Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. She was singing that song they loved so well, "The Wearing of the Green. Can they go in the next letter to Maggie, mother? She jumped down from her seat and went to a shelf, from which she took the treasure of the family. It was the only book they owned besides their prayer-books.
Opening the leaves carefully, Norah took out a spray of tiny leaves. They looked very much like the white clover which is so common in the fields of America. It was a cluster of shamrock leaves, the emblem of Ireland. The fields behind our cabin will come to her mind, and the goat she loved so well, feeding there. Oh, but she has niver seen Patsy yet! Each had a fine, deep fireplace, and in one were two old-fashioned wooden armchairs and a long table. The windows—two in each room—were narrow and high, and had small panes and deep window-seats. Let us pretend it is ours, and choose our rooms, and furnish it!
I feel just like a child here, and could play with a doll if I had one! Up-stairs were four rather small rooms with sloping ceilings, and in the middle of the house, just over the front door, a dear little room without the slope, and with a dormer-window. Almost the ghost of a piano, or the skeleton, rather,—at the very best, a piano in the last stage of decrepitude, but still a piano.
It seemed almost like something alive that had been deserted, and the little group gathered around it with sympathetic exclamations.
OUR LITTLE CANADIAN COUSIN
While they were talking and wondering about it, lively voices proclaimed the approach of the twins. Graham, and Marjorie loyally added, "except to mother. The twins admired the stone house, the fireplaces, and the piano, but with rather an abstracted manner. Soon the cause of their absent-mindedness transpired. This had led to a conversation about salmon-spearing, and the Indians had promised to come the following night, and show them how it was done. They could take one person in each canoe, and Mr. Merrithew had said that Carl and Hugh should be the ones.
Of course they were greatly excited over this prospect, and chattered about it all the way back to the tents. That evening, when dusk had settled down, a great bonfire was built, and they all sat around it on rugs and shawls, in genuine camp-fashion. First, some of the favourite games were played,—proverbs, "coffee-pot," characters, and then rigmarole, most fascinating of all. Rigmarole, be it known, is a tale told "from mouth to mouth," one beginning it and telling till his invention begins to flag or he thinks his time is up, then stopping suddenly and handing it on to his next neighbour.
The next day seemed to fly, to every one, at least, but Carl and Hugh. Their hearts were so set on the salmon-spearing that for them the time went slowly enough till night brought the four Indians with their torches and spears. Doctor Grey and Mr.https://partkingcilcorn.tk
Merrithew walked along the shore to see what they could of the proceedings, but the rest—and even Will—were content to sit around the fire as before. Only the steersmen paddled,—the bowmen kneeling erect and watchful, with their spears in readiness. The salmon-spear is a long ash shaft, with two wooden prongs and a metal barb between them. The spearing of salmon, by the way, is restricted by law to the Indians, and any white man who undertakes it is liable to a fine. Sticking up in the bow of each canoe was a torch, made of a roll of birch-bark fastened in the end of a split stick.
The red-gold flare of these torches threw a crimson reflection on the dark water, and shone on the yellow sides of the birches, and the intent, dusky faces of the fishermen watching for their prey. Slowly, silently, they paddled up the stream, till at last the silvery sides of a magnificent fish gleamed in the red light. It was too much for Hugh. He had enjoyed with all his boyish heart the beauty and the weirdness of the scene, but the beautiful great fish, with the spear-wound in his back,—well, that was different.
He was not sorry that the Indians met with no more luck, and was very silent when the others questioned them, on their return, as to the joys of salmon-spearing. When he confided to Carl his hatred of the "sport," the latter shook his head doubtfully.
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Ewing's, said that never in all her life had she had such a beautiful time. Katherine Covert, with lifelong friends to "remember camp by," and all sorts of happy possibilities in her once gray life, bore the same testimony with more, if more quiet, fervour. Merrithew said that he was ten years younger, and Jackie opined that, in that case, they must have been living on an enchanted island,—but added, that he was very glad he had not been made ten years younger, like Daddy! Brown and plump and strong of arm, the campers brought back with them hearty appetites, delightful recollections, and inexhaustible material for dream and plan and castles in the air.
Also, according to Mrs. Merrithew's plans, to have a little real home life and happiness,—for Katherine had been an orphan since her childhood, and for five years had taught school steadily, although it was work that she did not greatly like, and that kept her in a state of perpetual nervous strain. Teaching a few well-bred and considerate children, whom she already loved, would be quite different, and almost entirely a pleasure.
