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The Moodna creek had now become very low, plump spring chickens were killed and roasted, and not over half of its stony bed was covered with and to these were added such a quantity of hamwater. At many points, light, active feet could find sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs, that I declared their way across and not get wet. Junior now had that we were provisioned for a week. My wife a project on hand, of which he and Merton had nodded at Bobsey, and said: often spoken of late. A holiday was given to the " Wait and see !" boys, and they went to work to construct an eel- Whom do you think we employed to mount guard weir and trap. With trousers well rolled up, they during our absence? None other than Mr. Bagley. selected a point on one side of the creek where the Mr. Jones said that it was like asking a wolf to water was deepest, and here they left an open pas- guard the flock, for his prejudices yielded slowly; sage-way for the current. On each side of this but I felt sure that this proof of trust would do the they began to roll large stones, and on these man more good than a dozen sermons. Indeed, he placed smaller stones, raising two long obstructions did seem wonderfully pleased with his task, and said: to the natural flow. These continuous obstruc- “ Ye'll find I've 'arned my dollar when ye get tions slanted obliquely up-stream, directing the back.” main current to the open passage, which was only The children scarcely slept, in their glad anticiabout two feet wide, with two posts on each side pation, and were up with the sun. Mr. and Mrs. narrowing it still more. In this they placed the Jones drove down in their light wagon, while Juntrap, a long box made of lath, sufficiently open to ior joined our children in another straw-ride, let the water run through it, and having a pe- packed in between the lunch-baskets. We had culiar opening at the upper end where the current ample time after reaching the landing to put our began to rush down the narrow passage-way. The horse and vehicle in a safe place, and then we box rested closed on the gravelly bottom, and was watched for the “Mary Powell.” Soon we saw her fastened to the posts. Short, close-fitting slats approaching Newtown, four miles above, then from the bottom and top of the box, at its upper speed toward and round up to the wharf, with the end, sloped inward, till they made a narrow open- ease and grace of a swan. We scrambled aboard, ing. All its other parts were eel-tight. The eels smiled at by all. I do not suppose we formed, with coming down with the current which had been di- our lunch-baskets, a very stylish group; but that rected toward the entrance of the box, as has been was the least of our troubles. I am confident that explained, passed into it, and there they would re- none of the elegant people we brushed against main. They never had the wit to find the narrow were half so happy as were we. entrance by which they had entered. This turned We stowed away our baskets and then gave out to be useful sport, for every morning the boys ourselves up to the enjoyment of the lovely Highlifted their trap and took out a goodly number of land scenery, and to watching the various kinds of eels; and when the squirmers were nicely dressed craft that we were constantly passing. Winnie and and browned, they proved delicious food.
Bobsey had been placed under bonds for good beIn the comparative leisure which the children havior, and were given to understand that they enjoyed during August, they felt amply repaid for must exercise the grace of keeping moderately the toil of the previous months. We also man- still. The sail down the river and bay was a aged to secure two great gala-days. The first was a long, grateful rest to us older people, and I saw trip to the sea-shore; and this was a momentous with pleasure that my wife was enjoying every moevent.
ment and that the fresh sea breezes were fanning The “Mary Powell,” a swist steamboat, touched color into her cheeks. Plump Mrs. Jones dozed every morning at the Maizeville landing. I and smiled, and wondered at the objects we passed, learned that, from its wharf in New York, for she had never been much of a traveler; while another steamboat started for Coney Island, and her husband's shrewd eyes took in everything, and came back to the city in time for us to return he often made us laugh by his quaint comments. on the “Mary Powell” on the same day. Thus Junior and Merton were as alert as hawks. They we could secure a delightful sail down the river early made the acquaintance of deck-hands who and bay, and also have several hours on the beach. good-naturedly answered their numerous questions. My wife and I talked over this little outing, and I took the younger children on occasional exploring found that by taking our lunch with us, it would be expeditions, but never allowed them to escape my inexpensive. I saw Mr. Jones, and induced him reach, for I soon learned that Bobsey's promises sat and his wife, with Junior, to join us. Then the lightly on his conscience. children were told of our plan, and their hurrahs At last we reached the great Iron Pier at Coney made the old house ring. Now that we were Island, which we all traversed, with wondering eyes. in for it, we proposed no half-way measures. Four We established ourselves in a large pavilion, fit
ted up for just such picnickers as ourselves. Be- dition, until half the acre had been cleared. The neath us stretched the sandy beach. We elderly vines in the lower half of the patch were now people were glad enough to sit down and rest, but growing very yellow, and I decided to leave them the children forgot even the lunch-baskets, in their until the tubers had thoroughly ripened, for winter eagerness to run upon the sand in search of shells. By the twentieth of the month we had all
All went well until an unusually high wave came the space that had been cleared, half an acre rolling in. The children scrambled out of its way, set in Dutchess and Wilson strawberries; and with the exception of Bobsey, and he was caught, the plants first set were green and vigorous, showand tumbled over, and lay kicking in the white ing a disposition to renew their running tendencies. foam. In a moment I sprang down the steps, But these runners were promptly cut off, so that picked him up, and bore him to his mother. the plants might grow strong enough to give a
His clothing had been deluged; and now what good crop of fruit the following June. was to be done? After inquiry and consultation, I I now began to tighten the reins on the children, found that I could procure for him a little bathing- and we all put in longer hours of work. dress which would answer during the heat of the During the month we gathered a few bushels day, and an old colored woman promised to have of plums on the place. My wife preserved some, his garments dry in an hour. So the one cloud on and the rest were sold at the boarding-houses and our pleasure proved to have a very bright lining, village stores; for Mr. Bogart had written that for Bobsey, since he was no longer afraid of the when I could find a home market for small quanwater, could roll in the sand and gentle surf to his tities of produce, it would pay me better than sendheart's content.
