At that the laugh among the people in the room and about the doorway grew louder,—it seemed so good a joke that anyone should take those wax figures for living people—and a burly German, taking pity on Walter's stupidity, said; "Mine frient, dose vos vax beobles, ha, ha, ha! dey don't can't say nodings."
With that the laughter grew louder, and another German, evidently good-naturedly desirous to relieve Walter's embarrassment, spoke, turning as he did so to the first speaker:
"Dat vasn't no sign de young shentlemans vas dumb; he don't can't help it; he t'ot dey vas life beoples."
"Nefer you mine dose silly fellows, young shentleman, dey doan' know noddings."
The words seemed to come from the lips of the waxen man, and struck the crowd with astonishment. "I would tell you vat you vants to know," he added, "but I pees von stranger in dose barts mineself."
Then the woman seemed to speak: "Come to de dable, mine frient, and eat somedings mit us."
"Thank you, very much," returned Walter, "you are most kind and hospitable, but I cannot think of intruding upon your hospitality." And with a bow directed toward her and her spouse, he turned and left the room, the rest of his party following and leaving the little crowd of Germans gazing at each other and the waxen figures in wide-eyed, open-mouthed astonishment.
"Papa," complained little Ned as they left the German quarter, "I'm so tired and sleepy."
"Hungry, too, papa's boy, aren't you?" was the kindly enquiring rejoinder. "Well, papa will take you back to our floating home, and leave you there with your nurse to be fed and have a good, long nap. I think Elsie would like to go too. Wouldn't you, daughter?"
The little girl gave a glad assent, and arranging with his wife and older daughters where to meet them on his return, the captain set off with the two little ones for the Dolphin.
Captain Raymond was not gone very long, and on his return found the others sitting quietly listening to the music of the German band. But they were ready to go at his invitation and test the excellence of the fare to be obtained at the Woman's Building.
"There are cafes at each end of the roof covered with Oriental awnings," he said, "and surely we may expect as good fare at a woman's establishment as anywhere else."
"I think we certainly should," said Rosie in a sprightly tone; "and there must be a lovely view or views from that roof and the loggias."
"Doubtless," returned the captain, "and though we visited all the lower apartments of the building the other day, we did not go up to the roof; so that a visit to it will have for us the charm of novelty."
"Yes," said Grandma Elsie; "let us go by boat up the lagoon. Gracie looks as if she needed a rest from walking, and I confess I should not object to it myself."
The words had scarcely left her lips before Harold had signalled a boat, and the whole party was presently seated in it.
A short but delightful row brought them to the landing in front of the Woman's Building, and climbing the stone stairway that led up to the terrace, they passed through the triple-arched colonnade that led into the interior of the building, nor paused till they had reached one of the cafes, where they might rest and also satisfy their appetites with the good things abundantly provided.
Those important matters duly attended to, some minutes were given to the enjoyment of the fine views to be obtained from the loggias, and looking at the statues of Miss Rideout, representing Sacrifice, Charity, Virtue, and Wisdom. They then spent a short time over the exhibit in the lower part of the building; and there Captain Raymond and Lucilla met with a pleasant surprise in coming suddenly and unexpectedly upon Mr. Austin and his son Albert, the English gentleman whose acquaintance they had made in their visit to Minersville some years before.
The pleasure was evidently mutual; very hearty greetings were exchanged, then Captain Raymond introduced his accompanying friends, and Mr. Austin a daughter who was with him.
A few moments were spent in conversation, in the course of which an invitation was extended to the Austins to take supper upon the yacht that evening, and they parted for a time; the Austins having an engagement to meet some friends in the meanwhile in another part of the Fair.
"Shall we go now to the Electrical Building?" asked Captain Raymond, addressing his party, and receiving a hearty assent from all, he led the way.
They found much in the building to greatly interest them; great electric lenses used in lighthouses, the Edison electric column—covered with five thousand electric globes—and many other wonderful things; a beautiful scene in the daytime, but far more gorgeous at night, as they readily perceived that it would be; so they decided to pay a second visit after the lighting up that evening. Still their present visit was so prolonged that on leaving they found it time to return to the yacht. They met the Austins again at the Peristyle, and took them on board in the first boat load.
The guests were numerous, including all the cousins from Pleasant Plains, and the three young gentlemen friends—Chester and Frank Dinsmore and Will Croly. The meal to which they presently sat down, though Captain Raymond had called it supper, was an excellent dinner of several courses, and enlivened by pleasant chat, proved most enjoyable to the entire company.
At its conclusion they adjourned to the deck. A pleasant air was stirring, the sun drawing near his setting, the western sky glowing with brilliant hues, while the sounds of life on water and land came softly to the ear.
The young people formed one group, the older ones another, conversing among themselves, mostly in rather subdued tones.
"You have hardly been in America ever since I saw you last?" Lucilla said enquiringly, addressing Albert Austin.
"Oh, no; we went home shortly upon bidding you good-by after our brief acquaintance in Minersville," he replied; adding, "And I presume you had very nearly forgotten us?"
"No," she said; "we have spoken of you occasionally,—papa, Max, and I,—and I recognized your father the moment I saw him to-day; you also, though I am not sure that I should have done so had you been alone; for of course you have changed much more than he has."
"Not more than you have, Miss Raymond," he returned with a look of undisguised admiration; "yet I knew you instantly, though I saw you before I perceived that the captain made one of the company you were in."
"Indeed!" she said with a merry little laugh. "I am afraid I hoped I had grown and improved more than that would seem to imply."
"But you are still as proud as ever of being an American, and as proud of your Stripes and Stars?" he remarked enquiringly and with an amused smile.
"Yes, most emphatically, yes," she replied, lifting her eyes to the flag floating overhead, "I still think it the most beautiful banner ever flung to the breeze."
"And I suppose—from its constant display here, there, and everywhere—that that must be the idea of Americans in general," remarked Miss Austin in a slightly sneering tone. "I must say I have—naturally, I suppose,—a far greater admiration for England's flag, yet I should not want to see it so ostentatiously displayed on all occasions as yours is."
Lucilla colored, but was silent, fearing she might speak too warmly in defence of her favorite banner should she attempt a reply; but Chester took it up.
"Miss Austin must remember," he said, speaking in calm, polite tones, "that ours is a very large country, to which immigrants from other lands are constantly flocking; and they, as well as the ignorant among ourselves, need to have constantly kept before them the fact that we, though spread over so many States, form but one nation; for otherwise our Union could not be maintained; we must continually impress upon all our people that this one glorious nation is never to be separated into parts; and the flag is the emblem of our Union; a symbol that is unmistakable; and so it is displayed as the chief glory of our nation; and therefore we love it and cannot see too much of it."
Even as he spoke the sun neared the horizon, all on the Dolphin's deck rose to their feet, and as he sank out of sight, the firing of a gun from the Illinois announcing the fact, saluted the flag as, at the same moment, it came fluttering down from its lofty perch.
"Thank you, for your explanation, Mr. Dinsmore," Miss Austin said pleasantly, as they resumed their seats; "it has given me an entirely new view of the matter, so that I now think you Americans are quite right in your devotion to your flag, and your constant display of it. And this Fair," she went on, "is wonderful—the White City a perfect fairyland; especially at night, with its blaze of electrical lights and its many colored electric fountains."
"So we all think," said Harold Travilla. "Have you been in the Electric Building yet?"
"Not yet," she replied, and her brother added: "But we intend going. The evening is the best time for a sight of its wonders, I presume?"
"Yes; we have planned to go to-night, and would be glad to have you accompany us."
The invitation, overheard by the older people and cordially endorsed by the captain, was promptly accepted by the three Austins, and as the shades of evening began to fall, all but the little ones, already in their nests, returned to the shore and were presently in the Electrical Building, enjoying to the full its magical splendor.
Croly was devoting himself to Rosie Travilla, Frank Dinsmore endeavoring to make himself useful and entertaining to Grace Raymond and Evelyn Leland, while his brother and Percy Landreth, Jr., vied with each other and Albert Austin in attentions to Lucilla, leaving Miss Austin to the charge of Harold and Herbert, who were careful to make sure that she should have no cause to feel herself neglected.
