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That was so long ago! But whenever
anything rattles and pattens she shuts
her eyes quickly, and sees for a mo
ment the dark room and the square
white counterpane, and hears her
mother singing "Mary of Argyle." She
wonders if when we die and go to
heaven we sr» reminded by little sights
and sounds of what we used to do on
earth. Of course, we shall do only
pleasant things there, but they might
remind us of the pleasant things here—
the pasture in the early morning, when
it is so still and cool and almost
strang-e? the barn, full of sweet piles of
hay, musical with amber sunlight; a
fairly palace, on whose fragrant divans
one eits with Sultans and slavegirls,
and listens to Sindbad and Aladdin;
the shady porch, where cool white milk
and dark shiny gingerbread wait the
weary berry-stained wanderer. In the
brown book in the parlor Is a poem
about a little girl who used to "take
her little porring-er and eat her supper
there," The Child feels like that little
girl when she eats on the porch.
There is another little girl in the
brown book — "Sweet Lucy Gray." She
think* of Lucy when she comes home
alone tt dusk, and quickens her steps.
How frightened ehe would be! Not
that the Child has been foolishly
taught to fear. Only that she Is
imaginative and knows enough to be
Suddenly comes the grating sound of
something dragged over the floor, and
the door opens. The Child pushes out
with a little wooden rocking chair and
a great tin pan heaped with unshelled
peas. Her blue-checked apron la tied
by the waistband around her neck — it
Is a grown woman's apron, and covers
her and tha chair, which Is far too
email for her now. But one cannot be
always eight years old, and when one
Is II shall one relinquish without a
pang the birthday gifts of one's child
She lays the pan beside her and puts
a handful of peas Into her blue-checked
lap. She presses her brown little thumb
against the sharp green edge and drags
It down the pod. Out patter the little
green balls, and rattle Into the pan.
Truly, a pleasant sound! Like the rain
on the roof. When she was very little
and slept with her mother, she woke
once In the night, and It was raining
hard. The thunder frightened her, and
her mother comforted her and sang her
to sleep in the bed. And when the
lightning flashed and all the room was
bright and dreadful, her mother told
her to keep her eyes chut and then the
flashes would not trouble her. So she
screwed her eyes hard together and
held her mother's hand and drifted oft
THE sun-glare lies on the road and
the field and the house. There are
only three little white clouds In
all the warm blue sky. No one
passes up or down the road.
CCopjricht by Josephine Doflfe Dask&m.)
ver music, "Where is your master?" !
"Lady," say a one of the slaves, bow
ing low, "he cumes." She hears the feet
of the approaching Prince; she dares
not raise her eyes. How will he look?
What gift will he bring? She sinks her
Let us think of pleasant things! Peas
are so small If you count them by ones!
If people considered whenever they
gobbled peas so quickly that every one
had to be shelled by one poor, tired'
little girl! But no, they eat them with
out a thought of how she sat In tha
little tight chair and rattled them Into
the pan- If they were only rich enough
to leave the chair and the peas and the
farm and go to a city!' What city?
Oh, New York or Boston or Persia. In
Persia the days are full of richness
and the nights are Arabian. Along the
streets walk veiled and lovely women
— does it matter that to the Child their
veils are of the dull blue cotton that
wreathes her mother's hat? By all the
Persian monarchs, no! — driving black
dogs and white hinds, followed by tur
baned slaves and glaring eunuchs, with
misty genii hovering in the back
ground. They enter a frowning por
tal — but let us pretend!
This is Persia. The streets are nar
row; the people Jostle and crowd to
one side a little girl in a blue-checked
apron. She walks along unknown, un
noticed. Wait! Who is this? It is a
slave in a turban with a scimitar flash
ing with jev.-els. lie bows low.
"I am bidden to tell you that your
presence is desired by my master,
lovely maiden!" The lovely maiden
looks haughtily at him.
"I will follow you, Slave," che says.
They go on to a lov.', narrow door. The
slave says a magic word and the door
Bwing3 open. Through a long passage
and a great hall they go. There bursts
upon them a radiance of light. Flowers
fill the air with an unearthly fragrance.
Golden goblets and ruby pitchers stand
on silver salvers with "dried fruit,
cakes and sweetmeats, which give an
appetite for drinking." Lovely slave
girls lead the maiden to the bath and
attire her in rich and costly robes.
They seat her in a golden chair and
give her a bowl of seed pearls to string.
