Abby Morton Diaz.

The Jimmyjohns, and other stories online

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sleeves. The grapes from the hats were emptied into
the bottom of the boat. Snip was in the bottom of
the boat too. As there was no one to hold him, he
lay down on the Jimnryjohns jackets.

And there he did mischief. The boat, it seems,
was an old, leaky boat, and the leaks were not well
stopped. Snip pulled out with his teeth, and chewed
up, what had been stuffed into the cracks ; and, before
they knew what he was about, the water had begun to
come in, and was wetting their feet and all the things
in the bottom. The wind took their hats off, and blew
the flag away. They caught their hats, and held them
between their knees. Amos began to look sober.
The little boys, half crying, held fast by the sides of
the boat, saying over and over, "Oh, I want to go
home ! " "I want to see mother ! "

This was the time when the trousers were cut. " I
must cut pieces out of your trousers," said Amos,
" and stop the leaks, or we shall be drowned. Mine
are too thick cloth."




He took out his jack-knife as quick as ever he could,
and cut pieces from their trousers, and stuffed the
pieces into the cracks. Even this did not wholly keep
the water from coming in : so, just as soon as they
got past the rocks, .Amos steered the boat to the land ;
and there he pulled her up, the Jimmyjohns pushing

By this time it was after sunset. Amos emptied
all the grapes, except those in his basket, out upon the
ground behind a log, and covered them with dry sea
weed. He let the Jimmies have a part of what were
in their handkerchiefs. They all started then to walk
along the sands. As the jackets were too wet to be
worn, each boy carried his own on his arm. The Jim
mies took turns in canying Snip. In this manner they
walked for nearly a quarter of a mile to the place they
started from. There were two men coming down
toward the water. As soon as Amos saw those two
men, he ran away ; for one was Mr. Plummer, and the
other was the umbrella-man. The umbrella-man, it
seems, had told Mr. Plummer that he saw his little
"boys in the field with Amos Dyke, and had come to
help him find them.

Mrs. Plummer sat up very late that Saturday night.




I AM going to put some things about Effle in my
diary ; and this is the reason why I am going to put
them in : My mother says, when Effie is a great girl
she will like to read some of the things she did and
said when she was three years old. And so will the
Jimnryjohns when they grow up ; and so I shall put in
some of their things, too, when I have done putting in
some of Effie s things. The Jimmyjohns are my little
brothers, both of them twins, just alike.

One time, Effie wanted to be dressed up in her best
clothes to go up in the tree and see the sun-birds. She
thinks that the tops of the trees are close up to the
place where the sun is, and that makes her call birds
sun-birds. And she thinks the birds light up the stars
every night. My mother asked her, " What makes
you think the birds light up the stars every night ?"
and Effie said, " Because they have some wings to fly
high up."

My father brought me home a pudding-pan to make
little puddings in. It doesn t hold very much : it holds
most a cupful. And Joey Moonbeam is going to have
a party ; and, when she does, my mother is going to
show me how to make a pudding in it. Joey Moon
beam is my very great rag-baby. She has got a new
hat. I made it. Cousin Hiram says he is going to
draw a picture of it on Joey Moonbeam s head in my


diary before she wears it all out. Betsey Ginger is
going to have some new clothes to wear to Joey Moon
beam s party ; and
Dorothy Beeswax is
going to have one new
arm sewed on. Susan
Sugarspoon, and Eu-
dora N. Posy, and Jen
ny Popovcr, are not
careful of their clothes,
and so they cannot
have some new ones.
N. stands for Nightin
gale. Dear little Polly
Cologne was the very
smallest one of them
all. She was the baby
rag-baby. She was just as cunning, and she had hair
that wasn t ra veilings. It was hair ; and all the others
have ravcllings. Her cheeks were painted pink. She
had four bib-aprons, and she had feet. We don t
know where she is. Rover that little dog that we
used to have carried her off in his mouth, and now
she is lost. Rover went away to find her when I told
him to, and he did not come back. We don t know
where Rover is. We think somebody stole him, or else
he would be heard of. We feel very sorry. He was a
good little dog. My father says he was only pla3 ing
when he carried her off.

