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Produced by Annie R. McGuire


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Tuesday, August 16, 1881. Copyright, 1881, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

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It was one fine morning in early summer that Sam Finney rose a full hour
earlier than usual, quickly disposed of his breakfast, hurried through
his chores, and then hastened off down the main street of the village to
the steamboat dock.

Here he seated himself atop of a pile, and watched for the appearance of
the _Laura Pearl_, the "favorite steamer" that formed the principal
connecting link between the quietness and oysters of Fair Farms and the
bustle and markets of the city.

As a general thing, Sam did not take much interest in the arrival of the
_Laura_, as she was familiarly called; but to-day she was to bring with
her Tom Van Daunton and his new row-boat.

Now Tom was a city boy, and had only passed one summer at Fair Farms;
still, that was long enough to allow of his becoming the most intimate
friend of Sam, who had lived in the little village all the twelve years
of his life. Together the two had rowed, crabbed, fished, and fallen
overboard to their hearts' content, the only drawback to their complete
happiness consisting in the fact that they had never had a boat exactly
suited to their wants. Sam's father, to be sure, owned two or three, but
all were used by his older brothers for clamming and oystering, while
the Van Dauntons' Whitehall was very safe and pretty, but altogether too
large for two boys not yet in their teens.

Nevertheless, as has been said, the lads managed to enjoy themselves
immensely: and now that Tom's father had given him as a birthday present
a sum of money with which to have a boat built for his own use, there
seemed to be no limit to the good times ahead.

Tom had promptly hastened to inform his friend by letter of the luck
they were in, asking at the same time for suggestions as to the sort,
size, and color of the prospective craft.

And now it was all finished, and to-day the Van Dauntons, and Tom, and
the boat were expected at the pretty little Swiss cottage on the
river-bank, which was just across the road from the Finney farm.

"Hip! hip! hurrah! Here she comes!" sung out Sam, as the _Laura Pearl_
shot into view from behind the point; and he waved his hat with such
energy that he nearly fell off the top of the pile on the back of a big
hard-shell crab that was clinging to the bottom of it.

He saved himself, however, and as the _Laura_ ran up alongside,
dexterously caught her stern line, and placed it over the post.

"Bravo! well done!" shouted somebody from the upper deck, and there was
young Van Daunton, looking a little pale after his winter in the city,
but just as good-natured as ever, while at his feet lay the _Breeze_,
the wonderful new, oiled, cedar boat, fifteen feet long, rather narrow,
yet very trim, and with seats for four persons.

The _Breeze_ was carefully lifted down, and placed on the wharf, from
whence she was launched that very afternoon, with her two pretty flags
flying fore and aft, and an admiring crowd of fishers and crabbers as

And all summer long the boys' interest in the boat never lessened; for
when they became tired of rowing for rowing's sake, they pretended the
_Breeze_ was a steamboat, with Tom and Sam taking turns as Captain and
Engineer, while little Vincent, as passenger, cheerfully consented to be
picked up and set down anywhere on the route, as long as there was
plenty of sand for him to play in.

With this new idea in their heads, the lads had rigged up a bell under
one of the forward seats, which was connected with the stern, where the
Captain steered, by a string, and by this means all directions as to
stopping and starting were given precisely as on the _Laura Pearl_ or
any other steam vessel.

It was one afternoon late in the season that the boys determined to
venture upon a more extended trip than any they had hitherto undertaken.

"'Twould be great fun to cruise along the bay shore, with land on only
one side of us." It was Sam who spoke, and thus suggested the voyage, as
he had afterward good cause to remember. "We might leave Vin in one of
the little coves there, and then steer out toward the sea. What do you
say, Captain?" - for it happened to be Tom's turn at the "wheel."

What could the latter say but that he was of the same mind? And as the
day was fine, it was decided to put the brilliant idea into effect
without delay; for around the point to the bay shore and back was no
trifling distance, and it was already past one.

"Lucky the tide's with us," remarked Sam, as he answered the bell by
pushing off and rowing leisurely down stream.

"But it's pretty near low water now, so you'll have to hurry up if you
want it to help you all the way;" and Tom cast a nautical eye shoreward
to see how great an extent of snails was exposed.

