The Little Gold Miners of the Sierras and Other Stories
Author: Various
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The next day, when he was summoned to Mr. Bryce's inner office, from dreams of himself as the eminent legal adviser and prosecutor for the S. P. C. C., that gentleman asked him rather quizzically how he liked "court business." Hal replied that he did not know surely, but guessed he might come to prefer it to office work and cataloguing.

"Well," said Mr. Bryce, "I am rather sorry to hear that, for I had thought of raising your wages. However, I am doubtful about employing essayists as office-boys. It might work badly."

"Has it, sir?" he asked; then in an embarrassed manner, "I am not certain what you mean."

The lawyer made no reply, and Hal turned away crestfallen.

"O come back here, boy," called out Mr. Bryce then. "And by the way, can you tell me who is Nisus Sum?"

Harry wriggled with conflicting sensations until he could scarcely stand. At last he burst out: "What is that to you?"

"O not much!" replied Mr. Bryce, with an amused look, "only I hold an essay to return to him."

Hal grew so white that his employer pitied him, and forebore.

"You did not know I was chairman of the committee on the Old South Prizes, did you?" he added in a different tone.

"No, sir, I did not;" exclaimed Hal, flushing to his very temples.

"And I did not know that you were 'Nisus Sum' until ten minutes ago."

"Well, this may be fun to you, sir, but it isn't to me," said Hal, almost with a sob.

"Look here, my boy, listen. You knew Mr. Akers died; well, he was one of the judges, and I was asked to take his place, and I consented, because I saw that I had an office-boy who would attend to his work."

Hal put his hand out vaguely towards the table as if to lean on it for support. Mr. Bryce's tone involuntarily softened as he continued: "I have been comparing the estimates sent in by the other judges, and I see that we agree that the first prize for 'Colonial Policy' is taken by 'Nisus Sum.'"

"'Nisus Sum,'" said the boy dreamily, "first prize." Then suddenly, as if beside himself, he twirled Mr. Bryce's chair round and round with the poor man in it until the lawyer had to exert his strength to stop him.

"That'll do," exclaimed he. "Don't get frantic, but it was really very risky for you to try to do my work and yours too. There was danger of doing neither satisfactorily."

"Did I neglect anything, sir? you know I didn't. I began to read up for the essay before father was taken sick, and then when that came, I was bound I would do something at last."

"Well, well, you succeeded, didn't you? Go home now and tell them; only, remember this," and Mr. Bryce grew stern, "don't think because you have succeeded now that you always are to win. Stick to your daily work. Be a good clerk first, that you may be a good historian later."

"Trust me," said Hal gravely, who felt the awe of success stealing over him. He felt queer, yet happy and humble; and bowing low, he left the room. It took but a few moments for him to rush home; and if his father had not gained in strength he certainly would have suffered, for Hal bounded into the room, upsetting the chairs and a table and spinning his mother round in circles somewhat as he had treated Mr. Bryce, he exclaimed:

"I have won! I have won! first prize! Now you can be sick, father, as long as you please."

Then followed explanation and a quiet talk which made Harry always look back upon that evening as the happiest one of his boyhood.

It only remains to add that he was as good as his word; he was an able clerk first, and an historian only as a middle-aged man.


Ramon Valdez was an acquisition. He was a Cuban. Father had picked him up at Havana, where he was looking out for somebody who could teach him English instead of the queer jabber that he learned, second-hand, from a wizened little French adventurer, who had set up as a teacher of languages, and had nearly forgotten even his own. I did get sold in the most ridiculous way over father's telegram that announced his coming! But that's all over—they have about forgotten it.

He was real fun after we got acquainted; he didn't seem to know anything about base-ball, and couldn't catch a fly worth a cent! guess it is too hot in Havana to play ball. He couldn't fish either, but it wasn't the season for that, so we didn't care. But he could ride! He mounted the colt one day, bareback, and went around the lot five times before he fell off, and not one of us boys could stay on a rod. We respected him some after that.

But he was queer! The first thing mother did was to buy him a lung protector, as he wasn't acclimated yet, she said. Jack, the six-year-old, got hold of it and put it on outside of his frock, and then came galloping around with it on in that way. Well, Ramon came down to breakfast the next morning with that protector on just as Jack had fixed it! Then he wanted some "john-bread." Where he got it, I don't know, but what he meant was "johnny-cake."

I heard him reciting some poetry to Mollie one night—that was father's way in teaching languages, to make us commit poetry and recite to each other—and this was what he made of it!

Zoze zevening bells, Zoze zevening bells! How may-nay tales zheir moozic tells Of yuz an' home an' zat sweet time W'en first I heard zheir queezing chime.

"Their what, Ramon?" cried Mollie.

"Zheir queezing chime," he repeated innocently, staring at her.

"Soothing, Ramon, soothing!" He laughed away too, like a good fellow, and didn't get mad in the least. I suppose our Spanish was as funny to him. He never laughed at us, though; I presume he was too polite.

But he just got into the ways of us boys about as quickly as any new boy that ever came to the Highland School, and before he had been there two weeks he was in a scrape!