They spent some time in viewing the marvels of the Electric Building, finding the lights giving it a truly magical splendor not perceptible by day. It seemed full of enchantment, a veritable hall of marvels; they were delighted and fascinated with the glories of the displays, and lingered there longer than they had intended.
On passing out, the party broke up, the Austins bidding good-by and going in one direction, Croly carrying off Rosie in another, the Pleasant Plains people vanishing in still another.
"Will you take a boat ride with me, Lucilla?" asked Chester in a rather low aside.
"If the rest are going," she returned laughingly. "I'm such a baby that I cling to my father and don't want to go anywhere without him."
"You mean the captain does not allow it?" Chester said enquiringly, and with a look of slight vexation.
"Oh," she laughed, "I'm not apt to ask for what I don't want, and I never want to be without papa's companionship."
"Humph! I had really labored under the delusion that you were grown up."
"Does that mean, ready to dispense with my father's society? In that case I don't mean ever to be grown up," she returned with spirit.
"Well, really!" laughed Chester, "if I am not mistaken, my sisters considered themselves about grown up, and altogether their own mistresses when they were no older than you are now; though, to be sure, I don't profess to know your age exactly."
"You may look at the record in the family Bible the next time you visit Woodburn, if you care to," Lucilla said, with a careless little toss of her head. "Yon will find the date of my birth there in papa's handwriting, from which your knowledge of arithmetic will enable you to compute my present age."
"Thank you," he said, laughing, but with a look of slight embarrassment, "I am entirely satisfied with the amount of knowledge I already possess on that subject."
"Ah, what subject is that upon which you are so well informed, Chester?" queried Captain Raymond pleasantly, overhearing the last remark, and turning toward the young couple.
"Your daughter's age, sir. I invited her to take a ride with me upon the lagoon, in one of those electrical launches; but find she is but a young thing and cannot leave her father."
"Ah?" laughed the captain, "then suppose we all go together."
"Willingly, sir, if that will suit her better," answered Chester, turning enquiringly to Lucilla.
"I think nothing could be pleasanter," she said, and the others being of like opinion, they were presently gliding over the waters of the lagoon intensely enjoying the swift easy movement and the fairylike scenes through which they were passing.
It was late when at last all the Dolphin's passengers were gathered in. The party to which the Raymonds belonged were the first, the young men who had accompanied them in the electric launch bidding good-night at the Peristyle, and all had retired to their respective state-rooms before the coming of the others; all except the captain, who was pacing the deck while awaiting their arrival.
His thoughts seemed not altogether agreeable, for he walked with drooping head and downcast eyes and sighed rather heavily once or twice.
"Papa dear, what is the matter? Oh, have I done anything to vex or trouble you?" asked Lucilla's voice close at his side.
"Why, daughter, are you there?" he exclaimed, turning toward her with a fatherly smile, then taking her hand and drawing her into his arms, stroking her hair, patting her cheeks, and pressing a fond kiss upon her lips. "No, I have no fault to find with my eldest daughter, and yet——" He paused, gazing searchingly and somewhat sadly into the bright young face.
"Oh, papa, what is it?" she asked, putting her arms about his neck and gazing with ardent affection and questioning anxiety up into his eyes. "You looked at me so strangely two or three times to-night, and I so feared you were displeased with me that I could not go to my bed without first coming to ask you about it, and get a kiss of forgiveness if I have displeased you in any way."
"No, daughter, you have not displeased me, but—your father is so selfish," he sighed, "that he can scarce brook the thought that someone else may some day oust him from the first place in his dear child's heart."
"Oh, papa!" she exclaimed in half reproachful tones, "how can you be troubled with any such idea as that? don't you know that I love you ten thousand times better than anybody else in the whole wide world? I just love to belong to you, and I always shall," she added, laying her head on his breast and gazing with ardent affection up into his eyes. "Besides, I am only a little girl yet, as you've told me over and over again, and must not think about beaux and lovers for at least five or six years to come; and I'm sure I don't want to think of them at all so long as I have my own dear father to love and care for me."
"That is right," he said, holding her close; "I think I can say with truth that I love my dear daughter much too well ever to intentionally stand in the way of her happiness, but I feel sure that the best place for her, for the next six or eight years at least, will be in her father's house, trusting in his love and care."
"I haven't a doubt of it, father," she said, lifting loving, laughing eyes to his, "and really I don't believe Chester or anybody else cares half so much about me as you do, or wants to get me away from you. I like right well to laugh and talk with him and the others just as I do with the girls, but I'm, oh, so glad I belong to you, and will for years to come, if not always. Yes, I do hope it will be always, while we both live. And Gracie feels just the same. We had a little talk about it not very long ago, and agreed that we could not bear to think the time would ever come when we would have to leave our dear father, and the sweet home he has made for us, to live with anybody else in the loveliest that could be imagined."
"That pleases me well," he said, his eyes shining; "Gracie is no less dear to me than you are, and so frail that I should be far from willing to resign the care of her to another. But now, dear child, it is high time you were resting in your bed; so give me another good-night kiss and go at once."
"I will, papa, and are not you going too? for I am sure you must be needing rest as well as I."
"Presently," he replied, glancing toward the pier. "I have been waiting to see the last of our party on board, and here they come."
Lucilla went to her bed a very happy girl, her heart full of love to her father and singing for joy in the thought of his love for her. She had a long dreamless sleep, but woke at her usual early hour and, when morning duties had been attended to, went noiselessly up to the deck where, as she had expected, the captain had preceded her by a moment or more. She ran to him to claim the usual morning caress.
"You look bright and well, dear child," he said, holding her close for a moment, then a little further off to gaze searchingly into the smiling, happy face.
"As I feel, father," she said, laying her head against his breast. "I went to sleep last night thinking of all you had been saying to me and feeling so glad of your dear love and that you want to keep me all your own for ever so long." Then she added, with an arch look up into his face, "Don't you think, papa, it will be best for you to have me under eye all the time wherever we go?"
"I am not afraid to trust you, my darling," he answered with a smile, "but of course I want you near me that I may take the very best care of you always and all the time."
"Well, then, I'll get and keep just as close to you as I can," she answered with a merry look and smile. "But, papa——"
"Well, daughter, what is it?" he asked, as she paused and hesitated, as if fearful that he might be displeased with what she was about to say.
"I was just thinking,—please don't be vexed with me,—but wasn't Mamma Vi only nineteen when you married her?"
"Yes," he said, with a slight smile, "but circumstances alter cases, and I have changed my views somewhat since then."
"Yes," she said, reflectively; "she had no father, and it was you she married, you who know so well how to take care of both her and your daughters."
At that her father merely smiled again and patted her cheek, saying. "I am glad you are so well content with my guardianship."
He did not think it necessary to tell her of a talk with Violet the night before, in which he had expressed his determination to keep his daughters single for some years to come,—certainly not less than five or six,—and his fear that Chester and one or two others had already begun to perceive their charms, and might succeed all too soon in winning their affections; in reply to which Violet had, with a very mirthful look, reminded him how young she herself was at the time of their marriage, and that he did not seem to think it at all necessary to wait for her to grow older.
In answer to that he had laughingly insisted that she was far more mature than his daughters bid fair to be at the same age; adding that besides he certainly ought to have gained something in wisdom in the years which had passed since their marriage.
"Ah," said Violet giving him a look of ardent affection, "after all I am glad you had not attained to all that wisdom some years earlier, my dear husband, for my life with you has been such a happy, happy one. Your dear love is my greatest earthly treasure, our little son and daughter scarcely less a joy of heart to me."
"To me also," he said, drawing her into his arms and giving her tenderest caresses, "yet not quite so dear as their mother; for you, my love, have the very first place in my heart."
"And you in mine," she returned, her eyes dewy with happy tears; "and I love your daughters dearly, dearly; I could hardly bear to part with them, and I am glad to perceive that they, as yet, care nothing for beaux, but are devoted to their father and happy in his love."
"Yes, I think they are, and fondly hope they will continue to be, for a number of years to come," was his pleased response. "I have no doubt they will," said Violet, and there the conversation ended.
* * * * *
"More than content, papa; for as I have often said, I just delight in belonging to you," was Lucilla's glad response to his last remark in that morning talk.
