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Elsie at the World's Fair
by Martha Finley
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"I am glad we came," remarked Rosie as they passed out of the booth, "for I know a good deal more about Korea than I did before, and find it a far more interesting country than I had any idea that it was."

The next visit was to the rotunda of the Government Building, where they found many mural paintings of famous incidents in American history and scenes in our largest cities, so that it was a good representation of our whole country.

In the rotunda was a hollow section of one of the largest trees that grow in the Maraposa grove of red woods in California. The interior was brilliantly lighted by means of incandescent lights, and a platform at the top of the trunk was reached by an inside, winding stairway. The chamber walls were covered with photographs showing the grove from which the tree trunk was cut, and how it was conveyed to the Fair and set up.

There were besides eight alcoves in the rotunda, in which were many articles, Colonial relics—such as the pipe which Miles Standish smoked, the first Bible brought to this country, in 1620, the year of the landing of the Pilgrims—a piece of the torch Putnam used when he entered the wolf's cave, the fife of Benedict Arnold, and many another scarcely less interesting.

"I think my two elder daughters have borne well the exertions of the day," the captain remarked, with a smiling glance at them, as again they stood upon the deck of the Dolphin.

"Yes, father; thanks to your kind thoughtfulness in sending us so early to bed last night," returned Lucilla, with a grateful, loving look up into his face. "The longer I live the more thoroughly convinced I am that you always know what is best for me."

"That is just my experience, Lu," laughed Violet, standing near, "and I'll venture to assert that Grace can say the same."

"Indeed I can!" responded Grace heartily, "and it is a great satisfaction to have one so wise, kind, and good almost always at hand to decide doubtful questions for you."

"Tut! tut! I wonder if any other man was ever tried with so much gross flattery," exclaimed the captain in feigned displeasure.

But at that moment others stepped upon the deck and their presence put an end to the bit of familiar family chat, Violet and her husband hastening to welcome their guests; for among the arrivals were Annis and several others from Pleasant Plains, whom they had not seen for some days—it being an easy matter for friends to miss each other among the crowds and the various buildings at the Fair; also Chester and Frank Dinsmore and Mr. Hugh Milburn, who had not been seen there before.

"Why, how do you do, cousin? I did not know you had arrived in the city," said Violet, offering her hand.

"Very well, thank you. I arrived only last night," he said, "and was not able to hunt you up till now. Ah, father, Cousin Elsie, captain,"—shaking hands with each in turn—"it does one good to see all your kind, pleasant faces."

"And us to see yours," returned Violet. "But where are Ella and the boy?"

"At home," he answered; "at least that's where I left them."

"But why didn't you bring them along?" asked his father; "the bit laddie is not likely to have another chance to look at such sights as one may see here to-day."

"His mother thought him rather young for that, seeing he is not very far along in his second year," replied Hugh, "nor could she be persuaded to leave him behind. He is a person of consequence in his mother's eyes, is my little Ronald, if in no other."

"Ah, I can understand that," laughed Violet. "But now, Cousin Hugh, you must let me have the pleasure of introducing you to the cousins from Pleasant Plains."

It was quite a gathering of relatives and friends, all weary enough with the day's exertions in sight-seeing to enjoy resting in comfortable chairs on the vessel's deck, while comparing notes as to their experiences since coming to the Fair; what each had seen and heard, what they were planning yet to see, some caring more especially for one class of curiosities, some for another.

But hardly a half hour had passed when they were summoned to an excellent repast, after which they again repaired to the deck, where they gathered in groups and indulged in further chat.

Grace was a little apart from the others, reclining in a steamer chair.

"Are you very, very tired, Gracie?" asked Walter, coming to her side.

"Pretty tired," she answered, smiling up into his face. "Why? did you want me to do anything?"

"Oh, no! no, indeed! but I was just thinking that now that we have two ventriloquists here, we might have some fun—for so far as I know the folks from Pleasant Plains don't know anything about the extraordinary powers of Cousins Ronald and Hugh—and I hoped you weren't too tired to enjoy it."

"I don't believe I am," she laughed; "and I think I shall enjoy it if papa doesn't send me to bed too soon. It was very good in you to think of me, Walter."

"Was it, when you are the girl that always thinks of everybody else?"

"Not always, Walter. I am afraid I very often think of myself first."

"Do you? I never knew it before," he laughed; then hurrying to old Mr. Lilburn's side, whispered something in his ear.

The old gentleman smiled, and gave a nod of assent. "I like to please you, laddie," he said in an undertone. "So does Hugh, and mayhap atween us we can accomplish something worth while."

"Oh, thank you," returned Walter. "I do think, cousin, that a little fun would do us all good. We've been dining heartily—at least I have—and I think a good laugh assists digestion."

Hugh sat near, chatting with Captain Raymond. Walter now turned to him with a whispered request which he seemed to grant as readily as his father had the one made of him.

At that Rosie and Lucilla, who were watching Walter with apparent interest in his proceedings, exchanged a glance of mingled amusement and satisfaction, while Grace, whose eyes were following his movements, laughed softly to herself; for she was in the mood for a bit of fun, and saw in all this the promise of some.

"Dear me, what a lot o' folks! and all lookin' so comfortable-like. They've had a good dinner,—or supper, whichever they call it—you bet, Joe, while we're as hungry as bears," said a rough, masculine voice which seemed to come from a spot close in Captain Raymond's rear.

Before the sentence was half finished every other voice was hushed and all eyes were turned in the direction from which the sound seemed to come. Everyone was startled for an instant, but by the time the sentence was finished the captain looked perfectly calm and cool.

"Who are you? and how did you come aboard the vessel?" he asked.

"In the boat, sir; same as the rest o'e company," was the reply in the same voice.

"Without waiting for an invitation, eh?"

"Humph! might 'a' missed it if we'd waited. Say, capting, are you mean enough to let us fellows go hungry when you have a vessel full o' good things for eatin'? To say nothing of a pocket full o' tin?"

"If any would not work, neither should he eat," quoted the captain. "What work have you two been about to-day?"

"Same as yerself, sir; lookin' at the exhibits in this here big World's Fair."

"Very well; you may go and ask the steward for some supper."

A sound of retreating footsteps followed, and those of the guests who were not in the secret looked about here and there in blank astonishment.

"Well, really! am I going blind?" ejaculated young Percy Landreth, passing his hand over his eyes in a bewildered way. "I couldn't see those fellows at all."

"Oh, no!" said Lucilla, "one can sometimes hear what one cannot see."

But at that instant there was a "cluck, cluck," as of a hen which seemed to come from Annis' lap, and at which she sprang to her feet with a slight cry of astonishment and dismay, but seeing nothing, "Why, where is it?" she asked half breathlessly, and the "cluck, cluck," was repeated apparently from behind the chair of her next neighbor, and immediately followed by a loud barking as if a dog were in chase of the chicken.

"Oh!" exclaimed Annis, turning her eyes upon the elder Mr. Lilburn, "I think I know—I've heard——"

But a warning gesture from Violet, whose face was full of amusement, stopped her, and she dropped into her chair again with a slight, mirthful laugh and a look of relief and diversion.

Percy saw it and suddenly comprehended pretty accurately what was going on. Yet at the same moment he was startled and annoyed by a loud buzzing about his ears as though a bee were flying round and round his head. He put up his hand and tried to knock it away. Then it seemed to fly to Chester and though he was not wholly unacquainted with the powers of Cousin Ronald and Hugh, he too involuntarily made an effort to dodge and drive it away.

Then the squeak of a mouse came from a reticule on Lucilla's lap, and that so unexpectedly that she gave a little scream, at the same time springing to her feet, and throwing the reticule from her.

At that her father laughed, and she picked it up again and reseated herself with a slightly mortified air.

"Let me get that mouse out for you, Lu," said Herbert, holding out his hand for the reticule; but scarcely were the words out of his mouth when the meow of a kitten, coming from his coat pocket, caused him to suddenly and almost involuntarily clap his hand upon it.

"Yes, Uncle Herbert, take the mouse out and give it to the cat," returned Lulu quickly, handing the reticule to him as she spoke.

"Thank you," he returned laughingly, "but I really don't believe the creature is hungry."

"Oh, uncle, let me see that pussy!" cried Ned, running to him.

"Put your hand into my pocket and try if you can find it," was the good-humored reply, and Neddie at once availed himself of the permission.

"Why, it isn't there!" he exclaimed. "How do you s'pose it got out?"

"I'm inclined to think it never got in, Ned," said his uncle.

