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Produced by Annie R. McGuire


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Tuesday, November 1, 1881. Copyright, 1881, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

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Part First.

Every boy realizes the fascination of fishing, even if he gets nothing
but bites - mosquito bites at that. It is the anticipation of what one
_may_ catch which heightens the every charm of the sport itself.

But taking flounders from the wharf, or trout in the mill-stream, is
quite a different thing from cod or pollock fishing in thirty fathoms of
green sea. The one may sometimes be the pursuit of pleasure under
difficulties; the other is generally the pursuit of business under
danger. So at least most of you would have said had you seen "the widow
Buttles's Ben" at the time when my story begins.

He was standing upright in a fourteen-foot dory, and I may add that the
dory, generally speaking, was also standing upright, which is not so
surprising, for, in the first place, the wind was blowing half a gale;
in the second place, Ben's boat was anchored, with fifty fathom of scope
near the "Breaking Shoals," and by chart Breaking Shoals bear E.N.E.
from Covert Point, distance three and a quarter miles, with nothing
nearer than Europe to check the force of the Atlantic billows.

"No idea it was so late," muttered Ben, a little anxiously, as he began
to reel up one of the lines. "Looks baddish to wind'ard, and the sea is
getting up," he added, with a rapid glance from the cloud-bank behind
which the sun had set to the heaving ocean about him. A landsman would
have supposed that the sea had already got up. How Ben kept his balance
so easily, as the dory "ran" on the slopes of the great waves, which
slipped from under its flat bottom with such startling suddenness, would
seem marvellous to any one except a person living alongshore. But Ben
Buttles was perfectly at home in his dory; for in the little sea-board
village of Covert, whose distant lights were just visible through the
gathering darkness, every man owned some kind of a boat, while every
other man was "Cap'n" or "Skipper." Hence the most that troubled Ben was
the thought that he had been so taken up with fishing as to forget that
the sun had begun to set, the tide to ebb, and a gale to rise.

"And I promised mother to be home by dark - _Gorry-buster!_"

This last untranslatable word was called forth by a tremendous tug at
his other line, which he had just taken up.

"Why, I must have hooked on to an anchor," gasped Ben, as he pulled and
panted. But an anchor would never have darted off like mad when it was
near the surface, taking thirty or forty fathoms of his line before he
could check it. And as Ben, who was sturdy and strong for his age, began
to haul in his line by main force a fathom at a time, he well knew what
it was he had hooked.

"I never caught one, but I know just how it's done," he said, setting
his teeth firmly together, as the great fish, now nearly alongside,
began to show signs of being exhausted by its struggles.

Holding his shortened line firmly in his left hand, Ben picked up his
"gaff" - a short pole, to one end of which a stout hook is affixed. As
the dory sank into a great chasm of water, he threw his weight on one
side, pressing the gunwale level with the water, so that it almost
touched the side of his finny prey. One dexterous movement of both hands
and knees, and the halibut - for this was the kind of fish he had
secured - was fairly "scooped" into the dory, where it was quickly
stunned by a blow on the head.

Ben was exultant, but there was little time in which to pat himself on
the shoulder. The gale had been growing and the gloom increasing while
he was absorbed in his exciting sport. The dory was tugging at her
"killock" like a mad thing, as though realizing the necessity for making
an immediate change of base.

He lost no time in getting his anchor, with which he also got a thorough
drenching, and began to pull vigorously toward Covert Light, which was
streaming out through the storm and gloom. But, alas! hardly had he
taken a dozen strokes when his starboard oar snapped off close to the
blade, where he had spliced it the day before.

To think was to act with the widow's Ben. Backing water with the other
oar to keep the dory "head on" for a moment, he drew it rapidly inboard.
Seizing the end of the bow painter, he made a clove-hitch round the
middle of the whole oar and the disabled one, lashing the two firmly
together. Then, just as the dory was on the point of swinging broadside
to the waves (in which case she would have capsized in a twinkling), he
threw the whole arrangement over the weather bow.

