While all her relations were mourning for her; while Aunt 일본야구중계 Betty was lying at death's door, stricken down by anxiety and sorrow; while Lord Lynwood scarcely dared look on the faces of his brother's children because they reminded him of his own lost darling—where was Estelle?

It was now more than a month since she had been missing, and no news had been received.

Without one moment's thought for her own safety, without any remembrance of Lady Coke's desires—nay, positive orders—she had plunged into the ruined summer-house after Bootles. Darting down the dark passage, in eager chase of the cat, the dog was deaf to her cries to him to come back. Hardly knowing what she was doing, she followed him. The passage grew darker and darker, and she could not even see the faint light from the open door. A fall over a heap of stones first made her realise she had better return, since no one knew where the passage led. She did not like to leave the dog, but, nevertheless, she hesitated a moment to call again to him before retracing her steps. She was surprised and horrified to find that her shout had the effect of bringing down some loose stones and earth on her head. It frightened her sufficiently to make her set off in earnest towards the door.

'I shall tell Georgie I have been down the passage, and that it is dreadful, and not at all interesting,' she thought, as she felt her way with a hand on the wall.

A glimmer of light, as she turned the corner, comforted her, and she stopped a moment to call gently to the dog, afraid to raise her voice too high for fear of the falling roof. Scarcely had she paused, however, when a great crash came, followed by a long mingled sound of many stones and much earth falling. It seemed as if the whole roof must be coming down. A shower of damp soil descended upon her head, and one clod larger than the rest knocked her over. Happily she was more stunned and frightened than hurt. The glimmer of light had disappeared, and she began to realise that the door must have shut. Terrible as her position was, the full horror of it did not dawn upon her at first.

Shaking herself free from the clinging mould, she got up, very much inclined to cry, till a wet nose thrust into her hand startled her. Bootles was not happy; his whines and the trembling way he pressed close to her added to her alarm.

Taking him into her arms she hugged him, while he tried to lick her face. He was some comfort after all, and his presence gave her courage.

'Oh, if I had only remembered what Auntie said, and not come here,' she sobbed, hiding her face on the dog's back. 'We must try, but I don't believe we shall ever get out of this dreadful place! Oh, I do wish I could tell Auntie I am sorry! I did not stop to think that it was wrong to follow you, poor Bootles.'

The thought that she was shut into the ruin was very terrifying, and after a little effort to move, which resulted in a fall over a mound, she sank upon the damp ground, sobbing in despair. Bootles, as if he understood, struggled free and whined. It was too dark for her to see his efforts to show her a way out of the mass of fallen rubbish.

(Continued on page 182.)

In the battle of Alexandria, Sir Ralph Abercromby was mortally wounded. He was carried on board a man-of-war in a litter, and a soldier's blanket was put under his head as a cushion, so that he might lie more easily. The ready-made pillow was a great comfort to him, and he asked what it was.

'A soldier's blanket, sir,' was the answer.

'Whose blanket?' he asked, raising himself on his elbow.

'Only one of the men's.'

'Which of the men does it belong to?' he asked again.

'To Duncan Roy of the 42nd.'

'Then see that Duncan Roy gets his blanket this very night.'

A long time ago a great many strange things used to happen on May Day. It used to be the jolliest day in the year; boys and girls used to be very happy looking forward to it, and as the day drew near, very busy in getting ready for the festival that took place.

I expect you have all heard of the May Queen. The prettiest little girl in the village was chosen 'Queen' by her companions. She was crowned with flowers, and sat on a throne in an arbour, while all the other children used to treat her just as if she were a real queen. In the evening they used to have a Maypole dance, while the little queen sat and watched them.

Another May custom was the Maypole. Other countries besides England have them. If you went to France, Holland, or Austria, you would see them there even now—much prettier than the English ones. The French ones are sometimes painted, and they have garlands round the top arranged on hoops, from which hang little golden balls. In Holland the Maypoles are quite different: they have a big flower-pot on top with a tree inside it; round the tree flags are arranged. The pole itself is painted blue and white. But the funniest Maypole of all is found in Austria. There is a flag at the top, and then a big bunch of green leaves and flowers, then more flags, and after that figures of little men and women and animals in wood nailed on to the pole so as to look as if they were climbing up it. Sometimes there is a stag nailed on, with a pack of dogs after it, all in wood.

