tree, consequentfy I guess the spar rows are safe. Wedne sday January 12. To-day after school we made a snow-man. Prof. Kane gave us an old-fashioned hat, and we put it on our man. We having a pile of fun, when gang of Poplarport boys came along and pitched into us. They knocked our snow-man all to

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Bob Knight's Diary 121 smithereens. We fired back at them, but they ran away. Of course we were not allowed to follow them. We had to remain on Poplar Hill, and bear our de feat. Jerry boiled with fury. Tony declares he will get even with the rascals. Prof. Kane said, very calmly : Never mind, the boys were just in fun." The next time we catch those Poplarport kids going past, we will show them we are in earnest. Thursday, January 13. We got up at five o'clock and began building a fort. We worked hard till breakfast-time, then we worked again after school. We have finished the fort, and we have a big pile of snowballs, as hard as rocks, ready to fire. Now let our enemies advance!!! Friday, January 14. The Poplarport boys did not go past to-day. We watched for them till dark. Saturday, January 15. This afternoon we were out in the yard and we heard: Biff Bang Boom Snort Rah, rah, rah Poplarport

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122 Bob Knight's Diary We rushed behind our fort and kept as still as mice. The Poplarport boys ran boldly up the hill, and when they were within ten feet of our fort we opened fire on them. They turned quickly, and ran pell mell down the hill. We followed with our arms full of snowballs, pelting those rascals all the way to the main road. Kii, yii, yii, yii it was fun. Jerry and Tony fought like tigers. I wished that the battle might have lasted all day; we were sorry when it was over. But we had the fun of talking about our triumph till we went to bed. Sunday J a nuary 16 Our victory over the Poplarport kids pleased Polly so much that she made us some whopping big doughnuts for our breakfast this morning. Polly is loyal to the Poplar Hill boys every time. Rah, rah, rah! Polly! We all went to church and Sunday-school. We told Miss Wilson about our victory over the Poplar port boys. She did not act very pleased. guess some of her relatives were in the fight. She said, '' Only naughty boys fight.'' The Port fellows pitched into us first, and knocked down our snow-man," Jerry told her. They only did it in play," she replied. Miss Wilson does not understand fighting, and we saw that it was useless to try to make her

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Bob Knight's Diary 123 understand it. I like her all the better because she is so kind and gentle. It was snowing when we walked home, but we did not throw snowballs, because it was Sunday. In the afternoon the fellows wrote letters. I read to Poky while he amused the twins. Monday, January 17. Sam, Ben, Dick, and I had a fearful quarrel over the cat to-night. Each of us wanted to hold her. Sam said that it was his turn, and Ben said that it was his. I declared she was my cat, and I ought to have her all the time. If you don't let me have that cat, I 'll throw her out the window," said Dick, trying to pull the cat out of my arms. I held on tight, and we got into a frightful scrape. Prof. Kane came up-stairs to separate us. I heard him coming, and I put the cat in my bureau-drawer. Of course, Dick had to tell on me, and Prof. Kane found the cat and took her down-stairs. I 'll get even with Dick tomorrow. I would write more, but I the candle has gone out, leaving a horrid smoke.

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124 Bob Knight's Diary Tuesday, January 18. After school to-day Prof. Kane gave me a long lecture on deception. He said that I had been de ceiving him by taking the cat up-stairs every night. He said that the cat must go out to the barn. I told him I would take her to the Hermit's on Saturday. He said, Take her to-morrow." I shall get even with Dick some day. Wednesday, January 19. I asked Prof. Kane to let Ben and Sam go with me to the Hermit's. I did not ask Dick to go. Prof. Kane excused us from studying at three o'clock, and we started with Pussy in a basket. We took turns carrying her. The snow was very deep, but we managed to get there all right. The Hermit was very glad to see us, and he liked the looks of the cat. He invited us into the hut and gave us a lot of hickory nuts, all cracked. When we let Pussy out of the basket, she sat down by the fire and began washing her face. The Hermit said that was a sure sign she liked her new home. Tige was out hunting. I told the Hermit I would pay for the cat's board. He said he would give her her _board for her company. I thanked him. We soon said good-bye to the Hermit and Pussy, and started for home, because we did not want to

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Bob Knight's Diary 125 be out after dark. When we got back, Dick was as mad as a hornet at us. He would not speak to me. I am paying him off for telling Prof. Kane that my cat was in the bureau-drawer. Thursday, January 20. We fellows are scouring up our skates. The meadow at the foot of the hill is flooded with water, and if it freezes to-night, there will be fine skating to-morrow. Friday, January 21. It rained all day long. I hope it will freeze to-night. deal. I wonder how Pussy is. Dick and I don't speak. Saturday, January 22. Th i s morning the pond in the meadow was froz en so Ii d. We skated all day. We had a jolly time. Poky and the twins watched I miss her a great us from the window. He said that we looked like a lot of spiders kicking around on the ice. Sunday, January 23. We all went to church and Sunday-school. I did

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126 Bob Knight's Diary not have any money, because I have not heard from Uncle Ralph yet. I told Miss Wilson I would pay up when I got my dollar. All the afternoon we had to stay indoors and read, while the ice in the meadow was as smooth as glass. There was a good deal of growling among us. Jerry was as uneasy as a caged lion. Monday, January 24. I received a letter from Uncle Ralph. He sent me $1.00. Uncle Ralph is all right. We fellows had a jolly skate after school. We skated till six o'clock. Of course we were late for supper, and Polly was cross. You 'll not get any cake or sauce," she yelled at us, when we went in. Remember we caught the tramp, and drove the Poplarport rascals down the hill,'' I yelled back at her. But we could not coax Polly; she went into the kitchen, slamming the door behind her. I heard her scolding Poky, and the poor fellow had not been doing anything wrong. Dick and I are still out. Tuesday, January 25. Jerry has never forgiven sparrows for eating that mince-pie; he has been shooting at them ever

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Bob Knight's Diary 127 since, but he has not killed one. This morning he shot himself in the right leg. I tried to feel sorry for him, yet I was plaguy glad it was his leg and not one of the sparrows' legs that got shot. Prof. Kane put Jerry to bed and sent for a doctor. We heard him howl when the doctor was dressing his leg. Prof. Kane took the gun away from Jerry._ Wednesday, January 26. Dick and I had to stay after school to-day. We sat side by side in the schoolroom, studying. It was very embarrass ing to be so near, when I was not on speaking terms with him. I stood it for half an hour, then I said: Hollo, Dick." Dick turned his face toward me and stuck out his tongue. I pretended not to see him. I did not speak to him again. In a few minutes he said: Say, Bob, I like cats." I had to laugh, and he laughed too. Immediately we were good friends. Will you take me to the Hermit's to see the cat ? '' he asked me. Why, certainly," I answered.

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Bob Knight's Diary I was only in fun when I threatened to throw that cat out of the window,'' he said. Dick, you 're my friend," I said, hitting him a slap on his shoulder. I am plaguy glad to be friends with Dick, for I like him. I promised to take him to the Hermit's on Saturday. Thursday, January 27. Jerry is still in bed, crosser than a bear. I feel a little sorry for him. I told him I would read to him, if he would promise never to shoot another bird. He promised, so to-day I began reading Oliver Twz"st. He liked it first-rate. I have read it myself three times, yet I still enjoy reading it again. I told Jerry that I always read Dickens's books when I was blue and discouraged, because they cheered me up, by showing me some other fellow who had had a worse time than I have ever had. I always find friends in Dickens's books. Friday, January 28. The skating was so fine to-day that I could not stay in the house and read to Jerry. I did not feel so sorry for him as I did yesterday. Poky came out on the ice, and we gav:e him a slide by taking hold of his hands and drawing him along. When we went in to supper, I found Jerry reading

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Bob Knight's Diary 129 Oliver Twist. He said that he was so interested in it he could not wait for me to read to him. But he was angry at me for going a-skat ing. He called me a whole string of names. I ran away, so I did not hear all of them. Saturday, January 29. It rained last night and spoiled the skating. I did not care, because Dick, Sam, Ben, and I were going to the Hermit's to see Pussy. The walking was pretty bad ; we got our feet sopping wet. The Hermit had us take off our shoes and stockings and dry them by the fire, while we warmed our feet. We found Pussy snug and warm. She acted very glad to see us, especially me. The Hermit said, I like her, because she stays at home, and does not wander off as Tige does." Tige and Pussy do not quarrel. The Hermit popped a lot of corn in a spider, and gave us all we could eat. I bet Sam ate a bushel. The Hermit said that we were going to have an early spring. We asked him why, and he said he could tell by the way the crows were cawing. We did not stay long; we put on our stockings and shoes and started for home. Our shoes were as stiff as wooden shoes ; we could hardly 9

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130 Bob Knight's Diary get them on our feet. But they soon softened when we got out in the snow, for we got our feet wet again on the way home. We found Jerry reading the last chapter in Oliver Twist. He is going to read David Copperfield next. He said he wished Dickens was on earth now. I told Jerry I had wished that a thousand times. Sunday, January 30. We all went to church and Sunday-school but Jerry. I gave 25 cents to pay up for the Sundays I did not give anything. Poky is beginning to feel at home in Miss Wilson's class. He always sits next to me, and when I answer a question he repeats it after me, word for word. I don't mind it, but Miss Wilson sometimes wrinkles her forehead and sighs. In the afternoon we sat in Jerry's room and read aloud to him. The doctor says that Jerry can't leave his bed for two weeks. He is very downhearted, because next Saturday is his birthday, and he was planning to have a rousing good time. We will try to amuse him on that day. Monday, January 31. Last week Ben sent home for his toboggan; it arrived to-day. Ben, Sam, Dick, and I went down to the express-office after it. Rover went with us and got in a fight with one of the Poplarport dogs,

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Bob Knight's Diary 131 keeping us there till dark. Rover was not hurt, but the other dog had the conceit taken out of him. Tuesday, February I. After school to-day we took the toboggan and went out to slide down-hill. We had a jolly time. Jerry could see us from his win dow, and it made him crazy to get outdoors. Poky and the twins came out, and when they rode down the hill with us, we were a jolly load. Tony steers the best of any of us. I suppose it is be cause he is related to a circus. I wish my Uncle Ralph belonged to a circus. I envy Tony. Wednesday, Feb_ruary 2. This afternoon we invited Polly to ride. No, thank you. I 'll not ride on that heathen ish concern, and break my neck,'' she replied. But we assured her that we would take her down the hill safely, and we also promised to draw her all the way up. After a good deal of coaxing she con sented to go. She wrapped herself up in a blanket, and put on a hood, and we placed her on the tobog gan; then we took turns guiding the toboggan down

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132 Bob Knight's Diary the hill. I expected Polly would be scared all to pieces, but she was delighted, and exclaimed: '' This is the finest time I 've had in a long while. Ah, but I feel like a girl again!'' It tickled us almost to death to see Polly acting just like a young girl. We were all late for supper, but Polly could not scold, because she had the last ride down the hill. Jerry w a s kicking the foot-board of his bed furiously when we went in. I guess his wounded leg is bet ter. We tried to tell him about our jolly time with Polly and the toboggan, but he would not listen to us. He covered his head with the bedclothes, and yelled. After supper we tried to study, but we were so full of fun we could not learn anything out of our books. Tony threw paper balls, Otto pretended to have a dreadful cough, Harry sneezed, Sam barked, Dick yelped, Ben crew, and I mewed. Prof. Kane came into the schoolroom and sent us all to bed. Thursday, February 3, We rode down-hill again to-day. Polly is laid up

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Bob Knight's Diary 133 with the rheumatism, and she said she felt twenty years older than she did yesterday. I told her to ride down-hill again and get limbered up, but she replied: G'long You youngsters about killed me yesterday. I 'll stay in the house to-day." Dick and I helped her chop the hash for supper. Friday February 4. We are planning a surprise for Jerry. I will not write about it in this diary, for fear Jerry might get hold of this book and read it. Then the surprise would be spoiled, sure pop! Prof. and Mrs. Kane are in the secret. Saturday, February 5. We were up at daybreak and off to the Port. We took the toboggan along to draw the packages back. We bought all the good things in Cheap John's store. Each of us bought something. Otto spent a pile of money. When we reached home we found Jerry boohooing like a baby. He said: To-day is my birthday, and I 'm not having a bit of fun." We paid no attention to him, but went on with our plan. He kept on boohooing, and we kept at work. At twelve o'clock we formed in line and marched into his room, Polly leading the procession

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134 Bob Knight's Diary with table-cloth and plates. Harry followed with a plate of patty-pan cakes, Dick carried a plate of bananas, Ben had a basket of oranges, Otto balanced a pail of lemonade on the top of his head, Sam had a pan heaping full of pop-corn, T o n y had a chocolate cake, Poky had a plate of eggs, and I had a box of candy. We marched round and round Jerry's bed, singing: "I 'ma June bug, and I 'ma beetle; I can buzz and bang my head against the wall." '' What does this all mean ? '' Jerry cried, with a snarl. It 's a winter picnic," said I. It 's a surprise picnic," said Ben. It 's a jolly picnic," said Dick. Polly spread the table-cloth on the floor, and we helped her arrange the plates and the good things. We had forgotten the glasses, so Poky ran down stairs for them. Then we wrapped Jerry in a blanket, lifted him out of bed, and seated him

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Bob Knight's Diary 135 comfortably among a lot of pillows on the floor, right in front of the pail of lemonade. Then we sat down cross-legged on the floor around the tablecloth. And the fun began. We pitched in and ate like pigs, and Jerry was the biggest pig at the picnic. We pretended that we were in the woods, and we made believe kill mosquitoes, and we shooed the flies off the cake. Then we made all sorts of noises, barking, crowing, cackling, bellowing, mooing, howl ing, yelping, bleating, squealing, squawking, lowing, quacking, braying, and baaing till we were too hoarse to utter another sound. We did not stop eating until everything was gone. We cleared every plate, and emptied the lemonade pail. Of course we helped Polly clear away the empty dishes and glasses, and we folded up the table-cloth. Polly said that her sides ached with laughing so much. She forgot all about her rheumatism. I guess she laughed it away. It 's the jolliest birthday I ever had And I 'll treat you boys to a feast when I get well," Jerry promised us. After Polly had gone, we played all kinds of sitting-down games, because Jerry could not run around. We played till bedtime. Polly did not give us any supper. You 're full enough," she said; and I '11 not make you sick by giving you any more."

