Abby Morton Diaz.

The Jimmyjohns, and other stories online

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arm is used for the pump-handle : the other, as far
up as the elbow, represents the spout. A small tuff
should be put underneath. There must be a large
bottle of water hid in the coat-sleeve, with the thumb
pressed over its mouth for a stopper. At the proper
time, the water is allowed to run out. (TJiis opera
tion should be first practised in the anteroom.)
While MR. BENSON is at ivork, SQUIRE REED enters.
He is tuell dressed; has gray whiskers, tall hat, and a
cane; is a little pompous and condescending.

SQUIRE REED. Well, Benson, how do you prosper?
Always at work, hey? What ! covered up your well?

MR. BENSON. Yes, and got in a pump (tcorks the
handle) ; but twon t draw. Something s the matter.

SQUIRE R. I m very sorry ; not sorry the pump
won t draw, but sorry to lose the well, sorry, I mean,
to lose it out of the landscape. It was a very striking
feature, with its long sweep.

MR. B. Wai, to tell the truth, it did go agin my
feelings. We d got used to seeing it. My gran ther
dug it and stoned it up ; and I ve hoisted up a good
deal o water out of it since I was boy, counting wash
ing-water and all. But then twas a heap o trouble.
( Works the handle.) Why don t the critter draw ?


SQUIRE R. How did it trouble you ?

MR. B. (resting on the pump). Oh! things kept
falling down it. I d be out in the field, working, you
know ; and twould be all the time, " Mr Benson, this
thing s tumbled down the well, and that thing s tumbled
down the well." Then I d leave, and run ; and maybe
twould be my little gal s doll, or bub s hat, or clean
clothes off the h ne. And all the neighbors wanted to
hang their things down it to keep cool. Course it put
us out ; but course we didn t like to speak : so we
had to say, " No trouble at all, no trouble at all;"
though twasn t true, you know.

SQUIRE R. Very true ; that is, it wasn t very true.

MR. B. And then twas a master place to c lect
young folks together, as ever was. First the gals
would come with their pails, and stand talking ; then
the beaux would come, specially about sundown.
Says I to my wife, " Guess I ll break up that haunt."
{Pumps with short quick stroke.) But this new-fangled
thing won t draw a mite.

SQUIRE R. Let me try. {Pumps slowly, with long

MR, B. Yes, you work it, and I ll pour in water to
fetch it. (Lifts the cover a little, and pretends to pour in
water from a pitcher ; then seizes the handle, and works
it with quick, jerking motion.) Any thing run out?

SQUIRE R. (stooping a little). I don t see any

MR. B. (examining the spout) . Dry as a grass
(Enter MR. DOWNING, a tall man, with green spectacles

and wide red cravat. Has a rod in his hand, and

walks with solemn air.)


MR. D. (to MR. B. very stiffly}. Good-morning, sir.
I understand 3^011 have a pump that doesn t work well.

Mu. B. Exactly : that s just what I ve got.

MR. D. (solemnly). I am a pump-doctor.

SQUIRE R. (with a condescending smile) . That is to
say, I suppose that you can cure a pump, and make it

MR. B. (laughing) . Oh, don t make mine well !
It s been well once.

MR. D. If you will place } T our pump in my hands,
sir, I will pledge myself that it shall give satisfaction.

SQUIRE R. That is to say, give water.

MR. B. Here, take it right into your hands : now
let s see what twill give.

SQUIRE R. How do you cure, sir?

MR. D. (solemnly). By circles and opposite elec
tricities. Shall I proceed ?

MR. B. Yes, proceed to begin : don t wait.

SQUIRE R. That is, begin first, and then proceed.

MR. B. And, if the job s well done, you shall be
well paid.

MR. D. I shall require, gentlemen, a little assist
ance from both of you.

SQUIRE R. (glancing down at Ids clothes and his
hands). Of what nature, sir?

MR. B. Oh, yes ! I m willing to take hold : course
you ll take little something off the price.