The resistance of this temporary drag in the water brought the dory head
on to the terrible sea, but Ben saw at a glance that she did not ride

"Too much dead weight amidships," he said. And with a sigh he launched
the big halibut over the rail, following it with the twenty or more
large cod and pollock that he had also taken. This had the desired
effect, and now the buoyant craft began to ride the great rollers,
scarcely taking any water on board, except the spray blown from the wave
crests by the force of the wind, which was now coming in heavy gusts
from the northwest.

As Ben sat huddled in the dory's stern, his thoughts were not
particularly cheerful. Not that he was utterly cast down, or had given
up all hope of being saved - oh no, Ben Buttles was more than ordinarily
courageous, or, as his mother used to say, "He was dretful ventur'some."

But he knew the chances were against him. He had forgotten it, but it
suddenly occurred to him that it was the 18th of October, and this
storm, therefore, was undoubtedly the "line gale." He was drifting
seaward before it on the ebb tide, about three knots an hour. Even if
the dory lived through the night, the prospect of being picked up next
day in such a gale was _very_ small. If anything happened to him, the
two-hundred-dollar mortgage on the little brown house would never be
paid, interest or principal.

"And mother would have to go," thought Ben, swallowing violently at a
hard lump in his throat. For Mr. Travis, who held the mortgage, wanted
to get their little house into his possession, and tear it down, that he
might build a summer hotel on its site. Mrs. Buttles would have no one
but God to look to if Benjie should be taken away. Husband and three
sons were all sleeping under the billows. No wonder, then, that while
her storm-tossed boy, recalling these things, was praying in his heart,
"Lord, comfort and care for mother," she, kneeling by the bed-side at
home, was crying out in agony, "Lord, save my boy."

Blacker grew the night, wilder the billows, and louder the voice of the
storm. No boat that was ever built could live much longer in such a sea.
The wave crests were constantly breaking over the dory's gunwale,
forcing Ben to bail continually.

"She can't stand this much longer," said Ben, despairingly, as the dory
rose on an awful sea, and he felt for a moment the full force of the
gale. But what was the ghostly red glare which suddenly shone into Ben's
white face through the gloom? What but the side-light of the brig
_Calypso_, hove to on the starboard tack! And as a wild cry rose to the
boy's lips, the dory was swept with terrible force against the black
hull of the vessel itself, shattering the frail craft as though it had
been made of egg-shell china.

Clutching frantically at the brig's smooth slippery sides as he was
swept past, Ben's fingers grasped one of the iron chain-plates of the
main-channel, as the brig sank in the trough of the sea. Seizing its
fellow with his other hand, he clung to it with a death-grasp. As the
brig began slowly to rise on the great slope of black water towering
above her, Ben summoned all his remaining strength. Half scrambling,
half climbing, he pulled himself up on the weather-rail; from thence he
was thrown inboard by a lurch of the brig, at the very feet of Captain
Bob Adams. Captain Bob, who had been reared in the navy, was not only a
cool man, but also a thorough disciplinarian. Ben's appearance was so
sudden, and unexpected that Captain Adams took him for one of his own
crew who had violated the rules of sea etiquette in coming aft on the
weather-quarter, which is sacred to ship's officers alone. And as the
boy scrambled to his feet, Captain Bob's energetic words surprised him
even more than the fact of his own strange deliverance.

"But I couldn't help it, sir," shouted the bewildered Ben (for between
the roar of wind and sea, one could hardly hear himself think), wiping
the spray from his eyes; "I was laying to in my dory by a drag, and she
drifted foul of the brig."

"Oh," replied Captain Bob, who was never known to express surprise at
anything, "_that_ was it, eh? Well, go below, and the steward will give
you some hot coffee. Go to loo'ard, too," he roared, as Ben proceeded to

The steward, who was a colored gentleman, grumbled at the order, but of
course dared not refuse. And after Ben had swallowed a pint or so of the
invigorating fluid, and got into a dry shirt and trousers furnished by
the second mate, he began to feel perfectly at home. He found that the
brig was from Bangor, Maine, bound to Savannah, in ballast.

