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8 THE ROCK ISLAND AIIGTIS. - . MARCH 1010.
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v in?r 'i a S Bv Isabel! Gordon Curtis. 0) iwaimfihU- wJt '
By Jennie S. Houston
ONCE I dtived out with 'my pa
Where theiBrices Jives, an' mi,,
We took her along with us.
Showed her what-the country wus,
Boy out there, hts name is Jim,
No one I like more'n him;
He knows everything they is.
"Guess I understand my bis,"
Said he wondered if I need
Any good popcorn-ball seed.
Some he knowed was good to plant;
First got his start from his aunt
In a cup.
Jim. he gi-e me twenty grains,
Said to plant it 'fore it rains.
An' the balls would be, he said,
'Most as big as my pa's head
Willie Smith I bet you he
'LI be a-wantin' seed from me.
When he sees 'em on the stalls
In our yard, he'll talk and talk.
By Margaret Mills.
PEGGY and Polly and Phyllis and Pru
Decided one dav to establish a Zoo.
Peg had a kitten and "olly a dog,
Prue a tame pigeon and Phyllis a frog;
And then. Cousin Bob had' a pair of white mire
Which they knew he would1 loan, if they asked for
They got Grandma's parrot, and Georgie Brown's
And they bought a big eel, which served as a snake.
The yard was all fixed for this famous display.
And they asked all their friends, for the "Opening
All went well till Miss Puss saw the mice in their cage.
And she fiew at the bars in a terrible rage;
And Georgie Brawn's drake ate up, Phyllis' frog,
Who sat sleepily sunning himself on a log.
And Polly's dog, Tobey, set up a great wail
For the parrot had caught and was biting his tail.
And Prue's little pigeon got friglrtcned when she
Saw "Mr. Eel Snake," and flew up in a tree.
And the "Zoo," that was planned with such trouble
By the quarrelsome pets was disbanded right there,
And Peggy and Polly and Phyllis and Prue
Sat right down and cried, now what else could they do?
THE POT AND THE KETTLE.
t By Sara C. Hctnzerling.
I HE dinner was over the dishes were done
A The pots and the pans put aside but the one
When the busy housewife was called for in haste,
And leaving the kitchen she hurriedly placed
This pot, which belonged on a low cupboard shelf.
And the kettle, which always had stood by itself
On the back of the range. 4 side by side on the taWe,
And thereby arose the theme of this fable.
The kettle looked 'round with a frown and a hiss.
And scornfully murmured, "Dear me! How is this?
The madam for once clearly shows for a fact
That she is lamentably wanting in tact.
By thoughtlessly forcing one of ray set
To equally mingle with vessels of jet
This frsak of hers surely is silly and strange
She ought to have put me back on the range."
The pot. deeply wounded in spirit and pride,
Looked straight at the kettle and thus it replied:
"Pray, what is the difference, may I inquire,
To be on the range, o'er the very same fire.
Each boiling away as fast as we're able.
Or quietly sitting here on the table?
I confess I myself am too stupid to see
Just wherein the difference really may be." . .
Then, with much condescension and many a hiss.
The kettle replied, ."Sir. the diif'rence is this
Though we sit side by side, quite often 'tis true.
Just as different classes in churches oft do,
And frequently meet in a business relation.
We each occupy a different station
For I, as you know, keep the clear water hot.
While yon well, you're only a black dinner-pot."
"Therefore, it's presumptuous for you to expect
To move as an equal among the select
Set of utensils to which I belong; 0
And believe me, dear sir, that I do you no wrong
When, like people of culture, I draw the line- tight.
And decline to be more than "just barely polite,
On occasions like this, when '1 find Iam thrown
In your company, sir, by'no'wish of my own."
The pot. greatly angered, now stood on its mettle.
And boldly responded, "My dear Mistress Kettle,
Though you're far above me in beauty and station,
Yonr manners are bad and. you lack penetration,
If you've lWed to your age and have yet to find
That tho truly great are both gentle and kind,
When and wherever they, chance to be thrown
With people of different spheres f roaa their own."
EXT door to us, when I was a little girl, lived
the HolbrooTc twins. They had a big, hand
boae with a srteat attic, which made
a wonderful raioy-day. play-house We walked to and
from school' together," we studied together, we read
together, and shared the swets. the interests of
schoolgirls.. Zoe .liolbrookiand I were. constant com
panions, Martha 4 and nogr. sister Sudie --were inseparable.