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Bob Knight's Diary When Tony and I were putting Jerry into his bed, my jack-knife fell out of my pocket and landed right on Jerry's pillow. And Jerry, quick as a flash, picked that knife up and politely handed it to me. I was surprised at Fighting Jerry's noble spirit. I am thankful he did not keep the knife. When bedtime came, we were too full of fun to go to bed. We had a pillow-fight and made so much noise that Prof. Kane came up-stairs and threatened to thrash every one of us if we did not stop our noise and go to bed. He waited for us to get into bed, then he took the candle down-stairs with him. I jumped out of bed and wrote in this diary by the light of the moon, because I did not want to forget any of Fighting Jerry's birthday picnic. Sunday, February 6 I went to church and Sunday-school. I gave 3 cents. I am hard up since Jerry's picnic. Polly gave us a grand dinner,-fried chicken and mince-pie. Jerry took dinner with us. I was terribly homesick in the afternoon. All the fellows wrote letters. I did not dare to write to Uncle Ralph for any more money, so I wrote to Joe, although I do not owe him a letter. Monday, February 7. Jerry began studying again this morning. He limps

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Bob Knight's Diary 137 around with a cane. His lameness and his birthday picnic have made him very good-natured. This morning he received $5.00 from his father for a birthday present. I suppose we fellows will have a treat, if Jerry does not change his mind, or get angry at us before he gets well enough to go to Poplarport. Life seems very dull since the jolly time we had at Jerry's picnic. Wednesday, February 9. I had to stay after school to-day. Poky came in to clean up the room, and he said : Say, brother Bob, I want a birthday picnic." All right," said I; when is your birthday ? Poky scratched his head and looked very wise, and replied : I don't know zackly when it is, but I 'll run and ask Prof. Kane.'' Poky dropped his broom and ran down the hall. In a minute he came back. Say, Bob," said he, I ain't got no birthday." How is that ? I never heard of a boy without a birthday," I said. Well, that 's what Prof. Kane says, and he knows everything." I thought a couple of minutes, then I said: I 'll tell the fellows about it, and we '11 find a birthday for you and give you a surprise."

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Bob Knight's Diary Ain't you foolin' ? Poky asked. Not a bit of it," said I. And I went on studying, for I heard Prof. Kane's footsteps in the hall. After supper I told the fellows about Poky's wanting a birthday, and we planned to give him a surprise some day. Thursday, February IO. The skating was tip-top to-day. We skated till pitch dark. Polly yelled a hundred times at us to come in; we pretended not to hear her. At last she sent Poky out, and he yelled at the top of his voice: If you kids don't come in right straight off, Polly says you can't have any supper." We fellows scooted for the house lively, for we were hungry as wolves. We had apple-sauce. Poky told us not to save any for him, because he does not like it. I was plaguy glad to eat all of mine, for I was hungry enough to eat the dish. Friday, February II. Jerry threw away his cane to-day and went sliding on the ice; he can't skate yet. We fellows drew him on a sled, giving him as good a time as we could. We want to keep him good-natured till after his birthday treat. He is very cranky, and we have to handle him very carefully. He told us that his treat is to come off to-morrow.

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Bob Knight's Diary 139 Kii, yii, yii, yii T ip -t o p We 're the J o lly B oys o f P o plar Hill! Sure p op! Rah, rah, rah Bang Satur day, F e bruary 12. This morning the first thing I thought of was Jerry's treat. I jumped out of bed and began dressing. '' What kind of a picnic are we to have ? '' Dick called to Jerry. '' The next fellow that asks me a question will be left out of my treat. Mum i s the word!" Jerry replied : So we did not say anything more but we kept our eyes on Jerry all day, following him everywhere he went. And it was a lively chase he led us. He would wink at us, and start off on a run. Of course, we would follow him, and, of course we got fooled every time. All day he kept us on the jump. At the suppertable we were all fag g ed out. After supper he asked Prof. ... Kane if we might go to bed early. I was glad, because I was so tired. When we got up-stairs, Jerry said: Now, boys, the fun begins!"

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Bob Knight's Diary '' Bah! '' said Dick, slinging one of his shoes at Jerry's head. Truly, boys. Don't undress. I 'm going to tell you my plan," said Jerry, brimful of excitement. We were downright angry, yet we wanted to hear his plan, so we listened. I want all you fellows to follow me. Mum is the word! Jerry whispered. '' You said you 'd tell us your plan,'' Dick said, putting on his shoe as fast as he could. Mum is the word! Jerry replied, raising one of our windows, and leaping out into the darkness. We were scared to death. Follow me, boys," Jerry called. We ran to the window, and Dick said: Do you think we want to break our necks ? Come on, 'fraidcats "Jerry cried, standing in a snow-bank underneath the window. Tony was going to jump, but we held him tight, and yelled: Mum is the word! Mum is the word!" Prof. Kane came running up-stairs, asking: What 's all this yelling about ? What 's the window open for? Who 's outside ? "Oh, dear, sir! Jerry jumped out the window," said Dick, pretending to be much frightened. Prof. Kane rushed down-stairs, and Dick ran to

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Bob Knight's Diary the window to tell Jerry that the Professor was coming. In a minute the Professor returned, lead ing Jerry by the ear. Oh, sir! is he hurt ? we all cried at once, for Jerry was covered with snow. To bed, you rascals, or I 'II thrash every one of you,'' cried Prof. Kane, stamping his foot. We hustled into bed in a jiffy, and there was not a sound upstairs the rest of the night, only Tony's snoring. Sunday, February 13. It snowed hard. None of us went to church. We had a dull, stupid day. We were as cross as bears. Polly told us we were the worst lot of youngsters she ever saw. She gave us a horrid dinner of codfish and minute-pudding. We dis like that kind of a dinner. Jerry won't tell us his plan. He said that we have got to follow him without any questions, or else lose the birthday treat. I went to bed early. Valentine's Day. Not one of us knew it was Valentine's Day, till the mail came this morning. All the fellows re ceived valentines but Tony and me. We were very much disappointed. I hate the silly things," I said, but all the time

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Bob Knight's Diary I was wishing I had received one. Tony and I have not any girl cousins, as the rest of the fellows have. I felt cross and all out of tune, and when I stood at the blackboard, doing a long example in Percentage, I drew a donkey's head with specta cles, and wrote Prof. Kane's name under it. All the fellows saw it and began to laugh. I was just going to rub it out as the Professor turned quickly and looked at it. Robert, leave the room," he said to me. Please, Prof. Kane, may I rub out your picture -I mean the donkey's picture, before I go ? I asked. Go, instanter! said Prof. Kane, stamping his foot. I skipped out lively into the hall, and when I got there I felt cheap enough. I sat down on a chair and wondered how I was going to get out of the scrape. When the dinner-bell rang all the fellows gave me a pinch or a knock as they passed me. Jingo! I felt like a villain. Prof. Kane walked right past without looking at me. I was as hungry as a tramp, and the smell of the dinner made me almost crazy. At last I thought I would peek into the

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Bob Knight's Diary 143 schoolroom and see whether the donkey's head was still on the blackboard. It was there, just as I had drawn it. So I stole quietly into the room and rubbed it off; then I drew a real picture of Prof. Kane right on the very spot where the donkey's head had been. The second sketch looked more like Prof. Kane, only it was a little better looking than he. I went back into the hall and waited for the fel lows to come up. Pretty soon they came running up the stairs. Prof. Kane was with them. They walked right past me into the schoolroom. In a second I heard a burst of laughter, then Prof. Kane opened the door, and exclaimed: Why, Bob, I did n't know you were an artist! I shall have to forgive you for making the first picture, because you have drawn the second one so true to life.'' Please, Professor, may I have my dinner ? said I. Certainly, Bob. Go down-stairs, and tell Polly to give you your dinner," Prof. Kane said. I shinned down the banisters, and was in the kitchen asking Polly for some dinner before you could say Jack Robinson." What makes you late ? asked Polly. I was drawing Prof. Kane's picture,'' I told her.

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144 Bob Knight's Diary All right," said Polly. And she gave me everything that was left, and I had a feast. When I went up-stairs and took my place with the rest of the fellows, Prof. Kane did not say anything more to me about the donkey's head. Tuesday, February 15. This morning there was a fine crust of snow on the hill; we were wild to go tobogganing, but we had to stay indoors and study. At four o'clock the hill was still slippery, so we went out and had a jolly slide. Jerry's leg is getting well, consequently he is in high spirits, but he does not say anything about his birthday treat. Wednesday, February 16. We had another jolly time tobogganing on the hill. Jerry still keeps mum about his birthday treat. Thursday, February 17. This afternoon when we were out on the hill, tobogganing, we told Jerry he was pesky mean not to give us his birthday treat. I spent a heap of money on your winter picnic," said Otto. '' And so did I,'' said Dick. I spent every cent I had to my name," said Tony.

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Bob Knight's Diary 145 I 've been hard up ever since," said I. Jerry kicked around in the snow a minute, then he replied: I '11 treat on Saturday, sure pop!" We yelled: Kii yii, yii, yii Tip-top! We 're the Jolly B oys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang Mum is the word said Jerry. None of your jumping out of the window; we won't follow you," said Dick. If you don't follow me, you can't have any of the treat,'' Jerry told us. Of course we don't want to lose the treat, yet we don't want to break our necks, either. Prof. Kane's picture is still on the blackboard. I guess he likes it. Friday, February 18. Terrible snow -storm. Everything is snowed under. The schoolroom was so dark we could not see to study. Tony fell asleep and snored like a steam-engine. Prof. Kane had to give him a hard shaking to wake him up. I hope the Hermit and Pussy are alive. Saturday, February 19. Sunshine to-day. We turned out in a body to shovel paths. The snow was as high as the top of Jerry's head. We worked hard all the morning. IO

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Bob Knight's Diary At noon Jerry told us that he had gotten permission for us to go to Poplarport. We slicked up a little, ate our dinner, and started, Jerry leading the pro cession. We had to walk single-file in the road, because the sidewalks were not shovelled, and few teams had driven through the deep snow in the road. Poky did not go with us, because he had to take care of the twins, and because Jerry did not want him. Jerry said : Poky would tell on us. Mum is the word! When we reached the Port, Jerry took us to an oyster-house next door to Cheap John's store, and ordered eight oyster-stews. We took off our coats and caps, and sat down to a table. Kii, yii, yii, yii that stew was good Are n't oyster-stews expensive ? I whispered to Jerry. Not for the rich," said Jerry, with a toss of his head. I did not say another word, but ate every drop of my stew. None of the fellows said very much; we were too hungry to talk. After we had eaten our stews and all the crackers on the table, Jerry strutted up to the desk and paid the bill. Then we put on our coats and caps and marched outdoors. '' Hurrah for Jerry's treat! '' cried Dick. '' Who 's all right ? Jerry 's all right! '' we all yelled.

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Bob Knight's Diary 147 Come on into Cheap John's," said Jerry, leading the way. We followed him. Give me a quart of peanuts," said Jerry, laying 10 cents on the counter. Cheap John gave him the peanuts, and we were going out of the store when Jerry whispered : '' Let 's get warm before we go back. '' So we went to the rear end of the store, where a dozen men and a lot of boys were standing around a stove, talking. We stood around and ate peanuts and listened. The men told a lot of stories about burglars and robbers of all sorts. It was jolly fun for us to hear the men talk. We enjoyed the stories and the peanuts so much that we forgot all about going back to the school, till the clock in the store struck six. Then we ran to the door, and we found that it was pitch dark outside. I was terribly frightened. My heart beat like a big, heavy hammer against my ribs. I could hardly breathe. All the fellows shook, even Jerry. Oh, I wish we had n't stayed so long," said Otto. '' Oh, I wish so too,'' we all cried. We buttoned up our coats and ran pell-mell out of the store, and plunged into the snowy road. Jerry took the lead, and we all followed. I was the last, and I had to run lively to keep up with the

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148 Bob Kni g ht's Diary other fellows. Twice I fell down but I jumped up quickly, for I thought I heard footsteps behind me. When we passed an old barn, we took hold of hands and held our breath, and scudded like frightened rats. I was glad to see the lights in the windows of the school on Poplar Hill. We rushed into the house, yelling: "We 've seen a robber, a real live robber!" Prof. Kane did not scold us, because we were so terribly frightened. He knew we would never want to stay out after dark again. After supper we talked over the men's stories, and w e came to the conclusion that those men told those stories just to frighten us boys. sure that the s tories were not true ones. Tony were wrathy to think they were those men. We wer e Jerry and fooled by Tuesday, Marc h I. N.B. LOST, STRAYED, OR STOLEN. B O B KNIGHT'S DIARY. If pro m p tl y r e turn ed th e finde r will be r ewa r ded. N o qu es ti ons as k ed The above notice has been pinned upon _the map of the United States in the front hall downstairs for nine days.

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Bob Knight's Diary 149 The Sunday after Jerry's birthday treat was a stormy day, so I thought I would amuse myself sketching in my diary. I went up.stairs for the book, and it was not in my room. I looked all over the house for it, and asked Polly and Poky and everybody, but no one had seen" hide or hair" of it. I was all broken up. I was not out with any of the fellows, we were all good friends, so I could not think which one had taken it. I asked each singly and confidentially if he would help me find it, and each fellow promised to help me. One day, it popped into my head that the whole caboodle of them were in league against me. Times have been rather dull at Poplar Hill ever since the deep fall of snow, and Prof. Kane won't let us go to Cheap John's store, because we stayed there so late on Jerry's birthday treat; so the fellows thought they would have a little fun at my expense. I stopped asking questions, but I kept my eyes and ears open. I told Poky to tell me if he heard any of the boys saying anything about my diary. One morning I found this card on my pillow when I awoke. I put it in my bureau drawer, and kept mum. The next morning I found another card just like it. And the next morning there was another

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150 Bob Knight's Diary card. I knew that Jerry was the leader in the mischief, so I was very polite to him. At meals I gave him all my sauce and my cake; twice I gave him all my meat when I was as hungry as a pig myself; three times I gave him my pudding; yet, with all my politeness and kindness, I could not coax him to say anything about my diary. On Monday morning, February 28th, I found this card on my pillow. I knew Jerry wrote it, yet I did MEET ME AT THE HAUNTED HOUSE AT SUNSET TO-DAY. not say anything about it to him. I was jolly and pleasant at the breakfast-table, but I did not give Jerry any of my buckwheat-cakes; I ate them all. After breakfast I asked Poky where the haunted house was. It's a little red house down by the canal. But don't you go there; it 's full of spooks," Poky told me. I showed him the card and told him I had to go there to get my diary. If you'd give me all the things in Cheap John's store, I would n't go there," said Poky.

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Bob Knight's Diary I 'm going," said I, and I '11 play a trick on those fellows, and I want you to help me.'' Poky scratched his head, twisted his fingers, and coughed. Come on," said I, will you go with me ? Bob," said he, I 'd do almost anything for you, but-but-don't ask me to go where them spooks live. I 'd die if I saw one. All right," I replied, a good deal disappointed. You ain't mad at me, are you ? asked Poky, as I walked off. No," said I. But I was sorry Poky would not go with me, because I was afraid to go alone. All day there was a great deal of sly talk among the fellows, but I pretended not to hear it. I kept away from them as much as I could. Just as soon as school was out I ran across lots toward the canal. Jerry had to stay af ter school to study, so the fellows were late in starting. I went to the canal and found the little red house. As it was daylight, and the door stood wide open, I was not afraid to walk right in. I looked all through the house for my diary, but I did not find it. Pretty soon I heard the fellows coming. I jumped into the kitchen cupboard and

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Bob Knight's Diary closed the doors. The boys came bravely in, yelling: Shoo spo o k s or be killed, We 're the J o lly Boy s of Poplar Hill." Bob is n 't here," Jerry said, looking in all the rooms. Then he undid a package and gave each fellow a big white sheet. The fellows rigged them selves up like ghosts and stood around the room, waiting for me to come. It's getting dark. Why don't he come?" said Dick, impatiently. '' I hear a noise in the chimney,'' Ben whispered. Something is creeping around upstairs," said Sam. Sh-s-s-s," went Tony. Just then I gave a ghostly howl, and shuffled my feet on the floor of the cupboard. The fellows threw off their sheets, and scooted out of the house like mad. I stepped out of the cupboard and looked around. There on the floor by Jerry's sheet lay my diary. I grabbed it, and put for the school across-lots. I ran like a deer and got there before the fellows did. I took off my coat and cap, hid this diary up in the garret, and when the fellows returned, I was sitting in the kitchen, listening to Poky playing on his toy fiddle. The fiddle has only one string left, yet the little fellow plays a dozen tunes on that one string.

