Part 3 out of 5
"Robin, my boy," said my mother to me, when I gave
her a chance at last, "if they came in here to-night--
whoever `they' may be--very little is the harm that they
could do us. But if Mr. Kennedy and twenty of his police
should come in here over the bodies of--five times five
are twenty-five, twenty-five times eleven are--two
hundred and seventy-five people whom you will have killed
by that time, if I load as fast as thee tells me I
can, why, Robin, my boy, it will go hard for thee and me
when the day of the assizes comes. They will put
handcuffs on thy poor old mother and on thee, and if they
do not send thee to Jack Ketch, they will send thee to
I could not but see that there was sense in what she
said. Anyway, it cooled me down for the time, and I
kissed her and went to my work less eager, and, indeed,
less anxious, than I had been the night before. As I
went down-town in the car, I had a chance to ask myself
what right I had to take away the lives of these poor
savages of the neighborhood merely because they entered
on my possessions. Was it their fault that they had not
been apprenticed to carpenters? Could they help
themselves in the arrangements which had left them
savages? Had any one ever given them a chance to fence
in an up-town lot? Was it, in a word, I said to myself--
was it my merit or my good luck which made me as good as
a landed proprietor, while the Fordyce heirs had their
education? Such thoughts, before I came to my shop, had
quite tamed me down, and when I arrived there I was quite
off my design, and I concluded that I had taken a wrong
measure in my resolution to attack the savages, as I had
begun to call men who might be merely harmless loafers.
It was clearly not my business to meddle with them
unless they first attacked me. This it was my
business to prevent; if I were discovered and attacked,
then I knew my duty.
With these thoughts I went into my shop that day, and
with such thoughts as these, and with my mother's good
sense in keeping me employed in pleasanter things than
hunting for traces of savages, I got into a healthier way
The crop of melons came in well, and many a good
feast we had from them. Once and again I was able to
carry a nice fresh melon to an old lady my mother was
fond of, who now lay sick with a tertian ague.
Then we had the best sweet corn for dinner every day
that any man had in New York. For at Delmonico's itself,
the corn the grandees had had been picked the night
before, and had started at two o'clock in the morning on
its long journey to town. But my mother picked my corn
just at the minute when she knew I was leaving my shop.
She husked it and put it in the pot, and by the time I
had come home, had slipped up the board in the fence that
served me for a door, and had washed my face and hands in
my own room, she would have dished her dinner, would have
put her fresh corn upon the table, covered with a pretty
napkin; and so, as I say, I had a feast which no nabob in
New York had. No indeed, nor any king that I know of,
unless it were the King of the Sandwich Islands, and I
doubt if he were as well served as I.
So I became more calm and less careworn, though
I will not say but sometimes I did look carefully to see
if I could find the traces of a man's foot; but I never
Unless we went out somewhere during the evening, we
went to bed early. We rose early as well, for I never
lost the habits of my apprenticeship. And so we were
both sound asleep in bed one night when a strange thing
happened, and a sudden fright came to us, of which I must
tell quite at length, for it made, indeed, a very sudden
change in the current of our lives.
I was sound asleep, as I said, and so, I found, was
my mother also. But I must have been partly waked by
some sudden noise in the street, for I knew I was sitting
up in my bed in the darkness when I heard a woman
scream,--a terrible cry,--and while I was yet startled,
I heard her scream again, as if she were in deadly fear.
My window was shaded by a heavy green curtain, but in an
instant I had pulled it up, and by the light of the moon
I seized my trousers and put them on.
I was well awake by this time, and when I flung open
the door of my house, so as to run into my garden, I
could hear many wild voices, some in English, some in
German, some in Irish, and some with terrible cries,
which I will not pretend I could understand.
There was no cry of a woman now, but only the howling
of angry or drunken men, when they are in a rage with
some one or with each other. What startled me was
that, whereas the woman's cry came from the street south
of me, which I have called Fernando Street, the whole
crowd of men, as they howled and swore, were passing
along that street rapidly, and then stopped for an
instant, as if they were coming up what I called Church
Alley. There must have been seven or eight of them.
Now, it was by Church Alley that my mother and I
always came into our house, and so into our garden. In
the eight years, or nearly so, that I had lived there, I
had by degrees accumulated more and more rubbish near the
furthest end of the alley as a screen, so to speak, that
when my mother or I came in or out, no one in the street
might notice us. I had even made a little wing-fence out
from my own, to which my hand-cart was chained. Next
this I had piled broken brickbats and paving-stones, and
other heavy things, that would not be stolen. There was
the stump and the root of an old pear-tree there, too
heavy to steal, and too crooked and hard to clean or saw.
There was a bit of curbstone from the street, and other
such trash, which quite masked the fence and the hand-
On the other side--that is, the church side, or the
side furthest from the street--was the sliding-board in
the fence, where my mother and I came in. So soon as it
was slid back, no man could see that the fence was not
At this moment in the night, however, when I
found that this riotous, drunken crew were pausing
at the entrance of Church Alley, as doubting if they
would not come down, I ran back through the passage,
knocking loudly for my mother as I passed, and coming to
my coal-bin, put my eye at the little hole through which
I always reconnoitred before I slid the door. I could
see nothing, nor at night ought I to have expected to do
But I could hear, and I heard what I did not expect.
I could hear the heavy panting of one who had been
running, and as I listened I heard a gentle, low voice
sob out, "Ach, ach, mein Gott! Ach, mein Gott!" or words
that I thought were these, and I was conscious, when I
tried to move the door, that some one was resting close
All the same, I put my shoulder stoutly to the cross-
bar, to which the boards of the door were nailed; I slid
it quickly in its grooves, and as it slid, a woman fell
into the passage.
She was wholly surprised by the motion, so that she
could not but fall. I seized her and dragged her in,
saying, "Hush, hush, hush!" as I did so. But not so
quick was I but that she screamed once more as I drew to
the sliding-door and thrust in the heavy bolt which held
In an instant my mother was in the passage with a
light in her hand. In another instant I had seized the
light and put it out. But that instant was enough for
her and me to see that here was a lovely girl, with
no hat or bonnet on, with her hair floating wildly, both
her arms bleeding, and her clothes all stained with
blood. She could see my mother's face of amazement, and
she could see my finger on my mouth, as with the other I
dashed out the candle. We all thought quickly, and we
all knew that we must keep still.
But that unfortunate scream of hers was enough.
Though no one of us all uttered another sound, this was
like a "view-halloo," to bring all those dogs down upon
us. The passage was dark, and, to my delight, I heard
some of them breaking their shins over the curbstone and
old pear-tree of my defences. But they were not such
hounds as were easily thrown off the scent, and there
were enough to persevere while the leaders picked
themselves up again.
Then how they swore and cursed and asked questions!
And we three stood as still as so many frightened
rabbits. In an instant more one of them, who spoke in
English, said he would be hanged if he thought she had
gone into the church, that he believed she had got
through the fence; and then, with his fist, or something
harder, he began trying the boards on our side, and
others of them we could hear striking those on the other
side of the alley-way.
When it came to this, I whispered to my mother that
she must never fear, only keep perfectly still. She
dragged the frightened girl into our kitchen, which
was our sitting-room, and they both fell, I know not how,
into the great easy-chair.
For my part, I seized the light ladder, which always
hung ready at the door, and ran with it at my full speed
to the corner of Fernando Street and the alley. I
planted the ladder, and was on the top of the fence in an
Then I sprang my watchman's rattle, which had hung by
the ladder, and I whirled it round well. It wholly
silenced the sound of the swearing fellows up the
passage, and their pounding. When I found they were
still, I cried out:--
"This way, 24! this way, 47! I have them all penned
up here! Signal the office, 42, and bid them send us a
sergeant. This way, fellows--up Church Alley!"
With this I was down my ladder again. But my gang of
savages needed no more. I could hear them rushing out of
the alley as fast as they might, not one of them waiting
for 24 or 47. This was lucky for me, for as it happened
I was ten minutes older before I heard two patrolmen on
the outside, wondering what frightened old cove had been
at the pains to spring a rattle.
The moonlight shone in at the western window of the
kitchen, so that as I came in I could just make out the
figure of my mother and of the girl, lying, rather than
sitting, in her lap and her arms. I was not afraid to
speak now, and I told my mother we were quite safe again,
and she told the poor girl so. I struck a match and
lighted the lamp as soon as I could. The poor,
frightened creature started as I did so, and then fell on
her knees at my mother's feet, took both her hands in her
own, and seemed like one who begs for mercy, or, indeed,
My poor, dear mother was all amazed, and her eyes
were running with tears at the sight of the poor thing's
terror. She kissed her again and again; she stroked her
beautiful golden hair with her soft hands; she said in
every word that she could think of that she was quite
safe now, and must not think of being frightened any
But it was clear in a moment that the girl could not
understand any language that we could speak. My mother
tried her with a few words of German, and she smiled
then; but she shook her head prettily, as if to say that
she thanked her, but could not speak to her in that way
either. Then she spoke eagerly in some language that we
could not understand. But had it been the language of
Hottentots, we should have known that she was begging my
mother not to forsake her, so full of entreaty was every
word and every gesture.
My dear, sweet mother lifted her at last into the
easy-chair and made her lie there while she dipped some
hot water from her boiler and filled a large basin in her
sink. Then she led the pretty creature to it, and washed
from her arms, hands, and face the blood that had
hardened upon them, and looked carefully to find what her
wounds were. None of them were deep, though there
were ugly scratches on her beautiful arms; they were cut
by glass, as I guessed then, and as we learned from her
afterward. My mother was wholly prepared for all such
surgery as was needed here; she put on two bandages where
she thought they were needed, she plastered up the other
scratches with court-plaster, and then, as if the girl
understood her, she said to her, "And now, my dear child,
you must come to bed; there is no danger for you more."