It's dreadfully dull to be the teacher's son. You have to do just so, you know, "to set a good example," and it isn't any fun. Father never asked me to tell what was going on, no matter what was up; but he put me "upon honor" not to go in myself, so of course I had to keep out. But the fellows understood, and used to tell me all about it afterward, and as somehow they always came to grief, I felt a little more contented than I might have done.

One night we could not get to sleep.

The long moonbeams came down athwart the dormitory through the great windows, and lay in broad parallelograms, bisected and quartered, upon the floor. We got our geometry lesson out of the figures, and reeled off a whole section of theorems, without the least effect. That ought, by rights, to be enough to set a whole houseful of boys journeying into the Land of Nod, but it didn't us.

Father heard us jabbering and came up to see what the matter was, but our sudden interest in the science of planes and prisms so amused him that he laughed all the way down-stairs; for Charlie Brown crept to the door and heard him.

At last Frank Hapgood—"Happy-go-lucky"—sat up in desperation, flung his pillow on the floor, got out of bed deliberately and sat down on it. Nine other pillows, nine other white-robed figures solemnly followed suit. Said Harry Eveleth, "Fellows, I've tried to do my duty and go to sleep, and I can't. We must do something!"

A silence, broken by a sigh from Ramon. "Ah! on nights like zis I have gone to ze—ze zoogar houses to sleep some time, in Habana!"

Frank "Happy" gave a start, looked at the circle intently, then gave a little nod, and winked.

Eight others of the owl committee gave a simultaneous start in answer, as though they had been unconsciously fooling around a galvanic battery. The gentleman from Havana alone was quiet; he did not yet understand, but the others did, and he was ready to follow. Texan herders say that a drove of ten thousand cattle will sometimes at night leap to their feet like a flash, without apparent cause or warning. There will be a roar of thundering hoofs, a distant rumble, and that herd will have vanished like smoke from the camp-fire, "on the stampede!" Our boys had "stampeded."

Ten or fifteen minutes later a certain wakeful teacher was pleasantly made aware of the fact that a cataract of boys, each with one of the nice white blankets belonging to Mrs. Teacher, tied across his shoulders, was streaming down the lightning-rod by his window; and stepping lightly thither, he caught a disconnected word or two about "old Brown's sugar-house."

"How shall we get her out?"

"Tie up her feet in straw!"

"But the carriage will make such a racket!"

"Well"—after a moment's thought—"we can take the cart; that's been newly greased."

There was a rumble, a slow sque-e-ak, and the cart was out without much noise. Two boys at the thills and two more pushing behind, they softly trundled it down the yard, stopping at every unusually loud squeak. It was almost as light as day; only in the yard the trees cast a slight shadow of tangled branches, leafless as they were.

There was a suppressed sense of excitement, a strained thrill of the nerves that made thumby work of their handling the buckles. The old horse was sleepy, and wouldn't "stand round" to order, and they had to push her into place; but they were ready at last, and Happy-go-Lucky whispered "Pile in!"

They piled in literally one above the other, and lay down upon the hay in the bottom of the cart. There might yet be some stray wanderer to meet and run the gauntlet of his cross-questioning. The wheel struck a stone, and there was a jounce; the bottom fellows wriggled out, what was left of them, and sat up, gasping. They had rather run the risk than try that again. But they met no one.

It was a night when there is no sound. The insects are dead, the birds have gone South with the other members of the higher circles of society; there was only the rattle of the heavy cart, springless and jolty, along the dusty road that wound like a great horseshoe around the long slope of the ridge that shot up suddenly into "Paradise Hill." Beyond the river a dog barked, a mile away, and ended in a melancholy howl. Ramon shivered, and drew his blanket around him; he had a superstitious fear of that sound.

The mountains in the North never seemed so high and dark before. Then they saw that it was a cloud, black, sullen-looking—great masses of vapor heaped in billowy folds, blackening the slopes with shadow, and barely touched above with silver-gilt.

"Looks a little like a storm to-morrow," said Harry.

No one answered him. The chatter had somehow died away, and they were more intent on keeping warm than talking. It wasn't all their fancy painted it—this clear, cold moonlight; it was icy.

"Never mind, boys!" cried Charlie Brown cheerfully, as they drew up at an old hop-house by the side of the road, and got out stiffly, "we can howl now if we like, and nobody to hear."

But nobody wanted to howl. They did want to get up the slope to the edge of the woods, where the sugar-house was, and putting horse and cart together in the shed, they scaled the fence and started up the hill at a lumbering trot. Now that their beds were so far away they were sleepy enough.

As it happened, just as they struck the fence, a brisk, elderly gentleman, with iron-gray hair, and spectacles, and a queer twinkle in his eye as he glanced up at the mass of clouds piling up in the mountains, walked hurriedly down a narrow sheep-path through the leafless woods, and entered the sugar-camp. It was dark in there,—dark as Erebus; only in two or three places a ray of light streamed down through the holes in the roof.

