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CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS DOG The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole, that it might peep in and see what was going on. If it had suddenly grown up like a magic... more...

CHAPTER I. POLLY ARRIVES "IT 'S time to go to the station, Tom." "Come on, then." "Oh, I 'm not going; it 's too wet. Should n't have a crimp left if I went out such a day as this; and I want to look nice when Polly comes." "You don't expect me to go and bring home a strange girl alone, do you?" And Tom looked as much alarmed as if his sister had proposed to him to escort the wild woman of Australia. "Of course I do. It 's your place to go... more...

WHAT air you thinkin' of, Phil? "My wife, Dick." "So was I! Aint it odd how fellers fall to thinkin' of thar little women, when they get a quiet spell like this?" "Fortunate for us that we do get it, and have such gentle bosom guests to keep us brave and honest through the trials and temptations of a life like ours." October moonlight shone clearly on the solitary tree, draped with gray moss, scarred by lightning and warped by wind, looking... more...

CHAPTER I. CHRISTIE. CHRISTIE. "AUNT BETSEY, there's going to be a new Declaration ofIndependence." "Bless and save us, what do you mean, child?" And the startled old lady precipitated a pie into the oven with destructive haste. "I mean that, being of age, I'm going to take care of myself, and not be a burden any longer. Uncle wishes me out of the way; thinks I ought to go, and, sooner or later, will tell me so. I don't intend to wait for... more...

THE CANDY COUNTRY “I shall take mamma’s red sun umbrella, it is so warm, and none of the children at school will have one like it,” said Lily, one day, as she went through the hall. “The wind is very high; I’m afraid you’ll be blown away if you carry that big thing,” called Nurse from the window, as the red umbrella went bobbing down the garden walk with a small girl under it. “I wish it would;... more...


Chapter I DRAMATIS PERSONAE "How goes it, Frank? Down first, as usual." "The early bird gets the worm, Major." "Deuced ungallant speech, considering that the lovely Octavia is the worm," and with a significant laugh the major assumed an Englishman's favorite attitude before the fire. His companion shot a quick glance at him, and an expression of anxiety passed over his face as he replied, with a well-feigned air of indifference, "You are... more...

KITTY'S CLASS DAY "A stitch in time saves nine." "O Pris, Pris, I'm really going! Here's the invitation—rough paper—Chapel—spreads—Lyceum Hall—everything splendid; and Jack to take care of me!" As Kitty burst into the room and performed a rapturous pas seul, waving the cards over her head, sister Priscilla looked up from her work with a smile of satisfaction on her quiet face. "Who invites you, dear?" "Why,... more...

CHAPTER I OBTAINING SUPPLIES. "I want something to do." This remark being addressed to the world in general, no one in particular felt it their duty to reply; so I repeated it to the smaller world about me, received the following suggestions, and settled the matter by answering my own inquiry, as people are apt to do when very much in earnest. "Write a book," quoth the author of my being. "Don't know enough, sir. First live, then write."... more...

HOW IT WAS LOST Among green New England hills stood an ancient house, many-gabled, mossy-roofed, and quaintly built, but picturesque and pleasant to the eye; for a brook ran babbling through the orchard that encompassed it about, a garden-plat stretched upward to the whispering birches on the slope, and patriarchal elms stood sentinel upon the lawn, as they had stood almost a century ago, when the Revolution rolled that way and found them young.... more...

There is a room upstairs in the old house at Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts, where the visitors pause and look about them with a softening glance and often with visible emotion, as though they felt a sudden nearness to something infinitely intimate and personal. They have come to see the place where Bronson Alcott and the group of transcendentalists cut themselves off from the world in the spring of 1843 and tried to found a New Eden where... more...