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'n' I told him I was his great-grandfather, or older folks, they are as much puzzled as the chilsomething. I thought he was poking fun at me, dren; no one can find any clew to the identity of 'n' I thought I'd give him as good as he sent. this unearthly visitant. If Ben could have looked Cracky! If I'd known who it was that I was talk- into all these homes, and could have heard the in' to, I'd have been a little more pertickler 'bout admiring outcries, and could have known how what I said. He was a jolly little chap, anyhow.” much of surprise and curiosity and innocent mirth
“O Jack !” cries his mother, “your imagina- and thankfulness his pranks were producing, he tion must have made most of this. I can hardly would have been fully satisfied with the success of believe that you have really seen anything quite his experiment. Finally he arrives in front of Mr. so strange as you describe."
Kilbourne's gate, for he has reserved a part of his “Now, Mother Kilbourne !” replies Jack, deeply bounty for the children whose descriptive list Jack grieved, and somewhat indignant; “ I guess I have has given him. There is a light tap on the wineyes and ears; and I guess I know what I see dow which opens upon the veranda, and Mrs. Kilwith my eyes, and hear with my ears; and I tell bourne starts. There he is, in full view, bowing you, it is just exactly as I've told you. I never low, waving his parcel in the air, then bounding b'lieved in Santa Claus before; but when a fellow away with the spring of an antelope. hangs on to his sleigh and rides with him a quar- There, Mother Kilbourne !” cries Jack, his ter of a mile or so, then he knows; and there's no teeth chattering again ; "n—now what have you use talking.”
to say ?” “Well, my son, it is very curious, I admit. But I “Blessings on us !” exclaims the pale lady; wish your father would come. He must have had " what does it mean?" time to walk here since the train arrived. Is it They reach the window, like all the rest, just in still snowing hard ?” asks the lady as she rises and time to see the ponies trot away, and to verify walks slowly to the window, and, shutting her face Jack's description in every detail. between her hands, gazes out into the storm.
“Well, I never!” cries Mrs. Kilbourne. “Run “ 'Deed it is !” answers Jack. “ Snow's most to the door, Jack, and see what he has left!” up to my knees now. Sis will have a gay time A rubber rattle for the baby, a volume of “Baby wading though it.”
World” for Lil, and “Historic Boys" for Jack,“Your father will be obliged to carry her, I fear,” these were the gifts drawn forth from the paper replies Mrs. Kilbourne. “I think,” she adds, after bag with great delight and wonderment. a moment, “that he must have stopped by the Now
you ’ll own up, wont you, Mother?" way at Judge Gray's; I know that there was some demands Jack triumphantly. “I did n't imagine matter of important business between them. Our it all, did I?" little Lil will be very tired, I fear."
“No, Jack; you are a good reporter; your Jack sits looking into the glowing grate, and account was very accurate." asking his mother all sorts of questions about the “Well, how do you explain him?" legend of St. Nicholas; who he was, anyhow; “I can't explain him," answers the mother. if he was really a man; and when he lived ; and “I have n't the least idea who he is some good how long ago; and what he did; and what about being, I 'm sure." the Bible stories that tell of spirits and angels that “Right you are !” says Jack, in a tone the solemappeared to men -- a sharp fire of puzzling ques- nity of which strangely contrasts with his schooltions, which his mother answers, dubiously and boy phraseology. “But here come Father and absently; for her heart is a little troubled about Lil!” the child for whose coming she waits impatiently. The boy runs to admit the tardy comers, but his
Meanwhile Ben is speeding upon his errand of father is alone. “Where's Lil?” cries Jack, as he good-will with many a merry experience. Halting opens the door. his ponies in front of each favored house he seizes “Is n't she here?” demands Mr. Kilbourne the parcel prepared for its inmates, runs to a lighted anxiously. window, taps on the pane, holds aloft his treasure “No, sir; we thought you went to the station in full sight, makes a low bow, skips to the door after her.” and lays it down upon the sill, and then jumps into Mr. Kilbourne pushes into the room, where the his cutter and is off in a twinkling. The children pale mother stands, trembling and anxious. run to the window half in terror, half in transport; “We shall find her soon,” he says. “Did n't they gaze after the vanishing sprite, with their that Johnson boy bring you my note ?" hearts in their mouths; then they go timidly to 66 What note? No! Nobody brought any the door and take with undissembled glec the goods note,” cries Mrs. Kilbourne. so mysteriously provided for them. As for the “ The young rascal! I sent him with a line to
tell you that I could not leave my office at that rather pale, with an anxious look about his eyes; hour, and that Jack must go to the train for Lillie.” but, for his wife's sake, he says cheerfully:
“And so the poor child found no one waiting “Well; Wilkinson says that he saw a little girl for her there. Where can she have gone ?” step off the rear end of the train; the conductor
“Wait !” cries the father. “I'll telephone to helped her off and told her to run into the waitingWilkinson at the depot. That 's where she is be- room ; Wilkinson had some baggage to look after, yond a doubt. He has taken her into his office and when he was through with that, the child was to keep her till we arrive."
out of sight. He supposed that some one had
come for her."