The _Breeze_ was, as Sam had predicted, a very easy-going boat, and now,
propelled by his strong young arms, and aided materially by the
outflowing tide, she went along at such a rate as to create quite a
strong namesake of hers in the heated air, which blew refreshingly in
Tom's face as he guided his craft through the windings of the Leafic

And now they had rounded the point, and the wide expanse of the bay,
stretching far off to the city on the one side, and to the ocean on the
other, was before them.

"Oh dear! how hot I am!" said Vin, eying with envy a clump of stunted
cedars that grew close to the shore on their left.

"So am I," returned his brother; "but duty calls us to explore still
further these watery wastes, so we'll just set you down here, where you
can amuse yourself by making railroads in the sand till we come back."
And as he spoke, Tom pulled on his left tiller-rope, and then gave Chief
Engineer Finney the signal to slow up, as they ran into a convenient
little cove.

Vin lost no time in getting out and seeking the scanty shade which the
trees afforded, and then the two "big boys" pushed off again, promising
to call for their passenger in about half an hour.

"And now for the 'bright blue sea,'" cried Tom, as he turned the
_Breeze_'s bow in the direction of Europe.

Further and further in the rear the clump of cedars was left, and still
the sandy cape that marked the division between sea and river appeared
as far away as ever. Finally Tom, losing patience at their seemingly
slow progress, took one of Sam's oars, and together the two made the
boat fly through the water.

But if the Captain had remained at his post in the stern a little while
longer, he would have noticed something ahead that might have led him to
turn around and hasten back instead of hurrying onward. That something
was what at first seemed to be merely a harmless white cloud rising out
of the ocean, but which grew ever larger and larger as it advanced
toward the land.

And still the boys, eager to pass beyond the line of breakers on their
right, wasted not an instant in turning round to look before them, until
at last they gained their point, left the white-capped billows behind
them, and the next moment awoke to the fact that they were completely
enveloped in the densest fog. Where but a few seconds previous all had
been bright and beautiful, there was now naught apparent but the heavy
curtain of mist, blotting out the blue of sea and sky and all the
glorious sunshine.

For half a minute the boys were so amazed that they just sat and stared
mutely at as much as they could see of one another; and then, with the
single cry of "Vin!" Tom splashed his oar into the water, and began to
row the boat around. But in which direction should he head it? Where was
the clump of cedars now? or where, in fact, was anything but fog, thick
and penetrating, shrouding everything?

"Oh, Sam, what shall we do? - which way shall we go?" exclaimed poor Tom,
for an instant losing his wonted courage and hopefulness as he thought
of his ten-year-old brother off there alone on that barren beach waiting
and watching for them to come back for him.

"Maybe the fog'll lift soon," replied Sam. "They don't generally last
long this time of year." And the lad endeavored to speak cheerfully,
although his heart beat fast and loud, for was it not he that had first
proposed the foolish expedition?

"But I can't sit here, and do nothing but wait. It's too awful. Oh, if
we only had a compass!" And Tom gazed out into the mists about him as if
determined to pierce through their heavy folds.

At that moment a sharp, short whistle was sounded disagreeably close at
hand, and served to add a new terror to the situation. A vessel might
run them down.

"Quick! the bell!" shouted Sam; and snatching up the string, he rang it
at regular intervals all through the terrible hours that followed.

Meanwhile Tom, unable to remain quiet, had caught up the other oar, and
begun pulling in the direction of - he knew not where. Presently a
splashing sound of wheels was heard, then the whistle's shrill note of
warning, and the next instant the _Breeze_ was tossed to and fro like a
cork in the swell of a passing steamer.

The boys grew pale as they realized the extremity of their danger, and
clutched the sides of the boat to save themselves from being thrown out.

And yet they were quite helpless. Even little Vin, alone there on that
deserted shore, was to be envied, for he was at least in temporary

Tom still rowed slowly on, while Sam strained his eyes to the utmost,
and kept up the monotonous ringing of the bell. Neither of the lads said
much; but the expression of Tom's face, although all its usual bright
color had left it, showed that he was determined to bear up bravely to
the end, whatever that might be.