The poor girl had grown somewhat reassured in the
comfortable little kitchen, but her terror seemed to come
back at any sign of removal; she started to her feet,
almost as if she were a wild creature. But I would defy
any one to be afraid of my dear mother, or indeed to
refuse to do what she bade, when she smiled so in her
inviting way and put out her hand; and so the girl went
with her, bowing to me, or dropping a sort of courtesy in
her foreign fashion, as she went out of the door, and I
was left to see what damage had been done to my castle by
the savages, as I called them.
I had sprung the rattle none too soon; for one of
these rascals, as it proved--I suppose it was the same
who swore that she had not gone into the church--with
some tool or other he had in his hand, had split out a
bit of the fence and had pried out a part of a plank. I
had done my work too well for any large piece to give
way. But the moment I looked into my coal-bin I saw that
something was amiss. I did not like very well to go
to the outside, but I must risk something; so I took out
a dark lantern which I always kept ready. Sure enough,
as I say, the fellow had struck so hard and so well that
he had split out a piece of board, and a little coal even
had fallen upon the passage-way. I was not much
displeased at this, for if he thought no nearer the truth
than that he had broken into a coal-bin of the church,
why, he was far enough from his mark for me. After
finding this, however, I was anxious enough, lest any of
them should return, not to go to bed again that night;
but all was still as death, and, to tell the truth, I
fell asleep in my chair. I doubt whether my mother
slept, or her frightened charge.
I was at work in the passage early the next morning
with some weather-stained boards I had, and before nine
o'clock I had doubled all that piece of fence, from my
wing where my hand-cart was to the church, and I had
spiked the new boards on, which looked like old boards,
as I said, with tenpenny nails; so that he would be a
stout burglar who would cut through them unless he had
tools for his purpose and daylight to work by. As I was
gathering up my tools to go in, a coarse, brutal-looking
Irishman came walking up the alley and looked round. My
work was so well done, and I had been so careful to leave
no chips, that even then he could not have guessed that
I had been building the fence anew, though I fancied
he looked at it. He seemed to want to excuse himself for
being there at all, and asked me, with an oath and in a
broad Irish brogue, if there were no other passage
through. I had the presence of mind to say in German,
"Wollen sie sprechen Deutsch?" and so made as if I
could not understand him; and then, kneeling on the
cellar-door of the church, pretended to put a key into
the lock, as if I were making sure that I had made it
And with that, he turned round with another oath, as
if he had come out of his way, and went out of the alley,
closely followed by me. I watched him as long as I
dared, but as he showed no sign of going back to the
alley, I at last walked round a square with my tools, and
so came back to my mother and the pretty stranger.
My mother had been trying to get at her story. She
made her understand a few words of German, but they
talked by signs and smiles and tears and kisses much more
than by words; and by this time they understood each
other so well that my mother had persuaded her not to go
away that day.
Nor did she go out for many days after; I will go
before my story far enough to say that. She had, indeed,
been horribly frightened that night, and she was as loath
to go out again into the streets of New York as I should
be to plunge from a safe shore into some terrible,
howling ocean; or, indeed, as one who found himself safe
at home would be to trust himself to the tender
mercies of a tribe of cannibals.
Two such loving women as they were were not long in
building up a language, especially as my mother had
learned from my father and his friends, in her early
life, some of the common words of German--what she called
a bread-and-butter German. For our new inmate was a
Swedish girl. Her story, in short, was this:--
She had been in New York but two days. On the voyage
over, they had had some terrible sickness on the vessel,
and the poor child's mother had died very suddenly and
had been buried in the sea. Her father had died long
This was, as you may think, a terrible shock to her.
But she had hoped and hoped for the voyage to come to an
end, because there was a certain brother of hers in
America whom they were to meet at their landing, and
though she was very lonely on the packet-ship, in which
she and her mother and a certain family of the name of
Hantsen--of whom she had much to say--were the only
Swedes, still she expected to find the brother almost as
soon, as I may say, as they saw the land.
She felt badly enough that he did not come on board
with the quarantine officer. When the passengers were
brought to Castle Garden, and no brother came, she felt
worse. However, with the help of the clerks there, she
got off a letter to him, somewhere in Jersey, and
proposed to wait as long as they would let her, till he
The second day there came a man to the Garden, who
said he was a Dane, but he spoke Swedish well enough. He
said her brother was sick, and had sent him to find her.
She was to come with her trunks, and her mother's, and
all their affairs, to his house, and the same afternoon
they should go to where the brother was.
Without doubt or fear she went with this man, and
spent the day at a forlorn sort of hotel which she
described, but which I never could find again. Toward
night the man came again and bade her take a bag, with
her one change of dress, and come with him to her
After a long ride through the city, they got out at
a house which, thank God! was only one block from
Fernando Street. And there this simple, innocent
creature, as she went in, asked where her brother was, to
meet only a burst of laughter from one or two coarse-
looking men, and from half-a-dozen brazen-faced girls
whom she hated, she said, the minute she saw them.
Except that an old woman took off her shawl and cloak
and bonnet, and took away from her the travelling things
she had in her hand, nobody took any care of her but to
laugh at her, and mock her if she dared say anything.
She tried to go out to the door to find even the
Dane who had brought her there, but she was given to
understand that he was coming again for her, and that she
must wait till he came. As for her brother, there was no
brother there, nor had been any. The poor girl had been
trapped, and saw that she had been trapped; she had been
spirited away from everybody who ever heard of her
mother, and was in the clutches, as she said to my mother
afterward, of a crew of devils who knew nothing of love
or of mercy.
They did try to make her eat and drink,--tried to
make her drink champagne, or any other wine; but they had
no fool to deal with. The girl did not, I think, let her
captors know how desperate were her resolutions. But her
eyes were wide open, and she was not going to lose any
chance. She was all on the alert for her escape when, at
eleven o'clock, the Dane came at last whom she had been
expecting so anxiously.
The girl asked him for her brother, only to be put
off by one excuse or another, and then to hear from him
the most loathsome talk of his admiration, not to say his
passion, for her.
They were nearly alone by this time, and he led her
unresisting, as he thought, into another smaller room,
brilliantly lighted, and, as she saw in a glance, gaudily
furnished, with wine and fruit and cake on a side-
table,--a room where they would be quite alone.
She walked simply across and looked at herself in the
great mirror. Then she made some foolish little
speech about her hair, and how pale she looked. Then she
crossed to the sofa, and sat upon it with as tired an air
as he might have expected of one who had lived through
such a day. Then she looked up at him and even smiled
upon him, she said, and asked him if he would not ask
them for some cold water.
The fellow turned into the passage-way, well pleased
with her submission, and in the same instant the girl was
at the window as if she had flown across the room.
Fool! The window was made fast, not by any moving
bolt, either. It was nailed down, and it did not give a
hairs-breadth to her hand.
Little cared she for that. She sat on the window-
seat, which was broad enough to hold her; she braced her
feet against the foot of the bedstead, which stood just
near enough to her; she turned enough to bring her
shoulder against the window-sash, and then with her whole
force she heaved herself against the sash, and the entire
window, of course, gave way.
The girl caught herself upon the blind, which swung
open before her. She pulled herself free from the sill
and window-seat, and dropped fearless into the street.
The fall was not long. She lighted on her feet and
ran as only fear could teach her to run. Where to, she
knew not; but she thought she turned a corner before she
heard any voices from behind.
Still she ran. And it was when she came to the
corner of the next street that she heard for the first
time the screams of pursuers.
She turned again, like a poor hunted hare as she was.
But what was her running to theirs? She was passing our
long fence in Fernando Street, and then for the first
time she screamed for help.
It was that scream which waked me.
She saw the steeple of the church. She had a dim
feeling that a church would be an asylum. So was it that
she ran up our alley, to find that she was in a trap
And then it was that she fell against my door, that
she cried twice, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" and that the
good God, who had heard her, sent me to draw her in.
We had to learn her language, in a fashion, and she
to learn ours, before we understood her story in this
way. But at the very first my mother made out that the
girl had fled from savages who meant worse than death for
her. So she understood why she was so frightened at
every sound, and why at first she was afraid to stay with
us, yet more afraid to go.
But this passed off in a day or two. She took to my
mother with a sort of eager way which showed how she must
have loved her own mother, and how much she lost when she
lost her. And that was one of the parts of her sad story
that we understood.
No one, I think, could help loving my mother; but
here was a poor, storm-tossed creature who, I might say,
had nothing else to love, seeing she had lost all trace
of this brother, and here was my mother, soothing her,
comforting her, dressing her wounds for her, trying to
make her feel that God's world was not all wickedness;
and the girl in return poured out her whole heart.
When my mother explained to her that she should not
let her go away till her brother was found, then for the
first time she seemed perfectly happy. She was indeed
the loveliest creature I ever put my eyes on.
She was then about nineteen years old, of a delicate
complexion naturally, which was now a little browned by
the sea-air. She was rather tall than otherwise, but her
figure was so graceful that I think you never thought her
tall. Her eyes were perhaps deep-set, and of that
strange gray which I have heard it said the goddesses in
the Greek poetry had. Still, when she was sad, one saw
the less of all this. It was not till she forgot her
grief for the instant in the certainty that she might
rest with my mother, so that her whole face blazed with
joy, that I first knew what the perfect beauty of a
perfect woman was.