(These are the pearls.) She lifts her
lovely head and says in a voice of sil-
There are strange things In the Bible.
One is commanded to refrain from do
ing so many things that one never
would do anyway. But those things
must have been done by the Israelites
and the Pharisees and the Hlttltes and
the Publicans. Then did God mean that
Ihe Americans must keep the same
laws? But Americans were free and
equal. They threw over the tea, and
with a wild whoop— waitl let us pre
tend! , ;
This Is Boston. It is still and quiet.
Night is dark all around. Soft and
stealthy come footsteps — tha Indians!
They gather from the shadows of the
trees and houses, they wave their tom
ahawks exultantly, they glide to the
wharf. In their path stands a little
girl in a blue-checked apron. She falls
upon her knees in terror.
"Save me!" she cries. The chief
laughs a horrid laugh; he raises his
tomahawk — the dog barks loud and the
child nearly drops the peas on her lap,
so frightened she is.
"I thought they were real! I thought
they were coming!" she whispers to
"Why did you want to go?" she
said. The Child could not telL
"It made me cry," she answered,
"but I felt good, too. I want her to
tell my brother that I am pretty
well, and that I hope he is tha same,
when she gets to heaven. Do you sup
pose she will get there by to-night?"
They talked about her conduct on
that occasion bo strangely and so long
that she never spoke any more with
them about death or the life after it'
But she thought about these things.
She wondered whether Mary Waters
remembered the secret place they
made together in a hollow gate post.
Mary Waters had a way of sometimes
telling things not quite as they really
were. Did she do so now? Or had
she told enough lies to send her to
hell? For liars inherit hell. It la
not that this fact has been Impressed
upon her mind by others, but she has
heard it in the Bible and heard it
bands deep In the pearls. Ah, what
is that? A great sweet bough drops in
"Your gran-ma wants" them peas!"
says the Prince In genial rebuke. Alas!
And did Haroun-al-Raschld speak
through his nose?
The child stares at him, dazed.
"These— these are pearls!" she. says.
"I am stringing them for my girdle!
Does your Highness desire that I should
wear this— this carbuncle?"
His Highness laughs loud and long.
"It's > a sweet bough," he ; chuckles,
"and and I guess you had better eat It
right up, now," One moment of weaver
ing: shall awful wrath* come upon this
desecrator of the I soul's best rites, or
good fellowship and feasting be given
him? She' scowls, she shrugs her
aproned shoulders, she glances from
beneath her. lashes, she. smiles.
f\ "Fll give you half," she announces.
After all, it is hardly probable that the
Prince would have helped her shell the
peas. And William Bearles will. If he
Is only the chore boy boy. Vain hope!
"I got to drive the chickens 'round
back," he demurs/ "I can't spend my
time ehellln'^p€fes. Your gran'ma says
if you don't get 'em done pretty soon
you can't-go over to Miss Salome's this
afternoon. She says you're a dreadful
slow child!" - -
This is the last straw. The Child
rises with what would Indeed be a
"They Seat Her In a Golden l Chair and Give Her a /Bo wl of Pearls to fftring. 1^
"But you will come next week?" sh*
asks. And the Child's face lights up.
"Oh, yes. 111 surely come next week,
surely," she replies with emphasis. So
she goes around to Miss Salome's chair
and the beautiful ringed hand raises
her face and strokes her freckled cheek.
"Good-by. my Sunshine!" she says. The
Child catches the hand In a rush of lov
ing worship and kisses It. >.,''»;"
"I win never be cross to William
Bearles again, never!" she cries. "I will
be good to everybody— even to stupid
people!" Miss Salome pinches her cheek
And the Child goes out and down tha
steps of the terrace, rapt, wondering,
lifted to a height of love and admtrattoa
that keeps her little soul to Its sweet
est, highest pitch tor—ah, measure not
the time, I beg you! The children who
are older — how long do the glow and
flush remain with them? They can only
say, "There will be another!" and wait
for It as well and* patiently as may be.
The Child goes back to the life of ev
ery day and , embroiders Its dull web
with eyes of peacocks and sifts Into It
the ecent of sandal wood and sets It
weaving to the tune of ballads, quaint
and sweet. Yet she has taken into an
other's web, unknowing, a tiny thread
of happiness that weaves through the
tarnished cloth of silver and blesses the
pattern as It grows. And the Master e£
the Looms has planned It all.
