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THE JOYOUS ADVENTURE OF ETTA

BY GEORGE PHILLIPS

WITH PICTURES BY J. R. SHAVER

TH

HE junior department of a certain "Aw, dem Dutchies dey 're loony !" he

big Sunday-school was going on a exclaimed in disgust. “Can't see no boat picnic. Miss Devons, commander-in-chief but dey t'inks it 's anoder General Slocum. of some eighty East Side boys and girls, Say, you, we don't go by no steamer. was counting her charges as they assem- Don't yer know dat?" bled at the ferry-house one bright May At the allusion of the still-recent dismorning, smiling at the expectant faces, aster the crowd wavered. Did they not all subduing the more adventurous spirits, en- know friends whose friends had never recouraging the timid. At last the roll was turned from some excursion begun, percomplete, and she drew a sigh of relief as haps, as gaily as this one? And why should she surveyed the fluttering throng. But they be exempt? Longing glances were her satisfaction was short-lived. Loud cast at the door, nervous whispers ran sobs rose from the corner where Etta through the groups, and a stampede was Schwartz-Sieling had flattened her nose imminent, when rescue came from an unagainst the glass and had caught sight of expected quarter. Cap in hand and a the ferry-boat. In vain did the girls flock valiant smile on his face, Giuseppe Salabout her and remonstrate against such vatori stood forward to prove his devotion conduct on a holiday; in vain did Miss to the lady who had been his guiding-star Devons clasp the stiffy starched child to since he entered the department, an unreher heart and beseech her to moderate her claimed “dago.” Now he was an Amergrief or at least to offer some explanation ican, and would be worthy of his new of it. Etta's sobs continued, punctuated by dignity. exclamations of despair.

“Mees Devons, Ah go wit' you," he "Nein, nein, es geht nicht,” she wept. declared, feeling capable of following “Nefer can I on de boat go."

Mark and his dearly beloved teacher to “But, Etta,” Miss Devons expostulated, destruction, if necessary. “Ah not know “what is the matter? Don't you want to moch about steam-aire, bot all times Ah go on the picnic?"

go wit' you." "Teacher, Teacher," wailed Etta, "it Where Giuseppe went, there Louisa aind I don't wants I should go mit you; May and Florabel went also, and the rest it aind noddings like dat. But I don't of the department followed their lead. like dat I shall be drowneded over der Even Etta's fears were soothed by the sea.”

promise of Miss Devons's hand during the “But you 're not going to be drowned,” entire trip, and the excursionists clattered said Miss Devons. "We're only going to on board the ferry-boat with high hopes Rockaway, and you don't have to go in and radiant faces once more. the ocean if you don't want to. I only Etta was newly arrived in America, thought you 'd like to paddle on the nice, having lived in Germany until the prevismooth sand."

ous year, when her widowed father, Herr "Teacher, jawohl, I likes I should pad- Johann Sieling had brought her to Amerdle; but it aind paddlin' when you drowns, ica to try his fortune. Here he prospered und you burns, und crowds screams." amazingly, and within three months had

At this juncture Mark O'Reilley came courted and married the widow Schwartz to the rescue.

and her seven children. The lady conducted a thriving candy-shop on Second Once across the river, the party climbed Avenue, and all went merrily until Mr. aboard the special car reserved for them, Sieling fell under an elevated train and and when they had settled themselves, the was killed, leaving Etta to his wife. girls in prim pairs on the seats, the boys Unlike the traditional German stepmother, mostly on the floor and out of the winshe treated Etta like one of her own brood, dows, they were a sight to behold. Not a even bestowing her first name upon her, boy but had had his face scrubbed and his that the child might feel at one with her Sunday tie forced upon him by an anxious own children, who had added Mr. Sieling's mother; not a girl but had had her best name to their own, a complicated, but by dress ironed in the small hours of the night, no means unusual arrangement. Unfor

Unfor- and had slept, or rather not slept, with tunately, Mrs.

her hair twisted Schwartz - Siel

in the tight, wet ing had left the

knobs which are Fatherland too

guaranteed to young to remem

produce ringlets ber the home

of a high-staylife there, and

ing quality. On Etta, for eleven

every ribboned years her father's

head reposed a only care, missed

broad chip hat, sadly the kisses

garlanded with and caresses to

flowers, the genwhich she had

eral effect being been accustom

that of a highly ed. Meeting

colored garden with practical

in which all kindness, but no

the Aowers of cuddling what

all the seasons soever, she gave

were miracuherself up to

lously blooming despair and la

at once. The mented the day

minute the train she had ever en

had started, evtered the land.