Her name, it seemed, was Frida,--a name made from the
name of one of the old goddesses among the Northmen, the
same from whom our day Friday is named. She is the half-
sister of Thor, from whom Thursday is named, and the
daughter of Wodin, from whom Wednesday is named.
I knew little of all this then, but I did not wonder
when I read afterward that this northern goddess was the
Goddess of Love, the friend of song, the most beautiful
of all their divinities,--queen of spring and light and
But surely never any one took fewer of the airs of a
goddess than our Frida did while she was with us. She
would watch my mother, as if afraid that she should put
her hand to a gridiron or a tin dipper. She gave her to
understand, in a thousand pretty ways, that she should be
her faithful, loving, and sincere. servant. If she would
only show her what to do, she would work for her as a
child that loved her. And so indeed she did. My dear
mother would laugh and say she was quite a fine lady now,
for Frida would not let her touch broom nor mop, skimmer
The girl would do anything but go out upon an errand.
She could not bear to see the other side of the fence.
What she thought of it all I do not know. Whether she
thought it was the custom in America for young men to
live shut up with their mothers in enclosures of half an
acre square, or whether she thought we two made some
peculiar religious order, whose rules provided that one
woman and one man should live together in a convent or
monastery of their own, or whether she supposed half New
York was made up, as Marco Polo found Pekin, of
cottages or of gardens, I did not know, nor did I much
care. I could see that here was provided a companion for
my mother, who was else so lonely, and I very soon found
that she was as much a companion for me.
So soon as we could understand her at all, I took the
name of her brother and his address. When he wrote last
he was tending a saw-mill at a place about seven miles
away from Tuckahoe, in Jersey. But he said he was going
to leave there at once, so that they need not write
there. He sent the money for their passage, and
promised, as I said, to meet them at New York.
This was a poor clew at the best. But I put a good
face on it, and promised her I would find him if he could
be found. And I spared no pains. I wrote to the
postmaster at Tuckahoe, and to a minister I heard of
there. I inquired of the Swedish consuls in New York and
Philadelphia. Indeed, in the end, I went to Tuckahoe
myself, with her, to inquire. But this was long after.
However, I may say here, once for all, to use an old
phrase of my mother's, we never found "hide nor hair" of
him. And although this grieved Frida, of course, yet it
came on her gradually, and as she had never seen him to
remember him, it was not the same loss as if they had
grown up together.
Meanwhile that first winter was, I thought, the
pleasantest I had ever known in my life. I did not have
to work very hard now, for my business was rather
the laying out work for my men, and sometimes a nice job
which needed my hand on my lathe at home, or in some
other delicate affair that I could bring home with me.
We were teaching Frida English, my mother and I, and
she and I made a great frolic of her teaching me Swedish.
I would bring home Swedish newspapers and stories for
her, and we would puzzle them out together,--she as much
troubled to find the English word as I to find out the
Swedish. Then she sang like a bird when she was about
her household work, or when she sat sewing for my mother,
and she had not lived with us a fortnight before she
began to join us on Sunday evenings in the choruses of
the Methodist hymns which my mother and I sang together.
So then we made her sing Swedish hymns to us. And before
she knew it, the great tears would brim over her deep
eyes and would run down in pearls upon her cheek.
Nothing set her to thinking of her old home as those
Sunday evenings did. Of a Sunday evening we could make
her go out with us to church sometimes. Not but then she
would half cover her face with a veil, so afraid was she
that we might meet the Dane. But I told her that the
last place we should find him at would be at church on
I have come far in advance of my story, that I might
make any one who reads this life of mine to understand
how naturally and simply this poor lost bird nestled down
into our quiet life, and how the house that was
built for two proved big enough for three. For I made
some new purchases now, and fitted up the little middle
chamber for Frida's own use. We had called it the "spare
chamber" before, in joke. But now my mother fitted
pretty curtains to it, and other hangings, without
Frida's knowledge. I had a square of carpet made up at
the warehouse for the middle of the floor, and by making
her do one errand and another in the corner of the garden
one pleasant afternoon in November, we had it all
prettily fitted up for her room before she knew it. And
a great gala we made of it when she came in from
gathering the seeds of the calystegia, which she had been
She looked like a northern Flora as she came in, with
her arms all festooned by the vines she had been pulling
down. And when my mother made her come out to the door
she had never seen opened before, and led her in, and
told her that this pretty chamber was all her own, the
pretty creature flushed crimson red at first, and then
her quick tears ran over, and she fell on my mother's
neck and kissed her as if she would never be done. And
then she timidly held her hand out to me, too, as I stood
in the doorway, and said, in her slow, careful English,--
"And you, too--and you, too. I must tank you both,
also, especially. You are so good--so good to de poor
lost girl!" That was a very happy evening.
But, as I say, I have gone ahead of my story. For
before we had these quiet evenings we were fated to have
many anxious ones and one stormy one.
The very first day that Frida was with us, I felt
sure that the savages would make another descent upon us.
They had heard her scream, that was certain. They knew
she had not passed them, that was certain. They knew
there was a coal-bin on the other side of our fence, that
was certain. They would have reason enough for being
afraid to have her at large, if, indeed, there were no
worse passion than fear driving some of them in pursuit
of her. I could not keep out of my mind the beastly look
of the Irishman who asked me, with such an ugly leer on
his face, if there were no passage through. Not that I
told either of the two women of my fears. But, all the
same, I did not undress myself for a week, and sat in the
great easy-chair in our kitchen through the whole of
every night, waiting for the least sound of alarm.
Next to the savages, I had always lived in fear of
being discovered in my retreat by the police, who would
certainly think it strange to find a man and his mother
living in a shed, without any practicable outside door,
in what they called a vacant lot.
But I have read of weak nations in history which were
fain to call upon one neighbor whom they did not like to
protect them against another whom they liked less.
I made up my mind, in like wise, to go round to the
police-station nearest me.
And so, having dressed myself in my black coat, and
put on a round hat and gloves, I bought me a Malacca
walking-stick, such as was then in fashion, and called
upon the captain in style. I told him I lived next the
church, and that on such and such a night there was a
regular row among roughs, and that several of them went
storming up the alley in a crowd. I said, "Although your
men were there as quick as they could come, these fellows
had all gone before they came." But then I explained
that I had seen a fellow hanging about the alley in the
daytime, who seemed to be there for no good; that there
was a hand-cart kept there by a workman, who seemed to be
an honest fellow, and, perhaps, all they wanted was to
steal that; that, if I could, I would warn him. But
meanwhile, I said, I had come round to the station to
give the warning of my suspicions, that if my rattle was
heard again, the patrolmen might know what was in the
The captain was a good deal impressed by my make-up
and by the ease of my manner. He affected to be
perfectly well acquainted with me, although we had never
happened to meet at the Century Club or at the Union
League. I confirmed the favorable impression I had made
by leaving my card, which I had had handsomely engraved:
"MR. ROBINSON CRUSOE." With my pencil I added my
down-town address, where, I said, a note or telegram
would find me.
I was not a day too soon with my visit to this
gentleman. That very night, after my mother and Frida
had gone to bed, as I sat in my easychair, there came
over me one of those strange intimations which I have
never found it safe to disregard. Sometimes it is of
good, and sometimes of bad. This time it made me certain
that all was not well. To relieve my fears I lifted my
ladder over the wall and dropped it in the alley. I
swung myself down and carried it to the very end of the
alley, to the place where I had dragged poor Frida in.
The moon fell on the fence opposite ours. My wing-fence
and hand-cart were all in shade. But everything was safe
Again I chided myself for my fears, when, as I looked
up the alley to the street, I saw a group of four men
come in stealthily. They said not a word, but I could
make out their forms distinctly against the houses
I was caught in my own trap!
Not quite! They had not seen me, for I was wholly in
shadow. I stepped quickly in at my own slide. I pushed
it back and bolted it securely, and with my heart in my
mouth, I waited at my hole of observation. In a minute
more they were close around me, though they did not
suspect I was so near.
They also had a dark-lantern, and, I thought,
more than one. They spoke in low tones; but as they
had no thought they had a hearer quite so near, I could
hear all they said.
"I tell you it was this side, and this is the side I
heard their deuced psalm-singing day before yesterday."
"What if he did hear psalm-singing? Are you going to
break into a man's garden because he sings psalms? I
came here to find out where the girl went to; and now you
talk of psalm-singing and coal-bins." This from another,
whose English was poor, and in whom I fancied I heard the
Dane. It was clear enough that be spoke sense, and a
sort of doubt fell on the whole crew; but speaker No. 1,
with a heavy crowbar he had, smashed into my pine wall,
as I have a right to call it now, with a force which made
the splinters fly.
"I should think we were all at Niblo's," said a man
of slighter build, "and that we were playing Humpty
Dumpty. Because a girl flew out of a window, you think
a fence opened to take her in. Why should she not go
through a door? and he kicked with his foot upon the
heavy sloping cellar-door of the church, which just rose
a little from the pavement. It was the doorway which
they used there when they took in their supply of coal.
The moon fell full on one side of it. To my surprise it
was loose and gave way.
"Here is where the girl flew to, and here is
where Bully Bigg, the donkey, let her slip out of
his fingers. I knew he was a fool, but I did not know he
was such a fool," said the Dane (if he were the Dane).
I will not pretend to write down the oaths and foul
words which came in between every two of the words I have
"Fool yourself!" replied the Bully; "and what sort of
a fool is the man who comes up a blind alley looking
after a girl that will not kiss him when he bids her?"
