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CHAPTER I. Harry Loudon Makes Up His Mind. On a wooden bench under a great catalpa-tree, in the front yard of a comfortable country-house in Virginia, sat Harry and Kate Loudon worrying their minds. It was all about old Aunt Matilda. Aunt Matilda was no relation of these children. She was an old colored woman, who lived in a cabin about a quarter of a mile from their house, but they considered her one of their best friends. Her old log cabin... more...

I I was on a French steamer bound from Havre to New York, when I had a peculiar experience in the way of a shipwreck. On a dark and foggy night, when we were about three days out, our vessel collided with a derelict--a great, heavy, helpless mass, as dull and colorless as the darkness in which she was enveloped. We struck her almost head on, and her stump of a bowsprit was driven into our port bow with such tremendous violence that a great... more...

THE STORIES OF THE THREE BURGLARS   I am a householder in a pleasant country neighbourhood, about twenty miles from New York. My family consists of myself and wife, our boy, George William, aged two, two maid-servants, and a man; but in the summer we have frequent visitors, and at the time of which I am about to write my Aunt Martha was staying with us. My house is large and pleasant, and we have neighbours near enough for social purposes... more...

THE STEAMBOAT PIER The steamboat Manasquan was advertised to leave her pier on the east side of the city at half-past nine on a July morning. At nine o'clock Walter Lodloe was on the forward upper deck, watching the early passengers come on board, and occasionally smiling as his glance fell upon a tall man in a blue flannel shirt, who, with a number of other deck-hands, was hard at work transferring from the pier to the steamer the boxes,... more...

EUPHEMIA AMONG THE PELICANS. The sun shone warm and soft, as it shines in winter time in the semi-tropics. The wind blew strong, as it blows whenever and wherever it listeth. Seven pelicans labored slowly through the air. A flock of ducks rose from the surface of the river. A school of mullet, disturbed by a shark, or some other unscrupulous pursuer, sprang suddenly out of the water just before us, and fell into it again like the splashing of a... more...


THE MAGIC EGG The pretty little theatre attached to the building of the Unicorn Club had been hired for a certain January afternoon by Mr. Herbert Loring, who wished to give therein a somewhat novel performance, to which he had invited a small audience consisting entirely of friends and acquaintances. Loring was a handsome fellow about thirty years old, who had travelled far and studied much. He had recently made a long sojourn in the far East,... more...

CHAPTER I. There was a wide entrance gate to the old family mansion of Midbranch, but it was never opened to admit the family or visitors; although occasionally a load of wood, drawn by two horses and two mules, came between its tall chestnut posts, and was taken by a roundabout way among the trees to a spot at the back of the house, where the chips of several generations of sturdy wood-choppers had formed a ligneous soil deeper than the arable... more...

In the very olden time there lived a semi-barbaric king, whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric. He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and... more...

I. MY GRANDMOTHER AND I. My grandmother sat in her own particular easy-chair by the open window of her back parlor. This was a pleasant place in which to sit in the afternoon, for the sun was then on the other side of the house, and she could look not only over the smooth grass of the side yard and the flower beds, which were under her especial care, but across the corner of the front lawn into the village street. Here, between two handsome... more...

In the spring of a certain year, not far from the close of the nineteenth century, when the political relations between the United States and Great Britain became so strained that careful observers on both sides of the Atlantic were forced to the belief that a serious break in these relations might be looked for at any time, the fishing schooner Eliza Drum sailed from a port in Maine for the banks of Newfoundland. It was in this year that a new... more...