ery hat was reIn the middle

moved, and every

SHAJEZ of the winter she

ringlet and bow had joined Miss

Drawn by J. R. Shaver

was adjusted Devons's

de- BEFORE THE GLORY OF THESE, M'REE'S BOOTS OF with care, and partment, where WHITE KID, . . . FADED INTO INSIGNIFICANCE"

every ruffle was she watched

smoothed over with longing eyes the merry groups she the thin knees, and the female portion was too shy to join, or envied with all her of the expedition prepared to enjoy itself sad little heart the favored few who with the ever-happy subject of clothes. were singled out for the clumsy atten- For, the moment the rent is paid and sometions of the gallants of the class. How times before, the East Side plans for the gladly, thought Etta, would she return, wardrobe regardless of the larder. That after the briefest of sucks, a gift of Nellie may have a white graduation dress gundy, if it were ever offered her, and what trimmed with innumerable flounces edged gratitude she would bestow upon the lordly with "Val," and that Albert may have a giver! Moreover, she was an accom- new suit for confirmation, are every plished little housewife, and the happy-go- mother's absorbing anxieties, and the enlucky housekeeping of her stepmother filled trancing result is that even the tenement her tidy soul with horror, so that the land babies in New York are stylish despite was accursed in her sight, and her only dirt and shabbiness. bright moments were those when she sat, Now, Varie (christened Mary) Ramas now, in the shadow of her teacher's arm. say, whose brown curls bobbed under a

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pink bow of surpassing width and shini- like to crawl along the floor an' see is ness, was the acknowledged "swell dresser" Miss Devons wearin' white shoes, M'ree of the department, and Miss Devons had Ramsay." frequently wondered how such a vision of “I 'm wearing brown ones," Miss Deloveliness could come out of the two small vons interposed, hastening to interrupt a rooms where she dwelt with her mother conversation which threatened to become and four sisters. Somehow or other the as heated as the atmosphere. "I think miracle was accomplished, and "M'ree's" both your boots are lovely, girls, and I feel clothes were ever the despair of her imita- quite shabby when I look at all these beautors. ,

To-day, however, her superiority tiful clothes." was threatened by the appearance of Louisa She smiled upon the eager groups, and May in boots of the latest style. Of shin- Florabel, gentlest of souls, hastened to reing patent leather, they extended half-way

assure her. to the knee, and then merged into stiff "You ain't got no call to feel badly,” tops, with tassels of silk and gold thread. she protested, inspecting Miss Devons's Before the glory of these, M'ree's boots of cool linen suit and broad-brimmed sailorwhite kid, with black-eyed pearl buttons, hat. “It ain't all the time easy to wear faded into insignificance, and Miss Devons your best clothes, an' what you got on is was obliged to remind the company that awful becomin', if they is kind o'plain.” it is not customary for a lady to travel Reassured as to her appearance, Miss with her feet on the back of the seat in Devons turned again to Etta, who had front of her before Louisa May could be snuggled into her seat and was leaning induced to stop vaunting her glories in the against her shoulder. air.

Are you comfy, honey?" she in"Well, certainlee, Louisa May," M'ree quired, smiling into the upturned blue declared, with a toss of her brown curls, eyes. "them boots is elegant; but Mommer thinks "Jawohl,” murmured Etta, basking in white boots is kind of refined for a party. the sunshine of caresses. “I likes awful I always wear black boots to church, ex- goot to be lofed like dis. Not for long haf cept it 's a holiday; but white boots is nice I so lofed become. All times is it lonely for the country, don't you think?"

here, an' I should to go home, you think?" M'ree's speech was as refined as her ap- "Well, I don't know, deary," said Miss pearance, and the shot went home, for the Devons, drawing the little figure closer. audience well knew that Louisa May “You know your father wanted you to owned but the one pair of “dressy" boots. grow up here and learn all the wonderful

"White boots is nice for kids," she re- things girls know in America; so suppose torted; "but these is all the style for la- you try to like it better, and soon I think dies."

you won't be so lonely. Mrs. Sieling is M'ree colored hotly. She, who was six very kind to you, is n't she?” months the elder, to be accused of baby- “Teacher, jawohl she iss kind. It iss ishness!