The water still remained quite smooth; even the long easy swells were
growing less and less noticeable, and the boys were beginning to hope
that they were at least headed for the shore, when - thump went the boat
into a great black object, and both gave themselves up for lost.

"It's a ship," thought Tom, momentarily expecting the dark waters to
close over his head.

"Help! help! We've run into a steamer!" cried Sam, tugging away in a
crazy fashion at the bell-cord.

But, as it turned out, the great black object was neither a ship nor a
steamer, but a huge buoy, and instead of being lost, the lads were
saved; for, attaching themselves to this marker of shoals, they were out
of the course of vessels, and all that was necessary for them to do was
to wait.

And this they did patiently, although it proved a hard task, with the
thought of Vin all alone there on that distant beach. Sam kept up the
sounding of the bell, for it was a sort of company for them, while Tom
counted the minutes on his watch until it grew to be after five, when a
faint glimmering became perceptible through the mist, and gradually the
fog lifted and rolled away.

And now where did the young mariners find themselves? Why, half way up
the bay in the direction of the city, and a long pull they had of it
back to the clump of cedars.

But on arriving here no Vin was to be seen, and the boys were beginning
to grow quite desperate in their anxiety, when Sam stumbled upon the
following, written in the sand:

"Don't worry about me. I am going to walk home by the bridge at


"It's a good four miles," said Tom, "and I know he's never been over the

But when they came in sight of the Van Dauntons' wharf, there was Vin on
the end of it, anxiously looking out for them.



[Illustration: FIG. 1. - POISON-IVY.]

At this season of the year, when so many of our young folks are
gathering wild flowers, ferns, berries, leaves, and mosses in the woods
and along the hedges, I can not think of a more useful lesson in wood
and field botany than that which teaches how to know and distinguish two
of the most poisonous vegetable substances to be met with in the woods.
I mean the poison-ivy, poison-oak, and mercury-vine, which are the
common names for one and the same vine, found climbing up the trunks of
trees, on rail, board, and stone fences, over rocks and bushes, in waste
lands and meadows. In fact, everywhere and anywhere it can secure a foot
of ground, no matter how poor, or how much exposed to the scorching rays
of the sun, this wretched vine prospers, happy and contented to spread
out its poisonous arms hidden beneath its glossy and graceful foliage.
In Fig. 1 is shown a close study from nature of a specimen growing at
the west end of Coney Island, where it is to be found in abundance
between the highest sand-dunes on the north and south sides of the
island. Here when the ivy has a chance to climb up a tree or bush, up it
goes, throwing out its aerial rootlets in all directions. But when
growing away from any support, in the sand which is being constantly
displaced by the strong ocean winds, it then grows stout, erect, and
bush-like. Under these peculiar circumstances of growth it has received
the name of poison-oak, and was supposed by many botanists to be a
separate variety, though in fact the poison ivy and oak are one and the
same thing. When the stem of the poison-ivy is wounded, a milky juice
issues from the wound. The leaves, after being separated from the vine,
turn black when exposed to the air.

The stem of the vine is nearly smooth in texture; the aerial rootlets
(Fig. 1, A A A), which start from all parts of the stem, are of a bright
brown color when young. The masses of berries when unripe are of a light
green color; when ripe, of an ashen gray. Below the mass of this year's
berries are generally to be found those of last year. The leaf has a
smooth and somewhat shiny texture, and curves downward from the midrib.
To many people the slightest contact with the leaves of the ivy will
produce poisoning. I have known of instances where persons in passing
masses of ivy-vine, particularly when the wind was blowing from the vine
toward the passer-by, became severely poisoned. One of our most
beautiful native vines, the so-called Virginia creeper, which frequently
grows side by side with the ivy, is often mistaken for it, and blamed
for the evil doings of its neighbor, and yet is so innocent and
beautiful a vine that I have figured it in full fruit (Fig. 2). The
Virginia creeper has a leaf consisting of five lobes, which are
distinctly notched, and which curve upward from the midrib. Instead of
aerial rootlets like the ivy, it has stout tendrils more or less twisted
and curled, often assuming the form of a spiral spring. These tendrils
are provided with a disk by means of which an attachment is made to any
object within reach (see Fig. 2, B B).

