Abby Morton Diaz.

The Jimmyjohns, and other stories online

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dear, dear !

Four days later. Orchard, wood, brook, and meadow


have been searched ; but the lost is not yet found.
Annetta is quite sad. She has put away Polly
Cologne s every-day locket and ever} T -day clothes, and
blue silk sun-bonnet, because it made her feel badly to
see them.

Dear little Polly Cologne, where are you now? Lost
in the woods ? And are the Robin Redbreasts cover
ing you over with leaves? Perhaps naughty Rover
buried you up like a meat-bone in the cold, damp
ground, or dropped you in the brook, and, alas !
you could never swim ashore. Did those bright-spot
ted trout eat you ? or did you float away to the sea ?
Perhaps you did float away to the sea. Perhaps you
are now far out on the mighty ocean, where the
wild winds blow, and there, all alone, toss up and
down, up and down, on the rolling waves ; or per
haps the waves and the winds are at rest, and the
sea is smooth like a sea of glass, and you he quietly
there, with your pink cheeks turned up to the sky.
Or the mermaids may take you down into their sea-
caverns all lined with rose-colored shells, and sing you
sweet songs till jour hair turns green. Or who knows
but you may float away to Northland, and be picked up
on shore by the little funny, furry Esquimaux children ?
Oh, if you should be frozen solid in an iceberg there !
But it may be you have drifted down to the sunny
islands of the South, where the people have few clothes,
no houses, no schools ; and then some little, half-
naked, dusky child may pick } T OU up from among the
coral and sea-shells, and show you to its mother, and
say, " Mother, where do this kind of folks live ? " And
its mother, not having studied geography, may say,.
" Oh ! in a wonderful country close by the moon."


Yes, let us hope that Polly Cologne has been wafted
to those sunny summer-lands of the South, where
oranges grow, and prunes, and bananas ; where the
palm-tree waves, and geraniums grow wild ; where the
air is balmy ; where snow never comes, nor ice, nor
frost ; where bright-winged birds warble in the groves ;
where trees are forever green, and flowers bloom
through all the year.



IN this story will be given a true and exact account
of the Jimmyjohns affair with the gulls ; also of
the manner in which Jimmy was turned out of the little
red house at the sea-shore. The account will begin at
the time of their leaving home. It will explain the
reason of their going, and will, in fact, tell every thing
that happened to them just exactly as it happened.

Mr. Plummer, their father, had bought some salt
hay at a place called Stony Point, near the sea-shore.
One clay he sent Ellis Payne with the ox-cart to finish
making the h&y and bring it home. Mr. Plummer told
Ellis Payne that he himself should be riding that way
about noontime, and would carry him a warm dinner.
He started just after eating his own dinner. Ellis
Payne s was put up in a six-quart tin pail. It being
Saturday, Mr. Plummer took the Jimm3 johns along.


Their mother said they might play at Stony Point till
Ellis PajTie came home, and then ride back on the hay.
Mr. Plmmner was going to the mill.

Now, the road turned off to the mill a short distance
before reaching Stony Point; and Mr. Plummer, to
save time, told the Jiinmyjohns they might jump out
there, and carry the pail to Ellis Payne, and he would
keep on to the mill, and then he could take in the
funny man. The funny man was just turning up that
same road. He stopped to have a little fun with the
twins ; jumped them out of the wagon ; tried to guess
which was which, and, when told, turned them round
and round, to mix them up; then tried to guess again,
and would have tossed up a cent, and said, " Heads,
this is Jimnrv, tails, this is Johnny," as he some-
tunes did, only that the horse seemed in somewhat of a

Mr. Plummer showed the little boys a scraggy tree
which grew on the edge of a bank, near the shore ;
and told them they would see the oxen as soon as they
turned the corner where that tree grew. One took
hold on one side of the pail, and the other on the
other ; and in that way they walked along the shore,
keeping pretty close to the bank. It took them only
about five or ten minutes to reach that tree ; and, when
the corner was turned, they saw the oxen plainly, but
could not see Ellis Payne. They kept on, walking
more slowly, the way being more stony, and at last
came to the oxen. Ellis Payne was not there. The
reason of his not having been there is as follows : Two
fields away from the shore stood a small red house all
alone by itself, in which lived an old woman with her


young grandson. The young grandson fell from a
chamber- window, and broke his collar-bone bone ; and
the old woman ran to the shore, screaming for help ;
and Ellis Payne left Ms work, and went to find out
what was the matter.