"Oh, it's in mine!" cried the little fellow excitedly, and clapping his hand upon his pocket, as a pitiful meow seemed to come from it. "Why, I can't feel it. Papa,"—running to him,—"please take it out, I can't."

The captain took hold of the pocket. "You made a mistake, son; it isn't there. I feel nothing but your handkerchief and a few other little soft articles."

"Why—why, how queer!" exclaimed the little fellow, "I was sure I heard it in there, papa. Oh, what is that?" as the squeal of a young pig seemed to come from his father's pocket; but at that instant the loud and furious bark of a big dog seemed to come from some place in his rear very near at hand, and with a little cry of affright he made haste to climb upon his father's knee for protection, putting his arms about his neck and clinging tightly to him.

But just then a loud cry came from below: "Help! help! these rascally fellows are stealing the silver! Captain Raymond, sir, help, or they'll throttle me!"

At that the captain sprang to his feet, set Ned in his mother's lap, and hurried below, while the young men rose hastily to go to his assistance, even those of them who were well acquainted with Cousin Ronald's powers, thinking for an instant that the alarm was real. But a laugh of amusement from him and his son let them into the secret that it was but a false alarm, the trick of a ventriloquist, and they resumed their seats as hastily as they had arisen from them.

"Oh, oh," cried Ned, "I'm so afraid my dear papa will get hurt! Uncle Harold and Uncle Herbert, won't you go and help papa fight those bad men? Please go quick! Oh, please do!"

"Oh, no, Neddie, papa is so big and strong that he doesn't need any help to make such fellows behave themselves," said Lucilla. "And here he comes all safe and sound," as the captain stepped upon the deck again.

"Well, captain," said Grandma Elsie, looking up smilingly into his face as he drew near, "did you catch the rogues?"

"No, mother, I could not find the least trace of them," he answered gravely. Then, turning to the elder Mr. Lilburn: "Cousin Ronald," he asked, "do you think you would know them if you were to see them?"

"I know them, cousin captain!" exclaimed the old gentleman in well-feigned astonishment. "Can it be possible you mean to insinuate that I am the associate of beggars and thieves?"

"I mean no offence, sir," returned the captain with a twinkle of fun in his eye, "but it sometimes happens that a very honest and honorable man may be well acquainted with the appearance of some dastardly villain."

"I'm no sich a character as that," snarled a rough voice that seemingly came from a part of the deck in Mr. Lilburn's rear, and sounded very much like the one which had demanded some supper a short time before, "an' I hope it isn't me you're ameanin', fer I'm as honest an' decent a man as any in this crowd, ef I do say it, that shouldn't."

"Who is that man? I couldn't see him the other time, and I can't see him now," exclaimed little Elsie, gazing round in wide-eyed wonder; for she had never quite understood Cousin Ronald's performances, and was much puzzled to comprehend all that was now being done and said.

"I say, capting," cried another strange voice, it also coming apparently from an invisible speaker, "why upon airth don't you put that impident critter off the boat? I'd do it in a jiffy if 'twas me."

"You have my permission to do so, sir," returned the captain, "but perhaps he will go presently of his own accord."

"Hollo!" shouted a strange voice that seemed to come from the water near at hand, and was followed immediately by the dip of an oar, "I say, what's the matter up there on that deck? If I was capting o' that yacht, there shouldn't be no such goings on aboard it."

"The impudence of the fellow!" exclaimed Lucilla, forgetting for the moment the presence of two ventriloquists, and, springing up, she was about to rush to the side of the vessel to get a sight of the boatman; but her father, turning toward her with a smile, laid a detaining hand on her arm, while at the same time he called out in good-humored tones:

"Suppose you board us then, sir, and show what you can do."

"Humph!" snarled the voice that seemed so near at hand, "you'd better try it, old feller, whomsoever you be, but I bet you'll find me an' Joe here more'n a match fer you."

"Oh, Bill, I say, let's git out o' this!" exclaimed a third voice, apparently close at hand; "we've had our fill o' grub and might as well make ourselves scarce now."

"All right, Joe," returned the voice of the first speaker; "we'll git inter that feller's boat, and no doubt he'll take us ashore to git rid of us."

A sound as of retreating footsteps followed, then all was quiet.

"Very well done, Cousin Ronald; one could almost see those fellows," laughed the captain.

"I couldn't see them, papa," said little Elsie. "I could only hear them. What was the reason?"

"Suppose you ask Cousin Ronald," was her father's reply.

"So you are a ventriloquist, sir?" remarked Percy Landreth, in a tone between assertion and enquiry, and giving the old gentleman a look of mingled curiosity and amusement.

"You think so, do you, sir? But why should I be suspected more than anyone else in this company of friends and relatives?" asked Cousin Ronald in a quiet tone.

"Well, sir, it seems to me evident from all I have seen and heard. All appear to look to you as one who is probably at the bottom of all these mysterious doings."

"No, not quite all, Percy," Violet said with a smile.

"So there are two, are there?" queried Percy. "Then the other, I presume, is Mr. Hugh Lilburn."

"O Percy!" cried Lucilla in half reproachful tones, "I wish you hadn't found out quite so soon; because it spoils the fun."

"Oh, no, not quite, I think," he returned, "for I noticed that even those who must have been in the secret were occasionally taken by surprise."

"Yes," she admitted with a laugh, "I did think for a moment that there was a man calling to us from a boat down there on the lake, and that there was a mouse in my reticule."



CHAPTER XIV.

Sight-seeing was resumed again the next day, much time being spent in the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, the marvel of the Exposition, covering more than forty acres of ground, and filled with curious and beautiful things from almost every quarter of the globe. Hours were spent there, then a ride in an electric boat on the lagoon was taken as a restful form of recreation.

The greater part of the afternoon was spent in the ever-fascinating Midway Plaisance, then they returned to the yacht for their evening meal and an hour or two of restful chat in the easy-chairs on its deck, and with the setting of the sun the older ones returned to the Court of Honor, leaving the children in bed and under the ever-watchful care of their nurse.

Much the same sort of life continued for a week or more; then many of the friends found it necessary to return to their homes. The cousins from Pleasant Plains were among that number, and the day before leaving young Percy seized a rare opportunity for a word in private with Captain Raymond.

"I have been coveting such a chance as this, sir," he said, coloring with embarrassment, "but—but couldn't find it till now. I—I—want——"

"Speak out, my young friend," said the captain kindly, "I am ready to listen to whatever you may have to say, and if in my power to assist you in any way, shall feel it a pleasure to do so; particularly as you are a relative of my wife."

Percy had had but little opportunity for showing his penchant for Lucilla, and the young girl's father was not thinking of her, but imagined there might be some business venture in which the young man desired his assistance.

"You have perhaps something to tell me of your plans and prospects for the future," he said enquiringly, "and if so, possibly I may be able to exert influence, or render assistance, in some way; it will give me pleasure, I assure you, to do anything in my power; so do not be afraid to speak out."

"You are very kind, captain, very kind indeed," stammered Percy, flushing more hotly than before, "but that—that is not it exactly. I hope you won't be angry, but I have been trying to screw up my courage to ask for—something far more valuable than money, influence, or anything else that could be thought of. I—I love your daughter, sir,—Miss Lucilla—and—and I hope you won't forbid me to tell her so."

He drew a sigh of relief that at last the Rubicon was crossed—his desire and purpose made known; but a glance at the captain's grave and troubled face dashed his hopes to the ground.

A moment of silence followed, then Captain Raymond spoke in gentle, sympathetic tones.

"I am sorry, very sorry to disappoint you, my young friend; but I cannot grant your request. Lucilla is but a child yet—a mere school-girl; and such I intend to keep her for some six years or more to come. I have no objection to you more than to any other man, but cannot consent to allowing her to be approached on that subject until she reaches much more mature years."

"And in the meantime somebody else will in all probability get ahead of me," sighed Percy. "Oh, sir, can I not persuade you to revoke that decision and let me at least learn from her own lips whether or not she cares for me?"

"I think I can furnish all the information you wish in that line," returned the captain, laying a kindly hand on the young man's shoulder, "for hardly an hour ago she told me—as she has many times before—that she loved no one else in the wide world half so dearly as her father."

"Well, sir, I am glad of it, since you won't let me speak yet," said Percy with a rueful sort of smile. "But—please don't blame me for it—but I can't feel satisfied to be forbidden to speak a word, considering how very far apart our homes are, and that we may not meet again for years—if ever—and that—Chester Dinsmore, who is, I can see plainly enough, over head and ears in love with her—will be near her all the time and have every chance to cut me out."

