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Rollo at Play by Jacob Abbott

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harmony characterize the intercourse of the inmates. It is seldom that
confusion or uproar, or disputes or contentions, are known among the

But it was of Maria that I was intending to speak more
particularly,--her kind, and yielding, and conciliating manners towards
her brothers and sisters. Maria was not the oldest of the children; she
was not quite nine, and her sister Harriet was as much as eleven, and
her brother George still older. And yet her influence did more to
maintain peace and good feeling in the family group, than would have
been believed by a person who had not observed her. In every case where
only her own wishes or inclinations were concerned, Maria was ready to
give up to George or Harriet; because, as she said, they were older than
herself; and again, she was quite as ready to yield to little Susan and
Willy, because they were younger. Her brothers and sisters, in their
turn, were far less apt to contend for any privilege or advantage, than
they would have been, if she had shown herself more tenacious of her own

Mr. Wilton used occasionally to go into the city, a few miles distant,
upon business. He usually went in a chaise, taking one of the children
with him. The excursion was to them a very pleasant one, and all
anticipated, with a great deal of pleasure, their respective turns to
ride with their father. It happened that the day when it fell to Maria's
turn, was to be the close of an exhibition of animals, which had been
for a short time in the city. Maria's eye brightened with pleasure as
her father mentioned this circumstance at the dinner table, and inquired
if she would like to visit the caravan.

"O, father!" exclaimed George, eagerly, as he laid down his knife and
fork; "a caravan!--Mayn't I go?"

"You cannot both go," replied his father; "and I believe it is Maria's
turn to go into town with me."

"Well," said George, "but I don't believe Maria would care any thing
about seeing it;" and his eye glanced eagerly from his father to Maria,
and then from Maria to his father again.

"How is it, Maria?" said Mr. Wilton; "have you no wish to visit the

Maria did not answer directly, while yet her countenance showed very
plainly what her wishes really were. "Is there an _elephant_ there,
father?" she, at length, rather hesitatingly inquired.

"There probably is," replied her father.

"An _elephant_!" repeated George with something of a sneer; "who has not
seen an elephant? I would not give a farthing to go, if there was
nothing better than an elephant to be seen."

"What _should_ you care so much to see?" inquired Mr. Wilton.

"Why, I would give any thing to see a leopard or a camel."

"A leopard or a camel!" repeated his father in the same tone in which
George had made his rude speech; "I am sure I wouldn't give a farthing
to see either a camel or a leopard."

"No," said George, "because you have seen them both; but _I_ never did."

"Neither has Maria seen an elephant," returned Mr. Wilton; "so what is
the difference?"

George looked a little mortified at the overthrow of his argument. But
still his eagerness for the gratification was not to be repressed.--"I
shouldn't think a _girl_ need to care about going to see a parcel of
wild beasts," he remarked, rather petulantly, as he gave his chair a
push, upon rising from the table.

"O, George, George." expostulated his father, "I did not think you were
either a selfish or a sullen boy."

"No, father, and he is not," said Maria, approaching her father, and
taking his hand; "but he wants to go very much, and I do not care so
_much_ about it; so he may go, and I will stay at home."

"You are a good girl," said her father; "but I shall not consent to any
such injustice; so go and get ready as quick as possible."

"But, father, I had really a great deal rather that George should go,"
insisted Maria.

"But I cannot think that George would really, on the whole, prefer to
take your place," said Mr. Wilton, turning to George.

"No, sir." replied George, who--restored by this time to a sense of
propriety and justice--was standing ready to speak for himself. "No,
sir; Maria is very kind; but I do not wish to take her place; I am very
sorry indeed that I said any thing about it. I certainly shall not
consent to hike your place, Maria," he said, perceiving that she was
ready to entreat still further.

"O! but I do wish you would," said Maria. But just here her mother
interposed. "If Maria would really prefer to give up her place to her
brother," said Mrs. Wilton, "I certainly shall like the arrangement very
much, for I am to be particularly engaged this afternoon, and, as
Harriet is to be absent, I shall be very glad of some of Maria's
assistance in taking care of the baby."

"O! well," said Maria, brightening up, "then I am sure I will not go: so
run, George, for father is almost ready to start."

Thus the matter was amicably settled. George went with his father, and
Maria remained at home to help take care of little Willy.

Maria loved her little brother very much, and she never seemed tired of
taking care of him, even when he was ever so fretful or restless. She
would leave her play, at any moment, to run and rock the baby, or to
hold him in her lap; for, even if she felt inclined, at any time, to be
a little out of patience for a moment, she would recollect how many
hours she had herself been nursed, by night and by day, and she was glad
of an opportunity to relieve her mother of some of her care and fatigue.
Her cousin, Ellen Weston, called, one afternoon, to ask her to
accompany a party of little girls, who were going to gather berries in
the wood near Maria's house. It happened that Maria had been left with
the care of Willy, just as her cousin called; and it happened, too, that
Willy was that afternoon unusually fretful and difficult to please. If
Maria left him for a moment, or if she did not hold him exactly in the
posture which suited him, or if she had not precisely the thing ready
which he wanted at the moment, he would act just as all babies of nine
or ten months sometimes take it into their heads to act. With all her
patience and good-humor, she hardly knew how to manage him; and
especially after having been obliged to reject so agreeable an
invitation as the one her cousin brought, she found her task a little

She could hardly repress an occasional expression of impatience, as she
tried in vain to please the wayward little fellow. But her patience and
good-humor were very soon restored; and as she reflected that she was
doing her mother a great deal of good, by staying at home with Willy,
she felt quite willing to dismiss all thoughts of the berrying
expedition. The girls, however, did not forget her. It was proposed by
one of the party, when Ellen had stated the reason why Maria could not
join them, that each should contribute some portion of her berries to be
carried to her on their way home. All agreed very readily to the plan,
and each took pains to select the largest and the ripest of her berries
for Maria's basket. The gratification afforded Maria by this little
token of kind remembrance, more than compensated for the self-denial
which she had practised. It is almost always the case when persons
cheerfully submit to any privation, for the sake of other persons, or
because it is duty, that they are amply rewarded for it. They enjoy, at
least, the consciousness of doing right, which is one of the very
highest sources of pleasure. Maria would, at any time, have been
satisfied with only this reward; but it very often happened, very
unexpectedly, that something more was in store for her. This was the
case upon the time when she gave up her ride, and her visit to the
caravan, for the sake of her brother. I have not said that it was
absolutely Maria's duty to yield to her brother, in this case: perhaps
it would have been perfectly right for her to have maintained her own
claims; and yet there is no doubt that she felt a great deal happier for
the sacrifice she had made.

But we were going to speak of some further reward that her amiable
behavior, in this instance, procured her. As her father opened a package
which he had brought on his return, he silently placed in her hands a
beautiful copy of a newly-published work, upon the fly-leaf of which she
found written--"Maria Wilton--a reward for her kind and obliging manners
towards her brothers and sisters."


When they had finished the story, Lucy shut the book, saying, "Maria was
a good girl, was not she, Rollo?"

"Yes," said Rollo, "she was an excellent girl. I would have done just
so; would not you, Lucy?"

"I ought to, I know," said Lucy, "but perhaps I should not."

"I should, I am sure," said Rollo.

Lucy was a polite girl, and she did not contradict Rollo, though she
recollected how much selfishness he had shown that morning, and it did
not seem to her very likely that he would have been willing to make any
very great sacrifice to oblige others.

"My father says we cannot tell what we should do until we are tried,"
said Lucy.

"Well, I _know_ I should have been willing to stay at home, if I had
been Maria," replied Rollo.

"But, only think, that would be preferring another person's pleasure
rather than your own."

"Well, I _should_ prefer another person's pleasure rather than my own."

Rollo was beginning to get a little excited and vexed. People who boast
of excellences which they do not possess, are very apt to be
unreasonable and angry when any body seems to doubt whether their
boastings are true. He was thus going on, insisting upon it that he
should have acted as Maria had done, and was just saying that he should
prefer another person's pleasure rather than his own, when Jonas came
into the entry from the kitchen, with an armful of wood, which he was
carrying into the parlor.

"When is it, Rollo," said Jonas, "that you prefer another person's
pleasure to your own?"

"Always," said Rollo, with an air of self-conceit and consequence.

Jonas smiled, and went on with his wood.

It is always better for boys to be modest and humble-minded. They appear
ridiculous to others when they are boasting what _great_ things they can
do; and when they boast what _good_ things they do they are very likely
to be just on the eve of doing exactly the opposite.

In a moment Jonas came back out of the parlor, and said, as he passed

Goes but little ways;"

a short piece of versification which all boys and girls would do well to

Now it happened that, all this time, Rollo's mother was sitting in a
little bedroom, which had a door opening into the entry where Lucy and
Rollo had been reading, and she heard all the conversation. She knew
that though Rollo was generally a good boy, and was willing to know his
faults, and often endeavored to correct them, still that he was, like
all other boys, prone to selfishness and to vanity, and she thought that
she must take some way to show him clearly what the truth really was,
about his disinterestedness.