"Yes, I know you do, and so we are a very happy father and daughter," he said. "I often think no man was ever more blest in his children than I am in mine."
The talk about the breakfast table that morning was of the places it might be most desirable to visit that day, and the final conclusion that they would go first to the battleship Illinois, then to the lighthouse and life-saving station, both near at hand.
"I am glad we are going aboard a battleship—or rather the model of one, I presume I should say, and especially in company with a naval officer who can explain everything to us," remarked Rosie in a lively tone.
"Yes, we are very fortunate in that," said Mrs. Dinsmore, giving Captain Raymond an appreciative look and smile.
"Papa, didn't you say she wasn't a real ship?" asked little Elsie, looking up enquiringly into her father's face.
"Yes, my child, but in all you could perceive in going aboard of her she is exactly like one—a fac-simile of the coast-line battleship Illinois, which is a very powerful vessel."
"And are her guns real, papa? Mightn't they go off and shoot us?"
"No, daughter, there is no danger of that. The largest ones are wooden models, and though quite a number are real and capable of doing terrible execution, there is not the slightest danger of their being used on us."
"I'm not one bit afraid of them!" cried little Ned, straightening himself up with a very brave, defiant air. "Not with papa along, anyhow."
"No, you needn't be, Ned," laughed Walter, "for most assuredly nobody would dare to shoot Captain Raymond or anybody under his care."
"No, indeed, I should think not," chuckled the little fellow, with a proudly affectionate look up into his father's face.
"No, nor any other visitor to the ship," said the captain. "We may go there without feeling the least apprehension of such a reception."
"So we will start for the Illinois as soon as we are ready for the day's pleasures," said Violet, smiling into the bright little face of her boy.
Harold and Herbert joined them at the usual early hour, bringing Chester and Frank Dinsmore with them, and in a few minutes they were all upon the deck of the model battleship.
They were treated very politely and shown every department from sleeping quarters to gun-deck. They were told that she was steel armor-plated below the berth-deck, and were shown that above the decks were steel turrets, through portholes of which deep-mouthed wooden guns projected. Also that she was fully manned and officered with a crew of two hundred men, who gave daily drills and performed all the duties required of them when in actual service on the high seas.
From the battleship they went to the lighthouse and life-saving station.
On the plaza in front of the Government Building was the camp of the life-saving corps. It was neat and pretty, and close beside it was the model of a government lighthouse. Some of our party went to the top of that, and all of them viewed the paraphernalia used in the saving of life when a vessel is wrecked within sight of the shore. Some of them had already seen it on the Eastern shore, but were sufficiently interested to care to look at it again, while to the others it was altogether new, as was the drill through which the company of life guards were presently put, for both the benefit to themselves of the practice, and the edification of visitors.
That over Grandma Elsie asked, "Shall we not, now we are here, go into the Government Building and look at the military exhibit?"
"I should like to do so," said Mr. Dinsmore. "In what part of the building is it, Harold?"
"The southeastern, sir. I have been in once, and found many things well worth looking at more than once."
Harold led the way as he spoke, the others following.
The first department they entered contained exhibits of metal work, gun and cartridge-making machines, campaign materials, and battleflags.
All were interesting to the gentlemen, and to some of the ladies also, but to the others and the children the battleflags were far more so than anything else. It was the greatest collection ever seen outside of a government museum; for they were mementoes of all the wars our country has passed through since the settlement of Jamestown, Va.
There were also mountain howitzers mounted on mules, forage wagons, propeller torpedoes, and every kind of camp appliance, garrison equipage, pack saddles, etc. Famous relics, too, such as a beautifully carved bronze cannon captured from the British at Yorktown in 1781, and a great gun called "Long Tom," with which the privateer General Armstrong repelled a British squadron off the shores of the Azores in 1814, and many other souvenirs of American history.
"'Long Tom,'" repeated little Elsie, gazing curiously at the great gun, about which some remark had been made a moment before, "I s'pose there's a story to it. I wish somebody would tell it to Neddie and me."
"You shall hear it one of these times," said her father, "but not here and now;" and with that she was content, for papa's promises were sure to be kept.
"Don't refrain on my account from telling it here and now, captain," said Cousin Ronald with a humorous look and smile. "I'm not so patriotic as to endorse wrong-doing even on the part of Britons."
"We are all sure of that, sir," returned the captain, "but this time and place are not the most favorable for the telling of a story of that length."
"And grandma will sit down somewhere with the children presently for a rest, in some quiet place, and tell them the story of the gun should they wish to hear it," said Mrs. Travilla; and with that promise the children seemed well content.
By the middle of the afternoon Grandma Elsie, Grace, and the little ones were all weary enough to be glad to return to the Dolphin for a rest.
After a refreshing nap Grace and the children gathered about Mrs. Travilla and begged for the fulfilment of her promise to tell the story of "Long Tom," and she kindly complied.
"The General Armstrong was a privateer, and the fight I am now going to tell about was one of the most famous of the war of 1812-14," she said. "The vessel was commanded by Captain Samuel C. Reid, a native of Connecticut. He went to sea when only eleven years old and was a midshipman with Commodore Truxton. He was still a young man—only thirty—when the event of which we are talking occurred. That was on the 26th of September, 1814, in the harbor of Fayal, one of the Azores islands belonging to Portugal.
"While lying there at anchor the Armstrong was attacked by a large British squadron. That was in flagrant violation of the laws of neutrality. Commodore Lloyd was the commander of the squadron. At eight o'clock in the evening he sent four large well-armed launches, each manned by about forty men, to attack the American vessel.
"The moon shone brightly, and Captain Reid, who had noticed the movements of the British and suspecting that their design was to attack him, was getting his vessel under the guns of the castle. Those guns and his own opened fire at almost the same instant and drove off the launches with heavy loss."
"That means a great many men killed, grandma?" queried little Elsie.
"Yes, dear, a great many of the British; on our side there was one man killed, and a lieutenant was wounded. But that was not the end of the affair. At midnight another attack was made with fourteen launches and about five hundred men.
"A terrible fight ensued, but at length the British were driven off with a hundred and twenty killed and one hundred and eighty wounded."
"That was a great many," commented the little girl. "Did they give it up then, grandma?"
"No; at daybreak one of the British vessels, the Carnation, made another attempt. She began with a heavy fire, but the gunners of the Armstrong fired shots at her so rapidly and so well directed that she was soon so badly cut up that she hastened to get out of their range.
"In all this fighting the British had lost over three hundred in killed and wounded, while only two Americans were killed and seven wounded. But the Armstrong was a good deal damaged and Captain Reid saw that he could not stand another fight such as she had just gone through, so he directed her to be scuttled to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy."
"Scuttled? What's that, grandma?" asked little Ned.
"Making holes in the bottom or sides of a vessel, so that the water can get in and sink her, is called scuttling. It was done to prevent the British from taking possession of her. After our men had left her, however, they boarded, and set her on fire."
"Grandma Elsie," said Grace, "I think I remember reading that that victory of Reid's—or perhaps I should say successful resistance—had much to do with the saving of New Orleans."
"Yes; that British squadron was on its way to Jamaica, where the British vessels were gathering for the expedition to move against and take New Orleans, and their object in attacking the Armstrong was to secure her for themselves and make her useful in that work. Had they succeeded in taking her they would have reached New Orleans while it was utterly defenceless, General Jackson having not yet arrived there. But Reid, in his splendid defence of his vessel, so crippled those of the enemy that they did not reach Jamaica until fully ten days later than the time when the expedition was expected to sail from there; Lloyd was waited for and the expedition thus delayed until Jackson had reached the city and was making haste with arrangements for its defence."
"Yes, grandma, I've heard the story about that," said little Elsie; "how the British tried to take that city and General Jackson and his soldiers killed so very many of them, and drove the rest away."
Neddie was looking very grave and thoughtful. "Isn't it wicked to kill folks, grandma?" he asked.
"Yes, dear, unless it is necessary to prevent them from killing or badly injuring us or someone else. The British were terribly abusing our poor sailors and it was right for our government to fight them, because they would not stop it until they were forced to do so."
"But you haven't told about 'Long Tom' yet, grandma," said Elsie; "that big gun, you know, that we saw to-day."
"Yes; it was one of those on the Armstrong with which Captain Reid defended his ship."