In England, on the morning of May Day, the boys and girls used to get up very early and go into the fields, where they picked flowers and green branches from the trees and hedges. These they brought back to the village, and made into wreaths to trim the Maypole. When the pole was quite ready, the biggest boys fixed it in the ground. There were long garlands hanging from it, and each boy and girl took one and danced round. The dance was called the Maypole dance, and it had proper steps of its own, just like any other dance.

Those of you who live in London may have seen a funny-looking man walking about on May Day wrapped up in a bush, with flags and paper flowers on him, and making a noise with drums. If you ask who he is, you will be told that he is a chimney-sweep, called 'Jack-in-the-Green.' All chimney-sweeps used to keep May Day, and some do so still, and there is a story told to explain the custom.[Pg 175]

A long time ago, little boys used to be sent up the chimneys to clean them. It was very dangerous, and they were often killed at their task. Of course, it was not easy to get little boys to be chimney-sweeps, and so wicked men used to steal little children from their homes for the purpose.

There once lived in London a very rich man, who had one little son, whom he loved very much. One day the child was missing, and nobody could find him, though a search was made everywhere, until at last his parents gave up all hope of ever seeing him again. Two years afterwards it happened that while the chimneys of the house were being swept, one of the servants went into the lady's room and found a little boy, all black with soot, lying on the clean white bed; he was fast asleep. She left him there and told her mistress. The lady came and looked at the boy, and, in spite of the soot and the dirty clothes, she recognised her little son, whom she had lost so long ago. A man had stolen him and made him become a little sweep; the boy was so young that the sweep fancied that after two years he would quite have forgotten his father and mother and home, and that it was quite safe to send him to the house when he was all black with soot.

So the little boy was sent down the chimney, for in those days they were cleaned from the top. When he got into the room, which was his mother's bedroom, he looked about and seemed to remember it. Then he knew that he was very cold and tired and hungry, and he went and lay down on the bed and fell fast asleep, till his mother woke him.

That is said to be the reason why the chimney-sweeps kept May Day—in remembrance of the boy who was stolen. But Jacks-in-the-Green are not often seen now, and that horrible way of sweeping the chimneys has disappeared.

If you do not see Jack-in-the-Green on May Day, you are sure to see the cart-horses all decked out in braid and ribbon of different colours; and if you live in London, you ought to go and see the procession of carts, which look very grand indeed, being decorated even more than the horses.

A great landowner was remarkable for the pompousness of his manner. He was one day riding leisurely through a small village, when he happened to meet a rough-looking farmer's lad, who was pulling a calf along with both hands, by means of a rope attached to its neck. When the boy saw him approaching, he stood still, and, opening both eyes and mouth, stared him full in his face.

'Do you know me, boy?' asked the great man.

'Yes sir,' answered the boy.

'Then what is my name?' he asked.

'Why, you are Lord X——,' was the reply.

'Then why don't you take off your hat to me?' said Lord X——, pompously.

The rustic, still tugging at the rope, replied, 'So I. will, sir, if you will hold the calf!'[Pg 176]

"'Why don't you take off your hat to me?'" "'Why don't you take off your hat to me?'"
[Pg 177]

"Stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's
  • ed." "Stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's ed."
[Pg 178]


NLY that morning, Mother had said she was proud of her boy, and Hugh had felt he deserved her praise. He was very rarely naughty, and he loved to see his mother's face light up with joy, when she heard how pleased his teacher was with him. But, somehow, since the morning, all had changed. Mother had gone to town, and Hugh was wandering about the garden, looking miserable. 'I didn't mean to break it,' he kept muttering. 'Mother was so fond of that vase, with all those pretty china figures round it. It was stupid of that tall one to break its head in the fall. It is simply because it doesn't feel anything. If it could feel as I do, it would have taken more care—- spiteful thing!'

