American Fairy Tales
L. Frank Baum

Part 2 out of 3

daylight came.

When Gouie peered over the edge of the pit next morning he

"Why, 'tis Ippi--the Jolly One!"

Keo recognized the scent of a black man and tried to raise his head
high enough to bite him. Seeing which Gouie spoke in the
hippopotamus language, which he had learned from his grandfather,
the sorcerer.

"Have peace, little one; you are my captive."

"Yes; I will have a piece of your leg, if I can reach it," retorted
Keo; and then he laughed at his own joke: "Guk-uk-uk-uk!"

But Gouie, being a thoughtful black man, went away without further
talk, and did not return until the following morning. When he again
leaned over the pit Keo was so weak from hunger that he could hardly
laugh at all.

"Do you give up?" asked Gouie, "or do you still wish to fight?"

"What will happen if I give up?" inquired Keo.

The black man scratched his woolly head in perplexity.

"It is hard to say, Ippi. You are too young to work, and if I kill
you for food I shall lose your tusks, which are not yet grown. Why,
O Jolly One, did you fall into my hole? I wanted to catch your
mother or one of your uncles."

"Guk-uk-uk-uk!" laughed Keo. "You must let me go, after all, black
man; for I am of no use to you!"

"That I will not do," declared Gouie; "unless," he added, as an
afterthought, "you will make a bargain with me."

"Let me hear about the bargain, black one, for I am hungry," said

"I will let your go if you swear by the tusks of your grandfather
that you will return to me in a year and a day and become my
prisoner again."

The youthful hippopotamus paused to think, for he knew it was a
solemn thing to swear by the tusks of his grandfather; but he was
exceedingly hungry, and a year and a day seemed a long time off; so
he said, with another careless laugh:

"Very well; if you will now let me go I swear by the tusks of my
grandfather to return to you in a year and a day and become your

Gouie was much pleased, for he knew that in a year and a day Keo
would be almost full grown. So he began digging away one end of the
pit and filling it up with the earth until he had made an incline
which would allow the hippopotamus to climb out.

Keo was so pleased when he found himself upon the surface of the
earth again that he indulged in a merry fit of laughter, after which
he said:

"Good-by, Gouie; in a year and a day you will see me again."

Then he waddled away toward the river to see his mother and get his
breakfast, and Gouie returned to his village.

During the months that followed, as the black man lay in his hut or
hunted in the forest, he heard at times the faraway "Guk-uk-uk-uk!"
of the laughing hippopotamus. But he only smiled to himself and
thought: "A year and a day will soon pass away!"

Now when Keo returned to his mother safe and well every member of
his tribe was filled with joy, for the Jolly One was a general
favorite. But when he told them that in a year and a day he must
again become the slave of the black man, they began to wail and
weep, and so many were their tears that the river rose several

Of course Keo only laughed at their sorrow; but a great meeting of
the tribe was called and the matter discussed seriously.

"Having sworn by the tusks of his grandfather," said Uncle Nikki,
"he must keep his promise. But it is our duty to try in some way to
rescue him from death or a life of slavery."

To this all agreed, but no one could think of any method of saving
Keo from his fate. So months passed away, during which all the royal
hippopotamuses were sad and gloomy except the Jolly One himself.

Finally but a week of freedom remained to Keo, and his mother, the
queen, became so nervous and worried that another meeting of the
tribe was called. By this time the laughing hippopotamus had grown
to enormous size, and measured nearly fifteen feet long and six feet
high, while his sharp tusks were whiter and harder than those of an

"Unless something is done to save my child," said the mother, "I
shall die of grief."

Then some of her relations began to make foolish suggestions; but
presently Uncle Nep, a wise and very big hippopotamus, said:

"We must go to Glinkomok and implore his aid."

Then all were silent, for it was a bold thing to face the mighty
Glinkomok. But the mother's love was equal to any heroism.

"I will myself go to him, if Uncle Nep will accompany me," she said,

Uncle Nep thoughtfully patted the soft mud with his fore foot and
wagged his short tail leisurely from side to side.

"We have always been obedient to Glinkomok, and shown him great
respect," said he. "Therefore I fear no danger in facing him. I will
go with you."

All the others snorted approval, being very glad they were not
called upon to go themselves.

So the queen and Uncle Nep, with Keo swimming between them, set out
upon their journey. They swam up the river all that day and all the
next, until they came at sundown to a high, rocky wall, beneath
which was the cave where the might Glinkomok dwelt.

This fearful creature was part beast, part man, part fowl and part
fish. It had lived since the world began. Through years of wisdom it
had become part sorcerer, part wizard, part magician and part fairy.
Mankind knew it not, but the ancient beasts knew and feared it.

The three hippopotamuses paused before the cave, with their front
feet upon the bank and their bodies in the water, and called in
chorus a greeting to Glinkomok. Instantly thereafter the mouth of
the cave darkened and the creature glided silently toward them.

The hippopotamuses were afraid to look upon it, and bowed their
heads between their legs.

"We come, O Glinkomok, to implore your mercy and friendly
assistance!" began Uncle Nep; and then he told the story of Keo's
capture, and how he had promised to return to the black man.

"He must keep his promise," said the creature, in a voice that
sounded like a sigh.

The mother hippopotamus groaned aloud.

"But I will prepare him to overcome the black man, and to regain his
liberty," continued Glinkomok.

Keo laughed.

"Lift your right paw," commanded Glinkomok. Keo obeyed, and the
creature touched it with its long, hairy tongue. Then it held four
skinny hands over Keo's bowed head and mumbled some words in a
language unknown to man or beast or fowl or fish. After this it
spoke again in hippopotamese:

"Your skin has now become so tough that no man can hurt you. Your
strength is greater than that of ten elephants. Your foot is so
swift that you can distance the wind. Your wit is sharper than the
bulthorn. Let the man fear, but drive fear from your own breast
forever; for of all your race you are the mightiest!"

Then the terrible Glinkomok leaned over, and Keo felt its fiery
breath scorch him as it whispered some further instructions in his
ear. The next moment it glided back into its cave, followed by the
loud thanks of the three hippopotamuses, who slid into the water and
immediately began their journey home.

The mother's heart was full of joy; Uncle Nep shivered once or twice
as he remembered a glimpse he had caught of Glinkomok; but Keo was
as jolly as possible, and, not content to swim with his dignified
elders, he dived under their bodies, raced all around them and
laughed merrily every inch of the way home.

Then all the tribe held high jinks and praised the mighty Glinkomok
for befriending their queen's son. And when the day came for the
Jolly One to give himself up to the black man they all kissed him
good-by without a single fear for his safety.

Keo went away in good spirits, and they could hear his laughing
"guk-uk-uk-uk!" long after he was lost in sight in the jungle.

Gouie had counted the days and knew when to expect Keo; but he was
astonished at the monstrous size to which his captive had grown, and
congratulated himself on the wise bargain he had made. And Keo was
so fat that Gouie determined to eat him--that is, all of him he
possibly could, and the remainder of the carcass he would trade off
to his fellow villagers.

So he took a knife and tried to stick it into the hippopotamus, but
the skin was so tough the knife was blunted against it. Then he
tried other means; but Keo remained unhurt.

And now indeed the Jolly One laughed his most gleeful laugh, till
all the forest echoed the "guk-uk-uk-uk-uk!" And Gouie decided not
to kill him, since that was impossible, but to use him for a beast
of burden. He mounted upon Keo's back and commanded him to march. So
Keo trotted briskly through the village, his little eyes twinkling
with merriment.

The other blacks were delighted with Gouie's captive, and begged
permission to ride upon the Jolly One's back. So Gouie bargained
with them for bracelets and shell necklaces and little gold
ornaments, until he had acquired quite a heap of trinkets. Then a
dozen black men climbed upon Keo's back to enjoy a ride, and the one
nearest his nose cried out:

"Run, Mud-dog--run!"

And Keo ran. Swift as the wind he strode, away from the village,
through the forest and straight up the river bank. The black men
howled with fear; the Jolly One roared with laughter; and on, on, on
they rushed!

Then before them, on the opposite side of the river, appeared the
black mouth of Glinkomok's cave. Keo dashed into the water, dived to
the bottom and left the black people struggling to swim out. But
Glinkomok had heard the laughter of Keo and knew what to do. When
the Jolly One rose to the surface and blew the water from his throat
there was no black man to be seen.

Keo returned alone to the village, and Gouie asked, with surprise:

"Where are my brothers:"

"I do not know," answered Keo. "I took them far away, and they
remained where I left them."

Gouie would have asked more questions then, but another crowd of
black men impatiently waited to ride on the back of the laughing
hippopotamus. So they paid the price and climbed to their seats,
after which the foremost said:

"Run, mud-wallower--run!"