[Illustration: FIG. 2. - VIRGINIA CREEPER.]

The stem has the appearance of being jointed. The berries are large and
grape-like in the form of the cluster, and when ripe are of a deep blue
color, with heavy bloom. In the fall of the year the leaves turn to a
deep red and brownish-red color.

The poison-sumac, swamp-sumac, or dogwood (Fig. 3) is ten times more
severe in its poisoning qualities than the poison-ivy. It grows from six
to ten feet in height, in low marshy grounds. The berries are smooth,
white, or dun-colored, and in form and size closely resemble those of
the ivy.

[Illustration: FIG. 3. - POISON-SUMAC.]

This sumac is terrible in its effects, often causing temporary
blindness. Some years ago it became the fashion to wear immense wreaths
and bunches of artificial flowers inside and outside of ladies' bonnets.
The flower-makers, being hard pressed for material, made use of dried
grasses, seed-vessels, burrs, and catkins; these were painted, dyed,
frosted, and bronzed to make them attractive. I became greatly
interested in the business and the ingenuity displayed, and spent much
time examining the contents of milliners' windows. On one occasion when
standing before a very fashionable milliner's window on Fourteenth
Street, I was horror-stricken on discovering that an immense wreath of
grayish berries which constituted the inside trimming of a bonnet was
composed entirely of the berries of the poison-sumac, just as they had
been gathered, not a particle of varnish, bronze, or other material
coating them. The bonnet, when worn, would bring this entire mass of
villainous berries on the top and sides of the head, and a few of the
sprays about the ears and on the forehead. Stepping into the store, I
addressed the proprietor, and asked her if she knew that the bonnet was
trimmed with the berries of one of the most poisonous shrubs known in
the United States. After staring at me in a sort of puzzled way, she
informed me that I was mistaken; that she had received those flowers
from Paris only a week ago.

"Madam," I replied, "there must be a mistake somewhere, for those are
the berries of the poison-sumac, which does not grow in Europe."

She gave me one angry look, asked me to please attend to my own
business, and swept away from me to the other end of the store.

A few days after this I read in the daily papers an account of the
poisoning of a number of small girls employed in a French artificial
flower manufactory in Greene Street. I at once guessed the cause. I
visited the factory mentioned, introduced myself to the proprietor, told
him what I knew about the poison berries - and was rudely requested to
make myself scarce. After these two adventures I made up my mind to keep
my botanical knowledge (poisonous though it might be) to myself.

When in the army I came across a very curious case of poisoning with
swamp-sumac and poison-ivy. A creature having the form of a human being,
and wearing the uniform of a soldier, was found in a solitary tent,
which was pitched in an abandoned and desolated plantation. This
creature's body had the appearance of having been scalded, and his
eyesight was nearly gone: in fact, we were afraid to touch him, fearing
that he had some terribly infectious disease. But why was he there,
alone and deserted? - not even a sanitary guard over him to prevent all
communication except by the doctors. He did not seem to care to talk
much about himself or his situation, or state why his comrades had left
him there to die. Being on the march, all we could do was to leave him
extra rations, water, and tobacco. But we afterward learned from members
of his regiment that to avoid duty and an engagement he had poisoned
himself by building a fire of green poison-ivy and swamp-sumac, and had
actually submitted himself to a vapor-bath of these two poisonous
materials. He was a professional bounty-jumper, and had taken this means
to get out of the army. He was never heard of afterward, as he fell into
the hands of the enemy where his comrades left him.

When poisoned with ivy or sumac (they are all sumacs), if time and
cooling medicines are taken, the poison will slowly exhaust itself; but
it is a tedious and slow operation. A cure which is in use with the
Indians of California and the Territories is to eat a few of the leaves
after the poison has made its appearance on the skin. The Editor of
HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE tells me that he has tried this method, and that
in his case it effected a complete cure within twelve hours.

[Begun in No. 92 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, August 2.]