In a few minutes, therefore, she went out of the room, and took from the
store closet an apple and a pear. They were both good, but the pear was
particularly fine. It was large, mellow, and juicy. She then went back
to her seat, and called, "Rollo."

Rollo came running to her.

"Here," said she, "is an apple and a pear for you."

"Is one for me and one for Lucy?" said he.

"That is just as you please. I give them both to you. You may do what
you choose with them."

Rollo took the fruit, much pleased, and walked slowly back, hesitating
what to do. He thought he must certainly give one to Lucy, and as he had
just been boasting that he preferred another's pleasure to his own, he
was ashamed to offer her the apple; and yet he wanted the pear very much

If he had had a little more time, he would have hit upon a plan which
would have removed all the difficulty at once, by dividing both the
apple and the pear, and giving to Lucy half of each. But he did not
think of this. In fact his mother knew that, as he was going directly
bark to Lucy, he would not have much time to think but must act
according to the spontaneous impulse of his heart.

But though he did not think of dividing the apple and the pear, he
happened to hit upon a plan, which occurred to him just as he was going
back into the entry, that he thought would do.

He held the fruit behind him; the apple in one hand, and the pear in the
other. Lucy saw him coming, and said,

"What have you got, Rollo?"

"Which will you have, right hand or left?" said he in reply.


Rollo held forward his right hand, and, lo! it was the pear. But he
could not bear to part with it, and he brought forward the other, and

"No, you may have the apple."

"No," said Lucy; "the pear is fairly mine; you asked me which I would
have, and I said the right."

"But I want the pear," said Rollo; "you may have the apple. Mother gave
them both to me."

"I want the pear too," said Lucy; "it is mine, and you must give it to

Just then a voice called from the bedroom,


"What, mother?" said Rollo.

"I want you both to come here."

Rollo and Lucy would both have been ashamed of their contention, were it
not that the pear looked so very rich and tempting, that they were both
very eager to have it.

"What is the difficulty?" said Rollo's mother, as soon as they stood
before her.

"Why, Lucy wants the pear," said Rollo, "and you gave them both to me,
and said I might do as I pleased with them. I am willing to give her the

"Yes, but he offered me my choice," said Lucy, "right hand or left, and
I chose the right, and now he ought to give it to me."

"And are you willing that I should decide it?" said the lady.

"Yes, mother," and "Yes, aunt," said Rollo and Lucy together.

"You have both done wrong; not _very_ wrong, but a little wrong; and I
think neither ought to have the whole of the pear. So I shall divide the
pear and the apple both between you; and I will tell you how you have
done wrong.

"You, Rollo, by asking her which she would have, implied that you would
leave it to chance to decide, and that you would let her have her fair
chance. Then you ought to have submitted to the result. If she had
chosen the left hand, she ought to have been content. If she had got the
apple, you would have had the credit of giving her an equal chance with
you, and she ought therefore to have had the full benefit of the chance.

"And then you, Lucy, did wrong, for, although Rollo asked you to choose,
he did not _actually promise_ you your choice, and as he was under no
obligation to give you either, you ought not to have insisted upon his
fulfilling his _implied promise_. Is it not so?"

The children both saw and admitted that it was.

"The best way, I think," she continued, "would have been for you, Rollo,
to have given the _pear_ to Lucy, as she was your visitor, and a young
lady too. Then she would have given you half in eating it. However, you
were not very much in the wrong, either of you. It was a sort of a
doubtful case. But I hope you see from it, Rollo, what I wanted to
teach you, that you are no more inclined to prefer other persons'
pleasure to your own, than other children are. Remember Jonas's couplet
hereafter. I think it is a very good one. Now go and get a knife, and
cut the fruit; and see, it does not rain but little; you can go and get
your pea-pods now."

Away went the children out into the kitchen after a knife. Rollo wanted
to cut the apple and the pear himself, and Lucy made no objection; and
we must do him the justice to say that he gave rather the largest half
of each to Lucy. They then went out into the shed, Rollo taking with him
a dipper of water to wash his feet when he came back from the garden.
Rollo then took off his shoes, and gave Lucy his share of the fruit, to
keep for him, and then sallied forth into the yard, holding the umbrella
over his head, as a few drops of rain were still falling.

He waded into the little pond at the garden gate, and then turned round
to look at Lucy and laugh. He began, too, to caper about in the water,
but Lucy told him to take care, or he would fall down, and they could
not wash his _clothes_, as they could his feet, with their dipper of

So he went carefully forward till he came to the peas, and gathered as
many as he wanted, and then returned.

As he was coming back, he saw Jonas in the barn. Jonas called out to him
to ask what he had got.

"I have been to get some pea-pods," said he, "to make boats with."

"Where are you going to sail them?" said Jonas.

"O, in this little pond, when it is done raining."

"But you had better have a little pond _now_, in the shed."

"How can we?" said Rollo.

"You might have it in a milk-pan."

"So we can. Could you come and get it for us?"

"Yes, in a few minutes--by the time you get your boats made."

Rollo and Lucy were much pleased with this, and they sat down, one on
each side of the milk-pan pond, and sailed their boats a long time. He
cut small pieces of the apple and of the pear for cargo, and Rollo put
in the stem of the pear for the captain of his boat. Each one was
good-humored and obliging, and the time passed away very pleasantly, until
it was near dinner-time. When they came in to dinner, they observed that
it was raining again very fast.


"Father," said Rollo, at the dinner-table, "do you think it will rain
all the afternoon?"

"It looks like it," replied his father, "but why? Do you not enjoy
yourselves in the house?"

"O yes, sir," said Rollo, "we have had a fine time this morning; but
Lucy and I thought that, if it did not rain this afternoon, we might go
out in the garden a little."

"It may clear up towards night; but, if it does, I think it would be
better to go down to the brook and see the freshet, than to go into the

"The freshet? Will there be a freshet, do you think?"

"Yes, if it rains this afternoon as fast as it does now, I think the
brook will be quite, high towards night."

Rollo was much pleased to hear this. He told Lucy, after dinner, that
the brook looked magnificently in a freshet; that the banks were
brimming full, and the water poured along in a great torrent, foaming
and dashing against the logs and rocks.

"Then, besides, Lucy," said he, "we can carry down our little boats and
set them a sailing. How they will whirl and plunge along down the

Lucy liked the idea of seeing the freshet, too, very much; though she
said she was afraid it would be too wet for her to go. Rollo told her
never to fear, for his father would contrive some way to get her down
there safely, and they both went to the back entry door again, looking
out, and wishing now that it would rain faster and faster, as they did
before dinner that it would cease to rain.

"But," said Lucy, "what if it should not stop raining at all, to-night?"

"O, it will," said Rollo, "I know it will. Besides, if it should not, we
can go down to-morrow morning, you know, and then there will be a
bigger freshet. O how full the brook will be by to-morrow morning!"

And Rollo clapped his hands, and capered with delight.

"Yes," said Lucy, soberly, "but I must go home to-night."

"Must you?" said Rollo. "So you must. I did not think of that."

"But I think," continued he, "that it will certainly clear up to-night.
I will go and ask father if he does not think so too."

They both went together back into the parlor to ask the question.

"I cannot tell, my children, whether it will or not. I see no
indications, one way or the other. I think you had better forget all
about it, and go to doing something else; for if you spend all the
afternoon in watching the sky, and trying to guess whether it will clear
up or not, you cannot enjoy yourselves, and may be sadly disappointed at

"Why, we cannot help thinking of it, father."

"You cannot, if you stand there at the back door, doing nothing else;
but, if you engage in some other employment, you will soon forget all
about it."

"What do you think we had better do?" said Lucy.

"I think you had better go up and put your room and your desk all in
order, Rollo; Lucy can help you."

"But, father, I have put it in order a great many times, and it always
gets out of order again very soon, and I cannot keep it neat."

"That is partly because you do not put it in order right. You do not
understand the principles of order."

"What are the principles of order?" said Lucy.

"There are a good many. I will tell you some of them, and then you may
go and apply them in arranging Rollo's things.

"One principle is to have the things that are most frequently used in
the most accessible place, so that they can be taken out and returned to
their proper places easily.

"Another good principle for you is to distinguish between the things
which you wish to _use_, and those you only wish to _preserve_. The
former ought to be in sight, and near at hand. The latter may be packed
away more out of view.

"Another principle is to avoid having your desk and room encumbered with
things of little or no value, as stones you have picked up, and papers,
and sticks. The place to keep such things is in the barn or shed, not in
your private room.

"Then you must arrange your things systematically, putting things of the
same nature together. Once I looked into your desk after you had put it
in order, and I found that, in the back side of it, you had piled up
hooks, and white paper, and pictures, and a slate, and a pocket-book or
two, all together. You thought they were in order, because they were in
a _pile_. Now, they ought to have been separated and arranged; all the
white paper by itself in front, where you can easily get it to use; the
pictures all by themselves in a portfolio; and the books should be
arranged, not in a _pile_, but in a _row_, on their edges, so that you
can get out any one without disturbing the others. Those are some of the
principles of order."