And Keo ran as before and carried them to the mouth of Glinkomok's
cave, and returned alone.

But now Gouie became anxious to know the fate of his fellows, for he
was the only black man left in his village. So he mounted the
hippopotamus and cried:

"Run, river-hog--run!"

Keo laughed his jolly "guk-uk-uk-uk!" and ran with the speed of the
wind. But this time he made straight for the river bank where his
own tribe lived, and when he reached it he waded into the river,
dived to the bottom and left Gouie floating in the middle of the

The black man began swimming toward the right bank, but there he saw
Uncle Nep and half the royal tribe waiting to stamp him into the
soft mud. So he turned toward the left bank, and there stood the
queen mother and Uncle Nikki, red-eyed and angry, waiting to tear
him with their tusks.

Then Gouie uttered loud screams of terror, and, spying the Jolly
One, who swam near him, he cried:

"Save me, Keo! Save me, and I will release you from slavery!"

"That is not enough," laughed Keo.

"I will serve you all my life!" screamed Gouie; "I will do
everything you bid me!"

"Will you return to me in a year and a day and become my captive, if
I allow you to escape?" asked Keo.

"I will! I will! I will!" cried Gouie.

"Swear it by the bones of your grandfather!" commanded Keo,
remembering that black men have no tusks to swear by.

And Gouie swore it by the bones of his grandfather.

Then Keo swam to the black one, who clambered upon his back again.
In this fashion they came to the bank, where Keo told his mother and
all the tribe of the bargain he had made with Gouie, who was to
return in a year and a day and become his slave.

Therefore the black man was permitted to depart in peace, and once
more the Jolly One lived with his own people and was happy.

When a year and a day had passed Keo began watching for the return
of Gouie; but he did not come, then or ever afterwards.

For the black man had made a bundle of his bracelets and shell
necklaces and little gold ornaments and had traveled many miles into
another country, where the ancient and royal tribe of hippopotamuses
was unknown. And he set up for a great chief, because of his riches,
and people bowed down before him.

By day he was proud and swaggering. But at night he tumbled and
tossed upon his bed and could not sleep. His conscience troubled

For he had sworn by the bones of his grandfather; and his
grandfather had no bones.


There lived in Boston a wise and ancient chemist by the name of Dr.
Daws, who dabbled somewhat in magic. There also lived in Boston a
young lady by the name of Claribel Sudds, who was possessed of much
money, little wit and an intense desire to go upon the stage.

So Claribel went to Dr. Daws and said:

"I can neither sing nor dance; I cannot recite verse nor play upon
the piano; I am no acrobat nor leaper nor high kicker; yet I wish to
go upon the stage. What shall I do?"

"Are you willing to pay for such accomplishments?" asked the wise

"Certainly," answered Claribel, jingling her purse.

"Then come to me to-morrow at two o'clock," said he.

All that night he practiced what is known as chemical sorcery; so
that when Claribel Sudds came next day at two o'clock he showed her
a small box filled with compounds that closely resembled French

"This is a progressive age," said the old man, "and I flatter myself
your Uncle Daws keeps right along with the procession. Now, one of
your old-fashioned sorcerers would have made you some nasty, bitter
pills to swallow; but I have consulted your taste and convenience.
Here are some magic bonbons. If you eat this one with the lavender
color you can dance thereafter as lightly and gracefully as if you
had been trained a lifetime. After you consume the pink confection
you will sing like a nightingale. Eating the white one will enable
you to become the finest elocutionist in the land. The chocolate
piece will charm you into playing the piano better than Rubenstein,
while after eating you lemon-yellow bonbon you can easily kick six
feet above your head."

"How delightful!" exclaimed Claribel, who was truly enraptured. "You
are certainly a most clever sorcerer as well as a considerate
compounder," and she held out her hand for the box.

"Ahem!" said the wise one; "a check, please."

"Oh, yes; to be sure! How stupid of me to forget it," she returned.

He considerately retained the box in his own hand while she signed a
check for a large amount of money, after which he allowed her to
hold the box herself.

"Are you sure you have made them strong enough?" she inquired,
anxiously; "it usually takes a great deal to affect me."

"My only fear," replied Dr. Daws, "is that I have made them too
strong. For this is the first time I have ever been called upon to
prepare these wonderful confections."

"Don't worry," said Claribel; "the stronger they act the better I
shall act myself."

She went away, after saying this, but stopping in at a dry goods
store to shop, she forgot the precious box in her new interest and
left it lying on the ribbon counter.

Then little Bessie Bostwick came to the counter to buy a hair ribbon
and laid her parcels beside the box. When she went away she gathered
up the box with her other bundles and trotted off home with it.

Bessie never knew, until after she had hung her coat in the hall
closet and counted up her parcels, that she had one too many. Then
she opened it and exclaimed:

"Why, it's a box of candy! Someone must have mislaid it. But it is
too small a matter to worry about; there are only a few pieces." So
she dumped the contents of the box into a bonbon dish that stood
upon the hall table and picking out the chocolate piece--she was
fond of chocolates--ate it daintily while she examined her purchases.

These were not many, for Bessie was only twelve years old and was
not yet trusted by her parents to expend much money at the stores.
But while she tried on the hair ribbon she suddenly felt a great
desire to play upon the piano, and the desire at last became so
overpowering that she went into the parlor and opened the

The little girl had, with infinite pains, contrived to learn two
"pieces" which she usually executed with a jerky movement of her
right hand and a left hand that forgot to keep up and so made
dreadful discords. But under the influence of the chocolate bonbon
she sat down and ran her fingers lightly over the keys producing
such exquisite harmony that she was filled with amazement at her own

That was the prelude, however. The next moment she dashed into
Beethoven's seventh sonata and played it magnificently.

Her mother, hearing the unusual burst of melody, came downstairs to
see what musical guest had arrived; but when she discovered it was
her own little daughter who was playing so divinely she had an
attack of palpitation of the heart (to which she was subject) and
sat down upon a sofa until it should pass away.

Meanwhile Bessie played one piece after another with untiring
energy. She loved music, and now found that all she need do was to
sit at the piano and listen and watch her hands twinkle over the

Twilight deepened in the room and Bessie's father came home and hung
up his hat and overcoat and placed his umbrella in the rack. Then he
peeped into the parlor to see who was playing.

"Great Caesar!" he exclaimed. But the mother came to him softly with
her finger on her lips and whispered: "Don't interrupt her, John.
Our child seems to be in a trance. Did you ever hear such superb

"Why, she's an infant prodigy!" gasped the astounded father. "Beats
Blind Tom all hollow! It's--it's wonderful!"

As they stood listening the senator arrived, having been invited to
dine with them that evening. And before he had taken off his coat
the Yale professor--a man of deep learning and scholarly
attainments--joined the party.

Bessie played on; and the four elders stood in a huddled but silent
and amazed group, listening to the music and waiting for the sound
of the dinner gong.

Mr. Bostwick, who was hungry, picked up the bonbon dish that lay on
the table beside him and ate the pink confection. The professor was
watching him, so Mr. Bostwick courteously held the dish toward him.
The professor ate the lemon-yellow piece and the senator reached out
his hand and took the lavender piece. He did not eat it, however,
for, chancing to remember that it might spoil his dinner, he put it
in his vest pocket. Mrs. Bostwick, still intently listening to her
precocious daughter, without thinking what she did, took the
remaining piece, which was the white one, and slowly devoured it.

The dish was now empty, and Claribel Sudds' precious bonbons had
passed from her possession forever!

Suddenly Mr. Bostwick, who was a big man, began to sing in a shrill,
tremolo soprano voice. It was not the same song Bessie was playing,
and the discord was shocking that the professor smiled, the senator
put his hands to his ears and Mrs. Bostwick cried in a horrified


Her husband continued to sing as if endeavoring to emulate the
famous Christine Nillson, and paid no attention whatever to his wife
or his guests.

Fortunately the dinner gong now sounded, and Mrs. Bostwick dragged
Bessie from the piano and ushered her guests into the dining-room.
Mr. Bostwick followed, singing "The Last Rose of Summer" as if it
had been an encore demanded by a thousand delighted hearers.

The poor woman was in despair at witnessing her husband's
undignified actions and wondered what she might do to control him.
The professor seemed more grave than usual; the senator's face wore
an offended expression, and Bessie kept moving her fingers as if she
still wanted to play the piano.

Mrs. Bostwick managed to get them all seated, although her husband
had broken into another aria; and then the maid brought in the soup.

When she carried a plate to the professor, he cried, in an excited

"Hold it higher! Higher--I say!" And springing up he gave it a
sudden kick that sent it nearly to the ceiling, from whence the dish
descended to scatter soup over Bessie and the maid and to smash in
pieces upon the crown of the professor's bald head.