Every year after; Christmas we used to save our
pennies and watch eagerly, till Mr. SHaw, the old
bookseller in Bath, took the, pencils, ink bottles and
boxes of paper from his . window,, that he might fill
it with valentines. Whoever reached Shaw's first and
fom" the valentines, gave wch a whoop it could
have been heard at the" schoolhonse. One year the
February I was ten I ' .remember we girls "found the
valentines at Shaw's. There were gorgeous valentines
with white doves carrying. gold-lettered verses in their
beaks, graceful ladies and gentlemen walking in splen
did gardens violets -and roses, and the plumpest and
pinkest of little cupids.
"They will all be sold long before Valentine Day,
whispered Zoe to me, "I am going to have the first
pick this afternoon. Which one do you like best,
I decided on a lace paper valentine with rosy cu
pids smiling through a forget-me-not wreath. Sudie
chose a magnificent lord and lady dancing a minuet.
Sadie's and my little purses were empty. It had
been a hard winter and few pennies had ome our
way. That night when we asked father for some val
entine money he looked grave for a minute. "I'm
sorry, little daughters." he said, "but I don't know
where valentine pennies are coming from this year.
You need shoes, and I'm finding it hard work to pay
for fcod and fire, even."
Sudie and I stared at the logs blazing in the fire
place. We didn't wish father to see our disappoint
"I'm always ready to share up with my little girls,
he said slowlv; "this winter, though, there isn't much
to share up but the plainest living." He laid his rough
' hand caressingly on Sudie's head.
"Wc don't want any old valentines, father," cried
Sudie, while she threw her arms impulsively about
his neck. "We can make them ourselves."
"I'll help you," said mother, "there's lots of stuff
in the house that can be used for valentines."
What secrets there were in the co:y living-room
every evening until the 13th of February! Zoe and
Martha were not invited in as had been the custom,
and there was always an excuse ready when they asked
us to run over after supper to the Holbrook house.
Their valentines were many and splendid. A hard win
ter meant nothing to them; their father was a wealthy
Two days before the fourteenth of February, our
valentines were finished. Mother had painted the
most graceful of rose and violet garlands, the most
lifelike of snowy doves and splendid gold and scar
let hearts. She cut tissue paper with a fine embroid
ery scissors till, as Sudie said, it looked like real point
lace. We had pretty valentines for all of our school
mates, but there were two we thought marvelous
they were for Zoe and Martha.
How impatiently we did wait that Valentine Day for
the darkness to fall ! Zoe, Martha, Sudie and I,
warmly bundled from head to foot, waded through the
snow-drifts with the valentines inside our coats. All
the boys and girls from the North End were over in
the South End playing the postman, while the boys
and girls of the South End waited for us indoors,
peering from darkened windows. With shouts and
laughter, we went floundering through drifts, nf'-r
each exciting rush up a doorstep, to drop a valen :
and ring the belL
We were almost too excited at supper-time to eat.
So mother excused us quickly then we flew to a dark
window in the hall where we could 'look straight into
the Holbrook dining-room. Zoe and Martha lost their
mother in babyhood, so their grandmother lived with
them. We saw the old lady bustle into the dining
room. The maid followed her with a silver teapot,
then came Zoe and Martha, rosy and excited. We
waited to see the girls tuck their. napkins under their
chins, then Sudie and I took our valentines and went
flying through the 4 snow to the Holbrook house. We
tiptoed up on the': piszza and lifted the flap of the
letter-box. The valentines dropped on the floor, then
Sudie gave the bell a tremendous pull. We heard h
jangling after we reached our own yard, and stood
hidden behind the big double-trunked elm. Zoe and
Martha peered out into the darkness. We watched them
rush into the : dining-room. Supper stood umasted
while they bent their heads over our valentines. Then
mother called ns in to get' warm.
Half an hour later mother had darkened the front
part of the house and Sudie. and I, wrapped in little
shawls, sat half-way up the broad, old-fashioned stair.
We looked through the fan-light into the front yard.
A splendid moon had come out, although '-the wind
still shrieked fitfully. Dozens of boys and girls from
the South End lifted the big knocker before eight
o'clock. We had a pile of valentines, bigger than
Sudie and I had ever received.
Once for ten minutes there was silence, not a laugh
or a shout in the quiet street, not a shadow against
the snow. Then I felt my arm pinched. x
"It is Martha," said Sudie, in an excited whisper.
"And Zoe," I added. .
The girls stole up the garden path. The Vnocker
went rat-tat-tat through the still house, and we rushed
to the door. Sudie had almost opened it, when a
blast of wind rapped it shut in her face. We pulled
with all our might. Zoe and Martha had disappeared.