not kind, but lofe I vants. So awful lonely “Maybe you ain't never been down to am I all times for somebody to lofe me Manhattan Beaches,” she declared. “Mom- alone like mein fader did.” And Etta's mer's cousin was down to it last summer, blue eyes wandered mournfully over and she says as how the ladies sits in rows the car, alighting, with the perversity of all day long, changing to clean pairs. She her sex, upon Mark, leader of the Avenue says how their gentlemen friends don't A gang and despiser of womankind. "I care nothin' for the clothes they puts on, likes awful well to vash an' cook for some but they don't let 'em step on their boats one vat lofes me,” sighed Etta. except they 're wearin' white shoes. She For a short space all was peaceful, and says she seen that continuously. So, there, then from the end of the car, where some Louisa May!"

thirty boys were congregated, arose a wail Any one else would have been crushed of angry despair. by this evidence, but M'ree's opponent “You lie! It ain't so. You lemme git rallied nobly.

at him!” "Manhattan Beaches ain't so awful Miss Devons extricated herself and tony," she retorted loftily. "Mebbe you 'd went forward, for this promised trouble.

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Once acros aboard the s and when the girls in prim mostly on th dows, they w boy but had Sunday tie f mother; not dress ironed and had sle

548

ducted a thriving candy-shop on Second
Avenue, and all went merrily until Mr.
Sieling fell under an elevated train and
was killed, leaving Etta to his wife.
Unlike the traditional German stepmother,
she treated Etta like one of her own brood,
even bestowing her first name upon her,
that the child might feel at one with her
own children, who had added Mr. Sieling's
name to their own, a complicated, but by
Unfor-
no means unusual arrangement.

tunately, Mrs.
Schwartz Siel-
ing had left the
Fatherland too
young to remem-
ber the home-
life there, and
Etta, for eleven
years her father's
only care, missed
sadly the kisses
and caresses to
which she had
been accustom-
ed. Meeting

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Drawn by J. R. Shaver

"BEFORE THE GLORY OF THESE, M'RE WHITE KID, FADED INTO INSI

with practical
kindness, but no
cuddling what-
soever, she gave
herself up to
despair and la-
mented the day
she had ever en-
tered the land.
In the middle
of the winter she
had joined Miss
Devons's de-
partment, where
she watched
with longing eyes the merry groups she
was too shy to join, or envied with all her
sad little heart the favored few who
were singled out for the clumsy atten-
tions of the gallants of the class. How
gladly, thought Etta, would she return,
after the briefest of sucks, a gift of
gundy, if it were ever offered her, and what
gratitude she would bestow upon the lordly
giver! Moreover, she was an accom-
plished little housewife, and the happy-go-
lucky housekeeping of her stepmother filled
her tidy soul with horror, so that the land.
was accursed in her sight, and her only
bright moments were those when she sat,
as now, in the shadow of her teacher's arm.

the thin
of the exp

with the

For, the n times befo wardrobe Nellie ma trimmed with "Va

new suit mother's trancing

babies in dirt and s

Now, say, who

548

ducted a thriving candy-shop on Second Avenue, and all went merrily until Mr. Sieling fell under an elevated train and was killed, leaving Etta to his wife. Unlike the traditional German stepmother, she treated Etta like one of her own brood, even bestowing her first name upon her, that the child might feel at one with her own children, who had added Mr. Sieling's name to their own, a complicated, but by no means unusual arrangement. Unfortunately, Mrs. Schwartz - Sieling had left the Fatherland too

young to remember the homelife there, and Etta, for eleven years her father's only care, missed

sadly the kisses and caresses to which she had

THE CENTURY MAGAZINE

been accustomed. Meeting with practical kindness, but no

Once across the river, the party aboard the special car reserved ir: and when they had settled themse girls in prim pairs on the seats. mostly on the floor and out of dows, they were a sight to behold. boy but had had his face scrubbed Sunday tie forced upon him by an mother; not a girl but had had dress ironed in the small hours of the " and had slept, or rather not slept

her har in the knobs wa

cuddling whatsoever, she gave herself up to despair and lamented the day she had ever entered the land. In the middle of the winter she had joined Miss deDevons's partment, where watched she

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THE JOYOUS ADVENTURE OF ETTA

pink bow of surpassing width and shininess, was the acknowledged "swell dresser" of the department, and Miss Devons had frequently wondered how such a vision of loveliness could come out of the two small rooms where she dwelt with her mother and four sisters. Somehow or other the miracle was accomplished, and "M'ree's" clothes were ever the despair of her imitators. To-day, however, her superiority was threatened by the appearance of Louisa May in boots of the latest style. Of shining patent leather, they extended half-way to the knee, and then merged into stiff tops, with tassels of silk and gold thread. Before the glory of these, M'ree's boots of white kid, with black-eyed pearl buttons, faded into insignificance, and Miss Devons was obliged to remind the company that it is not customary for a lady to travel with her feet on the back of the seat in front of her before Louisa May could be induced to stop vaunting her glories in the air.

