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iy Hilda Richmond.
The weather certainly was queer for
the last day of D)ecember. The sun
those brightly down on leafless trees
and brown fields, and a fresh warm
bree'e blew from the south making it
like a day in late September. The
wide expanse of meadows and wheat
gelds stretching away back of the
dozea farni-houses that composed the
tiny village seemed to be basking in
the mrellow, hazy sunlight that covered
the whole landscape as with a garment.
With a sigh Miss Julia hunt hung the
yellow almanac behind the shining
stove in the kitchen, where yellow al
manacs had hung for more than fifty
years, and then went to the dliining
room to pack away her precious china
"There's one thing," she said to
Mary Finnegan, the maid of all work.
"those boys are not going into the
parlor. I'll lock the door to-night and
not openI it till they are gone. I'm
linot going to have my mother's furni
ture scra'tched anti spoiled by a lot of
city bhos. It was xery foolish of ile
to promise Louise that 1 twould enter
tain part of her mission class of news
boys and bootblacks. but she begged
so hard that I couldn't help it. She
says one (lay in the country is like a
glinipse of llea+'en to those half starved
little creatures., but I'm afraid it will
not he like a gi;mpse of Ieaven for us.
I had planned to have Mike take thema
for a long sleighride in the bob sled,
but here the weather must turn as
warm as May and spoil my plans. If
we get through the morning, we shall
be all right. for I have tic'kets for the
rinturtninment l t rttho e*ht.llhm>t> ,in
/ I hI .k
Hully Gee Aint That a Buly Place for a Game? "
the afternoon, and they return on the
six o'clock train. Louise said all that
was necessary was to feed them well,
and I would have no trouble."
"Maybe it will snow yet," said Mary,
examining the tttle house out of which
an old man was said to appear in case
a storm was brewing. But the smil
ing little old lady was on guard, and
that is a sure sign of fair weather.
"No such luck," exclaimed the mis
tress. "The almanac says 'fair and
warmer' for to-morrow. Do you
think you will have time to hunt up
the checker board and dominoes in the
"Sure an' i'll do that as soon as the
bird is stuffed."
If I thought they wouldn't break it,
I'd run over to Mrs. Brown's and bor
row the boys' magic lantern. I could
darken the sitting-room and show off
the pictures, but perhaps I'd better not
risk it. How many ginger cookies did
you bake this morning?"
"Four dozen," replied Mary prompt
"Let me see. Ten boys are coming.
That will be plenty for each to have
three or four for lunch. Louise laid
such stress on having plenty to eat
that I am glad you baked too many
rather than not enough. You need
not make the tarts if we have mince
and pumpkin pie."
"How do you do?" said a brisk voice
at the open door. I just stopped to
tell you that the entertainment for
to-morrow is all off. Two of the Gray
children are down with the measles.
and as they had the leading parts,
it can't be given. I am around refund
ing money to the people who bought
"Troubles never come singly." ob
served Miss Julia as she exchanged
eleven bits of pasteboard for a hand
ful of small coins. Mary I'll be back
in half an hour. I'm going to the
store for some candy, and on the way
back I'll stop for the magic lantern.
This house will look as if a whirlwind
had struck it by to-morrow night, but
it can't be helped, I suppose. 1'll have
more sense next time," she added
As the train stopped at the little sta
tion the next morning, ten boys rang
ing from ten to fifteen years, were met
by Miss Julia and escorted home much
as if she were in charge of 'so many
Indians. They were armed with balls
and bats, and before they were halt
way to the house, one of them polated
to Miss Hunt's big pasture ficil, and
said, "IHully gee! Ain't that a bully
place for a game?"
Miss Hunt was shocked. at tae lan
guage, but hope rose in her heart. It
might he possible that the exquisite.
cloudless weather favored her after
all. She looked at the thin clothing
of her guests. andl rejoiced that the
yellow almanac had truly predlicted
"fair and warmer" for this New Year's
"I sat. mi.sus, is they any boysi
'round here? Lame .immy, he can't play
an' we'd like to strike some kids fer a
match game," said one of the lboys
"('ertainly. there are boys in the
village. If you go out and start a game.
