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BY J. G. AUSTIN,
AUTHOR OF "DORA DARLING, OR THE DAUGHTER
OF THE REGIMENT," &C.
CHAPTER I. SUNSHINE
CHAPTER II. THE LITTLE WIFE
CHAPTER III. CHERRYTOE
CHAPTER IV. THE CHILDREN OF MERRIGOLAND
CHAPTER V. THE RUNAWAY
CHAPTER VI. MOTHER WINCH
CHAPTER VII. TEDDY'S LITTLE SISTER
CHAPTER VIII. THE FAYVER
CHAPTER IX. THE NIGHT-WATCH
CHAPTER X. THE EMPTY NEST
CHAPTER XI. A TRACE AND A SEARCH
CHAPTER XII. TEDDY'S TEMPTATION
CHAPTER XIII. THE CACHUCA
CHAPTER XIV. GIOVANNI AND PANTALON
CHAPTER XV. THE PINK-SILK DRESS
CHAPTER XVI. BEGINNING A NEW LIFE
CHAPTER XVII. WHOLESALE MURDER
CHAPTER XVIII. DORA DARLING
CHAPTER XIX. A CHAMBER OF MEMORIES
CHAPTER XX. A LETTER AND AN OFFER
CHAPTER XXI. GIOVANNI'S ROOM
CHAPTER XXII. THE CONFESSION
CHAPTER XXIII. TEDDY LOSES AND FINDS HIS HOME
CHAPTER XXIV. MR. BURROUGHS'S BUSINESS
CHAPTER XXV. MAN VERSUS DOG
CHAPTER XXVI. MRS. GINNISS HAS A VISITOR
CHAPTER XXVII. TEDDY FINDS A NEW PATRON
CHAPTER XXVIII. WELCOME HOME
CHAPTER XXIX. LIFE AT OUTPOST
CHAPTER XXX. KITTY IN THE WOODS
CHAPTER XXXI. THE FOX UNDER THE ROBE
CHAPTER XXXII. THE PAINTER AND UNCLE 'SIAH'S HARNAH
CHAPTER XXXIII. A GLEAM OF DAWN
CHAPTER XXXIV. THE FIRST CHANCE
CHAPTER XXXV. THE SECOND CHANCE
CHAPTER XXXVI. TREASURE-TROVE
CHAPTER XXXVII. TEDDY'S PRIVILEGE
CHAPTER XXXVIII. WHAT DORA SAID
CHAPTER XXXIX. A SURPRISE FOR MRS. GINNISS
CHAPTER XL. THE WEDDING-DAY
CHAPTER XLI. KARL TO DORA
"The last day of October!" said the Sun to himself,--"the last day of
my favorite month, and the birthday of my little namesake! See if I
don't make the most of it!"
So the Sun called to all the winds and all the breezes, who, poor
things! had but just gone to bed after a terrible night's work,
ordering them to get up directly, and sweep the sky as clear as a
bell; and bid all the clouds, whether big white mountains, little
pinky islands, sweeping mares'-tails, or freckled mackerel-back, to
put themselves out of the way, and keep out of it until November;
when, as the Sun remarked with a sigh, they would have it all their
"And as soon as that job's done," continued he, "you may go to bed
again in the Mountains of the Moon; for you will only disturb me if
you are about."
So the winds, grumbling and sighing a little, went to their work;
and the Sun, after a good dip in the Atlantic Ocean, began to roll
up the eastern sky, flecking the waves with diamond spray, touching
up the gay-colored leaves still clinging to the forest-trees,
blazing on the town and city clocks to let every one know how late
it was, and finally thrusting his saucy glances into all the windows
to see how many persons had needed him.
"Come, come, you city-folks!" cried the Sun. "Your neighbors in the
country were up before I was, and have eaten their breakfasts, and
half cleared it away by this time; and here are you just beginning
to dress yourselves! Hurry up, I say! hurry up! It is the last day
of October, don't you know? and to-morrow will be November.
"But, at the corner house of a handsome square, the Sun found
himself better satisfied; for through the windows of the dining-room
he saw a lady and gentleman seated at the table, having apparently
almost finished their breakfast.
"That is better," remarked the Sun: and, thrusting one of his
slender golden fingers through the window, he touched the stag's
head upon the cover of the silver coffee-pot; glanced off, and
sparkled in the cut glass of the goblets and egg-glasses; flickered
across the white and gilt china; pierced the fiery heart of the
diamond upon the first finger of the lady's left hand, and then,
creeping swiftly up her white throat, played joyously in her golden
curls, and even darted into her soft blue eyes, making them sparkle
as brilliantly as the diamond.
"The sun shines directly in your face, Fanny," said Mr. Legrange,
admiring the color in his wife's hair. "Shall I lower the shade?"
"Oh, no! thank you. I never want the sunshine shut out," replied
she, moving her chair a little.
"Not to-day of all days in the year, I suppose; not on the birthday
of our little Sunshine. And where is she?" asked Mr. Legrange, half
turning his chair from the table to the fire, and unfolding the damp
newspaper beside his plate.
"I told Susan to send her down as soon as she had done her
breakfast. Hark! I hear her." And the Sun, drawing his finger across
the mother's lips, helped them to so bright a smile, that her
"I am afraid we have more than our share of Sunshine, or at least
that I have, little wife."
The bright smile grew so bright as the lady bent a little toward her
husband, that the Sun whispered,--
"There's no need of sun here, I plainly see," but, for all that,
crept farther into the room; while the door opened, and in skipped a
little girl, who might have been taken for the beautiful lady at the
head of the table suddenly diminished to childish proportions, and
dressed in childish costume, but with all her beauty intensified by
the condensation: for the blue eyes were as large and clear, and
even deeper in their tint; the clustering hair was of a brighter
gold; and the fair skin pearlier in its whiteness, and richer in its
rosiness; while the gay exuberance of life, glowing and sparkling
from every curve and dimple of the child's face and figure, was,
even in the happy mother's face, somewhat dimmed by the shadows that
still must fall upon every life past its morning, be it never so
happy, or never so prosperous.
"Morning, mamma and papa. It's my birthday; and I'm six years
old,--six, six years old! One, two, three, four, five, six years old!
Susan told them all to me, and Susan said she guessed papa didn't
forgotten it. She didn't forgotten it; and see!"
The child held up a gay horn of sugar-plums fluttering with ribbons,
and then, hugging it to her breast with one hand, plunged the other
in, and offered a little fistful of the comfits, first to her
father, and then to her mother. Both smilingly declined the treat,
explaining that they had but just done breakfast: and the young
lady, dropping some back into the horn, thrust the rest into her own
mouth, saying, "So has I; but I like candy all the day."
"Come here, you little Sunshine," said Mr. Legrange, drawing her
toward him. "So Susie thought I hadn't forgotten your birthday, eh?
Well, do you know what they always do to people on their birthdays?"
"Give 'em presents," replied the child promptly, as she desperately
swallowed the mouthful of candy.
"Ho, ho! that's it is it? No; but, besides that, they always pull
their ears as many times as they are years old. Now, then, don't you
wish I had forgotten it?"
Sunshine's eyes grew a little larger, and travelled swiftly toward
her mother's face, coming back to her father's with a smile.
"I don't believe you'd hurt me much, papa," said she, nestling close
to his side.
The father folded her tightly in his arms, lifting her to a seat
upon his knee.
"I don't believe I would, little Sunshine. Well, then, sometimes,
instead of pinches, they give little girls as many kisses as they
are years old. How will that do?"
The rosy mouth, gathering for a kiss, answered without words; but
Mr. Legrange, taking the dimpled face between his hands, said,--
"No, no! we must go on deliberately. One for the forehead, two for
the eyes,--that makes three; one for each cheek makes five; and now
the last and best for the lips makes six. Next year, there will be
another for the chin, and, after that, one in each ear: won't that
"And mamma? Hasn't Sunshine any kisses for her this morning?" asked
The child slid from her father's knee to the floor, and, with her
arms round her mother's neck, whispered,--
"I'll give mamma all these kisses papa just gave me, and some more
And for a minute or two it would have been hard to say to which head
the showery golden curls belonged, or which pair of lips was the
kisser's, and which the kissed; while the Sun fairly danced with
delight as he wrapped the two in a beautiful golden mantle woven of
his choicest beams.
Mr. Legrange looked on, laughing, for a moment, and then said,--
"So Susan told you people get presents on their birthdays, did she,
"Yes, papa;" and the child, half turning from her mother, but still
clinging round her neck, looked at her father roguishly.
"And I guess you knew it before, and didn't forgotten about it, did
you, papa?" asked she.
"Well, yes, I believe I have heard something of the kind," said Mr.
Legrange, gravely considering; "but, dear me! did you expect me to
make you a present?"
'Toinette's face grew rather blank; and a sudden impulse turned down
the corners of her mouth with a little tremble across the lips. But
the instinct of native refinement and delicacy overcame the
disappointment; and, coming to her father's side, the child put her
hand in his with a brave little smile, saying,--
"It's no matter, papa dear. I've got ever so many pretty things up
in the nursery; and Susan gave me the candy."
Mr. Legrange looked at his wife.
"Your own child, Fanny. O Sunshine, Sunshine! what are you coming to
by and by? But bless me! what is this in the pocket of my
dressing-gown? Let me take it out, lest it should hurt you when I
set you in my lap again. Funny-looking little box, isn't it?"
As he spoke, Mr. Legrange laid upon the table a long, flat box of
red morocco, with some gilt letters upon the top.
