Of Brave Horatius, and Elsie's Brand-New Baby: From the Journal of Opal Whiteley


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ of this chapter of the Journal


most dear wood-rat.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, the gray horse. BRAVE HORATIUS, the shepherd dog.

PETER PAUL RUBENS, the pet pig.





Six Years Old

I HAVE wonders where is Brave Horatius. He comes not at my calling. Two days he is now gone. For him I go on searches. I go the three roads that go the three ways from where they have meeting in front of the ranch-house. On and on I go. To the Orne and Rille I go. I go adown their ways. I call and call. Into the woods beyond the rivière — into the forêt de Saint-Germain-enLaye I go. I listen. The sounds that were in time of summer are not now. Brave Horatius is not there. I call and call. Then I come back again. I go to the house of the girl who has no seeing. I go on. I go across the fields of Auvergne and Picardie. But I have no seeing of my Brave Horatius. I come back again. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice — he does keep watch by the mill. But these two days he has had no seeing of Brave Horatius. I have wonders where can he be.

Every time I see the chore-boy he does sing, ‘There was a little dog and his name was Rover, and when he died, he died all over — and — when — he — died — he — died — all — over.’ The last part he does wail in a most long way.

I have not listenings to what that chore-boy says. I go on. I pray on. I look and I look for Brave Horatius. I go four straight ways and I come back four different ways. When I am come I go back and forth by Jardin des Tuileries and across Pont Royal and adown the singing creek where the willows grow. Lonesome feels are everywhere. I call and I do call. And I do go on to where Rhone flows around Camargue.

I wonder where he is. In the morning of to-day, when I did go that way, I did meet with the father of Lola. And I did ask if he had seen my Brave Horatius. He did have no seeing of him, and he did ask where I was going on searches. I did tell him to Orne and Yonne and Rille and to Camargue and Picardie and Auvergne and to forêt de Montmorency. And when I did so tell him, he did laugh. Most all the folks do laugh at the names I do call places hereabout. They most all do laugh ’cepting Sadie McKinzie. She smiles and smoothes out my curls and says, ‘Name ’em what ye are a mind to, dearie.’ Sadie McKinzie has an understanding soul. She keeps watch out of her window for seeings of Brave Horatius, and she has promised me she will ask everybody that she does see go by her house if they have had seeings of Brave Horatius.

All my friends do feel lonesome feels for Brave Horatius. Lars Porsena of Clusium hardly has knowing what to do. And Peter Paul Rubens did have goings with me three times on searches. And when I did have stops to pray, he did grunt amen. And he would like to have goings with me on the afternoon of to-day. But the pig-pen fence — it was fixed most tight. And I could n’t unfix it with the hammer so he might have goings with me. I did start on. He did grunt grunts to go. I did feel more sad feels. I do so like to have him go with me on explores and searches. To-day I did go on, and then I did come back to give him more good-bye pats on the nose until I was come again. So I did four times. I did tell him, when Brave Horatius was found, we would soon come to his pen.

Then I went on. On I went not far, for the mamma did call me to come tend the baby. And I came again to the house we live in. When sleeps was upon the baby, I lay me down to sleep, for tired feels was upon me. Now I feel not so. I have been making prints. The mamma is gone with the baby to the house of Elsie. I go now again to seek for my Brave Horatius.

A little way I went. A long way I went. When I was come part way back again, I climbed upon the old gray fence made of rails. I walked adown it to the gate-post and there I sat. I sat there until I saw the shepherd bringing down the sheep from the blue hills. When he was come in sight, I went up the road to meet him and all the sheep. And when I was come near unto them I did have seeing that there by the shepherd’s side did abide my Brave Horatius. I was happy. I was full of glad feels. Brave Horatius showed his glad feels in his tail —and he did look fond looks at the flock of sheep. I so did, too. And in the flock there was Bede of Jarrow and Alfric of Canterbury and Albéric de Briançon and Felix of Croyland. And there was Cynewulf and Alcuin and Oderic and Gwian and Elidor. And in the midst of the flock was Guy de Cavaillon and Raoul de Houdenc and Edwin of Diera and Adamnan of Iona. I did give to each and every one a word of greeting as I did walk among the flock. And there were others that I had not yet given names to. And last of them all — last of all the flock was Dalian Forgaill.