At this atrocious act the senator rose from his seat with an
exclamation of horror and glanced at his hostess.

For some time Mrs. Bostwick had been staring straight ahead, with a
dazed expression; but now, catching the senator's eye, she bowed
gracefully and began reciting "The Charge of the Light Brigade" in
forceful tones.

The senator shuddered. Such disgraceful rioting he had never seen
nor heard before in a decent private family. He felt that his
reputation was at stake, and, being the only sane person,
apparently, in the room, there was no one to whom he might appeal.

The maid had run away to cry hysterically in the kitchen; Mr.
Bostwick was singing "O Promise Me;" the professor was trying to
kick the globes off the chandelier; Mrs. Bostwick had switched her
recitation to "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck," and Bessie had
stolen into the parlor and was pounding out the overture from the
"Flying Dutchman."

The senator was not at all sure he would not go crazy himself,
presently; so he slipped away from the turmoil, and, catching up his
had and coat in the hall, hurried from the house.

That night he sat up late writing a political speech he was to
deliver the next afternoon at Faneuil hall, but his experiences at
the Bostwicks' had so unnerved him that he could scarcely collect
his thoughts, and often he would pause and shake his head pityingly
as he remembered the strange things he had seen in that usually
respectable home.

The next day he met Mr. Bostwick in the street, but passed him by
with a stony glare of oblivion. He felt he really could not afford
to know this gentleman in the future. Mr. Bostwick was naturally
indignant at the direct snub; yet in his mind lingered a faint
memory of some quite unusual occurrences at his dinner party the
evening before, and he hardly knew whether he dared resent the
senator's treatment or not.

The political meeting was the feature of the day, for the senator's
eloquence was well known in Boston. So the big hall was crowded with
people, and in one of the front rows sat the Bostwick family, with
the learned Yale professor beside them. They all looked tired and
pale, as if they had passed a rather dissipated evening, and the
senator was rendered so nervous by seeing them that he refused to
look in their direction a second time.

While the mayor was introducing him the great man sat fidgeting in
his chair; and, happening to put his thumb and finger into his vest
pocket, he found the lavender-colored bonbon he had placed there the
evening before.

"This may clear my throat," thought the senator, and slipped the
bonbon into his mouth.

A few minutes afterwards he arose before the vast audience, which
greeted him with enthusiastic plaudits.

"My friends," began the senator, in a grave voice, "this is a most
impressive and important occasion."

Then he paused, balanced himself upon his left foot, and kicked his
right leg into the air in the way favored by ballet-dancers!

There was a hum of amazement and horror from the spectators, but the
senator appeared not to notice it. He whirled around upon the tips
of his toes, kicked right and left in a graceful manner, and
startled a bald-headed man in the front row by casting a languishing
glance in his direction.

Suddenly Claribel Sudds, who happened to be present, uttered a scream
and sprang to her feet. Pointing an accusing finger at the dancing
senator, she cried in a loud voice:

"That's the man who stole my bonbons! Seize him! Arrest him! Don't
let him escape!"

But the ushers rushed her out of the hall, thinking she had gone
suddenly insane; and the senator's friends seized him firmly and
carried him out the stage entrance to the street, where they put him
into an open carriage and instructed the driver to take him home.

The effect of the magic bonbon was still powerful enough to control
the poor senator, who stood upon the rear seat of the carriage and
danced energetically all the way home, to the delight of the crowd
of small boys who followed the carriage and the grief of the
sober-minded citizens, who shook their heads sadly and whispered
that "another good man had gone wrong."

It took the senator several months to recover from the shame and
humiliation of this escapade; and, curiously enough, he never had
the slightest idea what had induced him to act in so extraordinary a
manner. Perhaps it was fortunate the last bonbon had now been eaten,
for they might easily have caused considerably more trouble than
they did.

Of course Claribel went again to the wise chemist and signed a check
for another box of magic bonbons; but she must have taken better
care of these, for she is now a famous vaudeville actress.

* * * * *

This story should teach us the folly of condemning others for
actions that we do not understand, for we never know what may happen
to ourselves. It may also serve as a hint to be careful about
leaving parcels in public places, and, incidentally, to let other
people's packages severely alone.


Jim was the son of a cowboy, and lived on the broad plains of
Arizona. His father had trained him to lasso a bronco or a young
bull with perfect accuracy, and had Jim possessed the strength to
back up his skill he would have been as good a cowboy as any in all

When he was twelve years old he made his first visit to the east,
where Uncle Charles, his father's brother, lived. Of course Jim took
his lasso with him, for he was proud of his skill in casting it, and
wanted to show his cousins what a cowboy could do.

At first the city boys and girls were much interested in watching
Jim lasso posts and fence pickets, but they soon tired of it, and
even Jim decided it was not the right sort of sport for cities.

But one day the butcher asked Jim to ride one of his horses into the
country, to a pasture that had been engaged, and Jim eagerly
consented. He had been longing for a horseback ride, and to make it
seem like old times he took his lasso with him.

He rode through the streets demurely enough, but on reaching the
open country roads his spirits broke forth into wild jubilation,
and, urging the butcher's horse to full gallop, he dashed away in
true cowboy fashion.

Then he wanted still more liberty, and letting down the bars that
led into a big field he began riding over the meadow and throwing
his lasso at imaginary cattle, while he yelled and whooped to his
heart's content.

Suddenly, on making a long cast with his lasso, the loop caught upon
something and rested about three feet from the ground, while the
rope drew taut and nearly pulled Jim from his horse.

This was unexpected. More than that, it was wonderful; for the field
seemed bare of even a stump. Jim's eyes grew big with amazement, but
he knew he had caught something when a voice cried out:

"Here, let go! Let go, I say! Can't you see what you've done?"

No, Jim couldn't see, nor did he intend to let go until he found out
what was holding the loop of the lasso. So he resorted to an old
trick his father had taught him and, putting the butcher's horse to
a run, began riding in a circle around the spot where his lasso had

As he thus drew nearer and nearer his quarry he saw the rope coil
up, yet it looked to be coiling over nothing but air. One end of the
lasso was made fast to a ring in the saddle, and when the rope was
almost wound up and the horse began to pull away and snort with
fear, Jim dismounted. Holding the reins of the bridle in one hand,
he followed the rope, and an instant later saw an old man caught
fast in the coils of the lasso.

His head was bald and uncovered, but long white whiskers grew down
to his waist. About his body was thrown a loose robe of fine white
linen. In one hand he bore a great scythe, and beneath the other arm
he carried an hourglass.

While Jim gazed wonderingly upon him, this venerable old man spoke
in an angry voice:

"Now, then--get that rope off as fast as you can! You've brought
everything on earth to a standstill by your foolishness! Well--what
are you staring at? Don't you know who I am?"

"No," said Jim, stupidly.

"Well, I'm Time--Father Time! Now, make haste and set me free--if
you want the world to run properly."

"How did I happen to catch you?" asked Jim, without making a move to
release his captive.

"I don't know. I've never been caught before," growled Father Time.
"But I suppose it was because you were foolishly throwing your lasso
at nothing."

"I didn't see you," said Jim.

"Of course you didn't. I'm invisible to the eyes of human beings
unless they get within three feet of me, and I take care to keep
more than that distance away from them. That's why I was crossing
this field, where I supposed no one would be. And I should have been
perfectly safe had it not been for your beastly lasso. Now, then,"
he added, crossly, "are you going to get that rope off?"

"Why should I?" asked Jim.

"Because everything in the world stopped moving the moment you
caught me. I don't suppose you want to make an end of all business
and pleasure, and war and love, and misery and ambition and
everything else, do you? Not a watch has ticked since you tied me up
here like a mummy!"

Jim laughed. It really was funny to see the old man wound round and
round with coils of rope from his knees up to his chin.

"It'll do you good to rest," said the boy. "From all I've heard you
lead a rather busy life."

"Indeed I do," replied Father Time, with a sigh. "I'm due in
Kamchatka this very minute. And to think one small boy is upsetting
all my regular habits!"

"Too bad!" said Jim, with a grin. "But since the world has stopped
anyhow, it won't matter if it takes a little longer recess. As soon
as I let you go Time will fly again. Where are your wings?"

"I haven't any," answered the old man. "That is a story cooked up by
some one who never saw me. As a matter of fact, I move rather

"I see, you take your time," remarked the boy. "What do you use that
scythe for?"

"To mow down the people," said the ancient one. "Every time I swing
my scythe some one dies."

"Then I ought to win a life-saving medal by keeping you tied up,"
said Jim. "Some folks will live this much longer."

"But they won't know it," said Father Time, with a sad smile; "so it
will do them no good. You may as well untie me at once."