"No," said the captain, "I shall give him no chance either. I fully intend keeping my little girl to myself—as I have already told you—for at least six or eight years to come."

"And you have no objection to me personally, sir?"

"None whatever; in fact, from all I have seen and heard I am inclined to think you a fine fellow; almost equal to my own boy, Max," Captain Raymond said with a smile: "and if my daughter were of the right age, and quite ready and willing to leave her father, I should have but one objection to your suit—that you would take her so far away from me."

"Possibly I might not, sir, should there be an opening for me near where you reside. I think the Bible says it is the man who is to leave father and mother and cleave to his wife."

"True, my young friend," returned the captain; "but the time I have set is too far away to make it worth our while to consider that question at present."

With that the interview closed, and the two parted, the captain to be confronted a few minutes later by Chester Dinsmore, with a like request to that just denied to Percy.

"No, no, Chester," he said, "it is not to be thought of; Lucilla is entirely too young to leave her father's fostering care and take up the duties and trials of married life. I cannot consent to your saying a word to her on the subject for years to come."

"You have no objection to me personally, I trust, sir?" returned the young man, looking chagrined and mortified.

"None whatever," Captain Raymond hastened to say. "I have just given the same answer to another suitor, and there is one consideration which inclines me to prefer you to him; namely, that you are a near neighbor to us at Woodburn; so that in giving up my daughter to you I should feel the parting much less than if she were about to make her home so far North as this."

"Well, sir, that's a crumb of comfort, though to be often in her company—seeing her lovely face and watching her pretty ways—will make it all the more difficult to refrain from showing my esteem, admiration, love. In fact, I don't know how to stand it. Excuse me, captain, but what harm could there be in telling her my story and trying to win my way to her heart, provided—I spoke of marriage only as something to be looked for in the far-off future?"

"No, I cannot consent to that," returned the captain with decision. "It would only put mischief into her head and rob her of her child-like simplicity. She is still too young to know her own mind on that subject and might fancy that she had given her heart to one who would, a few years later, be entirely distasteful to her. But I trust you, Chester, not to breathe a word to her of your—what shall I call it?—admiration until you have my consent."

"It is more than admiration, sir!" exclaimed Chester. "I love her as I never loved anything before in my life, and it would just about kill me to see her in the possession of another."

"Then comfort yourself that for years to come no one's suit will be listened to any more favorably than yours," returned the father of the girl he so coveted, and with that the interview came to an end.

Their conversation had been held at one end of the deck while the rest of the party sat chatting together at the other. The captain and Chester joined them now and entered into the talk, which ran principally upon the fact that all the relatives from Pleasant Plains must leave for home the next day.

"How would you all like to go by water?" asked Captain Raymond, as if the thought of such a possibility had just struck him.

"I do not believe the idea has occurred to any of us," replied Annis, "and since the building of the railroad so few make the journey by water that the boats running on our river are few, small, and I presume not remarkably comfortable."

"How would this one answer?" he asked. "It is but thirty-eight miles across the lake; I think we would find your river navigable nearly or quite up to your town, and to reach it from here would not take more than six or eight hours."

"Then they could all go, as they need not all spend the night, or any part of it, on board," exclaimed Violet in tones of delight. "Oh, Cousin Annis, and all of you, do agree to it, and we will have a charming little trip!"

"Indeed, so far as I am concerned nothing could be pleasanter, I am sure," said Annis, looking highly pleased; "but—I fear it would be giving you a great deal of trouble, captain."

"Not at all," he returned, "but on the contrary it will, I think, be a very enjoyable little trip to me and my wife and children."

"Oh, I should like it very much!" exclaimed Lucilla; "there would be such a nice large party of us all the way to Pleasant Plains—supposing your river is navigable so far for a vessel of this size—and then the trip up the lake, a little visit to Mackinaw, and the sail back again, would be a restful and enjoyable break in the visit here to the Fair."

"What do you say to the plan, Grandpa and Grandma Dinsmore, and mother?" asked the captain, turning toward them. "And you, Cousin Ronald?"

All expressed themselves as well pleased with the idea, and it was decided to carry it out.

"We will be happy to have you accompany us also, Chester and Frank, should you care to do so," said the captain cordially, "though I fear it will rob you of some of the time you had planned to spend at the Fair."

"Thank you, captain," said Frank, "I, for one, accept your very kind invitation with great pleasure. It will give me a glimpse of a part of our big country that I have never seen—in the pleasantest of company, too; and as to our visit to the Fair, we can prolong it by another week, if we choose."

"So we can," said his brother, "and I, too, accept your kind invitation, captain, with cordial thanks."

"Then let me advise you of Pleasant Plains to be on board here, bag and baggage, by eight, or at the latest nine, o'clock to-morrow morning," said Captain Raymond. "We will be happy to have you take breakfast here with us, and we may as well be on our way across the lake while eating. Then I hope to have you at your destination by seven or eight in the evening, and, leaving you there, steam on down the river and up the lake, the rest of my passengers resting in their berths as usual."

"Then it will take about all of the next day to get to Mackinaw, won't it, papa?" asked Grace.

"Probably."

"And how long will we stay there?"

"I suppose that will depend upon how we enjoy ourselves. I think it likely you will all be satisfied with a day or two, as there is so much that will interest you here which you have not yet seen."

"Cousin Annis," said Violet, "would you not be willing to make one of our party? I am sure that with a little crowding we could accommodate you very easily."

"Thank you very much, cousin," replied Annis, "but I fear my company would not repay you for the necessary crowding."

At that several voices exclaimed that it certainly would; the young girls adding that they could crowd a little closer together without feeling it any inconvenience, and the captain saying laughingly that impromptu beds would have to be provided in the saloon for Chester and Frank, and he would join them there, so leaving a vacant place for her with his wife; and with a little more persuasion Annis accepted the invitation, knowing that she could be well spared for a time from the large circle of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces: the dear old father and mother having been taken, some years before, to their heavenly home.

"I wish we could take Cousin Arthur, Marian, and Hugh with us," said Violet; "though they are not here to-night, they must still be in the city, I think."

"Yes," said her husband, "and I think we might manage to accommodate them also, should they care to go; but probably they will prefer having that much more time to spend at the Fair."

It was a beautiful moonlight evening, and after a little more chat in regard to the arrangements to be made for the morrow's journey, all except the children, who were already in bed, went together to the Court of Honor: from there to the Midway Plaisance, then to the Ferris Wheel, in which everyone was desirous to take a ride by moonlight; nor were they by any means disappointed in it.

On leaving the Wheel they bade each other good-night and scattered to their several resting places—the cousins to their boarding-house, the others to the yacht.

A little before eight o'clock the next morning there was a cheerful bustle on board the Dolphin. The extra passengers arrived safely and in good season, with their luggage, and found everything on the boat in good trim, and an excellent breakfast awaiting them and the others.

The weather was all that could be desired; they were congenial spirits, and the day passed most delightfully. But though the young people were very sociable, no one seeming to be under any restraint, neither Chester nor Percy found an opportunity for any private chat with Lucilla. The fact was that the captain had had a bit of private talk with his wife and her mother, in which he gave them an inkling into the state of affairs as concerned the two young men and his eldest daughter, and requested their assistance in preventing either one from so far monopolizing the young girl as to be tempted into letting her into the secret of his feelings toward her.

They reached Pleasant Plains early in the evening, landed the cousins belonging there, with the single exception of Miss Annis Keith, then turned immediately and went down the river again, reaching the lake about the usual time for retiring to their berths.

The rest of their voyage was as delightful as that of the first day had been, and spent in a similar manner. As they sat together on the deck, toward evening, Grace asked her father if Mackinaw had not been the scene of something interesting in history.

"There was a dreadful massacre there many years ago," he replied; "it was in 1763, by the Indians under Pontiac, an Indian chief. It was at the time of his attack on Detroit. There is a cave shown on the island in which the whites took refuge, but the Indians kindled a fire at its mouth and smoked them—men, women, and children—to death."

"Oh, how dreadful, papa! how very dreadful!" she exclaimed.

"Yes," he said, "those were dreadful times; but often the poor Indians were really less to blame than the whites, who urged them on—the French against the English and the English against the Americans.

"Pontiac was the son of an Ojibway woman, and chief of that tribe, also of the Ottawas and the Pottawattamies, who were in alliance with the Ojibways. In 1746 he and his warriors defended the French at Detroit against an attack by some of the northern tribes, and in 1755 he took part in their fight with Braddock, acting as the leader of the Ottawas."