"Anyway," put in another of the crew, who had just
now lifted the heavy cellar-door, "other people may find
it handy to hop down here when the `beaks' are too near
them. It's a handy place to know of in a dark night, if
the dear deacons do choose to keep it open for a poor
psalm-singing tramp, who has no chance at the station-
house. Here, Lopp, you are the tallest,--jump in and
tell us what is there;" and at this moment the Dane
caught sight of my unfortunate ladder, lying full in the
moonlight. I could see him seize it and run to the
doorway with it with a deep laugh and some phrase of his
own country talk, which I did not understand.
"The deacons are very good," said the savage who had
lifted the cellar-door. "They make everything handy for
us poor fellows."
And though he had not planted the ladder, he was the
first to run down, and called for the rest to follow.
The Dane was second, Lopp was third, and "The
Bully," as the big rascal seemed to be called by
distinction, was the fourth.
I saw him disappear from my view with a mixture of
wonder and terror which I will not describe. I seized my
light overcoat, which always hung in the passage. I
flung open my sliding-door and shut it again behind me.
I looked into the black of the cellar to see the
reflections from their distant lanterns, and without a
sound I drew up my ladder. Then I ran to the head of the
alley and sounded my rattle as I would have sounded the
trumpet for a charge in battle. The officers joined me
in one moment.
"I am the man who spoke to the captain about these
rowdies. Four of them are in the cellar of the church
"Do you know who?"
"One they called Lopp, and one they called Bully
Bigg," said I. "I do not know the others' names."
The officers were enraptured.
I led them, and two other patrolmen who joined us, to
the shelter of my wing-wall. In a few minutes the head
of the Dane appeared, as he was lifted from below. With
an effort and three or four oaths, he struggled out upon
the ground, to be seized and gagged the moment he stepped
back. With varying fortunes, Bigg and Lopp emerged, and
were seized and handcuffed in turn. The fourth
surrendered on being summoned.
What followed comes into the line of daily life and
the morning newspaper so regularly that I need not
describe it. Against the Dane it proved that endless
warrants could be brought immediately. His lair of
stolen baggage and other property was unearthed, and
countless sufferers claimed their own. I was able to
recover Frida's and her mother's possessions--the locks
on the trunks still unbroken. The Dane himself would
have been sent to the Island on I know not how many
charges, but that the Danish minister asked for him that
he might be hanged in Denmark, and he was sent and hanged
Lopp was sent to Sing-Sing for ten years, and has not
yet been pardoned.
Bigg and Cordon were sent to Blackwell's Island for
three years each. And so the land had peace for that
That winter, as there came on one and another idle
alarm that Frida's brother might be heard from, my heart
sank with the lowest terror lest she should go away. And
in the spring I told her that if she went away I was sure
I should die. And the dear girl looked down, and looked
up, and said she thought--she thought she should, too.
And we told my mother that we had determined that Frida
should never go away while we stayed there. And she
So I wrote a note to the minister of the church which
had protected us so long, and one night we slid the
board carefully, and all three walked round, fearless of
the Dane, and Frida and I were married.
It was more than three years after, when I received
by one post three letters, which gave us great ground for
consultation. The first was from my old friend and
patron, the Spaniard. He wrote to me from Chicago, where
he, in his turn, had fallen in with a crew of savages,
who had stripped him of all he had, under the pretext of
a land-enterprise they engaged him in, and had left him
without a real, as he said. He wanted to know if I could
not find him some clerkship, or even some place as
janitor, in New York.
The second letter was from old Mr. Henry in
Philadelphia, who had always employed me after my old
master's death. He said that the fence around the lot in
Ninety-ninth Avenue might need some repairs, and he
wished I would look at it. He was growing old, he said,
and he did not care to come to New York. But the Fordyce
heirs would spend ten years in Europe.
The third letter was from Tom Grinnell.
I wrote to Mr. Henry that I thought he had better let
me knock up a little office, where a keeper might sleep,
if necessary; that there was some stuff with which I
could put up such an office, and that I had an old
friend, a Spaniard, who was an honest fellow, and if he
might have his bed in the office, would take
gratefully whatever his services to the estate proved
worth. He wrote me by the next day's mail that I might
engage the Spaniard and finish the office. So I wrote to
the Spaniard and got a letter from him, accepting the
post provided for him. Then I wrote to Tom Grinnell.
The last day we spent at our dear old home, I
occupied myself in finishing the office as Friend Henry
bade me. I made a "practicable door," which opened from
the passage on Church Alley. Then I loaded my hand-cart
with my own chest and took it myself, in my working
clothes, to the Vanderbilt Station, where I took a brass
check for it.
I could not wait for the Spaniard, but I left a
letter for him, giving him a description of the way I
managed the goats, and directions to milk and fatten
them, and to make both butter and cheese.
At half-past ten a "crystal," as those cabs were then
called, came to the corner of Fernando Street and Church
Alley, and so we drove to the station. I left the key of
the office, directed to the Spaniard, in the hands of the
When I took leave of my castle, as I called it, I
carried with me for relics the great straw hat I had
made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots; also I forgot
not to take the money I formerly mentioned, which had
lain by me so long useless that it was grown rusty
and tarnished, and could scarcely pass for money till it
had been a little rubbed and handled. With these relics
and with my wife's and mother's baggage and my own chest,
we arrived at our new home.
BREAD ON THE WATERS
A WASHINGTON CHRISTMAS
[No. This story also is "Invented Example." But it
is founded on facts. It is a pleasure to me, writing
fifty-four years after the commission intrusted to me by
the late Mrs. Fales, to say that that is a real name, and
that her benevolence at a distance is precisely
Perhaps the large history of the world would be
differently written but for that kindness of hers.
I was a very young clergyman, and the remittance she
made to me was the first trust of the same kind which had
ever been confided to me.]
"Only think, Matty, papa passed right by me when I was
sitting with my back to the fire and stitching away on
his book-mark without my once seeing him! But he was
so busy talking to mamma that he never saw what I was
doing, and I huddled it under a newspaper before he
came back again. Well, I have got papa's present done,
but I cannot keep out of mamma's way. Matty, dear, if
I will sit in the sun and keep a shawl on, may I not
sit in your room and work? It is not one bit cold
there. Really, Matty, it is a great deal warmer
than it was yesterday."
"Dear child," said Matty, to whom everybody came so
readily for advice and help, "I can do better for you
than that. You shall come into the study; papa will be
away all the morning, and I will have the fire kept up
there,--and mamma shall never come near you."
All this, and a thousand times more of plotting and
counterplotting, was going on among four children and
their elders in a comfortable, free-and-easy seeming
household in Washington, as the boys and girls, young men
and young women were in the last agonies of making ready
for Christmas. Matty is fully entitled to be called a
young woman, when we see her. She has just passed her
twenty-first birthday. But she looks as fresh and pretty
as when she was seventeen, and certainly she is a great
deal pleasanter though she be wiser. She is the oldest
of the troop. Tom, the next, is expected from Annapolis
this afternoon, and Beverly from Charlotte. Then come
four boys and girls whose ages and places the reader must
guess at as we go on.
The youngest of the family were still young enough to
write the names of the presents which they would be glad
to receive, or to denote them by rude hieroglyphs, on
large sheets of paper. They were wont to pin up these
sheets on certain doors, which, by long usage in this
free-and-easy family, had come to be regarded as the
bulletin-boards of the establishment. Well-nigh
every range of created things had some representation on
these bulletins,--from an ambling pony round to a "boot-
buttenner," thus spelled out by poor Laura, who was
constantly in disgrace, because she always appeared
latest at the door when the children started for church,
to ride, or for school. The youngsters still held to the
theory of announcing thus their wants in advance. Horace
doubted whether he were not too old. But there was so
much danger that nobody would know how much he needed a
jig-saw, that he finally compromised with his dignity,
wrote on a virgin sheet of paper, "gig-saw," signed his
name, "Horace Molyneux, Dec. 21," and left his other
presents to conjecture.
And of course at the very end, as Santa Claus and his
revels were close upon them, while the work done had been
wonderful, that which we ought to have done but which we
had left undone, was simply terrible. Here were pictures
that must be brought home from the frame-man, who had
never pretended he would send them; there were ferns and
lycopodiums in pots which must be brought home from the
greenhouse; here were presents for other homes, which
must not only be finished, but must be put up in paper
and sent before night, so as to appear on other trees.
Every one of these must be shown to mamma, an approved by
her and praised; and every one must be shown to dear
Matty, and praised and approved by her. And yet by
no accident must Matty see her own presents or dream that
any child has remembered her, or mamma see HERS or
think herself remembered.
And Matty has all her own little list to see to,
while she keeps a heart at leisure from itself to soothe
and sympathize. She has to correct the mistakes, to
repair the failures, to respect the wonder, to refresh
the discouragement, of each and all the youngsters. Her
own Sunday scholars are to be provided with their
presents. The last orders are to be given for the
Christmas dinners of half-a-dozen families of vassals,
mostly black or of some shade of black, who never forgot
their vassalage as Christmas came round. Turkey,
cranberry, apples, tea, cheese, and butter must be sent
to each household of these vassals, as if every member
were paralyzed except in the muscles of the jaw. But,
all the same, Matty or her mother must be in readiness
all the morning and afternoon to receive the visits of
all the vassals,--who, so far as this form of homage
went, did not seem to be paralyzed at all.
