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Harper's Young People, June 20, 1882 An Illustrated Weekly

Harper's Young People, June 20, 1882
An Illustrated Weekly
Author: Various
Title: Harper's Young People, June 20, 1882 An Illustrated Weekly
Release Date: 2018-11-03
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 41
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[Pg 529]

HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE

vol. iii.—no. 138.Published By HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.price four cents.
Tuesday, June 20, 1882.Copyright, 1882, by Harper & Brothers.$1.50 per Year, in Advance.

TOBY AND ABNER ATTENDING THE REHEARSAL.

MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER[1]

BY. JAMES OTIS,

Author of "Toby Tyler," "Tim and Tip," etc.

Chapter XII.

A REHEARSAL.

When Toby told Uncle Daniel that night of their intention to go on withthe work of the long-delayed circus, and that Abner was to ride up tothe pasture, where[Pg 530] he could see everything that was going on, the oldgentleman shook his head doubtingly; as if he feared the consequence tothe invalid, who appeared very much exhausted even by the short ride hehad taken.

Abner, interpreting Uncle Daniel's shake of the head the same way Tobydid, pleaded hard to be allowed to go, insisting that he would be nomore tired sitting in the little carriage than he would in a chair athome; and Aunt Olive joined in the boys' entreaty, promising to arrangethe pillows in such a manner that Abner could lie down or sit up as bestsuited him.

"We'll see what the doctor has to say about it," replied Uncle Daniel,and with much anxiety the boys awaited the physician's coming.

"Go? Why, of course he can go, and it will do him good to beout-of-doors," said the medical gentleman when he made his regularafternoon visit, and Uncle Daniel laid the case before him.

Toby insisted on bringing Mr. Stubbs's brother into the invalid's roomas a signal mark of rejoicing at the victory the doctor had won forthem, and Abner was so delighted with the funny pranks the monkey playedthat it would have been difficult to tell by his face that the morningride had tired him.

Mr. Stubbs's brother was quite as mischievous as a monkey could be; hecapered around the room, picking at this thing and looking into that,until Aunt Olive laughed herself tired, and Uncle Daniel declared thatif the other monkey was anything like this one, Toby was right when henamed him Steve Stubbs, so much did he resemble that gentleman ininquisitiveness.

The day had been so exciting to the boy who had been confined to oneroom for several weeks that he was quite ready to go to bed when AuntOlive suggested it; and Toby went about his evening's work with alighter heart than he had had since the night he found his crippledfriend lying so still and death-like in the circus wagon.

The next morning Toby was up some time before the sun peeped in throughthe crevices of Uncle Daniel's barn to awaken the cows, and he groomedthe tiny ponies until their coats shone like satin. The carriage waswashed until every portion of it reflected one's face like a mirror, andthe harness, with its silver mountings, was free from the slightestsuspicion of dirt.

Then, after the cows had been driven to the pasture, Mr. Stubbs'sbrother was treated to a bath, and was brushed and combed until, losingall patience at such foolishness, he escaped from his too cleanlydisposed master, taking refuge on the top of the shed, where hechattered and scolded at a furious rate as he tried to explain that hehad no idea of coming down until the curry-comb and brush had been putaway.

But when the pony-team was driven up to the door, and Toby decorated thebridles of the little horses with some of Aunt Olive's roses, Mr.Stubbs's brother came down from his high perch, and picked some of theflowers for himself, putting them over his ears to imitate the ponies;then he gravely seated himself in the carriage, and Toby had nodifficulty in fastening the cord to his collar again.

Aunt Olive nearly filled the little carriage with pillows so soft that avery small boy would almost have sunk out of sight in them; and in themidst of these Abner was carefully placed, looking for all the world, asToby said, like a chicken in a nest.

Mr. Stubbs's brother was fastened in the front in such a way that hishead came just above the dash-board, over which he looked in the mostcomical manner possible.

Then Toby squeezed in on one side, declaring he had plenty of room,although there was not more than three square inches of space left onthe seat, and even a portion of that was occupied by a fan and someother things Aunt Olive had put in for Abner's use.

Both the boys were in the highest possible state of happiness, and Abnerwas tucked in until he could hardly have been shaken had he been in acart instead of a carriage with springs.

"Be sure to keep Abner in the shade, and come home just as soon as hebegins to grow tired," cried Aunt Olive, as Toby spoke to the ponies,and they dashed off like a couple of well-trained Newfoundland dogs.

"I'll take care of him like he was wax," cried Toby as they drove outthrough the gateway, and Mr. Stubbs's brother screamed and chatteredwith delight, while Abner lay back restful and happy.

It was just the kind of a morning for a ride, and Abner appeared toenjoy it so much that Toby turned the little steeds in the direction ofthe village, driving fully a mile before going to the pasture.

When they did arrive at the place where the first rehearsal was to beheld, they found the partners gathered in full force; and although itwas not even then nine o'clock, they had evidently been there some time.