"And likely enough it will moderate by to-morrow, so I can put you on
board some in-bound fisherman," said Captain Bob, who, despite his gruff
voice, was one of the kindest-hearted men in the world. But the mercury
kept falling in the barometer, and the wind, suddenly veering round into
the northeast, blew harder than ever before morning, and by daybreak
there was nothing left but to "scud" before the heaviest gale that had
visited our coast for years. Under a fore storm-stay-sail, close-reefed
foretopsail and main stay-sail, the _Calypso_ sped over and through the
storm-tossed sea at a rate which made Ben hold his breath.

"You'll, have to make the voyage with us, youngster, whether or no,"
said the Captain, grimly, and Ben only nodded.

If his mother could have known of his safety, he would rather have
enjoyed the novelty of the situation, for Ben was a born sailor. But
there was no help for it, and he accepted the situation with the best
possible grace. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and the
equinoctial gale blew them clear by stormy Cape Hatteras before it was
fairly exhausted. Then came the strong but steady breathings of the
trade-wind to fill the _Calypso_'s every sail. And ten days later, as
Mrs. Buttles was dropping hot tears on some rusty bits of crape with
which she was trimming her Sunday bonnet, she was nearly thrown into
convulsions of joy by the receipt of a telegram reading thus:

"SAVANNAH, _October_ 28, 187-.

"Picked up by brig CALYPSO. Will write soon.


"For this an' all other mercies, thank the Lord!" reverently exclaimed
the good woman, wiping her glasses. "But I _do_ hope," she added, a
moment later, "that Ben won't go to gettin' into no scrapes down to
Savannah, for he's sech a _dretful_ ventur'some creeter." Whether he
did, and if so, how he did it, remains to be told in the next number.




Fully a million American boys have read one or more of Paul Du Chaillu's
stories of African travel, and then, like Oliver Twist, demanded more;
for the first civilized discoverer of the gorilla seemed to have a
peculiar faculty for writing about just those things that boys enjoy.
The wishes of these youthful readers are about to be gratified, and in
very generous measure, for the author is soon to publish a book of
nearly a thousand pages about a country almost as distant and little
known by Americans as Equatorial Africa. The title of the work is _The
Land of the Midnight Sun_, and from the numerous pictures it contains we
have selected the two illustrations given on the next page.

The people of this wonderful land, which consists of Norway, Sweden,
Lapland, and Finland, have comfortable homes, wear good clothes, and
always have enough to eat; but between the climate, the shape of the
land, and the fact that they see but little of either travellers or
tramps, they have many customs that are unusual enough to seem sometimes
funny, and always curious.


The boys of Scandinavia have very good times; there is excellent fishing
nearly everywhere, and water suitable for boating is not far distant
from any home. In some parts of the country the water is frozen during
nine months of the year, but in part of this time the skating is good,
without any danger of the ice breaking; and when the snow hides the ice,
it covers the hills - and such hills! High, steep, and well covered with
snow, a hill in Norway or Sweden is the place of all places for
coasting, for even on the roads there is very little danger of meeting a
wagon while rounding a curve, or of dashing unexpectedly across a
railroad track just as a locomotive comes thundering along. Besides, the
favorite method of coasting over there is about ten times as exciting as
that which is enjoyed here, for the boys descend hills on show-shoes.
These shoes resemble the American snow-shoe about as closely as a
miniature yacht resembles a chip with a splinter mast and paper sail.
They are narrow instead of broad, so a person wearing them does not look
awkward, or tire easily, and they are just about as long as their owners
are tall. In using them the wearer slides his feet instead of lifting
them, and if he wants to hurry, he pushes himself along with a couple of
sticks, the lower ends of which are wrapped or shod so that they push
against the surface of the snow instead of sinking into it. To descend a
hill, the wearer places his feet close together, the shoes being exactly
parallel, squats as low as possible, and lets himself go. If the hill is
long and steep, he reaches the bottom about as rapidly as a bird could.
This style of coasting seems so ridiculously easy that boys sometimes
try it slyly rather than wait until their fathers can get time to teach
them, and the usual results are a scratched face, and a general bruising
all over. The least variation of either shoe from a position parallel to
the other shoe is sufficient to cause all of these discomforts, and
sometimes more, for occasionally when a boy leans forward a little too
much in going over a snow-covered stone or other "bumper," he starts for
a somersault which is only prevented by the toes of the shoes burying
themselves in the snow, and suspending the boy by the feet with his face

