Newspaper Page Text
' 'If '
STILL, retain Its
Because I read It
tt ran like this, when
It came to me from
Twas "writ" with
bright red Ink, I
And right a h o v e
n nnlr nf hearts
Were pierced by knives of some queer kind,
wmen mny means lur v.ujjiu a uaiw.
Mr jcn cm: ivciovedjouAWfuti naRt
THtf Fore IHIS KM ive mAde no we
ut nowjou'il see py Itiis shah cmd
m your own mew YoIemijv
Ah. how I laughed until I cried
O'er Billy's sentimental screed;
Tho' well I knew the loyal pride
That lay behind Its Ill-spelled creed.
Had he not battled for me well,
When once a spiteful boy had said
e missed and I the word did spell
My golden locks wcro "fiery red?"
'.nd had he not true-hearted boy
Saved up his pence to buy a treat,
And then with quaint, transparent loy.
Laid down the treasure at my feet?
Tls truo I scorned his snubby" nose,
His freckles and his warty hands;
ills odd, old-fashioned, homo-made clothes
Ills senile mien at my commands.
And with a girl's strange wayward whim,
Behind my checkered pinafore,
I joined In making sport of him.
Because myself ho did adore.
Toor Billy! years have come and gone
Slnco last I gazed Into your eyes.
And saw, like some poor wounded fawn.
Your look of anguish and surprise.
And I have roamed 'mid scenes afar,
Have quaffed life's cup unto the lees;
And on my heart Is many a scar
Of woundlngs made by hate's decrees.
And oft I wonder, after all.
If with that little blotted line
That lies beneath time's somber pall,
I did not lose "My Valentine."
Bosa Pearlc, In Chicago Tribune.
:Y nil ericd
everyone of the
Bells, from Peggy,
who was 1C, down
to Kufus (who war
six, and despised a
crybaby), v h e 11
old Mr. Pigeon
moved away. lie
"was such a tried and trusty friend, and,
if he wns CO, such a congenial compaii
. ion. He was always ready to go fishing
or coasting with the boys, or to take
"the girls to drhe; although he was a.
bachelor and lived alone, and had n
double carriage and the largest sleigh
on Pippin Hill because he had bo
Unrge a heart, Peggy said. He knew as
much about the vv ild things in the wood
os "The Hunter's Own Hook," nnd on
n rainy day or when one had the mumps
or the measles he would tell stories
ly the dozen stories that were worth
telling, too, for he had been " 'round thr.
.world and home again," and knew all
there was to know about cannibals and
"buccaneers and wild men, nnd all such
distinguished and interesting people.
It happened that the only houses on
the tip-top of Pippin Hill were the Bel
fry (I suppose the Hells' house may have
treccived that name because Papa Hell
ulwaysspokcofhlschildrcn as his "small
fry;" anyway, that is what everyone
in Bloomsboro' called it) nnd the old
l'igeon house, which had belonged to
this Mr. Pigeon's grandfather. The
liouses backed up to each other, and
-there was a mutual backward fence,
o, of course, it was ery desirable that
the neighbors should be friendly nnd
congenial; more than this, there was
.a mutual apple tree. The gnarled old
"high-top sweeting" was directly on
the boundary line between the two es
tates, and the mutual fence had been
cut in two to make space for it. Its
branches were low and spreading, in
replte of its high top, and they spread
very impartially over the Hells' smooth
lawn nnd over Mr. Pigeon's orchard,
.nnd dropped their delicious fruit early,
the first bvvect apples that there were
.almost as evenly as if it were measured
.on each of their owners' land. The
only difference wns that the August
sunshine lay longer upon Mr. Pigeon'e
nldc, so the first red nnd yellow, mellow
and juicy apples dropped upon his or
chard grass and he tossed them up
to Christine in her seat in the low
crotch of the tree, the seat that he had
made for her.
