Harper's Young People, January 25, 1881 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, January 25, 1881 → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Annie R. McGuire


* * * * *


Tuesday, January 25, 1881. Copyright, 1881, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

* * * * *


[Begun in No. 58 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, December 7.]






Toby's experience of the evening was very similar to that of the
afternoon, save that he was so fortunate as not to take any more bad
money in payment for his goods. Mr. Jacobs scolded and swore
alternately, and the boy really surprised him in the way of selling
goods, though he was very careful not to say anything about it, but made
Toby believe that he was doing only about half as much work as he ought
to do. Toby's private hoard of money was increased that evening by
presents, ninety cents, and he began to look upon himself as almost a
rich man.

When the performance was nearly over, Mr. Jacobs called to him to help
in packing up; and by the time the last spectator had left the tent, the
worldly possessions of Messrs. Lord and Jacobs were ready for removal,
and Toby allowed to do as he had a mind to, so long as he was careful to
be on hand when old Ben was ready to start.

Toby thought that he would have time to pay a visit to his friends the
skeleton and the fat woman, and to that end started toward the place
where their tent had been standing; but to his sorrow he found that it
was already being taken down, and he only had time to thank Mrs. Treat
and to press the fleshless hand of her shadowy husband as they entered
their wagon to drive away.

He was disappointed, for he had hoped to be able to speak with his
new-made friends a few moments before the weary night's ride commenced;
but failing in that, he went hastily back to the monkeys' cage. Old Ben
was there getting things ready for a start; but the wooden sides of the
cage had not been put up, and Toby had no difficulty in calling the aged
monkey up to the bars. He held one of the fat woman's doughnuts in his
hand, and he said, as he passed it through to the animal:

"I thought perhaps you might be hungry, Mr. Stubbs, and this is some of
what the skeleton's wife give me. I hain't got very much time to talk
with you now; but the first chance I can get away to-morrow, an' when
there hain't anybody 'round, I want to tell you something."

The monkey had taken the doughnut in his hand-like paws, and was tearing
it to pieces, eating small portions of it very rapidly.

"Don't hurry yourself," said Toby, warningly, "for Uncle Dan'l always
told me the worst thing a feller could do was to eat fast. If you want
any more, after we start, just put your hand through the little hole up
there near the seat, an' I'll give you all you want."

From the look on his face, Toby confidently believed the monkey was
going to make some reply; but just then Ben shut up the sides,
separating Toby and Mr. Stubbs, and the order was given to start.

Toby clambered up on to the high seat, Ben followed him, and in another
instant the team was moving along slowly down the dusty road, preceded
and followed by the many wagons with their tiny swinging lights.

"Well," said Ben, when he had got his team well under way; and felt that
he could indulge in a little conversation, "how did you get along

Toby related all of his movements, and gave the driver a faithful
account of all that had happened to him, concluding his story by saying,
"That was one of Mrs. Treat's doughnuts that I just gave to Mr. Stubbs."

"To whom?" asked Ben, in surprise.

"To Mr. Stubbs - the old fellow here in the cart, you know, that's been
so good to me."

Toby heard a sort of gurgling sound, saw the driver's body sway back and
forth in a trembling way, and was just becoming thoroughly alarmed, when
he thought of the previous night, and understood that Ben was only
laughing in his own peculiar way.

"How did you know his name was Stubbs?" asked Ben, after he had
recovered his breath.

"Oh, I don't know that that is his real name," was the quick reply; "I
only call him that because he looks so much like a feller with that name
that I knew at home. He don't seem to mind because I call him Stubbs."

Ben looked at Toby earnestly for a moment, acting all the time as if he
wanted to laugh again, but didn't dare to for fear he might burst a
blood-vessel, and then he said, as he patted him on the shoulder, "Well,
you are the queerest little fish that I ever saw in all my travels. You
seem to think that that monkey knows all you say to him."

"I'm sure he does," said Toby, positively. "He don't say anything right
out to me, but he knows everything I tell him. Do you suppose he could
talk if he tried to?"

"Look here, Mr. Toby Tyler," and Ben turned half around in his seat, and
looked Toby full in the face, as to give more emphasis to his words,
"are you heathen enough to think that that monkey could talk if he
wanted to?"