The gentleman in spectacles glanced around serenely; as though it was quite the thing for him to be wandering around in the woods at that unearthly hour; poked at the roof here and there with his cane, knocked up a few shingles that let more light in on the subject of his investigations, and came out again hastily as he heard the boys approach, and disappeared in a clump of spruces. Five or ten minutes afterward, he suddenly appeared at the bottom of the hill, backed the horse out of the shed, put on the bridle, and removed his blanket, sedately got in and drove quietly home.

Charlie Brown was the first up the hill, and heralded the sight of the camp with a cheer. "Now then, lively! Out with your jack-knives and off with a lot of spruce boughs!"

Then followed a great hacking of dull knives and cracking of limbs, with the occasional swish of an armful into the camp. The boys worked like beavers for a while, and got thoroughly warmed again, and the air within was filled with resinous fragrance. That done and arranged to their experienced leader's satisfaction, they wrapped themselves like Indians in their blankets and tumbled down upon the heap of boughs; the air trembled with a chorus of strange sounds as one by one they dropped off into a drowsy sleep, with an occasional wriggle as a knot, or the end of a limb, made itself felt through the many-folded blanket, and engraved a distinct dent upon the sleeper's back; while overhead, the giant cloud crept upward slowly, slowly toward the zenith, spreading east and west without a break. One half of the valley had vanished in the blackest shadow, and still the gilded edge swung steadily on, with the slow, resistless sweep of misty legions upon legions, armed in ebon mail; vast billows of night that drowned the scattered stars that met them, one by one. Then it struck the full moon and blotted it from sight. The world of the little valley dropped into night, and all was dark as Erebus. A breath of wind whispered through the forest, and died away, sighing, in the pines.

Ramon awoke suddenly.

Straight from the centre of that sea of blackness, like the plummet of an engineer, like the lead of a storm-tossed sailor, shot a drop of rain. Down it came with unerring swiftness, right through one of the spectacled gentleman's improvised "sky-lights" in the roof, and splashed in the Cuban's face. Half-dreaming still, he sleepily rolled over out of range; he had been awakened before in that way, and was used to it.

There was a slope now in the pile of boughs, and Harry Eveleth slid down into the vacated place unconsciously. Splash! and the raindrop covered his cheek with water. Dimly through his dormant brain the idea crept that he was back in the dormitory, and some one was trying the old trick of hanging a saturated sponge above his head; he had done it himself, once, and this was retribution. With a smothered grunt of discontent he gave Ramon a shove that sent him further, and rolled over into his place. Frank Hapgood began to slide—began to dream that he was falling down through a frightful place that had no bottom! The air whistled shrilly past his head. The black walls of the pit shot upward swiftly and he could see the faint light far up at the mouth of the shaft growing dimmer until it too went out! He tried to scream, but the wind caught the sound and carried it away with a rush of mocking laughter; he tried to reach out and grasp the walls but his hands were bound! Then he felt that he was drawing near the end; he had fallen miles!—and now his speed was slackening, and he was falling so softly, so lightly, till at last, like a downy feather he floated on the air, as a spirit from another world. He had reached the centre of the earth!

Splash! came the rain upon his face, and the cold breath of the night and storm.

"Great Caesar! boys, it's raining!"

There wasn't much doubt of that fact. And as stream after stream began to pour through the roof there was a sudden resurrection among the white mummies stretched upon the spruce boughs. Frank glanced around, and then made another equally wise observation:

"This old shanty's mighty leaky!"

As the ground covered by the mansion thus disrespectfully alluded to was about eight feet by twelve, and there were at that particular moment sixteen different streams of water pouring down upon their heads, the rest had already discovered the fact, and there was a hasty consultation.

"Can't we stop up the holes?"

"Nothing to do it with!" said Harry Eveleth mournfully. "And I've been sitting in a puddle for the last two minutes!"

Ramon jumped. A waterspout had shot down the back of his neck. "We mus' go out of zis! We soon shall be wetter; we can run to ze horse's house!"

"Good for you, Havana! your head's solid!" sang out Charlie Brown heartily. "Now for it! Put your blankets over your heads, woman-fashion, and travel like a blue streak; and—Jupiter Pluvius! how cold this rain is!" His words ended in an involuntary chatter.

There was a momentary hesitation; then with a sigh they ducked under the blankets and dashed out into the darkness and the rain which fell hissing through the tossing limbs of the trees, and, stumbling over the fence with a crash of breaking rails, they ran violently down a steep place without the least idea of the direction, till they all brought up in a heap in the bottom of a ditch, with some six inches of water for company! However, within a few rods was the "horse's house." They scrambled out and ran for it, their once white blankets streaming with muddy water, chilled through and through with the cutting wind. They reached it, crowded in, felt blindly around in the dark, and then came a cry of dismay:

"The horse is gone!"

They looked at each other in silence. It was too dark in there to distinguish a single feature, so they did not get much comfort from that. For a full minute not a word was spoken. Then Frank Hapgood drew a long breath and then ejaculated:

"Well, I'm blessed!"

"So ze horse is stole by ze ladrones," remarked Ramon philosophically. "How we shall pay!"