"Well, come, Rollo," said Lucy, "let us go and see your things, and try
to put them in order, right."

Rollo went, but, as he left the room, he turned round to ask his father
if he would not come with them, and just show them a little about it.
His father said he could not come very well then, but if they would try
and do as well as they could, he would come and look over their work
after it was done, and tell them whether it was right or not.

Rollo and Lucy went up into Rollo's room, and, true enough, they found
not a little confusion there. But they went to work, and soon became
very much interested in their employment. A great many of the things
were new to Lucy, and as they went on arranging them, they often stopped
to talk and play. In this way several hours passed along very
pleasantly; and when, at last, they had got them nearly arranged, Rollo
went to the window to throw out some old stones that he concluded not to
keep any longer, when he exclaimed aloud,

"O, Lucy, Lucy, come here quick."

Lucy ran. Rollo pointed out to the western horizon, and said, "See

There was a broad band of bright golden sky all along the western
horizon--clear and beautiful, and extending each way as far as they
could see. The dark clouds overhead reached down to the edge of this
clear sky, where they hung in a fringe of gold, and the dazzling rays of
the sun were just peeping under it. The rain had ceased.

Rollo and Lucy gazed at it a moment, and then ran down stairs as fast
as they could go, calling out,

"It is clearing away! It is clearing away! Father, it is clearing away.
We can go and see the freshet."


They went out upon the steps to look at the sky. A few drops of rain
were still falling, but the clouds appeared to be breaking in several
places, and the tract of golden sky in the west was rising and
extending. The air was calm, and the golden rays of the sun shone upon
the fields and trees, and upon the glittering drops that hung from the
leaves and branches. Rollo and Lucy both said it was beautiful.

They went in and urged their father to go with them down to the brook to
see the freshet, but he said they must wait till after tea. "It is too
wet to go now," said he.

"But, father," said Rollo, "I do not think it will be any better after
tea. The ground cannot dry in half an hour."

"No," said his father; "but the water will run off of the paths a great
deal, so that we can get along much better."

"Well, but then it will run off from the brook a great deal too, and the
freshet will not be so high."

"It is a little different with the brook," his father replied, "for that
is very long, and the water comes a great way, from among the hills.
Now, while we are taking tea, the water will be running into the brook
back among the hills, faster than it will run away here, so that it will
grow higher and higher for some hours."

Rollo had no more to say, but he was impatient to go. He and Lucy went
out and stood on the steps again. The clouds were breaking up and flying
away in all directions, and large patches of clear blue sky appeared
everywhere, giving promise of a beautiful evening.

"Hark!" said Rollo; "what is that?"

Lucy listened. It was a sort of roaring sound down in the woods. Rollo
at first thought it was a bear growling.

"Do you think it is a bear?" said he to Lucy, with a look of some

"A bear!--no," said Lucy, laughing. "That is not the way a bear growls.
It is the freshet."

"The freshet!" said Rollo.

"Yes; it is the water roaring along the brook."

Rollo listened, and he immediately perceived that it was the sound of
water, and he jumped and capered with delight, at thinking how fine a
sight it must be.

At the tea-table Rollo's father explained the plan he had formed for
their going. He said it was rather a difficult thing to go and see a
freshet without getting wet--especially for a girl. He and Rollo, he
said, could put on their good thick boots, but Lucy had none suitable
for such a walk, as it would probably be very wet and muddy in some

"What shall we do then?" said Rollo.

"I believe I shall let Jonas go down and draw Lucy in his wagon," said
his father. "How should you like that, Lucy?"

Lucy said she should like it very well, and after tea they went out to
the garden-yard door, where they found Jonas with his wagon all ready.
This wagon was one which Jonas had made to draw Rollo upon. It was plain
and simple, but strong and convenient, and perfectly safe. They helped
Lucy into it, and she sat down on the little seat. Rollo, with his hoots
on, took hold behind to push, and Jonas drew. Rollo's father walked
behind, and thus they set off to view the freshet.

They moved along carefully through the yard, and then turned by the gate
and went into the field. The path led them by the garden fence for some
distance, and they went along very pleasantly for a time, until at
length they came to a large pool of water covering the whole path. There
were high banks on each side, so that the wagon could not turn out.

"What shall we do now?" said Rollo.

"I can go right through it," said Jonas; "it is not deep."

"And we can go along on the bank, by the side," said Rollo.

"Very well." said his father, "if you are not afraid, Lucy."

Lucy did feel a little afraid at first, but she knew that if her uncle
was willing that she should go, there could not be any danger; so she
made no objection. Besides, she knew that, as Jonas was to walk along
before her, she could see how deep it was, and there could not be any
deep places without his finding it out before the wagon went into them.

Jonas was barefoot, and did not mind wetting his feet; so he waded in,
drawing the wagon after him. It was about up to his ankles all the way.
Lucy looked over the side of the wagon, and felt a little fear as she
saw the wheels half under water; but they went safely through.

Presently they began to descend a path which led them into the woods.
They heard the roaring of the water, which grew louder and louder as
they drew nigh, and then Rollo suddenly stopped and said,

"Why, father, it is raining here in the woods now."

Lucy listened, and they heard the drops of rain falling upon the ground
all around them; and yet, looking up, they saw that the sky was almost
perfectly clear. Presently they thought that this was only the drops
falling off from the leaves of the trees.

Rollo said he meant to see if it was so, and he ran out of the path, and
took hold of a slender tree with a large top of branches and leaves,
and, looking up to see if any drops would come down, he gave it a good
shake; and, true enough, down came a perfect shower of drops all into
his face and eyes. At first he was astonished at such an unexpected
shower-bath, but he concluded, on the whole, to laugh, and not cry about
it; and he came back wiping his face, and looking comically enough. All
the party laughed a little at his mishap, and then went on.

In a few minutes more, they came in sight of the foaming brook. The
water was very high; in some places, the banks were overflowed, and the
current swept along furiously, dashing against the rocks, and whirling
round the projecting points.

The children stopped, and gazed upon the scene a little while, and then
Rollo said he was going to sail his boats, which he had brought in his

Just then Jonas saw a plank which was lying partly on the bank and
partly in the water, a little up the stream. It had been placed across
the brook some distance above, for a bridge; but the freshet had brought
it away, and it had drifted down to where it then was.

Jonas said he would find a place for Lucy to stand upon with it. So he
went and pushed off this plank, and let it float down to where the
children were standing; and then he drew it up upon the shore, and laid
it along, so that Lucy could stand upon it safely, and launch the
pea-pod boats.

These boats were soon all borne away rapidly down the stream, out of
sight; and then they threw in sticks and chips, and watched them as they
sailed away, and whirled around in the eddies, or swept down the rapids.
Thus they amused themselves a long time, and then slowly returned home.


[Illustration: "The bower on the mountain."]


* * * * *


Rollo's mother advised him, when he went to bed the evening before the
day fixed upon for the blueberrying, to rise early the next morning, and
take a good reading lesson before breakfast. She said he would enjoy
himself much more, during the day, if he performed all his usual duties
before he went. Rollo accordingly arose quite early, and, when he came
in to breakfast, had the satisfaction of telling his father that he had
read his morning lesson, and prepared his basket, and was all ready to

He wanted Jonas to go too, and as, the last time when he asked his
father's permission that he should go, he lost his request by asking it
in an improper manner, he determined to be careful this time.

So he was silent at breakfast time while his father and mother were
talking, and then, watching an opportunity when they seemed disengaged,
he asked his father if Jonas might not go with them.

"I do not think he can very well, for there is no room for him. Both the
chaises will be full."

"But could not he ride on Old Trumpeter?" said Rollo.

Old Trumpeter was a white horse, that had served the family some time,
but was now rather old, and not a very good traveller.

Rollo's father hesitated a moment, and then said, perhaps he might. "You
may go and tell him that we are going, and that if he thinks Old
Trumpeter will do to carry him, he may go. He will be of great help to
us, if we should get into any difficulty."

Rollo thought of the bears that he expected to see on the mountain, and
ran to tell Jonas. Jonas was glad to go. So he went and gave Old
Trumpeter some oats, and got the saddle and bridle ready. He also got
out a pair of saddle-bags that he always used on such occasions, and put
into them a hatchet, a dipper, a box of matches, and some rope. On
second thoughts, he concluded it would be best to put these things into
the chaise-box, and to put the saddle-bags on his horse empty, as he
might want them to bring something home in.

After breakfast, Lucy and her father, Rollo's uncle George, drove up to
the door, for they were going too; and in a short time you might have
seen all the party driving away from the door--Rollo's father and mother
in the first chaise, uncle George, and Rollo, and Lucy, in the second,
and Jonas on Old Trumpeter behind.