MR. D. No labor, no actual labor, will be required
of 3 ou. My S3~stem involves only circles and oppo
site electricities. In the first place, it will be necessary
to ascertain whether your electrical currents are oppo


MR. B. Well, how will you do it?
(MR. D. brings in an old-fashioned flax-wheel, or some
yarn-winders, or any thing that can be made to turn
round. After solemn preparation, he whirls this rap
idly for a minute or two.)

MR. D. to SQUIRE R. Have the kindness, now, sir,
to touch lightly the circumference of this machine.

(SQUIRE R. touches, and hops away with a loud cry,
dropping his cane.)

MR. D. to MR. B. Now 3 7 ou, sir. (MR. B. hesi
tates.) Don t be afraid : it is quite harmless.

(MR. B. touches, and, with a scream, gives a leap in
the opposite direction, rubbing his arms, and looking

MR. D. All is well. The electrical conditions are
fulfilled : the one sprang to the east, the other to the

MR. B. (glancing at the machine, and rubbing his
arm) . Might} powerful !

MR. D. (solemnly) . I shall now proceed, gentlemen,
to describe two circles around the well. (Marks out
two circles with his rod.) Will you please to advance?
(SQUIRE R. walks towards the pump.)

SQUIRE R. Sir, this appears somewhat like trifling.

MR. D. That depends upon yourself, sir. To the
light-minded, serious matters appear light. I deal with
the truths of science. (To MR. B.) Will you come
nearer, sir?

MR. B. (advancing cautiously). No danger, I hope ;
no witchcraft ?


MR. D. Not the slightest. I will now work the
handle. You two, being fully charged, will stand at
opposite points (placing them), and proceed to re
volve silently in these circles, 3-011, sir (to SQUIRE R.) ,
revolving in the external orbit, and 3-01.1, sir (to MR.
B.), in the internal: at your third conjunction, water
will gush forth. (Works the handle slowly. The
others walk as directed. At their third meeting, water
streams out. They step back.)

SQUIRE R. (lifting both hands) . Marvellous ! most
wonderful !

MR. B. Wai, I declare! Be 3-011 a wizard? I
hope I hope it s Christian doings.

MR. D. (with a smile, and wave of the hand) . What
you have witnessed, gentlemen, is merely a new tri
umph of science.

MR. B. (with a sigh of relief). I m glad it s sci
ence : I was afraid twas witchcraft. Send in 3 our bill,
stranger. (Pumps.) I m all in a heap. Science !

MR. D. Permit me to inform you, sir, that witch
craft is science ; only science doesn t know it. Good-
morning, gentlemen (takes his machine) : I have busi
ness farther on. Have the goodness to accept my
card (presenting it) .

SQUIRE R. (following) . Will 3 ou allow me to ac-
company you, and give me the pleasure of 3 our conver
sation ?

MR. D. With pleasure, sir. (They move to the

SQUIRE R. Good-day, neighbor. I m rejoiced that
3 our troubles arc over. " All s well that ends well."

MR. B. My well ends pump.

[Curtain drops,


WHOLE WORD : Farewell.

It being December, there may be a Farewell Address
from the Old Year to the children. This Old Year
ma} be represented by a trembling old man, with white
locks and beard, leaning on his staff, the staff to be
a portion of a leafless bough. He should cany a pack
on his back, marked on each end " 77 ; " and, as a
wholly pathetic character is not desirable, he may be
plentifully labelled with the same figures. White hair
and beard can be made of cotton-wool or 3*arn, or both ;
and dipping the ends in a solution of alum will give
them a frosty or icy appearance.


DEAR CHILDREN, Do 3*011 know who I am? My
name is 77. Good-by. I am going now; yet very
few of you will mourn for that. Are 3*ou not already
wishing me awa}^ longing for the young, bright New
Year? You know you are.

Oh, I remembei well when I was nryself a 3*oung,
bright New Year ! A Happy New Year, they called
me : and so I was ; for then 3*011 all liked me. - You
had longed for my coming ; you cheered me ; you
hurrahed ; you shouted for joy ; for I came bringing
gifts and good wishes.