“O my poor little lamb !" cries the mother,
piteously. “Where is she? Out in this merciless storm! What shall I do ?"
6 Don't cry, Mother !” says Jack, cheerily. “She 's down the street somewhere; she's gone into somebody's house.”
“They would have sent word," says Mrs. Kilbourne, hopelessly.
“Well, we 'll find her, anyhow," says Jack.
Mr. Kilbourne has been thinking hard with knitted brows and compressed lips. Now he speaks: “ Jack, you stay here, and take care of your mother. I'll go down street. As soon as I get word of her, I 'll call to you from the
nearest teleTHERE HE IS-THE SAME LITTLE MAN, AND HE TOSSES LIL ABOVE HIS HEAD!
phone.” Mr. Kilbourne rushes to the telephone.
He gently leads the trembling lady to the sofa, “Hello, Central ! Give me the Gridiron depot. and turns to go. That you, Wilkinson? Kilbourne's talking. Did Hark! the gate is opening! There is a quick my little girl come down on the accommodation footstep on the porch, - on the veranda ! Mr. Kiltrain from Smokopolis? —What? — Did n't what?" bourne pauses; Mrs. Kilbourne springs to her
Mr. Kilbourne turns away from the telephone feet. There he is -- the same little man, and Lil is in his arms! He tosses her above his head; he ""Oh, yes, I know where you live ! I've been lets her gently down upon the veranda ; he makes to your house once to-night.'” the same low bow; he springs from the porch and “How did you know it was Santa Claus ? " runs away.
asked her mother. Mr. Kilbourne rushes to the door.
Why, I saw him, did n't I? When he lifted “Hello!” he cries. “Who are you, my friend? up the robe to tuck me in, there was a lantern beSay! — wont you let me —?"
tween his legs, he said it was his stove — an' But the little man is in the sleigh and the ponies the light shined right up into his face, an' I saw are in motion. All they hear is Ben's laugh as he him as plain as anything. 'Sides, I asked him if drives away. “Oho! ho! ho !”
he was n't Santa Claus, an' he laughed and said, Mr. Kilbourne picks up the little girl, who stands “That 's what some folks call me!'” half dazed upon the porch, and hurries into the “I don't know whether he is a saint or an house. Her mother clasps the child in her arms angel,” says Mrs. Kilbourne, solemnly; " but this and covers her face with kisses. Poor little bairn! I know, my darling, he has been a messenger of Her garments are wet and her curls are matted good to us.” with snow, but her eyes are bright.
“ But what did he mean when he said he had “ Was n't it beautiful for Santa Claus to bring been here before to-night?" asks Mr. Kilbourne. me home?" she cries.
Now it is Jack's turn to talk. While his “Yes, my darling; where did he find you?” mother strips off the wet garments and puts the
here in the road. Papa was n't there little girl into her warm bed Jack rehearses to his when the train stopped, an' I was in such a hurry father, open-eyed with wonder, the tale of the evento go home, I started right off; an' I went along ing, with which we are familiar. His father listens, down that way, an' then I turned into the street.” questions, shakes his head, and gives it up.
“The little midget !” exclaims Mr. Kilbourne, Many of the gossips of Springdale wondered “she went off up Long Lane!”
that night, and the next day, and are wondering “ There was n't any houses," continues the little still, over this mystery, but they are not likely wanderer, “so I kept going on, an' on; an' it to unravel it, for the ponies went leissnowed so I could n't see ; an' by and by I came urely back that night to Smokopolis.
It was to another road,
about one o'clock when they began munching “Yes, she must have turned out on the Smok- their oats in their comfortable stalls; the wig and opolis road," shouts Jack.
the beard that had formed so perfect a disguise “An' I kept going on, an' then I was tired, were hidden in the granary; the little man let an' I sat down on a log to rest, an' I heard a himself softly in at Mrs. Snowden's front door, and team coming, -and it was Santa Claus,—and he went noiselessly to his room. It was a happy turned around an' brought me home.”
heart that beat, on that early Christmas morning, “How did he know where your home was?” in the breast of Benoni Benaiah Benjamin; but asked the father.
the secret of its happiness will never be discovered, “Oh, he asked me what was my name, and I for his laughing lips will not open to reveal it, told him it was Lillie Kilbourne, and he said: even in his dreams.