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Bob Knight's Diary 153 Hollo, boys! said I. Where you been ? Not one of them answered. At the supper-table they were very glum. Otto and Harry were white as ghosts. Jerry expected me to offer him my cake, but I ate every crumb of it myself. I have my diary, so I am not coaxing Jerry any more. After supper the boys shivered and shook so hard that Mrs. Kane and Polly made them some hot ginger-tea and put them to bed. I went up-stairs and pretended to be very sorry for them, while all the time I was full of laugh. Where 's the sheets ? Polly exclaimed, when she turned down the bedclothes. Jerry took Polly to one side of the room and gave her a dollar, promising to get the sheets the next day. I heard every word he said. I pretended to be very anxious about the sheets; I looked all over the room and under my bed and everywhere for them. Stop looking for those sheets, and go to bed," said Sam. I can't sleep without sheets," said I. You 'll have to," said Sam, curling himself up like a snail. I blew out the candle and went to bed. I was so full of laugh, I could not go to sleep for an hour. Wedne sday, March 2. This morning Poky told me he saw Jerry and Tony go across-lots to the haunted house after the

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154 Bob Knight's Diary sheets. When they got back Polly gave them a ferocious scolding for taking the sheets away. And at recess I heard Jerry say to Tony: I wonder where Bob's diary went to. I dropped it when I heard the ghost yell.'' I bet the ghost stole it," said Tony. I bet a dollar it did," said Jerry, laughing fit to split his sides. Now Bob can whistle for his diary," replied Tony. His sketches would make a ghost laugh, any how," said Jerry. Then those two fellows laughed like a couple of hyenas. I think Jerry and Tony downright mean to make fun of my sketches. I feel very indignant, yet I smile on those two rascals, for I don' t want them to mistrust that I was the ghost in the haunted house. And I am very friendly with the rest of the fellows. We played shinny on the ice this after noon and had a jolly time. Thurs day Marc h 3 I have hard work to write or make sketches in my diary. Jerry keeps a sharp eye on me, yet I man age to steal up into the garret after school and write up the doings of the day and make a sketch or two without his catching me at it. It rained to-day and spoiled the ice. Jerry was

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Bob Knight's Diary 155 in a fighting mood, and cuffed Dick right lively. Dick got wrathy, and, when we were undressing for bed, he told me that Jerry was the chap that took my diary. Where is it now ? I asked. '' Lands! '' whispered Dick. '' We fellows think one of the ghosts in the haunted house took it." '' What haunted house ? What ghost ? '' I asked. Then Dick told me, very quietly: We fellows went to that little red house down by the canal, ex pecting to meet you there, and when we got there, we dressed up in sheets to frighten you; but we did not wait for you to come, because we heard a ghost in the kitchen cupboard, howling like a madman." "Cracky "said I. "Weren't you frightened?" "You bet I was. My feet froze to the floor. I could hardly run," Dick confessed to me. Dick did not say anything more till I blew out the candle. Then he whispered: Bob, I 'm very sorry about the loss of your diary. I think your sketches are fine." Perhaps Dick was flattering me, yet I want to believe he meant every word he said about my sketches. Anyhow, I think Dick is a straight forward, honest fellow. Friday, March 4, To-day I had to stay after school to study, and when Poky came in to sweep the room, he said:

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Bob Knight's Diary Say, Bob, where 's my birthday picnic ? Jingo! I forgot all about it," said I. "Well, you 'd better 'member it," said Poky, shaking his head at me. I '11 talk it over with the fellows to-night," I promised him. Poky was satisfied, and began sweeping the room, while I went on studying my history lesson. After supper I told the fellows about Poky's want ing a birthday picnic ; so we talked the matter over and decided to give him a surprise to-morrow. Saturday, March 5, This morning we got permission to go over to Mr. Ashford's to ask him if he would rent us a big sleigh and a team of horses for Poky's birthday sleigh-ride. Of course good-hearted Mr. Ashford told us that he would be delighted to give us the use of his team and his sleigh without pay. He said that his wood-sleigh was the largest, and it would be best to take that. We are tickled to death, for we are all hard up. Jerry is the only one in the crowd who has a dollar. I have only IO cents, and the rest of the fellows are dead broke. We ran all the way home, we were in so great a hurry to tell Poky the good news. Poky jumped two feet in the air and clapped his bony hands, saying:

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Bob Knight's Diary 157 I 'm going to have a truly birthday surprise like the rest of the fellows.'' Jerry and Tony chopped wood and Ben, Sam, Dick, and I took care of the twins while Poky washed himself and put on his best suit of clothes. Say, you fellows," Poky called to us from the washroom, '' you better call me John to-night. Do you hear?'' '' All right. We 'll call you John,'' we promised him. At five o'clock Polly gave us our supper, a good hot supper of mush and maple-syrup. We ate an extra amount to keep us warm on the long ride. Poky ate supper with us, and he just loaded himself with hot mush. Mr. Ashford's big sleigh, full of straw, and his bay team, with jingling sleigh-bells, drove up in front of our door at half-past five. We piled in quicker than scat. It 's a pretty sharp night, boys, but I guess I can cover you with enough straw and blankets to keep you from freezing,'' Mr. Ashford said, as he tucked us in the sleigh, snug and warm. Good-bye," we called to Prof. and Mrs. Kane and Polly, as we drove away. Kii, yii, yii, yii those horses sped along like lightning over the snowy road. Some of the time I thought the sleigh was slipping out from under us.

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Bob Knight's Diary Poky sat next to me, and every few minutes he would grab my arm, and say: Bob, are the horses running away ? "No, Poky," I would tell him. '' Hey! call me John,'' said he, punching me in the ribs with his elbow. "All right, Poky John," I replied. '' Hey there! I want you to call me John without the Poky," he said, driving his elbow a mile into my side. This remark set us to giggling, and we could not stop giggling. "You 're right, my boy," said Mr. Ashford; '' make those fellows call you John.'' I do on Sundays and holidays and on my birthday," Poky said. How old are you, John ? Mr. Ashford asked. I 'm about Bob's age," said Poky. Go 'way! I 'm older than you," said I. Anyhow, I shall catch up with you some day," Poky replied, leaning his head affectionately on my shoulder.

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Bob Knight's Diary 159 "Well, Poky, you 're a queer chap," Mr. Ashford remarked. "Hey, sir! call me John," Poky yelled. I beg your pardon, John-John" Mr. Ash ford said, not knowing Poky's other name. Knight," Poky quickly said. '' I beg your pardon, John Knight. I promise hereafter to call you by your right name,'' Mr. Ashford said. Poky felt very important on his birthday ride. He bossed us around pretty lively. He would call out: Don't holler so loud, Jerry, you 'll scare the horses. Give us a song, Ben. Hey there! Otto and Harry, seems to me you 're pretty quiet." I told Poky to be still, but he would not mind me. We were just beginning to feel a little cold, when Mr. Ashford said, Whoa! to his team, and we were right at Mr. Ashford's house. Mrs. Ashford was standing in the door. Come in, boys, and get warm," she called to us. Out we piled and went in. After taking off our coats and caps, we sat down to a table and ate big bowls of hot oyster-soup. Poky went headlong into his bowl, and we did not see his face again till he had eaten every drop of his soup. And he

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160 Bob Knight's Diary enjoyed the apples, nuts, and pop-corn just as much. Mrs. Ashford passed everything to Poky first, say ing: This little boy must have first choice, because to-day i s hi s birthday." Of course, we were only too glad to stand aside, and to let Poky have first choice of everything. It was his birthday supper and we wanted him to have a jolly time. After supper Poky and we fellows thanked Mrs. Ashford a thousand times for her kindness; then we piled into the sleigh, yelling: Kii, y ii y ii, yii T ip-top W e r e the Joll y Boys o f Popl a r Hill! Sure pop! R a h, rah ra h Ba n g Who 's a ll r ight? Mr. a n d M r s As hfor d are all ri ght Mrs Ashford called: '' Many ha p p y birthdays, Poky.'' Poky stood up in the sleigh, and cried at the top of hi s voice : Please, ma'am, my name is John."

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Bob Knight's Diary 161 Sit down, John, sit down, John," we all yelled. Poky sat down beside me, and Mr. Ashford drove like the wind all the way to the school. We sang all the songs we could think of. As we were pass ing a farmhouse a dog ran out and barked at us; this set Sam to barking, so we all began to bark. I guess the people alon g the way thought that Mr. Ashford had a sleighload of dogs, for we barked like big dogs a nd little dogs and black dogs and white dogs and yellow dogs. I saw Mr. Ashford's shoulders shake, so I knew he was enjoying our fun. I bet Mr. Ashford was a jolly boy when he was a kid. When we drove up Poplar Hill, we yelled: "Who 's a ll ri ght? Mr. Ashfo r d is all r i g h t Rah r a h r a h M r. Ashford!" Prof. Kane opened the door and told us to stop our noise. We jumped out of the sleigh, thanking Mr. Ashford a hundred times for giving us a jolly slei g h-ride. We did not have any fun when we w ere g oing to bed, because Prof. Kane stood in the middle of the room with a candle in his hand and waited for us to get into bed. Sunday March 6. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Poky went because yesterday was his birthday. Jerry II

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Bob Knight's Diary tried to play up sick, but Prof. Kane saw through Jerry's trick, and said : Jerry, go to church or go to bed." Jerry put on his coat and cap and went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson was not there. A man taught our class. He told us his name, J. Hemingway Haw kins. We wanted to cut up, but we did not. We treated Mr. J. H. H. with a great deal of respect on account of our love for Miss Wilson. Fortunately we knew our les sons, and we answered up very promptly. Of course, Poky did not know his lesson, and Mr Hawkins said: Don't you know your lesson, bub ? Please, sir, my name is John," said Poky. After that Mr. J. H. H. was very polite to Poky. Polly gave us a fine dinner, fried chicken and ricepudding. In the afternoon the fellows wrote letters, and I read. I don't dare write to Uncle Ralph for any more money just yet. I shall wait till my IO cents are gone. I gave 2 cents to the Sunday school collection to-day. IO -2 = 8. I shall have to be very saving of my 8 cents.

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Bob Knight's Diary Monday, March 7. This afternoon I had to stay after school to study my history lessons. Dick had to stay too. He sat very near me, so when Prof. Kane was busy writing, I drew a small ghost on one of the fly-leaves of my history, and passed it to Dick. Don't," said Dick, you make me cold." Order, boys," said Prof. Kane, rapping on his desk with a pencil. Dick and I went on studying. But after supper I got a chance to tell Dick about my diary. I think it no more than fair to let him know that I have it, because he appreciates my sketches. I got a candle and took Dick up garret, and told him where and how I found my diary. "You 're a lucky fellow!" exclaimed Dick. Then he whispered : '' I thought the ghost in the haunted house took your diary.'' The ghost did take it," I told Dick. '' Then how did you get it ? '' Dick wanted to know. ''The ghost you heard in the kitchen cupboard was Bob Knight," said I, laughing fit to split my sides, be cause Dick's eyes were bulging right out of his head. You ? I don't believe it," he exclaimed. It 's true," said I, showing him the account in my diary of the whole affair. Dick read it through, and exclaimed :

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Bob Knight's Diary I declare, Bob, you ought to be a detective. You 're a good one at spying out things." Dick and I had a good laugh over the scare I gave the fellows. Then we stole softly down-stairs and went to bed. Tue sday, M a rch 8. Nothing of importance happened to-day. Wedne sday, March 9. This afternoon Jerry had the toothache so hard he could not study, so Sam and I tied up his face with a handkerchief and put him to bed; but his tooth ached so hard that he could not stay in his bed. He got up and went to smashing all the chairs in the room. Prof. Kane told Sam and me to take Jerry to the dentist. We put Jerry on a sled and ran all the way to Poplarport, Jerry howl ing like a crazy man all the way. The louder he howled the faster we ran. We found the dentist's office, and Jerry sat down in the chair and had his tooth pulled in a jiffy. Sam almost fainted away; I felt very trembly. The dentis t charged 25 cents. Jerry paid him then we went to Cheap John's store. Jerry did not have any more money. Sam bought some gum, and I bought 5 cents' worth of

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Bob Knight's Diary peanuts. On the way home Jerry was very gener ous and good-natured; he would not ride, but he drew Sam and me all the way home. Jerry could not chew gum, so Sam and I had a fine time chew ing gum and eating peanuts, riding up Poplar Hill. We were as hungry as tramps when we got home. Polly had a good supper of pork and beans. We filled ourselves up from our shoes to our collars, and went to bed. Thursday, March IO. A rainy day. The south wind and the rain are stealing away our ice pond and our toboggan slide. Jerry and Tony are all out of sorts over it; but Dick, Ben, Sam, and I say, Let the snow go; we 'd rather go a-fishing." Otto and Harry don't care anything about outdoor sports; they had rather read or play parchesi. Sam and Ben are boss fisher men, and we are going a-fishing next summer. We thought of nothing but going a-fishing all day, consequently we had to stay after school to study. Of course, Otto and Harry did not have to stay-they never do; but the rest of us boys did. The only time I ever envy Otto and Harry is when they are dismissed from school, while I have to re main in my seat with a chapter of dry old history to learn by heart. Then I wish I was a smart boy. When we got through studying it was supper-time. I was glad the long, rainy day was gone.