"Yes, papa. What's in the box?" asked 'Toinette, still with a little
"What do you think, Sunshine?"
"I guess it's some cigars, papa."
"It would make a good cigar-case, to be sure; but you know I have
one already, and mamma says I ought not to have any. Let us peep in,
and see what else the box would be good for besides cigars."
He unfastened the little hooks holding down the cover as he spoke,
and placed the casket in 'Toinette's hands. She raised the lid, and
uttered a low cry; while her face flushed scarlet with surprise and
Upon the white satin lining, lay two bracelets of coral cameos,
linked with gold, and fastened by a broad golden clasp.
"Are they pretty?" asked Mr. Legrange, smiling at the eager little
face upraised to his.
"Oh! they are lovely pretty. O papa! oh! is they?"--
"Yes they are yours, Sunshine. Mamma said you had been begging for
some bracelets like Minnie Wall's; and so, as I had heard that
people sometimes liked presents on their birthdays, and as I had not
forgotten when Sunshine's came, I thought I would bring her a pair."
The excess of 'Toinette's rapture would not allow of speech; but
Mrs. Legrange, peeping over her shoulder, exclaimed,--
"Why, Paul! those are not what I asked you to get. I told you common
coral beads, strung on elastic, and fastened with a little snap."
"But these were so much prettier, my dear, and will be of some value
when she grows up, as the others would not. At any rate, they are
marked: so we must keep them now. See!"
Mr. Legrange touched a tiny spring; and the upper part of the clasp,
opening upon a hinge, showed a plate beneath, engraved with the
name, "Antoinette Legrange."
"Yes: they are certainly very handsome; and 'Toinette must be as
careful of them as possible. They will be just right to loop up her
sleeves while she is so little, and, when she is older, to wear as
bracelets," said Mrs. Legrange admiringly.
"I may wear them this afternoon at my party, mayn't I, mamma?" asked
'Toinette, trying to clasp one upon her little arm.
"Oh, we are to have a party, are we!" exclaimed Mr. Legrange raising
his eyebrows in dismay.
"Just half a dozen children to play with 'Toinette, and to go home
after a nursery-tea," explained his wife.
"Oh, well! I shall be a little late to dinner, very likely: so it
will all be over when I arrive. Shall I bring Tom Burroughs home
with me to dine?"
"I want Cousin Tommy to come to my party, papa. Tell him to come,
please, and Sunshine's love."
"Your party, chick? Why! he would be Gulliver among the Liliputians.
He would tread on a dozen of the guests at the first step, and never
"I don't think he would, papa; and he's my little wife, and I want
him," persisted 'Toinette.
"No, no, dear," interposed Mrs. Legrange. "Cousin Tom wouldn't want
to come, and my little girl mustn't tease."
"No, mamma; but he's my little wife," murmured 'Toinette, going back
to her bracelets with a shadow of disappointment in the curve of her
"If mamma is willing, I will ask Cousin Tom, and he can do as he
likes about accepting," said the fond father, watching his
Mamma smiled roguishly, murmuring,--"'So long as a woman's possessed
of a tear, She'll always have her own way;'" and then, added aloud,--
"Just as you like, of course, papa; but here is Susan, ready to take
'Toinette for her walk."
The dining-room door opened softly, and a fresh, pretty-looking
nursery-maid stepped in, saying
"Is Miss 'Toinette ready to come up stairs, ma'am?"
Yes, Susan. You may take the bracelets, pet; but, when you go out,
leave them in the drawer of your bureau."
"Yes, mamma. Good-by, mamma and papa; and don't forget my little
"I won't forget, Sunshine," said Mr. Legrange, laughing, as he
followed the child and nurse to the door, and watched them up
THE LITTLE WIFE.
THREE o'clock came at last, although 'Toinette had become fully
persuaded it never would; and the little guests arrived as
punctually as juvenile guests are apt to arrive. Later on in life,
people either expect less pleasure from meeting each other, or are
more willing to defer securing it; or perhaps it is that they are
willing to allow their friends the first chance of appropriating the
happiness in store for all. If none of these, what is the reason,
children, that, at grown parties, the struggle is to see who shall
arrive last, while at ours it is to see who shall come first?
'Toinette was dressed, and in the drawing-room ready to receive her
little friends, by half-past two; and very nice she looked in her
light-blue merino frock, with its pretty embroideries, her long
golden hair curled in the feathery ringlets Susan was so proud of
making, her sleeves looped up with new bracelets, and a little
embroidered handkerchief just peeping out of her pockets
Mrs. Legrange, who sat reading by the fire, watched with some
amusement and more anxiety the movements of the little beauty, who
walked slowly up and down the room, twisting her head to look now at
one shoulder and now at the other, now at the flow of her skirts
behind, and now at the dainty fit of her bronze cloth gaiter-boots.
At last, stopping before the long mirror, Miss 'Toinette began
practicing the courtesy she had learned at dancing-school, finishing
by throwing a kiss from the tips of her fingers to the graceful
little shadow in the mirror.
"She will be spoiled, entirely spoiled, before she is a year older,"
thought the mother anxiously. "She is so beautiful! and every one
tells her of it. What shall I do?"
But sometimes, when our task seems too difficult for us, God takes
it into his own hand, and does it in his own way, though that way to
us be strange and painful.
While Mrs. Legrange still hesitated whether to speak, and what to
say, the doorbell rang, and 'Toinette rushed away to meet her
friends, and take them to the dressing room, where they were to
leave their outside garments; and the mother laid aside her book,
and prepared to help in entertaining the little people.
Another ring at the bell; another troop of little feet, and peal of
merry voices; another and another; and, following the last, a firmer
step upon the stair, and the appearance in the drawing-room of a
tall, fine-looking young man, of twenty two or three years old, who
came forward, offering his hand to Mrs. Legrange.
"Why, Tom," said she, "did you really come?"
"As you see, Cousin Fanny. Paul gave me the invitation, with my
little wife's love; and how could I decline?"
"I am sure it is very good of you to come and help entertain; but I
am afraid it will be a sad bore. Miss Minnie Wall, the oldest of the
young ladies, is but just fourteen; and Bessie Rider, the youngest,
is not yet six."
"But I came to visit my little wife," persisted Mr. Burroughs,
"Here she is, then, with all the rest behind her;" and, as the
little hostess caught sight of her new guest, she flew toward him,
"Oh, my little wife has come!--my little, wife!"
Every one laughed, except the young man thus oddly addressed, who
gravely extended his hand, saying,--
"Miss 'Toinette, allow me to wish you many happy returns of this
'Toinette looked at him a moment in surprise, then, glancing at the
other guests, said innocently,--
"I guess you talk that way because the girls are here; but I like
the way you are always, best."
This time Tom laughed as loud as the rest, and, catching the child
in his arms, kissed her a dozen times, saying,--
"That is it, Sunshine. Let us be natural, and have a good time. Get
the table-cloth, and make an elephant of me."
"LET us have a dance!" exclaimed Minnie Wall, when all the games had
been played, and the little people stood for a moment, wondering
what they should do next.
"O Mrs. Legrange! will you play for us?"
"Certainly. What will you have, Minnie? But, in the first place, can
you all dance?"
"Yes'm, every one of us. Even 'Toinette and Bessie have learned at
their Kindergarten; and the rest of us all go to Mr. Papanti. O Mrs.
Legrange! last Saturday, when you let Susan bring 'Toinette to
dancing-school, I told Mr. Papanti what a pretty little dancer she
was; and he made her stand up, and she learned the cachuca with half
a dozen others of us; and he did laugh and bow so at her, you never
saw; and he called her enfant Cherrytoe, or something like that"--
"Cerito," suggested Mrs. Legrange, smiling.
"Yes'm, I guess that was it; and she learned it beautifully. Have
you seen her dance it?"
"Yes, the old gentleman called me Cherrytoe; and you must, mamma,
and every one, because I dance so pretty, with my little toes. Will
you call me Cherrytoe always, mamma?" asked 'Toinette, with such a
complacent delight in her own accomplishments, that her mother's
smile was sad as it was tender. But she felt that this was not the
time or place to reprove the vanity so rankly springing in the
child's heart; so she only said,--
"Mr. Papanti was in fun when he called you Cherrytoe, darling. She
was a woman who danced better than I hope you ever will. Now, who is
ready for Virginia reel?"
Tom Burroughs led Minnie Wall to the head of the set, other children
rushed for places, Mrs. Legrange seated herself at the piano, and
the merry dance went on; but, when it was over, Minnie Wall returned
to Mrs. Legrange's side, followed by two or three more, begging her
to play the cachuca, and see how nicely 'Toinette could dance it.
Half unwillingly the mother complied, and found really astonished as
she noticed the graceful evolutions and accurate time of the child,
who went through the intricate motions of the dance without a single
mistake, and, at the close, dropped her little courtesy, and kissed
her little hand, with the grace and self-possession of a danseuse.
The children crowded around her with a clamor of delight and
surprise; but the mother, anxiously watching her darling's flushed
face and sparkling eyes, whispered to her cousin, as he playfully
"Oh, don't, Tom! The child will be utterly ruined by so much
flattery and admiration. I feel very badly about it, I assure you."
"But she is absolutely so bewitching! How can we help admiring her?"
replied he, laughing.
"No: but it is wrong; it won't do," persisted Mrs. Legrange. "Just
see how excited and happy she looks because they are all admiring
her! You must help me to check it, Tom. Come, you are so famous for
stories, tell them one about a peacock, or something,--a story with a
moral about being vain, you know, only not too pointed."