"If I make my guests unhappy they
will not care to come again," she says.
"Ring for Peter, dear child." So the
child taps the bell and Peter comes
gravely In with the beautiful silver
tray and In a flutter of delight the
child forgets the song and the picture.
Miss Salome cuts the dark frosted
cake and dishes Into glass plates the
candled ginger, floating In syrup, and
pours out a cup of real tea. "And the
Fairy Princess Is served with a ban
quet worthy of her dreams. Oh, to b«
at last In Miss Salome's mansion!
The clock chimes for half-past fire.
Heaven Is over. She brushes tha
crumbs to a little heap oa her gflt
"I must go now, I think," she says
with obvious effort. Her hostess)
freezing dignity were it not that with
her rises the birthday chair. "Wil
liam," she begins. But more suddenly
than Is consistent with her tone she
sinks back. William sits upon the
grass shaking with laughter.
"You looked so awful funny, so awful
funny!" he gasps. The Child hangs for
a moment between tears and laughter.
Then she accepts .the situation and
laughs as merrily as tha chore boy.
"I was pretending I was a princess,"
she explains. "I "
"Ho!" rejoins William, "you alnt Ilka
s princess! You don't look like the
ones you tell about, anyway; Why"—
as she glares at him over the apron,
••your hair's red, red! An* your eyes
are kind o' green, they are! An* you're
Just Jam-packed full o* freckles! I
gueess I know well enough how they
look, and you ain't like 'em I"
The tears stand In her eyes, but she
will not let them fall.
*T don't care, William Searles," she
says bravely, "I may look freckled, but
I don't feel sotv And it's better to know
how they look than * But no I She
Is an honest Child, with all her imagin
ings. Bhe knows that It Is better to
look like them than to know about
themt better for the maiden and the
prlnee, at least. William waits for the
sentence. She begins again.
"William Bearles," she says solemnly,
'» wouldn't you rather I could tell you
about those princesses than look like
them?" William's eyes sparkle greed
"Ton bet!" he replies with fervor.
The Child sighs with relief.
"All right," she says, "then dont
i She Is alone again, and only Wil
liam's faint and fainter Invitations to
the chickens break the silence. The
peas fly Into the pan. Suppose she
should be kept from Miss Salome's!
But no, that shall not be. She looks
ahead to the happy afternoon, singing
as she works.
And now— and now the time has
come. The dishes are wiped, the cat
fed and the fennel picked for the long
sermon to-morrow. She, her very self.
In her new dotted lawn walks carefully
up the hill to the big house, terraced
and gravel-pathed. She knocks timidly
at the brass ring and the tall colored
butler. let» her In. He Is the only In
door man servant she has ever seen,
and she reverences him greatly. He
smiles condescendingly at her, \ as he
•miles not upon all the country people*
"If miss will walk up," he says. Bhe
goes up the soft-carpeted stairs Into
the upstairs drawing-room. She draws
a long breath of happiness and wonder
ever new, and makes her little cour
tesy to Miss Salome.
Out of the dim, delicious dusk of the
room come slowly the familiar treas
ures—the high polished desk, the great
piano, the marvelous service of delft
that fills a monstrous sideboard In the
distance; the chairs, all silk and satin
and shining wood; the great pictures
In gilt frames. In the largest chair sits
Miss Salome. Will the child ever tire
of looking at her pale-lined face, her
silver high-dressed hair, her beautiful
hands sparkling with rings, her
haughty mouth, her tired, troubled
eyes? She must nave been almost as
lovely as the Princess Angelica once.
But she smiles so seldom. Bhe puts out
"And what has happened slnoe last
Baturday?" she says.
The Child laughs for pure Joy. To
talk, to describe, to venture at analy
sis, to ask the why and wherefore, to
Illustrate by gesture as vivid as her
speech— these things are her happiness.
To be suffered this joy in snatches Is
much, to have it demanded, and for one
whole afternoon. Here is no one to
reprove, no one to blame the idle
hands, no one to question the propriety
of mimicry or to insist on her sitting
In her little chair.
Miss Salome watches her flitting
about the dusky parlor, her reddish
gold hair gleaming now against the
delft blue, now against the polished
mahogany desk. She tells of the
chickens that lost their mother. She
wanders about clucking for her brood
and cooing over the returned prodigals.
