Puslapio vaizdai
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a building in which pies were Hindustan, if one is housed all day bebaked,-a horrid factory in the very neath a lid with slate and pencils? But midst of us!-and insolent smoke the geography required an exact balcurled off the chimney and flaunted our ance, with feet listed forward into space imperfection. Respectable ladies, long and with fingers gripped behind. Our resident, wearing black poke-bonnets present geographies, alas! are of smaller and camel's-hair shawls, lifted their surface, and unless students have shrunk patrician eyebrows with disapproval. and dwiņdled, their more profitable use Scorn sat on their gentle noses. They upon a hill is past. Some children deheld their skirts close from contamina- scended without stave or book, and their tion. These pies could not count upon preference was marked upon them. their patronage. They were contraband It was Hoppy who marred this sport. even in a pinch, with unexpected guests Hoppy was the keeper of the reservoir, arrived: And the building did smell a one-legged Irishman with a crutch. heavily of its commodity. But despite His superflous trousers-leg was folded detraction, as came from school and pinned across, and was a general when the wind was north, an agreeable quarry for patches. When his elbow or whiff of lard and cooking touched the his seat came through, here was a remnostrils as a happy prologue to one's edy at hand. Here his wife clipped for dinner. Sometimes a cart issued to the her crazy quilt. And all the little Hopstreet, boarded close, full of pies on pies—for I fancy him to have been a shelves, and rattled cityward. A hun- family man—were reinforced from his dred forks at the journey's end, if they extra cloth. But when Hoppy's bad prohad known the cargo, would have clat- file appeared at the top of the hill, we tered on their plates in glad anticipa- seized our staves and scurried off. The tion.

cry of warning, “Peg-leg 's a-comin'!" Near the school-house was the res- still haunts my memory. It was Hoppy's ervoir, a mound and a pond covering all reward to lead one of us younger fry the block. Round about the top there roughly by the ear. Or he gripped us was a gravel path that commanded the by the wrist and snapped his fingers at city—the belching chimneys on the our nose. Then he pitched us through river, the ships upon the lake, and to the the fence where a wooden slat was gone. south an horizon of wooded hills. The Hoppy's crutch was none of your elabworld lay across that tumbled ridge, arate affairs, curved and glossy. Inand there our thoughts went searching stead, it was only a stout, unvarnished for adventure. Perhaps these were the stick, with a padded cross-piece at the foot-hills of the Himalayas, and from top. But the varlet could run, leaping the crest were seen the towers of Baby- forward upon us with long, uneven lon. On a summer afternoon clouds strides. And I have wondered whether drifted across the sky like mountains Stevenson by any chance, while he was on a journey; emigrants, they seemed, still pondering the plot of “Treasure from a loftier range, seeking a fresh Island,” may not have visited our city plain on which to erect their fortune. and, seeing Hoppy on our heels, have

But the chief use of this reservoir, contrived John Silver out of him. He except for its wholly subsidiary sup- must have built him new bove the ply of water, was its grassy slope. It waist, sheering him above his suspenderwas usual in the noon

-when

buttons, scrapping his common upper were cramped with learning—to parts; but the wooden stump and slide down on a barrel-stave and be breeches were a precious salvage. His wrecked and spilled midway. In de- crutch, at the least, became John Silver's fault of stave, a geography served as

very timber. sled, for by noon the most sedentary Tinkey's shop was on the Circle, a geography itched for action. Of what sunny park with artificial mountain profit-so it complained-is a knowl- from which one could spit down upon edge of the world if one is cooped al- the sidewalk. One side of Tinkey's ways with stupid primers in a desk? window was a bakery, with jelly-cake Of what account are the boundries of and angel-food. The other window un

recess

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bent to peppermint sticks and grab-bags a furnace, found here mottos for his to catch our dirtier pennies. But this passion. Also, there were “comics," meaner produce was a concession to the base, insulting valentines of suitable trade, and the Tinkey fingers, from greeting from man to man.

These were father down, touched it with scorn. three for a nickel just as they came off Mrs. Tinkey's in particular, who was the pile, but two for a nickle with selechigh in the instep and above her place, tion. lifted a grab-bag at arm's-length, and Nor must I forget a line of Catholic her nostrils quivered as if she held a saints.