I love all my rag-babies. I love Snip, but not so
much as I do Rover. I love dear little baby-brother.
I love the Jimmies, both of them. I love Effie, and


I love my mother, and my father, and grandma Rum
mer. I don t love aunt Bethiah. Aunt Bethiah does
not love little girls. When little girls have a pudding-
pan, aunt Bethiah says it is all nonsense for them to
have them. My mother said I might have raisins in
my pudding. I like to pick over raisins. Sometimes
my mother lets me eat six when I pick them over, and
sometimes she lets me eat eight. Then I shut up my
e} T es, and pick all the rest over with them shut up, be
cause then I cannot see how good they look. Grandma
Plummer told me this way to do. Effie is not big
enough. She would put them in her arm-basket. She
puts every thing in her arm-basket. She carries it on
her arm all the time, and carries it to the table, and up
to bed. My mother hangs it on the post of her crib.
When she sits up to the table, she hangs it on her chair.

One time, when the Jimmies were very little bo} T s,
they picked up two apples that did not belong to them
under Mr. Spencer s apple-tree, and ate a part. Then,
when they were eating them, a woman came to the
door, and said, "Didn t you know that you mustn t
pick up apples that are not your own?" After she
went in, the Jimmies carried them back, and put them
down under the tree in the same place again.

I am going to tell what Effie puts in her arm-basket.
Two curtain-rings^ one steel pen she found, some spools,
some strings, one bottle (it used to be a smelling-
bottle) , my father s letter when he was gone away, a
little basket that Hiram made of a nutshell, a head
of one little china doll, Betsey Beeswax sometimes,
and sometimes one of the other ones, a peach-stone
to plant, a glass eye of a bird that was not a live


one, and a pill-box, and a piece of red glass, and pink
calico, and an inkstand, and her beads, and a foot of a
doll. One time it got tipped over when we pla}^ed
" Siren." Mr. Tompkins was in here when we played
" Siren." He looked funny with the things on. Cous
in Floy told us how to play it. The one that is the
siren has to put on a woman s bonnet and a shawl,
and then go under the table, and then sing under
there, and catch the ones that come close up when they
run by. I caught Hiram s foot. Hiram was so tall,
he could not get all under. Cousin Floy stood up in a
chair to put the bonnet on him. My father did not
sing a good tune : it was not any tune, but a noise.
My mother did, and cousin Floy did too. Mr. Tomp
kins squealed. Mr. Tompkins could get way under.
The one that is caught has to be the siren. Soon as
the siren begins to sing, then the others go that way to
listen, and go by as fast as they can. The siren jumps
out and catches them. My father got caught. He did
not want to put on the bonnet ; but he did. He did not
sing a bad tune like Hiram s, but a pretty bad one.
He made it up himself. My mother told Hiram that
sirens did not howl. When Johnny was caught, Jimmy
went under there too, and had another bonnet ; and
they both jumped out together to catch. The tune the
Jimmies sung was,

"Toodle-doo was a dandy cock-robin:
He tied up his tail with a piece of blue "bobbin."

Effie was afraid to go under. Her arm-basket got up
set, and made her cry. Snip flew at Hiram when Hiram
caught Johnny. He went linder, too, when they went


under, and barked most all the time. I was the one
that got caught the most times, and so then I had to
be judged ; and I chose cousin Floy for my judge, and
she judged me to tell a story.

We are going to have pumpkin for dinner. Joey
Moonbeam s party is going to be a soap-bubble party.
When Clarence was the siren, he sang,

"Hop, hop, hop!
Go, and never stop."

Sometimes Clarence stops to play with us when he
comes here. My mother says he is a very good boy.
His father is dead : his mother is sick ; so is his little
brother. He has got two little brothers and two little
sisters. They do not have enough to eat. He comes
here to get the cold victuals my mother has done using.



MRS. PLUMMER holding " Josephus," and Mr.
Plummer, and grandma Plummer, and Hiram, take
seats in the row, and play they are little children like
the rest, waiting to hear the story. Hiram, sometimes
called "the growler," sits on a cricket, his long legs
reaching across a breadth and a half of the carpet.
Annetta seats herself in front of the row.

" Shall I make it up true, or fictisher ? " she asks.
Annetta s true stories tell of things which have really


happened. The " fictishers " are usually one solid mass
of giants. In fact, her hearers have had so many and
so very monstrous giants lately, that they can t stand
any more, and ask that Annetta shall "make it up
true " this time ; though, of course, what is true can t
be made up.