I guess it won't be long till they will
all be with you." said Miss Hunt, .twho
had very little acquaintance with boys,
but had noticed that they were not long
in finding out1 if anything new was go
BIefore the location of the bases had
been settled, three recruits joined tTie
ranks and \were soon offering to hunt
upl enough more for the match game.
"'Dear me. .Mary," lamented Miss
llunt. as a new "ditficulty stared her
in the face. "I was just going to run out
with the cookies and some apples for
the boys, but there are ten or twelve
extra ones playing with them. They
must he hungry after their long ride
this morning, but what can I do?"
"Sure an' l'd run to MMrs. Brown's
and get the batch she omade yisterday.
Her Mollie said their company couldn't
"The very thing!" And with a load
off her mind Miss,lulia hastened acroat
"Sell thenm! I guess not. My Joe and
Ned are screaming out there as loud
as the rest. You nmay have them all.
and these pies. too, for Sister Jane
-'an't come to-day. I'll help you carry
them to the pasture field," said Mrs.
"Ten minutes for refreshments,"
yelled Lame Jimmie, who had by coim
mon consent been chosen umpire,
since, as a shrewd newsboy remarked,
"'No feller'd hit, a cripple even if his
decisions was foul."
In less than half the time Jimmie
had alloted, the cookies and apples
disappeared, and the game was again
in progress. On the way out Miss
Hunt had said: "We'll let them eat all
they want. and then put the baskets
by the fence where theyean help them
selves whenever they get hungry."
Mrs. Blrowan, who was the mother of
four healthy boys, said nothing to this.
but thought her friend would have her
eyes opened as to boys' appetites be
"For pity's sake." said Miss Hlunt,
looking at the empty baskets. "I
never saw the like. I must go right in
and tell Mike to kill some young
chickens. Mly turkey and the roast
beef will ancier Ie enough at this rate.
I'm sorry I declined your pies, Mrs.
"I'll go right home and bring them,"
said Mrs. Btrown. "I have some fresh
cake that I can spare. too. Mlly Mollie
can look after our dinner if you need
any help. Perhaps I c(ando something
"Indeed you can." said Miss Julia fer
vently. "It's only nine o'clock. but I
shall begin peeling potatoes at once.
No wonder L.ouise said over and over
again to'prepare plenty of food.'"
"I saw you going out with a lunch
for the boys." said Mrs. Race, coming
to meet them with , large basket. "I
siuppose my three are out there, so it
c only fair that I should help. Do
vyou think they will like these?" and
she displayed a lot of warm, sugary
"Like them!" laughed Mrs. Brown.
"They ate every thing we had in five
minutes. Don't. take these out now.
Wait till we have a chance to take
something. It is always well to have
"Yes, indeed," said Miss Hunt. "If
you can come in and make up about
a bushel of cookies. I shall be indebted
to you forever. Mrs. Race. I thought
I had enough dinner for twenty boys,
but I am afraid not now."
All three women were so busy pre
paring dinner that an hour slipped
past before anyone thought of the
baseball players. Even then it is
doubtful if they would have been re
membered if the whole troop had not
come to the house ostensibly to get a
drink, but really to see if more cookies
would not be forthcoming. Miss Hunt
was overcome with remorse fo think
she had neglected her guests. and sev
eral pies soon followed the crullers as
astoniemint for her sin of omission.
"Now. boys," she said as the proces
sion started. each boy with a huge
pumpkin pie triangle in one hand and
a rosy apple in the other, "dinner will
be ready in an hour or two and we want
you to have good appetites."
"We'll be there." sang out the cap
tain, briefly. leading the way back to
"I am sorry all the boys can't stay to
dinner," said Miss Hunt. "Doyou sup
pose there would be enough for all?"
"I am afraid not." said Mrs. Race,
surveying the contents of pots. kettle:
and pans. I am sorry, too, for they
are having such a good time together."
