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The Fairy Detective Copyright, 1010, by Rupert Hughes. — i-IIIS little girl was toddling through 1 the big park with her fat nurr^-. On a tall old' tree sho saw a fuzzy bunch that looked like a small fur muff. So she said: "Looky at the squirrel! If I only had a bag of peanuts!" " Now a child should never go into a park without a bag: of peanuts any more than a nian should ro into a sleeping car without some small change for the porter. . In fact, giving 'peanuts 'to squirrels' ls only one way of tipping them for being polite and letting you walk through their park. But here was a llttlo girl wandering through Squirrel City without a pea nut to her name and no Italian in sight anywhere. < So she felt much ashamed and rebuked the nurse se verely. ' : '.vi.; • ' . The nurso, whose name was Mary, said: . "1 promise you this Is the last time this -will, ever happen again.". The little girl tried to whistle, but her mouth wasn't vtuned yet. . "I wish I could make a noise like a bag # of peanuts,*' she > said, "then he'd come.': .. !! v vt .;.. -\u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0 . 1." : '\u25a0' \u25a0 '\u25a0* But she couldn't, and;he didn't. .."I: 'spose I'll have, to bribe him with something — I ! wonder* what." She de cided that the nurse's watch . was the brightest looking object in the neigh borhood. 'So she borrowed It 'and stooped down r and held it ;out as if. it were; a ginger snap^ .; 'V / ,^V '"" A -Then;Mr.;Squirrerstuck out his head and ; his whole body till he hung side wise on thetree like a Japanese acro bat. ! Then he scolded and chlttered; 'using- squirrel' language. ;^Then he ran down the tree,, then •up again, then down" again, then out on the snow a 'little, then' back,: then out again, then a -little »tb the south, then a little to the north; then he sat up and folded his armfi'as much as to say. ' ' "I ,s, s wonder , what : you're up \ to.". Then he came forward; then he went back,' then he 'sat ; ; up .again, 'his -tall hung over his shoulders like a feather boa, and' his nose shivering as If. he had' a special 'chill In the tip of it. '\He won't- come any closer," the little girl said. > "I think I'll just throw the •watchover- toward him.". . , "I , think you Won't," said the nurse, ."it's- my. watch." ;- L . ' i ; :\u25a0"\u25a0-\u25a0 So the.. Httle'girL had.to wait till Mr.; Squirrel was tired' of his zigzag, and, .finally ;growjng ; reckless, came quite close, ran up ; the little girl's knee and out on her arm. ,.' She held her breath and .watched. 1 him take the watch in ; both hands and ;sniff 'it:,' He saw it was nothing to eat and started to run,- then paused, and -listened. The watch, ticked just about as fast as his nose twinkled. . He looked at the face of the' watch a moment and 'suddenly exclaimed: ;•\u25a0;'"\u25a0\u25a0"'; •\u25a0"\u25a0'.* ' ' .^'Petrllled peanuts! 'It's- 20 minutas past 3! If I don't scoot I'll be late to my engagement." . ••' \u25a0,-:',• / • . ] The little girl was so much surprised to hear a squirrel talk and tell the •time and have^engagements' that she 'sat down hard on the hard , walk. The squirrel made a leap, but^she caught .-him^by the tall and he remarked: . "Ouch!". "I agree with you," said the little girl, making a sorry face.v , .The squirrel' said anxiously, "For tree top's sake, don't detain me. I'm very punctilious and this is an im portant business engagement."" * The little ; girl only held on the tighter and said: , "I don't know what punch-tilly-what. ever-you-sald is, but I know you hio not no squirrel. What are you? Who ' are you?'' ' . "Squirrel! Me a squirrel? I should say not. This is only a disguise." • "You are only a disguise?" the little glrlsald.- .\u25a0•". , • \u25a0; \u25a0.\u25a0';\u25a0'\u25a0> "No, I have on a disguise." . , "You see, I'm a detective. I have a ! badge somewhere— lt Is on my other clothes, 1 think." "Tout other clothes! Nurse, do you hear 'that?': . - Nurse was all eyes and ears. She said: , "The only other time I ever heard a squirrel talk .iKnglish It was a par rot, and- he spoke Eyetallan." But the little girl wasn't listening to her; she was staring at the uqulrrel, who was saying: , "And now, if you will be so kind us to return my tall I'll be hurrying on. I wouldn't stop for a little thing like a tall except that a-Hquirrel would look funny ,wlt.hout one, arid I'd probably catch cold. Besides, It's a kind of bal ancing pole when 1 run along a branch, and It's a kind of rudder when I'm going round a curve. 