Joe Robinson ran to let the bars down, while the ponies pranced into thefield as if they knew they were the objects of admiration from all thatparty, and they shook their tiny heads until the petals fell from theroses in a shower upon the grass.

Mr. Stubbs's brother stood as erect as possible, and was so excited bythe cheers of the boys that he seized the flowers he had tucked over hisears, and flung them at the party in great glee.

The carriage was driven into the shade cast by the alders; the ponieswere unharnessed, and fastened where they could have a feast of grass;and Toby was ready for business, or thought he was. But just as he wasabout to consult with his partners, a scream from both Abner and themonkey caused him to quickly turn toward the carriage.

From the moment they had entered the pasture, Mr. Stubbs's brother hadshown the greatest desire to be free; and when he saw his master walkingaway, while he was still a prisoner, he made such efforts to releasehimself that he got his body over the dash-board of the carriage, andwhen Toby looked he was hanging there by the neck as if he had justcommitted suicide.

Toby ran quickly to the relief of his pet; and when he had released himfrom his uncomfortable position, the other boys pleaded so hard thatToby gave him his freedom, which he celebrated by scampering across thepasture on all four paws, with his tail curled up over his back like abig letter O.

It seemed very much as if Mr. Stubbs's brother would break up therehearsal, for he did look so comical as he scampered around that allthe partners neglected their business to watch and laugh at him, untilToby reminded them that he could not stay there very long because ofAbner's weakness.

Then Bob and Reddy straightened themselves up in a manner befittingcircus proprietors, and began their work.

"Leander is goin' to commence the show by playin' 'Yankee Doodle,'" saidBob, as he consulted a few badly written words he had traced on the backof one of his father's business cards, "an' while he's doin' it Joe'llput in an' howl all he knows how, for that's the way the hyenas did atthe last circus."

The entire programme was evidently to be carried out that morning, for,as Bob spoke, Leander marched with his accordion and a great deal ofdignity to a rock near where a line representing the ring had been cutin the turf.

"Now you'll see how good he can do it," said Bob, with no small amountof pride; and Leander, with his head held so high that it was almostimpossible to see his instrument, struck one or two notes as a prelude,while Joe took his station at a point about as far distant from the ringas the door of the tent would probably be.

[Pg 531]

Leander started with the first five or six notes all right, and Joebegan some of the most wonderful howling ever heard, which appeared todisconcert the band, for he got entirely off the track of his originaltune, and mixed "Yankee Doodle" with "Old Dog Tray" in the most recklessmanner, Joe howling the louder at every false note.

Almost every one in that pasture, save possibly the performersthemselves, was astonished at the din made by these two small boys; andMr. Stubbs's brother, who had hung himself up on a tree by his tail,dropped to his feet in the greatest alarm, adding his chatter of fear tothe general confusion.

Familiar as he was with circus life, nothing in the experience of Mr.Stubbs's brother had prepared him for a rehearsal such as he now had thehonor to attend. There was an amount of noise and a peculiarity aboutthe acrobatic feats that completely upset his nerves.

But the two performers were not to be daunted by anything that couldoccur; in fact, Joe felt rather proud that his howling was so savage asto frighten the monkey, and he increased his efforts until his face wasas red as a nicely boiled beet.

For fully five minutes the overture was continued; then the band stoppedand looked around with an air of triumph, while Joe uttered two or threemore howls by way of effect, and to show that he could have kept it uplonger had it been necessary.

"There! what do you think of that?" asked Reddy, in delight. "Youcouldn't get much more noise if you had a whole band, could you?"

"It's a good deal of noise," said Toby, not feeling quite at liberty toexpress exactly his views regarding the music. "But what was it Leanderwas playin'?"

"I played two tunes," replied Leander, proudly. "I can play 'YankeeDoodle' with the whole of one hand; but I think it sounds better to playthat with my thumb an' two fingers, an' 'Old Dog Tray' with the othertwo fingers. You see, I can give 'em both tunes at once that way."

The monkey went back to the tree as soon as the noise had subsided; butfrom the way he looked over his shoulder now and then, one could fancyhe was getting ready to run at the first sign that it was to commenceagain.

"Didn't that sound like a whole cageful of hyenas?" asked Joe, as hewiped the perspiration from his face, and came toward his partners. "Ican keep that up about as long as Leander can play, only it's awful hardwork."

Toby had no doubt as to the truth of that statement; but before he couldmake any reply, Bob said:

"Now this is where Ben comes in. He starts the show, an' he ends it, an'I sing right after he gets through turnin' hand-springs this first time.Now, Leander, you start the music jest as soon as Ben comes, an' keep itup till he gets through."

Ben was prepared for his portion of the work. His trousers were beltedtightly around his waist by a very narrow leather belt, with anenormously large buckle, and his shirt sleeves were rolled up as high ashe could get them, in order to give full play to his arms.

"He's been rubbin' goose-grease all over him for as much as two weeks,an' he can bend almost any way," whispered Reddy to Toby, as Ben stoodswinging his arms at

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