They rode on for a mile or two, and then turned off of the main road
into the woods, and went on by a winding and beautiful road until they
came in sight of a range of mountains, one of which seemed very high and

"Is that Benalgon?" said Rollo.

"I do not know," said his uncle; "I have never been to it before; but I
suppose Jonas can tell."

"I will call him," said Rollo. So he turned round, and kneeled up upon
the seat, so that he could look out behind the chaise, for the back
curtain was up. Lucy did the same, but Jonas was not to be seen. They
looked a little longer, and presently saw him coming along round a curve
in the road. They beckoned to him, and as he rode up, they saw he had a
bush in his hand. He came up to the side of the chaise, and handed it to
Rollo. It was a large blueberry-bush, covered with beautiful ripe blue
berries. Rollo took them, and admired them very much; and at first he
was going to divide them between Lucy and himself; but they concluded,
on the whole, to send them forward to his mother. Jonas told them the
mountain before them _was_ Benalgon, and rode on to carry the
blueberry-bush to the other chaise. Presently he came back, bringing it
with him, except a small sprig which Rollo's mother had taken off. The
rest she had sent back to the children.

"Well, Jonas," said uncle George, when he got back, "I do not see but
that Old Trumpeter is strong enough to carry you yet."

"O yes, sir," said Jonas, "he is strong enough to carry half a dozen
like me."

"O, uncle George," said Rollo, "let him carry me too with Jonas. I can
ride behind."

"Very well; if you want to ride with him a little while, you may, if
Jonas is willing."

Jonas was, and Rollo got out, and climbed up upon a stump, by the side
of the road. Jonas drove up to the stump, and Rollo clambered up behind
him, with a switch in his hand.

"Now, Jonas," said he, "whenever you want him to go any faster, you just
speak to me, and I will touch him up with my switch."

Jonas said he would, and they jogged along behind the chaise. Lucy
kneeled upon the cushion, and looked out behind, talking with Rollo.


They went on so very quietly for some time, until Jonas said there was a
turn in the road on before them, where there was a foot-path that led
across a ravine, by a nearer way than the chaise-road, and proposed that
Rollo should ask leave for Jonas and himself to go across on horseback,
and wait for the chaises, when they should come out on the main road.

So they rode up to the chaise, and Rollo put the question to his uncle

His reply was that he could not say any thing about it; Rollo must go
and ask his father.

"Would you go?" said Jonas.

"Yes," said Rollo.

"Well, touch up Old Trumpeter then."

So Rollo applied his switch, and the horse trotted on fast. Rollo had
hard work to hold on, but he clasped his arm tight around Jonas's waist,
and succeeded in keeping his seat.

Rollo's father and mother were riding some distance before them, but
they saw Jonas coming up, and rode slowly, that he might overtake them.

"Well, Rollo," said his father, "how do you like riding double?"

"Very much," said Rollo; "and we want you to let Jonas and I cut across
by the horse-path through the valley, and wait for you at the mill."

"Is there a horse-path across here, Jonas?"

"Yes, sir," said Jonas.

"Is it a good path?"

"It is rather rough, sir, through the woods and bushes; but it is a
pretty good road."

Rollo's father sat hesitating a moment, and then said--

"You may go, if you choose, but I advise you not to."

"Why do you advise us not to?" said Rollo.

"Why, you may get into some difficulty, and so we get separated."

"Yes, but," said Rollo, "it is not near so far across, and we shall have
time to get through to the mill long before you come along."

"Very well, you may do as you please."

"Jonas, what would you do? Would you go, or not?"

"I think I would _not_ go, if your father thinks we had better not."

"I want to go very much," said Rollo.

"Very well," said his father; "you are willing to go with him, I
suppose, Jonas, are you not?"

"O yes, sir," said Jonas.

"Well," said Rollo, "let us go. We will he very careful, father, not to
get into any difficulty."

So the two chaises rode on, and Jonas and Rollo, in a few minutes,
turned off by a narrow path that struck into the woods. Just as they
were bending down their heads to pass under a great branch of a tree,
Rollo looked along, and saw Lucy waving her handkerchief to him, as the
chaise which she was in disappeared by a turn of the road.

Rollo at first felt a little uneasy to think that he had deserted his
cousin, as it were. He thought that he should not have liked it exactly,
if she had gone off, and left him alone so in the chaise. However, it
was now too late to repent, and his attention was attracted by the wild
and romantic scene around him. The path descended obliquely, by a rough,
wet, and stony way, through a dark forest. He heard the sighing of the
wind, in the tops of the tall trees, and the mellow notes of forest
birds, far off, and high, which came rich and sweet to his ear with a
peculiar expression of solitude and loneliness.

The boys rode on, and the path became more and more slippery, stony,
and steep Rollo clung tight to Jonas, and begun to be somewhat afraid.
He would have proposed to go back, but he was ashamed to do it. After a
little time, he asked Jonas whether the path was as bad as that all the

"As bad as this!" said Jonas; "we call this very good. I will show you
the bad road pretty soon."

Rollo looked frightened, but said nothing.

"The road seems more wet than common to-day," said Jonas, "I suppose on
account of the rain yesterday; and I declare," said he, "I am afraid we
shall find the brook up."

"The brook up!" said Rollo.

"Yes--why did not I think of that before? However, we must go on now."

"Why?" said Rollo. "Why cannot we go back?"

"O, because we should be too late; besides, there is no danger, only we
may have to wade a little."

As they went on, the mud in the road grew deeper and deeper, and
presently Old Trumpeter's legs sunk far down among roots and mire.
Rollo began to feel more and more alarmed, and heartily wished that he
had taken his father's advice.

Soon alter they came to a place where the path, for some distance before
them, was full of water, deep and miry. Jonas said he thought that they
had better go out upon one side; so he made the horse step over a log
and go in among the trees and bushes. The branches brushed and scratched
Rollo unmercifully, though he bent down, and leaned over to this side
and that, continually, to escape them. He asked Jonas why this path had
not dried, as well as the main road, where the chaises had gone; and
Jonas told him that the sun and the wind were the great means of drying
the open road, but that this narrow and secluded path was shaded from
the sun, and sheltered from the wind, and that the water consequently
remained a long time among the moss, and roots, and mire.

After a time, they got back into the path again, and, going on a little
farther, they came down to the margin of the brook. They found that it
_was_ "up," as Jonas had feared. At the place where the path went down
and crossed the brook, a deep cut had been worn in the two opposite
banks, and this was filled with water, and above and below the stream
rushed on in a torrent. Jonas hesitated a moment, and then asked Rollo
if he thought he could hold on, while they we're riding through. Rollo
said he was afraid it was so deep as to drown them. Jonas then said that
he might get off and stand upon a rock by the side of the path, while he
rode through, first, to see how it was, and that then he would come back
for him.

So Rollo got off, in fear and trembling, and stood on the rock, while
Jonas urged his horse into the water. Old Trumpeter did not much like
this kind of travelling, but Jonas half persuaded and half compelled him
to go through. When he was in the middle, the water came up so high,
that Jonas was obliged to lift up his feet to keep them from being wet.
Presently, however, it became more shoal, as the horse walked slowly
along; and at last he fairly reached the dry ground, and stood dripping
on the bank.

Rollo was glad to see that the water was no deeper, but was still
afraid to go over. He told Jonas he _could not_ go over I here, and that
he _must_ go back with him.

"No," said Jonas, "that would not be right."

"Why," said Rollo, "we can ride fast, and overtake them."

"Not very soon," said Jonas. "If we go back now, they will get to the
mill before us, and then will be very anxious and unhappy, thinking that
something has happened to us; and perhaps your father will come through
here after us. Now it was your own plan, coming across here, and you
ought not to make other people suffer by it. Your father advised you not
to come."

"I know it," said Rollo; "what a foolish boy I was! I shall certainly be

"O no," said Jonas, "there is no real danger, or I should not make you
go;" and so saying, he came back slowly through the water. "See," said
he, "it is not very deep."


After some further persuasion Rollo got on behind him, and they began to
in make their way slowly through the water again. Old Trumpeter
staggered along, but not very unsteadily on the whole, until he got a
little past the middle, when he blundered upon a stone on the bottom,
which he could not see, and fell down on his knees. Jonas caught up his
feet, in an instant, and Rollo had his already drawn up behind him, and
they both grasped the saddle convulsively. The horse happened to regain
his feet again in a moment, so that they contrived to hold on; and in a
few minutes they were drawn out safely upon the shore, without even
getting their feet wet.

"Well, Old Trumpeter," said Jonas, "you have done pretty well for you,
and you have got the mire washed off your legs, at any rate. But, Rollo,
what is that?"

He pointed back, as he said this, to a little tuft floating round and
round in a small eddy, made by a turn of the brook, just above where
they had crossed. He turned his horse towards it. "It is a bird's
nest," said he.

