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house to get jackdaws' eggs. That was one of our favorite amusements in the Easter holidays, and we used to have the eggs hard-boiled for tea. This time Arthur meant to take a lot of them back to school with him, but they were not to be boiled till we got to London, as we left the country in the morning and he was going to Eton by quite a late train. Arthur could not bear London, and he was always restless and inclined to be rather naughty, even when he was there for only a short time. Perhaps the very shortness of his stays made him worse, for he never had time to settle down properly.

see a perfectly splendiferous shot? now's your time, then! Oh, bother! too soon. Better luck next time. What'll you bet me I hit that parasol? in the victoria — now, are you looking, Ethel?-the vic toria that's just coming round the corner."

"Oh, Arthur, not the victoria!" cried I, some foreboding of coming evil possessing me—"not the victoria; I'm sure you'd better not!"

"Why, I should like to know? You can't tell? I thought not. So I should have supposed. Very well, then. Look here. I take this egg. I balance it delicately between my finger and thumb. I take a careful and deliberate aim, and my goodness! Ethel, they're stopping at the front door!" They were indeed, and a policeman was ringing the bell. It pealed through the house with a loud and angry peal, followed by an authoritative knock that made me quail.

We stood gazing at each other in speechless dismay. Arthur was the first to speak.

"Well, I have been and gone and done it!" he said.

"Yes," said I faintly, "we have."

He turned on me quite fiercely. "Nonsense," he said. "It's nothing to do with you at all. You only handed the eggs. Anybody could have done that. It's not everybody," he added with a groan, "that could have made such a beautiful shot as that last."

A knock at the door, and the butler appeared. "Master Arthur to go downstairs at once.".

Well, on this particular day he was quite happy, for there were the jackdaws' eggs to be tried in a basin of water. The good ones sink to the bottom, and the bad ones rise to the top and have to be thrown away. Miss Hughes had not yet come back, so we two had the schoolroom all to ourselves after luncheon, and were very busy. Unluckily our occupation did not last long, the eggs were soon sorted, and then began Arthur's usual cry of "What a beastly place London is! What shall I do?" He roamed round the room, examining everything as if he had not seen it all before, and I was racking my brain to think of an amusement, when a sudden inspiration seized him. "Ethel the bad eggs-we'll take shots at the people as they go by!" Another moment and he was at the open window standing on the locker, I just below, handing him the eggs one by one. Of course I knew it was very naughty, but I never thought of refusing. I always used to do what Arthur wanted me to do, at least nearly always, and somehow in the holidays my ideas of right and wrong were different He marched off with his hands in his from what they were at other times. pockets, and I felt as though he were When Arthur was at home I never thought going to execution. Should I ever, ever half as much about what I was going to be happy again? Oh, if only it were this do, and whether I should do it, as when day last year, or this day next year, or if he was away. The consequence was that I were the canary hopping about in its I got into much more mischief. So, cage contentedly, or if only it might turn though I knew we were being naughty, it out all to be a dream! I did not dare look did not seem to me so appallingly naughty out of the window, I did not dare go downas it would at another time, and as it did stairs, I was miserable where I was. It afterwards. And oh, those eggs! Arthur seemed to me that hours elapsed before went perfectly wild with delight and ex- Arthur came back, I suppose it was citement. "Ethel, Ethel! that fat coach-about twenty minutes. He flung open man! Here, give me another. Now look, see me aim. I've nailed him! bob down, Ethel, bob down; don't show yourself. All right-he's gone on. Now for that cabby! missed him, bad luck. Don't you want to throw, Ethel? are you sure you don't? All right; then look sharp and hand 'em up to me. Now, do you want to

"All right, I'm coming. No, Ethel, don't be a little ass. Nobody wants you. Go back at once."

the door, and marched up to the chimney-
piece, where he stood leaning against it
with his two feet wide apart. He was
very red in the face, and did not seem
much inclined to talk.
66 There, that's
done," was his first remark.
"Oh, Arthur!" was all I could find
voice to say.

