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I'M told that there is a gloomy place in the world that goes by the cheery title of the Cape of Good Hope, and that those cheery folk, the Dutch, once established a colony there. It seems, moreover, that, at first, the busy Dutch farmers of Cape Colony were greatly bothered by the raids of natives • called Bushmen whose country was separated from the Dutch districts by a vast desert. The lack of water in this desert- for the Bushmen would choose the dry seasons for their raids — would prevent the farmers from making a successful pursuit of the robbers, especially since they could only follow by daylight, when the “spoor," or road, could be seen; while the Bushmen, from their knowledge of the country, could easily travel by night, and in a straight line across the desert. But Bushmen must have water, too, it seems. How did they manage to secure it? On their line of travel, at long intervals, they had, aided by their wives, hidden water in the shells of ostrich-eggs, brought from great distances. Even at night they
could find the water-vessels, so perfect was their SSJACK-IN-THE-PULPIT.
knowledge of the country.
Was n't this something like the drink that the This is just the time, my chicks, when in our Deacon objects to, called “egg-nog?” part of the world snow lying in the hollows does n't quite know whether to go or to stay.
ECONOMICAL POISONING. But April soon settles that question, though it is
SAN FRANCISCO. generally an uncertain sort of a month in the DEAR JACK: A few days ago my father, who was Seamen's Chapmanagement of its own affairs.
lain at Panama and Aspinwall for several years, told me that they And this reminds me of something sent to my were very much troubled with the large wood-ants; and to get rid of pulpit by Mr. Harold W. Raymond, about 1. F., a them, he would make a small hole in the top of the passage leading certain friend of mine who must be known to all
to their home, and drop in a pinch of arsenic. It was quite successful.
Some of the ants would eat it and die -- then some more would come of you. Here it is :
along and devour the first deceased; so that it was necessary to . I know a little giant, no bigger than a tack,
use only a small pinch of the poison.
Sincerely yours, Who can wrestle with a fat man, and throw him
BERTHA L. ROWELL. on his back; His knotted little muscles, almost too small to spy, Could turn you topsy-turvy and hardly seem to
SOME INTERESTING LITTLE SEALS. try.
Your friend Ernest Ingersoll sends you a mesTo tweak the nose, and pinch the toes, and fill
sage this month about some Indian boys of the one full of woe,
Makah tribe, who live at Neah Bay. To find Are jokes the midget loves to play alike on friend
that place, by the way, you must go just behind and foe.
Cape Flattery, wherever that queer-named cape
may be. The Deacon says most likely it 's a danBut he can do still greater things than make a gerous cape, judging from its title. Well, it seems big man squeal —
that the Makah boys have pets and a form of He can split a stone in splinters, or break a bar amusement denied to most youngsters. In midof steel;
summer great quantities of fur seals approach the He can shape the dripping eaves'-drops into a shores in that region, and are chased in canoes crystal spear,
and killed by the men of the tribe for the sake of And clutch the falling rain so hard, 't will turn both the hides and the Aesh. With them come all white with fear;
many little “pup" seals, some of which are always He can chain the dashing river, and plug the captured and taken home. running spout;
Tying strings around the necks of these “pups," He can build a wall upon the lake and shut the the Indian boys make them swim in the surf just water out.
outside the breakers, and tow their canoes across the
bay, and even after them up the rivers. In short, But if you want to see this little giant cut and the Indian lads have a world of fun with those genrun,
tle and graceful water-dogs. Mr. Ingersoll says Just build a tiny fire, or step out and fetch the also that the crew of a United States steamer, sun.
which was cruising in those waters a few years
ago, rescued one of those little “pup" seals. Its near by, smoothed and dried his crumpled feathers, mother had been killed, and the sailors kept it on then sang a cheerful song as if no storm had board the ship by feeding it condensed milk. It raged.
L. F. grew, became playful and confiding, and was a great favorite. Every day it would be put over
I'm glad to hear of this polite robin, dear L. F. board for a swim, and would disappear, but by and
And while we are upon the subject, here are two by it would return to the gangway and be taken on
welcome letters in defense of parent mocking
birds, who it seems have been unjustly accused of board. Once the steamer moved away for a whole day, but when it returned to its anchorage the lit- aver
ed to its anchorage the lit a very cruel act. tle seal was waiting for it, and ready to be taken
VERDICT : NOT GUILTY. aboard. Finally it was left behind, while a sudden
FERNANDINA, FLA. trip, lasting two weeks, was taken ; and it failed to
Dear Jack: You ask, in the October number of St. NICHCLAS,
if it is true that mocking-birds will poison their young if they are re-appear when the vessel came back.