"So it is," said Rollo; "and I verily believe there is a little bird in

Jonas jumped off of the horse, handed the bridle to Rollo, and took up a
long stick lying on the ground, and very gently and cautiously drew the
nest, in to the shore. He took it up with great care, and brought it to

There was a little bird in it, scarcely fledged. Jonas said he believed
it was a robin, and that it must have been washed off from its place on
some bush, by the freshet in the brook. The bottom of the nest was
soaked through by the water, as if it had been floating some time; and
the little bird kept opening its mouth wide. The poor little thing was
hungry, and heard Jonas and Rollo, and thought they were its mother,
come to give it something to eat.

"What shall we do with him?" said Rollo.

"He will die if we leave him here," said Jonas, "for he has lost his
mother now. I think we had better carry him home, if we can, and feed
him, till he is old enough to fly."

"He is hungry," said Rollo; "let us feed him now."

"We have not any thing to feed him with. Perhaps I can catch a fly, or a

"O, that will not do," said Rollo; "you might as well kill him as kill
a grasshopper."

Jonas could not reply to this, and they concluded to carry nest and all
carefully to the mill, and show it to Rollo's father there. But how to
carry it was the difficulty. If either of them undertook to hold it in
one hand, he was afraid the bird might be jolted out; and neither of
them had but one hand to spare, for Rollo must have one hand to hold on
with, and Jonas one to drive. At last Jonas took off his cap, and placed
it bottom upwards on the saddle before him, and put the nest, with the
bird in it, in that, and then drove carefully along. The road grew much
smoother and better after they passed the brook; and, after going on a
short distance farther, they came in sight of the mill.

They had been detained so long that the chaises had reached the mill
before, them; and the party in the chaises were looking out down the
path where they expected the boys were to come out, watching for them
with considerable interest:

"There they come at last," said Lucy, as she perceived a movement among
the bushes, and saw Old Trumpeter's white head coming forward.

"Yes," said Rollo's mother, "but they have met with some accident. Jonas
has lost his cap."

By this time the boys had emerged from the bushes, and were coming along
the path slowly, Jonas bareheaded, and Rollo holding on carefully. Lucy
saw that Jonas was holding something before him, on the saddle, and
wondered what it was. Rollo's mother said she was afraid they had got

As soon as they came within hearing Rollo heard his father's voice
calling out to him,

"Rollo, what is the matter? Have you got into any difficulty?"

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "we had some difficulty; and I should be sorry I
did not take your advice, only then we should not have found this little

"What bird?" said they all.

By this time, they had come up near the chaises, and Jonas carefully
lifted the birdsnest out of his cap, and held it so that they could all
see it, while Rollo told them the story. They all looked much pleased
but Lucy seemed in delight. She wanted to have it go in their chaise,
and asked Rollo to let her hold the nest in her lap.

Rollo did not answer very directly, for he was busy looking at the
bird,--seeing him open his mouth, and wishing he had something to give
him to eat.

"Father," said he, "what shall we feed him with? Jonas was going to
catch a grasshopper, but I thought that would not be right."

"Why not?" said uncle George.

"Because," said Rollo, "he has as good a right to his life as the bird,
has not he, father?"

"Not exactly," said his father: "a bird is an animal of much higher
grade than a grasshopper, and is probably much more sensible of pain and
pleasure, and his life is of more value; just as a man is a much higher
animal than a bird. It would be right to kill a bird to save a man's
life, even if he were only an animal; and so it would be right to
destroy a grasshopper, or a worm, to save a robin."

"But I read in a book once," said Lucy, "that, when we tread on a worm,
he feels as much pain in being killed as a giant would."

"I do not think it is true," said he. "I think that there is a vast
diversity among the different animals, in respect to their sensibility
to pain, according to their structure, and the delicacy of their
organization. I think a crew of a fishing-vessel might catch a whole
cargo of mackerel, and not cause as much pain as one of their men would
suffer in having his leg bitten off by a shark."

"Well, father," said Rollo, "do you think we had better give him a

"O no," said Lucy; "a grasshopper would not be good to eat, he has got
so many elbows sticking out. Let us give him some blueberries."

"O yes," said Rollo, "that would be beautiful."

So he slid down off of Old Trumpeter's back, and ran to the side of the
road to see if he could not find some blueberries.

He brought a few in his hand, and his father took them, saying that he
would feed the bird for him. He squeezed out pulp of the berries, and
then made a chirping sound, when the bird opened his mouth, and he fed
him with the soft pulp, and threw away the skins. After giving the bird
two or three berries in this way, they put him back into the nest, and
gave the nest to Lucy to hold in her lap, and all the party prepared to
go on.

They rode along about a mile farther, and then came to the place where
they must leave the horses, and prepare to ascend the mountain on foot.
They unharnessed them, so that they might stand more quietly, and then
fastened them to trees by the side of the road.

While they were thus taking care of their horses, Rollo and Lucy were
standing by, with Rollo's mother looking at the bird.

"What are you going to do with him, Rollo?" said his mother.

"Why, I should like to carry him home, and keep him, if you are

"I am, on one condition."

"What is that?"

"You must keep him in a cage with the door always open, so that, as soon
as he is old enough to fly away, he may go if he chooses."

"Then he will certainly fly away, and we shall lose him forever," said

"That is the only condition," replied Rollo's mother.

"But why, mother," said he, "why may we not keep him shut up safe?"

"If I were to tell you the reasons now, they would not satisfy you, you
are so eager to keep him. I think you had better determine to comply
with the condition, good-humoredly, and say no more about it, but try to
think of a name for him."

"Well, mother, what do you think would be a good name?"

"I do not know: you and Lucy must think of one."

Just then uncle George finished tying his horse, and came along to where
the children were standing, and, hearing their conversation, and finding
that Lucy and Rollo were perplexed about a name, he told them he thought
they might, not improperly, call him Noah, as, like Noah, by floating in
a sort of ark, he was saved from a flood.

"I think he was more like Moses than Noah," said Lucy.

"Why?" said her father.

"Because Moses was a little thing when they found him, and then the ark
of bulrushes was something like a birdsnest. I think you had better name
him Moses, Rollo," said she.

Rollo seemed a little at a loss: he said he thought he was a good deal
like Moses, but then he did not think that Moses was a very pretty name
for a bird.

"Do you think it is, mother?" said he.

"I do not know but that it would do very well. You might alter it a
little; call him Mosette, if you think that would be any better for a
bird's name."

Rollo and Lucy repeated the name Mosette to themselves several times,
and concluded that they should like it very much. By this time, the
horses were all ready, and Jonas recommended that they should hide
Mosette away somewhere, until they returned from the mountain, for it
would be troublesome to them, and somewhat dangerous to the bird, to
carry him up and down.

The children approved of this plan, though they were rather unwilling to
part with the bird, at all. They went just into the bushes, and found a
very secret place, by the corner of a large rock, where the shrubs and
wild flowers grew thick, so that it would be entirely out of sight.


They then set forward, the children in advance of the rest. Jonas walked
with Rollo and Lucy, and he had round his waist a broad leather belt,
which he always wore on such occasions, and which had, on one side, his
hatchet and knife, and on the other a sort of bag or pocket, containing
several things, such as matches, a little dipper, &c.

Rollo's father and mother, and his uncle George, walked along behind
them. The way was, for some distance, a sort of cart-path, too steep and
rough for a chaise, but hard and dry, and pretty comfortable walking.
Rollo and Lucy asked Jonas if he would not tell them a story, as they
went along, to beguile the way.

Jonas began a story, about a boy that lived a long time on a mountain
alone, but he had not proceeded far, before they heard a voice behind,
calling them. They looked buck, and saw that Rollo's father was
beckoning them to stop.

They waited till he came up, and he told them he wanted to give them
their orders for the day; and they were rules, he said, which ought to
be observed on all berrying expeditions, by children.

"_First_" said he, "always keep in sight of _me_. For this purpose,
watch me all the time, when we are stepping, and keep before, rather
than behind, when we are walking.

"_Second_. Take no unnecessary steps, but keep in the right path, and
walk slowly and steadily there, so as to save your strength. Otherwise
you will get tired out very soon.

"_Third_. Do not touch any flower or berry that you see, except
blueberries, without first showing them to one of us."

The children listened to these rules, and promised to obey them, and
then walked on. They tried to walk slowly and steadily, listening to
Jonas's story. They turned off, after a time, into a narrower and
steeper path, and ascended, stepping from stone to stone The trees and
bushes hung over their heads, making the walk shady and cool.

After slowly ascending in this way, for some time, they came out of the
woods into an opening of rocky ground, and patches of blue berry-bushes.
They saw, also, at some distance before them, three or four boys,
sitting upon a rock, with pails and baskets in their hands, talking and
laughing loud. They did not take much notice of them, but walked on
quietly. They were going on directly towards them, but Rollo's father
called them, and pointed for them to turn off to the right, round a
rocky precipice which was in that direction.

The children were turning accordingly, when they heard a shout from the
boys before them,--"Hallo,--come this way, and we will show you where
the blueberries are."