"I wonder," said Grace, as her father paused for a moment in his narrative, "if he was the Indian who, in that fight, aimed so many times at Washington, yet failed to hit him, and at last gave up the attempt to kill him, concluding that he must be under the special protection of the Great Spirit."

"That I cannot tell," her father said. "But whoever that Indian may have been I think he was right in his conclusion—that God protected and preserved our Washington that he might play the important part he did in securing his country's freedom.

"But to return to my story. Pontiac hated the English, though after the surrender of Quebec, some years after Braddock's defeat—finding that the French had been driven from Canada, he acquiesced in the surrender of Detroit to the English, and persuaded four hundred Detroit Indians, who were lying in ambush, intending to cut off the English there, to relinquish their design.

"But he hated the English, and in 1762 he sent messengers to every tribe between the Ottawa and the Mississippi to engage them all in a war of extermination against the English."

"Americans too, papa?" asked little Elsie, who, sitting upon his knee, was listening very attentively to his narrative.

"Yes," he replied, "our States were English colonies then, for the War of the Revolution did not begin until about thirteen years later. The messengers of Pontiac carried with them the red-stained tomahawk and a wampum war-belt, the Indian fashion of indicating that war was purposed, and those to whom the articles were sent were invited to take part in the conflict.

"All the tribes to whom they were sent joined in the conspiracy, and the end of May was decided upon as the time when their bloody purpose should be carried out, each tribe disposing of the garrison of the nearest fort; then all were to act together in an attack upon the settlements.

"On the 27th of April, 1763, a great council was held near Detroit, at which Pontiac made an oration detailing the wrongs and indignities the Indians had suffered at the hands of the English, and prophesying their extermination.

"He told also of a tradition that a Delaware Indian had been admitted into the presence of the Great Spirit, who told him that his race must return to the customs and weapons of their ancestors, throw away those they had gotten from the white men, abjure whiskey, and take up the hatchet against the English. 'These dogs dressed in red,' he called them, 'who have come to rob you of your hunting-grounds and drive away the game.'

"Pontiac's own particular task was the taking of Detroit. The attack was to be made on the 7th of May. But the commander of the fort was warned of their intentions by an Indian girl, and in consequence when Pontiac and his warriors arrived on the scene they found the garrison prepared to receive them. Yet on the 12th he surrounded the fort with his Indians, but was not able to keep a close siege, and the garrison was provided with food by the Canadian settlers."

"They supplied the Indians also, did they not, my dear?" asked Violet.

"Yes," replied the captain, "receiving in return promissory notes drawn on birch bark and signed with the figure of an otter, and it is said that all of them were afterward redeemed by Pontiac, who had issued them."

"That speaks well for the honesty of the Indians if they were savage and cruel," remarked Walter; "and in fact they were hardly more cruel than some of the whites have been to them, and to other whites with whom they were at war."

"Quite true," said the captain.

"But didn't the rest of the English try to help those folks in that fort at Detroit, papa?" asked Elsie.

"Yes; supplies and reinforcements were sent in schooners, by way of Lake Erie, but they were captured by the Indians, who then compelled their prisoners to row them to Detroit, concealed in the bottom of the boat, hoping in that way to take the fort by stratagem; but, fortunately for the besieged, they were discovered before they could land.

"Afterward another schooner, filled with supplies and ammunition, succeeded in reaching the fort, though the Indians repeatedly tried to destroy it by fire-rafts.

"Now the English thought themselves strong enough to attack the Indians, and in the night of July 31 two hundred and fifty men set out for that purpose.

"But the Canadians had learned their intention and told the Indians; so Pontiac was ready and waiting to make an attack, which he did as soon as the English were far enough from their fort for him to do so with advantage, firing upon them from all sides and killing and wounding fifty-nine of them. That fight is known as the fight of 'Bloody Bridge.'

"On the 12th of the next October the siege was raised, and the chiefs of the hostile tribes, with the exception of Pontiac, sued for pardon and peace. Pontiac was not conquered and retired to the country of the Illinois. In 1769 he was murdered in Cahokia, a village on the Mississippi, near St. Louis. The deed was done by an Indian, who had been bribed to do it by an English trader."

"Papa, you have not told us yet what happened at Mackinaw," said Lucilla.

"It, as well as many other forts, was taken by Pontiac's Indians and all the inhabitants of the island were massacred," replied the captain. "There is a cave shown in a hill-side some little distance out from the village in which the French sought refuge, and where they were smoked to death, the Indians kindling fires at its mouth."

"Oh," exclaimed Grace, "I am glad I didn't live in those dreadful days!"

"Yes," said her father, "we have great reason for gratitude that the lines have fallen to us in such pleasant places, and times of peace."



CHAPTER XV.

The Dolphin lay at anchor in Mackinaw Bay only a day or two, in which time her passengers visited the fort, the village, and the cave of which Captain Raymond had spoken as the scene of that dreadful slaughter of the French by the Indians; then started on the return voyage to Chicago.

They were still favored with pleasant weather, and passed most of the time on deck. Mr. Lilburn seemed to appreciate the society of Miss Annis Keith, generally contriving to get a seat in her immediate vicinity, and to engage her in conversation; that did not strike anyone as strange, however, for Annis was a general favorite with both old and young, she showing a cousinly regard for all her relatives; especially for Mrs. Travilla; for the two had been almost lifelong friends. In these few days that they had been together they had had many private chats in which they recalled their early experiences at Pleasant Plains and the Oaks, and Elsie had urged Annis to return with her to Ion and spend the coming winter there.

This invitation Annis was considering, and the more she thought upon it the stronger grew her inclination to accept it. But she must go home first to make some arrangements and preparations, she said.

The two were conversing together thus, as they drew near the end of their little trip, not caring that their talk might be audible to those about them.

"Surely it is not necessary that you should take much time for preparation, Annis," remarked Mr. Dinsmore. "We of Ion and its vicinity have abundance of stores and dress-makers near at hand. And you would better see all that you can of the Fair now, for it will soon be a thing of the past."

"That is true, Cousin Annis," said the captain; "you would better stay with us and see as much as possible."

"You are all very kind, cousins," she answered. "But I fear I am crowding you."

"Not at all," he and Violet replied, speaking together; the latter adding, "We have all slept comfortably, and in the daytime there is certainly abundance of room."

"If you don't stay, Cousin Annis," Rosie said, with a merry look, "we will have to conclude that you have not had room enough to make you quite comfortable."

"Then I certainly must stay," returned Annis, with a smile, "if my going would give so entirely false an impression; since I have had abundance of room and a most delightful time."

"Then you will stay on?"

"Yes, for a while; but I must go home for a day or two at least before leaving for the South."

"We will let you know our plans in season for that," the captain promised, and the thing was considered settled.

When her passengers awoke the next morning the Dolphin was lying at her old anchorage near the beautiful Peristyle.

All had returned rested and refreshed, and were eager to go on shore in search of further entertainment and instruction.

The greater part of the day was spent in the Midway Plaisance. They visited the Lapland family of King Bull, the most prominent character in that village, and found them all seated beside their odd-looking hut, which, like the others in the village, was made of skin, tent-like in shape, and banked up with moss. The entrance was very small, the door made of a piece of wood. A fire was kept burning in the centre of the house, in the ground. There was no chimney; some of the smoke escaped through a little hole in the roof, if the wind was right. But if the wind comes from the wrong direction the smoke stays in the house, and the people enjoy it. It does not, however, improve their complexions, which are said to be, in their native state, not unlike the color of a well-cured ham.

King Bull they found had the largest house, and a very large family.

The Laplanders marry young, and it is not unusual for a grandfather to be under twenty-five years of age. King Bull was one hundred and twelve years old and had great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, and every day he played for a little while with the youngest of those.

Our friends learned that he had with him a son, Bals Bull, ninety years old, that he had a son aged seventy-three, he had a daughter aged fifty-nine, she a son aged forty-one, who had a son aged twenty-nine, who had a daughter aged fourteen, and she a daughter two years old.

"Dear me!" exclaimed Rosie, on hearing this, "how old it makes a body feel! Why, just think! the mother of that two-year-old child is a year younger than you, Grace Raymond; and you don't consider yourself much more than a child yet, do you?"

"No, indeed! and don't want to be anything but my father's own little girl," returned Grace, giving him a loving look that said more than her words.

"Can you tell us if this looks like the real Lapland village, Harold!" asked Walter.

"I am told it does," replied his brother; "that it is as nearly as possible a reproduction of one, though of course it is not very large, there being but twenty-four Laplanders here."

"What do they eat, papa?" asked little Elsie.