"I know I hain't a heathen," said Toby, thoughtfully, "for if I had
been, some of the missionaries would have found me out a good while ago;
but I never saw anybody like this old Mr. Stubbs before, an' I thought
he could talk if he wanted to, just as the Living Skeleton does, or his
wife. Anyhow, Mr. Stubbs winks at me; an' how could he do that if he
didn't know what I've been sayin' to him?"

"Look here, my son," said Ben, in a most fatherly fashion, "monkeys
hain't anything but beasts, an' they don't know how to talk any more
than they know what you say to 'em."

"Didn't you ever hear any of them speak a word?"

"Never. I've been in a circus, man an' boy, nigh on to forty years, an'
I never seen nothin' in a monkey more'n any other beast, except their
awful mischiefness."

"Well," said Toby, still unconvinced, "I believe Mr. Stubbs knew what I
said to him, anyway."

"Now don't be foolish, Toby," pleaded Ben. "You can't show me one thing
that a monkey ever did because you told him to."

Just at that moment Toby felt some one pulling at the back of his coat,
and looking around, he saw it was a little brown hand, reaching through
the bars of the air-hole of the cage, that was tugging away at his coat.

"There!" he said, triumphantly, to Ben. "Look there. I told Mr. Stubbs
if he wanted anything more to eat, to tell me, an' I would give it to
him. Now you can see for yourself that he's come for it," and Toby took
a doughnut from his pocket, and put it into the tiny hand, which was
immediately withdrawn. "Now what do you think of Mr. Stubbs knowing what
I say to him?"

"They often stick their paws up through there," said Ben, in a
matter-of-fact tone. "I've had 'em pull my coat in the night till they
made me as nervous as ever any old woman was. You see, Toby, my boy,
monkeys is monkeys; an' you mustn't go to gettin' the idea that they're
anything else, for it's a mistake. You think this old monkey in here
knows what you say? Why, that's just the cuteness of the old fellow; he
watches you to see if he can't do just as you do, an' that's all there
is about it."

Toby was more than half convinced that Ben was putting the matter in its
proper light, and he would have believed all that had been said if, just
at that moment, he had not seen that brown hand reaching through the
hole to clutch him again by the coat.

The action seemed so natural, so like a hungry boy who gropes in the
dark pantry for something to eat, that it would have taken more
arguments than Ben had at his disposal to persuade Toby that his Mr.
Stubbs could not understand all that was said to him. Toby put another
doughnut in the outstretched hand, and then sat silently, as if in a
brown-study over some difficult problem.

For some time the ride was made in silence. Ben was going through all
the motions of whistling without uttering a sound, a favorite amusement
of his, and Toby's thoughts were far away in the humble home he had
scorned, with Uncle Daniel, whose virtues had increased with every mile
of distance which had been put between them, and whose faults had
decreased in a corresponding ratio.

Toby's thoughtfulness had made him sleepy, and his eyes were almost
closed in slumber, when he was startled by a crashing sound, was
conscious of a sense of being hurled from his seat by some great force,
and then he lay senseless by the side of the road, while the wagon
remained a perfect wreck, from out of which a small army of monkeys
were escaping. Ben's experienced ear had told him at the first crash
that his wagon was breaking down, and without having time to warn Toby
of his peril, he had leaped clear of the wreck, keeping his horses in
perfect control, thus averting any more trouble. It was the breaking of
one of the axles which Toby had heard just before he was thrown from his
seat, and when the body of the wagon had come down upon the hard road,
the entire structure had been wrecked.

The monkeys, thus suddenly released from their confinement, had
scampered off in every direction, and, by a singular chance, Toby's aged
friend started for the woods in such a direction as to bring him
directly upon the boy's senseless body. As the monkey came up to Toby he
stopped, through the well-known curiosity of his kind, and began to
examine the body carefully, prying into each pocket he could reach, and
trying to open the half-closed eyelids in order to peep in under them.

Fortunately for Toby, he had fallen upon a mud-bank, and was only
stunned for the moment, having received no serious bruises, even though
he had been thrown such a distance. The attentions bestowed upon him by
the monkey served the purpose of bringing him to his senses; and after
he had looked around him in the gray light of the coming morning, it
would have taken far more of a philosopher than ever old Ben was to have
persuaded the boy that monkeys did not possess reasoning faculties.