"Father," said Rollo, as he stopped and turned round to his father, "the
boys say they will show us the blueberries, out that way: shall we go
and see?"

"No," said his father in a low voice, so that the boys did not hear.
"No: go the way I told you."

They went along, and presently got round the precipice out of sight of
I he boys again. They walked slowly until their parents overtook them.

"Father," said Rollo, "why could you not let us go out with those boys?
They said they were thickest out there."

"Because," said he, "I presume they are not good boys, and I do not want
you to have any thing to do with them."

"But, father, they must be good boys, or they would not want to show us
the blueberries. If they were bad, selfish boys, they would want to keep
all the good places to themselves."

If Rollo had only asked his father, in a modest manner, how it could be
that the boys were bad, when they wanted to show him the best place for
blueberries, it would have been very proper; but his manner of speaking
showed a silly confidence in his own opinion, which was very wrong. His
father, however, did not attempt to reason with him, but only said,

"I think they are bad boys, for I overheard them using bad language; and
I wish you to have nothing to do with them."

He then found a good place for them to begin to gather their berries.
It was a beautiful spot of open ground, between the thick woods on one
side, and a broken, rocky precipice on the other.

Uncle George took Jonas forward alone, until they were out of sight, and
presently returned without him. Rollo asked where Jonas was gone, and
his uncle told him that that was a secret at present. They heard, soon
after, the strokes of his hatchet in the woods, on before them, but
could not imagine what he could be doing.

Thus things went on very pleasantly, and they gathered a large quantity
of berries. There was, indeed, in the course of the day, a serious
difficulty between Rollo and the bad boys; and there is an account of it
given in the next story of "TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN." With Ibis
exception, every thing went on well until about, noon, when Rollo
observed that Jonas had been missing a long time.


"Where is Jonas, all this time?" said Rollo to Lucy.

Lucy said that he had been busy, a long time, doing something over
beyond some rocks, but she did not know what, for her father told her
she must not go to see. Rollo wondered what the secret was, and he was
just going to ask his father to let him go and see what Jonas was doing,
when they saw him coming out from the bushes. He came up to Rollo's
father, and told him that it was all ready. Then Rollo's father called
to all the company, and told them it was time to stop gathering berries,
and they might take up their baskets and follow him.

The baskets and pails were heavy and full, and the whole party walked
along, carrying them carefully towards the place where Jonas had come
from. Rollo's Hither led the way. They entered into a little thicket,
and passed through it by a narrow path. They came out presently into a
sort of opening, on a brow of the mountain. On one side they could look
down upon a vast extent of country, exhibiting a beautiful variety of
forests, rivers, villages, and farms. On the other side was a rocky
precipice, rising abruptly to a considerable height, and then sloping
off towards the summit of the mountain. They walked along a few steps on
a smooth surface of the rock, between patches of grass and
blueberry-bushes, until Lucy and Rollo ran forward to a brook which came
foaming down the precipice, and then, after tumbling along over rocks a
little way, took another foaming leap down the mountain, and was lost
among the trees below.

The party all stepped carefully over this brook, and then walked along
up the bank on the opposite side until they came to the precipice. Here
they were surprised and pleased to see a large bower built, in front of
a little sort of cavern or recess in the rock. Jonas had built it of
large limbs of trees and bushes, which he had leaned up against the
rock, in such a manner as to enclose a large space within. There was an
opening left round on the farther side, next the rock, and they all went
round mid went in--Rollo first, then Lucy, then the others. They found
that smooth and clean logs and stones were arranged around the sides of
the bower; and in the middle, on a carpet of leaves, was very abundant
provision for a rustic dinner.

There was bread, and butter, and ham, and gingerbread, and pie, and
glasses for water from the brook. Rollo and Lucy wondered how all those
things could have got up the mountain. Presently, however, they
recollected that, when they were coming up, Jonas had two covered
baskets to bring, and they thought, at the time, that they seemed to be

Thus the day passed away, and towards evening they came down the
mountain. Some remarkable things happened when they were coming down,
which will be related in the story called "TROUBLE ON THE MOUNTAIN."

[Illustration: "Coming down the Mountain"]


* * * * *


"How pleasant it is here!" said Rollo to his cousin Lucy, as they were
gathering blueberries high up on old Mount Benalgon, the day they went
up with Rollo's father and mother, and uncle; "and how thick the
blueberries are, Lucy!"

"Yes," said Lucy, "they are very thick, I think; and how far we can see
now, we are up here so high! I wish we were up on that great high rock."

Rollo looked where Lucy pointed, and he saw, away above them, a rocky
summit projecting out from the mountain. The front of the rock was
ragged and precipitous, but it was flat and mossy upon the top, and firs
and other evergreen trees grew there, some of them hanging over the

"I wish I could get up there," said Lucy.

"I wish I could too," said Rollo. "I should like to climb up one of
those trees which hangs over, and then I could look down."

"O, Rollo," said Lucy, "you would not dare to climb up one of those

"Yes, I should dare to," said Rollo.

Rollo was sometimes a proud, boasting boy, pretending that he could do
great things, and talking very largely. This was one of his greatest
faults; and whenever he seemed to be in this boasting mood, he almost
always got into some difficulty after it. There is a text in the Bible
that was proved true, very often, in Rollo's case. It is this--"Pride
cometh before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Rollo
had a sad Tall this day, though it was not from that high rock. It was a
different sort of a fall from that, as we shall presently see.

"Lucy," said he again, "I do not believe but that I could get up upon
that rock myself. I can climb rocks."

"O no, you could not," said Lucy.

"Why, yes, I see a way."

"Which way?"

"O, round by that great black log There is a path there through the

"O no," said Lucy, "you could not get up there. But there are some boys
by that log; what boys are they?"

Rollo looked. They were some boys which they had seen coming up the
mountain, and Rollo's father had warned him not to go near them. They
had wanted Rollo to go with them before, but his father had forbidden
it. Rollo wanted to go, and now he was glad to see them again; but Lucy
was sorry.


The blueberries were very thick and large, and the bottoms of the
baskets were soon covered with them. Each one picked where he found them
most plenty.

Rollo and Lucy kept pretty near together, talking, and gradually strayed
away to some distance from the rest of the party. After a little while,
Rollo looked up, and saw the three boys pretty near them. As soon as
Lucy saw them so near, she moved along towards their parents; and Rollo
ought to have done so too, but he remained where he was, and presently
one of the boys came up to him.

"Why did you not come up where we were?" said he. "They were thicker out

"My father would not let me," said Rollo.

"O, come along," said the boy; "he will not care. Besides, he will not
know it. He is busy picking by himself. He does not mind where you are."

Rollo thought this was not exactly the way that a good boy would speak
of obeying a father, but he wanted very much to see the place where the
berries were so much thicker.

"How far is it?" said he to the boy.

"O, it is only a little way-just around that rock."

By this time the other two boys came up, and they talked with Rollo a
little while, and endeavored to persuade him to go. He said finally that
he would go and ask his father. So he left his basket, and went and
asked his father if he might just go with those boys round the rock. He
said the blueberries were much thicker around there, and also that he
had been talking with the boys, and he was sure they were good boys.

"No, Rollo," said his father, decidedly, "I cannot think that any boys
that use bad language can be good boys, or safe companions for you. I
had rather you would keep with us. If they speak to you, answer them
civilly; but the less you have to say to them or do with them, the
better. In fact, I had rather you would not go back to them at all."

"I must," said Rollo, "to get my basket."

He accordingly returned to his basket, and told the boys that his father
preferred that he should stay where he was.

The biggest boy of the three was a ragged and dirty-looking boy; the
others called him Jim, and he talked with Rollo a good deal. Rollo's
conscience reproved him for not leaving them, and going back to his
father; but he wanted to stay and hear their talk, and he quieted his
conscience by saying to himself that his father told him to treat them
civilly. At first the boys were careful what they said to Rollo; but at
length Jim grew more and more hold. He used language which Rollo knew
was wrong, and he told Rollo that he was a fool to stick so close to his
father; that he was big enough to find his way alone all over the
mountain, if he was of a mind to.

All this Rollo was silly enough to believe, and, as his father only
required him to keep in sight, he thought he would show the boys that he
was not so much afraid as they thought he was; and so hi gradually moved
off farther and farther from his parents, as he went on gradually
filling up his basket. Lucy, in the mean time, went nearer and nearer to
them, and in a short time was safely gathering her blueberries by her
aunt's side.

Things went on so for an hour. Rollo's mother asked his father whether
he had not better call Rollo to them.

"No," said he; "I have told him his duty once, plainly, and now, if he
does not do it, he must take the consequences. I believe I shall leave
him to himself."