"Fish and reindeer meat, and cheese made of the milk. The reindeer is their most valuable possession: its skin is used for clothing, the fur is woven into cloth, they drink the milk, and use the bones in the making of their sledges. They live entirely on such food during their winters, which are nine months long."

"And their summer only three months," said Evelyn, "I shouldn't like that."

"No, nor should I," said Herbert. "I think it must be by far the most enjoyable part of the year, for it is usually spent at the seashore."

"Are they heathen folks, papa?" asked Elsie.

"Most of them are Lutherans," he answered. "Now let us go to the reindeer park." They did so, found nine of the gentle creatures there, saw them get a bath of Lake Michigan water from a hose-pipe, which they were told was given them three times daily. Then they were harnessed to their sledges and driven around the park, just as they are driven in their own country. After that they ran races, then they were fed and milked.

The children had been deeply interested in the gentle reindeer and seemed almost loath to leave them when the performance was over. But those with which they were most delighted were three baby ones, two born on the way over to this country, and one shortly after they reached Chicago, and which was named Columbia.

"Now where shall we go next?" asked Rosie.

"Suppose we try the diving exhibit," said Walter. "It is something I should like to see." They found it on the south side of Midway Plaisance in a small building surrounding a huge tank of water. On the balcony of its second story stood a man turning a force-pump, which seemed to attract a good deal of attention from the passers-by.

Each visitor paid ten cents at the door, then passed up a rude stairway by which he reached the surface of the water. There a lecturer was seated, who explained how the air was made to enter the diver's armor, and how to leave it. Then people were invited to throw small coins into the water. Captain Raymond put a bright dime into the hand of each of his younger children and they gleefully tossed them in. The diver was in the bubbling water, they could not see him, but presently, through a telephone, he gave the dates on the coins. Then he came up to the surface of the water carrying a dummy that looked like a drowned man and let the visitors see him in his armor.

"He looks just like that picture of him that we saw outside," remarked little Elsie. "Ugh! I don't think I should ever be willing to wear such clothes."

"Armor!" corrected her mother in a mirthful tone. "No, dear, I should not want to see you dressed in that style, unless to save you from drowning."

But just then Mr. Dinsmore rose and led the way down another rough pine staircase, the others following.

Reaching the lower story they found a great many peep-holes through which they could look in upon the water of the tank. To each of these holes the diver came in turn, holding up a card on which was printed a farewell compliment. His hands looked shrivelled and soaked, and Grace and the other young girls afterward expressed sincere pity for him, saying they thought his life must be a hard one.

On leaving the diving exhibit they went to the Fisheries Building, which they found very beautiful. In its east pavilion was a double row of grottoed and illuminated aquaria containing the strangest inhabitants of the deep. Here they saw bluefish, sharks, catfish, bill-fish, goldfish, rays, trout, eels, sturgeon, anemones, the king-crab, burr-fish, flounders, toad-fish, and many other beautiful or remarkable inhabitants of the great deep; and the illuminated and decorated aquaria showed them to great advantage. It was said that nothing so beautiful had hitherto been seen west of London.

The surface of the water in the aquaria was many feet above the heads of even the gentlemen of the party, but there were nearly six hundred feet of glass front, so that everybody could have a good view of the strange and beautiful creatures within. They all watched them for some time with curiosity and interest, the little folks questioning their papa about one and another variety, new to them, but old acquaintances to one who had spent many years upon the sea.

"Papa," said Elsie, "there is one that looks a good deal like a flower. Is it a live thing? What is its name?"

"That is what is called the sea anemone," he replied. "It is not a flower though, but an animal. It is said to have been called by the name of that flower about a hundred years ago, by a celebrated investigator in the department of natural history, named Ellis. He thought it a suitable name because their tentacles are in regular circles and tinged with bright, lively colors, nearly representing some of our elegantly fringed flowers, such as the carnation, marigold, and anemone. And so they do while in the water, and undisturbed. But when a receding tide leaves them on the shore they contract into a jelly-like mass with a puckered hole in the top. There"—pointing it out—"is the most common of the British species of sea anemone. It attaches itself to rocks and stones from low-water almost to high-water mark. The tentacula—these feelers that look like the fringe of a flower—you see are nearly as long as the body is high, and nearly of the same color. See, there is an azure line around the base, and on the base are dark green lines converging toward the centre; and around the edge of the mouth is a circle of azure tubercles, like turquoise beads of the greatest beauty. I wish I could show them to you, but the mouth must be expanded in order to make them visible. Ah, that is just the thing!" as someone standing near threw in a bit of meat which had the desired effect, the mouth of the anemone opening wide to receive it.

"Oh, they are very beautiful!" exclaimed Rosie, watching the appearance of the beadlike tubercles of which the captain had just spoken.

"Don't they eat anything but meat, papa?" asked Neddie.

"Yes; crabs, sea-worms, and fish; the tentacula are furnished with minute spears with which they wound their prey and probably convey poison into the wounds."

"I suppose this is salt water they are all in?" Walter said enquiringly, and was told that he was correct in his conjecture.

On leaving the building they spent some time in examining its outside, finding its columns and arches wrought with calamus, fishes, frogs, serpents, and tortoises, making them very appropriate and beautiful.



CHAPTER XVI.

"Papa, I wish we might go back to the Fair directly after supper and spend the evening there," Lucilla said, as again they stood on the Dolphin's deck. "I want so much to see the lighting up of the Court of Honor, then go to the wooded island to see it with the lamps lighted; after that to the Ferris Wheel again, to have the view from it by moonlight."

"Anything more, my child?" returned the captain, with his pleasant smile.

"I think it likely that may do for one evening, sir," she replied; "unless my father wants to take me somewhere else."

"I think we will then come back through the Court of Honor and go to our beds," he said; "that is, should we make the visits proposed, which will depend at least somewhat upon the wishes of others. Violet, my dear, how does that programme suit you?"

"I really do not know of any way of spending the evening that I should enjoy more," answered Violet. "Indeed Lu and I were talking together of our desire to see those sights, not longer ago than yesterday. And you, mother, would like it, would you not?" she asked, turning to Grandma Elsie.

"Very much!" was the reply. "The tired little ones will be left in their bed of course?"

"Yes, indeed! they will be ready for that as soon as they have had their supper," Violet replied, with a loving look into each weary little face. "Come, dears, we will go to our state-room, wash hands and faces, and smooth your hair, and by that time supper will be on the table."

Every one of the company approved of Lucilla's plan for the spending of the evening, and before the sun had quite set they were again in the Court of Honor. They were in season to secure seats from which they could get a good view of the lighting up.

They found there were thousands of people who seemed as anxious as themselves to witness the sudden change from deepening twilight to the grand illumination that made fairyland of the Court of Honor. But they were there for some minutes, sitting silently in the growing darkness, finding the buildings taking on a new beauty by the dim, uncertain light, and feeling it pleasant just to rest, listen to the subdued hum of the thousands of voices of the multitude thronging about the white railing guarding the fountains, the doorways, the stone steps leading down to the water, and every place where a human creature could find room to sit down and rest while waiting for a sight of the expected lighting up.

There seemed no ill-humor among the great throng, no loud, angry talk, but a subdued buzz like many telephone messages coming over the wire at the same time.

Our friends sat where they could see both the Administration Dome and the Golden Statue at the other end of the lagoon. They had sat in silence there for some minutes, the darkness deepening, when suddenly there was a blare of music, the fountains threw up a few thin columns of spray, the front of a dark building was instantly illumined with a thousand jewel-like lights, then another and another blazed out in the same manner till all were alight with tiny jets of flame; three rows, the first or highest following the cornices all round the court: these were of a golden hue; while some distance lower down was a second silver-colored row, then the last, ranged just under the parapet of the lagoon, were golden like the first. The mingled light of all three shone on the dark waters of the lagoon, the gondolas skimming silently to and fro, and the electric launches gliding swiftly onward.

And the great dome of the Administration Building looked grandly beautiful with its line of flaming torches about its base, its triumphal arches of glittering fire above, and the golden crown sparkling on its summit. Great search-lights were flaming out from the ends of the Main Building, making visible the lovely seated Liberty in the MacMonnie's fountain which was foaming and rustling; and suddenly the two electric fountains sent up tall columns of water which changed from white to yellow, from that to purple, then to crimson, and from that to emerald green.

"Oh, it is just too beautiful!" exclaimed Rosie, "too lovely for anything. I feel as if I could never weary of gazing upon it."

"No, nor I," murmured Evelyn in low, moved tones. "I never imagined anything so grandly beautiful!"