"No," said Jim, with a determined air. "I may never capture you
again; so I'll hold you for awhile and see how the world wags
without you."

Then he swung the old man, bound as he was, upon the back of the
butcher's horse, and, getting into the saddle himself, started back
toward town, one hand holding his prisoner and the other guiding the

When he reached the road his eye fell on a strange tableau. A horse
and buggy stood in the middle of the road, the horse in the act of
trotting, with his head held high and two legs in the air, but
perfectly motionless. In the buggy a man and a woman were seated;
but had they been turned into stone they could not have been more
still and stiff.

"There's no Time for them!" sighed the old man. "Won't you let me go

"Not yet," replied the boy.

He rode on until he reached the city, where all the people stood in
exactly the same positions they were in when Jim lassoed Father
Time. Stopping in front of a big dry goods store, the boy hitched
his horse and went in. The clerks were measuring out goods and
showing patterns to the rows of customers in front of them, but
everyone seemed suddenly to have become a statue.

There was something very unpleasant in this scene, and a cold shiver
began to run up and down Jim's back; so he hurried out again.

On the edge of the sidewalk sat a poor, crippled beggar, holding out
his hat, and beside him stood a prosperous-looking gentleman who was
about to drop a penny into the beggar's hat. Jim knew this gentleman
to be very rich but rather stingy, so he ventured to run his hand
into the man's pocket and take out his purse, in which was a $20
gold piece. This glittering coin he put in the gentleman's fingers
instead of the penny and then restored the purse to the rich man's

"That donation will surprise him when he comes to life," thought the

He mounted the horse again and rode up the street. As he passed the
shop of his friend, the butcher, he noticed several pieces of meat
hanging outside.

"I'm afraid that meat'll spoil," he remarked.

"It takes Time to spoil meat," answered the old man.

This struck Jim as being queer, but true.

"It seems Time meddles with everything," said he.

"Yes; you've made a prisoner of the most important personage in the
world," groaned the old man; "and you haven't enough sense to let
him go again."

Jim did not reply, and soon they came to his uncle's house, where he
again dismounted. The street was filled with teams and people, but
all were motionless. His two little cousins were just coming out the
gate on their way to school, with their books and slates underneath
their arms; so Jim had to jump over the fence to avoid knocking them

In the front room sat his aunt, reading her Bible. She was just
turning a page when Time stopped. In the dining-room was his uncle,
finishing his luncheon. His mouth was open and his fork poised just
before it, while his eyes were fixed upon the newspaper folded
beside him. Jim helped himself to his uncle's pie, and while he ate
it he walked out to his prisoner.

"There's one thing I don't understand," said he.

"What's that?" asked Father Time.

"Why is it that I'm able to move around while everyone else
is--is--froze up?"

"That is because I'm your prisoner," answered the other. "You can do
anything you wish with Time now. But unless you are careful you'll
do something you will be sorry for."

Jim threw the crust of his pie at a bird that was suspended in the
air, where it had been flying when Time stopped.

"Anyway," he laughed, "I'm living longer than anyone else. No one
will ever be able to catch up with me again."

"Each life has its allotted span," said the old man. "When you have
lived your proper time my scythe will mow you down."

"I forgot your scythe," said Jim, thoughtfully.

Then a spirit of mischief came into the boy's head, for he happened
to think that the present opportunity to have fun would never occur
again. He tied Father Time to his uncle's hitching post, that he
might not escape, and then crossed the road to the corner grocery.

The grocer had scolded Jim that very morning for stepping into a
basket of turnips by accident. So the boy went to the back end of
the grocery and turned on the faucet of the molasses barrel.

"That'll make a nice mess when Time starts the molasses running all
over the floor," said Jim, with a laugh.

A little further down the street was a barber shop, and sitting in
the barber's chair Jim saw the man that all the boys declared was
the "meanest man in town." He certainly did not like the boys and
the boys knew it. The barber was in the act of shampooing this
person when Time was captured. Jim ran to the drug store, and,
getting a bottle of mucilage, he returned and poured it over the
ruffled hair of the unpopular citizen.

"That'll probably surprise him when he wakes up," thought Jim.

Near by was the schoolhouse. Jim entered it and found that only a
few of the pupils were assembled. But the teacher sat at his desk,
stern and frowning as usual.

Taking a piece of chalk, Jim marked upon the blackboard in big
letters the following words:

"Every scholar is requested to yell the minute he enters the room.
He will also please throw his books at the teacher's head. Signed,
Prof. Sharpe."

"That ought to raise a nice rumpus," murmured the mischiefmaker, as
he walked away.

On the corner stood Policeman Mulligan, talking with old Miss
Scrapple, the worst gossip in town, who always delighted in saying
something disagreeable about her neighbors. Jim thought this
opportunity was too good to lose. So he took off the policeman's cap
and brass-buttoned coat and put them on Miss Scrapple, while the
lady's feathered and ribboned hat he placed jauntily upon the
policeman's head.

The effect was so comical that the boy laughed aloud, and as a good
many people were standing near the corner Jim decided that Miss
Scrapple and Officer Mulligan would create a sensation when Time
started upon his travels.

Then the young cowboy remembered his prisoner, and, walking back to
the hitching post, he came within three feet of it and saw Father
Time still standing patiently within the toils of the lasso. He
looked angry and annoyed, however, and growled out:

"Well, when do you intend to release me?"

"I've been thinking about that ugly scythe of yours," said Jim.

"What about it?" asked Father Time.

"Perhaps if I let you go you'll swing it at me the first thing, to
be revenged," replied the boy.

Father Time gave him a severe look, but said:

"I've known boys for thousands of years, and of course I know
they're mischievous and reckless. But I like boys, because they grow
up to be men and people my world. Now, if a man had caught me by
accident, as you did, I could have scared him into letting me go
instantly; but boys are harder to scare. I don't know as I blame
you. I was a boy myself, long ago, when the world was new. But
surely you've had enough fun with me by this time, and now I hope
you'll show the respect that is due to old age. Let me go, and in
return I will promise to forget all about my capture. The incident
won't do much harm, anyway, for no one will ever know that Time has
halted the last three hours or so."

"All right," said Jim, cheerfully, "since you've promised not to mow
me down, I'll let you go." But he had a notion some people in the
town would suspect Time had stopped when they returned to life.

He carefully unwound the rope from the old man, who, when he was
free, at once shouldered his scythe, rearranged his white robe and
nodded farewell.

The next moment he had disappeared, and with a rustle and rumble and
roar of activity the world came to life again and jogged along as it
always had before.

Jim wound up his lasso, mounted the butcher's horse and rode slowly
down the street.

Loud screams came from the corner, where a great crowd of people
quickly assembled. From his seat on the horse Jim saw Miss Scrapple,
attired in the policeman's uniform, angrily shaking her fists in
Mulligan's face, while the officer was furiously stamping upon the
lady's hat, which he had torn from his own head amidst the jeers of
the crowd.

As he rode past the schoolhouse he heard a tremendous chorus of
yells, and knew Prof. Sharpe was having a hard time to quell the
riot caused by the sign on the blackboard.

Through the window of the barber shop he saw the "mean man"
frantically belaboring the barber with a hair brush, while his hair
stood up stiff as bayonets in all directions. And the grocer ran out
of his door and yelled "Fire!" while his shoes left a track of
molasses wherever he stepped.

Jim's heart was filled with joy. He was fairly reveling in the
excitement he had caused when some one caught his leg and pulled him
from the horse.

"What're ye doin' hear, ye rascal?" cried the butcher, angrily;
"didn't ye promise to put that beast inter Plympton's pasture? An'
now I find ye ridin' the poor nag around like a gentleman o'

"That's a fact," said Jim, with surprise; "I clean forgot about the

* * * * *

This story should teach us the supreme importance of Time and the
folly of trying to stop it. For should you succeed, as Jim did, in
bringing Time to a standstill, the world would soon become a dreary
place and life decidedly unpleasant.


Not many years ago there lived on a stony, barren New England farm a
man and his wife. They were sober, honest people, working hard from
early morning until dark to enable them to secure a scanty living
from their poor land.

Their house, a small, one-storied building, stood upon the side of a
steep hill, and the stones lay so thickly about it that scarce
anything green could grow from the ground. At the foot of the hill,
a quarter of a mile from the house by the winding path, was a small
brook, and the woman was obliged to go there for water and to carry
it up the hill to the house. This was a tedious task, and with the
other hard work that fell to her share had made her gaunt and bent
and lean.