The Jimnryjohns, seeing some oxen farther along the
shore, thought perhaps those first oxen were not the
right ones, and so kept on to those other ones. They
turned down, and walked quite near the water, picking
up pretty pebbles as they went along, and now and
then a cockle-shell, or a scallop, or purple muscle.
Some of the shells were single ; others in pairs, which
could be opened like crackers. They had a reason
for picking up the scallops and muscles, which there
is no time to mention here ; though, after all, per
haps it may as well be told. Annetta Pluminer was
going to have a party, and she had not enough scal
loped shells to bake her cakes in. The cockles were
for Effie to put in her arm-basket. The Jimmyjohns
picked up enough of all kinds to fill their pockets ; then
took off their hats, and filled those. By that time they
had come to the spot where the oxen had stood. But
no oxen were there then, and no man: so there was
nothing better to do than to play in the sand, and sail
clam-shell boats in the little pools. It was a warm
day ; the water looked cool ; and the little Jimmies, as
they beheld the rippling waves, felt just like wading in.
So it was off with shoes, and off with stockings, roll up
trousers-legs, and away and away, with a run, and a
shout, and a dash, and a splash, and a spatter. A little
distance out from the shore there was a high rock, not
so very, very high, just the right height to give them


a good seat ; and they sat down there, feet in the
water, heads together, looking down into the water,
watching the fries darting swiftly hither and thither.

It is just here that the gull part of the story comes
in. Gulls are large sea-birds. They live upon fish,
and they are their own fishermen. Some may call this
the funny part of the story, though those who are ever
in such a story may not call it the funny part.

The white-winged gulls were flying about. It is a
common thing, at sea-side places, to see gulls flying
about, and skimming over the water. Sometimes they
dip in their bills and take a fish. The Jimmyjohns sat
looking down, keeping very still, so as not to scare the
fries away. Just what the gulls thought of them no
one knows, and it can never be known ; for there is no
way of finding out gulls thoughts, which is a pity : it
would be so curious to know just what they do think
about, and how they think it ! Perhaps those that
belong to this story thought the two Jimmyjohns were
two great fishes, exactly alike ; or perhaps they thought
hair would be good to line nests with. But, whatever
they thought, this is what they did : They flew clown
swift and sudden upon the boys heads, flapped their
great wings in their faces, clawed their hair, beat them
with their beaks. The little fellows screamed, jumped,
fell down, scrambled up, ran, fell down, then up again ;
got to the shore some way ; ran over the sand, over the
pebbles, over the stones, over the rocks, across wet
grass, up a bank, through a field, screaming all the
time as if the gulls were chasing them every step of
the way. But no doubt the gulls had been just as
much frightened as the boys ; for they had flown away


faster than they came, out of sight, far over the sea.
The Jimmies sat down on the grass, in the warm sun
shine, and rubbed their bruises, and counted the cuts
in their feet. Johnny s left knee was lame, and the
heel of the other foot had been badly cut b} 7 a piece of

By this time it was quite late in the afternoon. The
bo} T s began to feel hungry, and talked of going to get
the pail, and eating some of the dinner. One guessed
it would be stealing to do that, and the other guessed
it would not be stealing. At last they agreed to go
and get their hats and shoes and stockings and the
pail, and find Ellis Payne, and ask him to give them
a little piece of his gingerbread.

It was pretty hard work going back over those sharp
stones, and that coarse, stubbed grass, barefoot. To
be sure, they came that way ; but they were frightened
then, and only thought of the gulls. That grass why,
its edges were so sharp, it seemed as if little knives
were cutting into their feet ! They walked on their
heels, on their toes, on the sides of their feet, almost
on the tops of them sometimes, and so hobbled along
slowly, rather too slowly ; for, by the time they
reached the shore, somebocty had been there before
them, and taken all their things. What body? Why,
a body you have heard of before ; a body that -has
done great mischief; a body that had carried off
bigger tilings than six-quart tin pails ; a body that is
said to get furious at times, and to do then the most
terrible things. Have 3^ou never heard of a body of
water called the mighty ocean? That was it. The
mighty ocean rushed up that pebbly shore, and swal-


lowed up hats, shoes, stockings, dinner-pail, dinner,
and all. To speak in plain words, the tide had risen,
and covered them.

The Jimmies never thought of that until a man
came along a man with a horse-cart and told them.
" Why," said he, "no use looking: the tide has
carried them off."