"No, nor did I; and yet it cannot be anything to compare to heaven," said Grandma Elsie; "'for eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him!'"

They sat for some time gazing upon the enchanting scene, then rose, and still keeping together, wandered on till they reached the wooded island.

The scene there was lovelier than in the daylight. Little glass cups of various colors held tiny lights of wick in oil, giving a charming appearance to the scene, and there were thousands of visitors moving here and there among them.

So did our party from the Dolphin, for a half hour or more; then they returned to Midway Plaisance, and finding that the moon had risen, sought the Ferris Wheel, and ascending in it had a beautiful view of the White City, the lake beyond, and the surrounding country. They made the circuit several times, then leaving the wheel, wandered slowly through the fairylike scene that lay between them and the Peristyle, where the young men who lodged on shore bade good-night and the others entered their waiting boat and returned for the night to their floating home. All were weary with the day's sight-seeing and soon retired to their state-rooms; but Lucilla, noticing that her father had remained on deck, hastened back again for the bit of private chat with him of which she was so fond, yet in these days could so seldom get. He welcomed her with a smile, and drawing her into his arms added a tender caress.

"And what has my little girl, my dear eldest daughter, to say to her father to-night?" he asked.

"Oh, not very much of anything, papa," she replied, "but I'm hungry for a little petting and a chance to hug and kiss my dear father; without anybody by to criticise," she concluded, with a low, happy laugh.

"Very well, my darling, you have my full permission to do all you care to in that line," he said, patting her cheek and pressing his lips to it again and again. "I haven't lost the first place in my little girl's heart yet?"

"No, indeed, papa; and you need not have the least bit of fear that you ever will."

"That is good news; if something I have heard so many times can be properly called news."

"Are you tired hearing it, father, dear?" she asked half entreatingly, half incredulously.

"Indeed no, my darling," he returned, holding her close. "I can hardly bear to think there will ever be a time when I shall have to relinquish the very first place in your heart; though I do not believe the time will ever come when your love for me will fail entirely or even be very small."

"I can't believe there is the very least danger of that, my own dear, dear father," she returned earnestly, "and oh, it would break my heart to think that you would ever love me any less than you do now."

"It would take a great deal to lessen my love for you, dear one," he replied, repeating his caresses. "Has this been a happy and enjoyable day to you, daughter?"

"Oh, very, papa! what a delightful time we are having!"

"You will be almost sorry when the time comes for returning home?"

"Oh, no, indeed, sir! we have such a sweet home that I am always glad to be back to it when we have been away for a few weeks."

"But then playtime will be over and studies must be renewed."

"And that, with such a cross, cross teacher whom nobody loves," she returned sportively, and laying her head on his shoulder, for he had sat down, drawing her to his side and putting an arm about her waist.

"Ah, indeed! I had thought it was your father who was to teach you."

"And you didn't know how cross and tyrannical he was?" she laughed.

"So cross and tyrannical that he says now that it is time his eldest daughter was in her bed."

"Oh, please don't say I must go just yet, papa!" she begged. "There are so many of us here that I can hardly ever get a word with you in private, and it is so—so pleasant to get you all to myself for a few minutes."

"Well," he said, taking out his watch, "you may have five——"

"Oh, papa," she interrupted eagerly, "say ten, please do! and I'll try to be ever so good to-morrow," she concluded, with a merry look and smile.

"Ten then, but not another one unless you want me to say you must stay here and rest all day to-morrow."

"Oh, no, sir, please don't! That would be worse than being sent to bed immediately. I'll go without a word of objection, whenever you tell me to. But oh, papa, wasn't it lovely to see the Court of Honor light up to-night? and what could have been more beautiful than the view from the Ferris Wheel?"

"They were fine sights, and I am glad you enjoyed them," he returned. "To-morrow we will, I think, go into the Manufactures Building, and perhaps make some purchases. Would you like to do so?"

"Oh, yes, sir! yes, indeed! I want to get some gifts for Christine and Alma, and the servants at home."

"I highly approve of that," he said, "and have no doubt we will be able to find something for each which will be acceptable. Now the ten minutes are up, daughter; so bid me good-night and go to your room and get to bed as quickly as you can."

"Good-night and pleasant dreams to you, my own dear, dear father," she returned, hugging him tightly for an instant, then hastened to do his bidding.

"I presume you will all be ready to start out early, as usual?" the captain said at the breakfast table the next morning, adding with a quick glance about from one to another, "I am happy to see that everyone is looking well and bright."

"As we are feeling," said Mr. Dinsmore, "and it is certainly a cause for gratitude to the Giver of all good. What have you to propose in regard to our movements for the day, captain?"

"It makes but little difference to me where we go, so that all are content," replied Captain Raymond; "but if no one else cares to decide the question, I propose that our first visit be to the Manufactures Building. We have been there before, but there are thousands of things well worth our attention which we have not yet looked at."

"Oh, yes; let us go there first," responded several voices, and so it was decided.

They set out, as usual, shortly after leaving the table; found their young gentlemen friends waiting for them in the Peristyle, and all proceeded at once to the Manufactures Building.

It was easy to spend a long time there, and they did; visiting one section after another, admiring all that was worthy of admiration in the architecture and exhibits—the German pavilion with its towers, domes, and arches, its Ionic pillars upholding golden eagles, the fountains at the base, the Germania group in hammered copper surmounting the highest pedestal, and, most beautiful and impressive of all, the great wrought-iron gates that form its main entrance, and were considered the finest and most remarkable specimens of that kind of work ever yet seen in our country.

The pavilion of France next challenged their attention, being close at hand. In front of its arched entrance stood two blue and green vases which they learned were from the national porcelain factories of Sevres, both very handsome. That factory had sent about two thousand pieces of its beautiful and costly china. Most of them had been already sold, but the captain and his party secured a few.

Germany, France, and Great Britain occupied three great squares grouped around the central circle of the immense building. On the fourth square were the exhibits of the United States. Three New York firms had accepted the task of making for their country's section such a pavilion as should maintain her dignity and reputation, and had succeeded in so doing. It was of the Doric order of architecture and enriched with a pale color and a profusion of gold, while from the centre of the facade rose a column to a height of one hundred feet, having a ball and eagle on the top.

"Oh, let us go in and look at the exhibits here! those of our own country," exclaimed Lucilla, after some moments had been spent by their party in an admiring examination of the outside.

Such seemed to be the inclination of the others also, and they passed quietly in and about.

The exhibit of jewelry there was the one which seemed to have the greatest attraction for the young girls of the party, Lucilla especially; and her father presented her with a pin and ring which gave her great delight; nor was he less liberal to his wife or Grace.

"Ah, ha! um, hum! ah, ha! I see, captain, that you believe in encouraging home industries," laughed Mr. Lilburn.

"Yes, sir; especially when they are the best," returned the captain good-humoredly. "I have been examining jewelry in the various foreign exhibits and find none to excel, few to compare with, those of these United States."

"Yes," said Harold; "some of our country-men excel in those things, as they do in the art of the silversmith. Look at those translucent enamels worked on silver fret-work—there in the Gorham exhibit; and those fine pitchers and vases made of silver worked into open engraved designs, having pieces of colored glass blown into it; and those of Rockwood pottery and silver."

"And yonder is Tiffany's exhibit," said Evelyn. "He is one of our finest jewelers, so let us go and look at it."

There was no objection raised, but all followed her as she led the way to the pavilion of which she had spoken. They found it well worth examination, for none of them had ever seen a finer display, or greater variety of precious stones in costly and beautiful settings.

Our friends lingered some time longer in what the young people called "our section." There were other fine collections from other cities and countries, too numerous to mention, and far too many to be seen and examined in one day, or even in several.

After a time, however the little ones grew very weary and indeed all were ready to enjoy a rest. So an electric boat on the lagoon was entered, and quite a while spent upon the water.

After that they had luncheon at a restaurant, then went to see the Spanish caravels.

"What are caravels, papa?" asked Elsie, as they went on their way.

"You'll see presently," he replied. "You have heard the story of the discovery of America. These little vessels which we are going to see are made as nearly as possible like those he came over in; the men who built them looking up old pictures and descriptions and making these vessels as exact copies of the old ones as they could."

"Was it in Spain they made them, papa?"

"Yes; they sailed from Palos in Spain, about a year ago, and exactly four hundred years from the time when Columbus sailed from there to look for the land he felt sure was here, on this side of the ocean. They took, as nearly as they could, just the course he did, and finally came on to New York, where they had a part in the international review of April, 1893."

"That's the name of this year isn't it, papa?"