And when we were come a little way, the shepherd did ask me again what were the names I did call his sheep, and I told him all over again. And he did say them after me. But the ways he did say them were not just the ways I say them — some of them. And he did ask me where I did have gettings of those names. And I did tell him I did have gettings of those names from my two books that Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in. We went on.

Pretty soon I did tell him as how it was while he was gone away to the blue hills I did choose for him another name. I told him how sometimes I did call him by that other name. He did have wantings to know what the other name was. I did tell him this new name I have for him is Aidan of Iona come from Lindisfarne. He liked it. I told him I did, too. We went on. We did have talks. When we were come near unto the lane I did say, ‘Good-bye, Aidan of Iona come from Lindisfarne. I am glad you and the flock are come.’

He gave my curls a smooth back and he said, ‘Good-bye, little one.’

Then Brave Horatius and I went in a hurry in the way that does go to the pig-pen. When we were gone part ways I looked a look back and in the road there I saw Aidan of Iona come from Lindisfarne still watching us. Then we went on. And we were full of gladness when we did reach the pig-pen, for Brave Horatius and Peter Paul Rubens and I, we are friends. I did say a long thank prayer for that we were together again. And Peter Paul Rubens did grunt ‘Amen.’

Most all day in school to-day I did study from the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did make for me. I did screwtineyes the spell of words. When school was let out, I went in the way that does lead to a grove where many chêne trees do dwell. I so went to get brown leaves. After I did have a goodly number I did face about in the way that does lead to the willow creek.

When I was come to the log that goes across the creek, I went halfway across. I went not all way across because this is the going-away day of Henry I in 1135, and I did pause to scatter leaves upon the waters. I did let them fall one by one. And they were sixty-seven, for his years were sixty-seven.

Then I went to bugle in the canyon. I did go by the pig-pen. I went that way to get Peter Paul Rubens. He does so like to go for walks in that canyon of the far woods when I go to bugle there. And I do so like to have him go. I have thinks the trees and the ferns and the singing brook all have gladness when Peter Paul Rubens comes a while to walk in the woods. He does carry so much joy with him everywhere he goes. To-day near eventime we did walk our way back unto near the cathedral. We made a stop there for a short prayer service. First I said Our Father, and then I said three short prayers — one was a thank prayer, and one was a glad prayer, and one was a prayer for the safe return of Brave Horatius. As always, Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times. Then he did go his way to the pig-pen to get his supper. And I went aside to see if there was any sheeps on the hillside. I saw not one. And so I came again to the field. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was at the pasture-bars. There was lonesome feels in her mooings. I went and put my arm around her neck. It is such a comfort to have a friend near when lonesome feels do come.

I am feeling all queer inside. Yesterday was butchering day. Among the hogs they butchered was Peter Paul Rubens. The mamma let me go off to the woods all day, after my morning’s work was done. Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium went with me — a part of the time he perched on my shoulder and then he would ride on the back of Brave Horatius. Felix Mendelssohn rode in my apron pocket and Elizabeth Barrett Browning followed after. We had not gone far when we heard an awful squeal — so different from the ways pigs squeal when they want their supper. I felt cold all over. Then I did have knowings why the mamma had let me start away to the woods without scolding. And I run a quick run to save my dear Peter Paul Rubens; but already he was dying, and he died with his head in my lap.

I sat there feeling dead, too, until my knees were all wet with blood from the throat of my dear Peter Paul Rubens. After I changed my clothes and put the bloody ones in the rain-barrel, I did go to the woods to look for the soul of Peter Paul Rubens. I did n’t find it, but I think when comes the spring I will find it among the flowers — probably in the blossom of a faon lily or in the top of a fir tree. To-day when Brave Horatius and I went through the woods we did feel its presence near. When I was come back from the woods they made me grind sausage, and every time I did turn the handle I could hear that little pain squeal Peter Paul Rubens always gave when he did want me to come where he was at once.

I am joy all over. I have found in the near woods a plant that has berries like the berries symphorine has. And its leaves are like the leaves symphorine has. I have had seeings of it before, and every time I do meet with this new old plant, I do say, ‘ I have happy feels to see you, Symphorine.’ And when the wind comes walking in the near woods, the little leaves of symphorine do whisper little whispers. I have thinks they are telling me they were come here before I was come here. I can see they were, too, because their toes have growed quite a ways down in the ground.