When the man had gone, the boys went up from the
water to look for Ellis Payne. Johnny s heel was in
such a state, he could only use the toes of that foot ;
and, in going over the sharp stones, he cut the ball
of the same foot, -so that he could not step with it at
all ; and, when they came to the stubbed grass that cut
like little knives, he held up one foot, and hopped on
the other ; and, getting tired of that, he walked on his
knees. Jimmy laughed at him, but, in the midst of
his laughing, cried out, " Ou, ou ! " and was glad
enough to come down upon his own knees. And so
they went on a while ; but finding knee-walking hard to
do, and apt to make knee-walkers roll over, (hey tried
hand-walking and knee- walking both, which is all the
same as crawling.

And now comes that part of the story where Jimmy
was turned out of a house.

While those boys had been picking up shells, and
playing in the sand, and wading, and watching the
fries, and running away from gulls, and drying their
clothes in the sun, and counting their cuts, and hob
bling up and down the shore, the sun had been sinking
lower and lower and lower; and Ellis Payne had
finished making the hay, and gone home with it. It
is sad to think how hungry Ellis Payne must have


been ! The boys were hungry too ; and that may have
been the reason why they went toward the little red
house. It stood two fields away from the shore, as
has already been stated. When they reached the last
field, Johnny lay down in the grass, close by a row of
wild-plum bushes, and cried. He said he could not
walk any more. Jimmy said he would go into that
house ; and, if any woman gave him any thing, he would
bring Johnnj^ some. But when he reached the house
he was-.too bashful to open the door, and staid in
the wood-shed quite a long time, till he saw a woman
go in.

After Jimmy had been gone a few moments, Johnny
heard a noise of some one walking near ; and soon an
old woman came out from behind the bushes, with
some leaves in her hand. She went close to Johnnj-,
and asked him what he was lying there for, bareheaded.
Johnny told her he had a lame knee and a sore heel,
and he couldn t walk.

"Don t tell me that!" said she. "Didn t I just
see you running across the field ?

" No ma am twasn t I," sobbed Johnny.

"Don t tell me! don t tell me!" cried the old
woman ; and she walked off, picking now and then a
leaf as she went. The leaves were plantain-leaves
for the bruises of her little grandson, who had fallen
out of the chamber-window. The boy she saw running
across the field was Jimmy.

When that old woman had finished picking leaves,
she went back into the house ; and hardly had she
spread the leaves out on the table, when Jimmy put
his head in at the door slowly, then his shoulders,
then the rest of himself.



"What do you want here? " cried the old woman.
" Didn t you tell me you couldn t walk? "

" No ma am," Jimmy answered, frightened almost
out of his breath.

"Oh! oh! oh! what a big story-teller you are!"
cried the woman. Off with you ! quick too ! I
don t want such a boy as you are in my house with
my little Sammy."

By the time she had got as far as " my little Sam
my," Jimmy was out of the house and at the first pair
of bars ; and, being in a terrible fright, he ran back to
Johnny as fast as he could go.

Johnny was sitting there, hugging somebody. What
body ? Not a body of water is meant this time, but
a lively, loving, frisking, barking little body, named
Rover. And close behind came Mr. Plummer. When
Ellis Payne came home without the Jimmyjohns, Mr.
Plummer put the horse into the light wagon, and took
Rover, and went to look after them.



chapter will tell why Mrs. Plummer had to
-L sew very odd-looking patches on the Jimmyjohns
sailor-suits. It will also tell what boy cut holes in
those sailor-suits, and why he cut them, and when ;
and will show, that, at the time it was done, the three
boys were in great danger.


It was on a Monday morning that people first took
notice that the Jimmies trousers were patched in a
curious manner. Johnny was carrying the new dog,
and Jimmy was taking hold of Johnny s hand. After
Rover was lost, the twins had a new dog given them,
named Snip. He was the smallest dog they ever saw :
but he was a dog ; he was not a puppy. Mr. Plum-
mer brought him home in his pocket one day, two
weeks after Rover went away. / It was Rover, you
know, that ran off with poor little Polly Cologne.
People tallied so much to him about this piece of mis
chief, that at last he began to feel ashamed of himself ;
and, as soon as Polly Cologne s name was mentioned, he
would slink into a corner, and hide his head. One day
Annetta showed him an apron that poor little Polly
used to wear, it was a bib-apron, and said to him,
." St boy ! Go find her ! Don t come back till you find

The bib-apron was about three inches long. Rover
caught it in his mouth, and away he went, and did
not come back. They looked for him far and near ;
they put his name in the newspapers ; but all in vain.
The apron was found sticking to a bramble-bush, about
a mile from home ; but nothing could be seen or heard
of Rover. There was a circus in town that day, and
he might have gone off with that. Perhaps he was
ashamed to come back. Little Mr. Tompkins, the
lobster-seller, thinks the dog understood what Annetta
said, and that he may be, even now, scouring the
woods, or else sniffing along the streets, peeping into
back-yards, down cellar-ways, up staircases, in search
of poor Polly Cologne.