"Yes; that review took place last April; and after it they sailed for the St. Lawrence River, came round the lakes as we did, and here into this harbor."

"How many are there, papa?"

"Three: the Santa Maria—in which Columbus himself sailed—the Nina, and the Pinta. There they are, daughter," as at that moment they came in sight of the three small vessels.

"Why, how little they are!" she exclaimed; "not nearly so big as the Illinois that we see all the time from our deck."

"You are quite right about that," her father said, with a smile.

"But what does anybody want with such little bits of ships?" she asked.

"Only to show people with what little vessels Columbus accomplished his great work of discovering America."

"I'm glad he discovered it," Elsie said, with satisfaction; "because, if he hadn't, we couldn't have been here living in it."

"Unless somebody else had discovered it between that time and this, Elsie," laughed her uncle Walter, overhearing her last remark.

All were interested in looking at the little vessels, but their curiosity was soon satisfied and they returned to the Court of Honor for a time, then to the Dolphin.



CHAPTER XVII.

It was Sunday afternoon. Most of the Dolphin's passengers were in their own state-rooms enjoying the Sabbath rest, after the fatigue of the sight-seeing of the past week, but Captain Raymond sat on the deck with Neddie on his knee and the three girls grouped about him. The father and daughters had each a Bible, for even little Elsie could read fluently and had been given one of her own, which she valued highly.

"Papa," she said, "you know you bade each of us to have a verse to recite to you to-day. May I say mine now?"

"Yes; we will begin with the youngest to-day," he replied.

"But that's I, papa; your Neddie boy!" exclaimed the little fellow on his knee.

"Why, yes, to be sure! But I hardly expected him to have one," the captain returned, with a fatherly smile down into the dear little face upturned to his. "Let me hear it, son?"

"It's only a very little one, papa: 'The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.'"

"A very sweet verse. Does my little son know who said these words?"

"Grandma said they were Jesus' words. She taught me the verse."

"Yes, it was Jesus our Saviour who said it; and do you know whom he meant by the Son of man?"

"Grandma said it was himself, and that he can forgive all our sins and take away the love of sinning and make us truly good, really holy."

"That is true, a blessed truth; and to him alone, to Jesus who was God and man both, we must go to get our sins forgiven, and be taught to love holiness; that holiness without which no man can see the Lord."

"Now mine, papa," said Elsie: "'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.' Doesn't that mean that to believe on Jesus will take us to heaven at last—when we die?"

"Yes; and as soon as we really and truly believe on him—trust and love him, giving ourselves to him and taking him for our Saviour—he gives us a life that will last forever, so that we will always be his in this world and in the next, and dying will be but going home to our Father's house on high, to be forever there with the Lord, and free from sin and suffering and death."

"Never any more naughtiness, and never any more pain or sickness," said Elsie thoughtfully. "Oh, how delightful that will be!"

"Yes, and to be with Jesus and like him," said Grace softly. "This is my verse: 'We love him because he first loved us.'"

"Oh, what love it was!" exclaimed her father. "'Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.'"

"I have the next three verses, papa," said Lucilla: "'In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.'"

"Yes," said her father; "if we would be followers of Christ, he must be our example; he who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

"What does that mean?" asked little Ned.

"That the dear Lord Jesus suffered in our stead; taking the punishment due to us for our sins, the punishment we deserved, and letting us have the life bought with his righteousness and his blood."

"What is righteousness, papa?" asked the little fellow.

"Holiness, goodness. Jesus was perfectly holy, and those who truly love him will be ever trying to be like him; will go from strength to strength till everyone of them in Zion appears before God. That is, till they get to heaven; and there they will be so like Jesus that they will never sin any more."

"And what does that other part, 'by whose stripes ye are healed,' mean, papa?" asked Elsie.

"That Jesus suffered for the sins of his people (there was no sin of his own for him to suffer for), and that because he bore the punishment in their stead they will not have to bear it, and will be delivered from the love of it; that is the healing—the being made well of that disease—the love of sinning, the vile nature that we are all born with, because our first parents disobeyed God there in the garden of Eden."

"God teaches his people to hate sin and try bard—asking help of him—to forsake it and be always good, doing just what is right; doesn't he, papa? That's what grandma says."

"Yes, dear child, it is what God teaches us in his Word—the Holy Bible."

"And he will send his Holy Spirit to help us—if we ask him to?"

"Yes."

"But how can we know it, papa? we can't see him."

"No, daughter, but we may know it by the help he gives us, and others will recognize the fact by the fruit of the Spirit seen in our lives. Lucilla, can you tell me what is the fruit of the Spirit?"

"Yes, sir; the Bible says 'the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."

"Yes; and 'against such there is no law.' Jesus has kept the law perfectly in their stead, and his righteousness being imputed to them, they are treated as if they had never broken the law—never sinned—but had been always holy and obedient to all the commands of God, as he was."

Elsie was looking very thoughtful. "I think I understand it now, papa," she said. "Jesus has kept God's law in our stead, and borne the punishment for our breaking it, and gives his goodness to us, so that we are treated just as if we had been really good when we haven't at all, and that is what it means where it says, 'by whose stripes ye were healed.'"

"Yes, dear child, that is just it; and oh, how can we help loving him, who died and suffered so much for us! Oh, how we ought to love him!"

"I do love him, papa. I ask him every day to help me to love him more and serve him better. I ask earnestly for a new heart; for he is the hearer and answerer of prayer. The Bible tells us so."

"And it is so sweet to know it," said Grace, speaking low and softly, "for he is always near and able to help us, no matter what our trouble may be."

"Yes," said her father. "'Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.' 'Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.' God looks at the heart, my children, and will not hear and answer us if we approach him with lip service only, not really wanting what we are asking for."

"Yes, papa," said Elsie; "but I do really want the new heart I ask him for. So he will give it to me; won't he?"

"Yes, daughter, for he has said so, and his promises never fail."

"I want to go to mamma now," said Neddie, getting down from his father's knee.

"Yes, run along," said the captain. "Our lesson has been long enough for to-day, I think, daughters, and you are all at liberty to go. You, Grace, are looking weary, and it would be well for both you and Elsie to take a nap: Lucilla also, if she wishes," he added, with a kindly glance at her.

"Thank you, papa, but I do not care to," she answered, as the others hastened away; "the breeze makes it very pleasant here on deck."

"Yes, and you can rest nicely in one of these steamer chairs." Then, taking a keener look into her face, "But something seems to be troubling you, dear child. Tell your father what it is, that he may help and comfort you," he added, in very tender tones, taking her hands and drawing her to a seat close at his side.

"Oh, papa, it is that I am—I am afraid I have been deceiving myself and am not really a Christian," she said, with a half sob and hiding her face on his shoulders. "There is so little, if any, of the fruit of the Spirit in me—no gentleness, goodness, meekness—though I do love Jesus and long to be like him."

"In that case, dear child, I am sure you are one of his," he answered low and tenderly. "Love is put first in the list and I have seen, to my great joy, a steady growth in you of longsuffering, gentleness, and meekness. Jesus said, 'By their fruits ye shall know them,' and I think that, though far from perfect, yet my dear eldest daughter does show by her life that she is earnestly striving to bring forth in it the fruit of the Spirit. 'The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.' We are not made perfect in a moment, but are to grow in grace, becoming more and more like the Master, and when the work of grace is completed—so that we are made perfect in holiness—we do immediately pass into glory, to be forever with the Lord."

"Yes, papa; and oh, I want you to pray for me that I may grow in grace every day and hour of my life."

"I will, I do, daughter; and you must pray for your father too, for he is by no means perfect yet."

"Papa, you do seem perfect to me," she said, with a look of reverent love up into his face. "I never forget you in my prayers; never forget to thank God for giving me such a dear, kind father. Papa, are you never troubled with fears that you might be mistaken in thinking yourself a Christian? Oh, no! I am sure not; for how could you be when you are such a good Christian that no one who sees you every day, and knows you as your daughter does, could have the least doubt about it?"

"My daughter looks at me with the partial eyes of filial love," he replied, tenderly smoothing her hair, "but I too, in view of my sins and shortcomings, am sometimes sorely troubled by doubts and fears. But then I find peace and happiness in just giving myself anew to Jesus, and asking him to take me for his very own and deliver me from all my sins and fears; then, knowing that he is a hearer and answerer of prayers, I can go on my way rejoicing. Can you not do the same?"

"Oh, yes, papa, I will. I remember now that you told me once to do so—to come then to Him and he would receive me, and I need not trouble about the question whether I had really come before. And I did and found, oh, such rest and peace!"