Presently he went on, jerking his sentences out one by one.

the packing of his hamper in the housekeeper's room; but all the time I had that "Father's extremely annoyed. He says dreadful kind of weight upon my mind it was a most ungentlemanlike thing to that one always does have when one has do. He took me out to the carriage. He done something naughty that is sure to be said,This is my son. I have brought found out, or when one has to go to the him to apologize for his conduct.' There dentist, or, I think, when one has to beg were two ladies, but I didn't see their some one's pardon. And when Arthur's faces. They said they had been driving cab drove off, I ran straight up to the past to pay some calls, when an egg came schoolroom and had one of the very worst from a window and smashed upon one of of my "good cries." What troubled me their dresses, so they couldn't go on, but so very, very much was the thought that took a turn in the Park and then came we. - for I felt it was just as much my back. They didn't exactly see which fault as Arthur's-had done a really unhouse it came from; but when they passed kind thing in spoiling the poor lady's again, another egg hit one of their para- dress. She must be poor, or her mother sols and trickled all down. Oh, Ethel! would not have talked about the "great mustn't it have been a nailing good shot! expense "it was to hire a carriage, and "Then they saw us at the window. I then not be able to pay the calls she had said you didn't bob down quick enough; meant to; and perhaps we had spoilt the and so they got the bobby to ring. I said, only really nice dress she had. Perhaps of course, if I had known it was the same she would not be able to afford to buy ancarriage, I shouldn't have aimed at it other all that year. Perhaps an invitation again. That made father awfully angry, to a very nice party would come, and she and he took me by the shoulder and said, would not be able to go because she had I brought you here to apologize, sir.' nothing to wear. Oh, how I wished she So I said, 'Well, I do apologize.' Then were a little girl, and then I might have one of them said, 'We do not wish to be given her my own best frock! Nurse hard upon you, but you should be more would have been very angry, and Miss considerate, and think of the consequences Hughes too; but of course I should have of what you do. You have put us to great had to bear that. And perhaps she would inconvenience and expense too, for we not have minded the fur round the neck had hired a carriage to pay some visits at and wrists, which I hated because it a great distance from where we live, and tickled so. However, it was no use thinknow we cannot do so. And you see you ing about that, as she was a grown-up have spoilt my daughter's dress.' So I lady, and her dress was silk-blue silk. said 1 was awfully sorry, which I was. I had seen that, so most likely blue silk And then she said, well, she would say was her favorite stuff for a best dress. no more, and she hoped father wouldn't, Perhaps she had been saving up for and then they drove off. Then father months to buy it, and the very first day took me into the study and went on at me she put it on we had spoilt it. I could a lot. And I'm to take half a sovereign | hardly bear to think about it, and the more less back to school with me. And I say, I did so the more pitiable were the picEthel, the worst of it is, all these eggs tures I drew of her poverty, and the straits will be wasted. Father said, Throw to which the damage we had done would those disgusting things away.' And I said, did he mean the good ones too? and he said, 'Yes, all of them, to be sure.' I wish I hadn't done it, I can tell you. Besides, I do think it was rather a shame."

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put her.

At last an idea occurred to me which gradually developed into a fixed determination. I must, somehow or other, get a new blue silk dress to replace that which we had destroyed, for by this time I had reached such a pitch of excitement and misery as to feel that destruction was the only word applicable to our handiwork. This resolve was a little bit consoling, but at the same time it presented many grave and almost insuperable difficulties, - for how was I to get the money for a silk dress? and how, even if the purchase were accomplished, was I to convey it to the lady without the knowledge of any one at home? for to admit my father or Miss