There was

one jolly bit of dead mouse by the tail

crockery-St. Patrick, I believe—that But in the essence Tinkey was

had lost an arm.

This defect should caterer, and his handiwork was shown have been considered a further mark of in the persons of a frosted bride and piety, a martyrdom unrecorded by the groom who waited before a sugar altar church, a special flagellation, an act of for the word that would make them man supererogation for a sinner's pence; but and wife. Her nose in time was bruised, although the price in successive years -a careless lifting of the glass by the sank to thirty-nine, and at last to the youngest Miss Tinkey,but he, like a wholly ridiculous sum of twenty-three, faithful suitor, stood to his youthful cents, less than one third the price of pledge.

his unbroken, but really inferior, mates Beyond the shop was a room with (Saint Aloysius and the tempted Anblazing-red wall-paper. In this hot fur.

thony), yet he lingered on. nace, outrivaling the boasts of Abed- Nowhere was there a larger assortnego, the neighborhood perspired pleas- ment of odd and unmatched letter-paper. antly on August nights and ate ice- No box was full, and many were dirty. cream.

If pink envelops were needed, Conrad, Around the corner was Conrad's book- unabashed, laid out a blue, or with his store. Conrad was a dumpy fellow, with fat thumb he fumbled two boxes into unending good humor and a fat, soft one to complete the count. Initialed hand. He sometimes called women cus- paper once had been the fashion,-G for tomers, “My dear," but it was only in Gladys,—and there was still a remnant his eagerness to press a sale. I do not of several letters toward the end of the recall that he was a scholar. If you alphabet. If one of these chanced to fit asked to be shown the newest books, he a customer, with what zest Conrad blew might offer you the “Vicar of Wakefield" upon the box and slapped it! But until as a work just off the press, and tell you Xenophon and Zeno shall come to buy, that Goldsmith was a man to watch. these final letters must rest unsold upon A young woman assistant read the Duch- his shelves. ess between customers. In her fancy Conrad was a dear good fellow (Bless she eloped daily with a duke, but ac- me! he is still alive, just as fat and tually she kept company with a grocer's bow-legged, with the same soft hand, clerk. They ate sodas together at Tin- just as friendly), and when he failed at key's. How could he know, poor fellow, last in business, the street lost half its when their fingers met beneath the table, mirth and humor. that he was but a substitute in her high Near Conrad's shop and the Circle romance! Conrad had also an errand was our house. By it a horse-car janboy, with a dirty face, who spent his gled, one way only, cityward, at interval days on a packing-case at the rear of the of twelve minutes. In winter there was shop, where he ate an endless succession straw on the floor. In front was a fareof apples. An orchard went through box, with sliding shelves down which him in a season.

the nickles rattled, or if one's memory Conrad's shop was only moderate in lagged, the thin driver rapped his whipbooks, but it spread itself in fancy handle on the glass. He sat on a high goods, crackers for the Fourth, marbles stool, which was padded to eke out and tops in their season, and for Saint nature. Valentine's day a range of tender senti- Once before, as I've read, there was a ment.

A lover, though he sighed like corner for echoes. The buildings were

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set so that quiet folk could hear the It was my grandfather's custom in sound of coming steps-steps far off, the late afternoon of summer, when the then nearer, until they tramped beneath sun had slanted, to pull a chair off the the windows. Then, as they listened, veranda and sit sprinkling the lawn. the sounds faded. And it seemed to Toward supper-time Mr. Hodge, a buildhim who chronicled the place that he ing contractor and our neighbor, went heard the persons of his drama coming by, his wagon, as usual, rattling with -little steps that would grow to man- some bit of salvage. Mr. Hodge was of hood. But there is no plot to thicken sociable turn, and he cried “Whoa!” to around our corner; or, rather, there are his jogging horse. a hundred plots. And when I listen in Now ensued a half-hour's gossip. It fancy to the echoes, I hear the general was the comedy of the occasion that the tapping of our neighbors-feet that horse, after having made several athave gone into darkness for a while. tempts to start and been stopped by the

There was an old lady lived near by jerking of the reins, took to craftiness. in almost feudal state. Her steps were He put forward a hoof, quite carelessly, the broadest on the street, her fence the it seemed. If there was no protest, in highest. Her door was of massive, time he tried a diagonal hoof behind. carved walnut. Her furniture, the year It was then but a shifting of the weight around, was covered with linen cloths, to swing forward a step. “Whoa!” and the great chairs, resembled the yelled Mr. Hodge. “Yes, yes,” the old horses in full panoply that draw the horse seemed to answer,

certainly, of chariot of the Nubian Queen in a circus course, yes, yes; but can't a fellow shift parade. With this old lady there lived his legs?In this way the sly brute an old cook, an old second maid, an old inched toward supper.