Yet she never complained, but meekly and faithfully performed her
duties, doing the housework, carrying the water and helping her
husband hoe the scanty crop that grew upon the best part of their

One day, as she walked down the path to the brook, her big shoes
scattering the pebbles right and left, she noticed a large beetle
lying upon its back and struggling hard with its little legs to turn
over, that its feet might again touch the ground. But this it could
not accomplish; so the woman, who had a kind heart, reached down and
gently turned the beetle with her finger. At once it scampered from
the path and she went on to the brook.

The next day, as she came for water, she was surprised to see the
beetle again lying upon its back and struggling helplessly to turn.
Once more the woman stopped and set him upon his feet; and then, as
she stooped over the tiny creature, she heard a small voice say:

"Oh, thank you! Thank you so much for saving me!"

Half frightened at hearing a beetle speak in her own language, the
woman started back and exclaimed:

"La sakes! Surely you can't talk like humans!" Then, recovering from
her alarm, she again bent over the beetle, who answered her:

"Why shouldn't I talk, if I have anything to say?

"'Cause you're a bug," replied the woman.

"That is true; and you saved my life--saved me from my enemies, the
sparrows. And this is the second time you have come to my
assistance, so I owe you a debt of gratitude. Bugs value their lives
as much as human beings, and I am a more important creature than
you, in your ignorance, may suppose. But, tell me, why do you come
each day to the brook?"

"For water," she answered, staring stupidly down at the talking

"Isn't it hard work?" the creature inquired.

"Yes; but there's no water on the hill," said she.

"Then dig a well and put a pump in it," replied the beetle.

She shook her head.

"My man tried it once; but there was no water," she said, sadly.

"Try it again," commanded the beetle; "and in return for your
kindness to me I will make this promise: if you do not get water
from the well you will get that which is more precious to you. I
must go now. Do not forget. Dig a well."

And then, without pausing to say good-by, it ran swiftly away and
was lost among the stones.

The woman returned to the house much perplexed by what the beetle
had said, and when her husband came in from his work she told him
the whole story.

The poor man thought deeply for a time, and then declared:

"Wife, there may be truth in what the bug told you. There must be
magic in the world yet, if a beetle can speak; and if there is such
a thing as magic we may get water from the well. The pump I bought
to use in the well which proved to be dry is now lying in the barn,
and the only expense in following the talking bug's advice will be
the labor of digging the hole. Labor I am used to; so I will dig the

Next day he set about it, and dug so far down in the ground that he
could hardly reach the top to climb out again; but not a drop of
water was found.

"Perhaps you did not dig deep enough," his wife said, when he told
her of his failure.

So the following day he made a long ladder, which he put into the
hole; and then he dug, and dug, and dug, until the top of the ladder
barely reached the top of the hole. But still there was no water.

When the woman next went to the brook with her pail she saw the
beetle sitting upon a stone beside her path. So she stopped and

"My husband has dug the well; but there is no water."

"Did he put the pump in the well?" asked the beetle.

"No," she answered.

"Then do as I commanded; put in the pump, and if you do not get
water I promise you something still more precious."

Saying which, the beetle swiftly slid from the stone and
disappeared. The woman went back to the house and told her husband
what the bug had said.

"Well," replied the simple fellow, "there can be no harm in trying."

So he got the pump from the barn and placed it in the well, and then
he took hold of the handle and began to pump, while his wife stood
by to watch what would happen.

No water came, but after a few moments a gold piece dropped from the
spout of the pump, and then another, and another, until several
handfuls of gold lay in a little heap upon the ground.

The man stopped pumping then and ran to help his wife gather the
gold pieces into her apron; but their hands trembled so greatly
through excitement and joy that they could scarcely pick up the
sparkling coins.

At last she gathered them close to her bosom and together they ran
to the house, where they emptied the precious gold upon the table
and counted the pieces.

All were stamped with the design of the United States mint and were
worth five dollars each. Some were worn and somewhat discolored from
use, while others seemed bright and new, as if they had not been
much handled. When the value of the pieces was added together they
were found to be worth three hundred dollars.

Suddenly the woman spoke.

"Husband, the beetle said truly when he declared we should get
something more precious than water from the well. But run at once
and take away the handle from the pump, lest anyone should pass this
way and discover our secret."

So the man ran to the pump and removed the handle, which he carried
to the house and hid underneath the bed.

They hardly slept a wink that night, lying awake to think of their
good fortune and what they should do with their store of yellow
gold. In all their former lives they had never possessed more than a
few dollars at a time, and now the cracked teapot was nearly full of
gold coins.

The following day was Sunday, and they arose early and ran to see if
their treasure was safe. There it lay, heaped snugly within the
teapot, and they were so willing to feast their eyes upon it that it
was long before the man could leave it to build the fire or the
woman to cook the breakfast.

While they ate their simple meal the woman said:

"We will go to church to-day and return thanks for the riches that
have come to us so suddenly. And I will give the pastor one of the
gold pieces."

"It is well enough to go to church," replied her husband, "and also
to return thanks. But in the night I decided how we will spend all
our money; so there will be none left for the pastor."

"We can pump more," said the woman.

"Perhaps; and perhaps not," he answered, cautiously. "What we have
we can depend upon, but whether or not there be more in the well I
cannot say."

"Then go and find out," she returned, "for I am anxious to give
something to the pastor, who is a poor man and deserving."

So the man got the pump handle from beneath the bed, and, going to
the pump, fitted it in place. Then he set a large wooden bucket
under the spout and began to pump. To their joy the gold pieces soon
began flowing into the pail, and, seeing it about to run over the
brim, the woman brought another pail. But now the stream suddenly
stopped, and the man said, cheerfully:

"That is enough for to-day, good wife! We have added greatly to our
treasure, and the parson shall have his gold piece. Indeed, I think
I shall also put a coin into the contribution box."

Then, because the teapot would hold no more gold, the farmer emptied
the pail into the wood-box, covering the money with dried leaves and
twigs, that no one might suspect what lay underneath.

Afterward they dressed themselves in their best clothing and started
for the church, each taking a bright gold piece from the teapot as a
gift to the pastor.

Over the hill and down into the valley beyond they walked, feeling
so gay and light-hearted that they did not mind the distance at all.
At last they came to the little country church and entered just as
the services began.

Being proud of their wealth and of the gifts they had brought for
the pastor, they could scarcely wait for the moment when the deacon
passed the contribution box. But at last the time came, and the
farmer held his hand high over the box and dropped the gold piece so
that all the congregation could see what he had given. The woman did
likewise, feeling important and happy at being able to give the good
parson so much.

The parson, watching from the pulpit, saw the gold drop into the
box, and could hardly believe that his eyes did not deceive him.
However, when the box was laid upon his desk there were the two gold
pieces, and he was so surprised that he nearly forgot his sermon.

When the people were leaving the church at the close of the services
the good man stopped the farmer and his wife and asked:

"Where did you get so much gold?"

The woman gladly told him how she had rescued the beetle, and how,
in return, they had been rewarded with the wonderful pump. The
pastor listened to it all gravely, and when the story was finished
he said:

"According to tradition strange things happened in this world ages
ago, and now I find that strange things may also happen to-day. For
by your tale you have found a beetle that can speak and also has
power to bestow upon you great wealth." Then he looked carefully at
the gold pieces and continued: "Either this money is fairy gold or
it is genuine metal, stamped at the mint of the United States
government. If it is fairy gold it will disappear within 24 hours,
and will therefore do no one any good. If it is real money, then
your beetle must have robbed some one of the gold and placed it in
your well. For all money belongs to some one, and if you have not
earned it honestly, but have come by it in the mysterious way you
mention, it was surely taken from the persons who owned it, without
their consent. Where else could real money come from?"

The farmer and his wife were confused by this statement and looked
guiltily at each other, for they were honest people and wished to
wrong no one.

"Then you think the beetle stole the money?" asked the woman.

"By his magic powers he probably took it from its rightful owners.
Even bugs which can speak have no consciences and cannot tell the
difference between right and wrong. With a desire to reward you for
your kindness the beetle took from its lawful possessors the money
you pumped from the well."

"Perhaps it really is fairy gold," suggested the man. "If so, we
must go to the town and spend the money before it disappears."

"That would be wrong," answered the pastor; "for then the merchants
would have neither money nor goods. To give them fairy gold would be
to rob them."

"What, then, shall we do?" asked the poor woman, wringing her hands
with grief and disappointment.

"Go home and wait until to-morrow. If the gold is then in your
possession it is real money and not fairy gold. But if it is real
money you must try to restore it to its rightful owners. Take, also,
these pieces which you have given me, for I cannot accept gold that
is not honestly come by."

Sadly the poor people returned to their home, being greatly
disturbed by what they had heard. Another sleepless night was
passed, and on Monday morning they arose at daylight and ran to see
if the gold was still visible.