"Weren't the Americans glad when they heard about it, grandma? and didn't they praise Captain Reid?"
"Indeed they did! and also made him many handsome presents. The State of New York thanked him and gave him a sword."
"Hadn't he afterward something to do with a change in our flag, Grandma Elsie?" asked Grace.
"Yes; our flag at first bore thirteen stars and thirteen stripes, and as new States were admitted another star and stripe were added for each one. But it was soon found that that was making the flag very large unless the stripes became narrower and narrower, while there was nothing to show what had been the original number of States. Captain Reid suggested the plan of retaining the thirteen stripes to indicate that, and the adding of a new star every time a new State was admitted, and Congress adopted that plan. He was certainly a talented man. He invented and erected the signal telegraphs at the Battery and the Narrows."
"I'm proud of him, Grandma Elsie!" said Grace, her face lighting up with enthusiasm. "His defence at Fayal against such overwhelming numbers was wonderful. And so was Jackson's at New Orleans. England was a great and powerful nation while ours was but small and weak, but we were in the right—fighting against dreadful wrongs done to our sailors—and God helped us to drive away our haughty, powerful foe, and deliver our brave tars from her unendurable oppression."
"Yes, dear; and to Him let us ever give all the glory and the praise. Oh, may our nation always serve God and trust in him! then no foe shall ever prevail against her."
"I hope we do, grandma," said little Elsie, "for on a quarter papa gave me the other day, I saw the words, 'In God we trust.'"
"Oh!" cried Ned at that moment, "the folks are coming! I see them there on the Peristyle—papa and mamma, Grandpa and Grandma Dinsmore, Lu and the others."
"Yes, and the boat is waiting for them," added Elsie "and see, they are getting in."
"Oh, I am so glad," said Grace, "though they are earlier than usual."
"Yes," said Grandma Elsie, "I suppose because it is Saturday evening and we are all so tired with going and sight-seeing that we need to get early to bed and rest that we may not be too weary to enjoy the coming Sabbath day."
"I 'spect so," said Ned, and running forward as his father and the others stepped upon the deck, "Papa," he asked, "did you come home soon to get ready to keep Sunday?"
"Yes," was the reply; "we all need a good rest that we may be able to enjoy God's holy day and spend it in his service."
"Where have you been since we left you, Lu?" asked Grace, as her sister took a seat by her side.
"Papa took us to look at the Krupp gun," was the reply. "It is a wonderful one; weighs two hundred and forty-eight thousand pounds; just think! one hundred and twenty-four tons! It was certainly a great undertaking to bring it all the way from Essen, Germany, to Chicago. They told us that at Hamburg and at Baltimore great cranes were used, one of which could lift a sixty-five ton locomotive, to lift the gun to the trucks that were to carry it on the railroad; they had to put eight trucks under it, fastening two together, then the two pair together, and so on till they had the eight all well fastened to each other, when they laid the gun on them and started it off.
"And only think, Gracie, it takes half a ton of powder and costs one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars to fire that great gun once. We saw the steel plate, sixteen inches thick, through which a twelve-inch shot had been fired. It had cracked the plate and thrown the upper corner half a yard away. I forgot to say the projectile fired from that gun weighs a ton, and goes sixteen miles."
"Oh," cried Grace, "that's just dreadful! I hope there will never be a war where such terrible guns will be used—never any more at all; but that very soon, as the Bible says, the people 'shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.'"
"Yes," said Grandma Elsie, overhearing her, "that will be a blessed time."
"Yes, indeed!" said Lucilla.
"Where else did you go?" asked Grace.
"Oh, we have been promenading along the lake shore, sitting down now and then on the seats to watch the many boats of various sorts and sizes, our own among the rest; and now, here we are to stay for the night, I suppose. I must, at least, for papa has said so."
She looked smilingly up into his face as she spoke, for he was now standing by her side.
"I think that will be best for each of my children, and hope that my dear eldest daughter does not feel at all rebellious in regard to the matter," he said in his pleasant, fatherly way.
"No, indeed, papa!" she responded heartily, "though the beautiful Court of Honor is so fascinating—especially at night—that if you had given me permission to go back there after tea I should have been very glad to do so."
"And I should take pleasure in allowing you that gratification if I thought it best and right."
"I don't doubt that in the least, papa, and I am very glad to have you to decide all such questions for me," she replied.
"Will we go over there, to the Court of Honor, to-morrow, papa?" asked little Elsie.
"No, daughter, we must keep the Sabbath day holy, and if we go anywhere it will be to church."
"And if we don't, we'll have a meeting here on our own deck as we have on some other Sundays; won't we, papa?"
"Yes; and the Lord Jesus will be with us; for he has said, 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'"
"Oh, papa, I shall like to think of that—that the dear Lord Jesus is here with us—but I do wish I could see him."
"I too," said little Ned. "Please, papa, sit down now and let your baby boy sit on your knee a little while. You have been gone so long away from me."
"So long, papa's dear boy!" the captain repeated with a smile of fatherly affection into the bright, coaxing little face, then seating himself, he took the little fellow in his arms, and petted and caressed him to his heart's content. "Papa missed his dear little boy," he said, "but hoped he was having a good time here with dear grandma."
"Yes, papa, so I was. Grandma's ever so nice, but I want my papa and mamma, too."
"That's right, darling! mamma and papa would never know how to do without their dear baby boy," Violet said, adding her caresses to those of his father, the captain having taken a seat close at her side.
"Nor me either, mamma?" asked Elsie, drawing near, putting one hand into that of her mother and laying the other on her father's knee, her look and tones a trifle wistful, as if she were half fearful that she was less highly appreciated than her brother.
"No, indeed, dear child!" they replied, speaking together, "we love you just the same."
"Gracie also," the captain added, turning toward her with a tenderly appreciative smile. "You were looking very weary, daughter, when you left us some hours ago. Are you feeling better now?
"Yes, thank you, papa," she replied with a sweet, glad smile. "How kindly careful of me you always are!"
"Yes," he returned, "one is apt to be careful of his choicest treasures."
"It is so delightful to be one of your treasures, you dear papa," she said, going to his side in response to an inviting gesture, as Neddie got down from his knee to run to the side of the vessel to look at a passing boat.
"And so delightful to have you for one," he said, drawing her to the seat Neddie had vacated. "Papa feels that he must be very careful to see that the strength and endurance of his feeble little girl are not overtaxed."
"Mamma too," said Violet. "Dear child, I hope the rest of to-night, to-morrow, and the following night may entirely relieve your fatigue."
"Thank you, mamma, I hope and believe that it will," responded Grace in cheerful tones. "We will go to church to-morrow, I suppose, papa?" turning enquiringly to him.
"Those of us who feel able and wish to," he replied. "I intend moving on up the lake to Chicago when you have all retired to your state-rooms, and to lie at anchor there until the Sabbath is past. We will have our Bible lesson as usual in the afternoon, and service on board in the evening."
"I am glad of that, papa," said Grace, "for I always greatly enjoy a Bible lesson with you for my teacher."
Most of the Dolphin's passengers went into the city to attend church the next morning, but Grandma Elsie and Grace, not yet entirely recovered from their fatigue, remained behind with the little ones. They watched the departure of the others, then Elsie, taking a seat close at her grandma's side, asked for a Bible story. "I like so much better to hear you or papa or mamma read or tell it than to have to read it for myself," she said.
"Yes, dear, and I always enjoy reading or telling those sweet stories to you," replied Mrs. Travilla, turning over the leaves of her Bible.
"Please read 'bout Jesus walking on the water, grandma," pleaded Neddie.
"Yes," she said. "Here in this chapter Mark tells about Jesus feeding the multitude—five thousand men—with five loaves and two fishes; making so much of that small quantity of food that they all ate and were filled, and there were twelve baskets full of fragments left. Then he constrained his disciples to get into the ship and go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. Now, do you remember what he did after the disciples and the people were gone?"
"Went up into a mountain to pray," answered Elsie. "Grandma, why did he pray when he was God and could do everything?"
"We cannot fully understand it, dear, but he was both God and man and loved to talk with his Father, God."
"Yes, grandma, I love to talk to my father," said Ned.