--

Hughes or nurse into the secret would be once that something was the matter, and impossible, nor was Arthur likely to sym- I had to tell her all about the eggs. I pathize with such a project. Yet it must think she was rather surprised at my askand should be carried out. Meantime I ing her so very soon as I did for my allowwas very miserable, and I wished some-ance. It was Saturday the day on body would scold me. Unluckily there which it always was paid-but she was was no one to do that, as Miss Hughes so good about not asking questions she was away, and my father-though strict thought one would not like, that when she enough with Arthur -never found fault had laughed at me a little for being in with me. He used to say he did not un- such a hurry, and I had turned rather derstand little girls, and I suppose that cross, she only said, "I don't think it's was because he had no sister of his own, worth being cross about, Ethel; do you?" and so he thought they must be quite dif- and gave me the sixpence at once. I fferent from boys. When we both got into wished afterwards I had told her all about mischief, he used to say to Arthur, "You the silk dress; and I think now it is a pity ought to be ashamed of putting such things to take it for granted that people will not into your sister's head;" and he never care or understand about things. I beseemed to think that I could have helped lieve they really do care and understand doing the things, and ought to be scolded more often than not, only, of course, too. And so when I went down-stairs after they can't know without being told. tea, he said nothing about the eggs, but Well, on Monday I began regular leslooked up from his paper, and smiled, sons, and had to work rather hard, as I and said, "There you are!" and then, always did in London. There was the should I be glad when Miss Hughes dancing-class and the singing-class, became back? And when I said, "Father, sides French and German lessons, and my I handed the eggs to Arthur," which English with Miss Hughes too, so that I was very hard to say, and made me get hot was very busy indeed. But all the time I all over, and twist my fingers about, he never forgot the silk dress, and I did not only said, "Did you, darling? what a spend a penny of my allowance on dolls' scamp that boy is !" So then I really felt clothes, or story-books, or barley sugar. a little bit angry, though I don't quite My dolls knew all about the great project, know with whom; and I said, "Well, fa- for I told them, that is, they knew that ther, I think I ought to go to bed instead I was raising a sum of money to assist a of coming in to dessert." Then he laid lady in distressed circumstances — that down his newspaper, and said, "Is that was how I put it-and also that their the usual punishment for little girls? Uncle Arthur and myself had unfortuWell yes; perhaps you had better go to nately contributed to her misfortunes. I bed. And you have had a journey to-day, could not tell my children exactly about so it won't hurt you to be early." So I the eggs, or they would not have respected did go to bed, but before I went I asked me; but I hoped they would think that father the name of the lady in the car- poor Mrs. Barnes had lost her money in a riage, and he said, Barnes - Mrs. Barnes. bank, or something of that kind, with I dreamt of Mrs. Barnes all that night, which Arthur and I had to do, and that and the first thing I asked nurse in the that was the reason I was so anxious to morning was whether she could tell me help her. I formed a society, too, called the price of a silk dress. She said if she the London and Country Society for prowere buying one for herself, she didn't viding Poor Ladies with Blue Silk Dresses suppose she could get one "not that Gratis, or for short, the L.A.C.S.F.P.P.L. she would care to be seen in,”" - for less W.B.S.D.G., to which all my children be than three pounds, which sum seemed so longed, from my eldest daughter, Gladys enormous in my eyes as to plunge me Mabel (who was made of wax, and had again into the very depths of despair. three dresses) to little Meredith, my youngThree pounds! How was I ever to get est boy, whose clothes would not take off, them and my allowance only sixpence because they were of gutta-percha like a week! But things always do seem himself. I don't know exactly why I rather better in the morning. I have no-called the society London and Country, ticed that often; and also that when one but I fancied that it sounded more imhas quite determined to do something, it makes the trouble, whatever it is, much easier to bear. So I was quite comparatively cheerful when Miss Hughes came home that afternoon, though she saw at

posing.