ing it to the city. I kept myself informed as Having devoured a few sandwiches to keep up to city prices, and found that he had given me our courage, we all procured bathing-dresses, even good and disinterested advice. Therefore, we Mrs. Jones having been laughingly compelled by managed to dispose of our small crop of early her husband to follow the general example. When pears and peaches in the same manner as with the we all gathered in the passage-way leading to the plums. Every day convinced me of the wisdom water, we were convulsed with laughter at our ridic- of buying a place already stocked with fruit; for ulous appearance; but there were so many others although the first cost was greater, we had imin like plight that we were scarcely noticed. Mr. mediately secured an income which promised to Jones remarked that if “we could take a stroll leave a margin of profit after meeting all expenses. through Maizeville now, there would n't be a crow During the last week of August the potatoes left in town."
were fully ripe, and Merton, Winnie, Bobsey and Mrs. Jones could not be induced to go beyond a I worked manfully, sorting the large from the point where the water was over a foot or two deep, small, as they were gathered. The crop turned and the waves rolled her around like an amiable out very well, especially on the lower side of the porpoise. Merton and Junior were soon swim- field, where the ground had been rather richer ming fearlessly, the latter wondering, meanwhile, and moister than in the upper portion. at the buoyant quality of the salt water as com- I permitted Merton to dig by spells only, for it pared with that of our creek. My wife, Mousie was hard work for him; but he seemed to enjoy and Winnie allowed me to take them beyond the throwing out the smooth, great, white-coated felbreakers, and soon grew confident. In fifteen lows, and they made a pretty sight as they lay in minutes I sounded recall, and we all emerged, thick rows behind us, drying, for a brief time, in lank Mr. Jones now making, in very truth, an
They were picked up, put in barrels, ideal scarecrow. Bobsey's dry clothes were drawn to the dry, cool shed, and well covered brought, and half an hour later we all were from the light. Mr. Jones had told me that as clothed, and, as Mr. Jones remarked, “for a soon as potatoes had dried off after digging, they wonder, in our right minds."
ought to be kept in the dark, as far as possible, In due time we arrived at home, tired, sleepy, since too much light made them tough and bitter. yet content with the fact that we had filled one day Now that they were ripe, it was important that they with enjoyment and added to our stock of health. should be dug promptly, for I had read that a
The next morning proved that Bagley had kept warm rain was apt to start the new potatoes growhis word. Everything was in order, and the ing, and this spoiled them for table use. So I said: amount of work accomplished in the garden “We will stick to this task until it is finished, showed that he had been on his mettle.
and then we shall have another outing. I am The month of August was now well advanced. almost ready to begin rebuilding the barn; but We had been steadily digging the potatoes in the before I do so, I wish to visit Houghton Farm, and field and selling them in their unripened con- shall take you all with me. I may obtain some
ideas which will be useful, even in my small outlay Moreover, I could not endure to keep pigs in the of money."
muddy, common pens in ordinary use, feeling that So we dug away at the potatoes, and gathered we could never eat the pork produced under such like ants until we had nearly a hundred bushels conditions. stored. As they were only fifty cents a bushel, I After a visit to the sheep and poultry departresolved to keep the rest of the crop and sell dur- ments, each occupying a large farm by itself, we ing the following winter and spring, when I might felt that we had seen much to think and talk over. need money more than at present, and also get It was hard to get Winnie away from the poulbetter prices.
try houses and yards, where each celebrated breed Then, one day toward the end of August, we all was kept scrupulously by itself. There were a started, after an early dinner, for the Farm, Junior thousand hens, besides innumerable young chickgoing with us as usual.