taken from them and hung in a cage where the old birds can get to
them. This is a popular superstition, especially among the colored ROBIN'S UMBRELLA.
people. We live in the land of mocking-birds, however, and have
CADIZ, OHIO. orange-trees close to our piazza, in which they build their nests: and DEAR JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT: One summer several times we've taken young birds from their nests to raise for
our Northern friends. The brood with which we were the most sucmorning I stopped at a stair-window to notice a
cessful were put in a cage on the piazza, and the parent-birds fed gathering storm. I looked down into a great
them every day with worms, berries, etc., until they were old enough cherry-tree and saw a beautiful robin on her nest.
eautiful robin on nei nesi. to be sent away. Your friend and constant reader, She looked up very anxiously. Just then her mate
CLINTON HENRY. came home, gave her a great ripe cherry for break
Orange, Los ANGELES Co., Cal. fast, and hopping to the edge of the nest raised his DEAR Jack: I can answer the question about mocking-birds umbrella over her! It was neither silk nor cotton, asked in the October number. The old birds will not poison their but his own pretty wings! Stretching his wings
young. I have raised two mocking-birds in cages where the parent
birds could get at them. One I have now. as far out as possible, he crouched low on the edge
The other, escaping
while I was cleaning the cage, was caught by the cat, and when I of the nest. The great drops of rain drenched him.
rescued it, my poor pet was dead. When the storm was over he hopped to a branch
Respectfully yours, GUSSIE DRINOCK.
The brief article on Shakspere's School, in this number, by the our readers to know that Chinese words and pronunciations are Rev. Dr. Danker, is chiefly devoted to a description of the old by no means the jumble of sounds and letters that they appear os school at Stratford, as it appears to-day. Our next number will that most young people imagine them to be. open with a longer article, by Miss Rose G. Kingsley, entitled The following rule will enable any girl or boy to pronounce the “When Shakspere was a Boy." Miss Kingsley describes delight Chinese names that are found in the sketch of the Princess Woo, fully the scenes through which the young Shakspere wandered, (or Wû as the name is sometimes written): In Chinese û has the and the experiences which probably befell him as a lad. Several sound of oo as in food; u of u as in sung; final i of ec as in beautiful drawings, by Mr. Alfred Parsons, will accompany the text. meet; ui of ay as in say; ai of igh as in high ; ao of ow as
in how; a of a as in father; o of o as in sple ; ih of i as in In connection with Mr. Brooks's interesting account of that lip; ia has the sound of ya as in yarn; and final ion has the historic girl, “Woo, of Hwang Ho," it will be useful to many of sound of yen.
AUBURN, N. Y., 1886. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Mamma says that I may send you a picture of a little girl who has been raised on ST. NICHOLAS. We have every one that ever was printed. The story that I always liked best of all is “ Dressing Mary Ann," in 1880, because Mamma made it come true with my French doll, only her name is Cornelia. Ever so many things in ST. NICHOLAS will come true if you only try. Not all things, though, for I might pound my Papa on the back all day. and I never could pound such a story out of him as Mr. Howells's little girl did out of hers. She's lucky. Mine only knows two stories. Mamma says that you don't like long letters, but she is sure you will like me, and I am sure I hope so.
Your friend always, Julie. We thank Julie very sincerely for the pretty picture, which shows a face of so much animation that we cannot help feeling a little concerned in behalf of ner Papa's back. Now, if Julie only could help that other little girl in her filial exercise, what might they not, by their combined exertion, get out of Mr. Howells, and so make the whole world of children happy!
ST. PAUL, MINX. MY DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Although I have taken you for more than five years, I have only written once, and that was to Jack. So to-day I thought I would write to you, and thank you for the enjoyment you have afforded me.
I like all your stories very much; but, like the other children, I have my favorites
The story I like the best is “Donald and Dorot! * though it is a rather late date to tell you so
I think the “ Little Lord Fauntleroy" is lovely. But all your stories are so nice, it is pretty hard to choose the best.
ST. NICHOLAS is always a welcome visitor, and Papa, Mamma, and I read it eagerly.
I have seen several letters from Minneapolis, but not any from St. Paul.
But now I must close, hoping to see this in your charming magazine, that is, if it is not too long.
I remain, your loving reader, MAUDE C.