1 found It pretty hard to manage, though, at first, So please let me go. .1 don't want to liave to. bite you; it's impolite." "Besides," said Mary, "squirrels don't eat meat, except It's the meat of a. nut." , Hut the llttlo ghi hung on tight and sajd, '.'Before 1 let go you must tell me who you are when you are not a disguise." THI.C SAN FRANCISCO CALL, FRIDAY, MARCH Ift, 1910.— THE JUNIQRtCAfct/ . "Why, when. l'm myself I'm a gentle man elf. 1 ' "'.'•.. "An elf!" whispered the little girl. "I've- often heard- of 'em, -but you alre the first I ever saw." - '\u25a0 .."And what is an elluf?" said Mary. "Is It alittle ellufant?". - \ -- .'.'Shame .on you, .nurse, for your -ig-r' norance," said the little girl; "an elf. Is a kind of fairy." . "." "" •« '/'""i' "\u25a0\u25a0 "Then let _It go ati once," ,' said .the " nursed; Tliey^ are always'jtlolng- harni, - except where they, are doing" good !'£"""•\u25a0\u25a0'. "Don't be .afraid,"- said; the .squirrel, in a' grandfatherly' voice. * "I'm a' very well.bred elf. 1 come of a very great family.' ;. My father is king of the Klves, and my mother is 'queen of the Klves,- and/my grandmother, is dowager queen of the Elves." He sat -up very straight as he said all this..'- ; \u25a0 "And.'la your grandfather a dowjar king of the, elves?" said the little girl. \u25a0 "Agonizing acorns, no! 'There's no such thing^asa dowager king, : in the first place,, and In the second place he's dead." * . "He's dead in the second place?", echoed the nurse. "[ should think be ing dead in the first place would be enough." \u25a0'- ' | "Don't mind her," said the little girl; "she's. only a nurse." Go on, tell, me < more about yourself — your, elf-self!'.! '.'•• ;' , "Let me see that watch again," said the squirrel; j^Tm too late now anyway. ' so I might ns well take my time.' 1 - ; ' "Don't take my time," naid Mary. "Give me back my watch," "Give me back my tail," said the squirrel. . \u25a0 "Not till you give me an explanation," said the little girl. " "Well, If I must I must," said the squirrel. "If you'll lot go of mo so I can .' sit up/ and be comfortable I give you my word I won't run." "Canil trust you?" "The word of an elf-is as good as his bond," said the, squirrel with great dignity. : '\u25a0": "."\u25a0 \u25a0>" \u25a0'; i-C-:: "But how gooiru "an elf's bond?" said Mary. ''Bettep let him go with one hand and hold on with the other." "No, I'll trust, you," said the little girl. "We'll alt here and be eomf'able." Ho she seated her* elf on a park bench and the squirrel seated himself on her knee. 'He coughed once or. twice and curled his mustaches and began: "You sco, a great crime has been committed In the land of Scfura." "And whore's that? 1 ' "That's the name of squirrel land. A squirrel calls- himself a Sclurua, so his country is called Sclura." "In the land of Solura It is the cus tom of the inhabitant* to work during the summer and take their vacation In the winter," "Just like human beings, only the other way," observed Mary. . "Won't you keep your nurse quiet? How in the name of horrified huckle berries can I tell my Btory with so many Interruptions? But, aa I was saying, and as you must have noticed, the squirrel folk work haitt all sum mer storing up nuts for the winter; in the winter they only eat and Bleep." "That's an easier Job than mine," said Mary, with a sigh, "only the pay la small, and the food l» kind of monot onous. Not eating meat all winter, every day would seem like. Friday." - - ; "Helpless hazelnuts, 'are ; ypu' telling this story, madam,, or am (I?", shouted the~> squirrel. '• ;\u25a0 '"•" * - •• \u25a0 , . ''."Excuse ' me," said Mary/ "I wasn't talking;; I'was just 'thinking: out loud." gjjiWell, think a little. , softer, please. As ;L was trying 'to say; the squirrels depend in th« winter on .what " they .earn, in -the summer— like "people who ,keep a hotel on the /beach: - Now. sup posing 1 , you * were, a\ squirrel. ''_ ' ;-"But < tiow could "she" be* a squirrel . when, she's a girrul?". /r ,: ;. ./ "Oh, weary 'walnuts! . Supposing you were a^squirrel and the head of a large family of ' foolish ifttlo squirrels, and you've worked liard all summer savins up nice nuts in a safe storage ware house and ' denying, yourself things when they'ro tempting and going to bed hungry, and all summer you work like'.:that and''-^- \u25a0\u25a0• • "Suffering shamro/'ks!" gasped Mary,, "isn't there going to «be an-y end to that speech except the front end, where you began?" "Don't stop me,"' said 'the squirrel, "or I'll get' hurt. Supposing all that, and 'you loved your family, .