Ah ! that is all changed now. Now that I am old,
and have little left to give, 3*011 are willing to turn me
off for another. Such ingratitude is hard to bear. It
is that which has bleached my locks, and chilled me to
the heart ; for I have given 3*ou the very best I had.
Think, now. Look back, awa3*back to the time when
I was in my prime. Did I not give you those lovely


spring children of mine? Don t you remember my
3~oung April, so tender, so full of feeling, laughing and
crying in a breath ? She brought the crocuses and vio
lets, but seemed too bashful to offer them. And do
you so soon forget my pretty, smiling Ma} r , with her
apple-blossoms and her singing-birds? ]\ly June
brought you green carpets inlaid with buttercups and
daisies, and her warm-hearted sisters gave you all their
beautiful flowers.

And then my later children, how generous they were !
how free of their gifts ? Think of all the apples they
gave you ; think of the abundance of ripened grain,
grain which will last till the new friend that is
coming shall be able to furnish more. And fortunate
that it is so ; for let me tell 3-011 that it will be a long
time before this young upstart, this inexperienced New
Year, can do much for 3-011 in the way of providing.

But, although I have done my very best, you. are im
patient to see me off. Now, why this haste ? Why
treat me so coldly? When once gon^, 3-011 will see me
no more. Other friends leave you in sadness to re
turn in JO3 ; but I go, never to return.

And in this pack I cany ah 1 the jo3-s and the merry
times of 77: 3 ou can never have them back again.
Do 3 ou grieve for that? Take comfort, then, in the
thought that I carry, also, all the sorrows of 77.
But there is something which cannot be taken away,
memor3 r . All the days and hours of 77 are in this
pack ; but the memory of them remains. Be thankful ;
for if memory, too, could be carried away, wiry, then,
in looking back, what a dreaiy blank there would be !

Well, children, I am going. Good-by ! Do you


wonder that I go off so smilingly? Tis because Old
Santa Glaus dear, jolly Old Santa Glaus comes to
cheer me in these last days. Ah, were it not for him,
how gloonry would these last days be ! But it is not
permitted me to be sad. He comes with his jingling
of bells, and his mirth, and his " Merry, merry Christ
mas !" and so, thanks to him, I leave you with a
smiling face.

And now farewell forever ! But when young 78
comes, happy and bright, laden with good wishes, and
rejoicing your hearts with his beautiful gifts, look back,
I pray you, and bestow one thought upon poor old 77.


SCENE. Inside of room. When the curtain rises, a
young sailor is seen talting leave of his mother.
Both are standing. Her head is slightly turned
away; her right hand is clasped in his. With the
left she holds a handkerchief to her eyes, as if iveep-
ing. Her little boy stands near, holding by her dress,
and looking up in the sailor s face. His playthings
are scattered on the floor. Faint noise of singing
heard, as if in the distance : it is the singing of sail
ors, and seems to come nearer and nearer, avid very
near. Sailor presses the mother s hand in both of
his; catches up his little brother, and kisses him;
then rushes out. Mother sinks doivn, as if overcome
with grief, and sits tvith face bowed upon both hands.
Little boy looks out at the door. /Singing grows fainter
and fainter, and dies away in the distance, tvhile cur
tain falls slowly.

1 If preferred, the pantomime may be substituted for the Old- Year s



AGNES, aged six or seven. LULU, aged six or seven. BEL,
aged four or five. DAN, aged eight or nine. BENNY, aged
ten or eleven.

SCENE. A common room. AGNES sits with many dolls
and other playthings about her. BENNY is reading, the
other side of the room. DAN sits near him, catching
flies on the table.

(Enter LULU and BEL, with dolls all in out-door rig.)

AGNES (jumping up, and clapping hands) . Oh, goody,
goody ! Did your mothers say you- might come ?

LULU (speaking quickly). Yes, my mother said I
might ; and then I teased Bel s mother, and she said

AGNES (clapping hands) . Oh, I m so glad ! (Help
ing take off their things.) How long can you sta} r ? Can
you stay to supper?

LULU. I can t stay without I m invited, mother said.