Hugh was not really so silly as you may imagine from this speech, and I am sure he felt half inclined to laugh at himself even then; but you see, he knew that he did not deserve his mother's praise any longer. Not that she ever gave too much importance to the fact of his having broken something, though she disliked carelessness and reproved him for it; and she certainly would be vexed at his having damaged the dainty porcelain vase. But you see there was something more. Hugh was not allowed to go into the library without special permission, and during mother's absence he had gone, just to look at a book of butterflies which Father had shown him one day. In pulling the book down, he had let another book fall on to the precious vase. Now the headless china shepherd was turned round so as to be on the shady side of the vase, and the head was in Hugh's pocket. And oh! how heavy it seemed, and what horrid lumps Hugh felt in his throat, and what a queer feeling at his heart! His conscience, you see, was very tender, and though he had been naughty, he was not really a naughty boy.

Well! a strange thing happened then. Father came home and went straight to the library. A few minutes later Hugh heard his father calling, 'Hugh! Hugh! Are you there? Please come here!'

Hugh went at once, pale and trembling, as he knew punishment inflicted by Father would probably be severe. 'My boy,' said Mr. Grey, as he opened the door, 'creep under that bookcase and see whether you can find the head of that china figure I have broken. I knocked against the vase, not knowing that its place had been changed. I did not hear the head fall, but it must have rolled away. If we find it at once, we will mend the figure, for Mother will be sorry to see it damaged. Now, don't look so dazed, boy. Hurry up and find the head.'

What an opportunity for Hugh to own up! But he did not take it.

Instead of undeceiving Father, 'Mother's brave boy,' of whom she was so proud, crawled under the bookcase, and in a moment the china head was in his father's hand. 'That's right,' said Mr. Grey, gladly. 'It's not broken badly. I will mend it nicely, and then ask Mother if she can see the place where it has been mended.'

Still Hugh said never a word.

At last, Hugh had fallen asleep. But his conscience was not asleep. Always wakeful, it was without doubt she who called into her service the figures on the vase, giving them, for the moment, life. There they were, stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's bed, not with their usual smiles, but with frowns and threatening gestures.

'Shall I remain a headless trunk?' asked the damaged youth, indignantly; and Hugh was so terrified he did not even find it strange that the figure should talk without a tongue, and that though his father had mended it, it still had no head. 'He keeps mine in his pocket. Cut off his and give it me.'

'Why not?' asked the other figures, growing bigger and bigger as they drew nearer Hugh.

'Or turn him into a china shepherd and put him into my place,' continued the figure.

'Why not?' asked again the other figures. But one, a girl crowned with flowers, who on the vase had looked so sweet, began to pout, and exclaimed, 'No, please, I don't want a little coward near me. A boy who wants his mother's smiles and praise and love without deserving them at all! No, indeed.'

Hugh, who, just before, had been horrified at the idea of being turned into a china figure, was now distressed at not being thought fit even for that!

'Of course,' continued the girl, sarcastically, 'it was his father who knocked the head off. Of course, nobody will ever suspect that it was Hugh. Why should he tell? Why should he be punished? He is his mother's dear, brave, good boy. But don't let him come near us, though he is so fine outside.'

'Mother's dear, good, brave, darling boy!' giggled all the figures. 'Mother's loyal, courageous son!' And Hugh's shame knew no bounds.

'Don't, please,' he begged, humbly, in vain trying to restrain a sob. 'I don't mind being punished now. I will tell Mother I am not good. Please—please go away!'

'Yes! yes! we will go away,' answered they, still giggling. 'Why should we trouble about you? What does it matter, after all, if you grow up a careless, disobedient, untruthful boy? It's really not worth while troubling to punish you.'

'Of course,' went on the girl. 'Find your head, shepherd lad, and let's go.'

'Listen!' said one of the stately dames. 'Let's give a bit of good advice to his mother. Let us ask her to allow the boy to do as he likes. Why should she think so much of correcting his faults? He doesn't care to let her see him as he really is.'

'A capital idea!' exclaimed all the others.

'It's not!' exclaimed Hugh, jumping up in his bed. 'You shan't go! You shan't go! And my mother won't listen to you. I will throw my pillow at you and break you all, if you say that again. My mother shall punish me when I'm naughty.'

He did throw his pillow, and the figures vanished. In an instant he was wide awake, and wondering where the figures had gone: and then he knew that it was all a dream, and that his Conscience had been using the figures for her purpose. They had done her work well. The boy slipped quietly into Mother's room, and I think you can guess what happened there. I know that Mother is still proud of her little boy, because she still sees him just as he is.