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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, October 31, 1917, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1917-10-31/ed-1/seq-5/

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Our Boys and Girls
HOW THE FLAG WAS WON.
By Emily S. Windsor.
"All the other villages around have a flag
on the schoolhouse," said Joe Mills.
"Yes, but we're always the last place to have
anything," returned his companion, Will Long.
The two boys were sitting on a log by the
brook which threaded its way at the base of the
hill, on top of which was their schoolhouse, a
bare and weather-worn structure.
Joe glanced up at it critically. "A flag there
would show splendidly all over the country,"
he remarked, presently.
"It's a fine place for a flag," agreed Will.
"Say," exclaimed Joe, "I wonder if we
can't have one?"
"How?" asked Will.
"Let's go and see the trustees. Perhaps
they've never thought of it. Maybe they will
buy a flag for us."
"And maybe they won't. You know what
a hard time we had getting those new black
boards last year."
"Will's words proved true. He and Joe
visited the trustees the following day. The
flag was declared to be an unnecessary expense.
"I wish we could raise some money and buy
a flag in spite of them," said Joe, hotly, after
interviewing the last of the trustees.
"We might get up a subscription from folks
for it," suggested Will.
"No, that wouldn't do. You know every
one has given something for the courthouse bell
? and there was a lot of trouble getting that."
The other boys of the school had heard of
Joe's and Will's effort to induce the school
trustees to buy a flag. They were much ex
cited over it, and proportionally disappointed
wrhen they learned of the refusal of the trus
tees.
The following week a new store was opened
in the village. Among the various things dis
played in the window were several American
flags, one of which was quite large and made
of bunting.
Joe and Will, with several other boys,
stopped to admire them one afternoon on their
way home from school.
"Isn't that big one fine!" exclaimed Will.
"It's a beauty, and would be just the thing
for our school," said Joe.
"Why can't we raise the money to buy it our
selves?" asked another boy.
"You just tell us how to raise it and we
will," said Will.
But no one could tell.
"I expect we must just give it up," said Joe,
gloomily.
As the weeks passed by the boys gradually
ceased talking about a flag for the school. And
then their, interest was claimed by the ap
proaching baseball game in the neighboring
village of Trenton. All the boys were anx
ious to see the game. "But it costs a dol
lar to go to Trenton and back, and then it's
fifty cents to get on the ball ground," said
Will.
"I don't suppose any of us will get to go,"
said Joe. "Every one says that money is so
scarce this year."
It was a late and unusually rainy spring,
with the result that by the last week of May
all the streams about the village were over
flowing their banks.
One morning, when Joe and Will reached
school there were but eight or ten other boys
there. And Mr. Bowen, their teacher, was not
there.
"The water is in his house, so, of course,
he won't be here," explained one of the boys.
"The water is in all the houses on the lower
side."
"I am glad that we all live on high ground,"
exclaimed Will.
"There'll be no school today. Let's go
around and see how things look!"
All the other boys followed Joe.
"Let's go down to the mill," suggested Will.
They found that the mill was almost sur
rounded by water and the latter creeping
steadily nearer. The miller, Mr. Smith, looked
up at the boys' approach.
"1 have all these sacks of flour! They will
all be ruined. My men are busy taking care
of their own places."
The boys crowded up to the door and peeped
in.
"The flood came so unexpectedly that no one
is prepared for it. It's twenty-five years since
we had such high water."
"Say," cried Joe, "why can't we help Mr.
Smith carry it upstairs?"
"Of course, we can," shouted Will. "Come
on, boys."
He pulled off his coat, all the others fol
lowing his example.
"Good!" cried the miller. He looked great
ly relieved. "If you will help me we can get
it up before the water reaches it."*
There were several hundred sacks of flour
and it was slow work getting them up the
narrow, winding stairs. But the boys worked
with a will. Before noon the last sack had
been carried up. And it was just in time. The
water had reached the door sill.
"Well, the flour's safe, anyway," said Mr.
Smith, rubbing his hands with satisfaction.