HOW FISHES CLIMB HILL.
BY CHARLES FREDERICK HOLDER.
MOUNT LINCOLN is one of the very highest that so firmly clasps them in the valley below. peaks in the Green Mountain range. Its base From these weather-worn rocks, a beautiful scene is clothed in a coat of the richest green; but, up stretches away; green valleys, like rivers of vernear the summit, the trees have been blasted by dure, extend to the north and south, as far as the the rigorous storms of winter; and at the very eye can reach. Away to the north lies Canada, top all that is left is a congregation of gigantic while the silvery thread almost at our feet is Lake gray bowlders, moss-covered and worn, lying piled Champlain. one upon another, and even deserted by the soil In summer, Mount Lincoln has many visitors;
but during the winter it is clothed in a great white steady-going streams which turn great millcap of snow that lasts on into the spring months. wheels, or float rafts of lumber, and seem to The melting of this
settle down winter covering pro
to the sterner vides water for innu
duties of life; merable streams that
for these little start down the moun
brooks appear tain-side, at first slow
almost like livly, then gradually
ing creatures, gaining force, until
so changeable finally, at the base
are they in of the mighty slope,
their moods. they rush foaming
of along, leaping from
these dashing rock to rock, as if in
brooks glee at their
streams; and not long since I followed one from the valley up the mountain; and a rough tramp 1 found it! The brook, that, if it had run in a straight line, would have been only three miles long, was really ten or
twelve in its whole
and it constantly wound in and out, now among rocks almost impassable, and now through under
brush which seemed determined to make hat and from the great snow-cap above. As the brooks coat part company. descend, they are joined by others, and finally, In fact, nature seemed to do her best to protect in the valley below, they merge into solemn, the little fishes that lived in the dark deep pools and eddies. The higher I climbed up the mountain, dam, where the riddle was solved. The dam was the more fish I found; the stream became a suc- nearly four feet high, and to relieve the stream, cession of falls, some of which were three feet or several auger-holes had been bored in it, allowing more in height — the brook in its track forming a small stream of water to jet forcibly out and go steps down the mountain-and I began to wonder splashing down into the clear pool below. As my how the fish came to be up
friend approached the spot, and looked through In one pool, out of which led a direct fall of three the bushes, several large-sized trout were seen
moving about under the mimic fall, evidently in great excitement, and darting into it as if enjoying the splash and roar of the water.
Suddenly, one of the fish made a quick rush that sent it up the falling stream, so that it almost gained the top; but by an unlucky turn it was caught and thrown back into the pool, where it darted away, evidently much startled.
Soon another made the attempt, darting at it like the first, and then rapidly swimming up the fall, but only to meet the fate of its predecessor. This was tried a number of times, until finally, a trout larger than the others made a dash, mounted the stream, and entered the round hole. The observers were almost ready to clap their hands, but it was not successful yet. As the water stopped flowing for a moment, they saw that though the athletic trout had surmounted the fall, the hole was too small for it to pass through, and there the poor fish was lodged. The lookers-on hastened to relieve it, and found that its side or pectoral fins were caught in the wood, but by pushing the fish ahead, which you may be sure they did, they liberated it, and it darted away into the upper pond.
Here, then, was the explanation. The trout climbed the mountain by swimming up the falls, darting up the foaming masses, and adopting every expedient to accomplish their journey. For these fish deposit their eggs high up stream, so that the young fry, when hatched, may not be disturbed by predatory fish and other foes living in the lower waters.
The salmon, the cousin of the trout, is famous for its method of going up stream; it darts at falls ten or twelve feet high, leaps into the air and
rushes up the falling water in a marvelous manfeet, there were numbers of the richly tinted little ner. So determined are the salmon to attain the creatures that, to have attained their position, must high and safe waters, that in some localities nets either have swum up the falls or gone around by are placed beneath the falls, into which the fish land. After catching a number, I began to tumble in their repeated attempts to clear the frighten the others to see what they would do. hill of water. Other than human hunters, moreSome dashed at the little fall and disappeared, over, profit by these scrambles up-hill. Travelers while others darted over and swam down stream. report that on the banks of the Upper St. John Still farther up I found the speckled game, until River, in Canada, there was once a rock in which finally, the passage became so difficult, that I was a large circular well, or pot-hole, had been worn obliged to turn back.
by the action of the water. At the salmon season, In the village, I chanced to mention the subject this rock proved a favorite resort for bears; and to a friend who owned a mill on the same stream; for a good reason. Having an especial taste for and he told me that the fishes’ascent was a puzzle salmon, the bears would watch at the pot-hole, to him, until one day his boy called him out to the and as the salmon, dashing up the fall, were