"I'll run down and see if Mrs. Lake
has anything to spare. Perhaps we
can arrange for all to stay," said Mrs.
BIrown. "Now don't object, Julia.
There are six little Lakes out in your
pasture field and their mother will be
delighted to help."
"Of course she will," said Mrs. Lake
at the door. "Nellie toll me what is
going on down here, and 1 came right
away to offer my services, for of colurse
my" boys are out there with the rest.
I'll be back in a few minutes with my
"The dinin'-room only holds twelve."
announced Mary Finnegan. red-faced
from a struggle with the table.
"Let's set one table in the sitting
room," said Julia, forgetting that she
had intended to lock up her parlor and
When dinner was finally ready. nott a
boy was in the past ire field. The bats
were thrown aside, the catcher's mask
(dangled fromn the fence, and the barn
roof reserved seats for spectators were
empty. Far away faint shouts an
nounced that a lively chase was going
on. Miss tlunt was in despair but not
so the mothers.
"They have seen a rabbit or a squir.
rel." said Mrs. ILake. calmly, as she
rang the big old dinner bell that had
been silent for twenty years. "My
dear Julia, if you had ever lived in the
same house with six youngsters. you
would be surprised at nothing. I see
Mrs. Brown filling t tub with warm
water. She knows what condition
their hands and faces will be in."
The squirrel hunt was abandoned at
the first sound of the bell. and across
the fields streamed the visitors and
besides all tiue well boys that the vil
lage boaste4r Nearly every one of the
dozen hous s in the group was repre
sented in the motley crowd of dirty
urchins. Under the direction of Mrs.
Brown, the whole party was soon
scented with soap and scrubibed to
that lady's satisfaction. They could
scarcely rest rain themselves under her
rigid inspection, for near at hand
stretched the long tables loaded with
all sorts of delicious things foreign t(
the city waifs. ('Country boys take
good. food as a matter of course, but
three hours of baseball anti chasing
the nimble squirrel had made every.
"Golly.," said Lame Jimmie, taking in
the turkey. chicken, bread, vegetables.
jellies, pickles, cake. pie. and fruit with
which the long table was tilled. "1
wisht every day was New Year's."
Hlow they all enjoyed that dinner!
Miss Hunt buttered bread till her
fingers ached. Mrs. Brown laIlled oni
quarts of gravy. Mary collected a
peck of lioiies to make room near the
loaded, plates for her dishes of applb
sauce and peaches. while the other
women, who had been joined by twi
more mothers, sliced ham, anti
answered calls for more turkey and
everything else on the bill of fare.
"If you ladies will ci'ome to the game
we'll give you the best reserved seats,'
said. the captain of the city nine. wher
a plate of delicious plum pudding was
placed before him. As the best re
served seats were on the roof of Miss
Hunt's cow barn, the ladies decline(
"We are very much obliged," said
Miss Hunt. "buit the dishes must bhi
washetd and preparations made for
"I)oes we git supper, toto?" askedl a
bootblack, laying dlown a pictc ol
frosted cake with a sigh. "l'se beer
a eatin' enough fer supper now."
"('orse we does," said another
"l)ese ladies is de real ting."
"And to think," said Miss Hunt t
herself as the train piulled out anti tht
echo of the cheers her guests had jiusi
given for her was still singiing in het
ears. "I was afraid to haie the poor
little souls come into moy house. IThel
said it was the happiest tiday flcwy ever
spent. and i'm ashamed of my seltish
ness. They behaved like gentlemen
-every' one of them. anti wvould not
have injured a thing in the house. Wher
they come back next Fourth of July
r'll give them a picnic that is worth,
of the name, and tldo it without eallinr
on all the neighbors for help, too.
HAD NO USE FOR IT.