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166 Bob Knight's Diary Friday, March II. When I awoke this morning it was still raining hard. I said to myself: Good-bye, skates! It made me sad for a couple of minutes. But Ben sat up in bed, and exclaimed: '' I want to go a-fish ing Then I wished summer would come right off, be cause I wanted to go a-fishing. I was ready to trade my skates for a fish-pole. While we were dressing we talked about building a boat. Ben said he knew all about building a flat-bottomed one, and Sam and Dick said they could build any kind of a boat. We got almost wild over the idea. Prof. Kane called to us to stop our racket and come down to breakfast. I studied hard and was marked perfect in all my lessons; but I could not go out to play because of the rain. We stayed in the schoolroom and talked about the new boat. Sam tried to draw a plan of a punt, and we told rg him he could not draw a pig, so he drew a pig to prove it. Then we all went to

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Bob Knight's Diary drawing pigs. Ben said that a pig's tail always curls down, but the rest declared that it curls up. Ben would curl his pig's tail down. I laughed my self to pieces over the eight pigs. I like Dick's pig the best of all of them. Tony's pig looked very much like a dog. But he explained by saying that he had never seen a live pig in his life. Well," said I," I 'll take you over to Mr. Ashford's and introduce you to a pig." I 've met Mr. Pig many times in sausage and ham and eggs," said Tony, with a very polite bow. Oh! exclaimed Jerry, that 's one of your circus jokes. I know you heard Victor Hinsdill say that.'' Tony laughed and winked at the rest of us. Then we began talking about the tramp-clown. We don't know when he will be out of the Penitentiary; we hope it will be very soon. Victor Hinsdill is a right jolly old boy. Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill Sure pop Rah, rah, rah Bang

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168 Bob Knight's Diary Saturday, March 12. The rain cleared off with a cold wind, and everything froze stiff. This morning the ground was a glare of ice. After breakfast, we put on our skates and skated all the way to Poplarport. We went down a-flying. I tell you, it was fun! Rover went with us. He has not been very well this winter on account of his rheumatism, but the fast run to the Port limbered up his stiff legs like everything. We went to a lumber-yard and made a bargain with a man for some lumber to build our boat with. We had not one cent to pay down on it, but we promised to pay for it very soon. The lumber and nails will cost about 15 dollars. We did not go over to Cheap John's store, because we did not have any money to spend. We put on our skates and started for Poplar Hill. But, oh, my! the ice had melted and the mud was ankle-deep. We pulled off our skates and tramped home through the slush. Polly saw us coming up the hill, and yelled: Don't you come into the house with your muddy feet, you rascals!" So we went to the barn to scrape the mud off our shoes and trousers. Polly would not let us come into the house till dinner was ready. In the afternoon we cleared up a corner of the barn to make a place to build our boat in. Doll

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Bob Knight's Diary was very glad of our company; she whinnied all the time. Rover was very much interested in our movements; he forgot all about his stiff legs, scampering around like a pup. We watched for the lumber all the afternoon, but it did not come till six o'clock. We piled it up and left it, because it was too late to begin work on the boat. I think we are going to have lots of fun building that boat. I can hardly wait for Monday to come. Sunday March 13. We don't have doughnuts for breakfast any more. Polly is cranky and will not make them, and no amount of coaxing will persuade her to fry a single cake. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson was there. We told her we did not like that Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins so well as we liked her. She blushed. I gave my last 3 cents. I am penni less now. But I wrote to Uncle Ralph in the afternoon and asked him for some money to help pay for the lumber for our boat. I hope he liked to build boats when he was a boy, for if he did, he will send me more money for the boat. Monday March 14. We were so crazy over beginning the boat that we did not have one of our lessons, and we all had to stay after school till dark. Jerry kicked like a

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170 Bob Knight's Diary mule. Of course Otto and Harry did not miss, but they do not know how to build a boat, so they could not go to work on our boat. Plague take the luck! Tuesday, March 15. Kii, yii, yii, yii We studied hard to-day, and we did not have to stay after school. But we did not do very much boat-building, because we got into a frightful scrape over the way the boat should be built, and we quarrelled till dark. Each fellow wanted to be boss. Jerry knocked Tony clean across the barn ; and we all got to cuffing and kick ing. Prof. Kane came out to the barn and sent us all to the house, and gave us bread and molasses for supper, then sent us to bed. We were as cross as bears. Wednesday, March 16. We are angry at one another. No two speak. Prof. Kane has taken the building of the boat in hand, and has sent for a man at Poplarport to show us how to work. And who should the man be but that J. Hemingway Hawkins. We declared that we would not be bossed by any one; but after Mr. J. H. H. talked a while with us we came to the con clusion that he knew a good deal more about build ing a boat than we did. So we consented to let him be boss. To-morrow we are going to begin the boat.

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Bob Knight's Diary Thursday, March 17. We had our lessons to-day. We were out at the barn at four o clock, waiting for Mr. J. H. H. He arrived at ten minutes past four and set us at work. We were soon as busy as honey-bees. The old barn hummed with our noise. Jerry and Tony sawed, Ben planed, Sam whittled, Dick bored, Otto and Harry, with pencils behind their ears, measured and marked, and I chiselled. Kii, yii, yii, yii how we did work We were too busy to quarrel. Poky came out at five o'clock, and wanted some thing to do. We set him at clearing away the saw dust and shavings. Of course it was not really necessary to clear up the floor of the barn, yet we wanted Poky to have a hand in the building of the boat. He thought he was doing more work than any one of us, and we let him think so. Supper time came altogether too soon. It grew dark, so we put up our tools and went to the house. All night I dreamed of making a boat, and I guess the other fellows did, too, because I heard Jerry holler, Give me the hammer." And Tony yelled, Hand me the saw." Dick cried, I 've lost all the nails; help me find 'em.'' Friday, March 18. J. H. H. could not come to-day, hence we could not work on our boat. We were dreadfully dis appointed.

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I 72 Bob Knight's Diary Ben and I saw a robin. Spring is here, sure pop. Kii, yii, yii, yii The Robin Rah, rah, rah The Robin Saturday, March 19. This morning we told Poky about the robin, and he said there must be some pussy-willows in blossom over by Owl Creek, for they always blossom when the first robin comes. As Mr. J. H. H. could not come to boss the boat-building, Dick, Ben, Sam, and I went after pussy-willows. We got a big bundle of them. We are going to take some of them to Miss Wilson to morrow. We called on the Hermit but he was away. I looked for Pussy, but I could not find her. Tige was not there, either. We got home in time for dinner. It was lucky we did, because Polly raises a terrible row when any of us are late at meals. Sunday, March 20. I went to church and Sunday-school. I have not heard from Uncle Ralph, therefore I did not have any money for collection. Miss Wilson was very much pleased with the pussy-willows. We told her

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Bob Knight's Diary I 73 that we liked Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins for a boss, and her face turned as red as a poppy. In the afternoon it rained. I was going to tell Jerry that I had my diary, but Dick said: Don't you do it. Jerry will play another trick on you.'' I shall keep mum about it. It is very inconvenient to steal away to the garret to write in it, but Prof. Kane knows all about it, so I get along pretty well. Monday March 2r. We worked on our boat this afternoon. It does not get along very fast. We thought we could make it in three or four days, but we find it will take two or three weeks. We do some of the work wrong, and we have to do it over. Mr. J. H. H. has a lot of patience. Ben and I are working on the oars. Kii, yii, yii, yii we have to be very particular, but our boss keeps a sharp eye on us. Otto and Harry don't work any more on the boat; they got tired of the job; but Dick, Ben, Sam, Jerry, Tony, and I are working like genuine boatbuilders. We don't have so much fun as we did at first, it is more like work now; but we don't back down a cent's worth. We are a little disappointed because the boat is not going to have sails or an engine; it is going to be only a flat-bottomed boat; but I suppose we boys ought to be satisfied with a

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174 Bob Knight's Diary punt. When we get to be men we can have a sail boat, or an electric launch. Tuesday, March 22. This afternoon Mr. J. H. H. wanted some nails, so he sent me to Poplarport after them. I got them at Cheap John's store, charged them to us fellows. As I came out of the store, I saw a man with a grip, walking along. He stopped, and said to me: Say, boy, do you know where Poplar Hill School is ? '' '' V! ell, I guess I do,'' I answered. Which way is it ? he asked. Right up this road. I 'm going there; I '11 show you the way," I told him. As we walked together up the hill, he asked a lot of questions about Prof. Kane and the school. Prof. Kane is all right," said I, and so is the school. And we 're a jolly set of fellows." '' Are you one of the jolly fellows ? '' he asked me. Oh, sure pop! said I. My Uncle Ralph sends me to this school.'' '' Your Uncle Ralph ? '' the man asked, looking at me sharply. Yes," said I, but I 've never seen him." How does your uncle treat you ? he asked.

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Bob Knight's Diary 175 Well,'.' said I, he 's not so generous as he might be. I'd like a little more money, but I sup pose he thinks I have enough. But you see, we fellows are building a boat, and I d like 2 or 3 dol lars to pay my share with, and I haven't a cent to my name.'' "Tell me some more about your Uncle Ralph," the stranger said. Oh," said I," he 's an old bachelor and that s why he does n't know how to treat a boy. If he had boys of his own, he 'd know how to treat a fel low like me. But, you see, his being a bachelor makes him very selfish. I tell you, I have a pretty tough time of it.'' This is very interesting. Tell me more about this selfish uncle of yours," the stranger requested. I don't think very much of him, I can tell you that," said I. And when I get to be a man, if I have a boy in my charge, I will be tremendously generous with him. I will give him lots of money, and I will invite him to New York to visit me, and I will give that boy a tip-top good time." The stranger and I did not say anything more till we reached the school, then I said: Here we are; this is Poplar Hill School. Walk in; I '11 find Prof. Kane." I seated the stranger in the parlor. I found Prof. Kane in the library and told him about the stranger.

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Bob Knight's Diary Then I went to the barn with the nails, and worked on the boat till supper-time. At the supper-table the stranger sat next to the Professor. Dick," said I, that 's the man that walked up from Poplarport with me this afternoon." Dick made a face, and said : He 's a swell dude. How did you manage to keep step with him climbing up the hill ? Oh," said I, I walked my own gait, and he walked his.'' Jerry and Tony heard what Dick said, and they laughed right out loud. Order," said Prof. Kane, very politely. We kept still during the rest of the meal, but we were just chuck-full of laughter. After supper when the boys started to go to the schoolroom to study, Prof. Kane called me into the library. The strange man was there, and Prof. Kane said : Bob, this gentleman is your Uncle Ralph." I did not say one word. I rushed out of the room, grabbed my cap as I went through the hall, and scooted for the Hermit's hut as fast as my legs could carry me. The old man was asleep, but he woke up and let. me in. Oh, Mr. Hermit," I exclaimed, let me stay all night with you, for I 'm a tramp." The Hermit asked me a lot of questions, and I

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Bob Knight's Diary told him all about my walk up the hill with Uncle Ralph, and all that I said to him. The old man grunted as he made a bed of straw for me. "You 're a tramp, sure enough," he said. I lay down on the straw, sad and forlorn and friendless. Just as I was dropping off to sleep my pussy crawled into my arms, purring, as she used to do at the school. I 've one friend left," said I to myself; and if I go tramping, I am going to take her with me." The next morning when I awoke the Hermit stood before the fireplace stirring something in a kettle. I did not feel any happier than I did the night before. I got up from my bed of straw, saying that I was going to start right off. Better wait and have some warm oatmeal. You 'll want a little muscle if you are going to tramp," the Hermit said, laughing. No," said I. I don't want any breakfast.'' '' Look-a-here, '' said the Hermit, pointing to a box full of kittens. '' Where did you get them ? '' said I. Ask your pussy," the Hermit replied, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. JO

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Bob Knight's Diary After I saw those kittens I did not want to be come a tramp. I wanted to live with the Hermit. I sat down by the box of kittens and ate a dish of oatmeal and molasses, listening to Pussy purring to her kittens. I told the Hermit that I wanted to live with him, and he replied: All right, Bob, make yourself at home." So I did. I played with Pussy and her kittens, I petted Tige, I took long walks in the woods, and ate oatmeal and molasses till Saturday morning. Then all my hermit life came to an end. This is the way it happened. The Hermit and I were scouring up some fish-hooks, for we had planned to go a-fishing. All of a sudden we heard a terrible shouting and hooting. We went to the door to see what was let loose, and plague take the luck! there we sa w the fellows from Poplar Hill racing through the woods like a pack of wolves. Here's Bob! here 's Bob! We've found him. Where have you been ? We thought you had run away. We 're so glad to find you," the fellows shouted all at once. "I'm a hermit," said I, rather coolly. "I'm not a schoolboy any longer." What are you talking about ? shouted Jerry. You 've got to come back and study just like the rest of us fellows.'' Prof. Kane soon arrived.

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Bob Knight's Diary 179 '' Where 's that uncle of mine ? '' I asked. He has gone back to New York," Prof. Kane replied. '' What did he think of what I told him on the way up the hill to the school ? I asked. Oh, he took that as a good joke," Prof. Kane said. '' And he left you IO dollars; and he is going to send you a suit of new clothes.'' '' Then he is not angry ? '' I asked. '''Oh, no,'' Prof. Kane answered. I wanted to stay with the Hermit, but Prof. Kane persuaded me to go back to the school. In the evening I told the boys about the life with the Hermit, and we decided to live in a hut in the woods just as soon as we got out of Poplar Hill School. Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're Going to Be Hermits! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang Sunday, March 27. We all went to church and Sunday-school. I felt very rich, having $IO.OO all my own, so I gave 25 cents. Poky had no money, so I gave him IO cents to put on the plate, and I gave him 25 cents to keep. The boys told me that Poky cried like a baby the night I ran away. And now he sticks to me like a burdock. He says he is going with me the next time I run away.

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180 Bob Knight's Diary I wanted to go to the Hermit's this afternoon, but it rained, so I stayed indoors, and wrote a very affectionate letter to Uncle Ralph, thanking him for the $w.oo. Monday, March 28. The boys did not work on the boat while I was away. They were too downhearted to work. But after school to-day, we went to work with a will. We told Mr. J. H. H. we were going to be hermits when we grew up, but he did not think very favorably of our plan. The boat is getting to look a little like a boat. We are putting on the last pie<;;es of boards. The oars are all done. We are crazy to launch it. Tuesday, March 29. This afternoon as we were working on our boat we got to talking about a name for it. I want it called Racer," said Jerry. "Jingo!" said Tony, "who ever heard of a punt named Racer. Call it The Wz'tch. '' Name her Fz'rejly," sang out Dick. Oh, no," said Sam, name her Pond Lz'ly." Ben suggested the name of Sprz'te. Otto wanted it named The Lady of the Lake. Harry said that he thought Faz'ry Queen was a pretty name for a boat. I said, just in fun: '' Name it The Bullfrog.''

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Bob Knight's Diary 181 We got in a regular squabble over the name. At last Mr. J. H. H. proposed that each fellow should write the name he preferred on a slip of paper; then we put the slips into a hat and Mr. J. H. H. drew one out, and on it was written, The Bullfrog. All the fellows immediately accepted the name, and yelled: The Bullfrog The Bullfrog We 're the Fellows that built The Bullfrog! Rah, rah, rah The Bullfrog We yelled all the way to the house. Poky ran out to see what was up, and we told him about the name of our boat, and he joined in the yell. We are very proud of our boat. Mr. J. H. H. got the pattern of it from a juvenile magazine. I will bor row the magazine and draw a picture of the boat in this diary. Wednesday, March 30. The Bullfrog is ready for the first coat of paint. I had to stay after school to study this afternoon, so I could not work on the boat. I did not care very much, because the fellows were going to calk it, and that is an easy job. I had a letter from Uncle Ralph. He is coming

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Bob Knight's Diary again to see me. I hope I shall not give my opinion of him so freely the next time he comes. Thursday, March 3r. We gave The Bullfrog a coat of white paint to day. Jerry had a fight with Tony over some gum. Tony came out ahead. The two boys lost the gum while fighting, and Poky found it. Friday, April r. We gave Th e Bullfrog a second coat of paint. It looks boss. The rain poured down in bucketfuls all day We did not have any fun out-of-doors. We were going to have a jolly time April fooling, but we could not stir outside of the house. We have some pesky mean 1 u ck sometimes. We were tremendously disappointed. We went to the kitchen to play some pranks on Polly, but she had her eyes on us all the time, so we failed to play a single trick on her. Prof. Kane also had his eyes on us,

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Bob Knight's Diary therefore we could not fool him. But when we went up-stairs to bed, we had a fierce pillow-fight. We banged each other over the head unmercifully. Otto stuck his head into one of the pillows and screamed: Don't break my glasses, boys, please don't break my glasses.'' We pelted him lively till Prof. Kane heard the rumpus, and came up-stairs and hustled us all into bed. Saturday, April 2. This afternoon the boys asked me to paint the name, The Bullfrog, on the stern of our boat. I felt very proud of the honor conferred upon me. We were going to launch it to-day, but Mr. J. H. H. could not be here, so we are going to wait for him. Jerry and Tony are wild to see The Bullfrog afloat; I am too, yet I am willing to wait for Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins, because he has been so kind to us. We went to Poplarport and paid for the lumber, nails, screws, oakum, paint, and rowlocks. I paid my share, and lent Tony $z.oo, because he was dead broke. I want the boat paid for before it is launched. Tony told me that he had not forgotten that circus invitation. I am glad he still remembers it. I like circuses.