On the following morning Tim and Sam were awakened very suddenly by a
confused noise which appeared to come from the kitchen below, and which
could not have been greater had a party of boys been engaged in a game
of leap-frog there.

A woman's screams were heard amid the crashing of furniture as it was
overturned, the breaking of crockery, and the sounds of scurryings to
and fro, while high above all came at irregular intervals the yelp of a

This last sound caused Tim the greatest fear. A hasty glance around the
room had shown him that Tip, who had been peacefully curled up on the
outside of the bed when he last remembered anything, was no longer to be
seen; and without knowing how it could have happened, he was sure it was
none other than his pet who was uttering those cries of distress.

In a few moments more he learned that he was not mistaken, for Tip
rushed into the room, his tongue hanging out, his stub of a tail
sticking straight up, and looking generally as though he had been having
a hard time of it.

Before Tim, who had at once leaped out of bed, could comfort his pet, a
voice, sounding as if its owner was sadly out of breath, was heard
crying, "Sam! Sam! Sammy!"

"What, marm?" replied Sam, who lay quaking with fear, and repenting the
fact that his desire for candy had led him into what looked very much
like a bad scrape.

"Did a dog just come into your room?"

"Yes, marm."

"Throw something at him, and drive him out."

For an instant Sam clutched the pillow as if he would obey the command;
but Tim had his arms around Tip's neck, ready to save him from any
injury, even if he was obliged to suffer himself.

"Why don't you drive him out?" cried Mrs. Simpson, after she had vainly
waited to hear the sound of her son's battle with the animal.

"Why - why - why - " stammered Sam, at a loss to know what to say, and
trembling with fear.

"Are you afraid of him?"

"No, marm," was the faltering reply.

"Then why don't you do as I tell you?"

"Why - why, Tim won't let me," cried Sam, now so frightened that he
hardly knew what he did say.

"Why, what's the matter with the boy?" Tim heard the good woman say; and
then the sound of rapid footsteps on the stairs told that she was coming
to make a personal investigation.

Sam, in a tremor of fear, rolled over on his face, and buried his head
in the pillow, as if by such a course he could shelter himself from the
storm he expected was about to break upon him.

Tim was crouching in the middle of the floor, his face close down to
Tip's nose, and his arms clasped so tightly around the dog's neck that
it seemed as if he would choke him.

That was the scene Mrs. Simpson looked in upon after she had been nearly
frightened out of her senses by a strange dog while she was cooking
breakfast. She had tried to turn the intruder out of doors, but he,
thinking she wanted to play with him, had acted in such a strange and at
the same time familiar manner that she had become afraid, and the
confusion that had awakened the boys had been caused by both, when
neither knew exactly what to do.

Mrs. Simpson stood at the room door looking in a moment before she could
speak, and then she asked, "What is the meaning of this, Samuel?"

Sam made no reply, but buried his face deeper in the pillows, while the
ominous shaking of his fat body told that he was getting ready to cry
in advance of the whipping he expected to receive.

"Who is this boy?" asked the lady, finding that her first question was
likely to receive no reply.

Sam made no sign of life, and Tim, knowing that something must be said
at once, replied, piteously, "Please, ma'am, it's only me an' Tip."

Sam's face was still buried in the pillows; but the trembling had
ceased, as if he was anxious to learn whether his companion could free
himself from the position into which he had been led.

"Who are you, and how did you come here?" asked Mrs. Simpson,

Tim turned toward the bed as if he expected Sam would answer that
question; but that young man made no sign that he had even heard it, and
Tim was obliged to tell the story.

"I'm only Tim Babbige, an' this is Tip. We was tryin' to find a place to
sleep last night, when we met Sam, an' after we'd found the cow we went
down to the store an' bought some candy, an' when we come back Sam was
goin' to ask you to let me sleep in the barn, but you was in bed; so he
said it was all right for me to come up here an' sleep with him. I'm
awful sorry I did it, an' sorry Tip acted so bad; but if you won't
scold, we'll go right straight away."

Mrs. Simpson was by no means a hard-hearted woman, and the boy's
explanation, as well as his piteous way of making it, caused her to feel
kindly disposed toward him. She asked him about himself; and by the time

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