It was Christine who thought the
most of Mr. Pigeon and he of her, bu
. cause they both lind u twist, Christine
mill. She would .always speak of her
trouble cheerfullyeven jokingly. You
oould scarcely have thought tliut she
minded it nt all; it wns a spinal weak
ness which had bowed her shoulders and
twisted her head to one side. The
others' didn't mind much when Chris
tine was left out of things; they were
n rough, merry set, but Mr. Pigeon
had always remembered hex. His
twist was in one of his legs; he had to
wear an uncomfortable iron boot, mid
walked with a queer, sideways mo
tion. When Becky, who was 11 and wns
called the Bloomsboro' Budget, because
she carried all the news, came home
with the dreadful intelligence that Mr.
Pigeon was going to movo away, no
one would believe It.
"In the first place, it's too dreadful
to be true, and In the next place he
would have told us," Bald Peggy.
But it really proved to be true. Mr.
Pigeon's sister his own sister! had
gone to law to obtain a share of her
grandfather's estate, which ho had
failed to bequeath to her because she
had gone contrary to his wishes iu
some way, and the only share that she
would have was that old estate on
Pippin nil). Perhaps the law might
force her to take something else as
her share, since he had held posses
sion there so long; but she was IHtty,
and he should give it up to her. That
was whnt Mr. l'igeon said in answer
to the Indignant remonstrances of the
Bells. She was Hitty; that was all
he would say; perhaps it wasn't much
of a reason, but the Bells understood.
We all know what it is to give up things
to people just because they are Iky
or Polly or John.
So it happened that the Bells' dear
Mr. Pigeon went away to n little house
that he owned down nt PcquanketMillx
nnd Miss Mehitable Pigeon came to livo
at the old place on Pippin Hill nnd
owned half of the high-top sweeting
And the very first thing she did
it was September when she came was
to threaten to have Tommy Hell ar
rested, because when he shook their
side of the tree her side shook too, nnd
she said the top of the tree leaned to
ward their side and more apples fell
there, so when the npples were picked
and divided she must have an extra
bushel. She threatened to have their
yellow kitten drowned because he
scampered after the flying leaves in her
gaiden, and, she did have their cross
gobbler killed because it ran after her
ted morning gown, as a gobbler will,
you know, nnd gobbled at her. He
wasn't much loss, and she sent him home
plucked nnd dressed, with the message
that she should have eaten him if she
had not feared he would be tough.
She complained that Becky's peacock
squawked nnd Dicky's guinea pigs
squeaked, and the vane on their stable
had "a rusty squeak" that kept her
nwake nights; and if one of the little
Bells mounted the fence she came out
and "shooed" him oft" ns if he were n
Christine, who was Inclined to look on
the bright side and to think well of every
one, said that she would probably grow
better when they got better acquainted,
and she gave Tommy niid little Hufus
five cents each not to use their bean
slingers over the fence or make faces
through the knothole.
But Instead of growing better their
new neighbor grew w orse. She had the
mutual fence built up ten feet high,the
had the branches of the sweeting tree
lopped oif where they interfered with
the fence, and Christine's seat thrown
down to the ground to roughly that it
was broken. She said she had let peo
ple impose upon her all her life, and she
vasn't going to any more.
PapaBell, who was nn easy man nnd
absorbed in his business, said he sup
posed that so many children and squtak-
lug things did make them troublesome
neighbors; but he thought they should
have to remonstrate with Miss Pigeon
about the fence, because it took nw ay so
him to wait; she always would believe
that people weic going to be better, and
she knew there must be something good
nbout Miss Pigeon because she looked
like her brother "only the twist
seemed to be in her mind, poor thing!"
It was November when Christines
scat was thrown out of the tree, so she
could not have used it any more that bea
bonanyway;nndwhenanyonenskcdher how she was going to do without it in
the spring, she always answered: ''Per
haps Miss Hitty will be good by that
time." But that transformation dldn t
uecm in the least likely to anyone else.