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Bob Knight's Diary Sunday, April 3. We all went to church and Sunday-school. We told Miss Wilson about The Bullfrog, and invited her to see it launched. She blushed, and thanked us. During the rest of the day we tried to be very good, because it was Sunday. We had very hard work to keep from thinking about The Bullfrog. We went to bed early to kill time. Mond a y April 4. This afternoon we walked up to Owl Creek to see how high the water was. We found the water deep and clear, with a swift cur rent. It made us wild to launch Th e Bullfrog. On the way home we gathered a lot of wood-violets and dogtooth lilies. The frogs were croaking in the swamp, and we stopped a little while to listen to them. As we were stand ing under a big tree, sud denly a man swung down from one of the branches right in front of us. Kii, yii, yii; yii how we fellows did jump! We were frightened out of our wits.

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Bob Knight's Diary Hollo, chappies," said this strange man," don't you know an old friend ? '' Tony jumped forward, crying: Victor Hinsdill, glad to see you, old boy." Then, of course, we knew the man was the tramp-clown. We shook hands with him, and asked him to forgive us for hunting him down like a common tramp last autumn. It 's all right, my chappies. I had a pleasant winter at the expense of the State; and now I 'm out in time to hear the birds sing and the frogs croak." Got a circus engagement ? Tony asked. '' Yes. Next week I join a circus,'' answered the clown, waving his hat around his head. I suppose, at present, you are hard up ? Tony said, laughing. "You 're right, my boy, I am," replied the tramp, turning his empty pockets wrong side out. Instantly I made up my mind to give the jolly little fellow a dollar. The rest of the fellows had the same thought, I guess, for we all dived into our pockets and gave the clown some money. '' Thanks, chappies, thanks,'' said the clown, looking gratefully at the silver. Buy all the pie you can eat," said Tony. '' And forgive me for not bringing you some pumpkin-pie last November."

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186 Bob Knight's Diary '' I shall live like a king for a week, thanks to my dear chappies of Poplar Hill School," replied the clown, bowing a regular circus bow. Good luck to you," we called, as we moved off toward the house. '' I 'II not forget you when the circus comes this way," the clown called back to us. We went back to the school more in love with the clown than we ever were. If we had not already decided to become hermits we would have immedi ately decided to become clowns. During the evening we did nothing but talk of Victor Hinsdill. Tony is going to hunt him up to morrow, and ask him to come to see The Bullfrog launched. Tuesday, April 5 I had to stay after school to study. I did not care much, for it rained cats and dogs all day long. The rest of the fellows had to stay indoors. I fear Owl Creek will overflow its banks, if the rain con tinues all night. Wedne sday, April 6. The weather cleared. Mr. J. H. H. sent word this morning that he would come up to-morrow afternoon to help us launch The Bullfrog. We can hardly wait for to-morrow to come. We went out to the barn and looked the boat over. We pro nounce her seaworthy. We are not proud of her,

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Bob Knight's Diary oh, no! Prof. Kane sent word to Mr. J. H. H. to come up early in the afternoon, as we boys are to have a half-holiday in honor of the occasion. After school Ben, Dick, Sam, and I walked down to Miss Wilson's to ask her to the launching. She told us that Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins had already asked her. Thursday, April 7. This morning it was very hard work for us to study; we kept thinking about The Bullfrog all the time. None of us had our lessons, but the Professor did not keep us after school to study. Mr. J. H. H. and Miss Wilson arrived soon after dinner. Miss Wilson gave us a pennant for The Bullfrog. She made it herself. We were tremen dously surprised; we almost forgot to thank her. At half-past one we hitched up Doll, and hoisted The Bullfrog upon the wagon. Poky led the horse, and the rest of us walked alongside the wagon to steady the boat. Prof. and Mrs. Kane walked behind with Mr. J. H. H. and Miss Wilson. When we reached Owl Creek, we fellows let down the endboard of the wagon, placed a couple of boards slant ingly against the end of the wagon, then gently slid the boat down the boards. Splash! went the boat into the water. And The Bullfrog was afloat. We fellows yelled:

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188 Bob Knight's Diary Kii, yii, yii, yii The Bullfrog We 're the Fellows that built The Bullfrog! Rah, rah, rah The Bullfrog The next question was, who should have the first ride in the new boat. We invited the grown-up i : folk to have the first row, but they wanted to see us boys have a row --? in it. We all could not get in at one time, so fo\lr got in, and we took turns till we all had a row. Then Prof. and Mrs. Kane and Miss Wilson and Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins took a row. We fellows sat on the bank and watched them. Then we got in again, and the fellows took turns rowing. We rowed up and down Owl Creek till dark; then we fastened the boat to a stump of a tree with a chain and padlock, and we went back to the school, leaving our Bullfrog with the rest of the frogs in the creek. Mr. J. H. H. would not take any money for helping us build the boat, so we gave him a key to the padlock, and told him to take Miss Wilson a-rowing any time when she wanted to go. He thanked us, and promised to do so.

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Bob Knight's Diary All night I dreamed of The Bullfrog floating alone at its moorings in Owl Creek. Friday, April 8. It was very hard work for us to study to-day, we were so full of The Bullfrog, but we pitched in and studied, because we did not want to stay after school. Polly has been very much interested in the building of the boat, so this afternoon we invited her to take a row in The Bullfrog. We escorted her to Owl Creek, intending to give her a jolly time; but when we got there The Bullfrog was partly tipped over on its side, and it was half filled with water -only the bow-end stuck out. I wanted to jump into the creek and hide myself. "Plague take that J. Hemingway Hawkins! He ever raise it ? '' asked Dick. doesn't know how to build a boat! '' cried Jerry, looking wrathy as a mad dog. '' How shall we

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Bob Knight's Diary Let it alone," said Polly. A day's soaking will do it good." We walked slowly back to the school with Polly. She tried to be very kind, telling us not to worry, for she was sure the boat would be all right after it had had a good dose of water. Polly did not com fort us very much, because we know that she be lieves in giving everything, from boys to pots and kettles, a big dose of soap and water. I worried about the name on the stern; I thought the fishes and the frogs might nibble the paint and spoil the letters. We were a miserable set of fellows, I assure you. We ate our supper, studied a while, then went to bed. Saturday, April 9. This morning Prof. Kane said that he would send to Poplarport for a man to help us raise and repair Tlte Bullfrog. Said Jerry: '' Prof. Kane will be a week getting that man from Poplarport. Let 's go over to the Hermit's hut, and ask him to help us." We agreed with Jerry, so off we ran through the woods to the Hermit's, and got him to go over to Owl Creek with us. The old man knew just what to do. He gave each of us a tin can, and told us to pull off our shoes and stockings, to roll up our trousers, and to wade into the creek. We had lots

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Bob Knight's Diary of fun baling out The Bullfrog. We pretended we were sailors wrecked on a desert island. We forgot all about Poplar Hill School and its rules, and the time of day, till Poky appeared at Owl Creek, saying: Say, you kids, it's two o'clock, and Polly's as mad as a hornet because you didn't come home to dinner.'' We can't go home to dinner. We 've got to bale The Bullfrog out," replied Jerry. We did not start back to the school till the boat was baled and washed clean. The frogs did not touch the name on the stern. The boat is shipshape again, but a little wet. At five o'clock we said good-bye to the Hermit and started for the school, yelling: Kii yii yii yii The Bullfrog We re the Fellows that built The Bullfrog! Rah, rah, r a h The Bullfrog We were a happy set of fellows. Polly forgave us for not coming home for our dinner, and cooked us a rousing good supper of pork and beans. Polly is all right. Sunday, April ro. When we awoke this morning we were a sorry set. We had taken cold while wading in Owl Creek, and every one of us was ill. Jerry had a stiff neck,

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Bob Knight's Diary Tony had rheumatism, Otto and Harry were sneezing their heads off, and Ben, Dick, Sam, and I had sore throats. Prof. and Mrs. Kane and Polly buzzed around the house like crazy bumble-bees, scolding every one of us for catching cold. Polly dosed us with all sorts of horrid stuff. I had a plaster of salt pork and vinegar tied around my neck, and so did Ben, Dick, and Sam. Polly ironed Jerry's neck with a hot flatiron, and gave Tony, Otto, and Harry a lot of bitter stuff to drink. None of us went to Sunday-school but Poky. When he started we yelled at him: Don't tell Miss Wilson that The Bullfrog leaks." N aw," said Poky, I won't." We had to stay in bed till noon. When Poky came home I asked him what Miss Wilson said about our being absent. Said Poky: She knows all about the leaky Bull frog, and so do all the kids in Poplarport. They called me a bullfrog when I came out of Sunday school. '' I 'll thrash every one of those kids before sunset to-morrow," cried Jerry, forgetting all about his stiff neck. So will I," sang out Tony. And I-and I-and I," we all cried. Prof. Kane ran up-stairs and gave us a scolding for making so much noise on Sunday. He made us

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Bob Knight's Diary keep very still all day. Polly gave us a lot of sloppy gruel for our dinner. We had a dull, stupid day, but we lived through it. Monday, April II. Our colds are better. Prof. Kane would not ex cuse us from reciting, so we studied very hard so we should not have to stay after school, because we wanted to go down to Poplarport to thrash a few of those boys for making fun of The Bullfrog. At half-past four we started, yelling: Kii, yii, yii, yii The Bullfrog We 're the fellow s that built The Bullfrog! Rah, rah, rah The Bullfrog When we entered Poplarport a dozen boys ran toward us, yelling: Biff Bang Boom Snort Rah, rah, rah Poplarport We halted and looked at them. Jerry and Tony advanced a few steps, and Jerry said : We 're the fellows that built The Bullfrog." Then the boys laughed and yelled, and began throwing sticks and stones at us. I saw that we were going to have a disgraceful affair, and I said : '3

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Bob Knight's Diary Let 's go on, boys." Just then a policeman came along. Don't run, boys," said Tony. We fellows stood still and the Poplarport boys ran down a side street. '' What 's the row ? '' said the policeman. We pointed at the Poplar port boys, and the policeman ran after the other boys as fast as his short legs could carry him. When he was out of sight and hearing, Tony said: Don't you see it 's a good plan not to run when the cop comes along ? '' It 's a good scheme," re plied Jerry, walking off toward Cheap John's. We fellows followed, and we all went in and bought peanuts and candy, then we started back to the school. When we got in sight of the house, Poky ran down the hill to tell us that a man had been there and told Prof. Kane all about the fight. '' Bread and water for a week in the garret,'' sang out Jerry. I '11 be with you," said Tony. But Prof. Kane did not put us up in the garret;

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Bob Knight's Diary 195 he gave us a terrible long lecture on the bad effects of fighting, and forbade us going to Owl Creek to row in The Bullfrog for a whole week. We would rather have taken a good thrashing; but he did not give us our choice. Tuesday, April 12. We are a forlorn set of fellows. It almost kills us to stay away from Owl Creek a whole week. Life is very dull at Poplar Hill School. I have nothing to write about. I received a letter from Joe. He is looking for a dog to buy; I hope he will find one. Wednesday, April 13. This afternoon we gave Poky IO cents, and asked him to go over to Owl Creek and see if The Bullfrog was all right. When he came back he told us that a gang of Poplarport boys was rowing up and down the creek in it. Jerry jumped two feet in the air and yelled. We told Prof. Kane, and he mildly said: Oh, never mind, don't worry; the boys won't hurt the boat." Jerry did not say a word in reply to Prof. Kane, but I saw by the fire in Jerry's eye that he had a scheme in his head. He was very glum at the supper-table, and when we were studying in the evening he was very uneasy. Once I saw him

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Bob Knight's Diary whisper to Tony. I watched him, but nothing happened till we were in bed; then I heard Jerry and Tony jump out of the window. Sam," I whispered, I bet Jerry and Tony are going to Owl Creek.'' So do I," said he, sleepily. '' Good luck to them,'' I said, as I turned over to go to sleep. I did not worry any more about Th e Bullfrog, for I knew Jerry would protect it. Thursday, April 14. This morning while we boys were dressing, Jerry told us about his trip to Owl Creek. He said that he and Tony jumped out of the window ran like the wind to the creek. And they found The Bullfrog floating near the place where we had fastened it; the padlock was broken and the oars were gone. Jerry and Tony dragged the boat out of the water and hid it in a clump of bushes a little way from the creek. While they were among the bushes they found the oars. Jerry and Tony took the oars and scudded back to the school. They could not climb in the window again, so they knocked on Poky' s window, and he let them in. They hid the oars under Jerry's bed. Jerry asked Prof. Kane if we might go to see the Hermit after school. The Professor gave his consent, but he made us promise not to go to Owl

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Bob Knight's Diary Creek. We gave our word of honor that we would go straight to the Hermit's hut and back again. We studied hard so as not to have to stay after school. Jerry and Tony were so sleepy that they nodded over their books, but Prof. Kane did not happen to notice them. None of us had to stay after school. At four o'clock we set out for the Hermit's. We found him sitting outside his hut, scraping and washing a pile of roots. Hollo, youngsters, what 's up ? he asked. V..1e told him about the Poplarport boys and The Bullfrog. '' Well,'' said the old man, '' I '11 watch The Bullfrog after this; and I promise you those Poplarport rascals won't row in it again." We shouted: ''Who 's all right? The Hermit 's all right Rah, rah, rah The Hermit After playing a while with Pussy and the kittens we went back to the school. We were so happy during the study hour in the evening, we could not learn anything. Our heads were full of The Bullfrog. Friday, April 15. I had to stay after school to-day to study. When Poky came in to clean up the room, he said:

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Bob Knight's Diary Say, Bob, is my name really John ? '' Of course it is,'' I replied. But I feel that it isn't truly and honestly mine. How did you get your name ? he asked. I was baptized when I was a little boy," I told him. Well, then, why can't I be baptized ? Then I 'll own my name like the rest of you boys do,'' Poky said. I '11 ask Prof. Kane if you can be baptized next Sunday,'' I said. Will you ? said Poky. Certainly," I told him. I began studying and Poky began sweeping. In the evening I asked Prof. Kane about Poky's being baptized. The Professor said that he had no objections, so I went to find Poky. It was no trouble to tell where he was, for I heard him fiddling. When I told him he stopped playing, and asked: Say, Bob, you don't object to my being baptized John Knight, do you ? ''Oh, no,'' said I. "All right," said Poky. And he went on playing his fiddle. I told the boys about Poky's wish to be baptized, and they treated the announcement with a great deal of respect.

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Bob Knight's Diary 199 Saturday A pril 16. Early this morning we asked Prof. Kane if we might go to Owl Creek. He said: "No, your week of punishment isn't up yet." So we went out in the yard and played games. Otto and Harry played marbles, and the rest of us played ball. After dinner it rained. I went up garret and wrote and made sketches in this diary. Eas t e r S un da y Polly gave us doughnuts for breakfast, because it was Easter. Mrs. Kane gave each of us a red car nation to wear on our coats. Poky had one too. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Poky was baptized. Miss Wilson has gone away on a visit, so her sister took charge of our class. Her name is Miss Margarette. She gave each of us boys an Easter card She talked to us about the way naughty boys fight. We did not let on that we had been fighting. Jerry and Tony looked very innocent. In the afternoon Prof. Kane took us for a walk. We did not have any chance to cut up. Sam could not go on all-fours, or Tony could not climb trees. We marched along like good little boys. In the evening the Professor read to us.