"So do I," said Elsie; "he is such a dear, kind papa, and we all love him so much."
"That is right," grandma said with her sweet smile; "and I hope you sometimes thank God, our heavenly Father, for giving you such a good, kind papa."
"Yes, grandma, yes indeed!"
"Now listen while I read," she said, and began: "'And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and they cried out: (For they all saw him, and were troubled.) And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.'"
"Oh, grandma, I don't want my heart to be hardened like that—so that I won't believe in Jesus and love and trust him," Elsie said earnestly.
"No, dear child; ask God very often not to let it ever be so hardened; but to give you strong and abiding faith; faith that will never for an instant doubt his power or love. Remember he says, 'I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me.'"
"Early in the morning, grandma?" asked. Ned.
"Yes, dear; and early in life—while you are a little child."
"How, grandma? What's the way to do it?"
"Perhaps you may sometimes want papa when you do riot know exactly where he is, and you go about the house and grounds looking for him; that is seeking him; and when you have found papa you say to him what you wish to say. But Jesus, being God, is every where; he sees you and hears all you say, knows all your thoughts; so if you speak to him only in your heart he will know it—know all you want and listen to your prayer; for he is so good, so kind, so condescending that he will not turn away from anyone who really prays—asks with all his heart to be cleansed from his sins and made truly good—such an one as will be pleasing in the sight of God."
"Yes, grandma," said Elsie, "that's what papa and mamma, too, have told Neddie and me many times; and I do ask God earnestly very, very often to give me a new heart and make me his own dear child. Grandma, papa often tells me he loves me very dearly, but that Jesus loves me still more."
"Yes, dear child, the Bible tells us so and it is very sweet and comforting to think of. Jesus loves to have us carry our troubles to him and he feels for us in them all. He says, 'As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted.'"
"And mamma is such a dear comforter when we are in any trouble or suffering pain," remarked Elsie.
"Yes, your mamma loves you very dearly, but Jesus' love is still stronger. Now I will read of another time when Jesus stilled the waves with a word. "'Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind, and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.'"
"Nobody but God could do that," Neddie remarked, half in assertion, half enquiringly.
"No, dear child, it is only the voice of God the winds and waters will obey, or the dead when summoned to come forth from their graves. Jesus is God; and he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God, by him. The Bible tells us so; the Bible which from beginning to end is God's own holy word. Listen to its closing words;" and again she read aloud from the Bible in her hands.
"'I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.'"
"Is it Jesus who says, 'Surely I come quickly, grandma?" asked Elsie.
"Yes, dear; and he says to each one of us: 'Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.'"
"Watch," repeated Neddie. "What for, grandma?"
"That we may be ready to meet him with joy; our hearts full of love to him and his cause, caring little for the things of earth, but very much for things heavenly and divine; setting our affections on things above."
"Oh, there they come!" cried Neddie the next moment; "papa and mamma and all the rest," and he ran to the side of the vessel to give them a joyous greeting as they presently stepped upon the deck. In the afternoon the captain gathered his young people together for a Bible lesson, which all liked as he was sure to make it both interesting and instructive. The subject was the miracle of Christ wrought in the healing of the paralytic as related in Mark II. 1-12. "'Seeing their faith?' How did they show their faith, Lucilla?" asked the captain.
"By their works, papa. I think that if they had not believed that Jesus could and would heal their friend they would hardly have taken the trouble to break up the roof that they might let him down before the Lord. And the paralytic too must have had faith in the power and willingness of Jesus to heal him or surely he would have objected to being moved so much—carried from this house along the street to the place where Jesus was, then up to the roof, and let down from there in his bed."
"Yes, he, too, surely must have had faith in the power and willingness of Christ to heal him, and is included in the number of those spoken of as having faith. Let it never be forgotten that faith in Christ is necessary to salvation; for without faith it is impossible to please him'; but, 'all things are possible to him that believeth.' 'Ye believe in God, believe also in me,' Jesus said to his disciples in his farewell talk with them the night before his crucifixion. If we would be saved we must have 'the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.' None can be justified by works, 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' and if we are justified it must be 'freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.' Ah, let us all pray as did the disciples, 'Lord, increase our faith.'"
"Why did Jesus say to the man 'Son, thy sins be forgiven thee,' papa?" asked little Elsie. "I thought it was to be cured of his sickness the man came."
"Yes, daughter, but sin is the cause of all sickness and disease; if man had not sinned there would never have been any sickness or pain, and there will be none in heaven where all are holy.
"And in pronouncing the man's sins forgiven Jesus asserted himself to be God. The Scribes sitting there understood it to be so, and said in their hearts, 'Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?' And Jesus knew their thoughts, for he asked, 'Why reason ye these things in your hearts?'"
"That he could see their thoughts I should think was another proof that he was God," remarked Walter, "and when that was followed by the instantaneous healing of the man, it seems to me wondrous strange that they were not convinced beyond the possibility of a doubt."
"The trouble with them was the same with that of many in these days," returned the captain; "their hearts were more in the wrong than their heads; they did not want to be convinced."
Monday morning found all on board the Dolphin feeling well, bright, and ready to enjoy a further examination of the wonders and beauties of the White City beside the lake. As usual the question which of them all should claim attention first, came up for discussion at the breakfast table.
"I for one would like extremely to pay a visit to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show," said Walter. "I think my little nephew and niece would enjoy it too, and possibly older folks might find some amusement there also."
"Oh, what is it, Uncle Walter?" asked Ned eagerly. "I'd like to see some buffaloes."
"Well, so you will if we go," replied Walter, "for there's a herd of them to be seen there. It is outside the Exposition grounds, but worth going to see, I should think. There are rifle experts, bucking ponies, dancing dervishes, athletes, female riders, besides American, German, French, English, Cossack, Mexican, and Arabian cavalry, to say nothing of cowboys, and other attractions too many to mention."
"Oh!" cried Ned, "I want to go. Can't I, papa?"
"All alone?" asked his father laughingly. "No, my son, I fear you are rather young for that."
"Oh, no, papa; I didn't mean all alone. But won't you take mamma and Elsie and all the rest, and me too?"
"Yes, if mamma and all the rest want to go."
"There are two hundred Indians there, Ned. Won't you be afraid of them?" asked Lucilla.
"No, Lu; not with our papa along to take care of us. If you're afraid, I s'pose you can stay on the Dolphin here till we come back."
"Thank you, Ned," she said laughing; "but I believe I feel quite as safe where papa is as you do. And I think I should like to see that show myself, though I'm neither a baby boy like you, nor a sixteen year old laddie like Walter."
"No, not a boy at all; only a girl. I'm glad I was made a boy so I can grow up into a man like papa."
"I'd rather be a woman like mamma and Grandma Elsie," said his little sister. "But I'd like to see the buffaloes and all the rest of it. Can't we go, papa?"
"I will go and take my little girl and boy," replied her father, "and will be glad of the company of anyone else who feels inclined to go with us."
No one seemed disinclined, and finally all decided to go.
They were well entertained, and, when the exhibition was over, passed out upon the elevated platform at the entrance.
The crowd moved slowly, and as they stood awaiting an opportunity to descend to the street below, there arose a sudden cry of "Fire!" and at the same instant they perceived a flame creeping up within the centre tower of the Cold Storage Building near at hand.
Scarcely was the cry raised before twenty-five brave and experienced firemen were on the scene, and ascending to the platform of observation that had been built near the summit. The tower was built of pine wood and plaster, which had been dried by the sun without and hot sheet-iron chimneys within, so that it burned fiercely. The firemen saw that it was a very dangerous place for anyone to venture into, therefore they hesitated and drew back; but their leader swore at them, calling them cowards, and at once they climbed to the perilous place; but scarcely had they reached it when there was an explosion of gases; the roof heaved and fell in, carrying with it sixteen men down into a pit of gaseous flame, and a shriek of horror went up from the fifty thousand people who stood looking on, unable to give the least assistance to the poor perishing men.
The party from the Dolphin saw it all and were sick with horror. Grace fainted, and but for the support of her father's arm, quickly thrown about her, would have fallen to the floor of the platform where they stood. He held her up, and with the help of Harold and Herbert, hastily pushed his way through the crowd.
"Lay her down as quickly as you can, captain!" exclaimed Harold; "it is important."
