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“Perhaps he is deaf and dumb, poor man,” without looking up, as he went on unbuckling said Elizabeth; and she took a few hesitating strap after strap. steps toward the gate.
“What does he mean?” said Elizabeth to At this the old man smiled. When he smiled, James in a low tone. 6 I am afraid he is crazy. his face became beautiful. A sort of light spread Poor old man ; what will become of him ? " all over it. As soon as the children saw the smile, At this the old man gave a smile that seemed they all began to walk toward him. He seemed to light up the whole place like a great sunbeam ; to draw them, insensibly. They were half afraid, and he nodded his head three or four times; and and yet they could not stay away from him. he fixed his eyes on Elizabeth's face with so beauti
“No, dear children,” he said ; “ I am not deaf fulan expression of good-will and affection, that she and dumb. I was only looking at your faces to was ashamed of having thought he must be crazy. see whether I should leave some of my magic “Good girl! good girl!” he said. “ Merry clocks with you.”
bells for you.” And as he spoke, he lifted out of his At the word “magic,” Frank was at once all box a beautiful little white alabaster clock, not more attention. He had a passion for conjurors' tricks than six inches high, and handed it to Elizabeth. and for anything that was mystical. He thought "Oh, what a beauty!" she cried. he would rather be a prestidigitator than anything “But what is magical about it?" asked Frank. else in the world.
“ It looks just like other clocks." “What is there magical about your clocks?” he “No, not like other clocks," replied the old asked eagerly. “I never heard of a magic clock.” man, handing another one to Frank, and one to
“We could n't buy any, Frank,” whispered James, and one to Helen. They all were alike,Elizabeth. “Mamma would n't let us."
pure white alabaster, with gold faces, and wreaths “They are not for sale, little lady,” said the old of red roses painted on them. man, smiling again.
“I wonder if he stole them," whispered Helen He had overheard her whisper. At this second to James. smile the children drew still nearer him. They “Bang! bang! bang!” went the clock in her almost loved him.
hands! You would n't have thought so loud and “Oh, do show them to us !” cried Frank. harsh a note could come from so tiny a little
“I thought you said you were thinking whether clock. Helen was so frightened that she dropped you could leave some of them here,” said Helen, it on the ground. pettishly; "and now you say they are not for sale. “Oh!” cried Elizabeth, springing to catch it. Then how could you leave them here ?"
“ It will be broken ! How could you say so unAll the answer the old man made to this was to kind a thing, Helen ?” nod his head and say, as if to himself, “She needs “Kling! kling! kling!” went the clock in one !” And with that he slipped his box off his Elizabeth's hands, with a note as sweet as a shoulders, set it down on the ground, and began to canary's voice; but she was as frightened as undo the leathern buckles.
Helen had been, and dropped her clock just as All the time that he was doing this, he kept quickly on the ground at her feet. repeating to himself some strange words that the But they were not broken or cracked, and the children could not understand. It sounded like old man, who seemed strangely nimble for his age, poetry; but the language did not resemble any picked them both up before the two girls could reach the children had ever heard.
them. Handing them back, he said, still smiling : " What are you saying ? Do talk English ! “Magic clocks will stand a great many hard can't you,” exclaimed Helen hastily. She was a knocks without breaking." very quick-tempered little girl, and often said All this time Frank was turning his over and things that sounded as if she were very cross, when over, and looking at a little glass set in the back, she was not cross at all, but only impatient. through which the machinery could be seen. Frank
This time the old man looked at her sternly be- knew something about the construction of clocks fore he nodded his head.
and watches. He had an old silver watch of his “Yes,” he said, -- "she needs one badly ! own that he had more than once taken to pieces
At this, Helen slipped behind Frank and, pulling and put together again. his jacket, whispered: “Do make him go away, Humph! There is n't anything magical about Frank! He frightens me."
these clocks,” he declared at last, rather rudely. “Be quiet !” said Frank angrily, pushing her “I can see all the wheels. They 're just such as back. “Don't be so foolish! I want to see the are always in clocks." clocks!”
“Dong! dong! dong!” struck the clock in his “So, ho! He needs one, too !" said the old man, hands in a sharp, squeaking tone, not so loud and
harsh as Helen's, but disagreeable enough to make a fact. Anyhow, we have the clocks, and we Frank start and cry out with surprise. He did not did n't have to pay the old fellow anything.” let go of the clock, however, but held it even “Dong! dong! dong!” said his clock, in a tighter, and began to look at it more closely. loud, discordant note. This time Frank himself
“Magic clocks ! magic clocks !” said the old was a little frightened. He put his clock down a man; and as he spoke these words, he disappeared little apart from the others, stepped back a few from sight. Big box, leathern straps, old man, paces, thrust his hands into his pockets and began sunny smile — all had vanished from under the to whistle. children's very eyes, as suddenly as if the earth “They seem to strike every few minutes," he said, had opened and swallowed him up.