We kept a box in the dolls' house, and on Saturday, when I had got my allowance, I used to give the children theirs - a penny all round; and after that say,

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"Now, my dears, the money is yours, you know, to do what you like with; and of course you can spend it on sweets, or on toys, or "—and then I would make an impressive pause "you might give it to the London and Country Society for providing Poor Ladies with Blue Silk Dresses Gratis!" And so well brought up were my children, that they invariably chose to give to the society, though sometimes one of the boys would make a little fuss about it, and say he was saving up to buy him self a watch, or me a birthday present, or something of that kind. But then I used to be rather cold to him for the rest of the day, and he generally came round in the end. I would have let Margy and Mabel and Georgie belong too, but that I knew they would have talked about it- Margy was only five then — which, of course, I could depend upon my own children not to do. There was one other member of the society, and that was dear Toby, my father's dog, a black-and-tan terrier, of whom I was very fond. He was a very handsome, valuable dog, and he knew that, and also how much my father thought of him, quite well, which was perhaps the reason he never allowed me to take any liberties with him. Not that he ever dreamt of biting, but he had a way of turning his head in the opposite direction with an indescribable air of haughtiness and long-suffering when I kissed him effusively, that rather discouraged my advances. However, I loved him very much, and was always glad to hear him scratching at the schoolroom door, which he would only do when he was quite sure there was no chance for him of going out with my father. He would sometimes condescend to come to my dolls' feasts, and help to eat up the dishes (if there were any made of milk and biscuits - he did not care for jam); and it was one day when I was giving a tea to the members of the L.A.C., etc., that he happened to come in, and I instantly enrolled him among them. After that I used often to make him a present of a penny or twopence, which he always, in the most generous manner, returned to the money-box of the society. I think it is very funny how one can play and make fun about a thing which is quite real and serious, and even sad; for all this time, in spite of the society, and the dolls' feasts, and Toby, I was often really unhappy about Miss Barnes, and used to keep myself awake by imagining the uncomfortable positions in which she might be placed by the loss

of her dress.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. LXI. 3124

And of course the fund grew very slowly indeed, so that at the end of a month, what with 17s. 2d. I had when I began to collect, my allowance for that time, a penny I found, sixpence for good marks from Miss Hughes, and a shilling for having a tooth out, it only amounted to one pound and ninepence in all, which left still what seemed a terribly large sum to collect.

At last something happened which at first seemed such a great trouble as even to exceed that of Miss Barnes, but which ended in bringing my object to pass in a far shorter time than I could possibly have dared to hope. One evening Miss Hughes and I had just finished lessons, and were sitting down to tea, when my father came into the schoolroom -a very unusual thing for him to do at that or indeed any time of day.

"I beg your pardon, Miss Hughes," he said, "but I am anxious about Toby. Did he follow you and Ethel out walking today?"

"No; we had not seen him at all." "Oh, father, he isn't lost?" I cried, in dire dismay.

"I hope not; but I feel a little uneasy about him. He followed me out of the house this afternoon, and after a bit I missed him, but thought nothing of it, as I had noticed you starting for your walk at the end of the street, and supposed he had run after you. But he was not at home when I came in, and the servants say they have not seen him. I suppose he can't be in the nursery ? "

That was not at all likely, as nurse did not approve of dogs, and very decidedly discouraged Toby's visits; but I flew upstairs as a forlorn hope, only to return with the news that the nursery party had not even seen Toby all day.

"Then I am afraid there can be no doubt he has been stolen," said my father. "But don't look so terribly distressed, Ethel. I shall write out a description of him at once, and offer a reward of two pounds. I think we shall get him back."