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200 Bob Knight's Diary Monday, April 18, After school Otto scudded off and none of us knew where he went. At five o'clock he came riding up the hill on his wheel. He did not put on any airs this time; he dismounted and invited Jerry and the rest of us to take a ride. Otto has improved im mensely. We had a lot of fun riding around on his wheel. I wish Uncle Ralph would buy me one. I guess I shall ask him for one when he comes again. Roy and Ray are beginning to walk. Poky is in high glee. Tuesday, April 19. Kii, yii, yii, yii The Bullfrog We 're the Fellows That Built The Bullfrog! Rah,. rah, rah The Bullfrog After school we took the oars and went to Owl Creek. We found The Bullfrog safe in the bushes where Jerry had hidden it. In a few minutes we had her afloat again. To be sure she did leak a little, but we baled while one rowed, and we got along very comfortably, and had a jolly time. Wednesday, April 20. We rowed in The Bullfrog on Owl Creek from the time school let out till dark. We were late for supper. Polly was furious, but we invited her to take a row to-morrow, so she gave us a good supper. Oh, my! hot gingerbread!

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Bob Knight's Diary 201 Thursday, April 2r. We took Polly for a row. The Bullfrog did not leak. Polly is so large that only one of us got in the boat with her. She wore a big sunbonnet, and when she was going with the wind, the bonnet was as good as a sail. Polly is a gay girl when she is tobogganing or rowing. She is not at all like the Polly cooking in the kitchen. I 'm just glad you boys frightened the Poplar port urchins; they deserved it," she told us boys, very confidentially. We gave Polly so good a time that she forgot to say anything about starting for the house till the sun was setting. Then she exclaimed: Oh, boys, it 's supper-time, and I 'm a mile from the house! '' "Never mind, Polly, Prof. Kane won't dare scold you," sang out Dick. Be sure to lock up The Bullfrog from those Poplarport urchins," Polly said, as she climbed out of the boat. We locked up the boat and started for the school on a dead run. Polly kept pace with us fellows all the way. Supper was late, but Polly was in a good humor, talking all the time about The Bullfrog.

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202 Bob Knight's Diary Friday, April 22. This afternoon we had a jolly time playing ball. Poky came to watch the game, and we put him at go to Owl Creek. the bat. He was tickled to death to handle the club. He yelled: Give me a fair ball, boys, and mind what you 're about." "You 're a champion, Poky," Tony called to Poky. None of your sly tricks, boys,'' Poky said, grinning from ear to ear. We had so much fun playing ball with Poky that we forgot to Saturday, April 23. This morning Prof. Kane told me that my Uncle Ralph would spend Sunday with me. Of course I shall be glad to see him, yet his coming spoils all my fun to-day. Instead of going with the fellows to row in The Bullfrog I had to go to Poplarport to get my hair cut. Prof. Kane said to me: Now, Bob, look your best, and don't make any smart remarks to your uncle this time. Try to make a good impression, for your Uncle Ralph does not like boys. Do your best to please him.'' After the fellows had started for Owl Creek, I

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Bob Knight's Diary 203 went to the kitchen and told Polly about Uncle Ralph. He's a regular dude," said I. "He's not at all a plain, every-day looking chap like me." Said Polly to me: Bob, don't you be afraid of him. Act natural, and he 'II like you." I thought Polly's advice very good, and I soon started for Poplarport. I took Poky along with me, to get his hair cut too, as he has not had it cut since his benefit. We went straight to the barber's and back again, because I was afraid to meet the Port boys single-handed, and, too, I did not want Poky to get hurt by those rough fellows. I sat in the yard all the afternoon, waiting for Uncle Ralph. About five o'clock I saw him coming up the hill. Down I ran, calling: Hollo, Uncle Ralph; glad to see you." I took his grip and walked by his side. When we reached the house Prof. Kane took my uncle off my hands, and I ran to meet the boys coming back from Owl Creek. At supper Uncle Ralph sat at the other end of the table. I was glad he did not sit by me, for I never know what to say. After supper Uncle Ralph called me one side, and whispered: Bob, I 've got a little treat for the boys,-some ice-cream and cake.'' Kii, yii, yii, yii I 'm glad," said I. We

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204 Bob Knight's Diary fellows have n't seen any iee cream since last summer." I ordered it at Poplarport. Go to the kitchen and see if it has come," he told me. I skipped to the kitchen. "Poky," said I," is there any ice-cream out here?" Yes," said Poky, a big tub full. And you fellows must leave a little in your dishes for me." Oh, Poky," I quickly answered, you need n't lick the dishes. I 'll give you a big dish of ice cream all for yourself.'' Whew! he exclaimed. I 'm glad your Uncle Ralph came. And say, Bob, ain't he my uncle, too ? '' I 'll ask him," said I. But you better not call him uncle. He 's terribly particular." All right," Poky called, as I went back to tell Uncle Ralph that the cream had come. After the study hour we all went to the dining room to eat the ice-cream and cake. The fellows were very bashful; not one of them spoke-they were as solemn as owls. I sat next to Uncle Ralph, and Poky sat on the other side of me. I feared Poky would call me brother or Uncle Ralph uncle, but the little fellow was too busy eating ice-cream to think of anything else. Uncle Ralph was the first to speak. He leaned forward, saying:

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Bob Knight's Diary 205 Prof. Kane, are boys always so quiet ? They are the best behaved lads I ever met.'' I think the boys are on their company behavior this evening,'' the Professor answered. Jerry gave us the wink, and we all yelled : "Who 's all right? Uncle Ralph's all right! Rah, rah, rah! Uncle Ralph!" Uncle Ralph jumped as though he had been shot. "Well," said he," the ice-cream hasn't frozen their lungs, I see.'' We fellows soon got acquainted with Uncle Ralph, and we told him all about The Bullfrog. Our description of the boat seemed to please him so much that he promised to stay over Monday, pur posely to have a row in it. While the fellows were talking, I ran to the kitchen to see if Polly was enjoying any of the cream. I found her eating a big dish of it. Polly," said I, did you see Uncle Ralph ? 'Deed and I did. He 's a fine gentleman. He 's no dude at all," she said. This pleased me immensely. I went back to the dining-room feeling very proud of my uncle. We fellows soon went up to bed. All night I dreamed of being very chummy with Uncle Ralph.

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206 Bob Knight's Diary Sunday, April 24. I invited Uncle Ralph to go to church with me, but he wanted to stay at home, so I went off with the fellows. I told Miss Wilson about my uncle; she did not appear very much interested in him. Polly gave us custard-pie for dinner. I suppose it was in honor of Uncle Ralph. In the afternoon it rained. Uncle Ralph and we fellows went to the barn to call on Doll. While we were there we talked about what we should like to do when we get to be men. Said Jerry: I 'm going to be a soldier, and shoot and fight all the time.'' Pshaw!" exclaimed Tony. I 'd rather be a manager of a whopping big circus. There 's where you get the fun, and the money, too." Then Ben said: '' I 'm going to be a captain of a war vessel, and sail round and round the world." I 'm going to own a railroad, and travel all the time,'' Sam said. Humph!" sneered Otto. I prefer to be a professional man. I don't know whether I shall be a lawyer or a doctor." I 'm going to be a musician and play a grand organ in a large church," Harry said. I 'm going to be a clown in Tony's circus," cried Dick. '' And I '11 let all you fellows in free.''

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Bob Knight's Diary 207 '' Well,'' I exclaimed, ''_you fellows are big frauds! You promised to be hermits.'' All this time Uncle Ralph had been walking up and down the barn floor, smoking. When he had finished his cigar, he said: Hermits? What do you boys know about hermits?'' Then we told him all :ibout our friend, the old man in the woods. Uncle Ralph did not appear pleased with our de scription of the Hermit, for he said, You 'd better let that crazy old man alone.'' Why, he 's our best friend. He watches The Bullfrog for us,'' I told my uncle. Bob," said Uncle Ralph, you didn't say what you would like to do when you are a man." As I could not think of anything I wanted to be except a hermit or a clown, I did not answer him. Come," said he, what business are you going to take up ? I guess I shall be a farmer," I replied. I saw by Uncle Ralph's looks that he was not pleased, but he did not say anything. I did not see him alone the rest of the day. I was very glad, for I feel very uncomfortable in his presence. Monday, April 25. Prof. Kane gave us a half-holiday this morning, /

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208 Bob Knight's Diary so that we could take Uncle Ralph to Owl Creek to see The Bullfrog. He was very much pleased with the craft. We let him row us, be-cause he was our guest, then I rowed, because Uncle Ralph is my uncle. When we returned to the school, we found Poky sitting on the gatepost, flying a kite. '' Hollo! '' said I, '' where did you get that kite ? '' Made it out of paper and sticks," Poky an swered. Uncle Ralph stopped a while to admire Poky's kite, then he said: '' Bob, I 'll send you a box kite when I get back to town." I thanked him, saying that a box kite was just what I had been wishing for. After dinner the boys went to the schoolroom. I longed to go with them, but I knew I must walk to the train with Uncle Ralph. I wanted to get out of it the worst way, but I had no excuse. I wished I had the toothache or the headache, but I was perfectly well and able to go, so I grabbed my uncle's grip and started along with him. I hoped he would not talk. But we had not gone far, before he said:

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Bob Knight's Diary "So you don't think very much of your Uncle Ralph." Oh, yes, I do," I answered. But you told me you did n't, that day you showed me the way to Poplar Hill School," he said, laughing. That was before I 'd gotten acquainted with you," I answered. '' So you like me better ? '' he asked. Oh, yes," said I, a hundred times." Uncle Ralph laughed and gave me a bran-new IO-dollar bill. I thanked him, and we walked along in silence to the station. When he was bidding me good-bye, I said, as I shook hands with him: '' Well, Uncle Ralph, what do you think of me?" Bob, you 're an honest lad. But sow your wild-oats while you 're at Poplar Hill School, and then I 'll start you in business." The conductor called, All aboard! Uncle Ralph jumped on the platform of the rear car, and waved his hat to me. In less than a minute he was out of sight. As I walked back to the school I wondered what Uncle Ralph meant by sowing wild-oats. I walked very slowly up the hill, because I did not want to get back in time for the history class. When I reached the school I went round to the kitchen 14

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210 Bob Knight's Diary and asked Polly what she thought wild-oats were like. '' Wild-oats,'' said she, '' is everything bad that a boy can do.'' I was not satisfied with Polly's definition of wild oats, yet I could not spend any more time talking with her. I went up-stairs to the schoolroom, and plague take the luck! I was just in time for the history class, and, of course, I did not know my lesson. But Prof. Kane did not keep me after school. I was very glad, because I wanted to go to Owl Creek with the fellows. We had a jolly time. In the evening it rained hard. During the study hour I puzzled my brain over the subject of wild-oats, and I have come to the conclusion that a boy can have a capital good time without sowing any wild-oats. I am sorry that Uncle Ralph thinks I am one of those wild-oats boys, for I am not. Tuesday, April 26. This afternoon when we fellows were starting for Owl Creek, Jerry said that he was not going. I wondered what scheme he had in his head, but I could not find out. The rest of us went to the creek and had a fine time rowing in The Bullfrog. When we got back we found Jerry shut up in the garret.

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Bob Knight 's Diary 211 Oh, cracky said I to Dick. Jerry will find my diary and tear it up.'' Dick and I ran to the kitchen to ask Poky about Jerry. Jerry is shut up for firing off his gun," Poky told us. '' Where did he get his gun ? '' Dick asked. Oh," said Poky, he hunted all over till he found it, and then he went behind the barn and fired it off. Prof. Kane heard the noise, and ran out and caught Jerry with the gun. Poky," said I, will you get my diary when you take Jerry' s supper to him ? He 's got his supper. I took it up, just bread and water," said Poky. Can't you creep up and get my diary ? It 's behind a box by the east win'slocked," replied. j{f My heart sank down into ....,_..,. my shoes for a minute, then I ran to Prof. Kane and asked him if I might go up garret for my diary. He said I might. I took the key, un-___. locked the door, and crept up-stairs on all-fours. Jerry sat on a box by the west

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212 Bob Knight's Diary window, looking like a prisoner. He did not see me, and I did not say a word until I had my diary in my hand and was at the head of the stairs; then I whispered very loud, Ghosts! Jerry jumped, and I ran down-stairs. I think I am even with him now for stealing my diary. I told the fellows, and we had a good laugh. Wednesday, April 27. Jerry is in the garret. We fellows had a fine row in Tlze Bullfrog. Thursday, April 28. It rained all day. We had a stupid time. Jerry is still in the garret. Friday, April 29. The box kite came to-day from Uncle Ralph. It 's a dandy. We had lots of fun flying it. Jerry watched us from the garret win dow. Saturday, April 30. Jerry is out. I gave him my codfish ball this morning at breakfast, because I want to keep on the right side of him. I fear he will lamm me for scaring him. After breakfast when we were on the playground, Jerry whispered to me:

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Bob Knight's Diary 213 Say, Bob, do you know which fellow yelled Ghosts' at me when I was up garret ? Why ? I asked. Because I want to smash his head for him,'0 Jerry replied. Let him off easy; he was just in fun," I told him. I bet a dollar it was you," said Jerry, gritting his teeth at me. You can fly my box kite," I quickly said. Jerry struck at me a couple of times, but I dodged him; then we walked off together good friends, and I let him fly my kite all day. Sunday, May I. I went to church and Sunday-school. I gave 10 cents. In the afternoon I wrote to Uncle Ralph, thanking him for the kite. Monday, May 2. Before breakfast this morning Poky told us that the water was in the canal. We fellows were wild to go over there, but we had to go to the school room and learn a lot of dry stuff. And, just my luck! I had to stay after school to study. Jerry, Tony, and Dick also had to stay. The rest of the fellows went over to the canal, but they did not see any boats.

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214 Bob Knight's Diary Tues day, May 3. I studied like a good fellow to-day, and I did not have to stay after school. None of the fellows had newly painted, and looked a good-natured little man. to stay. We all went over to the canal. A b o a t passed along while we w e r e t h e r e named G o l de n Rule She was fine. The captain was I think I should like to travel with him. When he saw us standing on the bank, he called : Hollo, boys! how 's fishing ? Have n't tried it this year," Tony answered. I hear bullheads and perch are biting lively," the captain said. This news put fishing into our heads, so we started right off for Poplarport to buy fish-hooks and lines. But we did not go a-fishing, because it was nearly six o'clock. We scudded back to the school lively. To-morrow we shall have some fun. ''Vedn esday May 4. This morning when we were dressing, Jerry skipped into our room and said: Boys, keep mum about fishing, or the Professor

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Bob Knight's Diary 215 will knock all our fun to pieces. He never lets us fish in the canal.'' We did not say a word about fishing, and I don't know how the Professor found it out. But after school he said, very sternly: '' Boys, you must not go fishing in the canal or in Owl Creek." Well, what could we do ? There were our fishhooks and lines all ready to fish with, and we were wild to go a-fishing. Said Jerry, I wt'!l go a-fishing." Tony threw his hat across the room, and cried, '' Plague take the luck! I will go a-fishing.'' Ben, Dick, Sam, and I declared we would cut some fish-poles; but we did not. We were pretty glum this morning. Here it is the 5th of May, and not one of us has caught a single fish. I was so upset, I did not know one of my les sons, and had to stay after school. I did not get outdoors till just before sup p er. I found the fellows in the barn, talking about fishing. Thursday, May 5.