BEL. My mother said to come home when the table



had begun to be set. I ve got my new boots on (look
ing down), and I stepped in the mud with em.

(DAN, in catching a fly, knocks down BENNY S hook.)

BENNY (picking it up). Tyhat are 3~ou trying to do?

LULU. We saw a cow, and ran across the street ;
and Bel stepped in the mud (wiping it off Bel s boots ).

BEL. Twas a hooking cow.

BENNY. Ho ! run for a cow ! Tore I d run for a

DAN (swooping off a fly) . It doesn t take much to
scare girls.

BENNY (flnding his place) . I know it : anybody
could do that.

AGNES. He couldn t scare us ; could he, Lulu?

BENNY. Don t }*ou believe I could make you run?
Boo, boo ! (Jumps at them.)

LULU. Oh, we sha n t run for that !

BENNY. Just wait a little while ; and, if I can t scare
you, then I ll treat.

AGNES (indignantly). Do you believe he could, Lu?

LULU. I know he couldn t. What will you treat us

BENNY. Oh ! any thing. Take your choice.

AGNES (clapping hands) . Oh, goody, goody ! Ice
cream, ice-cream !

LULU. Cream-cakes, cream-cakes !

DAN. I ve got him (looks carefully in his hand).
Why, I haven t got him! Where is he? Oh, I see!
(Hits BENNY S shoulder.)

BENNY (starting up) . You ve driven away this fly.
(Goes out to disguise himself. DAN goes on swooping
flies off of table; girls step back to where the dolls are.)


AGNES. Now let s play something.

LULU. So I say. Let s play school.

BEL. But there wouldn t be enough scholars.

DAN (coming fonuard with ruler) . I ll be the school
master. Silence ! Take your seats. Study your
books. Can t have any recess. You must all stay
after school. (Girls laugh. DAN goes back to his flies.)

LULU. Let s pla} mother, I say.

AGNES. You be the mother?

LULU. No, you be the mother, and I ll be your little
girl, and Bel be my little sister.

AGNES. Well, I ll run up and get some of my moth
er s things to put on, and you two can be seeing my
dollies. (AGNES goes.out.)

DAN (stepping forward) . I ll be the one to introduce
them. (Takes up each doll as it is named.) This is
Miss Cheriydrop, named for her red cheeks ; but some
say they re painted, and not real. She s got a new
round comb and a a sontag.

BEL. Oh, that isn t a sontag ! tis a breakfast-

DAN. Well, never mind. Here is Miss Patty Troo-
dledum ; very proud, so they say, because her dress is
spangled. When Aggy thinks* too much of her new
clothes, mother says, "Ah! who have we here? Miss
Patty Troodledum?" Sit down there, Miss Patty.
And this is the young sailor-bo}^ just home from sea.
There s the star on his collar, and his Scotch cap.
Jack, take off 3 our cap, and make a bow to the ladies.
His mother fainted away with joy at seeing him, and
hasn t come to yet : here she is. ( Takes up old faded
shabby doll.) But here is somebody very grand.


Now, who do you think came over in the ship with the
sailor-boy ?

LULU. The captain.

DAN. Of course. But I mean passenger.

LULU. Who was it ?

DAN. Mademoiselle De Waxy, right from Paris.

LULU. Oh, she s a beauty ! Don t touch her, Bel !

DAN. Oh, no ! Miss De Waxy mustn t be touched.
Miss De Waxy keeps by herself, and never speaks a
word to the others, because they can t talk French.
Miss De Waxy, before she came over, thought all the
American dolls w^je dressed in wild beasts skins.
See, this is her fan, bought in Paris ; and this is her
gold chain. (Lays her carefully by.)

BEL. And who are all these little ones? (Pointing
to row of small dolls.)

DAN. Those are the children just come from school,
waiting for their lunch. See this cunning one ! She
doesn t know O yet : she s in the eleventh class.

LULU. And who is that old one with that funny cap

DAN. Oh, this! (Taking up large old rag-doll.)
Why, this is this is old Nurse Trot. Poor old wo
man, she s got a lame back, and she s all worn out tend
ing so many children ; but she never complains, nor
sheds a tear.