American boys who do not like to go to bed would in Northern Norway or
Sweden imagine they had a capital excuse for sitting up, for no boy of
spirit can endure to retire by daylight, and in a part of the far
Northern summer daylight does not end at all during the twenty-four
hours, and even during the month preceding and following this strange
period there is only an hour or two of darkness. For a day or two the
sun may be seen at midnight, and during several months the only way of
discovering bed-time is to look at the clock. This wealth of daylight
has some disadvantages; for while it lasts, the mosquitoes never sleep
at all, but attend strictly to business, and when they alight upon a
toothsome boy, their conduct is gluttonous to a disgraceful degree. It
is an unsettled question, however, whether the boys do not object even
more to retiring during the winter nights, which are as long as the
summer days. In midwinter, day dawns at eleven o'clock, and night
follows within two hours; but the moon and stars shine brighter than
they ever do here, and American boys would consider it sinful to waste
such splendid opportunities for skating or sleighing.

The operation of dressing in cold weather in the far North is so
elaborate that it is difficult to understand how a deliberate boy or
girl in Lapland can be ready for breakfast before dinner-time. First,
two suits of thick woollen under-clothing are put on, and over these
goes a shirt of reindeer-skin, with cloth bands to fasten at the wrists;
sometimes two of these shirts, or kaptas, are worn, and a reindeer-skin
vest beneath them. The trousers are of reindeer-skin also. Two pairs of
heavy woollen stockings are worn, and the child who puts these on when
they are damp is sure to have trouble with his feet. Around the feet a
peculiar grass, well dried, is carefully wound, and over all this goes
the shoe. Buttons and hooks and eyes are scarce in Lapland; all clothing
is fastened by strings, and it is dreadful to think of all the "hard
knots" that Lapp children have fumbled over while too sleepy to be


One special distinction is enjoyed by the Lapp boy and girl over all
other children in the world: each is sure of owning a reindeer if the
family live in the reindeer region. When a child is born, a deer is set
apart for him at once, and by the time the pride of the family is old
enough to drive, his animal will have been trained for him. How much
time and trouble this training has cost, the boy never can realize until
he becomes a man, and breaks deer to harness himself. It would seem to
any sensible person that as the harness consists only of a collar, a
thong (or trace), and a single rein, the animal might easily become
accustomed to them, particularly as the sleigh has neither pole nor
shafts; but the deer does not regard the subject in the same light. He
forgets whatever he learns, just as if he were a lazy school-boy. Even
after two years of education he seldom can be depended upon to do the
right thing at the right time.

It would never do to tell a Laplander the story of Santa Claus's famous
team of reindeer, for as one of the species is all that a skillful
driver can manage, how could any old fellow manage so many? The only
point of resemblance between a reindeer sleigh and other sleighs is that
they are all made to run on the snow, for the Lapp sleigh is really a
boat, short, narrow, and graceful, and it rests on a broad keel instead
of two runners. It closely resembles in appearance and size one-half of
a canoe. It holds but one person, who must divide his attention between
driving the deer and acting as ballast. The driving is the easiest part
of the work, because when the animal is fairly started, he goes straight
ahead, and there are no street corners in Lapland. There are curves,
however, and as a spirited deer will travel fifteen miles an hour, and
can not be coaxed to slacken his speed, it is about twice as hard to
keep the sleigh on a level keel in rounding a well-beaten curve of the
road as to avoid capsizing while "jibing" a small boat in a brisk
breeze. The reindeer makes no trouble in the stable, for he never enters
one. He prefers to find his own food, which consists almost entirely of
moss. This may be under the snow, but he knows how to dig his way down
to it; and if the snow is deep, the only way of finding a deer that is
wanted is to go from hole to hole. As the moss grows very slowly,
moving-days are frequent in Lapp families, for the people must go
wherever the deer can find food.