"Well, certainlee, Louisa May," M'ree declared, with a toss of her brown curls, "them boots is elegant; but Mommer thinks white boots is kind of refined for a party. I always wear black boots to church, except it's a holiday; but white boots is nice for the country, don't you think?"

M'ree's speech was as refined as her appearance, and the shot went home, for the audience well knew that Louisa May owned but the one pair of "dressy" boots. "White boots is nice for kids," she retorted; "but these is all the style for ladies."

M'ree colored hotly. She, who was six months the elder, to be accused of babyishness!

549 like to crawl along the floor an' see is Miss Devons wearin' white shoes, M'ree Ramsay."

"I'm wearing brown ones," Miss Devons interposed, hastening to interrupt a conversation which threatened to become as heated as the atmosphere. "I think both your boots are lovely, girls, and I feel quite shabby when I look at all these beautiful clothes."

She smiled upon the eager groups, and Florabel, gentlest of souls, hastened to reassure her.

"You ain't got no call to feel badly," she protested, inspecting Miss Devons's cool linen suit and broad-brimmed sailorhat. "It ain't all the time easy to wear your best clothes, an' what you got on is awful becomin', if they is kind o' plain."

Reassured as to her appearance, Miss Devons turned again to Etta, who had snuggled into her seat and was leaning against her shoulder.

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"Are you comfy, honey?" she inquired, smiling into the upturned blue

eyes.

"Jawohl," murmured Etta, basking in the sunshine of caresses. "I likes awful goot to be lofed like dis. Not for long haf I so lofed become. All times is it lonely here, an' I should to go home, you think?"

"Well, I don't know, deary," said Miss Devons, drawing the little figure closer. "You know your father wanted you to grow up here and learn all the wonderful things girls know in America; so suppose you try to like it better, and soon I think you won't be so lonely. Mrs. Sieling is very kind to you, is n't she?"

with longing eyes the merry groups she the thin knees, and the female was too shy to join, or envied with all her of the expedition prepared to c sad little heart the favored few who with the ever-happy subject of were singled out for the clumsy atten- For, the moment the rent is paid tions of the gallants of the class. How times before, the East Side plas gladly, thought Etta, would she return, wardrobe regardless of the larder after the briefest of sucks, a gift of Nellie may have a white graduatin gundy, if it were ever offered her, and what trimmed with innumerable flou gratitude she would bestow upon the lordly with "Val," and that Albert giver! Moreover, she was an accom- new suit for confirmation, plished little housewife, and the happy-go- mother's absorbing anxieties, and Now, Marie (christened Mar lucky housekeeping of her stepmother filled trancing result is that even the her tidy soul with horror, so that the land babies in New York are stylish was accursed in her sight, and her only dirt and shabbiness. bright moments were those when she sat,

in the shadow of her teacher's arm. say, whose brown curls bobbel

every n smoothed

"Maybe you ain't never been down to Manhattan Beaches," she declared. "Mommer's cousin was down to it last summer, and she says as how the ladies sits in rows all day long, changing to clean pairs. She says how their gentlemen friends don't care nothin' for the clothes they puts on, but they don't let 'em step on their boats except they 're wearin' white shoes. She says she seen that continuously. So, there, Louisa May!"

Any one else would have been crushed by this evidence, but M'ree's opponent rallied nobly.

"Manhattan Beaches ain't so awful tony," she retorted loftily. "Mebbe you'd

"Teacher, jawohl she iss kind. It iss not kind, but lofe I vants. So awful lonely am I all times for somebody to lofe me alone like mein fader did." And Etta's blue eyes wandered mournfully over the car, alighting, with the perversity of her sex, upon Mark, leader of the Avenue A gang and despiser of womankind. "I likes awful well to vash an' cook for some one vat lofes me," sighed Etta.

For a short space all was peaceful, and then from the end of the car, where some thirty boys were congregated, arose a wail of angry despair.

"You lie! It ain't so. You lemme git at him!"

Miss Devons extricated herself and went forward, for this promised trouble.

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