There were no valentines on the doorstep. Father
brought out a lantern, then we found two white en
velopes tucked under the mat. Sudie's name was
printed on one. She picked it up and flew with it into
the living-room. I had not opened my valentine, when
I heard a cry from Sudie. She bent her head upon
her arms. On the table beside her lay an ugly valen
tine. It pictured a hideous creature with a flying
mop of fiery-red. hair. Poor Sudie. she had but one
grief 1 Her hair was so red that rude boys in school
called her "carrots." Father's hand patted the red
"Don't you care, sweetheart." he said. "It was some
young scalawag who doesn't know better. I wish I'd
caught him." he added furiously.
. "It wasn't a boy," I cried in a blaze of fury. These
valentines came from Zoe and Martha."
"Oh, no," said mother, "the girls would never do
such a thing."
"We saw them," sobbed Sudie; "nobody else was
I opened my envelope. A grinning creature met my
eyes. She was toeing in just as I did.
"There," I screamed, passionately, "yesterday when
Zoe and Sudie and Martha and I came home from
school. Zoe walked ahead of us. trying to make her
toes meet as she says mine do. We thought it aw
fully funny; even old Doctor Dodd, who was. driv
ing past, laughed. It isn't funny now." I carried the
hideous valentine to the fireplace and laid it on the
burning logs. It did not blaze so hotly as did my an
ger." "You fcirls are tired out," said our gentle mother;
"come to bed."
She helped us to undress just as she used to do
when we were five years old. She brushed our hair
and bent to kiss Sudie's red locks while she tied
a ribbon at the end of each thick braid. Father came
in after we were in bed to kiss us good-night. We
lay quiet, except when Sudie's sobs broke the still
ness. I was too angry to cry-
"You don't suppose, Lettice," she whispered once,
"you don't suppose anybody else sent those?"
"Of course net. Our nar.ics were printed exactly
as Zoe and Martha print on their valentines. Be
sides wc saw them corne right un the steps."
"Oh, dear!" cried Sudie, "oh, dear! I didn't think
Martha would have done such a thing. She always
tried to comfort me about my hair. She said it was
auburn not red at all. Oh, dear!"
"I'll never, so long as I live, speak to Zoe or Martha
again," I whispered. "You promise the same thing."
She promised between her sobs. Wc were still ly
ing wideawake when the old clock on the stairs struck
As we passed the Holbrook house next morning cm
our way to school, Zee and Martha came rubhing
after us with a shout. Zoe was tugging one arm into
her coat as she always did. She never was ready on
time. Sudie and I walked on quickly without turn
ing our heads.
"Girls," cried Zoe, "wait; we're coming."
She reached us breathlessly and threw her arms
about my waist. I turned and looked at her. She
gazed straight into my eyes. We did not speak. I
took Sudie's hand in mine and we turned to go, stum
bling through the snow to the' opposite side of the
"Sudie, what is the matter?" cried Martha shrilly,
as we left them behind.
The school-bell began to ring, and we had to hurry.
Neither Sudie nor I had our lessons. We were kept
in for recess. The girls stood in chattering groups
in the hall. We knew every school-book bulged with
valentines. Martha and Zoe seemed to have no in
terest in the valentine display. They stood staring
through a window into the snow-drifted playground.
The coasting, skating, snowballing, and merry even
ings which always made the long Maine winters pass
cheerily, seemed suddenly to have lost their charm.
Sudie and I chose two other friends from the school
girls, but they could not take the places of Zoe and
Martha. We passed each other now without turn
ing our heads.
One day late in March, Zoe stood close to my desk
talking to the teacher. She was saying good-by; this
was their last day in school. I heard her tell Miss
Morse that her father had sent for Martha and her
to sail with him on a long voyage. We walked home
slowly. In front of us was a group of girls hovering
about Zoe and Martha. There was great excitement
over their going away. I did not dare to look at
Sudie. I knew tears were dropping on her old brown
Mother looked grave when we told her about the
closing of the Holbrook house. "It seems to me as
if you girls ought to make up and say good-by," she
"I shan't say good-by to either of them, "I cried.
"Letty's right, mother," said father. "It is the girls'
place to come here if there is making up to be done."
We watched every preparation for going away,
trunks being carried to the depot and callers com
ing and going. At last a carriage drove up to the
Holbrook house, and the girls got in with their grand
mother. It turned down the road to the depot. Sudie
and I ran wildly down the garden path out into the
"Good-by, good-by," we called.
The carriage was turning the street corner, but Zoe's
handkerchief waved she had seen us.