She never forgot that Mr. Pigeon had
unid she was Hitty, though how she
could ever bo Hitty to anybody w as more
than the other young Bells could under
Christine would bow to her, too, and
bmile, shyly, although Miss Pigeon only
scowled dreadfully In response. Far
more difficult to forgive than their own
wrongs was the injury she had inflicted
Upon her brother. lie wrote to them
doleful letters which showed pluinly
how homesick he was for the good air
and the goodfellowshlp of Pippin Hill.
One of the neighbors who saw him at
Pequnnkct said one would hardly know
him he had "pined away" bo.
After that little Hafus (honorably)
returned the five cents to Christine, be
cause he knew he should yield to the
temptation to make faces through the
Christine turned a little pale when she
heard this nbout Mr. Pigeon, and rhe
put on her thinking cap, Shu couldu't
go to school like the others, she couldn't
go skating; in fact, there were so many
things she couldn't do that it would
have been very dibcouraglng to one who
believes less" firmly thnu Christine did
that things as well as people were going
to be better; but that gave her ulfthe
more time to wear her thinking cap.
And Christine's thoughts were pretty
apt to blossom into deeds some way.
Christine had mado the Christmas
wreaths of evergreen and holly from
their own Pippin Hill woods, nnd she
had sent two beauties to Miss Pigeon,
who had promptly returned them with
the message that she didn't want such
rubbish littering up her house. Now
when they heard that sad news from Mr.
Pigeon she was making valentines. She
had n very dainty knack with both pen
cil and brush, for a 14-j ear-old girl, and
her valentines were more beautiful
than any that could be bought In the
shops, or so the Bloomsboro' young peo
ple all thought.
The fashion of sending valentines
might wane elsewhere, but it always
cried over them. And now she had
flourished 'in Bloomsboro, perhaps be
cause Christine Bell kept it up. She
sent them to the very lust people who
expected to have a valentine to neg
lected old people and forlorn sick peo
ple, to Biddy Maguire, just from the
old country, and "kilt" with homctick
ness, nnd to Antony Burke, the old
miser, for whom no one had a civil
word and who, perhaps, didn't deserve
one. And for every valentine that was
disregarded or thrown impatiently
aside, n dozen made a little warmth and
comfort in a sad heart; for nobody has
yet begun to understand how great is
the day of small things.
Christine was more mysterious than
usual this year about her valentines;
she colored when Peggy baid she would
better send one to Miss Pigeon, but they
never thought she would; they thought
she wns only .sensitive nbout her Christ
mas wreath. When Mr. Pigeon went
away he gave Christine an old desk that
"SHE DIDN'T TAP ME WITH A WAND, SHE SENT ME A VALENTINE."
he had had ever since he was a boy. It
had initials and hearts nnd anchors cut
into It nnd was whittled nt every cor
ner; you would have known if you'd
seen it anywhere that it had belonged
to a boy. But Christine would have it
in her own room; she thought it was
beautiful. It had his boy-letters and
diaries in it, and she had laughed and
found in that old desk material for the
very queerest valentine she had ever
made; and although she liked to share
the fun of making her valentines with
the others, she was a little secretive
What should the paper be but n leaf
from one of the old diaries, one side nil
written over in nn unformed, boyish
hand; nnd this is what was written on
it, the Ink faded by time:
"I cant bare to rite becos hity has the
Fover and 1 cant bare knot to rlto becos
It semes like tellng somboddy. she held
mi hand tlte when she did knot now eny
boddy last nito and 1 did knot let them
send mo to bed the fellers say If she does
dl 1 hav other sisters but they are knot
hlty the fellers do knot understand wen
cnybody sals sho will ewer hav a bo like
our agusta hity sals the Tom Tinker verse
and that meens me as Is roto on the 1st
lecf of this Dlry mi name is Thomas Tlnk
ham Pigeon hlty has gott a Temper but so
hav a Good Monv People and she Is Good
vay Inside and she is hlty and she and 1
will alwys llv together mil i cant uaro 10
rlto eny moro for 1 want to now what the
doktcr sals, they say a feller must be A
Man but wen it Is hlty 1 cant bare"
Here the words became illegiblo on
the old yellow paper; there were blots
and smudges as of tears. Though valen
tines are supposed to be dainty, Chris
tine didn't try to clean it a bit! And or.
