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Our Boys and Girls
ON DUTY. Harold sat in the biggest office chair. Usually he was running errands around the shipyard, but this afternoon was a special oc casion; he had put on his new white suit and was waiting for the French corporal who had promised to be at the launching of the new ship's hull which was to take place at high tide this afternoon. The corporal was not ex pected to arrive for more than an hour, but Harold had been so impatient he had made ready and was sure the oflice clock didn't go fast enough to mark the time properly. Ilis father was talking busily through the telephone. Mr. Belcher of the saw mill up Norton way had reaily some planks needed for the ship work. "I'll send Harold up for them in the morn ing. I've promised him this afternoon for a holiday and there is no one on hand to send now," said father. "Would you like those spruce planks to day?" asked Harold after his father hung up the receiver. "Yes, lad. The men are ready to work with them." Harold stood up. Ever since school had closed for the summer vacation he had been working at the shipyard to do his bit for his country. To be sure he was only a nine-year old boy, but he could run errands faithfully, and drive old Ned kindly, and keep his tongue from repeating what he overheard. These things seemed very small to Harold and yet even going for these spruce planks might help to finish one of the ships a few hours earlier. He could offer to use an hour of his half holi day for that. "Let me go on duty," he said. j "All right! You'll be back in time for the yflaunching," said father. "I want you to hear f what Corporal Longle has to tell us." So Harold hurried home and, putting on his clean over-all suit, harnessed old Ned to the light wagon. Usually Harold counted a trip to Belcher's mill as a treat, but this afternoon he was more interested in returning to the shipyard as soon as possible. Old Ned trotted along the hard road, and at the mill Mr. Belcher came out to see that the choice tim ber was properly covered and tied. "I'm glad to see you on duty! These days we can't let pleasure get ahead of work," said Belcher. "I want to see the corporal myself, but there are more boards to get out so you must remember to tell me what he says." "I will," promised Harold. Old Ned pricked up his ears and pulled briskly as if he understood how it was. Soon they came to an auto by the roadside. Two men were peering under the lifted hood of it. One of the men was in business clothes, but the other wore a beautiful pale blue uniform. Harold had never seen a uniform like it and did not guess what kind of a soldier the man was. "Is there anything I can do?" he asked. "Tell us how far it is to the Wayne ship yard!" said the man in business clothes. "Almost two miles." "Then I will walk now," said the man in blue. "The auto, she may not stir until late." Harold hesitated. Probably these men were going to the launching. Men in uniform often came to the shipyard, "I'll be glad to give you a lift there, sir! I'm Harold Wayne!" he said. "You invite me to ride? Surely it will be a pleasure. Myself, I am Corporal Longle who is expected!" Side by side on the high seat the corporal and Harold rode along the country road. Har old told him about going for the boards and what he was trying to do for his country and how small a place he seemed to fill. "But with everyone on duty it makes one big, grand whole ! Me, I serve as but one among many and seem small to my own self, but altogether we are a giant!" said the cor poral. How the men cheered when Harold drove into the shipyard. And they cheered again when the hull slid down the ways into the blue, blue water. ? Ruby Holmes Martyn, in The Child's Hour. WHY BILLY WAS A FAVORITE. One day Billy was a stranger; at the end of a week he was as much at home as any boy on the street. "We are glad he came," Teddy Farr said, "we like him." And the other boys said pretty much the same thing. "Why is this Billy such a favorite?" Mr. Farr asked Mrs. Farr. "I don't know yet," said Mrs. Farr. "I'm watching to find out." When three more weeks had passed she thought she knew. A group of boys were out in front of her gate one afternoon, and she heard one of them say, "Pshaw! What can we play? I wish the snow hadn't all gone into mud." "We had just finished our fort," said an other, "and were ready to begin, but it washed down in the night." "Anyway, we had fun making it," said Billy. "Let's not waste the whole afternoon. Let's start and play something that doesn't need snow." When Mrs. Farr looked again they were sailing ships down the gutter and discovered the Mississippi with great excitement. Another time Teddy had to go on an errand, and asked the others to keep him company. "Oh, we can't!" objected somebody, "we've got it all planned to walk out in the other direction and see the place where the fire was last night." "Why wouldn't it do," said Billy, "to go with Teddy first? We needn't come all the way back, need we? There ought to be some short cuts, I should think." Well, when they had put their heads to gether they remembered that there were. Then there was a day when Joe had lost his arithmetic. Joe and Billy were the best in the school in arithmetic. Joe hated to miss any of his lessons. "Never mind," said Billy. "My book will do for both until yours turns up. We are pretty quick at it, you know. We can man age." On one afternoon when they were having a game of ball in the schoolyard, Billy broke a cellar window. After a crash there was a pause of dismay. "We must have kept getting nearer to the house without noticing it," s$id Billy. "How would it do," said Joe, "to be quiet until we are asked about it? Maybe Mr. Nevil will think that other boys did it. They broke one." . "It wouldn't do at all," said Billy, quickly. "It wouldn't be fair." He told Mr. Nevin and paid for the pane; and after that he was short of money for some time, for Billy was poor. After the three weeks, Mrs. Farr said to Mr. Farr: "I think I know why the boys like Billy." "Why?" "Because he has a delightful habit of getting the best for himself and his friends out of what he has at hand. He makes things 'do' except the things that won't do at all. I like Billy myself." ? The Child's Hour. WHAT ONE LITTLE GIRL DID. She is only twelve years old, but when a burning desire arose in her kind little heart to do something for the soldiers suffering out at Fort McPherson Hospital, her wise little head devised a plan. This is how she carried it out. First, she .spent much of her vacation time composing and writing a little play, the parts of which she assigned to such little friends and neighbors as were willing to undertake them. She herself did all the necessary drill work, presided at the rehearsals and took one of the leading parts. Some carefully selected songs and recitations were added to her little hand-made programs and all was in readiness. Then when school opened she obtained per mission to use the school auditorium for the performance, which was, of course, a success. How could it be otherwise with such deter mined devotion behind it? The result? "Well, last Sunday she placed in Mr. McLean's hands a check for $22.80 ? her contribution to the comfort of his sick sol diers. The name of this- little heroine is a secret, but she is one of the pupils of the Junior De partment in the Central Sunday-school in At lanta, Ga. THE SMALLEST SOLDIER OF THEM ALL. Mignon was her name. She was a small, fuzzy-haired little dog with round black eyes and restless tail. She could walk on her hind legs and shake hands and do other cunning tricks. And now she was a soldier of France. She had left a very pleasant home in the country, where she was the pet of the whole household, to come to this training camp for dogs, behind the fighting line. Her new mas ter was a kind soldier in blue, who spent much of his time patiently teaching her new tricks. First, she had to get used to the noise of the big guns. Then she must learn to crouch close to the ground or hide in a deep hole when a shell screamed. Most important of all, she had to be taught to go swiftly from one place to another with a message in a little pouch which was tied around her neck. One morning, before daybreak, as little Mig non was dreaming pleasantly, she heard her master's voice calling: "Come, Mignon. You and I must fight this day for France." With a glad little cry, she sprang up and followed him as his regiment marched to the firing line. The battle was terrible, but she never left her master's side. At last word came that the German guns had destroyed the French telephone wire^. Unless the French commander could get a mes sage to his men on the other side of the field, the battle would be lost.