It was the first of May before winter ended that
year. Crocuses and .-snow drops pushed small green
caps through the black earth in sunny corners of the
yard, but in shadowed places and on the face of the
high banking at the front of the house lay gray rem
nants of snowdrifts. Sudie and I took pride in the
garden, and we searched eagerly one bright Satur
day for crimson peony points and green lfly tips,
which ought to be finding their way up to the sun
shine. "You girls bring rakes," father said, "and clear
away the leaves from the lawn and flower-beds.
There won't be any more frosts now. I'U help you
as soon as I get this old snowdrift on the bankin'
We set to work. The fresh spring air made one
feel like singing as the birds did in the budding
branches of the great elm.
"Lettice, Sudie!" cried father suddenly.
We ran down the bankin' to where he stood among
chunks of dirty ice and snow. He pointed with his
pick at two letters which lay on the frozen ground.
They were pulpy and begrimed, still we could read in
large letter printed with violet ink, "Sudie." "Let
tice." We picked them up with trembling fingers. The
envelopes had long been soaked apart, and they
dropped off in our hands. Inside lay the faded glories
of the valentines Sudie and I had picked out from the
display in Shaw's window three months ago.
Sudie and I sat up late that night All the love all
the rernorse and contrition that pens could tell were
cu- 4.AA; i isfi . r . sw wm m i . t . m .as i
poured into letters for Zoe and Martha. On Monday
morning father went to Captai.tolbrooks lawyer to
find the first stopping-place of Tac "Kennebeck," the
I 1 , - 0 r - . .
vessel on which Zoe and Martha were making the
t? u wil1 catch theTn at Gibraltar." said Lawyer Ger
rish, "if you mail a letter right away. You may hear
from them by the first of July."
July brought no answer. The long hot summer
wore on to the fall, yet there came no token that
WC j61" forgiven or even remembered. The winter
closed down on us the long. cold, unbroken winter
of Down East. Sudie and I haunted the post-office
till we said, despairingly: "Zoe and Martha will never
One day the next June I was tying up a rosebush,
.COPYRIGHT. BY. THE CENTURY .COldPAXV.
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which had grown heavy with blossoms, when mother
came home after an errand down the street. She
handed me an envelope. It held the letter we had
sent to Gibraltar. It had returned unopened. We
wrote another letter and enclosed the first one, a
year old, also something Sudie and I had spent win
ter evenings in making two splendid valentines. Be
fore the letter was sealed we added some pink roses
from our porch and a heavy-headed yellow rose from
a superb bush in he Holbrook yard which always
thrust its blossoms, through our fence.
"Send your letter to Australia to await the arrival
of-the 'Kennebeck,' " advised Lawyer Gerrish. "The
Holbrooks will , get there sometime in February."
Mails traveled slowly in those days. It was worth
waiting however, fcr the letters, covered with Aus
tralian stamps, which came for Sudie and me in the
late summer. They held the gladness of forgiveness,
the joy of a friendship made whole again, the anti
cipation of a meeting. The "Kennebeck" was coming
home, the Holbrook house would be opened, and the
old happy life would begin again. We sent letters to
each port where the "Kennebeck" was due, during
months to come, letters filled with simple village news,
school gossip, everything there was to tell. Zoe and
Martha covered sheets and sheets of filmy paper with
the story of their travels.
Sudie and I were sitting on the little porch with it3
shadowing honeysuckle one hot afternoon in August.
A boy ran up the street. We heard him shout, "The
'Kennebeck's' in. She wharfed half an hour ago."
Sudie and I dashed bareheaded down the street. At
the corner we met a carriage. It was driving quickly.
We caught a glimpse inside of Captain Holbrook. He
locked old and worn. We turned back; the carriage,
old and empty, was leaving the Holbrook yard when
we ran past our little brown house.
Old Emma, the housekeeper at Holbrook's, was
opening shutters on the front porch.
"Can Zoe see me soon?" I cried breathlessly.
Emma turned her kind old- face toward me. The
tears had made long furrows on her plump, rosy
cheeks. I thought she would never answer me. "Zoe
will never see you again." A sob broke her voice.