The boys went on talking to one another and to Rollo, telling various
stories about their running away from school, stealing apples, and such
things. Rollo was much interested in listening to them, though he knew,
all the time, that he was doing wrong. But he had not the courage to
leave them abruptly, as he ought to have done, and go back to his

Rollo took a great deal of pains with the berries he picked; he chose
the largest and ripest, and was very careful not to get in any sticks
and leaves. His basket was small, and he intended, as soon as he got it
full, to carry it carefully to his mother, and pour his berries into her
large tin pail. He was succeeding finely in this, but then he had
insensibly strayed away so far from his father, that now he was entirely
out of his sight.

At length, as Jim was sitting on a log to rest himself, as he said, he
saw a little bird alight on the branch of a black stump near.

"Hash," said he; "there is a Bob-a-link. See how I will fix him."

So saying, he picked up a stone, and was going to throw it.

Rollo begged him not to kill that pretty little bird but he paid no
attention to what Rollo said. He threw the stone with all his force; but
fortunately it did not hit the bird. It struck the limb that the bird
was perched upon, and shivered it to fragments, and the bird flew away,

"Now, what did you do that for?" said Rollo; "you might have hit him."

"Hit him!" said he; "I meant to hit him, to be sure."

"But what good does it do to kill little birds? I found one this
morning, and I would not kill him for any thing."

"Where did you find him?" said Jim.

Rollo then told the boys all about his finding a little bird, in its
nest floating in the brook, and about their naming him Mosette; as is
described in the story called "BLUEBERRYING;" and Jim said, if he had
found him, he would have put him on a fence, for a mark to fire stones
at. "I would have made him peep, I tell you," said he.

Rollo said he would not have him killed on any account. He was going to
carry him home, and feed him, and tame him.

"But where is he now?" said Jim.

"O, we hid him behind a stone, down at the foot of the mountain, where
our horses are tied."

"But how can you find him again?" said Jim.

"O," said Rollo, "we know; it was behind the corner of a stone, just in
the bushes, where we tied the horse."

Jim winked at the other boys when Rollo said this, though Rollo did not
see it. He was vexed with Rollo, because he reproved him for stoning the

"I would set him up for a mark, if I had him," said Jim. "I wish I had
been there when you found him; I would have taken him away from you."

"No, you would not have taken him away. Jonas would not let you."

"Jonas! who is Jonas? and what do you think I care for Jonas?" said he.

He then came up to Rollo, and looked into his basket, and saw it nearly
full of large ripe blueberries.

"And I believe," said he, "that you have stolen some of my berries out
of my basket, while I have been sitting here."

"No, I have not," said Rollo. "I have not touched your basket."

"You have," said Jim, fiercely, "and I will have them back again.
Besides, I put some into yours, while you went to your father. So half
the berries in your basket are mine."

This was a lie; but bad boys, like Jim, will always lie, when they have
any thing to gain by it. He came up to Rollo, and began to pull his
basket away from him. Rollo struggled against him, and began to cry. But
Jim was too strong for him: he tipped his basket over, poured a great
many of the berries into his own basket, and the rest were spilled over
on to the ground. Then, angry at Rollo's screams and cries, he trampled
on all the berries that were on the ground, and was beginning to run
away. Rollo caught hold of the skirt of his coat, screaming all the time
for his father. Jim turned round, and struck Rollo with his fist,
knocked him down, and then he and the other boys set off, as fast as
they could run, through the bushes; and they disappeared just as
Rollo's father and Jonas came hastening to his aid.

They raised Rollo up, and his father took him in his arms to carry him
away. He saw that there had been some serious difficulty with the bad
boys, but he did not ask Rollo any thing about it, then; for he knew
that he could not talk intelligibly till he had done crying. Rollo laid
his head down on his father's shoulder, as he walked along, and sobbed


His father carried him back to where his mother and uncle were, who were
coming towards him looking anxiously.

They presently got pretty near them, Rollo still continuing to cry. His
father then said to him,

"Rollo, be still a moment. I want to speak to you."

When he first took Rollo up, he did not command him to be still, for he
knew that it would do no good. He was then so overwhelmed with pain and
terror, that he could not help crying; and his father never commanded
impossibilities. By this time, however, the pain, and the immediate
terror, had so far subsided, that his father knew he could now control
himself, and Rollo knew that he must obey. He accordingly stopped crying
aloud, and tried to listen to his father.

"Rollo," said his father, "I pity you very much. I warned you against
this bad company, and now I perceive you have got into some difficulty
with them; but I cannot hear your story about it till we get home. It is
your own fault that has brought you into trouble; and now you must not
extend your trouble over all our party, and spoil our happiness, as you
have your own. I must go and put you by yourself, until you get entirely
composed and pleasant, and then you may join us again."

"But, father," said Rollo, beginning to cry afresh at the thoughts of
the boys' treatment of him, "they came up to me, and--and--"

"Stop, Rollo," said his father. "Be still. You cannot tell the story
intelligibly now, and if you could, I should not be willing to listen to
it. You must not say any thing about it, unless you are questioned,
until we get home."

By this time they came up pretty near the place where the rest of the
party were; but his father did not take him there. He turned aside, and,
putting Rollo down, he led him along to a smooth log, which lay among
some old trees, close by, and told him to sit there, until he was
entirely composed and pleasant again, and then to come to him, or to go
to picking berries again, just as he pleased.

Rollo sat on the log, for some time, with his empty basket by his side,
mourning over his sorrows. Lucy came to him, and endeavored to console
him. She begged him not to cry; and she poured out half of her own
berries into his basket, and told him that they could soon fill it full
again, if he would come with her to a good thick place she had found.
Rollo became gradually quiet and composed, and walked along with Lucy.

Lucy had indeed found a place where the berries were very thick and
large, and Rollo determined to be as industrious as possible. They
worked away very busily for half an hour, and Rollo gradually recovered
his spirits.

His mother watched him from time to time, and when she saw that he was
good-humored again, she said to his father,

"Rollo seems to be picking his berries very pleasantly. I rather think
he is sorry for his conduct."

"Yes, I see he is getting _good-humored_ again, but I am afraid he is
not truly penitent. It is easier _forget_ a sin, than to be sorry for
it. It is very easy, however, for us to ascertain."

"How can we ascertain?" asked his mother.

"Why, if you should go and ask him about it, if he is really penitent,
he will be troubled most to think of his disobedience in going; into the
bad company; but if he is not penitent, he will not think of that, but
only go to scolding about the bad boys."

"That is true," said she. "I have a great mind to go and try him."

Rollo's father thought it would be a good plan, and she, accordingly,
walked along towards Rollo slowly, gathering berries as she went.

Rollo saw her coming, and said, "Here is mother, Lucy; let us go and
give her our berries."

So saying, he carried his basket up to her very pleasantly, and said,
"Here, mother; see, here are all these berries I have been picking for

"Ah," said she, "did you pick all these for me?"

"E--h--no," said he; "not all; Lucy gave me some."

"Well, Lucy, I am very much obliged to you, and I am glad to see that
you, Rollo, are pleasant again; I am sorry you went and got into
difficulty with those boys."

"They came and took away my berries," said he, "and struck me--that
great ugly Jim."

The feelings of vexation and anger against the bad boys began to rise
again in Rollo's mind, the moment he began to talk about them, and he
was just going to cry. His mother stopped him, saying,

"You need not tell me about him any more. I see how it is."

"How what is?" said Rollo.

"How it is about your being sorry. Your father told me that, if you were
truly penitent for what happened about those boys, I should find you,
when I came to talk with you about it, grieved for _your own_ fault, and
if you were not penitent, you would only be angry at _theirs_. I see
which it is."

Rollo was silent a moment. He felt the truth and justice of the
distinction; but, like all boys who are not sorry for the wrong they
have done, he could not resist the temptation to try to justify himself
by throwing the blame on others. So he began to tell her something more
about "that cross old Jim," but she interrupted him, and told him she
did not wish to hear any thing about that "cross old Jim." He was not
her boy, she said, and she had nothing to do with him or his faults.

She then went to talking about other things, and helped Rollo begin to
fill his basket again. He showed her where the berries were thickest,
and led her round behind a rock to show her a beautiful wild flower that
he had found; he said he did not bring it to her, for his father had
told him not to touch any flowers or berries that they did not know, for
fear they might be poisonous.

After a little while, Rollo's mother left him and Lucy together, and
went back lo where his father and uncle were.

"Well," said they, "how did you find Rollo?"

"Pleasant, but not _penitent_," said she Lucy and Rollo went on
gathering berries some time after Rollo's mother left him, in silence.
Rollo felt rather unhappy, but he was not subdued. His heart was still
proud and unhumbled, and after a time, he said to Lucy,

"It seems to me very strange that my mother does not think those boys
were to blame any for doing so."

"She does think they were to blame, Rollo, I know."

"No, she does not; she will not hear me say any thing about them."

Lucy did not answer, because she knew it would do no good to dispute
with Rollo, while he was so unreasonable. Rollo ought to have been
willing to have seen his fault, and to have felt truly sorry for it; but
he was not, and so Lucy thought it was better not to talk with him about
it at all. If he had been truly sorry, and had gone and told his father
so, and asked his forgiveness, he would have been happy again.