Ir. it heard that you received
beautiful pocketbook for a New
Mr. Nit-That's right, but what use
is a pocketbook to a fellowwho went
broke on presents a week ago?
iAc"71 AN2Z ' macwHILD
T WAS a bare, desolate
room in a tenement house
, in a southern city. On a
rickety table in one cor
ner stona a broken vase,
which still showed rem
nants of its pristine beauty as the
light of a .tray sunbeam shone
through its ruby depths. A long
stemmed. withered rose which it held
Sas doubtless a reminder of some
happier hour. The occupants of the
room were a mother and her three
children, a puny babe, a little girl,
perhalps three years of age, and a
boy about seven years her senior.
There was nothing about the room
to suggest that the family had ever
I (een comfortably placed as regards
this world's goods, save the broken
Venetian vase, but the face of the
mother as she bent over her wailing
babe, trying to soothe and still its
cries, bore the traces of what had
once been the most refined type of
Only a short -year ago. Mary Der
w~ent and her little family had been
living in comlparative comfort, but
suddenly her husband lost his posi
tion as head clerk in a large estab
lishment, which, owing to the pres
Meanwhile Hugh Derwent Had Dragged His
Weary Way Homeward.
sure of the times, had failed. Unfor
tunately, lie fell seriously ill of a
fever. which completely prostrated
hin. By degrees their small savings
wsere expended. then the best of the
furniture nas sold, for they were too
proud to ask help, and so they went
from bad to worse, until they on:y
hadl the poor bed, the stove, the table
and two chairs, which now furnished
in scant measure the little room in
the tenement they called home.
Hugh had been out since early
nmorning hunting for work, and his
wife was growing momentarily more
anxious about his prolonged absence.
What could keep him? It began to
grow dlark. Pressing her pale face
against the panes, she peered out in
to the street.
"Mamma, I'm so hungry," pleaded a
weak little voice from the bed. "Can't
I have something?"
"Oh. Ilarry, what shall we do? Sis
ter wants something to eat?" cried
Mrs. Derwent, putting her arms
around her little boy's neck.
"Mamma, don't cry. I'll go out
again; perhaps I'll get something
this time. and pr'aps I'll meet papa.
I won't come back without some
thing this time," cried IHarry. "Now,
see, mamma, if I do. Please don't
"Oh, where will you go. my por
little darling, where will you go?
((our clothes are too thin to go out
in this \vintd. I cannot, cannot let
But Harry was off; he had no time
to lose. tlie had no time to lose, in
deted, if he imear:t to reach the great
publishing house in Broad street. It
was fully five o'clock, and he must
be there before six, and it was such a
long, weary walk for a little fellow.
Meanwhiile Hugh Derwent had
dragged his weary way homeward.
He had met the tuiual rebuffs, sime
:udely uittered, some gently worded,
for there were men who were
touched by his pallid face and the
hopeless expression of his cotn
t( nance. Mary listened for his foot
steps, for it was now too dark to see
the passers-by on the street, caught
a faint, uncertain sound as of some
crne tottering on the stairs. Opening
the door she discerned the figure of
her husband coming wearily up, step
by step, but oh, so slowly. Soon she
had him clasped in her arms. No
ineed for him to repeat the sad story
of failure again; she knew it when
he touchied her cheek with his cold
"Where is Harry?" were the first
words he spoke after regaining his
breath, for he was quite exhausted
by the exertion of mounting the
"He's gone out, dearest; I couldn't
stop him. Mary cried for something
to eat, and the little fellow rushed
out. determined to do something.
Don't be frightened, Hugh, God will
take care of him, and of us, too. We
must not hide our trouble from your
aunt any longer; it isn't justice to
Where, meantime, was little Harry,
and what was his object in visiting
the great publishing louse of Yord &
Company? Looking at the huge,
seven-story building, with all its win
dows ablaze with light, you would
wonder what purpose the child had in
Nearly a year before, Mary Der
went, when the beginning of their
troubles had come, had mailed a
story to the Manhattan Magazine, en
tering the competition for a prize of
$500, which had been offered. Mary
Derwent. in her happier days, had
w ritten verse which had been accept
ed and published. The prospect of
coming trouble had stimulated her,
as it has many another, to literary
effort, in the hope of giving her fam
ily the helping hand. Poverty had
knit this little family into a closer
and more intimate union than ordi
narily exists in families, and they
had talked things over together, but
long since Mary had ceased to won
der about her story, giving it up for
The thought of it came as an in
spiration to small Harry, and he
meant to beg money for the story;
that was his errand. "Surely,"
thought the child, "the good editor
will buy it if he knows how hungry
we all are."