I tied bits of bread on the tips of the branches of the trees. Too, I tied on popcorn kernels. They looked like snow flowers blooming there on fir trees. I looked looks back at them. I have knows the birds will be glad for them. Often I do bring them here for them. When I do have hungry feels, I feel the hungry feels the birds must be having. So I do have comes to tie things on the trees for them. Some have likes for different things. Little gray one of the black cap has likes for suet. And other folks have likes for other things. There is a little box in the woods that I do keep things in for the pheasants and grouses and squirrels and more little birds and wood-mouses and wood-rats. In falltime days Peter Paul Rubens did come here with me when I did bring seeds and nuts to this box for days of hiver. When we were come to the box I did have more thinks of him. I think the soul of Peter Paul Rubens is not afar.

I think it is in the forest. I go looking for it. I climb up in the trees. I call and call. And then, when I find it not, I do print a message on a leaf, and I tie it on to the highest limb I can reach. And I leave it there with a little prayer for Peter Paul Rubens. I do miss him so.

To-day, after I so did leave a message on a leaf away up in a tree for him, I did have going in along the lane and out across the field and down the road beyond the meeting of the roads.

There was grayness everywhere — gray clouds in the sky and gray shadows above and in the canyon. And all the voices that did speak — they were gray tones. And all the little lichens I did see along the way did seem a very part of all the grayness. And Felix Mendelssohn in my apron pocket — he was a part of the grayness, too. And as I did go adown the road I did meet with a gray horse — and his grayness was like the grayness of William Shakespeare. Then I did turn my face to the near woods where is William Shakespeare.

When Rob Ryder is n’t looking, I give to William Shakespeare pieces of apple and I pull grass for him. He so likes a nice bit to eat after he does pull a long pull on the logs. And while I do feed him bits of apple and bits of grass, I do tell him poems. William Shakespeare has likes for poems. And sometimes I do walk along by him when he is pulling in logs, and I do tell the poems to him while he pulls. And I give his head rubs when he is tired — and his back too. And on some Sundays when he is in the pasture, I go there to talk with him. He comes to meet me. William Shakespeare and I — we are friends. His soul is very beautiful. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice says he is a dear old horse.

Elsie has a brand-new baby and all the things that go with it. There’s a pink flower on its baby brush and a pink bow on its cradle-quilt. The angel brought the baby just last night, in the night. I have been to see it a goodly number of times — most everything I did start to do, I went aside before I did get through doing it, to take peeps at the darling baby. I so did when I was sent to feed the chickens, and when I went to carry in the wood, and when I went to visit Aphrodite, and when I went to take eggs to the folks that live yonder, and when I went to get some soap at the ranch-house, and when I went to take a sugar-lump to William Shakespeare, and when I went to take food to the folks in the hospital, and when I went to the ranch-house to get the milk. And in the between times I did go in the way that does lead to the house of Elsie.

The baby — it is a beautiful baby, though it does have much redness of face from coming such a long way in the cold last night. Maybe it was the coldness of the night that did cause the angels to make the mistake. They stopped at the wrong house. I ’m quite sure this is the very baby I have been praying for the angels to bring to the new young folks that do live by the mill by the far woods. Dear Love, her young husband does call her. And they are so happy. But they have been married seven whole months and have n’t got a baby yet. Twice every day for a time long I have been praying prayers for the angels to bring them one real soon. And most all day to-day I did feel I better tell Elsie as how this baby is n’t her baby, before she does get too fond of it. She so likes to cuddle it now. Both morning and afternoon I did put off going to tell her about it. I did wait most until eventime. Then I could n’t keep still any longer. I felt I would have to speak to her at once.

I did have knows that Mrs. Limberger, that was staying with Elsie until the other woman was come back, would n’t let me come in the door to see the baby again, because she has opinions that nineteen times is fully enough to be a-coming to see a baby on the first day of its life on earth. So I went and got a wood-box off the back porch, and I did go around to the bedroom window. I did get on top the wood-box, and I made tappings on the windowpane. Elsie did have hearings. She did turn her head on the pillow. And she gave nods for me to come in. I pushed the window a push enough so I could squeeze in. Then I sidled over to the bed.