BEL. Oh, she s got a bag on her arm !

DAN. Her snuff-box is in that. The sailor-boy
brought it home from sea to her. ( Takes out the box.
opens it, takes pinch of snuff, sneezes. The others
sneeze.) Best of snuff! And he brought her these
new spectacles (tries them on her) : now she can see
as well as ever she could.


LULU. How came this one s arm off?

DAN. Why, that is poor Tabitha. She broke her
arm sweeping out the baby-house ; and it had to be
taken off at the shoulder.

BEL. Where did she get that clean apron ?

DAN. That checked apron? Let me see. That
came, I think oh ! that was made at the doll s sew

LULU. Look, Bel : here s a blind one ! (Takes up
doll with eyes gone.)

BEL. Oh! isn t that too bad?

DAN. Yes, she s blind ; totally blind. She became
so by tr} T ing to sleep with her eyes open. Dolls know
better now. They shut their eyes when they lie down,
and go off to sleep like live folks.

LULU. Oh, see this one ! she s all spoiled.

DAN. Yes : she was spoiled having her own way.
Fell down when she was told to stand up, and broke
her cheek. Doctors were sent for ; but they couldn t
do any thing. She ought to have that face tied up.
Where s her pocket-handkerchief? Here it is. Now,
isn t that a beaut} ? Aggy says the sailor-boy brought
it home to her from China. There, now her face is tied
up, she won t get cold. Do 3-011 see this pretty girl
with the pink dress and curly hair ? She is to be the
wife of the sailor-boy. These two sit close together
all the time, waiting for their wedding-day. The wed
ding-cake is ordered. See how smiling they look !
and no wonder. I will tell you who is invited to the
wedding ; but you mustn t tell. First, all the Oh !
here comes Aggy. Wait till by and by.


(Enter AGNES, dressed up in her mother s clothes, with
gay head-dress.)

LULU (laughing) . Oh, what a good mother ! What 11
your name be ?

AGNES. . Mrs. White. (Tiptoes up at the glass,
ttvists and turns, arranges bows, strings, collar, &c.)
This is the way mother does.

DAN. Shall I be the father, and do the way father

ALL THE GIRLS. Oh, yes, yes ! Do !

(DAN goes out. AGNES walks stiffly to a chair, speaks
to the children very soberly.)

AGNES. Children (unfolding aprons) , come and let
me put on } T our sleeved aprons.

LULU and BEL (ivhining) . I don t want to.

AGNES (stiffly). Little girls must think mother
knows best. Come, mind mother. (Sleeved aprons
are put on.) Now, children (speaking slowly), I am
going to have company this afternoon ; and 3-011 must
be very good children. What do you say when a gen
tleman speaks to } ou? (Children stand with folded

LULU and BEL. Yes, sir ; no, sir.

AGNES. What do you say when a lady speaks to

LULU and BEL. Yes, ma am ; no, ma am.

AGNES. And, if they ask you how you do, don t
hang your.head down, and suck your thumbs, so but
speak this way (with slight bow and simper) , " Very
well, I thank you." Now let me hear you say it.

CHILDREN (imitating) . Very well, I thank you.


AGNES. And what do you say at the table ?
BEL. Please give me some more jelly.
LULU. Please may I be excused, when we get up.
AGNES. That is right. And, if anybody asks you
to sing, you must be willing, and sing them one of
your little songs. What one do you like the best?
LULU. " Gone Away."

AGNES. I think you d better sing it over with me,
to be sure you know it. (All three sing a song, AGXES

TUNE, " Nelly Ely."
I know a pretty little maid,

And Sally is her name ;
And, though she s far away from me,
I love her just the same.
Sally is a darling girl,

A darling girl is she:
Her smile so bright is a happy sight
I d give the world to see.

Upon my lovely Sally s lips
The sweetest kisses grow.
Oh ! if I had her by my side,
She d give me some, I know.
Sally is a darling girl,

A darling girl is she :
Her smile so bright is the happiest sight
In all the world to me.