My grandfather laundress, and an old coachman. The enjoyed this comedy, and once, if I am secondmaid thrust a platter at you as not mistaken, I caught him exchanging you sat at table, and nudged you in the a wink with the horse. Certainly the ribs if you were a child. “Eat it," she beast was glancing round to find a partsaid;"it's good.” The coachman nodded ner for the jest. A conversation, begun

A on his box, the laundress in her tubs, at the stand-pipe, progressed to the but the cook was spry despite her years. telegraph pole, and at last came opposite In the yard was a fountain,-all yards the kitchen. As my grandfather did not had fountains in those days,—and I move his chair, Mr. Hodge lifted his used to wonder whether this was the voice until the neighborhood knew the font of Ponce de León, and to watch for price of brick and the unworthiness of the miracle. With this old lady there plumbers. To clinch an argument, Mr. dwelt a niece or daughter or a younger Hodge had a usual formula: “It 's sister,-relationship was vague,--and neither here nor there,”—and he poundthis niece owned a little black dog. But ed his fist upon the dashboard, "it's the old lady was dull of sight, and in the right here." He was a Democrat and he dark passages she waved her arm and spoke against the tariff. But finally the kept saying, "Whisk, Nigger! Whisk, horse prevailed. Mr. Hodge slapped his Nigger!” for once she had stepped upon reins in consent, and they rattled home the creature's tail. Every year she gave to supper. a children's party, and we looked for Around this house, also, there are the magic in a mirror and went to Jerusa- echoes of children's feet-running feet lem around her solemn chairs.

upon the grass, glad cries of hide-andThen there was an old neighbor, a seek; and when the sewer was dug along justice of the peace, who, being devoid the street, we were mountaineers or of all knowlegde of the law, put his miners as we pleased. cases to my grandfather. When he had But chiefly it is the echoes of older been advised, he stroked his beard and steps I hear-steps whose sound is long said it was an opinion to which he had since stilled, feet that have crossed the already come himself. He went down horizon and have gone on journey for a the steps mumbling the judgment to while. And when I listen I hear echoes keep it in his memory.

that are fading into silence.

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A Christmas story with many differences from the standard patented variety. A tale centering around a twelve-year-old Scotch boy who constitutes himself British plenipotentiary when he visits his American cousins.

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E were bitterly disap- not encourage him in that. Like other only pointed in Angus Mac- children, he is probably badly spoiled. If Leod when we first met he annoys you too much, pack him off to a him. From this distance school somewhere.

I recall with shame how In a month or two, as soon as I finish apparent our disappointment must have settling up his father's estate, I shall come been to him. But if it was, he gave no over and take him off your generous hands. sign.

The Rookery. MOLLIE MACLEOD. His mother was to blame. How could Edinburgh, we know what to expect? She wrote Scotland. us one of the most misleading letters it has ever been my fortune to read. Now, I ask you, from that letter You can judge for yourself. Here is would n't you have expected a little what she wrote in her erect, emotion

devil? We saw in him a young scapeless, school-teacher's handwriting: grace who detested books as heartily

as our own Bob, and to whom strange, Dear Kinsmen:

new, muddy language of the street stuck I have decided to send Angus out to you. as frequently as it did to our own England is fermenting, Scotland likewise. Betty. Her latest retort when admonIf he remains in school here, he will be ex- ished was, “Aw, run up an alley and posed to contagious ideas.

yell 'Fish'!” In addition he must have a year or two We knew that his family was wealthy of American education. Every future mem- enough to educate him by means of ber of Parliament needs to be equipped with private tutors, but that was all we personal knowledge of your country.

did know about him. When his mother's Naturally, Angus will make a parliamen- dour letter was read to the family, an tarian, like his father, whose untimely, appalled silence fell over the dinnerthough gallant, death robbed England of table. Betty's lips moved uneasily for one of the sanest of the younger members several moments before she ventured to at a time when he could ill be spared. I speak. have never forgiven Malcolm for rushing “Daddy, what 's a vulgarism?" she off to the front, but he was always im- asked in a hushed voice. pulsive.