the unwritten side, instead"bf painting
nny of her pretty flowers or drawing
hearts or cupids, she only wrote "the
Tom Tinker verse" which Hitty had
lovingly quoted to her brother:
" Tom Tinker's my true love, and I am hli
I'll gang along wl' him his budget to
It certainly was a very queer valcxi-
tine. Christine thought it would prob
ably be returned, even more scornfully
than the Christmas wreath if Miss
Pigeon should guess who bent it and
she would be likely to guess that it
came from the Belfry; for she knew that
her brother had given them many of.
She sent It with fear and trembling,
and she toldione of the others, for the
older ones seemed, in their hearts, to
share the feeling of Tom and little Hu
fus, that the only form of approach to
Miss Pigeon was bean-slinger in hand.
The valentine wasn't returned; but
nothing seemed to come of it. The Bells'
Jnne heard from Miss Pigeon's Jane
that her mistress had neuralgia. One
day after March had come, and a blue
bird had been seen to alight upon the
high-top sweeting tree, ns Christine
ccme along the garden" path there ccnte
a shrill, imperative voice through the
knothole in the fence.
"If you have any more of those
leaves, stuff them through the knot
hole; if you have the whole diary throw
it over the fence."
Of course Christine wasn't going to
do that with the diary that seemed so
precious; but she did send it around to
Miss Pigeon's door by old Jeremy, the
gardener, for none of the boys would
lt was nbout a week after that n man
made, under Miss Pigeon's direction, a
new scat in the crotch of the apple tree
n seat that was delightfully comfort
able for a back that wabn't straight.
Miss Pigeon seemed to know just how.
hen it was finished she went up and
examined It and tried it. Then fclie
called to Christine, who was sitting on
"I'm a cantankerous old woman. I
was born cantankerous," bhe said. "But
there's your heat!"
No one nt the Belfry knew what to
think of Miss Pigeon; it was little Hu
fus' opinion that a good fairy had
tapped her with her wand nnd turned
her into something else, and he was
much disappointed to find, on peeping
through the knothole, that she looked'
just the same.
"It's delightful," Christine said, slow
ly. "But it isn't exactly what I meant
bv the valentine," she added, to her
self. . But a few days after, what Christine
had meant by the valentine really did
happen! Sometimes things that seem
too good to be true do come to pass in
this world. Miss Pigeon mounted the
high buggy in which she drove herself
and wcntdowntoPequankct; when she
came buck Mr. Pigeon was with herl
Tommy discovered it first as they, drove
into the yard and raised a shout. All
the young Bells rushed pell-mell into
the apple tree nnd dropped from its
branches into Miss Pigeon's orchard
even Peggy who was 1G shouting and
laughing nnd crying all together. They
quite forgot Miss Pigeon until her harsh
voico broke into the whirlwind of greet
ings; with all its harshness there wa!s
a queer little quaver in it!
"He's come back and he's going to
stay," she said. "It is he that belongs
here and not I. If you're born with a
cross-grnlned disposition you've got to
get ov er it when you're young or you'll
have to have moro'n a ten-foot fence be
tween you and other people! I'm going
back to nursing people in a hospital
yes, I can, though you wouldn't think it;
niid they like me! There's a doctor I
lu.ow who has invented a new con
her voice really broke now, but she re
covered herself instantly; '"they're
easier to straighten than crooked dis
positions! I'm going to send one here,
and I want her to try it." She nodded
toward Christine, and then she turned
nway suddenly. Little Hufus ran after
her prudently keeping his hand on the
bean-slinger in his pocket. (They had
discovered at an early stage of the ac
quaintance that if Miss Pigeon had a
weakness it was a terror of the bcan-
ullngers.) "Are you really just th,
same? Didn't a good fairy turn yduK
into something else?" he demanded,
Miss Pigeon turned and looked down ,
upon him, her strong features working. '
"Yes, she dkll" she answered, gruffly.'