Harry's tired little feet at last
reached the large building where the
Manhattan Magazine was published,
and through his earnest solicitation
he was admitted to the editorial
rooms, where he told his errand.
After some questioning, he was in
formed that Mary Derwent's story
had won the first prize, and as she
had sent no address except "City,"
they had forwarded the check to the
general delivery office.
It was so far to the post office, but
that letter would buy bread, so Harry
trudged bravely on. At last he was
there. There were two letters, one
for his father. lie clutched them
tightly in his thin, small hand and
started for home. How far it was!
If he could juist hold out to get
there! A pain came in his head and
everything turned dark around him,
despite the electric lights.
There was an elegant gentleman
sauntering leisurely along, looking
almost bored by the mere fact of ex
istence. Harry stopped a 'moment.
passing his hand over his eyes as if
to clear away the mist, before at
tempting the muddy crossing.
What made ev'erything turn around
so? Suddenly there was an outcry
as a little form went down in the
mud and slush, right in front of a
carriage dashing furiously onward.
A moment more and the cruel hoofs
of the madly driven horses will
trample the brave little life out.
But no. a strong arm clutches
them, and with almost superhuman
strength forces them back on their
haunches as the little child struggles
to his feet. It was the listless gen
tleman, a Mr. Mayo.
"Oh, thank you, sir," gasped Harry.
'Ah. don't mention it, sonny; let
me help you across," and he grasped
the muddy. ragged sleeve in his
daintily gloved hand, and nearly lift
ing the slight form, swung him over
S1he child reeled and would have fail
en, but he caught and held him.
"I can't go on, and they are so hun
gry at home. Please take this letter
to mother---1 can't see."
The gentleman signaled a hack and
lifted Harry in, taking a seat beside
"Now, where do you live?" he in
Harry roused sufficiently to give di.
rections, but immediately sank back
Mr. Mayo suddenly exclaimed, as if
a thought had struck him which was
There Were Two Letters, One for His Father.
"1 believe the boy is starving," and
he stopped the hacK in front of a res
taurant and ordered a glass of milk,
a glass of sherry and some brandy
and water, the only things he could
thi k of just then.
'1 • hackman said, dryly:
"Ihat ain't no fitten stuff fur folks
wh:t's starvin'! The milk'll do, but
bread and meat's whut he needs."
"Well, bring them," and a generous
supply was brought forth.
A slow smile dawned on the face
of the gentleman -as the child ate.
"Ah, what a remarkable appetite!
I feel surfeited myself just watching
Harry's appetite appeased, they
Mr. Mayo scanned the addresses on
the letters which he had taken.
"Mary Derwent-sounda familiar,
They arrived at the mean tenement,
and Harry asked Mr. Mayo upstairs.
"For mother will want to thank
you," he said.
"I don't care for thanks, but I
wopld like to see the owner of that
naae--must be someone I have
"Mother!" called Harry, "oh,
mother, I bring good news. Here's
money; your story won first prize,
and here's a kind gentleman who
saved me from being run over. Now
Mary and all can have something to
Mr. and Mrs. Derwent could not
realize the sudden transition from
despair to hope. They sat as if
dazed. Mr. Derwent came forward
at last, and in a broken voice tried to
speak his thanks.
"Why. haven't you a light?" in
quired Mr. Mayo.
"Oh, sir," said Harry, who had re
sived wonderfully since eating, "we
bad no money to buy anything."
Mr. Mayo stared. He had never
come in contact with poverty before.