Mr. Tompkins was among the very first to notice the
sailor-suits. He met the twins that morning as he
was wheeling along his lobsters, and quickly dropped
his wheelbarrow, and sat down on one of the side
boards. Being a small, slim man, he could sit there
as well as not without tipping the wheelbarrow over.

Mr. Tompkins wore short-legged pantaloons and a
long-waisted coat. The reason of this was, that he had
short legs and (for his size) a long waist. His coat
was buttoned up to his chin. His cap had a stiff visor,
w^hich stood out like the awning of a shop. He had a
thin face, a small nose, small c}^cs, and a wide mouth ;
and he wore a blue apron with shoulder-straps.

"What s happened to your trousers, eh?" asked
little Mr. Tompkins. His way of speaking was as
sharp and quick as Snip s way of barking. " Sa}^
what s happened to your trousers?"

The trousers were patched in this way : Jimmy s
had a long strip on the left leg : Johnny s had a round
patch above each knee, one being much farther up than
the other.

"Oh, yes ! I see, I see how it is," said Mr.
Tompkins. " Your mother did that so as to tell you
apart. Oh, yes ! Yes, yes ! Very good ! Johnny
Shortpatch, Jimmy Longpatch ; or Jimmy Shortpatch,
Johnny Longpatch, which is it? "

" She didn t do so for that," said Johmyv, and then
Jimmy after him. Johnny was commonly the first to

"She didn t?" cried Mr. Tompkins: "then what
did she do so for ? "

" Perhaps to tell which is good, and which is naught} ,"
said a lady who had stopped to look on.


Then the butcher s boy stepped up, and lie wanted
to know about the trousers. Then a woman looked
out of the window, and she wanted to know about the
trousers. Then a great black dog came up, and he
smelt of the trousers, which made Snip snap his
teeth. Then came a flock of school-children, and they
had something to say. "Halloo ! " " What s up? "
" What s the matter with all your trousers? " " Hoo,
hoo ! " " How d ye do, Mr. Patcherboys ? "

Now, the truth was, that Amos Dyke cut holes in
those trousers with his jack-knife. It happened in this
way : The Jimmies, the Saturday before that Monda}^
started from home to spend a cent at Mr. Juniper s
store. They had, in the first place, two cents ; but one
was lost. The}^ got those two cents by having a show
in the barn. The price for going in to see the show
was four pins. The Jimmies sold the pins to the funny
man. He gave a cent for sixteen straight ones, but
would take no crooked ones at any price. Sometimes
the Jimmies tried to pound the crooked ones straight
on a stone. Their pins, that Saturday, came to nearly
a cent and three-quarters ; and the funny man made it
up to two. Jimmy let his fall on the barn-floor ; and
Johnny, in helping him find it, hit it accidentally with
his toe, and knocked it through a crack. Then Mrs.
Plummer said they would have to divide between them
what was bought with the other cent.

The little boys left home to go to Mr. Juniper s store
at half-past two o clock in the afternoon, taking Snip
with them. Probably, if they had not taken him with
them, all would have been well.

In passing a garden, they looked through the pickets,


and saw a kitten racing along the paths. Snip was
after her in a moment.

" Now, you stay and take care of Snip," said Johnny
to Jimmy, " and I ll go spend the cent, and bring 3 our
half here." And just so they did. Jimmy found Snip,
and then went along to a shady place under a tree ; and
there he climbed to the top rail-of a fence, and sat down
to wait.

Johnny went round to Mr. Juniper s store, and asked
for a cent roll of checkerberry lozenges. Mr. Juniper
had no cent rolls of lozenges ; but he had striped candy,
and some quite large peaches, w r hich he was willing,
for reasons known to himself, to sell for a cent apiece.
Johnny felt so thirsty, that he longed to bite of a
peach : so he bought one, and turned back towards the
garden. Having no knife to cut it with, he ate off his
half going along ; and this tasted so good, that he could
hardly help eating Jimmy s half. But he only nibbled
the edges to make them even.