WOODBURY, N. J. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I think that ST. NICHOLAS is one of the loveliest magazines ever published. “Little Lord Fauntleroy" is too lovely for anything. I can hardly wait until next month Among my lovely Christmas presents was a beautiful boy doll. I have the loveliest cat; he is very big, and he has a very superb tail. I have always banged it, and so it is as big at one end as the other. His name is Schnider Jefferson Rip Van Winkle. His name used to be“ Romeo," but I did not like that, and so I call him “Schnider,"
Your faithful reader, ALICE.
PHILADELPHIA. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I am nine years old, and have taken you ever since I can remember, which I suppose you will say is not very long, but it seems so to me.
My home in Philadelphia is very pleasant, and I go to a lovely school, where I study and have fun at the same time, you need not think it is a kindergarten, for I am too big a girl for that, but the teachers and scholars are so nice that no one could help having a good time and wanting to study.
We go away to some seashore place every summer, and have perfectly splendid times. We went to Mount Desert for two years, and all liked it so much, for you know it has seashore and mountains, and also a real Indian encampment, where the Indians live, and sell pretty baskets of birch-bark and straw, and bows and arrows. and little canoes, and feathers and lots more pretty things. It is such fun to go out in a bark canoe with a real Indian to paddle you, but it feels as if it would upset all the time.
Last summer we went to Newport, where we are having a cottage built to go to next year; there they did not have canoes, but only row-boats and sail-boats.
Your loving little friend, “BEE H. Jay."
BERRYVILLE, VA. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I like you very much; we have taken you ever since you started, and I think you the nicest story-book I ever read.
I live in the Shenandoah Valley, with the Blue Ridge mountains in sight, and not very far from Greenway Court. We can see Ashby Gap where Washington came through when he surveyed Lord Fairfax's land. I think he was the greatest general that ever lived. I have a pony, gun, and dog. I must close.
Your affectionate reader, J. A. W.
LONGDALE MINES, ALLEGHANY Co., VA. Dear ST. NICHOLAS: I have seen so many letters in your magazine from little girls, that I have concluded to write also. You must know your magazine is highly appreciated in our wild home, among the iron-mountains of Virginia. It has been very, very cold here, and as my little brother Willie and I have a cough, we have to stay indoors most of the time, and amuse ourselves with our pet kitten, and reading the dear ST. NICHOLAS. One of the little boys here has a fawn. It is a lovely pet, and so gentle and graceful. Willie and I are afraid to go far from the house, as there are so many bears around here. They are killed very frequently. I should like to see one, but at a distance. From your little friend, ALICE K.
MEMPHIS, TENN. MY DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I am dealing in chickens now, and they have laid me two dozen eggs, and I get from Mamma twenty cents a dozen, and I keep all my accounts in a book. I am writing on it; it is about eleven inches long and six inches wide, and very nice to write on.
I have three roosters and seven hens, and three of them have laid.
A lady gave me a hen and rooster. They are Plymouth Rocks, and are very pretty, and for the first time, this morning he crowed, and when I went out to the barn this morning I heard a rooster crow, and I went to the barn door and saw my Plymouth Rock crow, and I went in the house and made Mamma guess, and she guessed that he crowed, and I said " Yes!” Then I went upstairs and asked Mona, and she said “Was the rooster dead." and I said “No!" then she said, “They are sick." and I said “No!” she said “I got another one,” I said “No!" Then I said he had crowed, and Mona was so pleased.
I went to Papa: he said that the roosters had been fighting. “No!" And he could not guess, so I told him he had crowed. Miss Etta, a lady that is living here, I asked also, and she said, “a hen has laid an egg." "No!" She said, “A hen has laid a horseshoe.” “No!" Neither guessed right but Mamma. She thought she had heard him crow.
Miss Etta gave me a Brahma hen, and I bought a Brahma rooster. He is young and can not crow. He is very tall and heavy, and I will weigh him. He runs round the yard and steps like a king.
He began to fight the Plymouth rooster and he got whipped bad, because the Plymouth Rocks pecked him back of the eye, and I bathed it.
Also one that has a little game in it, flew over the fence, and stays here.
Papa gave me two. One of them laid first, and that was Mamma's Christmas present. I have more to say, but am so tired.
Fred F. D.
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Shall I tell the little girls who play with paper dolls, how we make nice dresses for our dolls. We take the prettiest colored head we can find in some fashion book, cut it off at half the shoulders, or a long neck, We then cut out all the dresses, capes, cloaks, in the book, without heads, and then we have a tiny bit of shoemaker's wax on the front of our doll's neck, or on the back of the dress; and so, all the dresses are easily stuck on, by the wax, and as quickly taken off. Bee's-wax will do, if you can not get the shoemaker's. One of the fashion reviews will contain a fine wardrobe for your dolls. Yours truly,
AN APRIL DAY.