"A pill with a very thick sugar-coat," suggested Mr. Burroughs, and,
as his cousin nodded, continued, in a louder voice,--
"A story, ladies and gentlemen! Who will listen to the humble
attempts of an unfortunate improvisator?"
"Yes, yes, a story; let us have a story!" shouted with one accord
both girls and boys; and with 'Toinette perched upon his knee, and
the rest grouped about him, Cousin Tom began the story of THE
CHILDREN OF MERRIGOLAND.
THE CHILDREN OF MERRIGOLAND.
ONCE upon a time, in the pleasant country of Merrigoland, all the
fathers and mothers, the uncles and aunts, the grandpas and
grandmas, in fact, all the grown-up people of every sort, were
invited to the governor's house to spend a week; and all the cooks
and chambermaids, and nurses and waiters, and coachmen and
gardeners, in Merrigoland, were invited to go and wait upon them: so
there was nobody left at home in any of the houses but the children;
not even the babies; for their mothers had carried them in their
arms to the governor's house.
"What fun!" shouted the children. "We can do every thing we have a
mind to now."
"We'll eat all the cake and pies and preserves and candies in the
country," said Patty Pettitoes.
"We'll swing on all the gates, and climb all the cherry-trees, and
chase all the roosters, and play ball against the parlor-windows,"
said Tom Tearcoat.
"We'll lie down on the sofas, and read stories all day, and go to
sleep before the fire at night," said Dowsabelle Dormouse.
"We'll dress up in all our mothers' clothes, and put on their rings
and breastpins," said little Finnikin Fine, pushing a chair in front
of the looking-glass, and climbing up to look at herself.
"We'll get our stockings dirty, and tear our frocks, and tumble our
hair, and not wash our hands at dinner-time, nor put on our
eating-aprons," said Georgie Tearcoat, Tom's younger sister.
"Yes, yes: we'll all do just as we like best for a whole week; for
father and mother said we might!" shouted all the children in
Merrigoland, and then laughed so loud, that the mice ran out of
their holes to see what was the matter; and the cats never noticed
them, they were so busy sticking the hair straight up on their
backs, and making their tails look like chimney-brushes; while all
the birds in the pleasant gardens of Merrigoland fluttered their
wings, and sung,--
"Only listen to the row!
What in the world's the matter now?
Tweet, tweet! Can't sing a note;
My heart's just jumping out of my throat.
What do you think?
Is the world very glad,
Or has it gone mad?"
So the children all did what they liked best, and frolicked in the
sunshine like a swarm of butterflies, or like several hundred little
kittens, until it came night; and then they went into the houses,
and put themselves to bed. But some of them, I am afraid, forgot to
say their prayers when their mammas were not there to remind them of
The next morning they all jumped up, and dressed very gayly (for
children do not often lie in bed), and came down to breakfast: but,
lo and behold! there was no breakfast ready, nor even any fire in
the ranges and cooking-stoves, and in some houses not even any
shavings and kindling wood to make a fire; and the cows, who were
mostly of a Scotch breed, came to the bars, calling,--
"Moo, moo, moo!
Who'll milk us noo?"
and the hens all stuck their heads through the bars of the
poultry-yard fence, and cried,--
Are you having your hair cut?
Can you give us some corn
This beautiful morn?"
and the pigeons came flying down to the back door, murmuring,--
"Coo, coo, coo!
Must we breakfast on dew?"
and all the little children began to cry as loud as they could, and call,--
"Mamma, mamma, mamma!
I want you and papa!"
So, altogether, the older children were just about crazy, and felt
as if they'd like to cry too. But that never would do, of course;
for nobody cries when old enough to know better: so after running
round to each others' houses, and talking a little, they agreed they
would all work together, and that every one should do what he could
do best. So Tom Tearcoat, instead of climbing trees, and smashing
the furniture with his hatchet, went and split kindlings in all the
wood-houses; and his sister Georgie, who never wanted to be in the
house, carried them into the kitchens; and Patty Pettitoes tried her
hand at cooking, instead of eating; and Dowsabelle Dormouse made the
beds, and beat up the sofa-pillows; and Mattie Motherly, whose chief
delight was playing at housekeeping in her baby-house, set the
tables, and put the parlors to rights. But there seemed to be
nothing that Finnikin Fine could do; for she had never thought of
any thing but dressing, in all the gay clothes she could get, and
looking into the mirror until she had worn quite a place in the
carpet before it. But, at last, someone said,--
"Oh! Finnikin may dress the little children: that will suit her
So Finnikin tried to do that. But she spent so much time tying up
the little girls' sleeves with ribbons, and parting the little boys'
hair behind, that, when breakfast-time came, they were not half
ready, and began to cry,--
"O Finnikin, O!
Don't spend your time so,
But put on our dresses,
And smooth out our tresses;
We don't care for curls,
Either boys or girls,
If we are but neat,
And may sit down to eat."
So at last Finnikin followed their advice, and, when she had dressed
all the children, was so tired and hungry, that she was glad to sit
down and eat her breakfast without even looking in the mirror once
while she was at table.
But nobody knew how to milk the cows; and, although Tom and Georgie
Tearcoat tried with all their might, they could not manage to get a
drop of milk from one of them, and no one else even tried. But, just
as the children were all wondering what they should do, little Peter
Phinn, who had been listening and looking, with his hands in the
pockets of his ragged trousers, and a broad grin on his freckled
face, said slowly,--
"I know how to milk."
"You do! Why didn't you say so, Peter Phinn?" cried all the children
"Oh! I didn't know as you'd want me and Merry amongst you," said
"Why not? Of course we do," said Patty Pettitoes, who was a very
good-natured little girl.
"Because Finnikin Fine told Merry once she wasn't fit to play with
her, when her clothes was so poor," said Peter.
"Did Finnikin say that?" asked Patty.
"Yes, she did, sure; and she called her a little Paddy, and said, if
she wore such an old, mean gown and bonnet, she'd ought to keep out
of the way of folks that dressed nicer, as she did."
Then all the children turned and looked at Finnikin Fine, and said,--
"Oh, shame, Finnikin! for shame to talk so to good little Merry
Then Finnikin hung down her head, and blushed very much, and began
to cry; but Merry Phinn went close to her, and whispered,--
"Never mind them, honey. I'll forget it sooner than you will, and
I'll come and help you dress the children tomorrow morning."
"And I'll give you my new pink muslin, and my white beads, and my
bronze slippers with pink rosettes, and, and," began Finnikin; but
Merry put her little brown hand over her mouth, and said, laughing,--
"And, if I get all these fine things, I'd be as bad as yourself,
Finny darling. No: I'll wear my calico gown, and my sun-bonnet, and
my strong shoes; and you'll see I can get to my work or my play
without half the bother you'd make in your finery."
So Finnikin, still blushing, and crying a little, put her arm round
Merry's neck, and kissed her; and then she ran and took off the
rinses and pins and ribbons and flowers she had found time since
breakfast to put on, and changed her blue silk dress for a neat
gingham and a white apron, and put her hair into a net, instead of
the wreath and curls it had cost her so much trouble to arrange.
And, when she came down stairs again, all the children cried,--
"Only see how pretty Finnikin Fine is in her plain dress! She looks
like a little girl now, instead of a wax doll in a toy-shop window."
"Yes," said Tom Tearcoat; "and a fellow could play with her now in
some comfort. It used to be,--
"'Dear me, you rude boy! you've gone and torn my flounce!' or,
'You've spoilt my bow!' or, 'Dear me, you troublesome creature!
you've made me so nervous!'"
Every one laughed to hear Tom mimic Finnikin, he did it so well;
but, when they saw that the little girl herself was troubled by it,
they left off directly, and began to talk of other things; and Tom
came and tucked a big green apple into her pocket, and a lump of
maple-sugar into her hand.
Then Peter and Merry, who had always been used to waiting upon
themselves, and doing all the work they were able to do, showed the
other children many things which they needed to know, and helped
them in so many ways, that the troubles of the morning were soon
forgotten; and when, after clearing away the dinner, the little
people all came out to play upon the green, they agreed to crown
Peter and Merry King, and Queen of Merrigoland from three o'clock in
the afternoon until sunset, because they were the only boy and girl
in all the land who knew how to do the work that must every day be
done to make us all comfortable. But Peter and Merry, who were very
sensible as well as very good-natured children, said,--
"No, no, no! There shall be no kings or queens in Merrigoland. We
will teach you all that we know, and you shall teach us all that you
know, and so we will help each other; and no one shall think himself
better than any one else, or forget that none of us can do well
without the help of all the rest."
So the children shouted,--
"Hurrah for Peter and Merry, and down with fine ways and fine
And then they gave three cheers so loud, that the fathers and
mothers, and grandpas and grandmas, and uncles and aunts, and
brothers and sisters, heard them, as they sat at dinner in the
governor's house; and all came trooping home in a great hurry to see
what was the matter.
But when they heard the story, and found how well the children were
going on, they said,--
"We could teach them nothing better than what they are learning for
themselves. We may let them alone."
So they all went back to the governor's house, and spent the rest of
the week, and"--
"Tea is ready, Mrs. Legrange," said James at the parlor-door.