"Pay! no; the beast untied the knot and walked home, which is what we shall have to do—and it's raining brickbats!" snapped Harry, as a gust of hail crashed upon the roof. "He did that once before."

Somehow their spirits rose a little at that; the indefiniteness of the animal's fate had alarmed some of them, and pocket money was scanty. They even cracked a feeble joke or two, in a half-hearted way, but the steady splash and spatter of the rain chilled the fun all out of it, and wet as they were, they huddled together among a lot of straw and blankets until they were quite comfortably warm. They were even dozing when Charlie Brown suddenly pointed to the doorway with a husky hurrah. It was the gray light of a cold November dawn.

* * * * *

Father had some peculiar ideas when he built our house, and the dining-room juts out from the rest like a great bay-window—a room with three sides of glass. We were at breakfast, discussing buckwheats diligently, when father glanced down the roadway and began to laugh.

We turned, looked, and then rushed to the great windows in a crowd. Up the drive with slow and solemn tread, swaying under the gale, pelted with rain, came the valiant stampeders, a procession of blanket-mantled figures in dingy white, the water dripping from their coverings in streams, squashing and churning in their boots as they splashed indifferently onward through mud or grass alike; such miserable-looking rats!

Frank looked up with a wan attempt at a smile as he passed under the windows and saw the rows of grinning faces looking down, but the rest kept their eyes fixed upon the ground.

Father went out upon the piazza. "Good-morning, boys! out for a constitutional? nothing better to get up an appetite," he said with a cheerful smile.

Frank laughed; he really couldn't help it, although a moment before he had been mad with himself, the horse, the rain, and the world in general. As they looked at each other sheepishly out of the corner of their eyes the rest took it in, and began to grin at the ludicrous sight of themselves, and for a few minutes very great was the hilarity.

"That's right; that's right. A hearty laugh is good medicine! but you will need something more, so in with you, quick!"

And before they knew it, they were running the gauntlet of the rest of us, and scudding for the dormitory, from whence came presently a sound as of mighty rubbing, and the flavor of Jamaica ginger. But they had to stay in bed all day, to their great disgust, and "ginger" was a dangerous word to mention for weeks after; and for two whole terms not one of those boys were in any of the scrapes that were going on. "They had been there!" they said, with a rueful smile, which we could appreciate. As father used to say, "There's nothing like learning the logical sequence of consequences!" And they had a big washing bill that week.


A schoolboy a few weeks since told me of an amusing encounter that he and his brother had just had with a bear. It was at Thanksgiving time, and they were enjoying the few days' vacation in hunting in the Maine woods. The locality, to be exact, was the north side of Roach River, about half-way from the first pond to where the stream empties into Moosehead Lake.

Near a deserted log hut, known as "McPheter's Camp," they had discovered signs of a bear—his tracks, and the spot where he had lain down among the tall dead grasses.

"Let's stay here all night and watch for him," said Willie—Willie was the one who related the adventure to me.

"That wouldn't be right; for they're looking for us at home," replied his brother Dick to this somewhat tempting invitation. "Besides there might not come a bear here again for a week."

"Well, let's rest here a few minutes anyway," said Willie.

Opposite the door of the hut was its one window, the glass so covered with cobwebs that very little light came through. It was dark enough in there for a bear's den—he might, in fact, be in there. But flinging the door wide open, the boys ventured in. There was a visible movement at the window, but it proved to be only three or four great, gray spiders hurrying to their coverts from the unwonted light.

"What's this, Dick?" and Will kicked a tangled mass of iron from a corner into the sunshine.

Dick eyed it a moment. "Aha—it's a bear trap," said he.

"Well, we will catch him, now," said Will triumphantly.

"The old thing's too rusty and weak," Dick pronounced finally, after examining it. "'Twouldn't hold a bear."

"Oh, let's just set it, anyhow, and try," coaxed Will.

After repeated efforts, in which Will got caught himself—or, rather, his boot—they got the huge iron jaws wide open, and the trencher in place.

"Next thing we must shoot something for bait," said Will.

"I really think we haven't time, not to-night, Will," said Dick. "See! it's almost sunset, and we are two miles from home through the woods."

"Well, then, I've got two doughnuts left. Let's put them on."

"Very well," laughed Dick, good-naturedly, "if you can wait for your supper."

So the trap, with a doughnut tied to the trencher, was placed a few feet just outside the cabin where any one within could plainly see it from the window. The chain was made fast, and the other doughnut broken to bits, and scattered about.

The next morning the boys were early on the tramp, in order to visit a shallow pond some three miles eastward, where they expected to find moose. After tiptoing about and impatiently watching the shores till afternoon, they did see a moose; but before they were within range, he turned to run.

"Fire, Will!" shouted Dick.

The report of two guns echoed from the woods about, while the moose with a sudden bound or two, disappeared among the trees. They could hear the great creature crashing through the woods, and they hurried on in pursuit. After going about a mile they lost track of him, and they gave it up as neither had detected any token that the animal was hurt.

The chase had led them near a trail that passed the McPheter's camp; and they jokingly turned that way to see if anything had happened there.