“without any sort of time about it. That 's queer.” “Why! where 's he gone!" cried Elizabeth. “Let 's keep perfectly still and watch them,” Helen began to cry.
said James, “and see if they 'll do anything." “He's a witch," she said.
Five minutes, ten, fifteen passed. Not a sound “Not a witch ! you little goose,” said James, from the clocks. Not a sound from the children. who was rather scared himself.
" You mean a
“I've been thinking .” began Elizabeth, wizard,-a witch is a woman!”
“Bang! bang! bang !” went James's clock, just “Well, of course you have,” broke in Helen; as Helen's had done when she spoke unkindly. "we all have been thinking! we're not ninnies."
James set it down on the ground, close to the “Whang! whang! whang!” went Helen's clock fence, and stepped away from it a few feet. Helen in a tone so spiteful and hateful that all four of the and Elizabeth put theirs down in a line with it. children jumped. Frank still held his in his hands, and was looking “That's it! I knew it !” said Elizabeth. “I ail about for the old man ; up and down the street, know what the magic is. The clocks will strike in even into the sky overhead. But there was not a that harsh way when we say mean, hateful things, trace of a human being in the street; not a cloud and they 'll make a musical sound when we say in the sky overhead.
pleasant things, and that 'll remind us all the time." “Well, it does look like magic!” he said, “that's “I believe that 's so," said Frank, thoughtfully. “I wish the old man had n't gone. We don't having a fine play together, and each one of them know how to wind them up.
They 're real had been trying to make all the others have a beauties."
good time, and the little clocks had all rung out “There is n't any keyhole in them,” said James, together a lovely chime of sweet “Kling-a-lingwho had been looking his over again, with close lings.” “I think he 'll come back to see whether scrutiny.
we've been helped by the clocks or not.” “I believe they don't need to be wound up,” “I think so, too,” said Frank; "and if he does, said Elizabeth. “I think they 'll keep on going I tell you, I'm going to grip his coat, and hold always. They are n't really clocks at all. They him tight till he 's answered all our questions." are just magic things, like the things in the ‘Ara- “I'll be afraid to see him," sighed poor little bian Nights.'”
Helen. “I have such a dreadful temper. But I “ That's so," said Frank. “Let's take them do try very hard to conquer it, nobody knows how into the house, and show them to Mamma. I won- hard, and I don't mean ever to stop trying." der if she will let us keep them.”
“Kling-a-kling-ling! kling-ling! ling! ling," “I think she will," said Helen, who was quite said Helen's clock, which she had under her arm. subdued by this time. “I think she 'll be glad to She hardly ever stirred without it,- she was so anxkeep anything that will make me speak pleasantly ious to be reminded always when she spoke crossly. when I feel cross; and, as long as I live, I never “There ! That's a comfort !” she exclaimed. want to hear another sound like that last loud one “It has n't made so sweet a sound as that for three that my clock gave.”
days." “Nor I," said Frank. * Nor I,” said James. “No wonder,” said Frank, thoughtlessly ;
“I liked the sound mine made," said Elizabeth; “you 've been a perfect spit-fire these last three “it was just like music."
days; I've wondered what ailed you.” “Well, I suppose it always will be, Lizzie,” said Helen's eyes filled with tears, and she was just the other children, all speaking together; “be- about to make some angry reply, when “Bang ! cause you are always so sweet and good-natured, bang! bang !" came from Frank's chamber winyou know.”
dow, which stood wide open. His clock was standUpon which all four of the clocks struck together ing on the window-sill. three notes, so musical and sweet you would have “I was caught that time,” said Frank. "Never said fairy-bells must have been ringing in the air. mind, Helen. I did n't mean to make you feel badly.
What the children's mother said when she saw I am very sorry I said it.” the clocks, I do not know; but she thought the “Kling-a-ling," said the little clock, in a gentle, children had imagined all about the clocks strik- soft note. ing; for it was a very queer thing, that no matter “Does n't it sound like all right,' when they how loudly the clocks struck, nobody but their ring that way?” said Elizabeth. “It is almost owners could hear the sounds. At first this used like a real voice speaking. I just wish the old to frighten the children, especially Helen, whose man would come back!” she continued. “I'd like clock, I am sorry to say, had to strike loudly and to thank him. We never thanked him, you know. harshly many times in a week. But more and He vanished so quickly." more they came to feel that the clocks were “I think he'll come,” replied Frank. “Magicians their friends; and that in some mysterious way always do come back, in fairy stories. Don't you which they could not understand, the old man know, in so many stories it says, 'And the magician who had brought them must be their friend too. re-appeared ?'"
“I think he 'll be back again some day,” said “ That's so ! " echoed James, “I'm sure he 'll Elizabeth, one evening when they all had been come back."
(To be continued.)