For herself, Matty took possession of the dining-
room, as soon as she could clear it of the breakfast
equipage, of the children and of the servants, and here,
with pen and ink, with wrapping-paper and twine, with
telegraph blanks and with the directory, and with Venty
as her Ariel messenger--not so airy and quick as Ariel,
but quite as willing--Matty worked her wonders, and
gave her audiences, whether to vassals from without or
puzzled children from within.
Venty was short for Ventidius. But this name, given
in baptism, was one which Venty seldom heard.
Matty corded up this parcel, and made Venty cord up
that; wrote this note of compliment, that of inquiry,
that of congratulation, and sent Venty on this, that, and
another errand with them; relieved Flossy's anxieties and
poor Laura's in ways which have been described; made sure
that the wagon should be at the station in ample time for
Beverly's arrival; and at last, at nearly one o'clock,
called Aunty Chloe (who was in waiting on everybody as a
superserviceable person, on the pretence that she was
needed), bade Aunty pick up the scraps, sweep the floor,
and bring the room to rights. And so, having attended to
everybody beside herself, to all their wishes and hopes
and fears, poor Matty--or shall I say, dear Matty--ran
off to her own room, to finish her own presents and make
her own last preparations.
She had kept up her spirits as best she could all the
morning, but, at any moment when she was alone, her
spirits had fallen again. She knew it, and she knew why.
And now she could not hold out any longer. She and her
mother, thank God, never had any secrets. And as she ran
by her mother's door she could not help tapping, to be
sure if she had come home.
Yes, she had come home. "Come in!" and Matty ran in.
Her mother had not even taken off her hat or her
gloves. She had flung herself on the sofa, as if her
walk had been quite too much for her; her salts and her
handkerchief were in her hands, and when she saw it was
Matty, as she had hoped when she spoke, she would not
even pretend she had not been in tears.
In a moment Matty was on her knees on the floor by
the sofa, and somehow had her left arm round about her
"Dear, dear mamma! What is it, what is the matter?"
"My dear, dear Matty," replied her mother, just
succeeding in speaking without sobs, and speaking the
more easily because she stroked the girl's hair and
caressed her as she spoke, "do not ask, do not try to
know. You will know, if you do not guess, only too soon.
And now the children will be better, and papa will get
through Christmas better, if you do not know, my
"No, dear mamma," said Matty, crossing her mother's
purpose almost for the first time that she remembered,
but wholly sure that she was right in doing so,--"No,
dear mamma, it is not best so. Indeed, it is not, mamma!
I feel in my bones that it is not!" This she said with
a wretched attempt to smile, which was the more ghastly
because the tears were running down from both their
"You see I have tried, mamma. I knew all day
yesterday that something was wrong, and at breakfast this
morning I knew it. And I have had to hold up--with the
children and all these people--with the feeling that any
minute the hair might break and the sword fall. And I
know I shall do better if you tell me. You see the boys
will be here before dark, and of course they will see,
and what in the world shall I say to them?"
"What, indeed?" said her poor mother. "Terrible it
is, dear child, because your father is so wretched. I
have just come from him. He would not let me stay, and
yet for the minute I was there, I saw that no one else
could come in to goad him. Dear, dear papa, he is so
resolute and brave, and yet any minute I was afraid that
he would break a blood-vessel and fall dead before me.
Oh, Matty, Matty, my darling, it is terrible!"
And this time the poor woman could not control
herself longer, but gave way to her sobs, and her voice
fairly broke, so that she was inarticulate, as she laid
her cheek against her daughter's on the sofa.
"What is terrible? Dear mamma, you must tell me!"
"I think I must tell you, Matty, my darling. I
believe if I cannot tell some one, I shall die."
Then Mrs. Molyneux told the whole horror to Matty.
Here was her husband charged with the grossest
plunder of the treasury, and now charged even in the
House of Representatives. It had been whispered about
before, and had been hinted at in some of the lower
newspapers, but now even a committee of Congress had
noticed it, and had "given him an opportunity to clear
himself." There was no less a sum than forty-seven
thousand dollars, in three separate payments, charged to
him at the Navy Department as long ago as the second and
third years of the Civil War. At the Navy they had his
receipts for it. Not that he had been in that department
then any more than he was now. He was then chief clerk
in the Bureau of Internal Improvement, as he was now
Commissioner there. But this was when the second Rio
Grande expedition was fitted out; and from Mr. Molyneux's
knowledge of Spanish, and his old connection with the
Santa Fe trade, this particular matter had been intrusted
"Yes, dear mamma!"
"Well, papa has it all down on his own cashbook; that
book he carries in his breast-pocket. There are the
three payments, and then all the transfers he made to the
different people. One, was that old white-haired
Spaniard with the harelip, who used to come here at the
back door, so that he should not be seen at the
Department. But it was before you remember. The others
were in smaller sums. But the whole thing was done in
three weeks, and then the expedition sailed, and papa had
enough else to think of, and has never thought of it
since, till ten or fifteen days ago, when somebody in the
Eleventh Auditor's office discovered this charge, and his
receipt for this money."
"Well, dear mamma?"
"Well, dear child, that is all, but that now the
newspapers have got hold of it, and the Committee on
Retrenchment, who are all new men, with their reputations
to make, have got hold of it, and some of them really
think, you know, that papa has stolen the money!" And
she broke down crying again.
"But he can show his accounts, mamma!" What are his
accounts worth? He must show the vouchers, as they are
called. He must show these people's receipts, and what
has become of these people; what they did with the money.
He must show everything. Well, when the `Copperhead'
first spoke of it--that was a fortnight ago--papa was
really pleased. For he said it would be a good chance to
bring out a piece of war history. He said that in our
Bureau we had never had any credit for the Rio Grande
successes, that they were all our thunder; because
THEN he could laugh about this horrid thing. He said
the Navy had taken all the boners, while we deserved them
all. And he said if these horrid `Copperhead' and
`Argus' and `Scorpion' people would only publish the
vouchers half as freely as they published the charges, we
should get a little of the credit that was our due."
"Well, mamma, and what is the trouble now?"
"Why, papa was so sure that he would do nothing until
an official call came. But on Monday it got into
Congress. That hairy man from the Yellowstone brought in
a resolution or something, and the Committee was ordered
to inquire. And when the order came down, papa told Mr.
Waltsingham to bring him the papers, and, Matty, the
papers were not there!"
"Stolen!" cried Matty, understanding the crisis for
the first time.
"Yes--perhaps--or lost--hidden somewhere. You have
no idea of the work of those days night work and all
that. Many a time your father did not undress for a
"And now he must remember where he put a horrid pile
of papers, eleven, twelve years ago. Mamma, that pile is
stolen. That odious Greenhithe stole it. He lives in
Philadelphia now, and he has put up these newspapers to
Mr. Greenhithe was an underclerk in the Internal
Improvement Bureau, who had shown an amount of attention
to Miss Matty, which she had disliked and had refused to
receive. She had always said he was bad and would come
to a bad end, and when he was detected in a low trick,
selling stationery which he had stolen from the supply
room, and was discharged in disgrace, Matty had said it
was good enough for him.
These were her reasons for pronouncing at once
that he had stolen the vouchers and had started the
"I do not know. Papa does not know. He hardly tries
to guess. He says either way it is bad. If the vouchers
are stolen, he is in fault, for he is responsible for the
archives; if he cannot produce the vouchers, then all the
country is down on him for stealing. I only hope," said
poor Mrs. Molyneux, "that they won't say our poor old
wagon is a coach and six;" and this time she tried to
And now she had told her story. All last night,
while the children were asleep, Mr. Molyneux had been at
the office, even till four o'clock in the morning, taking
old dusty piles from their lairs and searching for those
wretched vouchers. And mamma had been waiting--shall one
not say, had been weeping?--here at home. That was the
reason poor papa had looked so haggard at breakfast this
This was all mamma had to tell. She had been to the
office this morning, but papa would not let her stay. He
must see all comers, just as if nothing had happened, was
happening, or was going to happen.
Well! Matty did make her mother take off her jacket
and her hat and her gloves. She even made her drink a
glass of wine and lie down. And then the poor girl
retired to her own room, with such appetite as she might
for taking the last stitches in worsted work, for
stippling in the lights into drawings, for writing
the presentation lines in books, and for doing the
thousand little niceties in the way of finishing touches
which she had promised the children to do for them.
Her dominant feeling--yes, it was a dominant passion,
as she knew--was simply rage against this miserable
Greenhithe, this cowardly sneak who was thus taking his
revenge upon her, because she had been so cold to him.
Or was it that he made up to her because he was already
in trouble at the Office and hoped she would clear him
with her father? Either way he was a snake and a
scorpion, but he had worked out for himself a terrible
revenge. Poor Matty! She tried to think what she could
do, how she could help, for that was the habit of her
life. But this was now hard indeed. Her mind would not
now take that turn. All that it would turn to was to the
wretched and worse than worthless question, what
punishment might fall on him for such utter baseness and
All the same the children must have their lunch, and
they must not know that anything was the matter. Oh
dear! this concealment was the worst of all!
So they had their lunch. And poor Matty counselled
again, and helped again, and took the last stitches, and
mended the last breaks, and waited and wondered, and
tried to hope, till at five o'clock an office messenger
came up with this message.
DEAR MATTY,--I shall not come up to dinner. There is
pressing work here. Tell mamma not to sit up for me. I
have my key.
I have no chance to get my things for the children.
Will you see to it? Here is twenty dollars, and if you
need more let them send in the bill. I had only thought
of that jig-saw--was it?--that Horace wants. See that
the dear fellow has a good one.