"Yes; 'the peace of God which passeth all understanding! May it ever keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.'"



CHAPTER XVIII.

"Where are we going to-day, papa?" asked little Elsie the next morning at the breakfast table.

"I do not know yet, my child," he replied. "I have been thinking," he continued, addressing the company in general, "that it would probably be better for us to break up into quite small parties, each going its own way, now that the Fair has become so crowded."

"Yes," Mr. Dinsmore said, "I will take my wife and daughter with me, if they do not object; you, I presume, will do likewise with your wife and children, and the others—Rosie, Walter, and Evelyn—can make up a third party, and dispose of their time and efforts at sight-seeing as they please."

At that Mr. Lilburn turned toward Miss Annis Keith and said, with a humorous look and smile, "You and I seem to be left entirely out of the calculation, Miss Keith. Shall we compose a fourth party, and see what we can find to amuse and interest us?"

"Thank you, sir," she replied; "but are you sure I might not prove a hindrance and burden?"

"Quite sure; and your companionship, if I can secure it, will be all-sufficient for me."

"Then we will consider the arrangement made, for I should be sorry indeed to intrude my companionship upon those who do not desire it," she said, with a sportive look at the captain.

"Cousin Ronald," said the latter gravely, "I think you owe me a vote of thanks for leaving Cousin Annis to you. I am sure it should be accounted a very generous thing for me to do."

"Certainly, captain, when you have only Cousin Vi, those two half-grown daughters, and two sweet children for your share," laughed Annis.

"As many as he can keep together," remarked Walter. "Well, I'm going off by myself, as I happen to know that my sister Rosie and Evelyn have been already engaged by other escorts."

"Walter, you deserve to be left at home," said Rosie severely.

"At home?" laughed Walter, "you would have to get me there first."

"You know what I mean; this yacht is home to us while we are living on it."

"And a very pleasant one it is; a delightful place to rest in when one is tired; as I realize every evening, coming back to it from the Fair."

"Then we won't try to punish you by condemning you to imprisonment in it," said the captain.

"Papa, I should like to go to the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building again to-day, unless the rest of our party prefer some other place," said Grace.

"That would suit me as well as any," said Violet.

"Me also," added Lucilla.

"Then that shall be our destination," returned the captain.

The young men—Harold and Herbert Travilla, Chester and Frank Dinsmore, and Will Croly—joined the party from the Dolphin, as usual, in the Peristyle; good-mornings were exchanged, then they broke up into smaller parties and scattered in different directions; Captain Raymond with his wife and children going first into the great Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, where they spent some hours in looking at such of the beautiful and interesting exhibits as they had not examined in former visits; making a good many purchases of gifts for each other for friends and relatives and the servants and caretakers left at home.

Chester was disappointed and chagrined that he was not invited to accompany them, particularly as it was his and Frank's last day at the Fair—but he joined Walter and Herbert, while Harold took charge of their mother, and the other young folks went off in couples.

"Where shall we betake ourselves, Miss Annis?" asked Mr. Lilburn.

"I think I should like to look at some of the paintings in the Fine Arts Building, if you care to do so," replied Annis.

"I should like nothing better," he returned; "so we will go there first."

They spent all the morning there—there were so many pictures worthy of long study that it was difficult to tear themselves away from any one of them.

"'The return of the Mayflower,'" read Mr. Lilburn as they paused before a picture of a young girl standing upon the seashore, looking out eagerly over the water toward a sail which she sees in the distance; such an impatience and tender longing in her face that one knew it seemed almost impossible for her to wait the coming of some dear one she believes to be on board; one whose love and care are to shelter her from cold and storm and savage foes who might at any moment come upon and assail her. "Ah, the dear lass is evidently hoping, expecting, waiting for the coming of her lover," he said. "Happy man! What a joyous meeting it will be when the good ship comes to anchor and he steps ashore to meet her loving welcome."

"Yes, I can imagine it," Annis said. "They have doubtless been separated for months or years, and a glad reunion awaits them if he is really on the vessel."

For a moment they gazed in silence, then with a sigh he said, "She's a bonny lass and doubtless he a brave, well-favored young fellow; both on the sunny side of life, while I—ah, Miss Annis, if I were but twenty years younger——"

"What then, Mr. Lilburn?" she asked sportively. "You would be looking about for such a sweet young creature and trying to win her heart?"

"Not if I might hope to win that of the dear lady by my side," he returned in low, loverlike tones. "She is full young enough and fair enough for me. Miss Annis, do you think I—I could ever make myself a place in your heart? I am no longer young, but there's an auld saying that 'it is better to be 'an auld man's darling than a young man's slave.'"

"I have not intended to be either," she answered, blushing deeply and drawing a little away from him. "Single life has its charms, and I am by no means sure that—that I care to—to give it up."

"I hope to be able some day to convince you that you do," he returned entreatingly, as she turned hastily away and moved on toward another picture.

She had liked the old gentleman very much indeed; he was so genuinely kind and polite, so intelligent and well informed; and he had evidently enjoyed her society too, but she had never dreamed of this—that he would want her as a wife; she would sooner have thought of looking up to him in a daughterly way—but as he had said he wanted a wifely affection from her, could she—could she give it? For a brief space her brain seemed in a whirl; she saw nothing, heard nothing that was going on about her—could think of nothing but this surprising, astonishing offer, and could not decide whether she could ever accept it or not. She could not, at that moment she rather thought she never could. She kept her face turned away from him as he stood patiently waiting by her side. Both had lost interest in the paintings. He was watching her and saw that she was much disturbed, yet he could not decide whether that disturbance was likely to be favorable to his suit or not. Presently he drew out his watch. "It is past noon, Miss Keith," he said; "suppose we take a gondola and cross the pond to the Japanese Tea House, where we can get a lunch."

"I am willing if you wish it," returned Annis in low, steady tones, but without giving him so much as a glimpse of her face. He caught sight of it, however, as they entered the boat; then their eyes met, and he was satisfied that she was not altogether indifferent to his suit. But he did not think it wise to renew it at that moment. They sat in silence for a little, then he spoke of the scenes about them; and while they took their lunch, the talking they did ran upon matters of indifference.

As they left the building they came unexpectedly upon the captain and his party.

"Ah! where now, friends?" he asked.

"That is a question that has not yet been decided," replied Mr. Lilburn. "Where are you going?"

"I am about to take Grace, Elsie, and Ned back to our floating home," returned the captain, "for I fear they have already become more fatigued than is good for them."

"And if you will allow it, I will go with you, captain," said Annis.

"Certainly," he returned; "your company is always acceptable, Cousin Annis, and I see that you look as though a few hours of rest would not come amiss to you. Let us take this steam launch, which is just approaching, and we will be at our destination in a few minutes."

"Let us all get on board and go as far as the Peristyle, where Lu and I will wait for you, Levis," said Violet.

"A good idea," he replied. "Why, there is Walter on the boat, and I can leave you in his care, if Cousin Ronald does not wish to make one of the party."

"Ah! then I will wander along by my ain sel,'" returned the old gentleman laughingly as he lifted his hat to Annis and the others, then went on his way, musing as to the best course to pursue to bring about an acceptance of his suit.

"I want you and your little brother and sister to retire promptly to your berths, Grace, and try to get a good nap," the captain said when they had reached the deck of the Dolphin. "And, Cousin Annis, I hope you'll not think me impertinent if I advise you to do the same."

"Not at all," she returned, with a smile, "it is just what I was intending to do. I have a slight headache, but hope to sleep it off."

"I hope you may, indeed," he said in a kindly, sympathetic tone. "I presume it is the result of fatigue and that a few hours of rest and sleep will make all right again."

She went at once to her state-room, and changing her dress for a loose wrapper lay down with the determination to forget everything in sleep. But thought was too busy in her brain; she was too much excited over the surprising offer made her that morning. She knew instinctively that Mr. Lilburn had not given up the hope of securing what he had asked for—that his suit would be renewed at the first opportunity—and what should she—what could she say? It was not the first offer she had had, but—no other suitor was ever so good, so noble, so—oh, he was everything one could ask or desire (what difference that he was old enough to be her father), but would his sons welcome her advent into the family? And her own dear ones—sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews—be willing to part with her. Perhaps not; but surely they could do very well without her and he—the dear old gentleman—ought surely to be considered; if she could make his last days happier and more comfortable—it could not be wrong for her to do so, for the others could be happy without her. Ah, perhaps they would soon almost forget her. And there with Elsie Travilla her dear, dearest friend and cousin; how pleasant to live near enough for almost daily intercourse with her!

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