The boys were putting on their coats pre
paratorj' to going home to dinner. The unusual
work had sharpened their appetities. The mil
ler looked around the group.
"I am very thankful to you, boys," he be
gan ?
"Oh, we were glad to do it," said Will.
"You have saved me a heavy loss. I want to
pay you in some ? "
"We don't want' to be paid," was chorused.
"I appreciate your feelings, boys, but all the
same ? " He paused and looked at Will and
Joe. "You two boys were very anxious for
a flag for the school. Now, do you still want it
? or ? would you like better for me to take the
whole lot of you to see the baseball match at
Trenton. The cost of doing that and of the flag
would be about the same. What do you say?
Will you have the flag or see the game?"
There was a silence. The boys looked at
each other. At last Joe said : "We don't want
to be paid, sir; but, of course, we would like
a flag."
Then Joe made a sudden dart out of the
door, and, waving his cap, shouted, "Hurrah
for the flag, boys." He pointed to the school
house in plain view on its hilltop. Won't a
flag look fine there?"
The other boys joined him, followed by Mr.
Smith.
The latter said: "And that ball game will
a fine one."
This was met with another "Hurrah for the
flag, boys," from Joe, all of his companions
reinforcing him.
"Then you prefer the flag to seeing the
game?" asked the miller when he could be
heard.
The answer was a decided chorus of "yes."
"I wanted to test your patriotism," went on
Mr. Smith, smiling. "I am glad that it is
stanch. I'll have the finest flag floating up
there," pointing to the schoolhouse, "that I
can find around here."
Joe waved his cap. "Three cheers for Mr.
Smith, boys." The cheers were given with
vigor.
"Of course," said Will, as they were on the
way home, "we are sorry for the people hav
ing the water, but if it were not for the flood
we wouldn't have the prospect of the flag." ?
Ex.
YESTERDAY S TROUBLES.
Teddy didn't have any heart to play that
afternoon and Flossie couldn't understand
why. It took a good deal of coaxing to get at
the secret, but out it came at last. "Nellie
was cross when we went out to walk. She
yanked my arm."
"But that was yesterday!" exclaimed Flos
sie, opening her eyes.
"I know it was yesterday. What difference
does that make?"
Flossie thought it had made considerable
difference. "I don't ever remember crossness
overnight," she explained wisely. "There are
always much nicer things to remember, you
know."
Which of those children was the wiser, do
jou think ? the boy who kept himself unhappy
by the remembrance of an unkindness which
was twenty-four hours old, or the girl who
washed the slate clean every night, as far as
her troubles were concerned, and remembered
only the pleasant things? ? Our Little Ones.
THE PRAISE SONG.
By Elizabeth Donovan.
Edward had a new top that he was showing
to Howard, and Tom peeped over Roy's shoul
der to see it, so none of the boys sang the
opening hymn that morning at Sunday-school.
When the lesson time came their teacher said :
"Yesterday when I was down town, I met
Tony, the little Italian boy whose father has
the fruit stand. Ilis eyes were shining and
he could hardly wait to tell me about Mr.
Fisk, the music teacher, who gave him a little
violin and is going to teach him to play.
'Wasn't he good to me?' Tony asked, and
wherever he went he was telling about that
kind friend, and praising him."
"I'd praise that kind of friend, too," said
Tom.
"Are you quite sure?" asked his teacher.
"Of course I am," said Tom, and the other
boys nodded their heads.
Then the teacher with a queer little smile
went on talking. "This morning," she said,
"a Friend gave you a good breakfast, a homn,
loving friends, good health ? things worth
more than all the violins in the world ? and
yet, when we came to his house, I didn't hear
one of my boys join in the song of praise and
thanksgiving that the others sang. You love
him just as truly as the others, I know, but
today will be better and happier if we tell
him so. You and I like to have our friends
thank us for what we do for them, and we
ought to treat the dear Lord Jesus as well as
we want our friends to treat us."
Then, together they softly repeated tho
words of the song. And the next Sunday morn
ing every boy sang so heartily that the teacher
sang an extra little praise song away down in
her heart. ? The Sunbeam.

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