" Well, if I make it up true/ says Annetta, " I shall
make it about the Jimmyjohns." (The Jimmies, who
are seated t6gether in the row, look very smiling at
this.) "All be very quiet," Annetta goes on, "and
keep in the row. Mr. Growly must not interrupt so
much as he does most every time, because it s every
word true.

Once there were two little twinnies named the Jim-
nryjohns, just as big as each other, and just as old, and
just alike. And one day, when Joey Moonbeam was
going to have a soap-bubble party, Annetta (me ; but I
mustn t say me, you know) Annetta wanted to make
a pudding in her little pudding-pan, and her mother said
she might. And her mother gave her some grease, so
it needn t stick on, and told how many teaspoonfuls of
sugar to take, and milk and cracker, and twenty cur
rants (because currants are smaller than raisins are) .
And one egg was too many for such a little one, and
she couldn t think w r hat to tell about that : and Mr.
Growly said humming-birds eggs would be the right
size for such a little one ; and he asked the Jimmyjohns
if they would chase some humming-birds home and get
their eggs, and they said Yes. But he was only fun
ning with them. And he took a little red box with
white on top of it, that used to be a pill-box, out of
Effie s basket she let him for them to put the eggs


in when they found any, and put two white sugar-lumps
in the box ; and their mother said, when they found the
eggs, they could eat the sugar-lumps up, and put the
eggs in there.

" And first they went behind the syringa-bush ; and,
when one came, they said, Sh ! and began to crawl
out. But Johnny tried to stop a sneeze s coming ; and
so that sneeze made a funny noise in his nose, and
scared it away.

"And first it went to the sweet-peas; and then it
flew to some wild rose-bushes over the fence, and then
to sometother places. And they chased it everywhere
it" went. And then it flew across a field where there
was a swamp ; and, when they came to the swamp, they
couldn t find it anywhere. And they saw a boy there,
and that boy told them maybe it flew over the hills.
Then they went over the hills, and it took them a great
while. And pretty soon there came along a little girl,
and her name was Minnie Gray ; and she came to pick
flowers in a basket for another girl that was sick, and
couldn t go out doors to smell the sweet flowers. And
she asked them where they were going ; and they said
to find humming-birds eggs for Annetta to put in her
pudding, because Joey Moonbeam was going to have a
soap-bubble party. And they asked her if she knew
where humming-birds laid their eggs, and she said
she guessed in a lily ; and tliey asked her where any
lilies grew, and she said in her mother s front-yard;
and they asked her if they might go into her mother s
front-yard and look, and she said they might. Then
they went over to Minnie Gray s house, and went into
her mother s front-yard, and looked in every one of the


lilies, but couldn t find one. And pretty soon they
saw the funny man, that mends umbrellas, coming out
of a house with some umbrellas that he had to mend ;
and he asked them where they were going, and they
said to find some humming-birds eggs for Annetta to
put in her pudding that she was going to make in her
pudding-pan, because Joey Moonbeam was going to
have a soap-bubble party. And they asked him if he
knew where to look for them, and he said they d better
climb up in a tree and look. Then he went into
another house ; and then the} 7 climbed up into Mr.
Bumpus s apple-tree and looked, and couldn t find any ;
and Mr. Bumpus s shaggy dog came out and barked,
and Mr. Bumpus s boy drove him away ; and a limb
broke with Johnny, and so he fell down, and it hurt
him, and made him cry.

" And Mr. Bumpus called the dog, and told them to
never climb up there and break his limbs off any more.
And then they went along ; and pretty soon the funny
man came out of another house, and asked them if they
had found any humming-birds eggs, and they said No.
Then he told them butterflies laid theirs on the backs
of leaves : so they d better go and look on the backs of
leaves, and see if humming-birds did so. So they went
into a woman s flower-garden, and turned some of the
leaves over, and looked on the backs of them ; and a
cross woman came out and told them to be off, and not
be stepping on her flower-roots. And the fumry man
was coming out of a house way long the road ; and,
when they came up to Mm, he asked them if they d
found any, and they said No. Then he laughed ; and
he told them that mosquitoes stuck their eggs together,


and let them float on the water in a bunch together, and
they d better go over to the pond and look there. So
they went over to the pond, and he sat down to wait ;
and they went and looked, and came right back again,
and said they didn t see any. Then he told them water-
spiders laid theirs in water-bubbles under the water,
and he said they d better go back and look again. So
they went back and paddled in the water, and couldn t
see any eggs in any of the bubbles, and got their shoes
and stockings very muddy with wet mud. And, when
they went back, there was another man talking with the
funny man ; and that other man told them that ostriches
laid eggs in the ground for the sun to hatch them out,
and they d better go dig in the ground. The funny man
and that other man laughed very much ; and they went
away after that. And then the Jimmies got over a
fence into a garden, because the ground was very soft
there, and began to dig in the ground ; and, when they
had dug a great hole, a man came up to them, and scolded
at them for digging that hole in his garden, and he
made them dig it back again. And I ve forgot where
they went then. Oh, I know now ! "

