Harper's Young People, May 23, 1882 An Illustrated Weekly
|MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER.|
|SOME DIAMOND STORIES.|
|THE MOUNTAIN DWARF.|
|THE CHILDREN'S JOURNEY.|
|THE VICTIMS OF THE ARCTIC SEAS.|
|THE BOYS' TEA PARTY.|
|ASTRONOMICAL ACROSTIC PUZZLE.|
|BITS OF ADVICE.|
|OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.|
|vol. iii.—no. 134.||Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.||price four cents.|
|Tuesday, May 23, 1882.||Copyright, 1882, by Harper & Brothers.||$1.50 per Year, in Advance.|
MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER.
BY JAMES OTIS,
Author of "Toby Tyler," "Tim and Tip," etc.
THE DINNER PARTY.
But the time was passing rapidly, and as there were many persons outsidewaiting for an opportunity to pay their money to see the various[Pg 466]attractions of the show, Mrs. Treat gave the signal for thesnake-charmer to begin. The entertainment, the skeleton explained, wasgiven as a mark of respect to their friend Toby Tyler.
This private exhibition lasted about fifteen minutes; and when, at itsclose, the doors were thrown open to the public, the boys were not atall anxious to leave.
"Let them stay as long as they want to, Toby," said the skeleton,indulgently.
The boys were only too glad to avail themselves of this permission, andToby said to Abner:
"I want to see if I can find Ella, an' you stay here till I come back."
"I'll keep him right here by me," said Mrs. Treat, "and he'll he safeenough."
Remembering how she had served Job Lord, Toby had no fears for thesafety of his friend. He went at once, therefore, to deliver theinvitation to the last of Aunt Olive's expected guests.
When, after some little time, Toby returned, the boys had satisfiedtheir curiosity so far as the side show was concerned, and all exceptAbner had left the tent.
That Toby had found Ella was evident, as that young lady herself skippedalong by his side in the greatest possible delight at having met herformer riding companion; and that she had accepted his invitation todinner was shown by the scrupulous care with which she was dressed.
"It's time to go up to Uncle Dan'l's," Toby whispered to Mrs. Treat,"an' Ben's harnessin' the hosses into your wagon, so you won't have togo to the trouble of puttin' on your other clothes."
"I don't know as we ought to go up there in this rig," said Mrs. Treat,doubtfully, as she looked down at her "show dress," made to display herarms and neck to the greatest advantage, and then at her husband'scostume, which was as scanty as his body. "I wanted to dress up when wewent there, but I don't see how I'll get the chance to do it."
"I wouldn't bother, 'cause Uncle Dan'l will like you jest as well thatway, an' it will take you too long," said Toby, impatiently.
The skeleton, on being consulted as to the matter, decided to do as Tobywished, because by adopting that course they would the sooner get thedinner about which he had been thinking ever since he had received theinvitation.
But while Mrs. Treat was ready to believe that her costume might bereasonably fit to wear to a dinner party, she was certain that somethingmore than tights and a pair of short red velvet trousers was necessaryfor her husband.
Mr. Treat tried to argue with his much larger half, insisting that UncleDaniel would understand the matter; but his wife insisted so strongly,and with such determination to have her own way, that he compromised byadding to his scanty wardrobe a black frock-coat and a tall silk hat,which gave him a rather more comical than distinguished appearance.
The audience were dismissed as soon as possible; Abner was helped intothe wagon, perfectly delighted at being allowed to ride in a circus van,and the party started for Uncle Daniel's.
Toby sat on the box with Ben, to show him the way; and when the gaudilypainted cart stopped in front of the farm-house, it was much as if apeacock had suddenly alighted amid a flock of demure hens.
Uncle Daniel was out in the yard to receive his strangely assortedguests, and the greeting they received from both him and Aunt Olive wasas hearty as if they had been old acquaintances.
There was a look of calm satisfaction on the skeleton's face as the odorof roast lamb mingled itself with Uncle Daniel's welcome when hedescended from the wagon; and as the company were ushered into the"fore-room," the air of which was pungent with the odors of herbs usedto keep the moths from carpet and furniture, a restful feeling came overthem such as only those whose lives are dreary rounds of travelling canfeel.
Uncle Daniel insisted on taking care of the horses himself, for his ideaof the duties of host would not allow that Ben should help him, andalmost as soon as he had finished this work dinner was ready.
When all the guests were at the table, and Uncle Daniel bowed his headto invoke a blessing on those who had befriended the fatherless, thelook of general discomfort old Ben had worn from the time he reached thehouse passed away, and in its place came the peaceful look Toby had seenon Sundays after the old driver had come from church.
It seemed to Toby that he had never really known Uncle Daniel before, sojolly was he in his efforts to entertain his guests; and the manner inwhich he portioned out the food, keeping the plates well filled all thetime, was in the highest degree pleasing to Mr. Treat.
Of course very much was said about the time when Toby was an unwillingmember of the circus, and Mrs. Treat and Ben told of the boy'sexperiences in a way that brought many a blush to his cheeks. Mr. Treatwas too busy with Aunt Olive's lamb, as he affectionately spoke of it,to be able to say anything. He was also wonderfully fortunate in notchoking himself but once, and that was such a trifling matter that itwas all over in a moment.