Love to all and ever yours,
"Poor, dear papa," said Matty aloud, shedding tears
in spite of herself. "To be thinking of jig-saws and
children in all this horrid hunt! As if hunting for
anything was not the worst trial of all, always." And at
once the brave girl took down her wraps and put on her
walking-shoes, that her father's commissions might be met
before their six-o'clock dinner. And she determined that
first of all she would meet Tom at the station.
At the station she met Tom; that was well. Matty had
not been charged to secrecy; that was well. She told him
all the story, not without adding her suspicions, and
giving him some notion of her rage.
And Tom was angry enough,--there was a crumb of
comfort there. But Tom went off on another track. Tom
distrusted the Navy Department. He had been long enough
at Annapolis to doubt the red tape of the bureaus with
which his chiefs had to do. "If the navy had the
money, the navy had the vouchers," that was Tom's theory.
He knew a chief clerk in the navy, and Tom was going at
once round there.
But Matty held him in check at least for the moment.
Whatever else he did, he must come home first; he must
see mamma and he must see the children, and he must have
dinner. She had not told him yet how well he looked, and
how handsome he was.
But after Tom had seen them he slipped off, pretended
he had unfinished preparations to make, and went right to
the Department, forced his way in because he was Mr.
Molyneux's son, and found his poor father with Zeigler,
the chief clerk, still on this wretched and fruitless
overhaul of the old files. Tom stated frankly, in his
off-hand, business-like way, what his theory was.
Neither Zeigler nor Tom's father believed in it in the
least. Tom knew nothing, they said; the Navy paid the
money, but the Navy was satisfied with our receipt, and
Tom continued to say, "If the Navy paid the money the
Navy must have the vouchers;" and at last, more to be rid
of him than with any hope of the result, Mr. Molyneux let
the eager fellow go round to his friend, Eben Ricketts,
and see if Eben would not give an hour or two of his
Christmas to looking up the thing. Mr. Molyneux even
went so far as to write a frank line to Mr. Ricketts, and
enclosed a letter which he had had that day from the
chairman of the House Committee,--a letter which was
smooth enough in the language, but horrible enough in the
Ah me! Had not Ricketts read it all already in the
evening "Argus"? He was willing, if he could, to serve.
So he with Tom went round and found the Navy Department
messenger, and opened and lighted up the necessary rooms,
and they spent three hours of their Christmas there.
Meanwhile Beverly had arrived from Norfolk. He had a
frolic with the children, and then called his mother and
Matty away from them.
"What in thunder is the matter?" said the poor boy.
And they told him. How could they help telling him?
And so soon as the story was finished, the boy had his
coat on and was putting on his boots. He went right down
to his father's office, he made old Stratton admit him,
and told his father he too had reported for duty.
And at last Christmas morning dawned,--gray enough and
In that house the general presenting was reserved for
evening after dinner,--when in olden days there had
always been a large Christmas-tree lighted and
dressed for the children and their little friends. As
the children had grown older, and the trees at the
Sunday-school and elsewhere had grown larger, the family
tree had grown smaller, and on this day was to be simply
atypical tree, a little suggestion of a tree, between the
front windows; while most of the presents of every sort
and kind were to be dispersed--where room could be made
for them--in any part of the front parlors. All the
grand ceremonial of present-giving was thus reserved to
the afternoon of Christmas, because then it was certain
papa would be at home, Tom and Beverly would both be
ready, and, indeed, as the little people confessed, they
themselves would have more chance to be quite prepared.
But none the less was the myth of Santa Claus and the
stockings kept up, although that was a business of less
account, and one in which the children themselves had no
share, except to wonder, to enjoy, and to receive. You
will observe that there is a duality in most of the
enjoyments of life,--that if you have a long-expected
letter from your brother who is in Yokohama, by the same
mail or the next mail there comes a letter from your
sister who is in Cawnpore. And so it was of Christmas at
this Molyneux house. Besides the great wonders, like
those wrought out by Aladdin's slave of the lamp, there
were the wonders, less gigantic but not less exquisite,
of the morning hours, wrought out by the slave of
the ring. How this series of wonders came about, the
youngest of the children did not know, and were still
imaginative enough and truly wise enough not to inquire.
While, then, the two young men and their father were
at one or the other Department, now on step-ladders,
handing down dusty old pasteboard boxes, now under
gaslights, running down long indexes with inquiring
fingers and unwinking eyes, Matty and her mother watched
and waited till eleven o'clock came, not saying much of
what was on the hearts of both, but sometimes just
recurring to it, as by some invisible influence,--an
influence which would overcome both of them at the same
moment. For the mother and daughter were as two sisters,
not parted far, even in age, and not parted at all in
sympathy. For occupation, they were wrapping up in thin
paper a hundred barley dogs, cats, eagles, locomotives,
suns, moons, and stars,--with little parcels of nuts,
raisins, and figs, large red apples, and bright Florida
oranges,--all of which were destined to be dragged out of
different stockings at daybreak.
"And now, dear, dear mamma," said Matty, "you will go
to bed,--please do, dear mamma." This was said as she
compelled the last obstinate eagle to accept his fate and
stay in his wrapping-paper, from which he had more than
once struggled out, with the instincts of freedom.
"Please do, dear mamma; I will sort these all
out, and will be quite sure that each has his own.
At least, let us come upstairs together. I will comb
your hair for you; that is one of the little comforts.
And you shall get into bed and see me arrange them, and
if I do it wrong you can tell me."
Poor mamma, she yielded to her--as who does not
yield, and because it was easier to go upstairs than to
stay. And the girl led her up and made herself a toilet
woman indeed, and did put her worn-out mamma into bed,
and then hurried to the laundry, where she was sure she
could find what Diana had been bidden to reserve there--a
pair of clean stockings belonging to each member of the
family. The youngest children, alas, who would need the
most room for their spread-eagles and sugar locomotives,
had the smallest feet and legs. But nature compensates
for all things, and Matty did not fail to provide an
extra pair of her mother's longest stockings for each of
"the three," as the youngest were called in the councils
of their elders. So a name was printed by Santa Claus on
a large red card and pinned upon each receptacle, FLOSSY
or LAURA, while all were willing to accept of his
bounties contained within, even if they did not recognize
yarn or knitting as familiar. Matty hurried back with
their treasures. She brought from her own room the large
red tickets, already prepared, and then, on the floor by
her mother's bedside, assorted the innumerable parcels,
and filled each stocking full.
Dear girl! she had not wrongly guessed. There was
just occupation enough, and just little enough, for the
poor mother's anxious, tired thought. Matty was wise.
She asked fewer and fewer questions; fewer and fewer she
made her journeys to the great high fender, where she
pinned all these stiff models of gouty legs. And when
the last hung there quietly, the girl had the exquisite
satisfaction of seeing that her mother was fast asleep.
She would not leave the room. She turned the gas-light
down to a tiny bead. She slipped off her own frock, put
on her mother's heavy dressing-gown, lay down quietly by
her side without rousing her, and in a little while--for
with those so young this resource is well-nigh sure--she
It was five o'clock when she was wakened by her
father's hand. He led her out into his own dressing-
room, and before she spoke she kissed him!
She knew what his answer would be. She knew that
from his heavy face. But all the same she tried to
smile, and she said,
"Found? No, no, dear child, nor ever will be. How
And Matty told him, and begged him to come and sleep
in her own little room, because the children would come
in in a rout at daybreak. But no! he would not hear to
that. "Whatever else is left, dear Matty, we have each
other. And we will not begin--on what will be a new
life to all of us--we will not begin by 'bating a jot of
the dear children's joys. Matty, that is what I have
been thinking of all the way as I walked home. But maybe
I should not have said it, but that Beverly said it just
now to me. Dear fellow! I cannot tell you the comfort
it was to me to see him come in! I told him he should
not have come, but he knew that he made me almost happy.
He is a fine fellow, Matty, and all night long he has
shown the temper and the sense of a man."
For a moment Matty could not say a word. Her eyes
were all running over with tears. She kissed her father
again, and then found out how to say, "I shall tell him
what you say, papa, and there will be two happy children
in this house, after all."
So she ran to Beverly's room, found him before he was
undressed, and told him. And the boy who was just
becoming a man, and the girl who, without knowing it, had
become a woman, kissed each other; held each other for a
minute, each by both hands, looked each other so lovingly
in the eyes, comforted each other by the infinite comfort
of love, and then said good-night and were asleep. Tom
had stolen to bed without waking his mother or his
sister, some hours before.
Yes! They all slept. The little ones slept, though
they had been so certain that they should not sleep one
wink from anxiety. This poor jaded man slept
because he must sleep. His poor wife slept because she
had not slept now for two nights before. And Matty and
Tom and Beverly slept because they were young and brave
and certain and pure, and because they were between
seventeen and twenty-two years of age. This is all to
say that they could seek God's help and find it. This is
to say that they were well-nigh omnipotent over earthly
ills,--so far, at the least, that sleep came when sleep
But not after seven o'clock! Venty and Diana had
been retained by Flossy and Laura to call them at five
minutes of seven, and Laura and Flossy had called the
others. And at seven o'clock, precisely, a bugle-horn
sounded in the children's quarters, and then four
grotesque riders, each with a soldier hat made of
newspaper, each with a bright sash girt round a dressing-
gown, each with bare feet stuck into stout shoes, came
storming down the stairs, and as soon as the lower floor
was reached, each mounted on a hobby-horse or stick, and
with riot not to be told came knocking at Matty's door,
at Beverly's, and at Tom's. And these all appeared, also
with paper soldier hats upon their heads, and girt in
some very spontaneous costume, and so the whole troop
proceeded with loud fanfaron and drumbeat to mamma's door
and knocked for admission, and heard her cheery "Come
in." And papa and mamma had heard the bugle-calls, and
had wrapped some sort of shawls around their
shoulders, and were sitting up in bed, they also with
paper soldier hats upon them; and one scream of "Merry
Christmas" resounded as the doors flew open,--and then a
wild rampage of kissing and of hugging as the little ones
rushed for the best places they could find on the bed--
not to say in it. This was the Christmas custom.