"Yes, I know," returned Captain Raymond, glancing down at the white, unconscious face of his precious burden.
But at that instant Grace's eyes opened, and looking up in a bewildered way into her father's eyes, "Papa, I'm too heavy for you to carry," she said faintly.
"No, my darling, not at all," he replied. "There, Uncle Harold has summoned a boat and we will take you back at once to our floating home."
"Am I sick? did I faint, papa?" she asked. "Oh,"—with a burst of tears and sobs—"I remember now! Oh, those poor, poor men! Papa, were they all killed?"
"Don't be so distressed, dear child," he said with emotion. "I think they must have been almost instantly suffocated by the gas, and did not feel anything that followed."
"Your father is right," said Harold, close at her side; "and though it was a very dreadful thing for them to be sacrificed in that way, and hurried into eternity without a moment's warning, they are not suffering pain of body now, and we can only hope that with their last breath they cried to the God of all grace for pardon and salvation." As he concluded his sentence the boat he had signalled was close at hands the rest of their party came up at that moment, all embarked, and they were soon on board the Dolphin, where they remained for the rest of that day, feeling too much shocked over the dreadful catastrophe at the Storage Building to care to go anywhere else.
Poor, feeble Grace was almost overwhelmed with pity and horror, weeping bitterly much of the time. The others, especially her father, did all in their power to comfort her with the hope that at least some of the killed were prepared for heaven, and with plans for giving aid and consolation to their bereaved wives, children, and other relatives who had been dependent upon their exertions for support.
The next day brought a very pleasant surprise in the arrival among them of their cousin, Dr. Conly, with his wife and her brother, Sandy McAlpin. The sight of her old physician, and Marian, of whom she was very fond, did much to restore Grace to her usual spirits, and all went together to view various interesting exhibits.
The first to which they gave their attention was that of the relics of the Cliff Dwellers. It was in the southeastern part of the grounds, and was a reproduction of Battle Rock Mountain, Colorado. As you neared it you seemed to see before you a cliff, for though built of timbers, iron, stone, staff, and boards, it wore the appearance of rock and earth. There was a cavernous opening which had the effect of a canyon, and in niches high up were the dwellings, in miniature, of the ancient people who once lived among the tablelands of our southwestern territories; but portions of the real houses were shown in order to give a perfectly truthful impression to visitors; also there were relics of the old cliff dwellers shown, such as weapons wrought from bones, stone, and wood; pottery, and cloths and mattings woven from blades of the alfalfa plant.
There were to be seen also ledges of fallen rock with houses crushed beneath and other houses built over them. Also winding paths led up the cliffs and through to the outer air, and up these our friends climbed to the summit, where they stood for a little enjoying the prospect now on this side, now on that.
"Papa," asked little Elsie, "how long ago did people live in those houses so high up among the rocks?"
"Nobody knows just how long ago, my child," he replied, "but probably hundreds of years before Columbus discovered America."
The rest of the day was spent in the Midway Plaisance, a street three hundred feet wide, beginning at the rear of the Woman's Building, extending about a mile in length, and so full of interesting sights that one might tarry there many hours, and go again day after day, without wearying of them, but always finding something by which to be greatly entertained.
"A good and most entertaining place for the study of mankind," as Mr. Dinsmore remarked.
As they entered it the sound of the sweetly piercing music of a bagpipe smote upon their ears. "Ah," exclaimed Mr. Lilburn, "that sound is sweetly homelike to my ear. Let us see, my friends, to what sight it summons us."
"The Beauty Show, sir," said Herbert. "Probably you have all heard of it—some thirty or forty belles collected from different parts of the world and dressed in their national costumes."
They went in, passing the handsome Highlander playing the bagpipes at the door. They found the women who were on exhibition ranged in pens around a large room.
"Beauties!" sniffed Rosie as she glanced about upon them, "there is scarcely one who I should have selected as such."
"Hush, hush, Rosie!" said her mother warningly; "we do not know but some of them may understand English, and surely you would be sorry to hurt their feelings."
"Yes, I should indeed, mamma," she returned in a regretful tone, and they passed out.
"That countryman of yours has much the handsomest face about that establishment. Cousin Ronald," remarked Lucilla, with a smile, as they proceeded on their way.
"I agree with you in that opinion, lassie," laughed the old gentleman, "and I have no doubt that he would also, had he heard you express it."
"How very much there is to see here!" remarked Dr. Conly—"men, women, and children from all parts of the world, clad in their own odd, native attire; Chinese, Japanese, Dahomeyans, Nubians, wild Arabs, Persians, Soudanese, Algerians, Javanese, and Cingalese."
"And some of the buildings are as singular in appearance as the people who occupy them," added his wife.
"Let us visit the village and castle of Blarney," said Rosie.
"You want to kiss the Blarney Stone, do you?" asked Herbert laughingly.
"No need of that," said Walter; "she can blarney fast enough if she wants to, and that without ever having seen the stone."
"What is blarney, papa?" asked little Elsie.
"Coaxing, wheedling, and flattering," he replied. "The village we are going to see is said to be a fair representation of one of that name in Ireland, about four miles from the city of Cork, in which there is a castle called Blarney Castle, which has stood there for more than four hundred years. The castle has a tower, as you will see, and on the top of it is a stone the kissing of which is said to confer the gift of ability to wheedle and flatter. But the true stone is said to be another in a wall where it can be kissed only by a person held over the parapet."
"Oh, I shouldn't like that at all, papa!" Elsie exclaimed. "I'd be afraid of falling, and I shouldn't like to kiss a dirty stone."
"Well, daughter, I shall never ask you to do so," he answered, with a kindly smile down into the bright, rosy little face.
They were entering the village as he spoke. Some little time was spent there very agreeably, after which they returned to the Dolphin for the night.
There was a gathering of friends and relatives on the Dolphin that evening: all from Pleasant Plains were there; Chester and Frank Dinsmore also and the Ion family. The brother and sister of Grandma Elsie, and her eldest daughter with her husband and children, had paid their visit to the Fair at an earlier date and returned home.
Expecting to do a good deal of entertaining Captain Raymond had taken care to have his boat well provisioned, and all were cordially invited to stay and take dinner on board.
No one declined, and they were a pleasant, lively party, each having something interesting to tell of the experiences of the day, and all agreeing that the Fair was well worth the trouble and expense of the journey to reach it, and the hundred and one demands upon the purse while there. Grace alone was very quiet, seeming to have little or nothing to say, and looking at times both sad and distressed. Her father noticed it and seizing the first opportunity to speak with her in private, asked in tenderly solicitous tones if she were feeling perfectly well, adding: "I fear I have allowed you to exert yourself too much in the past few days, my darling."
"I don't know whether or not I have gone about too much, papa, but it was very kind in you to let me," she replied, laying her head on his shoulder, for they were sitting side by side on a sofa in the cabin, while the others had all gone up to the deck, "but oh, I can't forget those poor men who perished in the flames yesterday, or their wives and children, perhaps left very poor and helpless. Papa, if you are willing, I'd like to give all my pocket money to help them. My own dear father pays my way all the time and I don't need to buy any of the fine things I see for sale here and there."
"My dear child," he said, with emotion, "you may do just as you please about that. I am very glad that my little girl is so willing to deny herself to help others, and I must tell you for your comfort that a good deal of money has already been raised for the benefit of those sadly bereaved ones."
"You gave some, papa? Oh, I know you did!"
"Yes, daughter, I gave out of the abundance of means which God has put into my hands, certainly not that it may all be spent upon myself and dearest ones, but entrusted to me that some of it may be used for the relief of suffering humanity; and it is a very great pleasure—an inestimable privilege—to be permitted thus to ally to some extent the woes of poverty and bereavement."
"Yes, papa; I feel it so, and am thankful that you approve of my doing what I can to help those poor, bereaved ones."
"I am very glad my little girl is unselfish enough to desire to do so," he responded. He passed a hand tenderly over her golden curls as he spoke, and kissed her again and again with warmth of affection.
"Do you want to join the others on the deck?" he asked presently, "or would you rather go at once to your bed and rest? You are looking very weary."
"I am tired, papa," she replied, "but I think that to lie in one of the steamer chairs on deck, and listen to the talk, will rest me nicely."