(A Thanksgiving-day Story.)
BY SOPHIE SWETT.
"WHAT do you wish, Barty O'Flanigan?” and Becky, looking wistfully out of the window at
Miss Sarah Wilhelmina Appleby put her head a little house at the foot of the hill, said : out at the window and spoke rather impatiently. “ Better 'vite the people at the cottage; then 't
Barty O'Flanigan was a small boy with a big would n't be lonesome.” basket and a bigger voice, while his brogue was Aunt Doxy spoke severely, almost sharply. something wonderful to hear.
“Becky,” she said, “ those people in the cottage “It's the foine fat turrkey the misthress is afther are not such as I approve of, and neither of you promisin' me fur me Thanksgivin' I 'm wantin',” children must even go near the fence.” replied Barty. “Shure, did n't I ketch her ould Nobody in Cressbrook knew just what to think horrse as was afther runnin' away, an' hould him of the “cottage people," as Aunt Doxy called till the arrums iv me was broke intirely? An’ sez them. They had taken the little house in the the misthress to me, sez she, ‘Barty,' sez she, early spring, and had added peaks and gables and ' come up an' take your pick iv me foine fat turr- little piazzas to it, and had painted it in red and keys fur your Thanksgivin' dinner,' sez she. An'olive and yellow, until Aunt Doxy declared it it's here I am, Miss, be the same token."
a dreadful sight to see. Miss Sarah Wilhelmina remembered her aunt's And she did n't like the looks of the people any promise. “But Tim has gone to the station,” she better. They wore fantastic finery and appeared said. “You 'll have to come again when he can as if they were always going to a fancy-dress ball. catch one for you."
The man who took care of their horse and cow “ An’ why could n't I ketch it meself, an' me had been seen in a Roman toga. The lady of the mother waitin' to pluck the feathers aff it, an' the house fed the chickens in a Mother Hubbard dress misthress sayin' I could have me pick?” queried of sea-green organdie, with a poke bonnet on her Barty insinuatingly.
head and a ridiculous dove perched on her “I don'tknowwhetheryou could catch one, Barty; shoulder. And the children a boy and girl of you 're so small,” said Sarah Wilhelmina doubtfully. about the same ages as Thaddy and Becky
“ The legs ov me is long," said Barty, displaying looked like a little grandfather and grandmother them with pride, “an' I can ketch any thing at who had just stepped out of some old pictureall, so me mother sez — barrin' the maysles." frame,- or so Aunt Doxy thought. She even
Now Sarah Wilhelmina was in a hurry, for she contemplated building a very high fence between was going away to spend Thanksgiving; and the two gardens, lest Becky and Thaddy should Martha Washington was down cellar and Mancy take an interest in the small antique-looking perhad gone on an errand.
sons who lived in the queer cottage. "I know Aunt Doxy would n't wish him to be Of course they took an interest in them, and disappointed,” she said to herself; and then she many stolen glances besides; they soon found out added aloud, Oh, well, Barty; you may catch in some way that the children at the cottage were one if you can; all the turkeys are out in the named Rupert and Marguerite, and that they were field"; and with that, Sarah Wilhelmina rushed kind and pleasant playmates. off to her train, while Barty betook himself to the But in the midst of the children's horrifying asfield where the doomed Thanksgiving turkeys sertion to Aunt Doxy, that they did n't believe were enjoying the frosty November air.
Rupert and Marguerite were very bad children Two hours afterward Miss Eudoxia Appleby, after all, there came a revelation that almost took the mistress of Pine Hill Farm, reached home the good lady's breath away. with her small niece, Rebecca Ellen, and her Emancipation, or Mancy, was the very black nephew Thaddeus.
daughter of the equally black Martha Washington, “I'm almost sorry I let Sarah Wilhelmina go," whom Miss Eudoxia had imported from the South said Aunt Doxy sadly. “I'm afraid we shall for household “helps” soon after the war. And have a very lonely Thanksgiving.”
Mancy now burst, almost breathless, into the room As they usually had very jolly Thanksgivings at
with the cry: Pine Hill Farm, Becky and Thaddy grew sad also, “Oh, Miss Doxy! de Princess gone !"
" Gone ?
She has n't flown over the cottage pea-fowls —“Prince and Princess Charming.” The fence, has she?” exclaimed Aunt Doxy, in great Prince was a great, splendidly shaped peacock, with consternation.
a magnificent display of tail-feathers; the Princess “ Wus 'n dat,” declared Martha Washington, was of a dull color, and had no tail-feathers to
bustling in after her daughter. “Wus 'n dat, spread. She was chiefly remarkable for a very Miss Doxy! she's been pulled froo de fence !” discordant voice. But Aunt Doxy seemed fonder
Aunt Doxy was fond of pets and had a great of her than of the Prince. Perhaps it was because many, but her heart was especially set upon her everybody disparaged her.