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216 Bob Knight's Diary "I 'd go a-fishing," said Jerry, if I wasn't so plaguy tired of living on bread and water up garret." "I'd go, too," said Tony," but I'd get caught, sure pop! And I don't like living on bread and water in the garret, either." The supper-bell rang, and we put our fish-hooks and lines in a box and hid them upon a beam high up over Doll's manger; and went to the house. In the evening we had to study again. It 's nothing but study, study, study! and no fishing, Plague take the luck! Friday, May 6. I did not have to stay after school to-day, but Dick and Tony did. The rest of us went to Owl Creek and had a jolly row. On our way back we went over to the canal, and a boat went past with a black and white dog on top of the cabin. I liked the looks of him very much. I wish I could get that dog for Joe. I know he would be a capital

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Bob Knight's Diary 217 friend to a boy, for I had a dog once that looked just like this dog, and he was a true friend to me. When we fellows got back to the school we went to the barn, and Jerry crawled up to look at the fish hooks, and, cracky they were gone. Jerry jumped down from the beam, vowing he would thrash the fellow that stole them. And we all agreed to help him. We went in to supper, stamping every step of the way. I could hardly eat. I willingly left all my prune-sauce for Poky. In the evening we did nothing but scold and storm about the loss of the fish-hooks. Saturday, May 7. This morning Jerry said that he bet some of the Poplarport boys stole our fish-hooks and lines. After breakfast we marched down to the Port and asked all the boys we met, How 's fishing?" Every boy said that he had not been a-fishing this year. So we knew that the Poplarport boys did not steal our hooks. When we got back to the school we went to the barn, and there we found the fish-hooks and lines sopping wet in the box on the beam above Doll's head. This beats me! exclaimed Jerry. Who ever heard of a thief bringing back fish-hooks and lines after he had gotten through with them? ''

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218 Bob Knight's Diary But who 's the thief ? the rest of us fellows exclaimed all at once. Let 's watch and see if the thief comes again," said Jerry, as he jumped down from the man ger. Just then Polly rang the dinner-bell, so we had to go to the house. But after dinner we made arrange ments to watch the fish-hooks. Each fellow is to watch half a day. Jerry went on watch for the afternoon; the rest of us went to Owl Creek. About four o'clock it began to rain, and we scudded back to the barn. Jerry was down under the hay, peeking out with one eye. When he heard us coming, he thought we were the thief, and he was ready to pounce upon him. He was terribly dis appointed when he saw us fellows. Jerry watched till dark, but no one came. Sunday, May 8. Prof. Kane never lets us stay away from church and Sunday-school, consequently we could not watch for the thief this morning. Said Jerry: If I can't go a-fishing on Sunday, I 'm bound and determined that old thief sha'n't go. So Jerry crammed the hooks and the lines into his pocket and took them to church and Sunday school. Jerry asked Miss Wilson if it was wrong to

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Bob Knight's Diary 219 go a-fishing on Sunday, and she gave us a tremendous lecture. She was angry. I don't like to see her get cross and angry, because her face gets red, and she loses all her pretty looks. Polly gave us a slim dinner, because she had a headache. I hope her head won't ache next Sun day. Pork and beans are all right on week-days, but they are slim eating on Sundays. It was Tony's turn to watch for the thief in the afternoon. Jerry put the hooks and lines back in the box on the beam; and as there was nothing else to do, we all hung around the barn and watched. The thief did not come. Monday, May 9 Sam went on watch this morning, but of course he had to come in at nine o'clock when the school bell rang. At noon he scudded out and found the fish-hooks and lines all safe on the beam. It was my turn to watch in the afternoon. The hooks and lines were all safe when I went to the schoolroom at half-past one. At half-past two I asked permission to leave the room and ran out to the barn. Cracky the hooks and lines were gone. I could not believe my eyes at first; I looked all along the beam, and hunted down on the floor, to be sure that they had not fallen out of the box. But they were surely gone. I ran back to the

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220 Bob Knight's Diary schoolroom, and when Prof. Kane was not looking, I whispered to Jerry, They 're gone! Jerry put up his hand, saying, '' Please may I leave the room ? '' Prof. Kane nodded his head, and Jerry skipped out of the room. When he came back there was fire in his eye. We did not tell the rest of the fellows till after school. None of us had to stay after school to study. At four o'clock we were at the barn, hid ing in the hay, waiting for the thief to bring back the fish-hooks and lines, just as he had done before. It was plaguy tiresome waiting, and we were just going to crawl out of the hay when we heard foot steps. I held my breath so as to hear better. Jerry and Tony were ready to pounce upon the thief, when who should walk into the barn but Poky. He did not come crawling along like a thief, but came whistling a merry tune, and dangling a long string of fish. He climbed up and put the hooks and lines in the box on the beam, then he began to count his fish. We fellows jumped out of the hay.

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Bob Knight's Diary 221 "Say, you rascal," cried Jerry, "where 've you been ? '' I 've been a-fishing," said Poky, holding up a long string of fish. Who said you might fish ? demanded Jerry, walking up to Poky. No one," said Poky. Don't you know we fellows are forbidden to fish ? '' Jerry asked. "Naw," replied Poky. Well, we are; and I 'd like to know what right you have to use our hooks and lines ? '' Jerry said. I put them back every time," said Poky. "They don't belong to you, you little cub," said Jerry, raising his arm. Jerry, stop! cried Sam. Don't strike Poky." Jerry cooled down, and we talked the matter over, and decided to let Poky off. We like fishing so well ourselves we forgave Poky. But we told him not to let Polly see the fish, for if she saw them, he would catch a cuffing. Poky took our advice and hid the string of fish in Doll's water-trough. On the way to the house, Jerry said : I don't blame Poky for taking the fish-hooks and lines. I 'd do the same thing myself, if I had a chance." So would I," every one of us shouted. While we were studying in the evening, we

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222 Bob Knight's Diary snickered every time we thought of Poky and the string of fish. Of course, Poky did not know he was doing anything wrong. Tuesday, May ro. This morning when we sat down to the table there was a big platter of fish in front of Prof. Kane. Hollo! said Jerry, who 's been a-fishing ? Prof. Kane said that he did not know where the fish came from. But we fellows did. After break fast we went out in the yard and called to Poky. He came running from the kitchen. How did you like the fish ? he whispered. "Fine," said Jerry. Poky doubled up like a jack-knife, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Tell us what you 're laughing about," Dick said. Polly found the fish in the trough, and brought them to the house,'' said Poky, '' and I told her I 'd clean them. She wondered and wondered where they came from; but I kept mum." Poky, you deceived Polly! Jerry exclaimed. Just then Polly called Poky, and he strutted off toward the kitchen. We yelled: "Who 's all right? Poky 's all right Rah, rah, rah Poky

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Bob Knight's Diary 223 We fellows did not want to tell on Poky, for fear Polly would cuff him. Wednesday, May II. It rained hard to-day. I had to stay after school to study my Latin. Thursday, May 12. It did not rain to-day. Poky showed me a bird's nest in the garden. Don't tell the fellows," said he, specially Jerry." I promised not to tell. It 's a secret between you and me. Don't tell a single boy about it," said Poky. I promised again not to tell. I showed it to you because you 're my brother," said Poky, trotting off toward the kitchen door. I did not have any fun after school, because I had to study till supper-time. I received a letter from Joe. He has not found a dog yet. Friday, May 13. Nothing of importance happened to-day, except one of the twins, I think it was Ray, fell down-stairs. It was not Poky's fault, for he was washing dishes in the kitchen when Ray took the tumble.

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224 Bob Knight's Diary Saturday, May 14. This morning we went to Owl Creek to have some fun with The Bullfrog; but the sun was so hot that we all went in swimming. J erry and Tony are good swimmers; Dick, Ben, Sam, and I can swim fairly well; but Otto and Harry scramble around like frogs. When we got down where the w ater was the deepest, Otto was frightened, and yelled for dear life: "Help, help, help, boys! I'm drowning!" Jerry swam to him and towed him ashore. We all laughed when we saw Otto safe on land. He would not go in the water again. We were late for dinner, and Polly gave us a big scolding. In the afternoon there was a thundershower, so we did not go to the creek again. We stayed in the schoolroom and played checkers. Otto can play checkers better than he can swim. Sunday, May 15. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson was cross; I guess she had a headache. In the afternoon I wrote to Uncle Ralph and asked

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Bob Knight's Diary 225 him for a suit of summer clothes. I almost roasted to death to-day in my winter clothes. I hope he will send them quick. Monday, May 16. Nothing of importance happened to-day, except Jerry and Tony had a fight, but they soon made up and were good friends again. I don't know what the row was about, but I guess Jerry called Tony names. Tuesday, May 17. After school Dick and I went to the Hermit's. He was away, but we found Pussy sitting _on the roof of the hut. She knew me and ran down to be petted. Her kittens were playing in the bushes near the hut. They have grown a good deal. We did not stay because it began to rain. Dick and I scudded back through the woods. Wednesday, May 18. Otto missed in arithmetic to-day and had to stay after school for the first time this year. He was terribly cut up over it. None of the other fellows had to stay, and we snickered as we passed out of the room. We went to Owl Creek and had a jolly time with The Bullfrog. When Vfe got back, Otto was riding his wheel. Hollo, smarty," cried Jerry. 15

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226 Bob Knight's Diary Otto stuck up his nose, and whizzed down the hill and across the meadow out of sight. Jerry declared he would thrash him, but I guess he forgot it, for I saw Jerry and Otto swapping cake and glasses of milk at the supper-table; and in the evening they were studying out of the same book. Thursday, May 19. This morning Poky told me he was going a-fishing again. But I told him to let those hooks and lines alone, and keep away from the canal. All right, Bob," said Poky, I '!l take your advice, 'cause you 're my brother. And away he skipped to take care of Roy and Ray. They are growing like weeds, and they can stand up by taking hold of the chairs. Poky and Mrs. Kane are very proud of them. Friday, May 20. My summer suit came this afternoon. I put it on as soon as I got it, because I was so warm. The fellows say that the coat is a good fit. Poky has put away his winter suit, because in summer he wears only overalls and a straw hat. I a $5.00 bill in the right-hand pocket of my trousers. Uncle Ralph is all right! Saturday, May 21. This morning we went down to Poplarport, and on the way there we saw all the barns and fences

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Bob Knight's Diary pasted over with circus posters. We were wild with excitement, for Tony said that it was Victor Hinsdill's circus. The circus will be here next Saturday. We did not spend a nickel at Cheap John's, because we want to go to the circus. We came straight home and went to Owl Creek to row in The Bullfrog. Some of the fellows went in wading, but I did not, because I want to keep my new clothes clean for the circus. We talked about the circus all day long. Sunday, May 22. We all went to church and Sunday-school. I gave IO cents. I think Miss Wilson noticed my new clothes, for she smiled very sweetly when she said, Good-morning, Bob." It rained hard in the afternoon. We stayed in doors, reading and writing. It was very difficult for me to do anything, because I kept thinking about Victor Hinsdill and the circus. I wrote to Uncle Ralph and thanked him for my new clothes and the $s.oo. I went to bed early. Monday, May 23. After school Tony called me away from the rest of the fellows and asked me to go down to the fence where the circus posters are. On the way there he said: '' Bob, I have n't forgotten that circus invitation; but I 'm terribly hard up. I haven't a cent to my name."

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228 Bob Knight's Diary That 's all right. I 've money to pay my own way in," I replied. Tony said: Of course I can get in free, and may be I can sneak you in too, for I want to keep my promise to you.'' Don't worry about that," said I. When we got to the circus posters, he pointed to one of the pictures, saying: That 's my mother." What! That dancing girl ? I exclaimed. '' Yes. She looks like a girl in those short skirts, but she 's my mother," Tony proudly said. She 's as pretty as a doll," said I, looking closely at the picture. "And this man is my father," said Tony, pointing to a picture on one corner of the fence. '' Gee whiz! I cried, has n't he got muscle!" Tony stepped back a few feet from the posters and looked at the pictures of his pretty mother and his strong father with a good deal of pride. I felt proud too,. because Tony is my friend.

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Bob Knight's Diary 229 On the way back to the school, he whispered : Don't tell the other fellows about my father and mother, for they may plague me." I won't tell," I promised. All night I dreamed of Tony's parents and the circus. Tuesday, May 24. I missed in arithmetic and had to stay after school. I was terribly disappointed, because I wanted to go to Owl Creek with the fellows. When Poky came in to sweep the room, he tackled me for a ticket to the circus. Say, brother Bob, ain't I going to the circus ? he asked. Certainly," said I. '' Well, where am I going to get a ticket ? '' he asked. Can't you buy it ? I asked, just in fun. "No, I can't," said he. "And I think you are a nice brother to let me stay home from a circus, when I never saw a circus in my life." I '11 buy a ticket for you, brother John, sure pop! '' I told him. Poky is always pleased when I call him brother John, so to-day he was twice pleased : once for the ticket to the circus, and once for being called brother John. And he said:

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230 Bob Knight's Diary Thanks, brother Bob; you 're the best boy I ever knew.'' When the fellows got back from Owl Creek, they said that they had seen a big black snake. I was dreadfully sorry that I was not with them, for I have not seen a black snake since last summer. Wednesday, May 25. Dick and Sam were at Poplarport this afternoon, and they heard that there is going to be a parade on next Monday, Memorial Day. All the Port fel lows are to march. Dick, Sam, and I asked Prof. Kane to let us march in the procession, and he said that he would think about it. We are crazy to be in the procession, but we fear the Professor won't let us. Thursday, May 26. Tony and I slipped away after school and went to look at the circus posters again. Tony told me a lot about the men and the animals. To hear him tell about the circus is almost as good as going to the circus. I am tremendously fond of Tony. Friday, May 27. The circus arrived to-day. We wanted to go down to the station to see it come in, but Prof. Kane would not let us. And he also told us we could not march in the procession on Memorial

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Bob Knight's Diary Day. We got together out in the yard to rage and fume because we cannot march in the Poplarport procession. But we did not feel angry very long, for who should come into the yard but our old friend, Victor Hinsdill. Hollo, chappies said he. Don't you want to go to the circus to-morrow ? '' Yes, yes, yes! '' we cried. All right, here are eight tickets. Come and see me do the tumbling act," he told us, clapping Tony on the shoulder. We thanked him for the tickets, and said that we would be on time, so as to get a front seat. After Victor had gone Poky came running after me, crying: Bob, oh, brother Bob, where 's my circus ticket ? '' I '11 buy it when we get to the circus to-mor row," I told him. I feel very generous since Uncle Ralph is so generous with me. We went to bed early to kill time, we are so anxious for to-morrow to get here. Saturday, May 28. We were up at sunrise. We had a game of ball before breakfast. After breakfast we wanted to go to the circus grounds, but Prof. Kane would not let us go. Of course he let Tony go to see his mother