"Pretty much anything you happen Angus is twelve years old to-day. He is to say, sweetheart,” her father replied. a merry little fellow, yet not downright mis- She digested this outrage. chievous. I mean to say that his mischief “Then I won't be able to say nothing is not malicious. I fear his temperament is to Cousin Angus,” said she, indignantly. rather frivolous, for at times he will play “He sounds like a good guy to me,” cricket and golf, to the detriment of his Bob admitted in his most self-assured studies. Also, I regret to state, he has a manner; "but what 's cricket?” deplorable tendency to acquire picturesque Bob is only eleven, though he claims vulgarisms. I do hope you Americans will that his voice is beginning to break.

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His ignorance of cricket was due to the By the time Angus reached these fact that his family had decided to shores, and he came on the first boat withhold him from the fashionable after the armistice, we were all braced boarding-school they had selected until for a perfecè imp, and secretly Martha he should be twelve. How parents hate Ferguson had written to the heads of to let their babies grow up!

a number of boarding-schools to ascer"Cricket,' replied his father, scowl- tain whether, in the event of her desiring at the letter, “is a cross between ing to pack him off to a school somecroquet and shinny."

where,” they would consent to accept Mrs. Ferguson had been thoughtfully him. Several favorable replies had silent until now.

somewhat comforted her, but she was “I do hope he won't get Bob into bad as filled with wild anticipations as the habits," she said, “or break things rest of us when we waited on the pier around the house.

for the twelve-year-old tornado whom Her husband grinned maliciously. our imaginations had created with the

“I'll bet the young devil smokes," aid of his mother's letter. he averred.

I wonder now why we were so stupid. Poor Martha cried out in alarm: But, as I said before, how could we “O Will!”

know that—but wait; let me tell you “He either smokes or chews," said about it. William Ferguson, solemnly. "All those He came off the boat with an AberScotch kids begin to use tobacco when deenshire terrier under one arm and a they first put on kilts."

book under the other, in complete HighBob's eyes were very bright.

land costume, bare knees, kilts, and “I'll bet he smokes,” he asserted everything, followed by three stewards, hopefully. “He's a good egg.”

who were simply staggering under his “Please, Robert,” his mother begged, luggage. "never use that expression again! Boys “Good Lord!" mumbled William Ferand girls are not eggs."

guson under his breath. He has Betty had been sniffing the delicately enough baggage for the Shah of Perperfumed stationery.

sia. Let's grab him and rush him out "I'll bet he 's some sa-weet bebby," to the car, where we can hide his bagsaid she. Betty always pronounced piper's get-up." "baby" as if it were spelled "bebby.' We might as well have tried to rush

“Dearest,”her mother wailed," bebby' the Metropolitan Tower off its base. is Yiddish! Where do you get these He submitted so graciously to our boishorrid words?

terous greeting that we

were quite “Aw, run up an alley—" Betty be- chilled. When big-hearted, bluff Wilgan, but her father cut in hastily. liam Ferguson told him to "run along

“I'll have to lay in a stock of Scotch out to the car, sonny, with the rest, and soda,” he said, thoughtfully strok- while' I shove your carload of freight ing his chin.

through the customs," William was "Will, you promised me” his wife waved aside with a smile and a gesture protested.

that struck him dumb. “I know, dear, I know; but Angus I could n't think of troubling you. will have to have his Scotch and soda Please wait for me in your motor," said morning and evening. We must think Angus MacLeod, cheerily, in his exquiof our guest, you know."

sitely enunciated English, smiling at us “O Will," poor Martha Ferguson la- all and adjusting the bonnet, which our merted, “do you suppose the child takes greeting had disarranged, upon his liquor?"

amazingly red hair. “I'll be with you “All future members of Parliament," presently. Now, where's the customs Mr. Ferguson burlesqued, "should make fellow?" the acquaintance of the demon rum He turned his back upon us and be early in life.”

gan marshaling his collection of traps, She smiled then, for she realized that Gladstone bags, suitcases, and golfhe had been joking.

clubs. We were awed by the ease with

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