"If that doughnut isn't gone, I'm going to eat it," murmured Will. "I'm awful hungry."

"I doubt that the birds and squirrels have left any till this time," said Dick.

"A large bird, or a gray squirrel would get caught, if they touched it, wouldn't they?" questioned Will hopefully.

"Perhaps—if the old trap wasn't so rusty—but hush—there's the camp. Supposing we keep behind it and go in until we see if there's anything in the trap."

They opened the door softly, and moved lightly in and toward the window. The first glance gave them a start. There was a big bear sitting bolt upright, with his forepaws hanging, right before the window. He had evidently heard the sound of their approach, and was looking around for them. Dick gave one long, but weary look. Then he shouted:

"All right, Will. He's caught! The doughnut did it!"

For a moment the boys stood looking out of the window, and the bear sat looking in. It was too much for Bruin—that gaze of exultant victory. He struggled a moment with the trap, then, with one vigorous leap, he cleared himself and went head and shoulders into that window.

Dick sprang for a hole in the low roof, and Will dashed out of the door. He had just time to shut it behind him before the bear came bumping against it.

It were hard to say who was hunter and who was hunted just then. Will was outside, but virtually the bear's captive, as he stood braced back against the door. Dick was creeping about on the rotten, creaking roof. The bear was inside, vigorously snuffing about for his enemies. He repeatedly tried the door, but it failed to open. He growled up the hole in the roof at Dick, but couldn't reach him. There they were, three very uncomfortable parties.

At last the boys heard the sound of rattling glass again; evidently the bear was going to try the hunt outside. Will made a frantic endeavor to open the door, but he had pushed so hard that now it stuck. He got it open at last, and peeped in, just at the instant when the bear came round the corner.

This was the situation now: Will was looking in after the bear, the bear had come round after Will, and Dick, on the roof, was trying to get a good sight at the bear without slipping off. By holding to the hole in the roof with his foot, he found himself able to peep over the eaves; and when the bear turned the corner, he with lucky aim, and plucky quickness put a moose-charge into the back of the creature's head.

Will turned and was putting his gun out to fire, just as Dick dropped down through the roof. But the bear lay still. Dick's shot had finished him.

There was, of course, great rejoicing between the two young hunters. They started a fire, then took off Bruin's skin; and soon some most delicious bearsteaks were broiling on the coals.

"I don't miss that doughnut at all, somehow," said Will as they sat at dinner.


Old Beppo and Nina, his wife, with their two boys, lived in one of those little excavations which everybody who has visited Naples will remember. I hardly know what to call them, for they certainly do not deserve the name of dwellings. They are little holes dug in the sandy hillsides just outside the busy city, where the poor people crawl in at night, and where they keep their little belongings by day. The poor of Naples live out of doors, as indeed the poor people all through Southern Italy do; and it does not seem half as hard to be poor in Italy as elsewhere. The beautiful, clear, blue sky overhead, and the soft, warm earth to sit and lie upon, with the delicious air to breathe, and the great Duomos always open to them where they can go at any hour of the day and feel that they have just as much right as kings and princes—who wonders that they are contented, lazy and dreamy? Give a Neapolitan beggar macaroni and sunshine, and he will sit and dream away the hours with no thought or care of what will come to-morrow. He has just energy to whine—"Poverino Signorina"—and it matters little whether his extended hand is filled with centismi or not; according as it may be, he calls upon the "Sanctissmi Virgina" to bless or curse you and sinks away into dreamy content till the next stranger approaches. Not so with Old Beppo; he tugged all day grinding out dolorous tunes from his old organ, and whether people paid him for grinding, or paid him to stop grinding, all the same Old Beppo thought he was earning an honest living.

Everybody in the little neighborhood of Lazzaroni knew and loved Old Beppo—why he was always called Old Beppo, I never knew, unless it was because his home-life had given him a subdued, downcast look, and his shoulders were more rounded and bent than even his heavy organ would have made them if he could have had a little comfort and cheer in the poor place he called home. Nina was a peevish, querulous wife—always finding fault, and never satisfied with Beppo's earnings; true, it was little enough he brought at night after trudging all day with his hand-organ, and as he approached the little rookery at the end of the day his steps grew languid and heavy, for he knew his only welcome would be Nina's grumbling, fretful greeting; and poor Old Beppo, after unstrapping his burden and eating his poor meal of macaroni, found rest, not on the little seat outside his own door with his wife and children, but on the sand-bank, or on a neighbor's doorseat where he could smoke his pipe in peace beyond the sound of Nina's croaking, scolding voice. The two boys were like their mother, and Beppo found little comfort in them, so it must be confessed that when in the summer of 1860 Nina was called away to a country where Old Beppo hoped she would not find so much to scold about, his grief was not inconsolable, and a year later he found a more congenial companion in a trim, pretty little widow whose husband was taken off by the same scourge that carried Nina away. Italia had one little boy who was, like his mother, amiable and pretty, with the beautiful great black eyes of a true Italian, and all the fascinating ways of a pretty child of nature. He might have been used for a model of Italian child-beauty.