TEA was over, and the little guests made ready to go home. Cousin
Tom, declining Mrs. Legrange's invitation to dinner on plea of
another engagement, delighted Miss Minnie Wall's heart by offering
to wait upon her home, but rather injured the effect of his
politeness by taking Willy and Jerry Noble upon the other side, and
talking pegtop with them as glibly as he talked opera with the young
As for the rest, some went alone, some with their nurses, some with
each other. Little Bessie Rider was the last; and, when the nurse
did not come for her as had been promised, Mrs. Legrange bid Susan
lead her home, leaving 'Toinette in the drawing-room till her
"And I must go and lie down a little before I dress for dinner,"
continued she to 'Toinette. "So, Sunshine, I shall leave you here
alone, if you will promise not to touch anything you should not, or
to go too near the fire."
The little girl promised; and, with a lingering kiss, her mother
Alone in the twilight, 'Toinette sat for a while upon the rug,
watching the bright coals as they tinkled through the grate, or
rushed in roaring flame up the chimney.
"I wish I was a fire-fairy, and lived in that big red hole right in
the middle of the fire," thought 'Toinette. "Then I would wear such
a beautiful dress just like gold, and a wreath on my head all
blazing with fire; and I would dance a-tiptoe away up the chimney
and into the sky: and perhaps I should come to heaven; no, to the
sun. I wonder if the sun is heaven for the fire-fairies, and I
wonder if they dance in the sunset."
So 'Toinette jumped up, and, running to one of the long windows, put
her little eager face close to the glass, and looked far away across
the square, and down the long street beyond, to the beautiful
western sky, all rosy and golden and purple with the sunset-clouds;
while just above them a great white star stood trembling in the deep
blue, as if frightened at finding itself out all alone in the night.
"No," thought 'Toinette; "I don't want to be a fire-fairy, and dance
in the sunset: I want to be a--a angel, I guess, and live in that
beautiful star. Then I'd have a dress all white and shining like
mamma's that she wore to the ball. But mamma said the little girl in
the story was naughty to like her pretty dress, and she weared a
gingham one when she was good. Guess I won't be any fairy. I'll be
Finnikin Fine, and wear a gingham gown and apron. I'll tell papa to
carry away the bracelets too. I'm going to be good like Merry that
weared a sun-bonnet."
Eager to commence the proposed reform, 'Toinette tugged at the
bracelet upon her left shoulder until she broke the clasp and tore
the pretty lace of her under-sleeve.
"Dear, dear, what a careless child!" exclaimed the little girl,
remembering the phrase so often repeated to her. "But it ain't any
matter, I guess," added she, brightening up; "for I shan't have any
under-sleeve to my gingham dress. Susan's aunt doesn't."
'Toinette paused, with her hand upon the other bracelet trying to
remember whether Susan, or the little girl who came to see her, was
the aunt. The question was not settled, when the sound of music in
the street below attracted 'Toinette's attention. Clinging to the
window-ledge so as to see over the iron railing of the balcony, she
peeped down, and saw a small dark man walking slowly by the house,
turning the crank of a hand-organ which he carried at his side. Upon
the organ was perched a monkey, dressed in a red coat with gilt
buttons, a little cocked hat, and blue trousers. He was busily
eating a seed-cake; pausing now and then to look about him in a sort
of anxious way, chattering all the while as if he thought some one
wanted to take it away from him.
'Toinette had never before seen a monkey; and she stared at this one
in great surprise and delight, taking him for a little man, and his
inarticulate chattering for words in some foreign language such as
she had sometimes heard spoken.
The music also suited the little girl's ear better than the best
strains of the Italian opera would have done; and altogether she was
resolved to see and hear more both of the monkey and the music.
"Mamma's asleep, and Susan gone out; so I can't ask leave, but I'll
only stay a little tiny minute, and tell the little man what is his
name, and what he is saying," reasoned the pretty runaway, primly
wrapping herself in her mother's breakfast-shawl left lying upon the
sofa, and tying her handkerchief over her head.
"Now I's decent, and the cold won't catch me," murmured she,
regarding herself in the mirror with much satisfaction, and then
running softly down stairs. Susan, thinking she should be back
directly, had left the catch-latch of the front-door fastened up: so
'Toinette had only to turn the great silver handle of the other
latch; and this, by putting both hands to it and using all her
strength, she finally succeeded in doing, although she could not
close the door behind her. Leaving it ajar, 'Toinette ran down the
steps, and looked eagerly along the square until she discovered the
hand-organ man with his monkey just turning the corner, and flew
after him as fast as her little feet would carry her. But, with all
her haste, the man had already turned another corner before she
overtook him, and was walking, more quickly than he had yet done,
down a narrow street. He was not playing now; but the monkey, who
had finished his cake, was climbing over his master's shoulders,
running down his arms and back, chattering, grinning, making faces,
and evidently having a little game of romps on his own account.
'Toinette, very much amused, tripped along behind, talking as fast
as the monkey, and asking all manner of questions, to none of which
either monkey or man made any reply; while all the time the
beautiful rosy light was fading out of the west, and the streets
were growing dark and crowded; and as the organ-grinder, followed by
'Toinette, turned from one into another, each was dirtier and
narrower and more disagreeable than the last.
All at once, the man, after hesitating for a moment, dashed across
the street, and into a narrow alley opposite. Two or three
dirt-carts were passing at the same time; and 'Toinette, afraid to
follow, stood upon the edge of the sidewalk, looking wistfully after
him, and beginning to wonder if she ought not to be going home.
While she wondered, a number of rude boys came rushing by; and,
either by accident or malice, the largest one, in passing the little
girl, pushed her so roughly, that she stumbled off the sidewalk
altogether, and fell into the gutter.
A little hurt, a good deal frightened, and still more indignant,
'Toinette picked herself up, and looked ruefully at the mud upon her
pretty dress, but would not allow herself to cry, as she longed to
"If I'd got my gingham dress on, it wouldn't do so much harm,"
thought she, her mind returning to the story she had that afternoon
heard; and then all at once an anxious longing for home and mother
seized the little heart, and sent the tiny feet flying up the narrow
street as fast as they could move. But, at the corner, 'Toinette,
who never had seen the street before, took the wrong turn; and,
although she ran as fast as she could, every step now led her
farther from home, and deeper into the squalid by-streets and
alleys, among which she was lost.
IN a narrow court, hardly lighted by the one gas-light flaring at
its entrance, 'Toinette stopped, and, looking dismally about her,
began at last to cry. At the sound, a crooked old woman, with a
great bag on her back, who had been resting upon the step of a door
close by, although the little girl had not noticed her, rose, and
came toward her.
"What's the matter, young one?" asked the old woman harshly.
"I don't know the way home, and I'm lost!" said 'Toinette, wiping
her eyes, and looking doubtfully at the old woman, who was very dark
and hairy as to the face, very blinking and wicked as to the eyes,
and very crooked and warped as to figure, while her dress seemed to
be a mass of rags held together by dirt.
"Lost, be you?" asked this unpleasant old woman, seizing Mrs.
Legrange's beautiful breakfast-shawl, and twitching it off the
child's shoulders. "And where'd you git this 'ere pretty shawl?"
"It's my mamma's, and you'd better not touch it; you might soil it,
you know," said 'Toinette anxiously.
"Heh! Why, I guess you're a little lady, ain't you? B'long to the
big-bugs, don't you?"
"I don't know. I want to go home," stammered 'Toinette, perplexed
"Well, you come right in here along o' me, and wait till I get my
pack off; then I'll show you the way home," said the woman, as,
seizing the little girl's hand, she led her to the bottom of the
court, and down some steps into a foul-smelling cellar-room,
perfectly dark, and very cold.
"You stop right there till I get a light," said the woman, letting
go the child's hand when they reached the middle of the room. "Don't
ye budge now."
Too much frightened to speak, or even cry, 'Toinette did as she was
bid, and stood perfectly still until the old woman had found a
match, and, drawing it across the rusty stove, lighted a tallow
candle, and stuck it into the mouth of a junk-bottle. This she set
upon the table; and, sinking into a chair beside it, stretched out a
skinny hand, and, seizing 'Toinette by the arm, dragged her close to
"Yes, you kin let me have that pooty shawl, little gal, cause--Eh,
what fine clo'es we've got on!" exclaimed the hag, as, pulling off
the shawl 'Toinette had again wrapped about her, she examined her
dress attentively for a moment, and then, fixing her eyes sternly
upon the child, continued angrily,--
"Now look at here, young un. Them ain't your clo'es; you know they
ain't. You stole 'em."
"Stealed my clothes!" exclaimed 'Toinette in great indignation.
"Why, no, I didn't. Mamma gave them to me, and Susan sewed them."
"No sech a thing, you young liar!" returned the old woman, shaking
her roughly by one arm. "You stole 'em; and I'm a-going to take 'em
off, and give you back your own, or some jist like 'em. Then I'll
carry these fine fixings to the one they b'long to. Come, now, no
blubbering. Strip off, I tell yer."
As she spoke, she twirled the little girl round, and began to pull
open the buttons of her dress. In doing this, her attention was
attracted by the bracelet looping up the right sleeve; 'Toinette
having, it will be remembered, pulled off the other, and left it at
"Hi, hi! What sort o' gimcrack you got here?" exclaimed she, pulling
at it, until, as 'Toinette had done with the other, she broke the
links between two of the cameos, without unclasping the bracelet.
"Hi! that's pooty! Now, what a young wretch you be for to go and say
that ere's yourn!" added she severely, as she held the trinket out
of reach of the little girl, who eagerly cried,--
"It is, it is mine! Papa gave me both of them, 'cause it's my
birthday. They're my bracelets; only mamma said I was too little to
wear them on my arms like she does, and she tied up my sleeves with
"Where's t'other one, then?"