To juvenile collectors of antiquities and curiosities, Scandinavia is
the rarest land in the world. Not only are there many arrow-heads,
something like those once used by the American Indians, but the swords,
shields, spears, and armor of the earlier inhabitants are often found.
But the list does not end with these: Wisby, a Swedish city, was many
hundred years ago the centre of trade in Northern Europe, and many
thousands of coins and jewels found there came from far-away places like
Greece, Rome, Persia, and India. Still more, the famous sea-rovers,
known as Northmen or Vikings were mostly from Norway and Sweden, and
when they went on expeditions to other countries, they were as
industrious as the Greeks and Romans, or, later, the French, English,
and Spanish explorers, in carrying home whatever was worth stealing.

But many numbers of YOUNG PEOPLE might be filled with stories of what
Mr. Du Chaillu saw, heard, and enjoyed. Every part of the country is
described: the wonderful fiords, or bays, that were hollowed from lofty
mountains by great glaciers; the castles and palaces that were built
when Sweden was so rich and powerful that all Europe feared her; the
feasts that last for days, and the Christmas fun that is kept up for a
fortnight - are all described in the entertaining manner which has made
the author so well known among boys. Instead of hurrying from one point
to another, Mr. Du Chaillu travelled leisurely, and thus he saw and
heard a great deal that will be new even to people who have visited
Scandinavia, and imagine that they know all about it.


An Indian Story.



[1] Begun in HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE No. 101, October 4.

But to return to Ni-ha-be and Rita, whom we left sitting with Mother
Dolores in Many Bears' lodge. It was a large round tent that they were
sitting in, upheld by strong slender poles that came together at the top
so as to leave a small opening. On the outside the covering was painted
in bright colors, with a great many rude figures of men and animals.
There was no furniture, but some buffalo and bear skins and some
blankets were spread upon the ground, and it was a very comfortable
lodge, for any weather that was likely to come in that region.

In such a bright day as that, all the light needed came through the open
door, for the "flap" was still thrown back. The two girls, therefore,
could see every change on the dark face of the great chief's Mexican

A good many changes came, for Dolores was very busily "remembering," and
it was full five minutes before the thoughts brought to her by that
picture of the "Way-side Shrine" began to fade away, so that she was
again an Indian.

"Rita," whispered Ni-ha-be, "did it say anything to you?"

"Yes. A little. I saw something like it long ago. But I don't know what
it means."

"Rita? Ni-ha-be?"

"What is it, Dolores?"

"Go. You will be in my way. I must cook supper for the chief. He is
hungry. You must not go beyond the camp."

"What did the talking leaf say to you?" asked Ni-ha-be.

"Nothing. It is a great medicine leaf. I shall keep it. Perhaps it will
say more to Rita by-and-by. Go."

The Apaches, like other Indians, know very little about cookery. They
can roast meat and broil it, after a fashion, and they have several ways
of cooking fish. They know how to boil when they are rich enough to have
kettles, and they can make a miserable kind of corn-bread with Indian
corn, dried or parched and pounded fine.

The one strong point in the character of Dolores, so far as the good
opinion of old Many Bears went, was that she was the best cook in his
band. She had not quite forgotten some things of that kind that she had
learned before she became a squaw. Nobody else, therefore, was permitted
to cook supper for the hungry chief. It was a source of many jealousies
among his other squaws, but then he was almost always hungry, and none
of them knew how to cook as she did.

She was proud of it too, and neither Ni-ha-be nor her adopted sister
dreamed of disputing with her after she had uttered the word "supper."

They hurried out of the lodge, therefore, and Dolores was left alone.

She had no fire to kindle. That would be lighted in the open air by
other female members of the family.

There were no pots and saucepans to be washed, although the one round,
shallow, sheet-iron "fryer," such as soldiers sometimes use in camp,
which she dragged from under a buffalo-skin in the corner, would have
been none the worse for a little scrubbing.

She brought it out, and then she dropped it and sat down to take another
look at that wonderful "talking leaf."

"What made me kneel down and shut my eyes? I could remember then. It is
all gone now. It went away as soon as I got up again."

She folded the leaf carefully, and hid it in the folds of her deer-skin
dress, but she was evidently a good deal puzzled.

"Maria Santisima - yes, I do remember that. It will all come back to me

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