"You may do so for an hour or two," he said. "I will help you up there; but when the others scatter—as they probably will by that time—I want you to go to your bed and try to get a good, long night's sleep. I must take good care of my feeble, delicate little girl that she may gain, and not lose, by this trip to the North and visit to the World's Fair."
He took her in his arms as he spoke, carried her to the deck and deposited her in a vacant lounging chair, then seated himself by her side and took Neddie on his knee.
Violet was on her husband's other side, and Dr. Conly and his Marian near at hand on the farther side of Grace.
"You are looking weary, little cousin," he remarked, giving her a searching look; "so weary that were I asked for a prescription it should be an early retirement to your berth, to be followed by a long night's rest. However, I suppose you are Harold's patient now."
"Yours too, Cousin Arthur," she said with a smile; "also papa's, and he has already given me the very same prescription."
"As I do, if I am consulted," said Harold, "and when three such physicians agree, you surely will not venture to disregard their advice."
"No, indeed!" she returned, with her own sweet smile again, "nor would I, if any of the three had given it. I do really feel the need of rest for to-night, but hope you will all agree to let me go at least as far as the Court of Honor to-morrow."
"That will depend upon how you are feeling in the morning," returned her father, Violet adding: "And if you should have to stay here and rest for a day or two you need not feel so very badly about it, Gracie, because our time for remaining in and about the White City is not limited like that of some less fortunate people."
"No, mamma, and that is something to be thankful for. Oh, I do think myself a most fortunate girl," Grace said in reply, directing a look of ardent affection toward her father as she spoke. The other young folks were chatting together near by, principally of the beauties of the Fair, and indulging in many a merry jest and much light laughter.
"The Court of Honor is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in the world," remarked Rosie; "at least the most beautiful I have ever seen or can imagine; especially at night, when the magnificent MacMonnie's fountain, and the electric fountains are all at play. What beautiful rainbow-colored showers they send up! I never dreamed of anything so lovely and can never weary of looking at them."
"Nor have I," said Croly. "I move that we all go over there presently; in time to witness the lighting up."
There was a general assent, and young Percy Landreth, who had managed to secure a seat close at Lucilla's side, said to her in an undertone: "You will go surely, and may I have the pleasure of acting as your escort?"
"I don't know," she returned with a slight laugh and an arch look at Chester Dinsmore, who, sitting near on her other side, had overheard the request, and was looking slightly vexed and disappointed; "papa hasn't told me yet whether I may go to-night or not; and I'm 'a young thing who cannot leave her father' or go anywhere without his knowledge and consent. I'll ask him, however," she concluded, jumping up and hastening to the captain's side. "Papa," she asked, "can I go presently to the Court of Honor with the others—and you? for I suppose you are going?"
"I think it likely that your mamma and I will be going after a little," he said in reply; "but Grace is too weary to return there to-night, and you too would be the better able to enjoy yourself at the Fair to-morrow should you go early to bed to-night; so that is what I wish you to do."
"Indeed, papa, I am not so very tired," she said half imploringly, half in vexation. "Mayn't I go?"
"You have my answer to that question, daughter," he replied in a tone so low that the words scarce reached any ear but hers. "I think it best for both you and Grace that you should stay here with her, and surely you love your sister well enough to do so willingly, even if you had your father's consent to your going ashore for the evening?"
"Papa," said Grace, overhearing the last sentence, "I would not have Lu miss the pleasant evening on shore on my account. I will go directly to bed and probably fall asleep at once."
"As I hope and believe Lucilla will also," he returned, with a glance of grieved displeasure bestowed upon his eldest daughter, which sent a remorseful pang to her heart.
"Oh, father, don't be vexed with me," she entreated low and tremulously, putting a hand into his as she spoke; "I am glad that I am under your orders; I am, indeed, and would not for anything leave dear Gracie alone."
"I am sure of it, daughter," he returned, pressing the hand affectionately as he spoke. "Also I think that to-morrow you will be thankful to me that you have had a rest from exertion and excitement."
"Yes, papa, I always find that your way is best, and I am very glad and thankful that I have such a kind, wise father."
"Well, Lu, did you get leave to go?" asked Rosie as Lucilla rejoined the circle of young people. "No; papa wishes me to stay here and get to bed early that I may be well rested for to-morrow's exertion in seeing the sights of the White City," Lucilla answered in a lively, cheerful tone, that seemed to indicate entire satisfaction with her father's decision. She was in fact so remorseful over her momentary exhibition of wilfulness that she felt as if she no longer cared for anything but to convince her dearly loved father of her penitence on account of it, and her desire to do exactly as he directed.
"A wise and kind decision, Lu," remarked Herbert Travilla, overhearing what she said. "A rest now may save you from a serious break-down some days or weeks hence."
"Yes, Uncle Herbert, I am well aware that such a father as mine is a very great blessing," she returned with a smile. "I only wish I were as good a daughter."
Just at that moment the guns announced the setting of the sun, and the flags on the Dolphin and other vessels came down with the usual ceremonies. That over, those who intended going ashore for the evening or the night began their preparations, which were such as to occupy but a few minutes. Violet put her little ones to bed, and the captain, who had carried sleepy little Ned down to the state-room, on coming out into the saloon found Lucilla there waiting to speak to him.
"Papa," she said humbly, "have you quite forgiven my crossness to-night when you refused to let me go ashore? I am very, very sorry for it, but I am perfectly satisfied now with your decision; I was, the next minute, and oh, I do love you dearly, dearly, though I can hardly expect you to believe it when—when I'm so ready to be rebellious," she added, hiding her face on his breast, for he had taken her into his arms the moment she began to speak.
"Yet I do believe it, my own darling," he replied in tender tones, smoothing her hair caressingly as he spoke. "I fully believe that you love me devotedly, though for a moment you indulged in the old rebellious spirit that used to cause so much pain to both you and me. However, this is almost the first time I have seen any show of it for two or three years. In all that time you have been as willingly and cheerfully obedient as anyone could ask or expect a daughter to be."
"Oh, thank you, my dear father, for saying that!" she responded, lifting to his, eyes beaming with happiness, "and I do intend that it shall be my very last failure to be as promptly and cheerfully obedient as possible, for I know you never deny me anything, unless you see that it is for my good, and I have never known you to make a mistake about that. Do you want Grace and me to go to bed as soon as you and the others are gone?"
"I think it would be well for you to do so, but if you both prefer it you may stay on deck for another half hour."
"Then I will get ready for bed at once, papa, for I want to do exactly as you think best, and I know Gracie does also."
"Yes, I know she does; and, by the way, I must carry her down before I go; she is so weary, poor child," he said, hurrying up to the deck.
Lucilla waited only to see the others off, then joined her sister in their state-room.
"You poor dear, you are so tired!" she exclaimed, noticing Grace's weary expression and heavy eyes. "You must let me help you with your preparations for bed."
"Thank you, Lu," returned Grace; "you are such a dear sister—always so kind and helpful to me; but I am sorry that for my sake you should lose the pleasure of going to the Court of Honor with the others to-night."
"O Gracie, you know we always find out in the end that papa's way is the best for us both, and he refused my request for my own sake as well as yours."
"Yes; he is the very kindest and best of fathers," said Grace; "he never refuses any one of his children anything he can give them when he thinks it good for them."
"But now I must stop talking and go to sleep as quickly as possible, as he bade me when he brought me down here."
Both she and Lucilla were asleep in a few minutes and awoke the next morning feeling greatly refreshed and rested.
"Shall we visit the Turkish village to-day?" asked Violet at the breakfast table.
"I say aye to that," said Walter. "I want to see it and make some purchases there. I've heard that there is a street there with booths along on the side and a bazaar where one can buy various kinds of Turkish goods. I want to get some if only for curiosities."
"And for a quarter you can go up in the restaurant and see the girls dance," said his sister Rosie; "or into the theatre to look at a representation of Mohammedan home life and adventure. So Mr. Will Croly told me."
"Well, I don't know about going to the theatre," returned Walter, "but I'd like to see their mosque with its minaret, at noon or sunset, when a real muezzin comes out and calls upon the faithful to remember Allah and give him glory."
"He does it at sunrise too, doesn't he?" asked Evelyn Leland.