" Up on the hill ! " cry the Jimmies both together.

" Oh, yes ! I know now. Then they went up on the
hill ; and there was a boy up there, and that boy told
them maybe humming-birds had nests in the grass, just
like ground-sparrows. But they could not find one ;
and, when they were tired of looking, they sat down on
the top of the hill. And by and by Mr. Bumpus came
along, and his wife (that s Mrs. Bumpus) ; and she
asked them if they had seen Dan (that s Dan Bum-
pus) , and they said No. Then she said she and Mr.


Bumpus were going to a picnic, and Dan was going.
And she said they were going by the new roadway ;
and she asked them if they would wait there till Dan
canie, and tell Dan to go by the new roadway. And
they promised to wait, and tell Dan. So they waited
there a very long time, and didn t want to stay there
any longer ; but they did, so as to tell Dan what they
said they would. And then it was most noon ; and
Johnny said he was hungry, and Jimmy said he was
too. The funny man saw them sitting up on top of
the hill ; and he went up softly and got behind some
bushes when they didn t see him, and looked through.
And one of them wanted to go home ; and the other
one said, Twon t do, cause we must tell Dan what
we said we would. So they waited ever so long. And
the one that had the red box took it out and opened it ;
and both of em looked in, and one of em asked the
other one if he s posed their mother would care if they
ate up the sugar ; and the other said mother told them
the} might eat the sugar-lumps when they found the
eggs : so they didn t know what to do. And, while
they were looking at it, they heard a great humming
noise in among the bushes. Then they crawled along
toward the bushes, softly as they could, to see what
was humming there. And they didn t see any thing at
first : so they crawled along and peeped round on the
other side, and there they saw something very strange.
They saw an old broken umbrella all spread open, and
a green bush hanging down from it, and they saw the
feet of a man under the bush ; and the humming came
from behind that umbVella. The funny man was be
hind there humming, but ikcy didn t know it ; and he


was looking through a hole. And, when they crawled
up a little bit nearer to see what made that humming
noise, he turned round with the umbrella, so they could
not see behind that umbrella ; and, every time they
crawled another way, he turned round so they could
not see behind that umbrella ; and when they began
to cry, because they felt scared, he took down the um
brella, and that made them laugh.

The baker was coming along the new road ; and the
funny man stopped him, and bought two seed-cakes of
him for the Jimmies. And he told them they needn t
wait any longer for Dan, for Dan had gone by another
way, riding in a cart. Then he came home with the
Jimnryjohns; and, when they got most to the barn, they
saw me no, I mean saw a little girl named Annetta
(but it was myself, you know) ; and the funny man put
up his old umbrella, and began to hum ; and he told her
to hark, and hear a great humming-bird hum ; and that
made me no, made the little girl laugh. And she
wanted him to keep humming ; and she went in and
told the folks to all come out and see a great big hum
ming-bird. So the folks came out, and he kept moving
the old umbrella so they couldn t see who was humming
behind there. And when they tried to get behind him,
so as to see who was humming there, he went backward
up against the barn ; but one of them went in the barn
and poked a stick through a crack and tickled his neck,
and that made him jump away. Then Annetta s father
said he knew where there was a humming-bird s nest.
Then they all went across a field to some high bushes ;
and Mr. Plummer lifted up the little children so we
could look in ; and there we saw two very, very tiny,


tinj- white eggs, about as big as little white beans. The
Jimmies wanted Annetta to take them to put in her
pudding ; but the funny man said the} T d better not.
He said he had read in a story-book, that, if you ate
humming-birds eggs, you would have to hum all your
life forever after. And so," said Annetta, looking at
the row from one end to the other, " the pudding never
got made in the pudding-pan for Joey Moonbeam s
soap-bubble party."