"Zoe will never " I stopped and turned to look
at Sudie. She was staring at me with a frightened
Emma's voice broke once or twice with sobs while
she told the story. "Zoe's been struck blind in the
glare o' the Pacific Ocean. She's lyin' up there"
she pointed to Zoe's room with its shuttered windows,
"as white an' still ac death. The captain turned the
ship home as fast as it would go. They stopped at
San Francisco an took her to a great doctor there.
so he said. Take her home as quick as you can.' "
Zoe blind! We ''id not speak. Old Emma went in
and closed the dor. We crept home through the
blinding sunshine. It seemed a journey miles long,
back to the shadow of the porch and its green honey
suckles. Sadie tried to comfort me while I sat un
heeding in the wide old rocking-chair. It was not at
the white, hot dusty street I sat staring. I seemed to
see a little girl, rosy-cheeked, with bright eyes and
flying curls, a little impatient girl with her jacket
half on, floundering through the snowdrifts and cry
ing cheerily: "Wait for me Lettice. Please wait for
me. Ill catch op with you in a second." Then she
dashed after another girl, flinging her arm about her
waist The other girl turned upon her with cold in
dignant eyes and a freezing glance which seemed to
. . . . . j .
kl!I a naPPT friendship
"T 1 - J 1 ..11 11 j f.
Zoe loves you dearly still," cried Sudie, brokenly.
"You know it."
Two days later Martha came to see us a new
Martha sad and wan, whose voice broke into sobs
while she tried to say comforting words. She brought
a little box which I opened slowly. "These were little
things Zoe gathered for you, Lettice," she said. "She
was thinking of you everywhere we went. I don't
know when you can see her, ss s!ie told me to bring
these across and tell you she loves you very, very
'"CHerr wacrflt nun In our -town
.And he was wondrou wise
He jumped ' into a bramble bush
.At! scratched out both his eyea .
And when he sow his eyes were oui .
.wrm ail ms might Ana mnin
He jumped into another bush
Vnd scratched fhem. in eo'EX- J
I lifted each little gift with trembling fingers and
wet them with my tears. There was a coral ring, a
necklace of strange brown lava beads, a book or two,
a small sandalwood fan, and a portait of Zoe taken
"She is longing and pleading to see you," said Mar
tha, "but the doctor in San Francisco says she isn't to
be excited. Father went to New York today. A
specialist is coming back with him to sec Zoe's eyes.
Nobody thinks there is any hope but father won't
Next morning Emma came flying through the
yard. "Lettice, come!" she cried. "The doctor wants
I followed her with feet that seemed- to be wings
through the side entrance up the stairs almost to
Zoe's door. A man with kind eyes and . white hair
stood at the stairs' head.
"Can you be very quiet and brave?" he asked.
I nodded gravely. He laid a hand on my shoul
der and his steady gaze seemed to go straight into my
"Follow me," he 9aid.
I left the sunlight for darkness I seemed to grope
through, but across it I heard an eager, joyful call:
"Lettice, Lettice, hAe you come at last?" I caught a
small, wandering hand which was searching for mine,
then I dropped on my knees beside the bed.
"Zoe," I whispered, "dear, dear Zoe."
I cannot tell you how those August days fled and
then September and October. Almost every hour of
them I spent beside Zoe's bed. Our friendship be
came knitted into a love so close, so warm, a protec
tion so tender that it seemed to fM all my life. Sudie
and Martha took up their old girlhood friendship, but
ours was different. I became Zoe's eyes and staff,
her playmate, companion, confidant through the long
One day the white-haired doctor called me out oa
the veranda. "Tomorrow we take Zoe to New York
to my hospital," he said. "There is one chance, one
very deiicate operation which may give her back eye
sight I car.'t go through it without you." His voice
grew low and kindly. "Ycu will need more bravery
than has been called fur jet Do you think you can
go with us?"
Of course I went
The days ler.jthened into months in the darkened
room of the hospital but at last it was over. One
day they lifted the bandage from Zoe's eyes and I
locked down into them. Ia the twilight of the room
I could see the gladness that came with a rosy flush
into her wan little face.
"Oh, thank God! I can see." she cried, "I can see
the light and all of you."
It was Valentine's Day agairj before our home-coming;
for there were m;n:!ii cf convalescence in a
darkened rocm. "The chili shall not go hon:c until
she is perfectly well," scid ti.e eld doctor whom we
had grown to love end trust.
What a hcmc-comi.-. that was! Nearly all the
girls in town were waiting to ice the train roll in.
How they hugged and kissed us and clung to ui! Tiic
streets were adrift with snow. Maine wirjers, yen
know, arc Icr.g snd fierce, Lut nothing ever icemei 1.9
bcautift:l as ti.ct snow, end no muiic to sweet a t';e
j ingle-jangle cf the s!ei2'n-bei!s.
Zoe clutched my arm ezzerly v:'kt w; swung
around the corner into Maine street ''Oh, Lellice,"
she cried, with a Joyoas laugh. "What 4o you thir.kl
The valentines have goce into Shaw's wfudowl"