Elsie did look so happy with the baby. I did swallow a lump in my throat. She looked kind smiles at me. I did not like to bring disturbs to her calm. I just stood there making pleats in my blue calico apron. I did have thinks of Dear Love and the house without a baby by the mill by the far woods. Then I felt I could n’t wait any longer. I just said, ‘I know you are going to have a disappoint, Elsie, but I have got to tell you — this baby is n’t yours. It’s a mistake. It really belongs to Dear Love in that most new, most little house by the mill by the far woods. It’s the one I ’ve been praying the angels to bring to her.’

Just as I was all out of breath from telling her, there did come the heavy step of Mrs. Limberger’s approaches. Elsie did say in a gentle way, ‘Come to me early in the morning and we will talk the matter over.’ Then I did go out the window.

From the house of Elsie I did go to talk with Michael Angelo Sanzio Raphael. He does so understand. All troubles that do trouble me, I do talk them over with him. While I was telling him all about how the angels did make a mistake and did bring Dear Love’s baby to the house of Elsie, I did hear a little voice. It was a baby voice. It did come from the barn. I went in to see. It was n’t in the haystack. It seemed to come from away below. I slid down to the manger of the gentle Jersey cow. I thought she was in the pasture, but there she was in the barn. And with her was a dear new baby calf. When I did ask the ranch folks when it was brought, they did say it was brought in the night last night. I have thinks the same angel that did bring the new baby to the house of Elsie did bring also in her other arm that baby calf to the gentle Jersey cow. To-night I will pick it out a name from the books Angel Mother and Angel Father did write in. Early in the morning I will go again to the house of Elsie.

Early on the morning of to-day I did go in the way that does lead to the house of Elsie. I did rap gentle raps on the door, and the young husband of Elsie did come to raise the latch. When the door did come open, I did have seeing that his black pumpadoor did seem to shine more than most times and all the vaseline was gone from the jar that sets on the kitchen shelf. I did tell him how Elsie did say for me to come early in this morning. And before he did have time for answers, Elsie did have hearing in the other room. She did call. She did call me to come in. In I went.

The baby, it was beside her. It was all wrapped in a blanket so it could n’t even have seeings out the window how the raindrops was coming down so fast. The young husband of Elsie did look fond looks at that blanket. I did begin to have fears he did have thinks it was his baby. Elsie did unwrap the blanket from its red face. It’s just as red as it was yesterday, though the rain coming makes the weather more warm. Elsie did say, ‘See its long hair.’ And I did have seeing. It was n’t long, though — not more than an inch. It was most black. And its eyes — they were dark. It did have prefers to keep them shut. When I did see them, Elsie did say, ‘Now about what we were talking about yesterday — next time you go to the house of Dear Love have seeing of the color of her eyes and hair and also of her husband’s. I hardly think this baby’s hair and eyes are like theirs. And maybe it is where it does belong.’

‘ I feel sure about that,’ said her husband, But I had not feels so.

Just then the mamma did holler for me to come home to bring wood in. I so come. Now she does have me mind the baby. I do print.

When sleeps was come upon the mamma’s baby, I straightway did go in a hurry to the house of Dear Love by the mill by the far woods. All the way along the raindrops were coming in a hurry down. Many of them did say, ‘I wonder, I wonder.’ When I was come to the house of Dear Love, she was there and he was there. Her eyes were light blue and her hair — it was very light. Most cream hair she has got. And her husband that does call her Dear Love — his eyes they are blue and he has red hair. I saw. And I was going right back because I did feel sad feels.

Dear Love, she did lead me back into her house and did have me to sit on a chair. I sat on its corner. And I felt lumps come up in my throat. She did take my off fascinator, and she did take off my shoes so my feet would get dry. Then she did take me on her lap and she did ask me what was the matter. And I just did tell her all about it — all about how I had been praying for the angels to bring a baby real soon to them, and how sad feels I did feel because they did n’t have a baby yet.

Her husband did smile a quiet smile at her, and roses did come on her cheeks. And I did have thinks that they did have thinks that this baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie was their baby. Then I did give them careful explanations as how I too did have thinks it was their baby the angels did bring to the house of Elsie, that I did pray for them to have real soon. And as how I did have thinks so yesterday and last night and right up until now, when I did come to their house and have seeings of their blue eyes and his red hair. I did tell them as how this baby could n’t be theirs, because it has most dark hair and eyes, like the eyes and the hair of the young husband of Elsie.