THE Jimnvyjohns are never happy when their faces
are being washed. Perhaps it is no more than
right to tell the whole truth of the matter, and confess
that the}^ cry aloud at such times, and also drop tears
into the wash-basin ; which is a foolish thing to do,
seeing there is then water enough already in it.

One morning, as little Mr. Tompkins, the lobster-
man, came wheeling his wheelbarrow of lobsters up to
the back-door of the cottage, he met the Jimnryjohns
scampering off quite fast. After them ran Annetta,
calling out, " Come back, come back, you little Jimmy-
John Plummers ! " Effic, standing in the doorway,
shouted, "Turn back, turn back, oo ittle Dimnrydon
Pummcrs ! " Mrs. Plummer, from the open window,
cried, " BO} T S, boys, come and be washed before you
go ! " Hiram said nothing ; but, by taking a few steps
with those long legs of his, he got in front of the run-


aways, and turned them back, making motions with his
hands as if he had been driving two little chickens.
Mr. Tompkins took one under each arm, and presented
them to Mrs. Plummer. Mrs. Plummer led them into
another room. Strange sounds were heard from that
room ; but, when the ones who made those sounds were
led back again, their rosy cheeks were beautiful to see.

Mr. Tompkins sat with a broad smile on his face. He
seemed not to be noticing the two little boys, but to be
smiling at his own thoughts : and, the while he sat
thinking, the smile upon his face grew broader, his
eyes twinkled at the corners, his lips parted, his shoulders
shook ; there came a chuckle, chuckle, chuckle, in his
throat ; and then he burst out laughing.

" I was thinking," said he, " of a boy who think
ing of a boy I used to know a long time ago, down in
Jersey, who who tried to get rid of a small wetting,
and got a big one. I shall have to tell you about that
smart chap : I knew him very well. He was afraid to
have his face washed, even when he had grown to be
quite a large bo} r ; and also afraid to have his hair cut.
Sometimes in the morning, when his mother forgot to
shut the windows before she began, people would burst
into the house, asking, What s the matter? Anybod}^
tumbled down stairs, or out the chamber- window, or got
scalded, or broken any bones?"

" Why, did he cry as loud as that?" asked Annetta.

11 Oh, yes!- and pulled back, and twisted his shoul
ders, and turned his head the wrong way. I can tell
you it was hard work getting him ready to go out in
the morning. The boys called him Bubby Cr}~away.
They were alwaj S watching for chances to wet him.


If he passed near a puddle, splash would come a great
stone into the water ! When he staid out after sunset,
they would begin to shout, Better go in, Bubby : the
dew s a-falling! Sometimes they called him Dry-

11 But this is what I was laughing about. One morn
ing he thought he would start out early, before his
sisters said any thing about washing his face, or cut
ting his hair. They had then been coaxing him for
a long, long time to have his hair cut. So he crept
down the back-stairs, and across the back-yard, and
through a back-alley, which took him into the worst-
looking street in town. Here he met a fellow named
Davy Bangs. Davy Bangs s mother kept a little shop
in that street : I ve bought fish-hooks of her many s the
time. Davy Bangs asked him if he were going to the
circus. He said No : he hadn t any money. Davy
Bangs asked him why he didn t catch frogs, and sell
them to the circus-riders. He asked Davy if the circus-
riders would bu} r them.

" Yes, and be glad to, said Davy. They eat the
hind-quarters : that s what, makes em jump so high.
And if you ll go over to Dutch Meadows/ said Davy^
to that little swamp they call Duck Swamp, you can
dip up frogs with a dip-net ; and, if }*ou want a dip-net,
I ll lend 3~ou our old one.

" He went and got Davy Bangs s-old dip-net, and was
hunying along the streets with it, when a ragged coun
try-boy who had come in to the circus, I suppose
cried out,

" i Halloo, little fisherman ! The man that keeps the
furniture-store wants you.


"Bubby turned back and found the furniture-store,
and went in ; and there he stood, waiting, waiting,
waiting, till at last a workman ordered him off. As he
was walking away, he saw the country-boy grinning at
him from around a corner, and shouted,

" The man didn t want me ! Now, what did you say
that for?

" I thought he d want your hair to stuff cushions
with ! cried the boy, and then ran off."

"Now, I think that was mean enough! " said An

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Online LibraryAbby Morton DiazThe Jimmyjohns, and other stories → online text (page 3 of 13)