"It's at home. I pulled it off 'cause I was going to be like Merry,
that weared a sun-bonnet, and didn't have any bracelets."
"Sun-bonnet! What d'ye want of a sun-bonnet, weather like this? I'll
give you my old hood; that's more like it, I reckon," replied the
hag, amused, in spite of herself, by the prattle of the child.
"No," said she at last: "I guess you'd better give me my own very
clo'ses, and carry me home. Then mamma will give me a gingham dress
and a sun-bonnet; and maybe she'll give you my pretty things, if you
"Thanky for nothing, miss. I reckon it'll be a saving of trouble to
take em now. I don't b'lieve a word about your ma'am giving 'em to
you; and, more'n all, I don't b'lieve you've got no ma'am."
So saying, she rudely stripped off, first the dress, then the
underclothes, and finally even the, stockings and pretty
gaiter-boots; so that the poor child, frightened, ashamed, and
angry, stood at last with no covering but the long ringlets of her
golden hair, which, as she, sobbing, hid her face in her hands, fell
about her like a veil.
Leaving her thus, the old woman rummaged for a few moments in a heap
of clothes thrown into the corner of the room,--the result,
apparently, of many a day's begging or theft. From them she
presently produced a child's nightgown, petticoat, and woollen
skirt, a pair of coarse shoes much worn, and an old plaid shawl:
with these she approached 'Toinette.
"See! I've got your own clo'es here all ready for you. Ain't I
"They ain't my clothes: I won't have 'em on. Go away, you naughty
lady, you ain't good a bit!" screamed 'Toinette, passionately
striking at the clothes and the hand that held them.
"Come, come, miss, none o' them airs! Take that, now, and mend your
manners!" exclaimed the old woman with a blow upon the bare white
shoulder, which left the print of all her horny fingers. It was the
first time in all her life that 'Toinette had been struck; and the
blood rushed to her face, and then away, leaving her as white as
marble. She cried no more, but, fixing her eyes upon the face of the
old woman, said solemnly,--
"Now the Lord doesn't love you. Did you know it was the bad spirits
that made you strike me? Mamma said so when I struck Susan."
"Shut up! I don't want none of your preaching, miss," replied the
woman angrily. "Here, put on these duds about the quickest, or I'll
give you worse than that. Lor, what a mess of hair! What's the good
on't? Maybe, though, they'd give some'at for it to the store."
She took a large pair of shears from the table-drawer as she spoke,
and, grasping the shining, curls in her left hand, rapidly snipped
them from the head, leaving it rough, tangled, and hardly to be
'Toinette no longer resisted, or even cried. The blow of that rough
hand seemed to have stunned or stupefied her, and she stood
perfectly quiet, her face pale, her eyes fixed, and her trembling
lips a little apart; while the old woman, after laying the handful
of curls carefully aside, dragged on the clothes she had selected,
in place of those she was stealing, and finished by trying the plaid
shawl around the child's shoulders, fastening it in a great knot
behind, and placing a dirty old hood upon the shorn head.
"There, now, you'll do, I guess; and we'll go take you home: only
mind you don't speak a word to man, woman, nor child, as we go; for,
if you do, I'll fetch you right back here, and shut you up with Old
Bogy in that closet."
So saying, she bundled up 'Toinette's own clothes, slipped the
bracelet into her pocket, then, with the parcel in one hand, grasped
the child's arm with the other, and led her out into the street.
"Will you really take me home?" asked 'Toinette piteously, as they
climbed the broken steps leading from the cellar to the pavement.
"There, now! What did I tell yer?" exclaimed the woman angrily, and
turning as if to go back. "Now come along, and I will give you to
"No, no! oh, please, don't! I will be good. I won't say a word any
more. I forgotten that time, I did;" and the timid child, pale and
trembling, clung to the wretch beside her as if she had been her
"Well, then, don't go into fits, and I'll let you off this time; but
see that you don't open your head agin, or it'll be all up with
"Yes'm," said the poor child submissively; and, taking her once more
by the hand, the old woman led her rapidly along the filthy street,
now entirely dark except for the gaslights, and more strange to
'Toinette's eyes than Fairy-land would have been. As they turned the
corner, a tall, broad-shouldered man, dressed in a blue coat with
brass buttons, and a glazed cap, who stood leaning against the wall,
looked sharply at them, and called out,
"Hullo, Mother Winch! What's up to-night?"
"Nothing, yer honor,--nothing at all. Me and little Biddy Mahoney's
going to leave some duds at the pawnbroker's for her mother, who's
most dead with the fever."
"Well, well, go along; only look out you carry no more than you
honestly come by," said the policeman, walking leisurely up the
Mother Winch turned in the opposite direction, and, still tightly
grasping 'Toinette's arm, led her through one street after another,
until, tired and bewildered, the poor child clung with half-closed
eyes to the filthy skirts of the old woman, and stumbled along,
neither seeing nor knowing which way they went.
"Hold up, can't ye, gal!" exclaimed Mother Winch, as the child
tripped, and nearly fell. "Or, if you're so tired as all that, set
down on that door-stone, and wait for me a minute." Pushing her down
upon the step as she spoke, Mother Winch hurried away so fast, that,
before 'Toinette's tired little brain could fairly understand what
was said, she found herself alone, with no creature in sight all up
and down the narrow street, except a cross-looking dog walking
slowly along the pavement toward her. For one moment, she sat
wondering what she had better do; and then, as the cross-looking
dog fixed his eyes upon her with a sullen growl, she started to her
feet, and ran as fast as she could in the direction taken by Mother
Winch. Just at the corner of the alley, something glittering upon
the sidewalk attracted her attention; and, stooping to pick it up,
she uttered a little cry of surprise and pleasure. It was her own
coral bracelet, which had traveled round in Mother Winch's pocket
until it came to a hole in the bottom, and quietly slipping out, and
down her skirts to the pavement, lay waiting for its little mistress
to pick it up.
'Toinette kissed it again and again, not because it was a bracelet
but because her father had given it to her; and it seemed somehow to
take her back a little way toward him and home. It must have been
this she meant, in saying as she did,--
"I guess you have come after me, pretty bracelet, hasn't you? and
we'll go home together."
And so, hugging the toy as close to her heart as she would have
liked herself to be hugged to her mother's heart, 'Toinette wandered
on and on through the dark and lonely streets, her little face
growing paler and paler, her little feet more and more weary, her
heart swelling fuller and fuller with fright and desolation; until
at last, stopping suddenly, she looked up at the sky, all alive now
with the crowding stars, and with a great sob whispered,--
"Pretty stars, please tell God I'm lost. I think he doesn't know
about it, or he'd send me home."
And then, as the wild sob brought another and another, 'Toinette
sank down in the doorway of a deserted house, and, covering her face
with her hands, cried as she had never cried in all her little life.
TEDDY'S LITTLE SISTER.
"THERE, honey!" said Mrs. Ginniss, giving the last rub to the
shirt-bosom she was polishing, and setting her flat-iron back on the
stove with a smack,--"there, honey; and I couldn't have done better
by that buzzum if ye'd been the Prisidint."
Mrs. Ginniss was alone, so that one might at first have been a
little puzzled to know whom she addressed as "honey;" but as she
continued to talk while unfolding another shirt, and laying it upon
her ironing-board, it became evident that she was addressing the
absent owner of the garments.
"And sure it's many a maner man they've made their prisidints out
on, and sorra a better one they'd find betune here and Canady. It's
yees that have the free hand and the kind way wid yees, for all your
grand looks. The good Lord save and keep ye all the days of yer
A wrinkle in the wristband here absorbed the attention of the
laundress; and, while smoothing it out, she forgot to continue what
she had been saying, but, as she once more ironed briskly upon the
sleeve, began upon a new subject.
"And it's late ye're agin, Teddy Ginniss, bad 'cess to yees! And
thin it's mesilf that should take shame for saying it; for niver a
b'y of them all is so good to his ould mother, and niver a one of
'em all that his mother's got so good a right to be proud on, as
Ted. But where is the cratur? His supper's cowld as charity wid
At this moment a heavy step was heard upon the stairs, as of some
one climbing slowly up with a heavy burden in his arms. Mrs. Ginniss
paused to listen, holding the iron suspended over the collar she had
just smoothed ready for it.
"Murther an' all!" muttered she. "And what's the crather got wid him
anyhow? Shure an it's him; for, if it wor Jovarny with his orgin,
he'd ha' stopped below."
The heavy steps reached the top of the stairs as she spoke, and
clumped along the narrow passage to the door of Mrs. Ginniss's
garret. She was already holding it open.
"Teddy, b'y, an' is it yersilf?" asked she, peering out into the
"Yes, mother, its meself," panted a boy's voice, as a stout young
fellow, about fifteen years old, staggered into the room, and sank
upon a chair.
"Saints an' angels, child! and what have ye got there?" exclaimed
his mother, bending over the something that filled Teddy's arms and
"It's a little girl, mother; and I'm feared she's dead!" panted
"A little girl, an' she's dead! Oh, wurra, wurra, Teddy Ginniss,
that iver I should be own mother to a murderer! An' is it yersilf
that kilt the purty darlint?"
"Meself, mother!" exclaimed the boy indignantly. "Sure and it
wasn't; and I wouldn't 'a thought you'd have needed to ask. I found
her on a doorstep in Tanner's Court: and first I thought she was
asleep, and so I shook her to tell her to go home before the Charley
got her; and then, when she wouldn't wake up, I saw she was either
fainted or dead; and I fetched her home to you,--and it's you that
go for to call me a murtherer! Oh, oh!"