Angels do have a big amount of goodly wisdom. They do bring to folks babies that are like them. To mother sheeps they do bring lambs. To mother horse they do bring a poulain. To mother bats they bring twin bats. To a mother mouse they do bring a baby mulot and some more like it—all at the same time. To mère daine they do bring a baby faon. To the gentle Jersey cow they did bring a baby calf with creamness and brownness upon it like the creamness and brownness that is upon the gentle Jersey cow. Angels do have a goodly amount of wisdom. They do bring to folks babies that do match them. And after I did tell them that, I did have telling them as how, being as this baby did n’t have eyes and hair to match theirs, it could n’t be their baby. But I did tell them not to have disappoints too bad, because I am going to pray on — and maybe she will get a baby next week.

When I did say that, her young husband did walk over to the window and look long looks out. I have thinks he was having wonders if two or three angels would be coming with the angel that will be bringing their baby, and if the cradle-quilt they bring with it will have a blue bow or a pink bow on it, and if its baby brush will have blue fleurs or pink fleurs on it. I have wonders. I think blue fleurs on its baby brush, and a blue bow on its cradlequilt will look nicer with red hair than pink fleurs and a pink bow. I have thinks I better put that in my prayers.

By and by, when my feet were dry, they did put my shoes on and they laced them up. They did n’t miss a stringhole like I do sometimes when I am in a hurry to get them tied up. Then, when they did have them tied up, they did want me to stay to dinner; but I did have feels I must hurry back to the house of Elsie and tell her that the baby was hers. She might be having anxious feels about it. When I did say goodbye they did give me two apples — one for William Shakespeare and one for Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And they did give me some cheese for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and corn for Lars Porsena of Clusium. And they came a long way with me.

Then I did go on in hurry steps to the house of Elsie. As quick as her young husband did open the door, I did walk right in, for I did have thinks maybe she did have some very anxious feels while I was gone. She smiled glad smiles when I told her it was hers. It must have been an immense amount of relief — her now knowing it really was her own baby. And when I did turn around to tell her young husband it was theirs, her young husband — he just said, ‘I knew it was mine.’ And he looked more fond looks at the blanket it was wrapped in. I have feels now it is nice for them to have it; and it is good that they will not have needs to give it up, being as it matches them. Angels do have a goodly amount of wisdom. This is a wonderful world to live in.

Some days there is cream to be shaked into butter. When there is only a little cream to be shaked into butter, then the mamma has me to shake it to and fro in a glass jar. Sometimes it gets awfully heavy, and my arms do have ache feels up and down. There are most ache feels when the butter is a long time in coming. It so was to-day. I gave it many shakes and I was having hopes it soon would be come. After some long time, when it was most come, the lid came off and it all shaked out. Then the mamma did have cross feels, and the spanks she gave made me to have sore feels on the back part of me. I was making tries to be helps. That butter was almost come.

After I did give the floor washes and mops up where the splashes of buttermilk did jump, then the mamma put me out of the door and told me to get out and stay out of her way. I so did. I went out across the field, and in along the lane. Lars Porsena of Clusium had going with me. I looked looks away to the meeting of the roads. There was a horse come near unto it. A man was riding on this horse. I like to ride upon a horse. I like to stand up when I ride upon a horse. It is so much joy. I feel the feels the horse does feel when he puts each foot to the ground.

When I did see that horse go on and on, then I did have feels it would be nice to go a long way on explores. I did have thinks William Shakespeare had wants to go. He was in the lane. I gave him pats on the nose and I talked with him about it. We did start on. When we were come to the end of the lane, there was the gate. It did take some long time to get it open. The plug did stick so tight and more yet. I did pull and I made more pulls. It came out. It did come out in a quick way. I did have a quick set-down. I got up in a slow way. I did show William Shakespeare the way to go out the gate. He went, I went. We went adown the road. A little way we went and we were come to a stump. I made a climb upon it. From the stump I did climb upon the back of William Shakespeare.

We went on. When we were come to the meeting of the roads, we went the way that goes to the upper camps.

We went on. And the boards of the bridge did make squeaks as we went across. And they said in their squeaks, ‘We have been waiting a long time for you to go across the rivière.’ And I did have William Shakespeare to make a little stop, so I could tell the boards I have been waiting waits a long time to go across. While I so was doing they did not squeak. When we made a start to go on they did squeak.