But as it was, he was not happy. The recollection of his disobedience
and sin would remain in his mind, and though he tried to talk, and
laugh, and play, as usual, his mind was not much at ease. In fact, he
was secretly glad when the time arrived for going home.

The party all gathered together on a smooth piece of ground, about the
middle of the afternoon, to make their arrangements for going down the
mountain. They put their baskets, filled beautifully with blueberries,
together on the grass, while they sat on the stones and logs around, to
rest a little before walking down.

Then Rollo's father arranged the order of march. Jonas was to go first,
with two of the heaviest baskets of berries. Next came Lucy, with her
little basket about two thirds full, and with leaves and some beautiful
pieces of moss she had found, put in upon the top. Then came Rollo's
mother leaning on his uncle's arm. His uncle had a basket of berries in
his other hand. Finally, Rollo and his father walked together behind,
with each a basket in his hand.

Thus they walked along down the steep path, until they began to enter
the bushes. Rollo's father had made this arrangement so that he might
have an opportunity to talk with him about the difficulty with the boys,
for he thought, on the whole, it would be better to talk with him now
than to wait till they got home.

After they had walked along a little way, Rollo's father asked him
whether he had a good time blueberrying?

"Why, yes, sir," said Rollo, "pretty good."

"Have you seen any thing more of those boys?"

"No, sir."

"Your mother went to talk with you, and said you did not seem very sorry
for your fault."

"Why, father," said Rollo, "I did not do any thing to the boys at all:
it was all their fault, entirely."

"I don't suppose you did do any thing wrong towards _them_, but you
committed a great fault in respect to me."

"What fault?" said Rollo.


"Why, father, how? You did not tell me to stay close by you."

"And is a boy guilty of disobedience only when he does what his father
forbids in words?"

"I suppose so," said Rollo.

"What is disobedience?" asked his father.

"Why, it is doing what you tell me not to do; is it not?"

"That is not a sufficient definition of it; for suppose you were out
there in the bushes, and I was to beckon you to come here, and you
should not come, would not that be disobedience?"

"Why, yes, sir."

"And yet I should not _tell_ you to come."

"No, sir."

"And so, if I were to shake my head at you when you were doing any thing
wrong, and you wore to continue doing it, that would be disobedience."

Rollo admitted that it would. "So that it is not necessary that I should
tell you _in words_ what my wishes are: if I express them in any way so
that you plainly understand it, that is enough. The most important
orders that are given by men, are often given without any words."

"How, father?"

"Why, at sea, sometimes, where there is a great fleet of ships, and the
admiral, who commands them all, is in one of them. Now, if he wants all
the fleet to sail in any way; or if he wishes to have some one, vessel
come near to his, or go back home, or go away to any other part of the
world; or if he wants any particular person in the fleet to come on
board his vessel,--he does not send an order in _words_; he only hoists
flags of a particular kind upon the masts of his vessel, and they all
obey them.

"Now, suppose," continued he, "one of the ships did not sail as he
wished, and when he called the captain to account for it, he should say
that he was not guilty of disobedience, because he did not _tell_ him to
sail so."

Rollo laughed, and said he thought that would not be a very good excuse.

"Well, it is just such an excuse as yours. I did not positively command
you not to go near the boys, or not to have any conversation with them
at all, though I expressed my wish that you would not, so that you could
not help understanding it."

Rollo could not deny that this was so.

"But that is not the only case of disobedience. For you did one thing
which was contrary to _my express command in words_."

Rollo looked concerned, and said he was sure he did not know it.

"I told you not to go out of my sight."

"Well, but, father," said Rollo eagerly, in reply, "I am sure I did not
mean to. I was picking berries so busy, I did not observe where I was."

"I know you were, and that was the disobedience; for when I command you
to keep in sight of me, that means that you must take good care that you
_do_ mind where you are. Suppose I were to tell Jonas that he might go
and take a walk, but that he must be sure to come back in half an hour,
and he should go, and pay no attention to the time, and so not come back
until three quarters of an hour; would that be obedience?"

"No, sir; but it would not be so bad as it would be if he should stay
away when he _knew_ that the time was out."

"No, it would not be so wilful an act of disobedience, but it would be
disobedience, notwithstanding. You see, Rollo," he continued, "when I
tell you or any boy to come back in half an hour, there are two things
implied in the command--first, that you should _notice the time_, and,
secondly, that you should come back when the time is out. Now, you may
disobey the command by neglecting either of these."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, "I see we may, but I did not think of it

"No, I presume you did not," said his father; "but I want you to
understand it, and remember it after this forever. You have disobeyed,
to-day, in two ways, in which boys are very apt to disobey, when they do
not mean to do it wilfully. I will tell you what the principles are,
again, so that you can remember and tell me when I ask you.

"1. Boys must take care to comply with their parents' directions, if
they are expressed in any way whatsoever; and,

"2. When directed to do any thing in a particular time or way, they must
see to it themselves, that they _notice_ and _keep in mind the
circumstances_ which they are required to attend to."

Rollo said he would try to remember it, and as he seemed attentive and
docile, his father did not talk with him any more about his fault at
that time. Besides, they came now to some very rough places in the path,
and Rollo's father had to lift Lucy over them.

Lucy spilled some of her berries in one place, and Rollo was going to
help her pick them up, but Jonas said they had better leave them for the
birds, and walk on.

"So we will, Lucy," said Rollo, "and I rather think that Mosette is
hungry by this time."

"Yes," said Jonas, "and what are you going to do with Mosette?"

"O, put him in a cage, and bring him up tame," said Rollo. "I mean to
teach him to eat out of my hand. I shall treat him very kindly, though
he is my little prisoner."

"I would give: him the liberty of the yard, if I were you," said some
one behind, laughing.

Rollo looked round. It was his uncle George, walking close behind him.

"What is the liberty of the yard?" said Rollo.

"Why, when _men_ intend to treat a prisoner kindly, they leave the
prison door open, and let him walk about the yard; and this is called
letting him have the liberty of the yard; and sometimes they let them go
over half the town."

"Do you think I had better do so with Mosette?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said his uncle George; "leave his cage open, and let him go where
he pleases."

"O, he would fly entirely away," said Rollo.

"Perhaps not, if you should feed him well, and treat him very kindly. He
might like his cage better than any nest."

"I shall treat him as kindly as I can," said Rollo; "only think, Jonas,
_that Jim_ said, if he had found him, he should have set him up upon the
fence for a mark to fire stones at!"

"Jim said so?" said Jonas; "how did Jim know any thing about it?"

"Why--e--h--why--I told him," said Rollo.

"What did you tell him for?"

"O, because," said Rollo, "we were talking, and I told him."

"I hope you did not tell him where we hid Mosette, behind the rock."

"Why--yes," said Rollo, "I believe I did."

"Then I am afraid you will never see poor Mosette again," said Jonas.

"Why," said Rollo, "you don't think that he would go and get him."

"I don't know," said Jonas, "what he would do; but I should not have
wanted to tell such a boy any thing about him."

Rollo began to be alarmed. He went back to his father, and asked him to
let him and Jonas go on before the rest, to see if their bird was safe.
His father told him he might go. "But," said he, "I am afraid you have
lost your bird; when a boy allows himself to get into bad company, he
does not know how many troubles he plunges himself into."

Rollo and Jonas ran on, and soon disappeared among the trees. Rollo
found it hard to keep up, as the road was not very smooth, though they
had got down the steepest part of the mountain. Jonas kept hold of
Rollo's hand, and went on running and walking alternately, until they
got down to the end of the trees and bushes, and then they came out in
sight of the place where the horses were tied.

It was fortunate for poor Mosette, and for Rollo too, that they did thus
run on before, for it happened that Jim, and the boys with him, had come
down the mountain by another road, and were just going up to the place
as Jonas and Rollo came out of the woods.

"There they are," said Jonas. "You stay here; I must run on." And he let
go of Rollo's hand, sprang forward, and ran with all his might. Rollo
tried to follow, but soon stopped and looked on.

Jim and his boys did not see Jonas coming, and they went to work looking
around the bushes and stones after Mosette. In a few minutes, one
smaller boy came out from the bushes, close by the place where Rollo
recollected the nest was hid, with something in his hand, and Rollo
could distinctly hear him calling out,

"Here he is, Jim--I have got him, Jim."

Just that moment, Jonas came running up among the boys, calling out,

"Let that bird alone!--Let that bird alone!" The boys, terrified at
this unexpected onset, started and ran in every direction. The boy who
had the nest, dropped it upon the ground, and dodged back into the
bushes. Jonas took it up carefully, put little Mosette, who had fallen
out, back in the nest, and walked out into the road to meet Rollo, who
was coming down as fast as he could come, on the other side.

They saw Jim and his comrades no more, and Rollo said he believed he
should never again want to have any thing to do with bad boys.

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