Old Beppo spent two peaceful and happy years with Italia, and then came again the summer pestilence and poor Italia was one of the victims. Little Dino was heartbroken at the loss of his mother, and Old Beppo, after trying in vain to console the little boy, decided to take him, with the two half-brothers, to America, as much perhaps to change the scene for little Dino as to better his condition in our land of hope and promise. Dino played the violin and accompanied Old Beppo in his wanderings over the country for a time, until the old man became restless and unhappy and longed for his native air. Dino had recovered his childish spirits, and was happy in the freedom of our free sunny summer weather where he had plenty to eat, and was petted and pampered because of his pretty little ways and his bright black eyes. But Old Beppo could not live away from his "beautiful Italy," and as soon as he gathered pennies enough, he took passage for Naples and left the three boys in America.

The two older boys were to look after little Dino and to give him such care as he needed. True to their coarse nature and instincts, they began, as soon as their father had left, to send Dino out with his violin to earn not only his own bread but theirs; for they knew that his attractive little face and winsome manners would win for them more pennies than they could for themselves. This was true, but sometimes the pennies failed, and the days were dull, and people did not care for Dino's music; and then the brothers beat him and ill-treated him until he could endure it no longer.

The summer was passing; the days were becoming cool, and the nights damp and chilly, and oftentimes little Dino, rather than go to his brothers where he was sure to meet with cruel treatment, would creep under an old cart or under some door-steps and spend the night. This he did not complain of until the nights grew frosty, and the poor little fellow found himself stiff and cold when morning came; and then with the tears streaming down his cheeks he longed for "My Italy. I 'fraid I freeze to death, I want my mother," he said pitifully.

His brothers kept track of him and lost no opportunity to illtreat him, and he resolved to run away from Boston and go to some place where they could not find him. Accordingly one rainy, chilly night in November, he took the cars and started to go—he knew not where, but anywhere beyond the knowledge of the brothers who had whipped him until he bore the marks all over his little body. Crouched down in a corner of the cars, Dino was counting his pennies when the conductor found him and asked in not the pleasantest tones where he wished to go.

Of course he had no idea how much money it took to ride in the cars even a short distance; so he gave the conductor all the pennies he had, and said, "I want to go so far."

It was on this dismal, chilly November night that little Dino found himself in one of the suburban towns of Boston, where some young ladies were holding a little sale for the benefit of a Home for Orphan Children in their neighborhood. The day being so unpropitious, visitors had been few and sales very slow. The young people, with rueful faces, were talking in the twilight of their disappointed hopes, and wondering if the evening would bring customers for the little articles they had spent all their leisure summer hours upon, in the hope of adding a large sum to the depleted treasury of the town, when suddenly a child's voice was heard at the door, "Me want to play me fiddle for some supper."

No one who saw that tiny boy with his pleading eyes, and his rich, soft voice and his broken foreign accent, as he stood half clad in the chill of that November night, can ever forget the picture. They were at a loss to know what to do. They said, "But we don't want to hear your fiddle. Where did you come from, and what is your name, and where are you going? It is night and where will you sleep?"

"Me come from Naple," he said; and holding out his little brown hands he displayed the scratches and said, "Me big brothers beat me, and scratch me, and me run away."

"But where did you come from?" a half a dozen eager girls asked all at once.

"Me don't know. Me sleep under cart and me very cold. Can't me play me fiddle for some supper?"

The tears began to start not only in the eyes of the little waif, but handkerchiefs were in demand among all who stood listening to the story, forgetful of sales or profits for the moment, and intent only upon feeding the little orphan who stood before them.

"Come," they said, "and you shall have some supper; but where will you stay to-night?"

"Me don't know. Me mother die, me father go back to Naple, and me cry."

The interest grew with every word he uttered, and the excitement ran high among the enthusiastic young girls, each of whom fed and petted him till the little fellow's countenance beamed with happiness. He had never fallen into such hands before, and his sorrows, like all childish sorrows, melted away under the first rays of loving kindness. He was placed on the flower-stand, and there among the flowers, in the warm, cheerful hall, he was reminded of his own beautiful Italy, the land of flowers; and the notes of his little fiddle attracted the visitors so that as the evening wore on, Dino found his friends increasing and his pockets filling with pennies, and his eyes overflowing with joy. Pointing to one of the ladies, he said in a plaintive tone, "Nobody love me, nobody smile on me but her—and my mother die and I cry."

But the evening was wearing away. The flowers were fading, the people were leaving one by one, and the hall would soon be deserted. What then would become of poor Dino? It was decided at length, after much consultation, to place him in the Orphans' Home.

The morning dawned and brought one of those clear, crisp November days which are common in our New England after a rain, and Dino was taken to his new home. This Home for Orphan Boys is a cosey, cheerful house, and when Dino was introduced to the kind man who has charge and told if he would be a good boy he should have a home there, have dinners and suppers, have a place to sleep like other little boys, he gave a sigh of relief, took a deliberate look around the sunny room, and then thrust his little brown chubby hand into the pocket of his torn, dilapidated trousers, and drew forth the pennies that were snugly tucked away in their depths, and with a grateful smile, his black eyes fairly dancing for joy, he handed them to the superintendent, saying, "You give me home, I give you my pennies. I was so 'fraid I freeze to death."