CRAWFORDSVILLE, INDIANA. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: We have been taking you for a long time, and like you more than any other magazine. We are very much interested in all your pieces, especially “ Little Lord Fauntleroy." We are two of "The Four M's," as we call ourselves, because all of our first names begin with M. When we were reading “Little Women" we liked it so much (as we do all of Miss Louise Alcott's stories) that we, each of us, assumed a name of each of the four sisters. We have never written to you before, and we hope to see this printed in the March number.
Yours truly, Meg and Jo.
UNITED STATES INDIAN SERVICE,
CROW CREEK AGENCY, DAKOTA. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Frank and I are two little brothers, who live here among the Indians and know a great many of them by name. When one of them speaks to us he calls us " Misunka," which means "my little brother." Our Papa has been agent for some of these Indians a good many years. Each of us has a warm cap, made of the skin of a " Jack rabbit," the big ears sticking up in front. We are always delighted when the ST. NICHOLAS comes, and as this is our first letter to you, we should be much pleased if you thought it worthy to be printed in the next number. If you will come to visit us, we will introduce you to some Indian Chiefs who will shake hands and say "How !" to you in the most friendly manner. This morning is bright and clear, but so intensely cold that the thermometer shows it to be twenty-five below zero. I am your true friend,
HARRY B. G.
“THERE 'S THE SUN, I DECLARE!"
WASHINGTON, DEAR ST. NICHOLAS : What has become of the Brownies for February? I miss them so much, especially the Dude, as he reminds me so much of a good many (very) young men of this city. You just ought to see them tripping down the avenue, with such big feet, and no legs worth speaking of.
I love ST. NICHOLAS, and have taken it for a long time. I am twelve years old. Mamma says that I will never be too old to read St. NICHOLAS. She reads it every month, and we have lots of fun with the Brownies. Please don't forget them next month. Is my letter good enough to publish ?
Affectionately, CLYDE C. The Brownies are crowded out this month, too, dear Clyde; but they will reappear in the midst of lively scenes, in our next number.
HARTFORD, CONN. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: You were given to me four years ago this Christmas, as a present, and though I received many nice presents, you give me the most pleasure of all. I am always so glad when you come, for I love to read your grand stories, and I think the Brownies are the cutest little creatures, and especially the industri. ous Irishman, and the lazy Dude. I think " Driven Back to Eden" was lovely, and I was sorry when it was ended. I don't go to school, because I am sick, and so I have plenty of time to write to you. It is very lonesome, with nobody to play with. But I don't get very lonesome with you to read. I have written a long letter now, but I hope not too long to print. I am twelve years old. I made one of those morning-glory houses, but they did not grow well. I shall try again next suminer. Your devoted friend, MAY P. S.
CHICAGO, ILL. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have been getting you for seven years, and I don't think I can do without you. I like you better than any other magazine. I think all the stories are good. I like "Little Lord Fauntleroy," and "Among the Law-makers"; when I read it I wish to visit Washington. I think the "Brownies" are very laughable. I think the Dutch boy that did all his shopping with the Bible, was very smart. Now, dear St. NICHOLAS, I hope you will print my letter, as it is the first one I ever wrote to you, and I will be so pleased.
Your loving reader, MAMIE E. F.
CINCINNATI, O. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I like you very much. I think the “ Little Brownies" are the nicest stories I ever read. I have a little brother named Brownie, three years and a half old; he thinks the “ Brownies" are meant for him. We had a very heavy snow-storm Friday; and yesterday Papa found a sparrow half-frozen; and Mother wrapped him in a shawl and put him in a little basket, and when she went to feed him, he flew out of the window before she could touch him. I am very much interested in “Little Lord Fauntleroy." And Mother enjoys working the puzzles. I should like to see this printed. I am eight years old.
Your little friend, PERCY R. H.
whother wrapped him in a Sapa found a sparrow hayy snow-storm
Navy YARD, BROOKLYN, N. Y. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I live in the Navy Yard, as my grandfather is a naval constructor. There are a great many pleasant girls and boys here, and we have splendid times. Our next-door neighbor took you all last year, and he would get all the children in the yard in his house, and read the stories out loud. He is taking you this year also. I am fourteen years old, and my sister Amie is twelve. There is a building down the yard that we call the rink, for we are allowed to skate there. It is much nicer than a real rink, for we all know each other here.
Goodbye, EDITH K.