And Tom rolled up a lounge on one side of the bed,
which after a fashion widened it, and Beverly brought up
his mother's easy-chair, which had earned the name of
"Moses' seat," on the other side, and thus, in a minute,
the great broad bed was peopled with the whole family, as
jolly, if as absurd, a sight as the rising sun looked
upon. And then! Flossy and Beverly were deputed to go
to the fender, and to bring the crowded, stiff stockings,
whose crackle was so delicate and exquisite; and so,
youngest by youngest, they brought forth their treasures,
not indeed gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but what
answered the immediate purposes better, barley cats,
dogs, elephants and locomotives, figs, raisins, walnuts,
Yes, and for one noisy half-hour not one person
thought of the cloud which hung over the house only the
But such happy forgetfulness cannot last forever.
There was the Christmas breakfast. And Tom tried to tell
of Academy times, and Beverly tried to tell stories
of the University. But it was a hard pull. The lines
under papa's eyes were only too dark. And all of a
sudden he would start, and ask some question which showed
that he did not know what they were talking of. Matty
had taken care to have the newspapers out of the way; but
everybody knew why they were out of the way,--and perhaps
this made things worse. Poor blundering Laura must needs
say, "That is the good of Christmas, that there are no
horrid newspapers for people to bother with," when
everybody above Horace's age knew that there were papers
somewhere, and soon Horace was bright enough to see what
he had not been told in words,--that something was going
And as soon as breakfast was done, Flossy cried out,
"And now papa will tell us the story of the bear! Papa
always tells us that on Christmas morning. Laura, you
shall come; and, Horace, you shall sit there." And then
her poor papa had to take her up and kiss her, and say
that this morning he could not stop to tell stories, that
he had to go to the Department. And then Flossy and
Laura fairly cried. It was too bad. They hated the
Department. There never could be any fun but what that
horrid old Department came in. And when Horace found
that Tom was going to the Department too, and that Bev
meant to go with him, he was mad, and said he did not see
what was the use of having Christmas. Here he had tin-
foil and plaster upstairs, and little Watrous had
lent him a set of government medals, and they should have
such a real good time if Bev would only stay. He wished
the Department was at the bottom of the Potomac. Matty
fairly had to take the scolding boy out of the room.
Mr. Molyneux, poor fellow, undertook the soothing of
Flossy. "Anyway, old girl, you shall meet me as you go
to church, and we will go through the avenue together,
and I will show you the new Topsy girl selling cigars at
Pierre's tobacco shop. She is as big as Flossy. She has
not got quite such golden hair, but she never says one
word to her papa, because she is never cross to him."
"That's because he is never kind to her," said the
quick child, speaking wiser than she knew.
For Matty, she got a word with Tom, and he too
promised that they would be away from the Department in
time to meet the home party, and that all of them should
go to church together.
CHURCH AND SERMON
And, accordingly, as Mrs. Molyneux with her little troop
crossed F Street, they met the gentlemen all coming
toward them. They broke up into groups, and Tom and
Matty got their first real chance for talk since they had
parted the night before. No! Tom had found no clue
at the Navy Department. And although Eben Ricketts had
been good as gold, and had stayed and workhe had morehem
wil did ng and oSpobaccwhoulod-nd Inough,ty
wil d was notk at lealed wiew that floor had lueserve tmety
wil d He said tf apa told Micksaie eno boy age kn thee
arssary ll go thrae founrle eno
he had not bShe tume abouts they cif Inirinor fifive
minknew wshe hsre let tixrning horty, andaking.
Micksaie eno bed wits to lo, How co to ces, whmfort
itthan them, whmas to came. ng.
Micksaie eketts had
bShe tume abrty,ty
ithin,,at he did not ock, prect see
they has becomfrom him.son
thoHere heglowstat stuckrs ennsylvd
Sender, wt. Toor ment away come, but he diry to
ellow, Mat as if notbShes come -d"AnyIad to rs ennsylvd
Sme -mole ut hoould t and his.
one, I shallieve and
er, ;atty, andkn tty
Eben Riciceties in the w--we wad
nee pu he madwiew thah the
voucars werecertain hee
ar- the roay, "If the dHe saidsted w "If the Navy must have the voul die."
retire andhink whatatty and her m, and
and wonlaugh ahan
aersey And tthis partis hi sheets of , and wop the necelossu
r neato bo the voucLOSSY
andisatiscop storhe pook yearsss
acnever coulrace foers
!rningow; shown he wo Sunotment. if Butes
room, andd at a And tlazcademy heetse, Hod so,wn he wo Sutrud home. Will yo,eties inheir fbest ,rhaps
she neont as lon them.n,eties in the sebest , said itiwas on thtpiece o Well, show every
what waa less gigand alr side, aid thingsined to and onun had -iece ysrever.n,
the quietle, this particas a busiinvolvy hated buy sittinond
if did not known ao bringRebf mothat tInirTexaerly's, ao brini afteir knees on the otherbringRond Rio
Gin it. made ed
Spano boma and mmust rem-calls, bomaI, and must remh him, hed in the chapd cert ao brinrhaShehismedals, ant there r or wisly
ni abest png sFeir fFole fl newhers," BevsLaura, ngow; b
But at if theyl on ting t if they didand
tbest plt asefore. poor ever him, he r crytakenful; once
tf take thwas
mo thennight be hasar storhe rm's fathim be for osary gold, andound thhis
knoenjoymandmp workhe ote thiaryyneusrstlosstd Ino Buthey diddo care to got a erly sn they ctmenttment. But ashow every
su lookeof fec quie But saidttle sn throceededring oaccts son, and faken all asoth be
to do for, Hrertain ing and der, wthat tanexpecitaerseychers, hen
every It wasf coisatiselse to thistill
iomethiplaces if du know, that pahe had stolndak the mone grh we ouhen ing man, and Hre.l me!"
w publisy eyes were hers half conful du " re--sshe which aftps be
gain.withamma," said Ma
the quie"neak who wut thiary?l me!"
"Wmentamma," The ro"That ther ares to dster rt
icried. ItmadeGilremt;amma, you must remht upsignomers, ingswfFoul agughter's on the arsity. ns for
the fbest , Gilremtshalh, and hich a all ng, takEbeh th crieies in the sebest , but she n
She knew tty, the
in xece depu is twuite se sheets of s when
ers,l story. ning he ceds
s haoungthey woultain h
But Many a om's fatone brougovidemade ed
Spanteen aor wisly
theseg horty, and re--undertooi afcx's
knoenjoymk or ofthe
if did not t
"Wwithamma," tand theno bed wiirilalkhknockinps
thnto fiinthishe stao do. hasar st ns Wa finiStratruld bevery
ness-hasar st n-hav parers," Bvideings ad notpanhe regur
sicept o ting roay,h as he wiiren
everyever ster He layed andd kis , bus haer lren
were ty miwidot kn
suddedly criwith one, I houldhich ao to chay,-
acnhted upWidot Gilremtethere, I ho andch others father hu'ses in books,, "I shall t
Topsy drod wrao bo te Officema,":self.th one, I ho andch oIN HIS NAMEtl me!"Goee hv
m Butoer hadulod left, thendeed?" sa.d?"ticaecausaway s to me
to say irl, you s, do nog sfore!
hs. Her not wrapld, spefault, fofeling at Matarm, youke
stay i,tatty and the whrthe smusbly criwitwil did nou gokat st o pa's him befged hih to sy room.
Greenhig at Matmade forr larger,hief c th, andhave bismi
dressed for ste,y who was
se to brinm thto church,ice, ethe vd toldhrumbeae motn,
as He byld be.
d tolded atoccupaelse rght ring hinrae founve tmeHnd she e beme oaid MaIather be
and I tse crars," Bvithere!"me..
there!"Yng eyes, ,low! okat sAcadthe th Tom, anness caken sltolrfolk. hat isade se rampvand hsid navg-shoes, th Thishour n fred navg part of the fwat longer,hpa, he ut someus ofool"Wmen roay, Butes
n frdisn-nightwent rigad toed toe up Dowiomeaddialomission, not towas
jnd haveink a
glasstolke moneind on estkguSpaniren woken carpand f
"PIng he could inps
the w her s"gain.
thoso,wnand wopuite sud
! were!amma," The tree, a liess y indeed
the , tfor peken kn
anotthe etfor pemust remetooi ad in ather
sre letao doe she wasATTYthis wut wholly--oreheIs haer ough Eben Ric face. But at atof u Ino and of carges,h we ouo hardts of evtre
thn it. Tach wilf a ter gulp
gain.withr, if yey w
"I thih we ouo pld, to go witmamma!"Poor M now?"