It was touching to see how Dino clung to his little old fiddle. It seemed to be the one connecting link between the days in Italy where he had lived an easy, happy life with his mother whom he seemed to love so dearly, and the new home which promised to give him shelter. His little old fiddle was a source of much amusement to the children, whose tunes he readily caught, and he soon became a great favorite. The visitors who came to the Home always asked first for Dino, the Italian boy, and seldom went away without leaving something for the little fellow.

As the days and weeks wore away, Dino constantly improved in mind and manners, and developed all the sweetness of heart and disposition that he promised on that November morning when he gave "his pennies for a home." At the end of five years he left the Home and sought a place where he could earn his own living.

Years passed and the memory of little Dino was fading out of the hearts of those who had befriended him, when the Sabbath stillness of a midsummer afternoon was broken by the sound of approaching footsteps, as the family sat on the broad piazza of a pleasant country house. A young gentleman was seen coming up the shady avenue, and the question went around, "Who can the stranger be?"

The bell rang and the message came: "Say to the lady, Dino would like to see her. I think she will remember the name."

As the lady approached—she of whom he had said on that dreary night in November, "Nobody love me, nobody smile on me but her"—she recognized the Italian eyes, and the old, sweet, musical accent with which she had been familiar years before.

With a graceful bow, he said, as if to assure himself of a welcome, "Madam, I should not have ventured in your presence if I had not been informed by my friends at the Home, upon whom I have called, that you would be glad to see me; for I felt that by my long silence I had forfeited all claim to your friendship."

Of course he was most cordially welcomed, and invited to tell the story of his long absence. He said, "I was earning an honest living in a grocer's establishment as job-boy after I left the Home, when the idea took possession of me that I must have more education, and I knew the only way I could get it was to go into the country and work for my board where I could go to school. I found a kind old farmer who gave me board and lodging for what I could do out of schoolhours on the farm, and here I remained for some years, Then came over me the old longing for music. I had kept the little music I knew during my stay at the farm, for I had led the Sabbath choir and the Sunday-school singing, and had never missed a Sabbath while I was there. But I longed for some knowledge of music. I felt that I could not live without it, and though the kind old farmer offered me good wages if I would remain with him, and a generous sum when I should become of age, I said, 'I cannot live without music,' and so I bade adieu to my pleasant home, and went to a city where I could hear music—my heart's great desire—and take lessons as soon as I could earn money enough to pay for them. I soon found occupation, and now I am earning an honest living." He then modestly added: "Perhaps, madam, you will be gratified to learn that I have never tasted intoxicating drink, nor spoken a profane word since I left the Home. I have never forgotten the first passages of Scripture I learned from the little Bible you gave me: 'There is not a word in my tongue but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.'"

The little Italian beggar now has a wife and a pretty little boy in a comfortable home of his own, and his testimony is, "If I had not been cared for and instructed in that Christian Home, I should be a beggar now as I was when I entered it."

* * * * *


Probably no living author has exerted an influence upon the American people at large, at all comparable with Pansy's. Thousands upon thousands of families read her books every week, and the effect in the direction of right feeling, right thinking, and right living is incalculable.

Each volume 12mo. Cloth. Price, $1.50.


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Price, $.60.

The Little Pansy Series, 10 vols. Boards, $3.00. Cloth, $4.00 Mother's Boys and Girls' Library, 12 vols. Quarto Boards, $3.00 Pansy Primary Library, 30 vol. Cloth. Price, $7.50. Half Hour Library. Octavo, 8 vols. Price, $3.20.

* * * * *


(From the N. Y. Weekly Tribune, Nov. 14, 1883.)

Among publishers who have carried into their work serious convictions as to their duty to the public in the matter of supplying good literature, and who have resolutely resisted all temptations in the more lucrative direction of that which is simply sensational, an honorable place may be claimed for D. Lothrop & Co., who have accomplished in the United States a work second to that of no publishing house.

Little change can be made in the literary tastes of a generation which is passing off the stage. If there are evidences of dangerous tendencies in popular thought, or if an infection of the public mind is being spread by unwholesome reading, the antidote for all this, so far as the future is concerned, lies in the protection of the young by providing them with a literature which is at once attractive and wholesome.

This work was undertaken by D. Lothrop & Co. years ago. With the firm conviction that ultimate success would attend their efforts, they have employed the pens of scores of those who have shared their convictions, including some of the best known authors at home and abroad, and have sent out an ever increasing stream of pure, attractive and instructive literature, which has reached every part of the land, and made their name, famous everywhere.

Those who began, as children, to read books of the character supplied by D. Lothrop & Co., have a taste for books equally elevating and instructing in maturer years. For the thousands of such, and the thousands of others who may be attracted by good literature, the later publications of this house, as evidenced by its large and rapidly increasing list of miscellaneous standard books, make generous provision.