IN the delightful autumn days that followed, the children, accompanied sometimes by Mrs. Merrithew, sometimes by Katherine, spent much of their time in the woods, and taking long strolls on the country roads. In October the woods were a blaze of colour,—clear gold, scarlet, crimson, coppery brown, and amber.
Slainte scottish pronunciation
The children brought home great bunches of the brilliant leaves, and some they pressed and varnished, while others Katherine dipped in melted wax. They found that the latter way was the best for keeping the colours, but it was rather troublesome to do. They pressed many ferns, also, and, when the frosts became keener, collected numbers of white ferns, delicately lovely. When the last of October drew near, Mrs. Merrithew made up her mind to give a little Hallow-eve party. She let the children name the friends they wished her to ask, and added a few of her own; then they all busied themselves in preparations, and in making lists of Hallow-eve games and tricks.
At last came the eventful evening, and with it about thirty merry people, old and young, but chiefly young. All of the Greys were there, of course; also Mr. Will Graham, who was taking his last year at college, and who spent most of his spare time at Mr. So the whole camping-party met again, and the camp-days, dear and fleeting, came back in vivid pictures to their minds. This room Mrs. Merrithew had given up to the entertainment of the Hallow-eve party. It was lighted—chiefly, that is, for a few ordinary lamps helped out the illumination—by lanterns made of hollowed pumpkins.
Ears of corn hung around the mantel, and a pyramid of rosy apples was piled high upon it. There was a great old-fashioned fireplace here, and a merry fire sparkled behind the gleaming brass andirons. Every trick that their hostess's brain could conjure up was tried. Those who cared to, bobbed for apples in a tub of water, and some were lucky enough to find five-cent pieces in their russets and pippins. An apple was hung on a string from the middle of a doorway, then set swinging, and two contestants tried which could get the first bite,—and this first bite, gentle reader, is not so easy as you might imagine!
This necessitated a great many remouldings of the flour,—but finally the prize was captured by Miss Covert. A little later, Dora noticed it hanging on Mr. Graham's watch-guard. Some of the braver spirits took turns in walking backward down the garden steps, and to the end of the middle path, a looking-glass in one hand and a lamp in the other.
What each one saw in the looking-glass, or whether, indeed, they saw anything, was, in most cases, kept a secret, or confided only to the very especial chum! Then there were fortunes told by means of cabbages,—a vegetable not usually surrounded with romantic associations. Marjorie was the first to try this mode of divination. This foretold that her husband would be tall and thin, and very rich!
There were many other quaint methods of fortune-telling, most of them derived from Scottish sources. After these had been tried, amid much merriment, they played some of the old-fashioned games dear to children everywhere,—blind-man's buff, hunt-the-feather, post-towns, and other favourites. By and by, when the fun began to flag, and one or two little mouths were seen to yawn, a long table was brought in and soon spread with a hearty but judiciously chosen Hallow-eve supper.
When the days began to grow short and bleak, and the evenings long and cosey, the children were thrown more and more upon indoor occupations for their entertainment. Merrithew's "Den," the very cosiest room in the house. Merrithew had a den, too, but he called his a study. Somehow it looked too much like an office to suit the children very well.
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Most of the volumes on his shelves, too, were clumsy law-books; all the books that any one wanted to read, except the children's own, were in "mother's den. Merrithew, was admitted to the study. On this particular day Katherine was reading "Rob Roy," and Jack building a castle of blocks, while Dora dreamed in the window-seat, watching the scanty flakes, and Marjorie, on the hearth-rug, tried to teach reluctant Kitty Grey to beg.
He had been greatly impressed by the procession, the hymns, and the sermon, and on coming home had asked his father many questions as to the "why and wherefore" of the society. It was this episode which suggested the bright idea to his active little brain. Patriotic , dearie; a patriotic society. What sort of a patriotic society would you like to have, Jack?
Let me see,—we couldn't be the Sons of Canada, because we are not all sons. They insisted that he should be president, and requested him to choose the other officers. So he made his father and mother the honourable patrons, Dora and Marjorie vice-presidents, and Kathie secretary-treasurer. This office, I may mention, she nobly filled, and also the informal one of general adviser, suggester, and planner. It was she who proposed the twins, Alice and Edith, as members, and the president gave his consent, though he considered Edith rather too young! Will Graham, if none of you would mind!