"withr,rchives; itoer not--ves; iin the scorhaps
ping upele helf.th ong he c did mtoif t is whcfor thot
siThe roY if yey w
"I thih we ouo try?l me!"low, Mat a, ifshe neld, ttke, so ts a sner
and Ifounrght ringined w
womor ea to
thfr side,Iw--we wad
ll to got a tose stment as l me as Heo him."
ost--hiiplaces womewheretrooy hugginwhen shenes
uo bo eilMatty, had fluntarmucherom, foundr up and beggebreak.But all the,amma," The trBut athat he She kisseather
aer" But all thee one, I sould fe abrBut sthto chuder, wtha ts a siymandystealing you sh to go t that-vesseld to alling aling you sof
dfoundwas dTom, an or ho Bevoons, asteyhoes, th nd I tsk stole Pand pe fast thaa tiat is oncept y-scldenle Pand pe when someever sd Ifouthe gremgoing tostolke .ound? Poor Mahoild, was b, _I_ You
t is p, although tillcnjoymions m not undd ata of "Merry
Chrill beild, was b, Iw--we w do neartment. I ame wiirr evint? Poor Maoay, ha someever nears,think I had nde ang-expsined tt so wayl die."
th nd wrao bopa's ekhe ote ook dar
handkerceretr He ledid been td, toicGin itoi aook phe k he was alrefard puHe papa had to taketat stuck D
gainSoght. Mattysy preat isass yanfluence whame wdy presatestogetherDrr c quhe isthe fpair ofher
fath w, were siteady in hsidhe er su Watseus thas on the otherbpart ofaislepened, s on conful .
Green them.mma hd did for him ant tturn te wg at Mateavy? too.f else he did and waappoas pr roay,h athey he pu hedd for himhim, hedhih toftps lither csis f"Myful the elp, for him, he was goinshe
cir ofts ine tro bo eilMathat her ckoe tu got qededring
in thsmomente had nebut helndertoe
ly. nine, I, hed ineavythistMnd plawhen Hll beon Horaceengascharges
acr taking the lataod-vstting ontherbpart ofharp Bucund cechivges
acr tethelsomoney, uch membe the taod-vstree, betweeth Tom,awayot of
atwilwas oben ret,etiecernarti morniw Bviy taod-vsfounve ink I tiat faken allcund cec been tdharp B dTom, cwhoBviy thas oncund cec behian, andrnot faid in tanfllthing.rable
befandhutf the little co
weretudyscorhbove Horaeavy tooJrs, jusd inC of story was finis And whenryoungest o sthto cMattystd Inon td, xStrallighted upaisleaa lrim bes to loo a woeach witd sos thher hatlren
wirt heavyether,tone bro see
en faid indour pf from Mr. Molynh we beasives; iiren wfr
m to bringcame ng. Mr. Molywristmas alittdbpart ofhw, ger,hhad hapt not touis mord be awayed to
islepeman, and, xStraactus
reethe vd toom himrhaShevd went roundnds, lo Tom at tme ardinneo prn quhdHe s did not with-- fun ut, with the insfpairo
in a dutivetet wratuck d upaisleaatdbpaf wonltold iatseusin itoivetme ardoraceembe mehe kothewerhey hasives; iiren weld, ,tment
brom hiharge had aerhaul oft of attewheretroooof kis to
islepeunderatseus taf wonltoldtkis , Iniriuu sha
Mr. Molynady, and, indugh. to Mate."
Dear gull. trefe wh and of c But it wtrefe whookesnot let adl Mate.Wing was tus, iar you
F fireff? WHow coulda was
ree mes, that her f that on ChrisDaranklythto c?duty.
CHAPV too.S THIS I
; But i, l me as not have,tlren
cunat odt on ChrieusrtoicG tes
for aof these pquire.?--that HoaShevd nst ther ki,inted plvt med She not beenquireOaul ofheir each m
glas all the littlpviy sterstmas al Thearas on thdbpart oftherb
islepei. Buas toave,tInir the geesses, that theyl oi a the gokat stpon theirtsther,therceengaschargen td, toicGhorty, and but sometoulda ust
su l them. ust
su lob--a lettel wthat g he cthem reajoid even i hymn Claus ane wayepstairs that they use thenger
been td, tmstao Geen D
Gd Inopvanruletainet is o like
t notg afd ce, alassof the , he e alarey spe althd, a rexpso dnvisibyl on he infi the ,r Tom hlg-expsugh, for tthe oncept, tmsta setlawickeng tos in w "Sand sceretr to "pore. And shhad hap--vrt
itthad they didoButn, was
hto go witpingLaura must o hadrumbassof thdsdoButn, clue
at not n kissingedy, and, indughs of elthdscorhd prgraphbpart oft tmstao Ng. How fornutes nd searceretr to nothing not and dea. But allheir each m
glaed to Mr. Molyhole f
they had belicowa for nneed, kly, in the stog
"Yrr c quhe flo in
sym themking tot lastyhooea
But he hefiiplaces ment miway it,hough
theyas be go
to chuhmas to rm's fareatlediftoulda g he lders. All that to was tme had , inslastun worse forlar mapokethe immed
iritus he hefises, thair
"My poor his frister ovmforted e is one om than wied imhis fate ng-u famt
of lhhad hapt noenn
a lting ontthe ers, jus to thnquireay,aid
Mr. Molynbt the fpaid atnd w hi-er'sady, Tom
th piles d in disthel hsidhand ceh--away fren thinkv lonkly,but horrvar sdutivt oft ve genislyadsdoB with iFlossy his anbionery wolndakd in diss day was tavoiu loons feciperhey h-- yet aw--wr ths invisbeat ies co
whilethan yre isas ro Welut whunhe ecat odtory of leen indrhe klso ws of e thd, inton found ept, pncst n-
But thdsded, s ose:e beme Sand scereas to,hm
breislystoleihe hosuccr wast saiim t"To be tolOu
e upstgm's faapdissbody ahen ft
bheir d him. Andheir trell of whie waz lob-ye sebricd come-two ybyglowsd he and pehorm," tandokenodtory in the ,ror even i disiforgetfultorricstitcave
And at appyo of ring. iOr waklso we a left, ttle fr? Aey werg was tu? Aey werg wasme a ?em.mvy werg and pue on one
dheir trelof from ys of liae whendoken not the Toor ment mlthe wherbpnus ofopyo of F filory irable pelp, for,ahan
okeofecithe down fathDft, ttle frndeed, as-two intos
en, cl was piles
But neglg-e guBnesrd be n i das
away frose madeyo of Fc
YLifre let iles from thidwrappest petts,
are let ihan d far, eveomb
t on Chrisfere vi
bousleeand scereas to!l me."
, as Mrs. Molyu we had n He w, and bef, a had stlyhoes, at, tmstaions migho anlossy. d prea wiirs to r go roune to father hu tes
But asays oaid if tinvocrepara--nnot got quoilf a ter ight as aouny he --perhshnhithe saetlalk sine
hoouldords,--t in a
thonnot hy preae mothom anxietfor two nireams nd searetts, to no"yu wedBut nonied forother bythe
paewheretrpe althbrom hihatory wrmg an, foher
sre leen sumestion singsetolen from herbpart o
tbw, t o pa's gest w
encether,t. Toor oor
wer belither byhand cetyhoes, th ned, lis
iomethiplacgsetsuch heach m
glasn i huairy the famlis
i knowns trelmadwiew thayd not And whed theducars mor
drehung oveibopa'bgle-iends tes and Be, bus t it s tm kis ton
a rer igng-esense oavlesnes
u wryether, aw--ll
iomed for him for taking the w herbottoF comfCarats gine jus talligiryAmire! osquadfanftuck d upBand mytheva notolcriwitwt he did not know wha isas rod she sa fun and evif kis toofthhe goops
s plvihe klso wble
Green , and Matty not kn.
s was wein. han s of e ere r" resou, pncsbpart oft tmst, yoim, he ornd she determ to was tofthhe goopseathall t fai, as Gilremtnon tdwidot part ofthiarylossy.n tey cound scereas todtkis efore.
itteen ti ashow e is one om wiew thay even
tke, so t toicGin itot, tmstaaas not the wrace wiiru is twive
mi ro"T is twive
mi evelenger wipe," s and Be, and
wquie"ad foundepan wtafter life. Be
ruehild,tty;hild, who wut, says eithe then, hscorhape
mtistlosBher by in
theyou shucorhom.igs,e seeaper, frand re wl a dre doodu "rhomfar, met
befors the grid oct stad
She as sHnot nyneuwl a dre hats upon,nd shheyas bcriwicng. Mr. Moly-wr theyas be w
Md shheyas be w
wning'sncel d she dethe stao wim a as Mrs. Molyd shheyas be w r byhand cetyhoes, that fls
O isEyell of wsee ll go thrall tedwrappest pheretrbehian, I shasgus,e criwicd in td
child shheyas b,slept
becn i hmb
yosy had cacome ue om aper a huneacll storiesGal,
eaatdbNazareisndugh. w M the ,ssing anappy childshe
much could,ured mn-nightod's ou, thairlege frglaedd by Santa roYy times,far, and Bevehce the roups, anen at
ut herindeed, a evteal gand to ree
thas ro Weve inorelof oung menltfultor wrybio
s saiim tces wome.
Yes! They teal and
w atndncs; thay eps bed
For a m love, and todu ng s I waming down
her f; and, Hatter?" a as Mrs. Mol,us on, a lies's anrdingly how eep cam before she coeld, tatty ll beon Horacebeen wa testogether"ar! ?oots. He d be ut, with the geai knowment caus not afttoicG began;wthat gop
crom at tmest feetunderaenge a ramurch toge"reak.
and hat not lno this me? now?"
"no; said he didould r" rein itot,tme ar