ANSONIA, CONN. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: You were given to me as a Christmas present, three years ago, by my Mamma. I was to take you one year only; but when the end of the year came, I could not bear the thoughts of giving you up, so Mamma said I might take you another year, and I've taken you ever since; I hope I may have the pleasure of reading your pages for many years to come, for I certainly never read such interesting stories.
I think “Little Lord Fauntleroy" is just a splendid story; and as for the “ Brownies," I think they are quite a busy little people. All but the “Dude;" he does n't mean to hurt himself working.
I am afraid if I write much more, you will not find room to print my letter. So I will close. I am twelve years old. Your friend ever, “ PEARL."
number, and we have all the volumes from number one to this time. So I consider myself entitled to a little "say" on the "curve" ball question. I think the explanation given in your February number is wrong, though very plausible. The fact is that the ball, rotating as the writer says, will curve the other way.
LA GRANDE, OREGON. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: The first two letters in your Letter-box for December were read with great interest. I myself have acted as catcher to the first pitcher in Prince ton, who systematically curved his ba!). I was in the second nine of our class, and afterwards joined him in the first, to which he was promoted for this specialty. The curve was too manifest to be denied. Mr. Harvey says, “I have not been able to learn why a ball curves."
It seems to me that there is a simple physical explanation, which I have attempted to show by the accompanying diagram. As the ball
In the above diagram, the ball “P” rotating as shown by the arrow “D,” and thrown in the direction "A." will curve toward "B."
This diagram is in a horizontal plane. Of course, in a vertical plane, the ball falls less or more accordingly, as the “rise" or "drop" curve is pitched, but it never does really rise, though it may have that appearance. I suppose the ball might be made to rise if pitched by a very strong and “limber-wristed" man.
I should like to have this subject cleared up and scientifically explained, as I have known how curving was accomplished for eight or nine years, but never have seen anybody who could tell why.
The direction of the ball's rotation, and the curve, are perfectly apparent to the pitcher, umpire, and catcher.
if any one will take a light tennis ball and throw it, he will readily see whích way it curves.
One of your readers, Fred. N. Folsom.
making the resistance in front of the ball greater than behind, and the direction of the ball's revolution upon its axis would determine the direction of the curve, just as certainly as in the slow balls in cricket the bowler can vary the direction of the ball at will as it
strikes the ground.
If this theory be correct, then, in figure 1, if the ball be "twisting" to the left, the ball would curve to the right, while in figure 2, if the ball be "twisting" to the right, the ball would curve to the left. (By “twist" I mean revolution.) The same reasoning would apply to the "drop" and "rising" curves. This explanation would account for the very remarkable phenomenon, observed doubtless by your baseball readers, of a ball leaving the bat on a “ dead level," and passing away over the head of the expectant fielder, not because he misjudged
the distance, but because the “climbing twist," which he could not reckon upon, deceived him.
ROBT. L. STEVENS.
We acknowledge with hearty thanks the receipt of pleasant letters from the young friends whose names here follow: Betty R. Smith, Frank P. Kenney, Lulu L. Robinson, Eva Wilmarth, Bertha D., Nellie M., May Stearns, Mabel G. Longley, C. C., 'B. L., Alice B. B., Millicent. Edith E. Andrews, Alice Frame, S. M. L., Lucy K. Nora McCarthy, H. H. Rickards, “ Frisco," Sadie Redington, Maud Harrington, Scudder Coyle, Jennie Hicks, N. W. M., Carrie E. and Cora L., M. T. Duncan, Evelyn Gardner, Rose and Jean, F. E. S., Louise L. W., Dick Marcy, Carrie W. Van Sickle, P. A., Eleanor N. Ritchie, Mary Winthrop, Bessie Cowen, Millie E. L., Maggie E. Clarke, Mabel C. Hall, E. Kip, May Bridges, Johanna L., Rejoyce B. C., Mabella, Amelia, and Lora, Ruth, Nellie J. Gould and Emma A. Green, Grace Schermerhorn, Jennie B. Bruce, Ada D. Thomas M. Owen, Marion E. Hutchins, Bertha M. Crane, Camille and Edith, G. T. O., Margaret Baird, Irene T. Searle, Elsie M. South, Sarah P. L., Charlotte S. Stone, I. P. T., W. W. C., S. L. Laura Martin, W. H. Stuart, Laura V. N. Talmage. Eddie E. Crellin, and E. B. M.
BROOKLYN, N. Y. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have not been one of your subscribers for a number of years, but my brother and myself have bought every