-and , you feel all comfortable and safe about the' winter . and' because^ you - had so much money .in 'the bank— l-mean; nuts In rthe nuttery-— and then Just as the first frost .comes and the snow fell, and you^ should look out 'and ' the ground, had' been all covered with cotton ho >deep It will, bo over your head, and rip steam turned on In your tree, 'and you went "to the nuttery .. to draw out enough for breakfast — supposing then that you found every single nut, gone — the wholf! place robbed and looted — supposing all that,' what would you think If you -were a .'squirrel?".' , "That's a good denl of supposing for' one day," said the little girl, "but I 'spose I'd proty'ly cry and cry and then go for a policeman." '"But there, aren't any policemen in Setura." ; ( • < , . "Then I guess I'd Just cry and starvo to death." . "Well, wouldn't you appeal to the •el've.s?" > "I'd never thought of that." "Alwuys remember that heaven helps those that are helped by the elves. ' Any way, that's what this poor woman did. She was a widow squirrel, named Mrs. Urlndlecoat. Her husband was run over by an automobile, leaving hor with a large and stupid family. When sho saw hersolf robbed she Ilrst had a good' cry, then oho accused eve,rybodv. she met, then, when that did no good, she appealed to the elves. My father, the king, put the elf de tectives and police on th«» track, but of course they couldn't find out any thing. "At last the poor Brlndleeout family was driven to begging for peanutu on the sidewalk. And then my father Bald for mo to take up the case. I've always hud a knack for detective work, uml so I left my comfortable quartern In the palace, squeezed into this dis guise, and now I'm a pretend squirrel." "So that's how a prince cdmes to be a policemen. And have you found any clew?" 6aid the little girl. "I've found a lot of clews, but they don't lead anywhere. Now I'm on the track of a new one. I'm shadowing- a very suspicious character — look. There he goes now!" . . "Where?" ' "See that tough-, looking squirrel with* one ear chewed oft and a red coat that looks as if the moths ihad.been In . it l and a tail that Is bald in spots?", ' "Yes, I see him; is he the guilty one?" gasped the little girl, greatly . excited. . . . - . .' "I, can't tell yet, but I'm close, on his tail — I mean trail. He's, what we call a scamp squirrel — always in trouble,: always lighting other squirrels or birds or groundmice. He toadies to. his .bet- . ters and. -bill lies his /llttlers.'. If you'll come back here tomorrow or^next week - I may- hav.e great news'tocreport. And ' now— there, he goes! — I : must ' follow him. - You really must excuse me."- \u25a0'\u25a0 lie ,made a flying ' leap . before the little • fgirl could catch whim. - Mary ! sprawled over the bench to get at, him, but he was too spry. He paused .at a safe tllstance, puf one paw up to his .mouth and called out in aloud whis per: i- . . "Be here tomorrow about this, time. Goodby, So long!" ', . . And he was away. The little girl looked at t/>e nurse and the nurse looked, at the, little girl. After ia long stare the little girl said: —"lie never, told me his. name and he never asked nic mine!". "Then." ! liald Mary, \ "you ought to know each other when next you meet. We'd better bo. getting home," As they started along the path the little girl said, "I wondor if this Is all a dream. I'm so afraid that l'U'wako up and find myself in bed or on 'the floor." „. . "We'll come back tomorrow," said Mary, "and If we're awake then we'll know that we we're not asleep today." Tears That Failed Sir Arthur Jelf was a formidable op ponent at the bar, and on the bench luiM proved no less a success. He has"" a pretty wit, too. Onco at Quarter Session, ns recorder of Shrewsbury, ho was sentencing a hypocritical pris oner, who, hopeful of softening the judge's heart, shed copious tears and in reply to hl.s lordship's Inquiry, "Have you ever been' in prison be fore?" Bobbed, tearfully: ,-*"<\u25a0" "Never, my lord, never!" ;/" "Well, don't cry," was the recorder's reply. "I'm going: to send you there now." — London Golden Penny (ISKS).' "Mamma," said Dot, "if a dog's bark is worse than h)» bite, why don't they choke him off with a collar instead of putting a muzale on his mouth?" '