"Here, take my purse and get light
and, ah-something to eat."
Mr. Derwent was again thanking
him, while Mrs. Derwent was weep
ing tears of joy and thankfulness.
"God sent you to save my childretm
from starvation. This evening I
begged for bread, begged it, and the
laker refused me. But what
wouldn't a woman do for her chil
Harry soon came back with a light
and a basket of food and handed the
purse back to Mr. Mayo.
"I only took enough for to-night,
for mother has money, now."
Mr. Mayo emptied the purse on the
bed, where Mrs. Derwent was already
feeding little Mary, who ate raven
The mother had less to eat than
any, but, mother-like, thought of self
Mr. Mayo bowed himself out, prom
ising to call on the morrow, silently
wondering that he, of all others,
should be the one to play P'rovidence
t(. a poor family.
The second letter which IIarry
brought proved to be an urgent invi
tation from Mr. Derwent's aunt in
the country for him and his family
to spend New Year's with her, the
second day from this. How gladly
they left the close, comfortless roonm
for the spacious old farmhouse
among the hills!
The day was glorious, the air'
balmy as if Indian summer had come.
When they reached the home sta
lion and crowded into the large fam
ily carriage, she threw wide the wit
dows to let in the golden sunlight
and health-giving breeze from t'ie
Was ever a day more royal than
Mr. Mayo. having called to see
the Derwents- the day previous, Mrs.
Derwent took the liberty, in her
great happiness, to invite him oat,
too. presented himself, to his own
and her astonishment, as they wire
going out to dinner in the la're,
hlandsome old dining-room.
- There was just enough frost. in the
air to make the wood fire acceptable,
yet the musk roses looked saucily in
at the wide windows and nodded a
welcome, while large vases full of
flowers breathed out their hearts in
The crowning event of the day
came when Mr. Derwent was giving
a second helping to turkey. The dear
old aunt announced that, as he would
be her heir, it was his duty to remain
there and keep up his property; she
was tired of living without children
in the house. "And what is more, I'm
not going to any longer," she de
clared with emphasis.
"Ah, Mrs. Derwent," said Mr. Mayo,
after dinner, as he swung lazily in a
hnammock under a large oak tree. "I
found outi why your name sounded so
-ah, familiar; there was a little mis
take. My cousin wrote a story for
that competition, and took a fancy
to sign her name 'Mary Derwenl.'
having heard it somewhere. perhaps.
She told me about it and-"
"Then it was her story in:teand o
mine which won the prize?"
"Her story was called 'Evelyn,' C
"That accounts for it; the litlter
that contained the check said 'Ew'lyn.
by Mary) DIerwent.' Mine was 'Evan
geline.' but I thought they had made
"Ah, quite a coincidence," said Mr.
Mayo, "but you shan't lost' by it."
"I can't lose now. llHad liHarry not
gone to the post office, hie would nii:
lave met yvt'um. and had you not suc
cored uis at that critical time we
would have died, and but for the
check we could not have come oun
"So you stole your New Year's,
Mary," said her aunt, as e hl shool,
her fat sides in laughter, "but the
heir to 'Pinelands,' your farme hius
band (as he is to be), can easily re
Would you believe that that gay
young fellow driving the cows fr"mz
the pasture with Harry, helping litIti
Mary make mud pies, swingirg ti:
haby in the hammock, peeling pot:a
toes with a checked aprorn n,. wae
the danldy who stood at the s.reet
crossing with his cane in hi. mouth,
almost refuting the statement that
"God made man in His own image?'
Well, he in the identical young
swell, who has been out at Pineland,
several weeks, and says he intend)
staying there several more.
"In fact, Mr. DI)erwent," he said, "I
am in love with Pinelands, and I in
tend you shall adopt me as a brother.
Let me put my money in improve
ments on the plantation, and instead
of making 'ducks and drakes' of my
capital, I'll buy ducks and drakes and
quit making a goose of myself."
Soon he gave the world "assurance
of man."-Ladies' World, New York.