I have not seen my little girl

This many and many a day:
I hope she ll not forget me in
That land so far away.
Sally is a darling girl,

A darling girl is she:
Her smile so bright is a happy sight
I d give the world to see.


AGNES (slowly). Very well. Now sit down, dears,
and play with your playthings, and don t disturb
mother. Mother s going to make a new head-dress.
(Takes lace, flowers, ribbons, from work-basket. Chil
dren sit down and play with blocks, dishes, &c.)

(DAN enters, dressed as father, with tall hat, dicky,
black whiskers, cane, &c.)

AGNES. Children, be quiet. Your father s coming.
(DAN ivalks in with stately air, seats himself, crosses
foot over the other knee, tips back a little, takes out pipe,
pretends to smoke.)

DAN. That s the way father does.

(Children get each other s things, and make believe


LULU . That s mine .
BEL. I say tisn t.
LULU. I say tis.

BEL. Mother, see Lu ! )

TVT 4.1, -D i i Both together.

LULU. Mother, see Bel. )

(Children s blocks tumble down with great noise. They
get each other s.)

LULU. Mother, won t you speak to Bel?
BEL. Mother, Lu keeps plaguing.
DAN (sternly) . Silence, children !
AGNES (knock heard at the door). Bel, you may
go to the door.

(BEL goes to the door, and runs back really frightened.)

BEL. Oh, there s an old beggar-man there ! I m
scared of him ! (Begins to cry.)


(Enter beggar-man very slowly. He is shockingly
dressed; stoops; is humpbacked ; carries a cane ; has
whiskers and hair, which, ivith a slouched hat, nearly
cover his face. Girls are really frightened, and, hud
dling close together, whisper.)
ALL THE GIRLS. Who is it? I m scared ! Let s

run ! Come quick ! (Girls run out.)

DAN (jumping up) . Good for you, Ben ! I knew

they d be scared.

BENNY (throwing off disguise) . Hurrah! let s chase !

No treat, no treat !

DAN. Come on, come on ! (TJiey run out.)







[MARY, CAROLINE, DEBBIE, and DORA are the largest
among the girls; MINNIE and EVA the smallest. FREDERIC
and JOE are the largest boys: JOHNNY is the smallest.]

SCENE. A schoolroom. Tables and chairs are placed
around, upon which are books, slates, a globe, &c.
Maps are hung upon the tvalls. A group of scholars
assembled, waiting for school to begin. MARY
and HITTIE are sitting together, MARY S arm around
HITTIE. JOHNNY stands whittling. GUSSIE is seated,
with open book in hand, twirling a teetotum. DEBBIE
stands with sack on, holding and occasionally swing
ing her hat by one string. CAROLINE sits with slate
and arithmetic before her. EDITH is seated with an
open atlas. FREDERIC leans back a little in his chair,
sharpening lead-pencils for the others, which he hands
them at intervals. DORA is at work on tatting.


ARTHUR stands, and is winding a ball, unravelling
the yarn from an old stocking. JOE sits at work on
the hull of a little boat. MINNIE is sitting on a low
stool, with a bunch of Jloivers, which she is arran
ging in different ways. EVA is also on a low stool,
near DORA and CAROLINE. These various occupa
tions are introduced to avoid stiffness. They should
not be kept up constantly, but left off and resumed
occasionally, in an easy, careless way. Confused
talking and noise heard behind the curtain. Curtain

MARY (as if continuing a conversation). Now, /
should rather be a robin. He sings so pretty a
song ! Everybody likes to hear a robin sing. I don t
believe even a boy would shoot a robin.

JOHNNY. Course he wouldn t !

MINNIE. Robin redbreasts covered up the two little
childuns when they got lost in the woods,

CAROLINE. And they don t do like other birds,
live here all summer and have a good time, and then
fly off and leave us. They stay by.

GUSSIE. How do you know that ?

CAROLINE (or any one that can sing). Oh! I ve
heard. They stay in swamps and barns, waiting for

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Online LibraryAbby Morton DiazThe Jimmyjohns, and other stories → online text (page 12 of 13)