Turning a corner, he spied Jimmy, and jumped over
into a field, so as to run across by a short cut. In the
field he met Amos Dyke. Amos D} T ke is a large boy,
and a cruel boy. He likes to hurt small children who
cannot hurt him.

Amos Dyke knocked Johnny s elbow with a basket
he was carrying, and made him drop the half-peach in
the grass. Then Johnny began to cry.

" Now, if you don t stop crying, I ll eat it," said
Amos, taking up the half-peach, and setting his teeth
in it.

"Oh! don t you! don t! give it to me ! it s Jim
my s half! " cried Johnny. Amos took two bites,


and then threw away the stone. The stone was all
there was left after the two bites were taken. Johnny
cried louder than before.

Here ! stop that ! stop that ! some one called
out from the road. It was Mr. Tompkins the lobster-
seller. "Stop!" cried Mr. Tompkins. "Let that
little chap alone! Why don t you take one of your
own size ?

The fact is, that Amos Dyke never does take one of
his own size. He always takes some little fellow who
can t defend himself.

Just about this time the funny man came along with
his umbrellas under his arm. The funny man is an
umbrella-mender. Then Amos Dyke, seeing that two
men were looking at him, whispered to Johnny, " Hush
up ! Quick ! Don t tell ! Come down to the shore,
and I ll let you go graping with me in a boat. I ll
run ahead and get the oars, and you go get Jimmy."

The boat was a row-boat. Johnny sat at one end,
and Jimmy at the other. Amos Dyke sat in the middle,
and rowed. Before starting, he fastened a tall stick at
the stern of the boat, and tied his handkerchief to it,
and called that the flag.

They rowed along-shore, then off beyond the rocks,
then in-shore again, and farther along, for nearly a mile,
to a place called " High Pines," and there landed.
The grapes grew in the woods, on the top of a steep,
sandy cliff as high as a high house. Twice, in climbing
this cliff, did the little Jimmies slide down, down, down ;
twice was poor Snip buried alive ; and many times were
all three pelted by the rolling, rattling stones.

They reached the top at last, and found Amos


already picking grapes. He told them, that, if they
would pick for him, he would give them two great
bunches. The grapes were of a kind called sugar-
grapes, light- colored, fragrant, and as sweet as honey.
Amos told the little boys not to eat while they were
picking. When he had filled his basket, he borrowed
the Jimmies pocket-handkerchiefs, and tied some up in
those. They were their " lion" pocket-handkerchiefs :
each had in its centre a lion, with a b c s all around
the lion. Amos gave the Jimmies two great bunches
apiece. He then hid the basket and two small bundles
behind a bush, and they all three went to find a thick
spot. When they found the thick spot, Amos, not
having any thing else to pick in, took off his jacket, and
filled both sleeves. Then he borrowed the Jimmy-
Johns jackets, and filled the four sleeves. Then he
filled his own hat and the Jimmyjohns hats.

As it grew later, the wind breezed up, and the Jim
mies began to feel cold. Amos had long pantaloons
and a vest ; but the Jimmies little fat legs were bare,
and they had no vests : they only had thin waists, and
their trousers were rolled up.

It began to sprinkle, and Amos said it was time to
go. They went back for the basket and two small
bundles, but were a long time in finding the bush, on
account of the bushes there looking so much alike.
They did find it, though ; or rather Snip found it. The
Jimmies took one apiece of the bundles, and wanted to
take more ; but Amos was afraid they might lose some
of the grapes. Perhaps he knew pretty well how they
would reach the foot of the cliff; perhaps he knew
pretty well that they would begin slowly, and that


the sliding sands would take them along so fast they
couldn t stop themselves, and would land them at the
bottom in two small heaps.

Now about the row home. Such a time as they had !
There was no rain to speak of ; but the wind blew hard,
and this made the sea very rough, so rough that the
boat pitched up and down, and sometimes took in water.
Amos told the Jimmies to hold on by the sides. They
were seated at the ends, as before, and, by stretching
their arms apart, could take hold of each side, and did
so. Amos put on his own hat, and let them have theirs,
but said it wouldn t do to stop to empty the jacket-

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Online LibraryAbby Morton DiazThe Jimmyjohns, and other stories → online text (page 2 of 13)