"It is real money, after all!" cried the man; "for not a single
piece has disappeared."

When the woman went to the brook that day she looked for the beetle,
and, sure enough, there he sat upon the flat stone.

"Are you happy now?" asked the beetle, as the woman paused before

"We are very unhappy," she answered; "for, although you have given
us much gold, our good parson says it surely belongs to some one
else, and was stolen by you to reward us."

"Your parson may be a good man," returned the beetle, with some
indignation, "but he certainly is not overwise. Nevertheless, if you
do not want the gold I can take it from you as easily as I gave it."

"But we do want it!" cried the woman, fearfully. "That is," she
added, "if it is honestly come by."

"It is not stolen," replied the beetle, sulkily, "and now belongs to
no one but yourselves. When you saved my life I thought how I might
reward you; and, knowing you to be poor, I decided gold would make
you happier than anything else.

"You must know," he continued, "that although I appear so small and
insignificant, I am really king of all the insects, and my people
obey my slightest wish. Living, as they do, close to the ground, the
insects often come across gold and other pieces of money which have
been lost by men and have fallen into cracks or crevasses or become
covered with earth or hidden by grass or weeds. Whenever my people
find money in this way they report the fact to me; but I have always
let it lie, because it could be of no possible use to an insect.

"However, when I decided to give you gold I knew just where to
obtain it without robbing any of your fellow creatures. Thousands of
insects were at once sent by me in every direction to bring the
pieces of lost gold to his hill. It cost my people several days of
hard labor, as you may suppose; but by the time your husband had
finished the well the gold began to arrive from all parts of the
country, and during the night my subjects dumped it all into the
well. So you may use it with a clear conscience, knowing that you
wrong no one."

This explanation delighted the woman, and when she returned to the
house and reported to her husband what the beetle had said he also
was overjoyed.

So they at once took a number of the gold pieces and went to the
town to purchase provisions and clothing and many things of which
they had long stood in need; but so proud were they of their newly
acquired wealth that they took no pains to conceal it. They wanted
everyone to know they had money, and so it was no wonder that when
some of the wicked men in the village saw the gold they longed to
possess it themselves.

"If they spend this money so freely," whispered one to another,
"there must be a great store of gold at their home."

"That is true," was the answer. "Let us hasten there before they
return and ransack the house."

So they left the village and hurried away to the farm on the hill,
where they broke down the door and turned everything topsy turvy
until they had discovered the gold in the wood-box and the teapot.
It did not take them long to make this into bundles, which they
slung upon their backs and carried off, and it was probably because
they were in a great hurry that they did not stop to put the house
in order again.

Presently the good woman and her husband came up the hill from the
village with their arms full of bundles and followed by a crowd of
small boys who had been hired to help carry the purchases. Then
followed others, youngsters and country louts, attracted by the
wealth and prodigality of the pair, who, from simple curiosity,
trailed along behind like the tail of a comet and helped swell the
concourse into a triumphal procession. Last of all came Guggins, the
shopkeeper, carrying with much tenderness a new silk dress which was
to be paid for when they reached the house, all the money they had
taken to the village having been lavishly expended.

The farmer, who had formerly been a modest man, was now so swelled
with pride that he tipped the rim of his hat over his left ear and
smoked a big cigar that was fast making him ill. His wife strutted
along beside him like a peacock, enjoying to the full the homage and
respect her wealth had won from those who formerly deigned not to
notice her, and glancing from time to time at the admiring
procession in the rear.

But, alas for their new-born pride! when they reached the farmhouse
they found the door broken in, the furniture strewn in all
directions and their treasure stolen to the very last gold piece.

The crowd grinned and made slighting remarks of a personal nature,
and Guggins, the shopkeeper, demanded in a loud voice the money for
the silk dress he had brought.

Then the woman whispered to her husband to run and pump some more
gold while she kept the crowd quiet, and he obeyed quickly. But
after a few moments he returned with a white face to tell her the
pump was dry, and not a gold piece could now be coaxed from the

The procession marched back to the village laughing and jeering at
the farmer and his wife, who had pretended to be so rich; and some
of the boys were naughty enough to throw stones at the house from
the top of the hill. Mr. Guggins carried away his dress after
severely scolding the woman for deceiving him, and when the couple
at last found themselves alone their pride had turned to humiliation
and their joy to bitter grief.

Just before sundown the woman dried her eyes and, having resumed her
ordinary attire, went to the brook for water. When she came to the
flat stone she saw the King Beetle sitting upon it.

"The well is dry!" she cried out, angrily.

"Yes," answered the beetle, calmly, "you have pumped from it all the
gold my people could find."

"But we are now ruined," said the woman, sitting down in the path
beginning to weep; "for robbers have stolen from us every penny we

"I'm sorry," returned the beetle; "but it is your own fault. Had you
not made so great a show of your wealth no one would have suspected
you possessed a treasure, or thought to rob you. As it is, you have
merely lost the gold which others have lost before you. It will
probably be lost many times more before the world comes to an end."

"But what are we to do now?" she asked.

"What did you do before I gave you the money?"

"We worked from morning 'til night," said she.

"Then work still remains for you," remarked the beetle, composedly;
"no one will ever try to rob you of that, you may be sure!" And he
slid from the stone and disappeared for the last time.

* * * * *

This story should teach us to accept good fortune with humble hearts
and to use it with moderation. For, had the farmer and his wife
resisted the temptation to display their wealth ostentatiously, they
might have retained it to this very day.


In all Fairyland there is no more mischievous a person than
Tanko-Mankie the Yellow Ryl. He flew through the city one
afternoon--quite invisible to moral eyes, but seeing everything
himself--and noticed a figure of a wax lady standing behind the big
plate glass window of Mr. Floman's department store.

The wax lady was beautifully dressed, and extended in her stiff left
hand was a card bearing the words:

This Stylish Costume
(Imported from Paris)
Former Price, $20,

This impressive announcement had drawn before the window a crowd of
women shoppers, who stood looking at the wax lady with critical

Tanko-Mankie laughed to himself the low, gurgling little laugh that
always means mischief. Then he flew close to the wax figure and
breathed twice upon its forehead.

From that instant the dummy began to live, but so dazed and
astonished was she at the unexpected sensation that she continued to
stand stupidly staring at the women outside and holding out the
placard as before.

The ryl laughed again and flew away. Anyone but Tanko-Mankie would
have remained to help the wax lady out of the troubles that were
sure to overtake her; but this naughty elf thought it rare fun to
turn the inexperienced lady loose in a cold and heartless world and
leave her to shift for herself.

Fortunately it was almost six o'clock when the dummy first realized
that she was alive, and before she had collected her new thoughts
and decided what to do a man came around and drew down all the
window shades, shutting off the view from the curious shoppers.

Then the clerks and cashiers and floorwalkers and cash girls went
home and the store was closed for the night, although the sweepers
and scrubbers remained to clean the floors for the following day.

The window inhabited by the wax lady was boxed in, like a little
room, one small door being left at the side for the window-trimmer
to creep in and out of. So the scrubbers never noticed that the
dummy, when left to herself, dropped the placard to the floor and
sat down upon a pile of silks to wonder who she was, where she was,
and how she happened to be alive.

For you must consider, dear reader, that in spite of her size and
her rich costume, in spite of her pink cheeks and fluffy yellow
hair, this lady was very young--no older, in reality, than a baby
born but half an hour. All she knew of the world was contained in
the glimpse she had secured of the busy street facing her window;
all she knew of people lay in the actions of the group of women
which had stood before her on the other side of the window pane and
criticised the fit of her dress or remarked upon its stylish

So she had little enough to think about, and her thoughts moved
somewhat slowly; yet one thing she really decided upon, and that was
not to remain in the window and be insolently stared at by a lot of
women who were not nearly so handsome or well dressed as herself.

By the time she reached this important conclusion, it was after
midnight; but dim lights were burning in the big, deserted store, so
she crept through the door of her window and walked down the long
aisles, pausing now and then to look with much curiosity at the
wealth of finery confronting her on every side.

When she came to the glass cases filled with trimmed hats she
remembered having seen upon the heads of the women in the street
similar creations. So she selected one that suited her fancy and
placed it carefully upon her yellow locks. I won't attempt to
explain what instinct it was that made her glance into a near-by
mirror to see if the hat was straight, but this she certainly did.
It didn't correspond with her dress very well, but the poor thing
was too young to have much taste in matching colors.

When she reached the glove counter she remembered that gloves were
also worn by the women she had seen. She took a pair from the case
and tried to fit them upon her stiff, wax-coated fingers; but the
gloves were too small and ripped in the seams. Then she tried
another pair, and several others, as well; but hours passed before
she finally succeeded in getting her hands covered with a pair of
pea-green kids.