"Think we shall get him back!" How dreadful that there should be any doubt! Poor, dear, dignified Toby! how would he ever bear the degradation of being stolen? That was my predominant thought, and I said so to Miss Hughes; but she said she did not think he would mind so very much, for, being such a valuable dog, he would be sure to be well taken care of and fed, whoever had got him. However, that could not make any difference to his feelings; and I knew he must be very unhappy, as I certainly was my

50

self. That night I forgot all about Miss
Barnes, and thought of nothing but Toby.
Toby in the hands of a dog-stealer, who
shut him up with a lot of common dogs
and did not give him a proper supper!
Toby lost in the streets, with nowhere to
Toby starving! or, far worse,
go to!
-killed
Toby run over by a brewer's dray-
in a fight with a big dog, or so badly
hurt that he could not stir, and lying in
some far away corner of London, moaning
and whining with pain, and wondering
why we did not come to help him! That
was by far the worst thought, and I
could hardly bear to dwell on it-yet,
like a very silly little girl, did dwell on it
until my pillow was quite wet with tears,
and my head ached so that it was painful
to think of what both I and my German
master would have to go through at ten
o'clock next morning.

We did not hear anything of Toby the next day, nor the day after that, and we were all getting more and more anxious about him. At last Sunday came, and in the afternoon Miss Hughes said she would take me to St. Paul's Cathedral, which was always a great treat, and one I did not have very often, as it was such a long way to go. We used to take a cab as far as Westminster Bridge, and then walk, as I was so fond of the Embankment, and the city streets beyond, which were a change from the parks where I usually walked. We started rather early that afternoon, as indeed we generally did, so as to allow plenty of time for the walk, and the consequence was that we reached St. Paul's very nearly half an hour before the service began. We were standing on the steps of the Cathedral, deliberating whether we should go in and get a good It was a very bad day, that next; for place, or take another turn, because it was when you cry yourself to sleep, it is very so fine, when a very extraordinary thing odd how ready the tears are to come at took place. Strolling leisurely along the any moment the morning after, though you street, on the Christ's Hospital side of St. would think there could be hardly any left Paul's, I saw a very dirty, untidy little at all. And tears do so interfere with boy, not much bigger than myself. That -Toby! There one's lessons and everything else. Miss little boy was leading a dog by a piece Hughes was very kind; but when I had of string; that dog was— cried in the middle of my German lesson, could not be the slightest doubt about it. and after my music lesson, and in the I should have known him among a hunmorning because it was too wet to go out, dred, and I did not hesitate one moment. and in the afternoon because it cleared Before Miss Hughes had time to look up, she said she must punish me, because round, I had dashed down the steps, crying, for the boy, seeing me if I did not learn to be self-controlled I"Toby! Toby! That dog belongs to us! should be miserable all my life. So I had Oh, stop! stop!". to practise scales and exercises for half make for him, and feeling a violent tug an hour in playtime, which made me very from Toby, who knew my voice at once, cross at first, and I played them very took to his heels, and began racing down slowly, with limp fingers, in that way that the street in the direction of the City. But then Miss is so horrid to listen to. Hughes said,

"Ethel, you know I am obliged to punish
you, because you were silly and naughty.
But I have not done anything naughty, so
you need not punish me by playing so
badly. Don't you think it would be nicer
and fairer if you played as well as you
can?'

And I did really think that was quite
true. So I played properly and fast, after
which I felt much better; and then I said
I was sorry for having been such a goose,
and told Miss Hughes what I was afraid
of for Toby. We talked about it together,
and she told me how very unlikely she
thought it that a dog so well used to Lon-
don as he was should have let himself be
run over, and that made me much happier.
She came to say good-night to me, too,
when I was in bed, and I did not cry at
all, but went to sleep very soon.

I was after them both in a minute, quite forgetting to be frightened, and full only of the idea that Toby must be rescued. we had a clear The City streets are very empty on a Sunday afternoon, so course, and might, I dare say, have run for a long time without being stopped. It was, however, not very far that we went; for though, no doubt, the boy would soon have outdistanced me, he was heavily handicapped by Toby, who utterly refused to run, and, with stiff resisting legs and stubborn back, acted as a most effectual drag, so that I must anyhow have soon come up with them both. The chase, however, was brought to a sudden end in another way. Whether it was that Toby's string got twisted round his captor's legs, or whether he tripped over a stone, I do not know, but certain it is that down he fell full-length, and had not time to get up again before I was by his side.

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