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232 Bob Knight's Diary and father. The rest of us went to Owl Creek, and went in swimming, so we would be nice and clean for the circus. When we got back to the school Tony was there, and he exclaimed when he saw us: '' Boys, the show is first-class, and my mother and father are the star performers. And Victor Hinsdill is as nimble as a grasshopper. His rheumatism is all gone.'' Goody, goody! we cried. Tony told a lot more about the circus, but I did not stay to hear it, because I went to wash Poky, so he would be clean for the circus. Polly gave us an early dinner, and we started for the circus grounds, yelling: "Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Fellows of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang Who 's all right? Victor Hinsdill is all right Rah, rah, rah Victor Hinsdill Before we had gotten half-way there we heard the band, so we started on a dead run. I took hold of Poky's hand to help him along, because he can't run so fast as we boys can. I bought his ticket, and we all went into the animal tent, and saw a lot of elephants, camels, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and some other kinds of animals, whose names I don't know how to spell. We wanted to stay a long while

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Bob Knight ; s Diary 233 to look at the wild animals, but we feared we would not get a front seat; so we went into the other tent, and got front seats next to the ring. There was a big crowd of Poplarport people there. A lot of the boys sat right alongside of us. Jerry came pretty near getting in a scrape with one of them. They called names back and forth, but they did not come to blows. They were just ready for a rough-andtumble fight when the circus began and put an end to the fight. The band played a jolly tune, then the grand parade marched round and round the ring. Tony's mother rode a milk-white horse, and his father rode a bay horse. Then came the trained ponies. Of course the clown was in the ring all the time, tumbling around in the sawdust and saying all sorts of funny things. He winked his silly eyes at us every time he came near us; and we laughed at all his jokes. When Tony's mother rode the white horse bareback, how we fellows did clap! I saw her smile at Tony several times. His father held five men and a horse on a platform, above his head, and broke a bar of iron in two with one twist of his

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234 Bob Knight's Diary strong hands. We fellows cried Bravo, bravo, bravo! '' and he bowed to us. Poky got so ex cited that he nearly tumbled head first into the saw dust. I had to hold tight to his sleeve. The best thing of the whole show was a dancing bear. He is the blackest bear I ever saw His name is Pompey. After the show was over we fellows went into a tent and saw Pompey again. He shook hands with us, and stood on his head to make us laugh. That bear was immense. On the way back to the school the boys talked about the animals, and the different tricks and performances, but I could think of noth ing but Pompey. I wish I owned that bear; I would have a circus every day, and let all the boys in free. At the supper-table we told Prof. Kane about the circus, and we asked him if we might go again in the evening, but he said No." We were pro voked, because we had enough money to buy our tickets with. Of course the Professor let Tony go, because his parents are in the show. Prof. Kane sent us off to bed early. While we were undressing we planned to get up early in the morning and go to the circus grounds and say good-bye to Victor and Pompey.

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Bob Knight's Diary 235 Sunday May 29. Tony did not come back last night, but we thought we should see him at the circus grounds. We were up before daybreak, and stole quietly out of the house, and ran all the way to the circus grounds. Cracky when we got there, nothing was left of the circus but the sawdust where the ring had been, and the scattered straw where the animal tent was pitched. The whole show had stolen away in the night; and Tony had gone with it. We were awfully disappointed, for we expected to see Victor once more, to thank him for our tickets. We walked s lowly back to the school. At breakfast, Prof. Kane told us that Tony had run away with the circus. Then the Professor gave us a tremendous lecture on appreciating a thorough education. He was disgusted because Tony preferred a circus to book learning. It does not matter what Prof. Kane says against Tony, we fellows think Tony a capital good fellow, and we are not going back on him. We all went to church and Sunday-school. During church I could think of nothing but Tony. And in Sunday-school when Miss Wilson asked why Tony was absent, I could not answer. Jerry mustered up courage, and said that Tony had gone away with his parents. Jerry was a good boy not to tell that Tony had gone away with the circus. We had custard-pie for dinner, and I was so sorry

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Bob Knight's Diary Tony was not with us, for he is so fond of that kind of pie. I hope he will have lots of custard-pies during the summer. After dinner we were going for a walk, but it rained. I wrote a letter to Uncle Ralph, hinting very plainly that I wanted him to invite me to visit him this summer. All the boys are telling what they are going to do this summer, and it makes me homesick for a home. I hope I shall hear favorably from Uncle Ralph. Memorial Day. To-day is a holiday, but we missed Tony so much that we could not play ball or any other game. As the Poplarport procession would not pass by till eleven o'clock, we went to Owl Creek. While there we planned to hiss the Poplarport boys when the procession goes by. We hurried back and gathered a lot of stones and chunks of earth to sling at them. We stationed ourselves on the fence to watch for them. We did not have the sons of veterans, the firemen, and a dozen wagons filled with flowers for

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Bob Knight's Diary 237 the soldiers' graves. On the tail-end of the proces sion came the Poplarport boys. We fellows were all ready to give our school yell, and to sling stones and chunks of earth; but when we saw how soldier like those boys marched, we dropped our stones, yelling: Biff Bang Boom Snort Rah, rah, rah Poplarport And every one of those boys took off their caps to us. It was lucky we did not throw stones, for Prof. Kane was watching us all the time. When we went back to the school he complimented us on our good behavior, and then played ball with us all the afternoon. He acted just like a boy. I guess for once he forgot he was a teacher; anyhow, he acted so. Tuesday, May 31. It was pretty hard for us to study to-day, seeing Tony's vacant seat all the time, and remembering the fun we had at the circus. I missed in history and spelling, and had to study till supper-time. Wednesday, June I. We are cramming for our exams., so we don't have time for fun. I am studying like a good fel low. It makes my headache. I don't like it.

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Bob Knight's Diary Thursday, June 2. I am trying to stuff my head full of history, but it won't stick there. I want to stand high in my exams., or Uncle Ralph will think he has wasted a lot of money on me. I think if he were my father, he would know that a boy can't learn everything the teacher gives him to learn; but as he is only my uncle, he does not understand boys. Consequently, I have to cram like a good fellow. Otto is so smart he does not have to cram. Lucky fellow! Friday, June 3. I received a letter from Uncle Ralph this morn ing, telling me to remain at the school all summer. Now if that is not just like a bachelor uncle! After reading the letter, I went out to the barn and lay on the hay for a long time. I am perfectly miser able. I shall be glad when I am old enough to be a hermit or a clown. then when I get too shall be a hermit. I am going to be a clown first, old and stiff for tumbling, I Saturday, June 4. This morning I received a letter from my friend Joe, asking me to come to see him when school closes. Rah, rah, rah! Bang! I sat right down and wrote to him I would come next Saturday. I am so happy I want to yell all the time. I told the

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Bob Knight's Diary 239 boys about Joe's invitation, and all the fellows asked me to visit them during the summer. Rah, rah, rah! Bang! In the afternoon we had a row in The Bullfrog, and I believe I was the jolliest fellow in the boat. And I went to bed the happiest fellow in the world. Sunday, June 5. We all went to church and Sunday-school. Miss Wilson was not there; Mr. J. Hemingway Hawkins taught our class. We told him how much we had enjoyed The Bullfrog, and we thanked him for help ing us build it. Every time he began to explain the Sunday-school lesson, we began talking about The Bullfrog. He got very, very cross before school was out. In the afternoon I wrote to Uncle Ralph to tell him that I was going to see Joe. And I wrote to Joe to thank him again for inviting me; and I told him I would be there on Saturday, sure pop! After supper we fellows went down in the meadow and gathered a bunch of wild-roses; then we went down to Miss Wilson's house to bid her good-bye. When we got there the window-shade was up, and we peeked in at the window. She looked very pretty, sitting by a table, reading. We wanted to go in, but none of us would take the lead, so we wrote on a card :

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Bob Knight's Diary GOOD-BYE, MISS WILSON, FROM YOUR SUNDAY-SCHOOL BOYS. We tied it tied the roses on Then we scudded [ the roses, then the door knob. for the school. Monday, June 6. I was examined in arithmetic to-day. Standing, 95. Cracky it was hard. I am glad Tony was not here. He always hated ar:ithmetic. Tuesday, June 7. I was examined in English grammar and rhetoric. Standing, 95. I think rhetoric and composition a jolly study. After school we fellows went to Owl Creek to row in The Bullfrog. There was a thunder-shower, and we scudded back to the school like sixty. Wednesday, June 8. I was examined in Latin. Standing, 90. The questions were terribly hard. It was lucky that Tony skipped before the exams. came on. Tony is a lucky chap.

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Bob Knight's Diary I was also examined in history. Standing, 85. Plague take history! I never can remember dates. When I saw the questions on the blackboard, I wished I had run away with the circus. Thursday, June 9. I was examined in geography. Standing, 90. And in spelling. Standing, 95. Good-bye, school-books. This afternoon Jerry called us together, and said: Say, boys, to-morrow is our last day at Poplar Hill. Let 's have a big racket. Prof. Kane won't have a chance to shut us up in the garret, for we go home Saturday." What shall we do ? Dick wanted to know. Go to the haunted house and scare somebody," Jerry proposed. "No," said Sam," let's have a big bonfire." We got Prof. Kane's permission to build one on the south side of the house. Then we went to the woods, and worked till dark, gathering dry old sticks and branches. We are going to have the bonfire to-morrow night. We were all tired out when we went to bed. Friday, June IO. We had a jolly time packing our clothes and 16

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Bob Knight's Diary books. Otto and Harry folded their coats and trousers very carefully, but the rest of us fellows tumbled our clothes into our trunks helter-skelter. I packed my trunk in a jiffy. Afterwards we had a big pillow-fight, but it did not last long, for Polly came up-stairs and squelched it. In the afternoon we went to the woods to gather more wood for the bonfire, and to take a farewell ride in The Bullfrog. Poky was with us, -and we gave him the key to the padlock, and asked him to take charge of the boat while we are away. He was tickled to death to do it. Poky is an honest fellow, and I am confident he will take good care of The Bullfrog. We also gave him our fish-hooks and lines. Poky will have many a jolly row, and catch many a string of fish during the summer. When we got back to the school we arranged the pile of wood on the top of the hill, but we did not light it till after supper. We had to wait a long time for the sun to go down. I thought night would never come. We had pretty hard work to behave ourselves at the supper-table. Prof. Kane called us to order a dozen times. I left all my rhubarb-sauce for Poky; so did Ben, and Dick, and Sam. When it was almost dark we lighted the bonfire.

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Bob Knight's Diary 243 Kii, yii, yii, yii how it did blaze! I bet all the boys in Poplarport saw it. We kept it a-blazing for an hour. We piled on the wood, and poked it, and shook it up, till the flames almost reached the sky. I wished Tony was here, he is so very fond of bonfires. When the fire was at its height we had an Indian war-dance around it. Then we stood still, a little to one side of the fire, because the heat from it burned our faces, and made a pledge. THE PLEDGE Frst, To be always loyal to Poplar Hill. Secondly, To be true friends all our lives. Tht'rdly, To be clowns or hermits when we arrive at the age of 21. Fourthly, To be brothers to Poky. Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang When the blaze began to die down, we sat on the ground around the fire and told ghost stories. Jerry

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244 Bob Knight's Diary told about being in the little red haunted house down by the canal. And he declared that he heard a ghost in the kitchen cupboard. "Jerry," said I, "where 's my diary?" Jerry hesitated a minute, then he said: Bob, I owe you an apology; and I 'm awfully sorry I lost your diary." Then I told the fellows about being in the kitchen cupboard in the haunted house and about finding my diary. Jerry exclaimed: Bob, do you mean to say you were the ghost in that cupboard ? I 'm the ghost," said I. I '11 be thumped! You 've spoiled my only ghost story," Jerry said. And he never spoke another word the rest of the evening. When the fire went out, we went into the house. Prof. Kane let us make a big racket, because it was our last night here. We had a pillow-fight, turned somersaults and stood on our heads, and yelled our school yell till we were hoarse. And all night long I thought I was standing on my head. Saturday, June II. We got up at sunrise, and went to the woods to bid the Hermit good-bye. He was at home; so were Pussy and her four kittens, but Tige was off hunting for his breakfast.

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Bob Knight's Diary 245 Where 's that black-eyed boy ? the Hermit asked, looking among us for Tony. 0 h, he 's gone," Jerry replied. And we 're going this morning," Dick said. We 've come to bid you good-bye," said I. The Hermit took off his hat and shook hands with each one of us, saying: Well, little shavers, I shall miss you. Good bye, good-bye. Don't forget the old man in the woods.'' '' We won't, we won't,'' all the fellows answered. Then we gave him some money for tobacco. You 'll take good care of Pussy, I know," said I. Pussy 's my best friend, and, of course, she has first choice of everything," the Hermit replied. We shook hands again with our old friend, and started for Mr. Ashford's. We found him in the garden, pulling weeds. Well, well, boys, I have n't seen you in a month of Sundays,'' he exclaimed, shaking hands with us. When we told him we had come to say good-bye, he said that he was sorry to have us go away. I told him to look a little after Poky, and give him a good time once in a while, and he promised to do so. Mr. Ashford is a tip-top good man. When we left him we yelled :

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Bob Knight's Diary "Who 's all right? Mr. and Mrs. Ashford are all right! Rah, rah, rah Bang Polly gave us a rousing good breakfast,-ham and eggs, and strawberries and cream. After breakfast we went to the kitchen to bid her good-bye. We told her she was a tip-top good cook, and we shouted: We shall never forget Polly, no, never. Polly, oh, Polly! She wiped her eyes with her apron, saying: Good luck to you, my boys, and may you all live to come back next September." When we said good-bye to Poky, he cried fit to break his heart. Brace up, brother John. Every week I 'm going to write you a long letter," I told him, pat ting him on the back. Ain't you foolin' ? he asked, smiling and cry ing at the same time. Honor bright! said I. And here 's a dollar to buy gum with. And I '11 send you some gum money every week. And be sure to getyour hair cut every month, too." Say, boys, have you got any lead-pencils you don't want ? Poky asked us. We unloaded our pockets and gave him a dozen pencils. I gave him all of mine but one.

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Bob Knight's Diary 247 Then we went to the library and bade Mrs. Kane and the twins good-bye. Roy and Ray have put on short clothes and raised a lot of teeth since last September. At nine o'clock we fellows piled into the wagon with Prof. Kane; and Doll started on a trot down the hill, Rover following under the wagon. Poky walked alongside the wagon till we reached the main road, then he shouted, Good-bye, boys, specially Bob," and turned and went back. I watched him as far as I could see him, for I love my brother John. Jerry and I sat side by side on a trunk, and as we rode along, I handed him my jack-knife, saying: Jerry, old boy, take this knife to remember me by." '' Do you mean it ? '' he asked. Of course I do," said I. Jerry put the knife into his pocket, and whispered: Bob, I '11 never forget you."

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Bob Knight's Diary When we passed Cheap John's store, he was standing in the door, and we shouted: Good-bye, Cheap John, and good luck to your business! '' The little man laughed, and waved his hand to us. When we reached the station we jumped out of the wagon, checked our trunks, and said '' Goodbye to Prof. Kane, Doll, and Rover. When the train came we went aboard, yelling: Kii, yii, yii, yii Tip-top We 're the Jolly Boys of Poplar Hill! Sure pop! Rah, rah, rah Bang


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