Old Ben told Toby that night, however, that Treat would not have got onso well if his wife had not trodden on his toes frequently, as a hint toeat more slowly.
Although Abner had spent several hours in the side show, it seemed as ifhe would never tire of gazing at Mrs. Treat's enormous frame, and sointently did he look at her that he missed a good chance of getting asecond piece of custard pie, though Toby nudged him several times tointimate that he could have more as well as not.
Ben told a number of stories of circus life; Mrs. Treat related some ofher experiences in trying to prevent her husband from eating too fast;Ella told Aunt Olive of the home she and her mother lived in duringwinter; and the hour which had been devoted to this visit passed sopleasantly that every one was sorry when it was ended.
"You've got a trim little farm here," said Ben to Uncle Daniel, when thetwo went out to harness the horses; "an' I reckon that a man who has gotland enough to support him is fixed jest about as well as he can be. Idon't know of anything I'd rather be than a farmer, if I could only getaway from circus life."
"Whenever you want to leave that business," said Uncle Daniel, solemnlyand earnestly, "you come right here, and I'll show you the chance tobecome a farmer."
"I'd like to," said Ben, with a sigh of regret that the matter seemed soimpossible; "but I've been with a circus now, man an' boy, goin' onforty-one years, an' I s'pose I shall always be with one."
Then he changed the conversation, making an arrangement with UncleDaniel, for pasturing the ponies that were to be left behind, and by thetime the bargain was completed the horses were at the door.
While Uncle Daniel and old Ben had been at the stables, Mr. Treat hadbeen showing his liberality by giving Aunt Olive tickets for the sideshow and circus, and inducing her to promise that she and Uncle Danielwould see both shows. He had also given Toby fully a dozen circustickets for distribution among his friends; and then, as Uncle Danielentered, he said:
"I wish to express thanks—both for myself and my wife Lilly—for thevery kind manner in which you have entertained us to-day."
Before he could say anything more, the others came to say good-by, andhe was disappointed again. Aunt Olive[Pg 467] kissed Ella several times, whilethe parting with the others was almost as between old friends. Then theguests started for the tent again, more than satisfied with their visit.
"Now, Toby, you look me up jest after the show is out this afternoon,an' we'll fix it so's you shall have a chance to talk with Mr. Stubbs'sbrother," said Ben, as they were driving along.
As a matter of course Toby promised to be there, and to bring Abner withhim.
"You said that little cripple had to live at the poor-farm, didn't you?"asked Ben, after quite a long pause.
"Yes, an' it's cause he hain't got no father or mother, nor no UncleDan'l like I've got," said Toby, sadly.
"Hain't he got any relations anywhere?"
"No; Uncle Dan'l said he didn't have a soul that he could go to."
"It must be kinder hard for him to live there alone, an' I don't s'posehe'll ever be able to walk."
Toby was not at all certain whether or not Abner could ever be cured;but he told the old driver what he knew of the lonely life the boy led.Ben did not appear to hear what was said, for he was in one of his deepstudies, and seemed unconscious of everything except the fact that hishorses were going in the proper direction.
"I'll tell you what I'll do, Toby," he said, after remaining silentuntil they were nearly at the tent. "I hain't got a child or a chick inthe world, an' I'll take care of that boy."
Toby looked up in surprise, as he repeated, in a puzzled way,
"You'll take care of him?"
"I don't mean that I'll take hold an' tote him round, but he shall haveas much as he needs out of every dollar I get. I'll see your uncleDan'l, an' fix it somehow so he'll be taken out of the poor-house."
"Why, Ben, how good you are!" and Toby looked up at his friend withsincere admiration imprinted on his face.
"It hain't 'cause I'm good, my lad; but if I didn't help that poorfellow in some way, I'd see them big eyes an' that pale face of hisnevery night I rode on this box alone; so you see I only do it for thesake of havin' peace," said Ben, with a forced laugh; and then hestopped the horses at the rear of Mr. Treat's tent. "Now you jump down,Toby, so's to see the skeleton don't break himself all to pieces gettin'out, for I'm kinder 'fraid he will some day. I'd rather drive a hundredmonkeys than one sich slim man as him."
Then Ben had a fit of internal laughter, caused by his own remark, andUncle Daniel's guests were ready to resume their duties at the circus.
[to be continued.]
BY ELLA RODMAN CHURCH.
Every one knows that the diamond is the hardest and most valuable of allprecious stones; but every one does not know why it is always said toweigh so many carats. The kirut is a small Indian seed, used inIndia for weighing diamonds, and it weighs itself about four grains, sothat six carats are equal to a pennyweight.
The diamond mines of Golconda have been known all over the world forhundreds of years; and the largest stone ever found in them is thefamous Koh-i-noor, or Mountain of Light, so called from its great sizeand brilliancy, for it weighed nine hundred carats. A Venetiandiamond-cutter chipped away at it as though he had been sharpening apencil, because it was not even in shape—the idiot!—until he left onlytwo hundred and eighty carats of it. After