We were also shown incubators, which, in Houghton Farm, distant a few miles, is a mag- spring, hatch little chickens by hundreds. nificent estate of about one thousand acres; and A visit to “Crusoe Island” entertained the chilthe outbuildings upon it are princely in com- dren more than anything else. A mountain parison with anything I could erect. They had stream had been dammed so as to make an island. been constructed, however, on practical and scien. On the surrounding waters floated fleets of watertific principles, and I hoped that a visit might fowl, ducks and geese of various breeds, and, chief suggest to me some useful hints. Sound princi- in interest, a flock of Canada wild-geese, domesples might be applied, in a modest way, to even ticated. Here we could look closely at these great such a structure as would come within my means. wild migrants that, in spring and fall, pass and reAt any rate, a visit to such a farm would be full of pass high up in the sky, in flocks, flying in the interest and pleasure.
form of a harrow or the two sides of a triangle, We had been told that the large-minded and meanwhile sending out cries that, in the distance, liberal owner of this model farm welcomed visitors, sound strange and weird. and so we had no doubts as to our reception. Leaving my wife and children admiring these Nor were we disappointed when, having skirted birds and their rustic houses on the island, I went broad, rich fields for some distance, we turned to with Major Alvord to his offices, and saw the fine the right, down a long, wide lane, bordered by scientific appliances for carrying on agricultural beautiful shrubbery, to the great buildings, each experiments designed to extend the range of accuone numbered conspicuously. We were met cour- rate and practical knowledge. Not only was the teously by Major Alvord, the agent in charge of great farm planted and reaped, the blooded stock the entire estate; and when I had explained the grown and improved by careful breeding, but, acobject of my visit, he kindly gave us a few mom- companying all this labor, was maintained a careents, showing us through the different barns and ful system of experiments tending to develop and stables. Our eyes grew large with wonder as we establish that supreme science,- the successful saw the complete appliances for carrying on an culture of the soil. Major Alvord evidently deimmense stock-farm. The summer crops had been served his reputation for doing the work thoroughly gathered, and we exclaimed at the hundreds of and intelligently, and I was glad to think that tons of hay, fodder, and straw stored in the mows. there were men in the land, like the proprietor of
When we came to look at the sleek Jersey cows Houghton Farm, who were willing to spend thouand calves, with their fawn-like faces, our admi- sands annually in enriching the rural classes by ration knew no bounds. The children went into bringing within their reach the knowledge that is ecstasies over the pretty, innocent faces of the power. Jersey calves.
I was thoughtful as we drove home, and at last We next went to see a great Norman mare, my wife slyly lifted a penny toward my face. and the large, clumsy colt at her side. Then we “No,” I said, laughing, “my thoughts shall not all admired beautiful stallions with fiery eyes and cost you even a penny. What I have seen toarching necks, the superb carriage-horses, and the day has made clearer what I have believed before. sleek, strong work-animals and their stalls, finished There are two distinct ways of securing success in in fine, hard wood. Soon afterward, Bobsey went outdoor work. One is ours, and the other is after wild over the fat little Essex pigs, black as coals. the plan of Houghton Farm. Ours is the only
“Possess your soul in patience, Bobsey,” I said. way possible for us — that of working a small place “With our barn, I am going to make a sty, and and performing the labor, so far as possible, within then we shall begin to keep pigs.”
ourselves. If I had played boss,' as Bagley someI had had no good place for them thus far, and times calls me, and hired the labor which we have felt that we had attempted enough for beginners. done ourselves, the children meanwhile idle, we
THE OWL, THE PUSSY - CAT, AND THE LITTLE BOY.
should soon have come to a disastrous end in our “I’m content with our own little place and country experiment. The fact that we all have modest ways,” said my wife. “I never wish our worked hard, and wisely, too, in the main, and have affairs to grow so large that we can't talk them employed extra help only when there was more over every night, if so inclined.” than we could do, will explain the balance in our “Well," I replied, “I never should have made favor. I believe that one of the chief causes of a great merchant in town, and I am content to be failure on the part of people in our circumstances a small farmer in the country. The insurance is that they employ help to do what they should money will be available in a few days, and we have done themselves, and that it doesn't and can't shall begin building at once.” pay small farmers and fruit-growers to attempt The next day, Merton and I cleared away the inuch beyond what they can take care of, most rest of the debris in and around the foundations of of the year, with their own hands. Then there's the barn; and before night the first load of lumber the other method, — that of large capital carrying arrived from the carpenter who had taken the on a farm as we have seen to-day. The farm contract. then becomes like a great factory or mercantile This forerunner of bustling workmen, and all house. There must be at the head of everything the mystery of fashioning crude material into a large organizing brain capable of introducing something looking like the plan over which we had and enforcing thorough system, and of skillfully all pored so often, was more interesting to the childirecting labor and investment, so as to secure the dren than the construction of Solomon's temple. most money from the least outlay. A farm such “ To-morrow the stone-masons come,” I said at as we have just seen would be like a bottom- supper; “and we are promised a new barn, comless pit for money in bungling, careless hands.” plete, by October.”
(To be concluded.)
THE OWL, THE PUSSY-CAT, AND THE LITTLE BOY.
BY J. G. FRANCIS.
THE Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to see