The monkey was picking at his ears, nose, and mouth, as monkeys always
do when they get an opportunity, and the expression of his face was as
grave as possible. Toby firmly believed that the monkey's face showed
sorrow at his fall, and he believed that the attentions which were being
bestowed upon him were for the purpose of learning whether he had been
injured or not.

"Don't worry, Mr. Stubbs," said Toby, anxious to reassure his friend, as
he sat upright and looked about him. "I didn't get hurt any, but I would
like to know how I got 'way over here."

It really seemed as if the monkey was pleased to know that his little
friend was not hurt, for he seated himself on his haunches, and his face
expressed the liveliest pleasure that Toby was well again - or at least
that was the way the boy interpreted the look.

By this time the news of the accident had been shouted ahead from one
team to the other, and all hands were hurrying to the scene for the
purpose of rendering some aid. As Toby saw them coming, he also saw a
number of small forms, looking something like men, hurrying past him,
and for the first time he understood how it was that the aged monkey was
at liberty, and knew that those little dusky forms were the other
occupants of the cage escaping to the woods.

"See there, Mr. Stubbs! see there!" he exclaimed, quickly, pointing
toward the fugitives; "they're all going off into the woods. What shall
we do?"

The sight of the runaways seemed to excite the old monkey quite as much
as it had the boy. He jumped to his feet, chattered in the most excited
way, screamed two or three times as if he was calling them back, and
then started off in vigorous pursuit.

"Now he's gone too," said Toby, disconsolately, believing the old fellow
had run away from him; "I didn't think Mr. Stubbs would treat me this




Many of the readers of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be both surprised and
sorry to learn that there are parents who are not only willing to sell
their baby girls for a few pennies, but when this can not be done, to
cast them out upon the highways to perish either by the wild beasts that
prowl about at night, or by the fiercely glaring sun that heats the sand
so that even a dog will not venture out at noonday for fear of burning
his paws.

"Where do these cruel people live, and who are they?" I hear a bright
little girl ask.

They are the Arabs who inhabit the deserts of Kabylia and the Sahara, in
and south of Algiers, the most northern country in Africa.

"Ah, but the Arabs live in Arabia, don't they?" objects my young friend.

Yes, they do; but centuries ago the Arabians, or Saracens - desert
dwellers, as they were then called, Sara meaning desert - sent out large
armies to conquer other nations. These Saracens swept victoriously
through Northern Africa up to the heart of Spain.

Algiers is now a French province, but the greater part of its people are
descendants of its ancient inhabitants, called Moors, and their
conquerors, the Arabs, together with negroes from Soudan, French
colonists, and a sprinkling of Turks, Maltese, and Spaniards.

Neither the Moors nor the Arabs think much of little girls. The
latter - especially the poor ones - are sorry when one is born; but when a
boy baby comes, they make him presents, and a bowl of "mughly" - a
compound of rice flavored with sugar and spices, and sprinkled with
delicious nuts - is given to each relative.

A Moorish girl of even rich parents is considered well enough educated
if she can make preserves, and dye her finger-nails with henna leaves.
She is not treated as unkindly, however, as the little Arab damsels, who
are compelled when quite young to work very hard. They have to draw
water from the wells in heavy leathern buckets; to churn; to feed and
water the young camels and horses: in fact, they live more like slaves
than daughters of the family.

[Illustration: MARIA IMMANUEL.]

The subject of my sketch, little Maria Immanuel, is a young Arabian girl
twelve years of age, who, accompanied by a French Missionary Sister, or
nun, has been all through Europe, and is now travelling through this
country, on a curious but praiseworthy mission: she is trying to raise
money to buy and support little Arabian children who are sold or cast
out on the desert.

Maria Immanuel was herself one of these unfortunates. When a mere baby,
not yet two years old, she was picked up on the highway by some good
women, and taken to their mission-house, where she has lived ever since.

I dare say my readers would like to know just how she looks, so I will
describe her to the best of my ability.