Next she selected a parasol from a large and varied assortment in
the rear of the store. Not that she had any idea what it was used
for; but other ladies carried such things, so she also would have

When she again examined herself critically in the mirror she decided
her outfit was now complete, and to her inexperienced eyes there was
no perceptible difference between her and the women who had stood
outside the window. Whereupon she tried to leave the store, but
found every door fast locked.

The wax lady was in no hurry. She inherited patience from her
previous existence. Just to be alive and to wear beautiful clothes
was sufficient enjoyment for her at present. So she sat down upon a
stool and waited quietly until daylight.

When the janitor unlocked the door in the morning the wax lady swept
past him and walked with stiff but stately strides down the street.
The poor fellow was so completely whuckered at seeing the well-known
wax lady leave her window and march away from the store that he fell
over in a heap and only saved himself from fainting by striking his
funny bone against the doorstep. When he recovered his wits she had
turned the corner and disappeared.

The wax lady's immature mind had reasoned that, since she had come
to life, her evident duty was to mix with the world and do whatever
other folks did. She could not realize how different she was from
people of flesh and blood; nor did she know she was the first dummy
that had ever lived, or that she owed her unique experience to
Tanko-Mankie's love of mischief. So ignorance gave her a confidence
in herself that she was not justly entitled to.

It was yet early in the day, and the few people she met were
hurrying along the streets. Many of them turned into restaurants and
eating houses, and following their example the wax lady also entered
one and sat upon a stool before a lunch counter.

"Coffee 'n' rolls!" said a shop girl on the next stool.

"Coffee 'n' rolls!" repeated the dummy, and soon the waiter placed
them before her. Of course she had no appetite, as her constitution,
being mostly wood, did not require food; but she watched the shop
girl, and saw her put the coffee to her mouth and drink it.
Therefore the wax lady did the same, and the next instant was
surprised to feel the hot liquid trickling out between her wooden
ribs. The coffee also blistered her wax lips, and so disagreeable
was the experience that she arose and left the restaurant, paying no
attention to the demands of the waiter for "20 cents, mum." Not that
she intended to defraud him, but the poor creature had no idea what
he meant by "20 cents, mum."

As she came out she met the window trimmer at Floman's store. The
man was rather near-sighted, but seeing something familiar in the
lady's features he politely raised his hat. The wax lady also raised
her hat, thinking it the proper thing to do, and the man hurried
away with a horrified face.

Then a woman touched her arm and said:

"Beg pardon, ma'am; but there's a price-mark hanging on your dress

"Yes, I know," replied the wax lady, stiffly; "it was originally
$20, but it's been reduced to $19.98."

The woman looked surprised at such indifference and walked on. Some
carriages were standing at the edge of the sidewalk, and seeing the
dummy hesitate a driver approached her and touched his cap.

"Cab, ma'am?" he asked.

"No," said she, misunderstanding him; "I'm wax."

"Oh!" he exclaimed, and looked after her wonderingly.

"Here's yer mornin' paper!" yelled a newsboy.

"Mine, did you say?" she asked.

"Sure! Chronicle, 'Quirer, R'public 'n' 'Spatch! Wot'll ye 'ave?"

"What are they for?" inquired the wax lady, simply.

"W'y, ter read, o' course. All the news, you know."

She shook her head and glanced at a paper.

"It looks all speckled and mixed up," she said. "I'm afraid I can't

"Ever ben to school?" asked the boy, becoming interested.

"No; what's school?" she inquired.

The boy gave her an indignant look.

"Say!" he cried, "ye'r just a dummy, that's wot ye are!" and ran
away to seek a more promising customer.

"I wonder that he means," thought the poor lady. "Am I really
different in some way from all the others? I look like them,
certainly; and I try to act like them; yet that boy called me a
dummy and seemed to think I acted queerly."

This idea worried her a little, but she walked on to the corner,
where she noticed a street car stop to let some people on. The wax
lady, still determined to do as others did, also boarded the car and
sat down quietly in a corner.

After riding a few blocks the conductor approached her and said:

"Fare, please!"

"What's that?" she inquired, innocently.

"Your fare!" said the man, impatiently.

She stared at him stupidly, trying to think what he meant.

"Come, come!" growled the conductor, "either pay up or get off!"

Still she did not understand, and he grabbed her rudely by the arm
and lifted her to her feet. But when his hand came in contact with
the hard wood of which her arm was made the fellow was filled with
surprise. He stooped down and peered into her face, and, seeing it
was wax instead of flesh, he gave a yell of fear and jumped from the
car, running as if he had seen a ghost.

At this the other passengers also yelled and sprang from the car,
fearing a collision; and the motorman, knowing something was wrong,
followed suit. The wax lady, seeing the others run, jumped from the
car last of all, and stepped in front of another car coming at full
speed from the opposite direction.

She heard cries of fear and of warning on all sides, but before she
understood her danger she was knocked down and dragged for half a

When the car was brought to a stop a policeman reached down and
pulled her from under the wheels. Her dress was badly torn and
soiled. Her left ear was entirely gone, and the left side of her
head was caved in; but she quickly scrambled to her feet and asked
for her hat. This a gentleman had already picked up, and when the
policeman handed it to her and noticed the great hole in her head
and the hollow place it disclosed, the poor fellow trembled so
frightfully that his knees actually knocked together.

"Why--why, ma'am, you're killed!" he gasped.

"What does it mean to be killed?" asked the wax lady.

The policeman shuddered and wiped the perspiration from his

"You're it!" he answered, with a groan.

The crowd that had collected were looking upon the lady wonderingly,
and a middle-aged gentleman now exclaimed:

"Why, she's wax!"

"Wax!" echoed the policeman.

"Certainly. She's one of those dummies they put in the windows,"
declared the middle-aged man.

The people who had collected shouted: "You're right!" "That's what
she is!" "She's a dummy!"

"Are you?" inquired the policeman, sternly.

The wax lady did not reply. She began to fear she was getting into
trouble, and the staring crowd seemed to embarrass her.

Suddenly a bootblack attempted to solve the problem by saying: "You
guys is all wrong! Can a dummy talk? Can a dummy walk? Can a dummy

"Hush!" murmured the policeman. "Look here!" and he pointed to the
hold in the lady's head. The newsboy looked, turned pale and
whistled to keep himself from shivering.

A second policeman now arrived, and after a brief conference it was
decided to take the strange creature to headquarters. So they called
a hurry-up wagon, and the damaged wax lady was helped inside and
driven to the police station. There the policeman locked her in a
cell and hastened to tell Inspector Mugg their wonderful story.

Inspector Mugg had just eaten a poor breakfast, and was not in a
pleasant mood; so he roared and stormed at the unlucky policemen,
saying they were themselves dummies to bring such a fairy tale to a
man of sense. He also hinted that they had been guilty of

The policemen tried to explain, but Inspector Mugg would not listen;
and while they were still disputing in rushed Mr. Floman, the owner
of the department store.

"I want a dozen detectives, at once, inspector!" he cried.

"What for?" demanded Mugg.

"One of the wax ladies has escaped from my store and eloped with a
$19.98 costume, a $4.23 hat, a $2.19 parasol and a 76-cent pair of
gloves, and I want her arrested!"

While he paused for breath the inspector glared at him in amazement.

"Is everybody going crazy at the same time?" he inquired,
sarcastically. "How could a wax dummy run away?"

"I don't know; but she did. When my janitor opened the door this
morning he saw her run out."

"Why didn't he stop her?" asked Mugg.

"He was too frightened. But she's stolen my property, your honor,
and I want her arrested!" declared the storekeeper.

The inspector thought for a moment.

"You wouldn't be able to prosecute her," he said, "for there's no
law against dummies stealing."

Mr. Floman sighed bitterly.

"Am I to lose that $19.98 costume and the $4.25 hat and--"

"By no means," interrupted Inspector Mugg. "The police of this city
are ever prompt to act in defense of our worthy citizens. We have
already arrested the wax lady, and she is locked up in cell No. 16.
You may go there and recover your property, if you wish, but before
you prosecute her for stealing you'd better hunt up a law that
applies to dummies."

"All I want," said Mr. Floman, "is that $19.98 costume and--"

"Come along!" interrupted the policeman. "I'll take you to the

But when they entered No. 16 they found only a lifeless dummy lying
prone upon the floor. Its wax was cracked and blistered, its head
was badly damaged, and the bargain costume was dusty, soiled and
much bedraggled. For the mischief-loving Tanko-Mankie had flown by
and breathed once more upon the poor wax lady, and in that instant
her brief life ended.