After we were across the rivière, we went in a more slow way. There were so many things to see. Trees and trees were all along the way. There were more ranch-houses. I did have seeing of them set always back from the road, and smoke did come in curls from out their chimneys. At a bend in the road there was a big chêne tree — it was a very big one. On its arms there were bunches of mistletoe. I made a stop to have looks at them. I had thinks I might reach up to them. I stood on tiptoe on the back of William Shakespeare. I could reach a reach to one limb. I put my arms around it and had a swing. It was very nice to swing one forward and two back again. But when I was ready to stand on William Shakespeare again, he was not there. I looked a look down and about. He was gone on. I had wonders what to do. There was most too many rocks to drop down on.

Lars Porsena came and perched on the limb above. I did call William Shakespeare four times, and in between I called him by the bird-call that does mean I have needs of him. He did come and he made a stop under the limb. I was most glad. My arms did have a queer feel from hanging there. I was real glad just to sit quiet on the back of William Shakespeare while he did walk on. And Lars Porsena of Clusium did sit behind me.

We went on. We had seeing of the section men working on the railroad track where the donkey engine goes with the cars of lumbers to the mill town. They were making stoop-overs. I had seeing they did screwtineyes the rails and the ties they stay upon. The men did wave their hands to us, and I did wave back; and on the fence there was a bird with a yellow and a little black moon across his front. His back, it was like the grasses of the field grown old. And his song is the song of all the voices of the field. We have seeing of him and his brothers all days of the year.

We went on in a slow way. I did look looks about. And there were birds, robins and two bluebirds and more larks of the meadow and other crows like unto Lars Porsena of Clusium. When we was come to another bend in the road, William Shakespeare made a stop. I made a slide off. I went to pick him some grass. A wagon went by. Two horses were in front of it and on its high seat was a man with his hat on sideways and a woman with a big fascinator most hiding her face. There was seven children in the wagon — two with sleeps upon them and a little girl with a tam-o’-shanter and a frown and a cape. I have thinks from the looks on their faces they all did have wants to get soon to where they were going to. I brought the grass back to the road to William Shakespeare. I smiled a smile and waved to the last little girl of all on the wagon. She smiled and waved her hand. Then three more of them waved. I waved some more. The wagon had its going on, and William Shakespeare had begins to nibble at the grass I was holding in my fingers. While he did nibble nibbles I did tell him poems. William Shakespeare does have such a fondness for poetry and nibbles of grass and sugar-lumps.

While we did have waiting at the bend of the road, I saw a maple tree with begins of buds upon it. I did walk up to the tree. I put my ear to it to have listens to the sap going up. It is a sound I like to hear. There is so much of springtime in it.

We went on. When we were come again to a stump, I did climb again upon his back. We went by a big mill with piles of lumber to its near side, and a long wide roof it had. There was a row of lumber-shanties, and some more. There was children about, and dogs. They did smile and wave, and I did too. We went on. More fir trees of great tallness were on either side the road.

They did stretch out their great arms to welcome us. I so do love trees. I have thinks I was once a tree growing in the forest; now all trees are my brothers.

When we were gone a little way on from the very tall trees, in the sky the light of day was going from blue to silver. And thoughts had coming down the road to meet us. They were thoughts from out the mountains where are the mines. They were thoughts from the canyons that come down to meet the road by the rivière. I did feel their coming close about us. Very near they were and all about. We went on a little way only. We went very slow. We had listens to the thoughts. They were thoughts of blooming time and coming time. They were the soul thoughts of little things that soon will have their borning time.

When we did go on we did hear little sounds coming from a long way down the road. They were like the shoe on the foot of a horse making touches on the road in a hurry way. The sound it came more near. We made a stop to have a listen. It was coming more near gray-light-time and we could not have plain sees until the horse was come more near away down the road. Then we had sees a man was riding on the horse. They came on in the quick way that made the little fast patter-sounds on the ground. When he was most come to where we were, the man did have the horse to go in a more slow way. When he was come to where we were, he did have the horse to stop.

The man upon the horse was the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He did seem most glad that we were on the road he was on. He did breathe some satisfaction breathes just like Sadie McKinzie does when she finds I have n’t broken my bones when I fall out of a tree. Then he made begins. He said ‘The fairies— ’ And I said, ‘ What? ’ He said, ‘ The fairies have left a note on a leaf in the moss-box by the old log. It was a note for me to go until I find you and William Shakespeare — to bring you home again before starlight time.’ There was a little fern-plant with the note on the leaf. He gave them to me. And we came our way home.