As he uttered these last sounds, the boy's wide mouth puckered up in
a comical look of distress, and he rubbed the cuff of his jacket
across his blinking eyes. Mrs. Ginniss gave him a slap, on the
shoulder, intended to be playful, but actually heavy enough to have
thrown a slighter person out of the chair.
"Whisht, honey, whisht!" said she. "And it's an ould fool I am wid
me fancies an' me frights. But let us looks at the poor little
crather ye've brought home to me. Sure and it was like yees, Teddy,
As she spoke, she took from Teddy's arms the little lifeless form,
with its pale, still face, and laid it gently upon her own bed.
"Oh thin! an' it's a shame to see the party darlint lay like that
and I'm 'feared, unless the breath's in her yet, she's dead
intirely," muttered the good woman, rubbing the little hands in her
own, and gently feeling for the beating of the heart.
"Maybe it's only the cold and the hunger that's ailing her, and
she'll come to with the fire and vittels. She can have my supper and
my breakfast too, and a welcome with it," said Teddy eagerly.
"The cowld, maybe, it is; for her clothes is nixt to nothing, an'
the flesh of her's like a stone wid the freezing: but she's got
enough to ate, or she never'd be so round an' plump. It's like she's
the child of some beggar-woman that's fed her on broken vittels,
an', whin she got tired ov trampin' wid her, jist dropped her on the
doorstep where yees got her.--Howly mother! what's this?"
Mrs. Ginniss, as she spoke, had taken the little lifeless form upon
her lap close to the stove, and was undressing it, when, among the
folds of the old shawl crossed over the bosom, she found a bracelet
of coral cameos, set in gold, and fastened with a handsome clasp.
She held it up, stared at it a moment, and then looked anxiously at
"An' where did this splindid armlit come from, Teddy Ginniss?" asked
"Sorra a bit of me knows, thin; an' is it a thafe ye'll be callin'
me as well as a murtherer!" exclaimed the boy, falling, in his
agitation, into the Irish brogue he was generally so careful to
"Whisht, ye spalpeen! an' lave it on the mantletry till we see if
the breath's in her yit. Sure an' sich a little crather niver could
have stole it."
Teddy, with an air of dignified resentment, took the bracelet from
his mother's hand, and laid it upon the mantlepiece; while Mrs.
Ginniss, with a troubled look upon her broad face, finished
stripping the little form, and began rubbing it all over with her
"Power some warm wather into the biggest wash-tub, Teddy, an' I'll
thry puttin' her in it. It's what the Yankee doctor said to do wid
yees, whin yees had fits; an' it niver did no harm, anyways."
"Is it a fit she's got?" asked Teddy, with a look of awe upon his
"The good Lord knows what's she's got, or who she is. Mabbe the good
folk put her where yees got her. Niver a beggar-brat before had a
skin so satin-smooth, an' hands an' feet like rose-leaves and milk.
An' look how clane she is from head to heel! Niver a corpse ready
for the wakin' was nater."
"The water's ready now," said Teddy, pushing the tub close to his
mother's side, and then walking away to the window. For some
moments, the gentle plashing of the water was the only sound he
heard; but then his mother hastily exclaimed,--
"Glory be to God an' to his saints! The purty crather's alive, and
lookin' at me wid the two blue eyes av her like a little angel! Han'
me the big tow'l till I rub her dhry."
Teddy ran with the towel; and as his mother hastily wrapped her
little charge in her apron, and reseated herself before the fire, he
caught sight of two great bright eyes staring up at him, and
"She's alive, she's alive! and she'll be my little sister, and we'll
keep her always, won't we, mother?"
"Wait, thin, till we see if it's here she is in the morning, said
his mother mysteriously.
"And where else would she be, if not here?" asked Teddy in surprise.
"If it war the good folks, Meaning the fairies, whom the Irish
people call by this name. that browt her, it's they that will
fetch her away agin 'fore the daylight. Wait till mornin', Teddy
But, in spite of her suspicions, Mrs. Ginniss did all for the little
stranger that she could have done for her own child, even to heating
and giving to her the cupful of milk reserved for her own "tay"
during the next day, and warming her in her own bosom all through
the long, cold night.
"AND is she here, mother?" asked Teddy, rushing into his mother's
room next morning as soon as there was light enough to see.
"Yis, b'y, she's here; but it's not long she'll be, savin' the mercy
o' God. It's the heavy sickness that's on her the morn."
"And will she die, mother?"
"The good Lord knows, not the likes of me, Teddy darlint."
"And you'll keep her, and do for her, mother, won't you?" asked the
"Sure and it wouldn't be Judy Ginniss that'd turn out a dying child,
let alone sending her to the poor'us. Thim that sint her to us will
sind us the manes to kape her," said the Irish woman confidently;
and leaving her little moaning, feverish charge dozing uneasily, she
rose, and went about the labors of the day.
"Here's the masther's shirts done, Teddy; and ye'd betther take thim
to his lodgings before yees go to the office. More by token, it's
him as u'd tell us what we'd ought to be doin' wid the darlint, if
she lives, or if she dies. Tell the masther all ye know uv her,
Teddy; an' ax him to set us sthraight."
"No, no, mother!" exclaimed Teddy eagerly; "I'll be doing no such
thing: for it's ourselves wants her, and any thing the master would
say would take her away from us. Sure and how often I've said I'd
give all ever I had for a little sister to be my own, and love me,
and go walking with me, and be took care by me; and, now one is
sent, if it's the good folks or if it's the good God sent her, I'm
going to keep her all myself. Sure, mother, you'll never be crossing
me in this, when it's yourself never crossed me yet; and more by
token, it'll keep me out of the streets, and such."
"Thrue for ye, Teddy; though it's you was alluz the good b'y to
shtop at home, an' niver ax fur coompany savin' yer poor owld
mother," said the washerwoman, looking fondly at her son.
"And you'll keep the child, and say nothing to nobody but she's our
own; won't you, mother?" persisted Teddy.
"Yis, b'y, if it's yer heart is set on it."
"It is that, mother; and you're the good mother, and it's I always
knowed, I mean knew it. And will I bring home a doctor to the little
"No, Teddy; not yit. Faix, an' it's hard enough to live when we're
well; but it's too poor intirely we are to be sick. Whin the time
cooms to die, it's no doctherin' 'll kape us."
Teddy looked wistfully at the little burning face upon the coarse,
clean pillow: but he knew that what his mother said was true; and,
without reply, he took up the parcel of clothes, and left the room.
All through the long day, Mrs. Ginniss, toiling at her wash-tubs,
found a moment here and another there to sit upon the edge of the
bed, and smooth her little patient's hair, or moisten her glowing
lips and burning forehead, trying at intervals to induce her to
speak, if even but one word, in answer to her tender inquiries; but
all in vain: for the child already lay in the stupor preceding the
delirium of a violent fever, and an occasional moan or sigh was the
only sound that escaped her lips.
Toward night, Teddy, returning home an hour earlier than usual, came
bounding up the stairs, two at a time, but, pausing at the door,
entered as softly as a cat.
"How is the little sister now, mother?" asked he anxiously.
"Purty nigh as bad as bad can be, Teddy," said his mother
sorrowfully, standing aside as she spoke that the boy might see the
burning face, dull, half-closed eyes, and blackening lips of the
sick child, and touch the little hands feebly plucking at the
blanket with fingers that seemed to scorch the boy's healthy skin as
he closed them in his palm.
Teddy looked long and earnestly,--looked up at his mother's sad face,
and down again at the "little sister" whom he had taken to his heart
when he first took her to his arms; and then, shutting his lips
close together, and swallowing hard to keep down the great sob that
seemed like to strangle him, he turned, and rushed out of the room.
Mrs. Ginniss looked after him, and wiped her eyes.
"It's the luvin' heart he has, the crather," murmured she. "An' if
the baby wor his own sisther, it's no more he could care for her.
Sure an' if the Lord spares her to us, it's Teddy's sisther she
shall be, forever an' aye, while me two fists hoold out to work fer
An hour later, Teddy returned, conducting a stranger. Rushing into
the room before him, the boy threw his arms around his mother's
neck, and whispered hastily, in his broadest brogue,--
"It's a docther; an' he'll cure the sisther; an' it's not a cint
he'll be afther axin' us: but don't let on that she's not our own."
Mrs. Ginniss rose, and courtesied to the young man, who now followed
Teddy into the room, saying pleasantly,--
"Good evening, ma'am. I am Dr. Wentworth; and I came to see your
little girl by request of Teddy here, who said you would like a
doctor if you could have one without paying him."
Mrs. Ginniss courtesied again, but with rather a wrathful look at
Teddy, as she said,--
"And it's sorry I am the b'y should be afther beggin' of yees,
docther. I thought he'd more sinse than to be axin' yees to give
away yer time, that's as good as money to yees."
"But my time is not as good as money by any means," said Dr.
Wentworth, laughing as he took off his hat and coat; "for I have
very little to do except to attend patients who cannot give more
than their thanks in payment. That is the way we young doctors
"An' is that so indade! Sure an' 'Meriky's the place fur poor folks
quite an' intirely," said Mrs. Ginniss admiringly.
"For some sorts of poor people, and not for others. Unfortunately,
bakers, butchers, and tailors do not practise gratuitously; so we
poor doctors, lawyers, and parsons have to play give without take,"
said the young man, warming his hands a moment over the
"An' sure it was out of a Protistint Bible that I heard wonst, 'Him
as gives to the poor linds to the Lord:' so, in the ind, it's yees
that'll come in wid your pockets full, if ye belave yer own
Scripter," said Mrs. Ginniss shrewdly.