"It's just as I thought," said Inspector Mugg, leaning back in his
chair contentedly. "I knew all the time the thing was a fake. It
seems sometimes as though the whole world would go crazy if there
wasn't some level-headed man around to bring 'em to their senses.
Dummies are wood an' wax, an' that's all there is of 'em."

"That may be the rule," whispered the policeman to himself, "but
this one were a dummy as lived!"


The King of the Polar Bears lived among the icebergs in the far
north country. He was old and monstrous big; he was wise and
friendly to all who knew him. His body was thickly covered with
long, white hair that glistened like silver under the rays of the
midnight sun. His claws were strong and sharp, that he might walk
safely over the smooth ice or grasp and tear the fishes and seals
upon which he fed.

The seals were afraid when he drew near, and tried to avoid him; but
the gulls, both white and gray, loved him because he left the
remnants of his feasts for them to devour.

Often his subjects, the polar bears, came to him for advice when ill
or in trouble; but they wisely kept away from his hunting grounds,
lest they might interfere with his sport and arouse his anger.

The wolves, who sometimes came as far north as the icebergs,
whispered among themselves that the King of the Polar Bears was
either a magician or under the protection of a powerful fairy. For
no earthly thing seemed able to harm him; he never failed to secure
plenty of food, and he grew bigger and stronger day by day and year
by year.

Yet the time came when this monarch of the north met man, and his
wisdom failed him.

He came out of his cave among the icebergs one day and saw a boat
moving through the strip of water which had been uncovered by the
shifting of the summer ice. In the boat were men.

The great bear had never seen such creatures before, and therefore
advanced toward the boat, sniffing the strange scent with aroused
curiosity and wondering whether he might take them for friends or
foes, food or carrion.

When the king came near the water's edge a man stood up in the boat
and with a queer instrument made a loud "bang!" The polar bear felt
a shock; his brain became numb; his thoughts deserted him; his great
limbs shook and gave way beneath him and his body fell heavily upon
the hard ice.

That was all he remembered for a time.

When he awoke he was smarting with pain on every inch of his huge
bulk, for the men had cut away his hide with its glorious white hair
and carried it with them to a distant ship.

Above him circled thousands of his friends the gulls, wondering if
their benefactor were really dead and it was proper to eat him. But
when they saw him raise his head and groan and tremble they knew he
still lived, and one of them said to his comrades:

"The wolves were right. The king is a great magician, for even men
cannot kill him. But he suffers for lack of covering. Let us repay
his kindness to us by each giving him as many feathers as we can

This idea pleased the gulls. One after another they plucked with
their beaks the softest feathers from under their wings, and, flying
down, dropped then gently upon the body of the King of the Polar

Then they called to him in a chorus:

"Courage, friend! Our feathers are as soft and beautiful as your own
shaggy hair. They will guard you from the cold winds and warm you
while you sleep. Have courage, then, and live!"

And the King of the Polar Bears had courage to bear his pain and
lived and was strong again.

The feathers grew as they had grown upon the bodies of the birds and
covered him as his own hair had done. Mostly they were pure white in
color, but some from the gray gulls gave his majesty a slight
mottled appearance.

The rest of that summer and all through the six months of night the
king left his icy cavern only to fish or catch seals for food. He
felt no shame at his feathery covering, but it was still strange to
him, and he avoided meeting any of his brother bears.

During this period of retirement he thought much of the men who had
harmed him, and remembered the way they had made the great "bang!"
And he decided it was best to keep away from such fierce creatures.
Thus he added to his store of wisdom.

When the moon fell away from the sky and the sun came to make the
icebergs glitter with the gorgeous tintings of the rainbow, two of
the polar bears arrived at the king's cavern to ask his advice about
the hunting season. But when they saw his great body covered with
feathers instead of hair they began to laugh, and one said:

"Our mighty king has become a bird! Who ever before heard of a
feathered polar bear?"

Then the king gave way to wrath. He advanced upon them with deep
growls and stately tread and with one blow of his monstrous paw
stretched the mocker lifeless at his feet.

The other ran away to his fellows and carried the news of the king's
strange appearance. The result was a meeting of all the polar bears
upon a broad field of ice, where they talked gravely of the
remarkable change that had come upon their monarch.

"He is, in reality, no longer a bear," said one; "nor can he justly
be called a bird. But he is half bird and half bear, and so unfitted
to remain our king."

"Then who shall take his place?" asked another.

"He who can fight the bird-bear and overcome him," answered an aged
member of the group. "Only the strongest is fit to rule our race."

There was silence for a time, but at length a great bear moved to
the front and said:

"I will fight him; I--Woof--the strongest of our race! And I will be
King of the Polar Bears."

The others nodded assent, and dispatched a messenger to the king to
say he must fight the great Woof and master him or resign his

"For a bear with feathers," added the messenger, "is no bear at all,
and the king we obey must resemble the rest of us."

"I wear feathers because it pleases me," growled the king. "Am I not
a great magician? But I will fight, nevertheless, and if Woof
masters me he shall be king in my stead."

Then he visited his friends, the gulls, who were even then feasting
upon the dead bear, and told them of the coming battle.

"I shall conquer," he said, proudly. "Yet my people are in the
right, for only a hairy one like themselves can hope to command
their obedience."

The queen gull said:

"I met an eagle yesterday, which had made its escape from a big city
of men. And the eagle told me he had seen a monstrous polar bear
skin thrown over the back of a carriage that rolled along the
street. That skin must have been yours, oh king, and if you wish I
will sent an hundred of my gulls to the city to bring it back to

"Let them go!" said the king, gruffly. And the hundred gulls were
soon flying rapidly southward.

For three days they flew straight as an arrow, until they came to
scattered houses, to villages, and to cities. Then their search

The gulls were brave, and cunning, and wise. Upon the fourth day
they reached the great metropolis, and hovered over the streets
until a carriage rolled along with a great white bear robe thrown
over the back seat. Then the birds swooped down--the whole hundred
of them--and seizing the skin in their beaks flew quickly away.

They were late. The king's great battle was upon the seventh day,
and they must fly swiftly to reach the Polar regions by that time.

Meanwhile the bird-bear was preparing for his fight. He sharpened
his claws in the small crevasses of the ice. He caught a seal and
tested his big yellow teeth by crunching its bones between them. And
the queen gull set her band to pluming the king bear's feathers
until they lay smoothly upon his body.

But every day they cast anxious glances into the southern sky,
watching for the hundred gulls to bring back the king's own skin.

The seventh day came, and all the Polar bears in that region
gathered around the king's cavern. Among them was Woof, strong and
confident of his success.

"The bird-bear's feathers will fly fast enough when I get my claws
upon him!" he boasted; and the others laughed and encouraged him.

The king was disappointed at not having recovered his skin, but he
resolved to fight bravely without it. He advanced from the opening
of his cavern with a proud and kingly bearing, and when he faced his
enemy he gave so terrible a growl that Woof's heart stopped beating
for a moment, and he began to realize that a fight with the wise and
mighty king of his race was no laughing matter.

After exchanging one or two heavy blows with his foe Woof's courage
returned, and he determined to dishearten his adversary by bluster.

"Come nearer, bird-bear!" he cried. "Come nearer, that I may pluck
your plumage!"

The defiance filled the king with rage. He ruffled his feathers as a
bird does, till he appeared to be twice his actual size, and then he
strode forward and struck Woof so powerful a blow that his skull
crackled like an egg-shell and he fell prone upon the ground.

While the assembled bears stood looking with fear and wonder at
their fallen champion the sky became darkened.

An hundred gulls flew down from above and dripped upon the king's
body a skin covered with pure white hair that glittered in the sun
like silver.

And behold! the bears saw before them the well-known form of their
wise and respected master, and with one accord they bowed their
shaggy heads in homage to the mighty King of the Polar Bears.

* * * * *

This story teaches us that true dignity and courage depend not upon
outward appearance, but come rather from within; also that brag and
bluster are poor weapons to carry into battle.


A mandarin once lived in Kiang-ho who was so exceedingly cross and
disagreeable that everyone hated him. He snarled and stormed at
every person he met and was never known to laugh or be merry under
any circumstances. Especially he hated boys and girls; for the boys
jeered at him, which aroused his wrath, and the girls made fun of
him, which hurt his pride.

When he had become so unpopular that no one would speak to him, the
emperor heard about it and commanded him to emigrate to America.
This suited the mandarin very well; but before he left China he
stole the Great Book of Magic that belonged to the wise magician
Haot-sai. Then, gathering up his little store of money, he took ship
for America.

He settled in a city of the middle west and of course started a
laundry, since that seems to be the natural vocation of every
Chinaman, be he coolie or mandarin.

He made no acquaintances with the other Chinamen of the town, who,
when they met him and saw the red button in his hat, knew him for a
real mandarin and bowed low before him. He put up a red and white


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