Now I have thinks it was God in his goodness did send the fairies to leave that fern-note on the leaf. And William Shakespeare and I were glad he was come to meet us, for the stars were not, and dark was before we were come home. But the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice — he had knows of the way of the road by night.

Jenny Strong is come to visit us. She came in the morning of to-day. She came on the logging train. She brought her bags with her. The mamma did send me to meet her at the meeting of the roads. The bags, they were heavy to carry, and my arms got some tired. As we did go along, in-between times I did look looks at Jenny Strong. There is so much of interest about her. The gray curls about her face did have the proper look she wants them to have. To get that proper look she does them up on curl-papers. I have seen her so do when she was come to visit us before. And this morning her plump cheeks were roses. And all her plumpness did most fill the gray dress she was wearing. Jenny Strong has little ruffles around tne neck of that dress, like the little ruffles that was around the neck of the man with the glove when Titian made his picture. Those ruffles on the neck of the gray dress of Jenny Strong did look like it was their joy to cuddle up against the back of her black bonnet. That black bonnet has a pink rosebud on it, and every time Jenny Strong does give her head a nod, that pink rosebud does give itself a nod. It must be interest to be a pink rosebud on a black bonnet that Jenny Strong wears.

When we were come to the gate Jenny Strong did hold her cape and her gray dress up in a careful way. She had blue stockings on, and they were fastened up with pink ribbons. She went on while I did shut the gate. I did come after. I could not come after in a quick way because the bags were heavy. Pretty soon Jenny Strong did have seeing I was not there beside her, and she did wait waits for me a little while, and I did come to where she was. We went on. The way was dampness near the singing creek, and Jenny Strong did take dainty steps as we did go along. Lars Porsena of Clusium did come to meet us. And so came Brave Horatius. And Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back. The pink rosebud on the black bonnet of Jenny Strong did nod itself twelve times as we did go along.

When we were come near unto the house, there was a rooster by our front door. He was strutting along. He was that same rooster that I tied a slice of bacon around his neck this morning because he had queer actions in the throat . When Jenny Strong saw him strutting along with the bacon wrapped around his throat, she did turn her head to the side with a delicate cough.

After Jenny Strong took off her cape and her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it, I did pull the best rocking-chair out in the middle of the room for her. She sat down in it and she did start to have talks with the mamma. I did go to teeter the baby on the bed as the mamma did say for me to do. Jenny Strong did rock big rocks in that rocking-chair while she did talk. One time she did almost rock over. She breathed a big breath. Then, that she might not rock over again, I did put a stick of wood under the rocker. That helped some. But, too, it did keep her from rocking. She went on talking. I went back to the bed to teeter the baby. While I did teeter the baby I did look looks out the window. In a bush that I do tie pieces of suet to, there was a little gray bird with a black cap, and his throat it was black. He was a fluffy ball, and he almost did turn himself upside-down on that branch. Then he went a go-away. Only a little way he went. Then he was with more like himself. They went on together.

By and by the mamma’s baby did go to sleep, and I climbed off the bed and made a start to go to the nursery. Jenny Strong did ask me where I was going. I did tell her. She said she thought she would like to go with me. We did go out the door. Then I ran a quick run back to get her black bonnet with the pink rosebud on it. I brought it to her. She said, being as I did bring it to her, she would wear it, but she had not intentions to when we started. She had forgot it. But I did n’t have forgets. I do so like to see that pink rosebud nod itself.

We went on. We went a little way down the path. Then I did go aside. Jenny Strong did follow after me. She came over the little logs in a slow way. I did make stops to help her. The pink rosebud on the black bonnet did nod itself fifteen times on the way. I did count its times. When we were come to the nursery, first I did show her the many baby seeds I did gather by the wayside in the falltime. I did tell her how I was going to plant them when come springtime. She did nod her head. Every time she so did, the pink rosebud on the black bonnet did nod itself. After I told her most all about the seeds, I did show her the silk bags with spidereggs in them. Then I did show her all the cradles the velvety caterpillars did make at falltime. I did give her explainings how butterflies and moths would be a-coming out of the cradles when springtime was come. She looked concentration looks at them. She gave her head some more nods, and the pink rosebud on the black bonnet gave itself some more nods. I moved on to where the wood-mouse folks are. I was just going to show her what a nice nose and little hands Nannerl Mozart has, and what a velvety mouse Felix Mendelssohn is. When I did turn about to so do, there was Jenny Strong going in funny little hops over the logs. She was going in a hurry way to the house. I did have a wonder why was it she so went. I gave Felix Mendelssohn more pats and I put him in my apron pocket. And Nannerl Mozart did curl up in the bed I have fixed for her in the nursery. Then I did sing a lullaby song to all the wood-mice in the nursery. And there is a goodly number. I did sing to them the song La Nonette sings as it goes on its way to Oise.