The young doctor gave her a sharp glance out of his merry brown
eyes, but only answered, as he walked on to the bedside,--
"You have it there, my friend."
For several moments, there was silence in the little room while Dr.
Wentworth felt his patient's pulse, looked at her tongue, examined
her eyes, and passed his hand over the burning skin.
"H'm! Typhoid, without doubt," said he to himself, and then to Mrs.
"Can you tell the probable cause of the child's illness, ma'am? Has
she been exposed to any sudden chill, or any long-continued cold or
Mrs. Ginniss was about to reply by telling all she knew of the
little stranger; but catching Teddy's imploring look, and the
gesture with which he seemed to beg her to keep the secret of his
"little sister's" sudden adoption, she only answered,--
"Sure an' it's the cowld she took last night but one is workin' in
"She took cold night before last? How was it?" pursued the doctor.
"She was out late in the street, sure, an' the clothes she'd got
wasn't warm enough," said the washwoman, her eyes still fixed on
Teddy, who, from behind the doctor, was making every imploring
gesture he could invent to prevent her from telling the whole truth.
The doctor did not fail to notice the hesitation and embarrassment
of the woman's manner, but remembering what Teddy had told him of
his mother's poverty, and her own little betrayal of pride when he
first entered, naturally concluded that she was annoyed at having to
say that the child had been sent into the street without proper
clothing, and forbore to press the question.
Ah Teddy and Teddy's mother! if you had loved the truth as well as
you loved little lost 'Toinette, how much suffering, anxiety, and
anguish you would have saved to her and her's!
But the doctor asked no more questions, except such as Mrs. Ginniss
could answer without hesitation; and pretty soon went away,
promising to come again next day, and taking Teddy with him to the
infirmary where medicine is furnished without charge to those unable
to pay for it.
Before the boy returned, 'Toinette had passed from the stupid to the
delirious stage of her fever; and all that night, as he woke or
dozed in his little closet close beside his mother's door, poor
Teddy's heart ached to hear the wild tones of entreaty, of terror,
or of anger, proving to his mind that the delicate child he already
loved so well had suffered much and deeply, and that at no distant
Toward morning, he dressed, and crept into his mother's room. The
washerwoman sat in the clothes she had worn at bed-time, patiently
fanning her little charge, and, half asleep herself, murmuring
"Ah thin, honey, whisht, whisht! It's nothin' shall harm ye now,
darlint! Asy, now, asy, mavourneen! Whisht, honey, whisht!"
"Lie down and sleep, mother, and let me sit by her," whispered Teddy
in his mother's ear; and, with a nod, the weary woman crept across
the foot of the bed, and was asleep in a moment.
TEDDY, waving the old palm-leaf fan up and down with as much care as
if it had carried the breath of life to his poor little charge, sat
for some time very quiet, listening to her wild prattle without
trying to interrupt it; until, after lying still for a few moments,
she suddenly fixed her eyes upon him, and said,--
"Oh! you're Peter Phinn, sister to Merry that weared a sun-bonnet,
The question seemed so conscious and rational, that Teddy answered
"No, honey; but I'm Teddy Ginniss; and I'm going to be your brother
forever and always. What's your name, sissy?"
"I'm Finny; no, I'm Cherrytoe,--I'm Cherrytoe, that dances. Want to
see me dance, Peter?"
As she spoke, she started up, and would have jumped out of bed; but
Teddy laid his hand upon her arm, and said soothingly,--
"No, no, sissy; not now. Another day you shall dance for Teddy, when
you're all well. And you mustn't call me Peter, 'cause I'm Teddy."
"Teddy, Teddy," repeated 'Toinette vaguely, and then, with a sudden
shrill laugh, shouted,--"'Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef.' Guess you're
Taffy, ain't you?"
"No: I'm Teddy. I'm your brother Teddy," repeated the boy patiently;
and then, to change the subject, added coaxingly, "And what's the
pretty name you called yourself, darlint?"
"I'm Cherrytoe,--Cherrytoe that dances so pretty. Don't you hear, you
great naughty lady?--Cherrytoe, Cherrytoe, Cherrytoe!"
The wild scream in which the name was repeated woke even tired Mrs.
Ginniss, who started upright, crying,--
"What's it, what's it, Teddy? Ochone! what ails the crather?"
"It's only her name she's telling, mother; and sure it's a pretty
one. It's Cherrytoe."
"And what sort of a quare name is that for a christened child? Sure
we'll call it Cherry; for wunst I heerd of a lady as was called that
way," said Mrs. Ginniss.
"Yes, we'll call her Cherry, little sister Cherry," said Teddy,
delighted with the promise implied in his mother's words of keeping
the child for her own. "And, mother," added he, "mind you don't be
telling the doctor nor any one that she ain't your own, or maybe
they'll take her away to the 'sylum or somewheres, whether we'd like
it or not: and, if they do, I'll run off to sea; I will, by ginger!"
"Whisht, thin, with your naughty words, Teddy Ginniss! Didn't I bate
ye enough whin ye wor little to shtop ye from swearin'?"
"Ginger ain't swearing," replied Teddy positively. "I asked the
master if it wor, and he said it worn't."
"Faith, thin, and he says it hisself, I'm thinkin'," half asked the
mother, with a shrewd twinkle of her gray eyes. Teddy faltered and
blushed, but answered manfully,--
"No, he don't; and he said it was low and vulgar to talk that way;
and I don't, only by times."
"Well, thin, Teddy, see that yer don't, only thim times whin yer
hears the masther do it forninst ye: thin it'll be time enough for
ye. And don't ye be forgettin', b'y, that ye're bound to be a
gintleman afore ye die. It was what yer poor daddy said when yer wor
born, a twelvemonth arter we landed here. 'There, Judy,' says he,
'there's a native-born 'Merican for yees, wid as good a right to be
Prisidint as the best ov 'em. Now, don't yer let him grow up a
Paddy, wid no more brains nor a cow or a horse. Make a gintleman,
an' a 'Merican gintleman, of the spalpeen; an' shtrike hands on it
"'Troth, thin, Michael alanna, an' it's a bargain,' says I, an',
wake as I wor, give him me fist out ov the bed; an' he shuk it
hearty. An', though Michael died afore the year wor out, the promise
I'd made him stood; an' it's more ways than iver ye'll know, Teddy
Ginniss, I've turned an' twisted to kape ye dacent, an' kape ye out
ov the streets, niver forgittin' for one minute that Michael had
towld me there was the makin's of a gintleman in yees, an' that he'd
left it to me to work it out."
To this story, familiar as it was, Teddy listened with as much
attention as if he had never heard it before, and, when it was
"And tell about your putting me to the squire, mother."
"Yis, b'y; an' that wor the biggest bit of loock that iver I wor in
yet. Two twelvemonth ago come Christmas it wor, an' iver an' always
I had been thinkin' what 'ud I do wid ye nixt, when Ann Dolan towld
me how her sisther's son had got a chance wid a lawyer to clane out
his bit ov an office, and run wid arrants an' sich, an' wor to have
fifty dollars a year, wid the chance ov larnin' what he could out ov
all thim big books as does be in sich places. Thin it somehow kim
inter my head so sudden like, that it's sartain sure I am it was
Michael come out ov glory to whishper it in my ear: 'There's Misther
Booros'll mebbe do as much for your Teddy.' I niver spoke the first
word to Ann Dolan, but lapped my shawl about me, an' wint out ov her
house with no more than, 'God save ye, Ann!' an' twenty minutes
later I wor in Misther Booros's office.
"'Good-evenin', Mrs. Ginniss,' says he, as ginteel as yer plaze.
'An' how is yer health?'
"'Purty good, thank ye kindly, sir,' says I; 'an' its hopin' you
have yours the same, I am.'
"'Thank you, I am very well; and what can I do for you this evening?
Pray, be sated,' says he, laning back in his chair wid sech a rale
good-natured smile on the handsome face of him, that I says to
myself, 'It's the lucky woman you are, Judy Ginniss, to put yer b'y
wid sech a dacent gintleman: an' I smiled to him agin, an' begun to
the beginnin', and towld him the whole story,--what Michael said to
me, an' what I said to Michael; an' how Mike died wid the faver; an'
how I'd worked an 'saved, an' wouldn't marry Tom Murphy when he axed
me, an' all so as I could kape my b'y dacent, an' sind him to the
school, an' give him his books an' his joggerphy-picters"--
"Them's maps, mother," interposed Teddy.
"Niver yer mind, b'y, what they be. Yer had 'em along wid the best
of yer schoolmates; an' so I towld the squire. 'An' now,' says I,
'he's owld enough to be settlin' to a thrade; an' I likes the lawyer
thrade the best, an' so I've coom to git yer honor to take him
"At that he stared like as he'd been moonsthruck; an' thin he
laughed a little to hisself; and thin he axed mighty quite like,
'How do you mane, Mrs. Ginniss?' So I towld him about Ann Dolan's
sisther's son, an' what wor the chance he'd got; an' thin I made
bowld to ax him would he take my b'y the same way, on'y I'd like
he'd larn more, an' I wouldn't mind the fifty dollars a year, but
'ud kape him mesilf, as I had kep' him since his daddy died, if the
wuth uv it might be give him in larnin'."