"Yes; but we'll never get over there in time for that. Some of our American folks don't know what he is about,—not understanding his language—and imagine that he's selling popcorn or advertising the dance-house, or maybe calling for somebody to come and help him down."
"How, Uncle Wal?" asked Neddie.
"With a ladder, I suppose."
"Do they bring it to him?"
"I don't think they have yet, Neddie; at least I haven't heard of it. But wouldn't you like to go and see it all?"
"Yes; if papa will take me; and mamma will go too."
"How many would like to go?" asked the captain, and everyone responding in favor of so doing the question was considered settled.
They set out at their usual early hour, met Harold and Herbert in the Peristyle, lingered a little in the Court of Honor, then made their way to the Turkish village, went through the booths and bazaar, making a number of purchases, looked at the mosque and heard the noon cry of the muezzin.
Then they visited an Arabian tent and the fac-simile of a house in Damascus. In the tent there were male and female Arabs sitting cross-legged; some of them boiling coffee, or making thin wafer cakes, while others played on odd looking instruments and chanted in monotonous tones.
The party went into the house, found that it contained but one room, oblong in shape, with high ceiling, and windows just beneath the cornice.
"That would hardly do for Americans," remarked Walter, gazing up at them, "for we could not see into the street."
"We could go to the door, Uncle Walter," said Elsie.
"Or have a step-ladder to carry about from one window to another," laughed Rosie.
"I like the festooned walls, the fountain in the centre, and the thick rugs on the floors," remarked Violet; "the hanging lamps too, and ornaments of rich woods inlaid with ivory; also the divans that look like such comfortable resting-places."
"Yes, madame would find them pleasant to rest upon," responded a young Turk in excellent, but quaintly intoned, English; then he went on to explain everything in the same tongue.
Their next visit was to Cairo Street, at the gate of which ten cents was asked for the admission of each one of the party; a small sum they thought, to give in payment for a sight of all that was on exhibition inside. Having passed through the gate they found themselves in a street square, with a cafe opening into it on one side. Entering it they sat down and looked about them.
Captain Raymond, who had been more than once in Cairo itself, pronounced the scene an exact copy of what was to be found there, and they presently learned that the doors and wooden-grated windows had been brought bodily from that city.
They could see projecting balconies, mysterious archways, airy loggias, and tiny shops filled to overflowing with such things as many a one would want to buy, and being in easy circumstances they bought a number of articles such as were not too heavy or cumbersome to be easily carried.
Soon, however, their attention was turned to the crowds in the streets. Near by was a donkey and camel stand—donkeys standing and camels lying down in their own peculiar fashion.
"Oh, what funny fellows!" laughed little Ned.
"Yes," said his father, "those are camels. Would you like to take a ride on one?"
"No, sir; I might fall off."
"Yes, Ned, and hurt yourself; maybe break your leg; and it would take even Cousin Arthur a good while to mend it; so that you would miss the pleasure of going about with the rest of us," said Walter.
"I don't want to ride just now," said Ned, "but if I did I'd rather try one of those little horses."
"Donkeys, Ned," corrected his sister Lucilla, "and what little fellows they are! no bigger than Max's dog Prince!"
"Oh, see!" cried Rosie with a merry laugh, "that one going down the street knocked against that big fat man and almost upset him."
"Notice the drivers," said Evelyn, "all so swarthy and with such black eyes, naked feet, long caftans, fez, and turbans. And what a keen watch they keep for customers. Evidently they do not despise American dollars, dimes, or cents."
"No, indeed! not they," said Walter. "Oh, there are a couple who evidently contemplate taking a ride on a camel; see, the young fellow seems to be bargaining with one of the drivers; and how the people are crowding round to look and listen!"
"What's the price?" they heard the young man ask. They did not catch the reply, but he went on with his questions: "Will he bite? Is he quite tame? Is there any danger at all?"
"No-a bite," returned the driver; "good camel," and as he spoke he reached for the girl, who shrank back a little. But he quickly lifted her to the saddle and showed her how to hold on.
Then the young man climbed up behind her, reached around her waist and seized the hand-hold as if determined that nothing should tear it from his grasp.
The girl noticed it and grew more frightened, turning a trifle paler and asking: "Is there any danger?"
But the driver was already tugging at the halter and striking the camel over the neck with his stick, and slowly it spread out its hind legs, rising on them first, and throwing its riders forward till it seemed as if they must slide down his sloping neck and fall to the ground.
The girl screamed, as her hat fell over her eyes, but both she and her escort held on with a deathlike grip.
The camel paused for a moment, then swayed back and forth sideways; the girl screamed again, but the camel was only untangling his legs, and the next instant settled himself on them in a way that threw his riders backward so that they would have fallen off behind but for their firm grasp of the ropes.
But now the camel was fairly upon his four feet, and slowly turning round with a wobbling motion like a boat caught in a trough of waves; the riders had recovered from their fright, and were both laughing. All this time the crowd had been standing round watching the two, and laughing and tittering, for, risky as the whole proceeding looked, there was really very little, if any, danger.
"Let us go now to the Guatemala Building," said Harold as they left Cairo Street. "I should like you all to see the grotto with its specimens of the fauna of the country, among which is a remarkable bird called the gavila, which sings the half-hours with unvarying regularity, showing itself as correct as a sundial, and almost as useful as a government observatory."
"Is it sure to wake and sing every half-hour in the night, uncle?" asked little Elsie.
"Oh, no! It is only a day clock; stops attending to the business at sundown and begins again in the morning."
They were interested in the strange bird; the older people in a map also, showing the locations of the principal towns and railways, and in the exhibit, in an open court and about a fountain, of the flora of the country; also some pictures hung about the balcony, showing the principal places in the city of Guatemala and other large towns.
"I feel a particular interest in Korea just at present," remarked Grandma Elsie as they left the Guatemalan Building, "and if entirely agreeable to the rest of you, I should like, now, to look at their exhibit in the Manufacturers' Building."
"Yes, mother; it is in the southwestern part," returned Harold, leading the way. "The booth is small, but crowded with exhibits. The Korean Royal Commissioner—with the singular name of Jeung Kiung Wow—has charge of it.
"That is a funny name, uncle," laughed Ned.
"And yet our names may have just as funny a sound to him," Violet said, smiling down at her little son.
When they reached the Korean booth the first thing that attracted their attention was the flag hanging from it. The captain was able to explain its design, and did so, the others listening with interest.
"It represents the male and female elements of nature," he said. "You see it is blue and yellow: the blue represents the heavenly, or male element, the yellow the earthly, or female. You see the heavens across the eastern sea and they seem to lap over and embrace the earth, while the earth to landward rises in lofty mountains and folds the heavens in its embrace, so making a harmonious whole. The four characters around the central figure represent the four points of the compass."
They passed in and found a good many sights which interested them—banners and lanterns, and bronze table and dinner set for one person, a cupboard with dishes, a fire pot and tools, boots and shoes of leather, wood, and straw; a kite and reel, a board on which is played a game resembling chess, white and blue vases, and a very old brass cannon used in the American attack on Korean forts in the seventies. Also there were banners hanging on the walls of the booth, and here and there stood screens, one of which was hand-embroidered by the ladies of the palace.
On dummies in the centre of the room were shown ancient warriors' costumes, the court dress of both a military and a civil official, and a lady's dress for the dance. And in an upright glass case were shown an embroidered silk cushion, various dress fabrics, a lady's dress and a lady's court dress and various articles of footgear.
There was a map showing Korea and adjacent countries, and attached to it was a paper headed, "Questions Answered."
Mr. Dinsmore stood before it and read of them aloud:
"Korea and Corea are both correct, but the former is preferred.
"Korea is not a part of China, but is independent.
"The Koreans do not speak the Chinese language, and their language resembles neither the Chinese nor the Japanese.
"Korea made treaties in 1882.
"All the articles are owned by the government.
"Korea has electric lights, steamships, telegraph, but no railroads.
"Koreans live in comfortable houses, heated by flues under the floor.
"Korean civilization is ancient and high; area one hundred thousand square miles; population sixteen million; climate like that of Chicago, country mountainous, mineral wealth undeveloped, agricultural products chiefly rice, beans, wheat, and corn."