Then I did go through the near wood to the mill by the far woods. I so did go to see the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. When he had seeing that I was come by the big tree, he did say in his gentle way, ‘What is it, little one? Is Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus not well?’

‘Oh, yes,’ I said, ‘he is most well and he did have likes for that piece of cheese you did give to him on yesterday. He is a most lovely wood-rat, and what I have come to tell you about is, we got company. She has a fondness for pinkness. Her name is Jenny Strong. And she has a pink rosebud on her black bonnet and ties her blue stockings up with pink ribbons.’ And then I did ask him if he did not have thinks a pink ribbon would be nice for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus to wear on days when he goes to cathedral service with me. And too I did tell him how I did have thinks a pink ribbon would be nice for William Shakespeare and Felix Mendelssohn and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Brave Horatius.

The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice did have thinks like my thinks. He did say for me to go write the fairies about it. And I did. I did write it on a gray leaf. I put the gray leaf in a moss-box at the end of an old log near unto the altar of Saint Louis. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice knows about that moss-box where I do put letters for the fairies. He believes in fairies, too. And we talk about them. He does ask me what I write to them about and what things I have needs for them to bring. I do tell him, and when the fairies do leave the things at the end of the old log, I do take and show them to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice. He is so glad.

As I did come back through the near woods, I did stop by some grand fir trees to pray. When one does look looks up at the grand trees growing up most to the sky, one does always have longings to pray. When I did come on, I did hear the mamma calling. When I was come to the door, she made me go stand in the corner of the woodshed. Soon she came out. She did shut the door tight behind her. Then she did ask me what for was it I gave Jenny Strong such a scare, and she did spank me most hard. Now I have sore feels and I have thinks it would be nice to have a cushion to sit on. And I do have wonders what it was Jenny Strong got scares about. I think grown-ups are queer sometimes.

When I did go into the house, all the scares was gone off Jenny Strong. The mamma soon did make me to go under the bed. Here I print. Jenny Strong sits by the fire. She does sit in a rocking-chair with her feet propped up on a soap-box. She hums as she sits. She crochets as she hums. She does make lace in a quick way. Now Jenny Strong and the mamma is gone to the house of Elsie, to see the new baby.

We have lots on the table to eat tonight, because Jenny Strong is come.

And most everything I did get to eat I did make divides of it for my animal friends. They will all have a good share. And they will be glad. There is enough for all to have a good amount to eat, which often is n’t. I did feel a goodly amount of satisfaction sitting there at the supper-table to-night for a little time. I was thinking how glad the mice will be for the corn I have saved for them — and too Brave Horatius will have good feels in his mouth when he sees that big bone. And the birds will like all the scraps that are on the plate of Jenny Strong, if I can get them before the mamma gives them to that big gray cat. I have seeings that the folks are almost through eating.

I now am not at the table. I was only there for a very little while. I now am under the bed. The mamma did send me away from the table — it seems a long time ago. She did send me away from the table because when Jenny Strong asked me if I liked her dress, I said, ‘Yes, and the ruffles around your neck are like the ruffles around the neck of the man with the glove, when Titian made his picture.’ Jenny Strong looked a queer look and she said to the mamma,

‘ What a naughty child! ’ The mamma did straightway tell me to crawl under the bed and to stay there.

I so am. I have feels Jenny Strong has not had seeing of the picture of the man with the glove that Titian did make. I thought it was nice to tell her her ruffles were like his. They did look so nice. I have wonders about folks. They are hard to understand. I think I will just say a little prayer. My, I do have such hungry feels now! They at the table are not through yet. I make swallows down my throat. It is most hard not to eat what I have saved for my animal friends. But they will like it; so I can wait waits until breakfast-time. In-between times I will have thinks and prayers.

(To be continued)