She walks across the room as William
does— her slouching gait, open mouth,
drawling voice. Irresistibly perfect. She
describes the shooting star, that seem
ed to her like a lost spirit, gone to
sorrow and the earth.
"It makes me think of 'Lucifer, son
of the morning, how art thou fallen!* "
•he says, solemnly. "I wonder how
that star felt. Miss Salome?"
There Is a long pause. The lady
Then, "You may read, If you like,**
she says at last.
The Child's face flushes for Joy* Bhe
runs to the bookcases and brings out
a small brown book. She fingers lov
ingly the tree-calf that covers the
precious pages, and opens them before
she finds her • chair. She curls up on
a great satin ottoman and smooths the
leaves. Where is' the farm? Where
the peas? Where William? They are
less -than shadows, more unreal than
dreams. Her voice trembles as she be
"And now. your Highness permitting,
I shall relate to your Majesty one of
the most surprising adventures ever
known to your Majesty—' " Ah, It Is
good to have been a child . and per
What do children know of life, she
thinks, wh» play with tops and dogs
and kittens? There are books In the
world. And they own all lands and
seas and peoples who own ftios*
printed leaves. Even Miss Balome
does not know as much as the books.
Even Miss Salome cannot say such
carious wonderful things. Why is
Miss Salome so good to her? In
heaven will they see each other? "In
my father's house ara many man
sions." Supposa she should b« put In
Miss Salome's? Will the "Arabian
Nights" be there? When she lifts her
eyes from tho book they fall on an
Immense peacock-feather fan. It
glows on th« wall, and the eyes dilate
and tremble and satisfy her hungry
little soul with the color she loves. On
-«. small table near her stands a
sandal-wood cabinet. Its faint sweet
smell mingles with tha spices and
gums of the tale, and should a Genius
spring from the cover and bow to the
ground before them, she would not
With a sigh of pleasure she releases
the princess and outwits tha evtl
" 'And "now 11 your Majesty would
care to listen to tho story of the Fish
erman • "
"That Is enough," says Miss Sa
lome. . "Are you tired ?*• The Child's
eyes answer her.
"Then sing to m»,"
"What shall I 8108;?** says the Child.
"If you like," 'answers Miss Sa
Tha Child rises and stands before
tho great chair. Her face ts raised
and serious. She knows only ballads,
but to her they are opera and sym
phony In one. She clasps her hands
Lord LovelJ b* atoed at Us ea*tle v*M,
A-comb!ac hla milk whlta stead.
When out cam* I*dy Nancy Batl
To vriah her lover rood »p*-n« »»4,
To wish her lorar food speed.
Her voice tings true as a bed. Miss
Salome smiles at the eager little face.
-% She carries them through fateful
Verses and unconsciously softens and
saddens her voice at the woeful end*
Miss Salome applauds vlgarouxtr.
"Once more," she begs.
The Child's heart grows btf wtth
happiness. That she should lor* tt so,
and yet with tt pleasure others! It Is
too much Joy. She will mak* a (pedal
prayer to-night and thank God, as
does her grandmother, for xir.axacctad
"I win sing •Come Wlfa Thy bate/ m
she* says. It Is a quaint, old-fashioned
tune, and her voice rises and falls and
reaches for the notes with an almost
pathetio feeling for their beauty.
She looks at the lovely lady fa ths>
white satin gown In the great gold
frame before her. How beautiful she
must have been! She died when she
was very young. Her husband shot
himself with grief for her. She might
have sung that song to him— who
knows? The Child chokes and swal
lows her tears at the end of the song,
and when she looks at Miss Salome she
sees that her eyes, too, are full of
"Oh, I have made you cry! I asa
sorry — so sorry I"
Miss Salome wipes her eyes.
THE SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY CALL. —CHRISTMAS NUMBER.
If she could have one wish In all
her life she knows what it would be.
A beautiful gold watch all chased
¦with figures and a cherry-colored rib
bon tied into the handle. Then she
•would put it into her waist — but
her dresses open In the back! The
disadvantages of youth are obvious
enough, in all conscience, without that
last pathetic touch. When can she
have a separate waist and skirt?
Suppose she should die before she
grows old enough to attain this glory?
People have died when they were
young — much younger than she. The
little Waters girl died and she was
only 9. The Child went to the funeral,
but not with her mother. She
slipped into the kitchen and listened
at the door. When she told her
mother that she had gone her mother
looked at her so strangely.
THE HEART OF A CHILD