"And what did the master say to that, mother?" asked Teddy, with a
bright look that showed he foresaw and was pleased with the answer.
"Sure and he said what a gintleman the likes uv him should say, and
said with his own hearty smile that's as good as the goold dollar uv
"'My good 'oman,' says he, 'sind along your b'y as soon as you
plaze; an' if he's as--as'--what's that agin, Teddy, darlint?"
"Amberitious," pronounced Teddy with a grand sort of air; "and it
means, he told me, wanting to be something more than you wor by
"Faith, and that's it, Teddy: that's the very moral uv what I wants
to see in yees. Well, the masther said if the b'y was as amberitious
an' as 'anest as his mother afore him (that's me, yer see, Teddy),"--
"Yes, yes, mother, I know. Well?"
"That he'd make a man uv him that should be a pride an' a support to
the owld age uv me, an' a blissin' to the day I med up my mind to
eddicate him. That wor two year ago, Teddy Ginniss; an', so far,
hasn' the gintleman done by yees as niver yer own daddy could? Hasn'
he put yees to the readin' an' the writin' an' the joggerphy--
picters, an' the nate figgers that yees puts on me washin'--bills,
till it's proud I am to hand 'em to the gintlefolks, an' say, 'If ye
plaze, the figgers is pooty plain. It's me b'y made 'em'? Now till
me, Teddy, hasn' the shquire done all this by yees, an' give yees
the fifty dollars by the year, all the same as if he give ye nothin'
"He has so, mother."
"An' whin I wanted to wash for him widout a cint uv charge, an'
towld him it was jist foon to rinshe out his bit things, bekase he
is that good--natered an' quite that there's niver the fust roobin'
to do to 'em, he says,--
"'An' if I let yees do 'em widout charge, I'd as lieve wear the
shirt of Misther Nessus;' an' more by token, Teddy Ginniss, I told
ye iver and oft to look in the big books an' see who was Misther
Nessus, an' what about his shirt."
"Faith and ye did, mother; but I never could find him yet. Some day
I'll ask the master," said Teddy with a puzzled look.
"An' so he pays me what I ax, an' it isn' for the likes uv him to be
knowin' what the others ud charge; an', whin he gives me forty cints
the dozen, he thinks, the poor innercint! that it's mooch as I would
ax uv any one. Now, Teddy b'y, isn' all I've towld ye God's truth?
and haven't ye heerd it as many times as yees are days owld out uv
yer own moother's lips?"
"Faith and I have, mother."
"An' wud yer moother till yees a lie, or bid yees do what wasn't
plazin' to God, Teddy?"
"Sure she wouldn't; and I'll lick the first fellow that'll say she
would, if he was as big as Goliah in the Bible," said Teddy,
doubling up his fist, and nodding fiercely.
"Thin, Teddy Ginniss, we cooms to this; an' it's not the first time,
nor yet the last, we'll coom to it. If iver ye can do yer masther a
service, be it big or be it little; if iver the stringth, or the
coorage, or the life itself, of yees, or thim as is dear to yees, ud
sarve him or plaze him,--I bid yees now to give it him free an'
willin' as ye'd give it to God. An' so ye mind me, it's my blissin'
an' the blissin' uv yer dead father that's iver wid ye; an' so ye
fail me, it's the black curse uv disobedience, an' yer moother's
brukken heart, that shall cling to yees for iver and iver, while
life shall last. Do ye mind that, b'y?"
"I mind it, and I'll heed it, mother, as I've promised you before,"
said Teddy solemnly; and mother and son exchanged as tender and as
true a kiss as young Bayard and his lady-mother could have done when
she gave him to be a knight and chevalier.
All through this long conversation, which had been carried on in a
low tone of voice, and frequently interrupted when it seemed to
disturb her, 'Toinette had slept feverish and restlessly; but as the
washwoman crept away to begin her daily labors, and Teddy lingered
for a moment more to look at the poor little sister whose beauty was
to him an ever-new delight, her great blue eyes suddenly opened, and
fixed upon him, while with an airy little laugh she said,--
"We're King and Queen of Merrigoland, Peter; isn't we? Does you love
"I couldn't tell how well I love you, Cherry dear; but it's Teddy I
am, and not Peter," said the boy, bashfully kissing the little hot
hand upon the outside of the bed.
To his dismay, the delirious child snatched it from him with a wild
cry, and burst into a storm of tears and sobs, crying,--
"Go away, wicked lady! go away, I say! God won't love you when you
strike me, you know. He won't: my mamma said so. Oh, oh, oh!"
Her cries brought Mrs. Ginniss to her side in a moment, who,
tenderly soothing her, turned upon Teddy.
"Bad 'cess to yees, ye spalpeen! An' what ud ye be afther vexin' her
for, an' her in a faver? What did yees say to her?"
"I said my name was Teddy, and not Peter; and then she said I was a
lady, and struck her," replied the boy, bewildered, and a little
"And sure ye'r Peter or Paul, or Judas hissilf, if so be she likes
to call ye so while she's this way; an', if ye shtrike her, it's the
weight uv my fist ye'll feel; mind that, young man!--Whisht, thin,
darlint! asy, mavourneen!"
'Toinette, hushed upon the motherly bosom of the good woman, soon
ceased her cries, and presently fell again to sleep; while Teddy,
with rather an injured look upon his uncouth face, and yet pleased
to see the little sister in his mother's arms, crept softly from the
room, with his breakfast in his hand.
THE EMPTY NEST.
WHEN Susan returned from carrying Bessie Rider home, she was quite
surprised to find the front-door ajar, as she thought she had been
sure of latching it in going out; but, without stopping to make any
inquiries of the other servants, she ran up the stairs, took off her
shawl and hood, and then went to the drawing-room for 'Toinette. The
room was empty; and Susan at once concluded that Mrs. Legrange had
taken the child to her own chamber while she dressed for dinner, as
'Toinette often begged to be present at this ceremony, and was often
"I'll just ready up the nursery a bit before I fetch her," said
Susan, looking round the littered room; and so it was half an
hour before she knocked at Mrs. Legrange's chamber-door with,
"I came for Miss 'Toinette, ma'am."
"Come in, Susan. Miss 'Toinette, did you say? She is down in the
drawing-room by herself, and you had better put her to bed at once.
She must be very tired."
Alas! the tender mother little guessed how tired!
Without reply, Susan closed the door, and ran down stairs; an uneasy
feeling creeping over her, although she would not yet confess it
even to herself.
The drawing-room was still empty; but James had lighted the gas and
stirred the fire, so that every corner was as light as day. In every
window-recess, under every couch and sofa, behind every large chair,
even in the closet of the étagŐre, Susan searched for her little
charge, hoping, praying to find her asleep, or roguishly hiding, as
she had known her to do before. But all in vain: no merry face, no
sunny curls, no laughing eyes, peeped out from recess or corner or
hiding place; and Susan's ruddy face grew pale even to the lips.
She flew to the dining-room, and searched it as narrowly as she had
done the drawing-room.
No: she was not there!
The library, the bath-room, the chambers, the nursery again, the
servants' chambers, the kitchen, laundry, pantries, the very cellar!
No, no, no! 'Toinette was in none of them. 'Toinette was not in any
nook of the whole wide house, that, without her, seemed so empty and
desolate. Standing in one of the upper entries, mute and bewildered,
Susan heard a latch-key turn in the front-door lock, and presently
Mr. Legrange's pleasant voice speaking in the hall. A sudden hope
rushed into Susan's heart. The child might possibly have gone to
meet her father, and was now returned with him. She rushed down
stairs as fast as her feet could carry her; but in the hall stood
only Mr. Legrange, talking to James, who had some message to deliver
As Susan flew down the stairs, the master turned and looked at her
in some surprise.
"Be careful, Susan: you nearly fell then. Is any thing the matter?"
"Miss 'Toinette, sir: I can't find her, high nor low!" gasped Susan.
"Can't find her! Good heavens! you don't mean to say she's lost!"
exclaimed the father, turning, and staring at the nurse in dismay.
"Oh! I don't know, sir, I'm sure; but I can't find her," cried
Susan, wildly bursting into tears.
"Where is her mother? Where is Mrs. Legrange, James?"
"I don't know, sir, I'm sure," said the footman blankly.
"She's in her own room, sir; and I'm afraid to go to tell her,
she'll feel that bad. And indeed it wasn't any fault of mine: I only
"Hush!" exclaimed Mr. Legrange, who had heard his wife close her
chamber-door and begin to descend the stairs, and did not wish her
to be frightened.
"Wait here a moment, Susan," added he, and, running up stairs,
entered the drawing-room just after his wife, who stood before the
fire, looking so pretty and so gay in her blue silk-dress, with a
ribbon of the same shade twisted among her golden curls, that her
husband shrunk back, dreading to ask the question that must so shock
and startle her. But Mrs. Legrange had caught sight of him, and,
running to the door, opened it suddenly, crying,--
"Come in, you silly boy! Are you playing bo-beep? I don't do such
things since my daughter is six years old, I would have you to
Mr. Legrange, forcing a laugh and a careless tone, came forward as
she spoke, and, stooping to kiss her, asked,--
"And where is your daughter, my love?"
"'Toinette? Oh! I suppose she is with Susan," began Mrs. Legrange
carelessly; and then, as something in her husband's voice or manner
attracted her attention, she drew back, and hurriedly looked into
his face, crying,--
"O Paul! what is it? What has happened? Is 'Toinette hurt? Where is
"Be quiet, darling; don't be alarmed. Wait till we know more.--Susan,