Imagine a dark-complexioned, plump young girl, with rather heavy but
pleasant features; fluffy, dark, silken hair floating around her head
and overshadowing her eyes like a little cloud; red lips and milky-white
teeth; and eyes that light up her whole face, so soft are they, yet
brilliant and full of mischievous fire.

Immanuel - for so her friends call her - is very like many American girls
in disposition, being intensely lively, merry as a cricket, and a great
tease when in the society of children of her own age.

She has two accomplishments - she speaks French fluently, and sings
sweetly, having a fine contralto voice.

Immanuel dresses just as she did at the mission-house in the desert of
Kabylia, wearing an Arab cloak of white wool, called a "burnoose," with
a hood for stormy weather, over a white cashmere gown, which hangs in
folds to her ankles, and is made with a yoke at the neck, and full
flowing sleeves. A double row of scarlet and white beads; a girdle, or
sash, of scarlet, blue, and yellow silk, knotted at the waist, and
falling in long fringed ends in front; and a scarlet "fez," or cap,
ornamented with a band of embroidery and a golden tassel, complete her
gay and picturesque costume. Dark or solemn colors offend an Arab's eye,
for he regards them as omens of misfortune.

There are two sorts of Arabs among whom the missionaries work - the
farmer Arabs, who live in mud villages, and the Bedouins, who dwell in
tents, and roam the deserts a little farther south, and keep large
flocks of sheep and camels.

These shepherd Arabs despise the milder farmers, but condescend to visit
them, after harvest-time, to barter camels and goats for their barley
and other grains, for _they_ never stoop to till the soil or do work of
any kind; their girls and women - at least such as they see fit to
rear - do all their necessary work, such as cooking, sewing tent and
saddle cloths, making mats, dyeing wool, and tending the animals, with
which they live almost in common, and which are often ranked above them.

The shepherd Arabs live in tents, removing in winter to the farther
south, but the farmer Arabs live in mud houses, called "gourbis." The
"gourbis," like all native dwellings, are only one story high, on
account of earthquakes; they are made of branches of trees and stones,
cemented together by mud, a thick layer of which covers the roof.
Sometimes forty or more of these houses are united in a village, and
hedged in by tall cactus plants armed with sharp thorns.

The animals live under the same roof with the family; so what with this
and the smoke, the smell of cookery, and the want of ventilation, you
may imagine the "gourbis" anything but a pleasant place to visit.

The mission-houses, some of them in the neighborhood of these miserable
villages, and some farther south, are square wooden buildings, with a
court-yard in the middle, on which the windows and doors of all the
rooms open. There are small doors on the outside of the building, but
these are carefully guarded, on account of robbers and wild beasts,
either of which may make attacks at night.

Now I must explain about the little Arab boys who are being educated and
taken care of by the Missionary Brothers.

The Arabs, as I have said, love their boys very much indeed, but some
families are so wretchedly poor that they have to dispose of the boys as
well as the girls, when there are too many of them.

The Brothers, when they pick them up or buy them, teach them to read and
write, and to till the ground, so that they may become farmers.

The Missionary Sisters teach the girls to read and write, to do plain
sewing and house-work.

The work of the missions does not stop when the children have grown to
be men and women; they are then allowed to visit each other socially
under proper supervision. If a young couple fall in love with each
other, and wish to marry, the consent of the Superior is asked, and
given; for she knows the youth has been well brought up, and is worthy
to have her young charge for a wife.

In speaking of these weddings, which are quite festive occasions, little
Maria Immanuel recently said to a lady, in her lively French, which I
will translate: "I do love to have weddings going on, we have _such_ a
good time. Oh, the music! it is fine; and then there is _such

No wonder she laid such stress on feasting, for the mission people live
only on the very plainest fare, never seeing butter, meat, or any of the
delicacies American children have every day.

At weddings - and they generally manage to have them double, triple, or
quadruple weddings - I suppose they have fruit and honey and other fine
dishes for the great occasion.

To each newly married couple a house, an inclosed acre of land, a horse,
an ass, and a pair of goats are given; also some farming implements; six
each of dishes and bowls, knives and wooden spoons; a bed; and the few
other necessaries for simple housekeeping.