"Did she tap you with her wandV
pursued little Itufus, eagerly, delighted
with this confirmation of beliefs that
were scorned in his home circle.
"She didn't tap me with a wand,"
said Miss Pigeon; "she sent me a valen
tine!" Sophie Swctt, in N. Y. Inde--
HIS FIRST VALENTINE.
Although a Second-Hand One, He Was la
Hlluful Ignorance of the Fact.
Eight years of age and what a glory
there was in valentines! We had picked
one out. It was ugly green, impossible)
pinks, and other hues too horrible to
imagine. Cupid without clothes stood
iu a snow bank, shooting darts ut a pair
of lovers who billed at the same old
billboard and never seemed to mind
the frigidity of the weather. It cost
seven cents, envelope and stamp three
cents more. In a crabbed hand it was
pent forth upon its delightful mission
and he was at the little rural post
office window to see that it did not go,,
amiss. She smiled and blushed when
the dainty thing was handed to her.
She n misi of seven, with soap curls,;
nnd cheeks as red ns rosy apples. Could
she guess? Not she; she didn't stop to
guess or think, but ran shrieking home
with the cheap nffair hugged to her
baby brrast a missive worth moro
than gold or diamonds; her first valen
tine. And he who sent it he gazed '
after the flying form with a strange
feeling In his heart. He wanted to tell
her all about it. He wanted to tell her
that he was the one who sent it; but ho
was a little man, and he kept the secret
to himself, and asked time and again
at the post office window if there was
nnything for him. The others, his
schoolmates, boys and girls, they found
messages put up In fancy envelopes, all
nicely stamped nnd directed; but there
was none for him.
nis head was not held upright, and .
bis eyes were not bright when he en
tered his home. His mother saw that
something was wrong, and she ques
"I got no valentine. I I sent one,
but but I guess she forgot. And
he went to prepare for supper.
When he sat down to tea a pretty,
dainty valentine wa upon his plate.
"She didn't forget me, mamma! See,
mamma!" he cried, with joy.
And mamma joined In with him but
she did not tell him that she had re
ceived that same valentine yearc before)
he was born. H. S. Keller, in Leslie's
Like Thoie of the Fast.
The valentines of to-day are very
much like the valentines of the past,
for they express the same idea to which
Josh Billings referred in his inimita
ble way: "Luv is the same divine senti
ment no matter how yu spel it." It
is neither the spelling nor the poetry
that captivates the youthful imagina
tion, but the daring expression of affec
tion w hich can be announced in a val
entine, but in no other way. No breach
of promise case has cvef resulted from
the sending of a valentine. Such a prop
osition as this would never be consid
ered in a court of law, although it may
count for much in the court of love:
"My valentine wilt thou be.
Accept this heart so true;
Pray bestow a thought on me,
For I love only you."
Detroit Free Press.
AN CP-TO-DATK VALENTINE.
She's up to date and away beyond.
And many worship at her shrine;
She sent an arrow through my heart
And claims me as her valentine.
Valentine to a Sick Doll.
Dolly, dolly darling I
O, dolly, dolly mine!
They laugh because I tell them
That you are my valentine.
They think that I shall have, dear,
A doll In place of you;
Now, don't be frightened, dolly,
For that's what I'll never do.
I know your nose Is melted;
I know one eye Is gone;
My fatner said this morning
That you really were forlorn.
But that's the very reason
Why you should always be
The very dearest dolly
In the whole round world to me.
If my nose should get broken,
If I looked queer and wild.
Would my mamma exchange me
For another bran-now child?
-Helen Marston, In Our Little Ones.
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