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By E. A. Rand.

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Soldier and Servant, by Ella M. Baker, 1 25 Keenie's To-morrow, Jennie M. Drinkwater Conklin, 1 25 Hill Rest, by Susan M. Moulton, 1 25 Echoes from Hospital and White House. Experiences of Mrs. Rebecca R. Pomroy during the War, by Anna L. Boyden, 1 25 Not of Man but of God, by Jacob M. Manning, 1 25 Cambridge Sermons, by Alexander McKenzie, 1 50 Self-Giving. A Story of Christian Missions, by W. F. Bainbridge, 1 50 Right to the Point. From the Writings of Theodore L. Cuyler, 1 00 Living Truths. From Charles Kingsley, 1 00 For Mack's Sake, by S. J. Burke, 1 25 Little Mother and her Christmas, by Phoebe McKeen, 1 00 My Girls, by Lida M. Churchill, 1 25 Grandmother Normandy, by the author of "Andy Luttrell," 1 25 The Snow Family, by M. B. Lyman, 1 00 The Baptism of Fire, by Charles Edward Smith, 1 25 Around the Ranch, by Belle Kellogg Towne, 1 25 Through Struggle to Victory, by A. B. Meservy, 80 Three of Us, by Heckla, 1 00 Breakfast for Two, by Joanna Matthews, 1 25 Onward to the Heights of Life, 1 25 Torn and Mended, by W. M. F. Round, 1 00 That Boy of Newkirks, by L. Bates, 1 25 The Class of '70, by H. V. Morrison, 1 25 Uncle Mark's Amaranths, by Annie G. Hale, 1 50 Six Months at Mrs. Prior's, by Emily Adams, 1 25 A Fortunate Failure, by C. B. LeRow, 1 25 Carrie Ellsworth, by M. D. Johnson, 1 25 The Pansy Primary Library, 30 vols., 7 50

* * * * *

LOTHROP'S SELECT S. S. LIBRARIES. The choicest, freshest books at very low prices.


The Only Way Out, by J. F. Willing, $1 50 John Bremm, by A. A. Hopkins, 1 25 Sinner and Saint, A. A. Hopkins, 1 25 The Tempter Behind, by John Saunders, 1 25 Good Work, by Mary D. Chellis, 1 50 Mystery of the Lodge, by Mary D. Chellis, 1 50 Finished or Not, 1 50

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In six volumes, cloth, gilt, price, $1.00 each.

* * * * *

I. Pine Cones. II. Silver Rags. III. The Northern Cross (In Preparation).

* * * * *


Bound in cloth, gilt, with pine-bough design.


Those who begin to lay in their stock of Christmas books early should remember PINE CONES, which will delight the heart of many a boy and girl during the holidays.—Boston Transcript.

Mr. Willis Boyd Allen is already known to the readers of the Sunday-school Times as one of our best writers of stories for children. His style is marked by a simplicity, naturalness and lack of sensationalism; and his stories move with the freedom of boyish nature and of the open air.—Sunday-school Times.

A decidedly bright book—sweet and pure as the pine woods themselves. It is a story of city boys and girls spending the Christmas holidays with Uncle Will, away down in the Maine woods. Such delightful times as they have, even if they did have to camp out in the woods all the first night!—Golden Rule.

PINE CONES is enlivened by tales of sea and land, sometimes humorous, sometimes pathetic, and always interesting.—Portland Transcript.

Profusely illustrated, and brimful of incident, adventure and fun.—Wide Awake.

A charming book of adventures, written in a bright and fascinating style.—Journal of Education.

It is good, wholesome reading that will make boys nobler and girls gentler. A breezy, joyous, entertaining book.—Chicago Inter-Ocean.

For Sale by D. LOTHROP & CO., Boston.

* * * * *



From Dean Stanley. Introduction by Phillips Brooks.


From George MacDonald. Introduction by James T. Fields.


From Rt. Hon. Wm. E. Gladstone. Introduction by John D. Long, LL. D.


From Thomas Hughes. Introduction by Hon. James Russell Lowell.


From Charles Kingsley. Introduction by W. D. Howells.


From Theodore L. Cuyler, D. D. Introduction by Newman Hall, LL. B.


From Goethe. Introduction by Alexander McKenzie, D. D.


Introduction by Mrs. E. A. Thurston.


From Canon Farrar. Introduction by Rose Porter.

* * * * *

Each volume, 12mo, cloth, $1.00.

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D. LOTHROP & CO., Publishers, Franklin and Hawley Streets, Boston.

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Little Folks' Every Day Book.


MAY 18th.

A song of a nest:— There was once a nest in a hollow; Down in the mosses and knot-grass pressed, Soft and warm, and full to the brim.

MAY 19th.

"Good night!" said the hen, when her supper was done, To Fanny who stood in the door, "Good night," answered she, "come back in the morn, And you and your chicks shall have more."

MAY 20th.

There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in the tree, "He's singing to me! He's singing to me!" And what does he say, little girl, little boy? "Oh, the world's running over with joy."




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