They now commence life as farmers, and, what is still better, as
Christian young people. Already two Christian Arab villages have sprung
up on the desert, while a third is being built.

Are the young fathers and mothers sorry when a dear little girl baby
comes into the world? No, they are glad, and love it tenderly, as you
may tell by this little nursery song here translated. I wish I could
give you the wild, sweet music too. Listen - a young Arab mother sings:

"Come, Cameleer, as quick as you can,
And make us some soap from green Shenan,
To bathe our Lûlû dear;
We'll wash her and dress her,
And then we'll caress her:
She'll sleep in her little screer."[1]


[1] Cradle.



[Illustration: A LIFE-SAVING STATION.]

"Be still, Meg, be still. Don't trouble me. Go and play. Young 'uns like
you are good for naught else;" and so saying, Meg's grandmother turned
fretfully toward the window of the cottage, and resumed her listless
watching of the sea-gulls across the inlet, as they fluttered, dipped,
and arose over the wavelets, picking their dinner from the shoals of
little fish the mackerel had chased inshore.

"But I'm of some use, granny; you said so yesterday, when I fetched the
blueberries. An' I'll go fur some more if you like. I know where there's
lots of 'em - acres of 'em."

"Do as you please, child, but don't tease your granny," replied the old

There was little need to tell Maggie, or "Meg," as she was generally
called, to "do as she pleased," for in all of her short life of ten
years she had never done otherwise. She had roamed unmissed all the days
among the sand-hills of the beach, wading in the "mash" for lily pods,
or hunting in the scrub for birds' eggs. Such a place as school had
never been named to her. The alphabet was unknown to her, but she
understood the rough talk of the fishermen, and could mend a net or
'tend a line with the best man among them.

Meg lived with her "granny" in a little unpainted hut made from ships'
planking, and set among a few low twisted pines, within a short distance
of a cove where Lucky Tom, her father, who was a pilot, kept his boats
and moored his sloop, when not sailing out on the blue sea watching for
ships to give him employment.

Meg's mother had died while she was a baby; her "granny" was almost
always cross; so the child had grown up with but a single affection. It
was all for her father, and he returned it in a rough, good-natured way.
So these two were seldom apart when the pilot was ashore, and Meg came
to be known among the beach people as "Lucky Tom's Shadow."

Now just why the pilot was called "Lucky Tom" does not appear: but it
was said among the folks on the coast that fish would nibble at his
hooks, and obligingly allow themselves to be caught by the dozen, when
nobody else could catch even a porgy.

Near the cottage, Lucky Tom had raised the mast of a ship once wrecked
on the bar, and made a platform at the top, with steps leading to it;
and Meg was never so happy as when she sat high up in her "bird's nest,"
as she called it, with her father, and listened to his surprising yarns
about foreign ports, while they scanned the horizon with a glass for
incoming ships.

Meg tried hard to behave kindly toward her grandmother; but the old
woman never smiled, and seldom troubled herself about Meg's goings or

"She's purty certain to git 'round at meal-times, an' that's often
enough," was about all she would say when Lucky Tom scolded about the
child's "bringin' up."

Nearly twenty years before, Lucky Tom's father, Jack Bolden, had gone
off in his schooner, the _Petrel_, to catch cod, and from that day
neither the _Petrel_ nor her crew were ever seen. After months had gone
by, poor Mrs. Bolden fell into a fever, and when she was able to move
about, she sat all day by the window, looking out upon the waves, and
the neighbors gazed at her sorrowfully, for they said she had lost her
reason; but in Meg's eyes, to whom she had always been the same, she was
a very wise and mysterious person, and the tales she repeated to the
little girl, woven from her deranged fancy, were full of strange
sea-monsters, talking fish, and birds that whispered secrets to those
who watched for long-absent friends. All these were listened to and
believed with the full confidence of childish innocence.

Meg tied on her old and faded bonnet, picked up her basket, and walked
away with a light step to the blueberry pasture.

She soon became so busy picking the clusters of round little fruit, as
they peeped from beneath the dark and glossy leaves, that she did not
see how dark the eastern sky had become, until a cool gust of wind

1 3 4

Online LibraryVariousHarper's Young People, January 25, 1881 → online text (page 1 of 4)