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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 JACK-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 J. 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 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,
SOME. INTERESTING LITTLE SEALS. Could turn you topsy-turvy and hardly seem to 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, Are jokes the midget loves to play alike on friend that place, by the way, you must go just behind
Makah tribe, who live at Neah Bay. To find 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,
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
I'm glad to hear of this polite robin, dear L. F. great favorite. Every day it would be put overboard for a swim, and would disappear, but by and And while we are upon the subject, here are two
welcome letters in defense of parent mockingby it would return to the gangway and be taken on board. Once the steamer moved away for a whole birds, who it seems have been unjustly accused of day, but when it returned 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. Nicholas,
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 gathering storm. I looked down into a great them every day with worms, berries, etc., until they were old enough
cessful were put in a cage on the piazza, and the parent-birds fed cherry-tree and saw a beautiful robin on her nest.
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
The other, escaping as far out as possible, he crouched low on the edge 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 icn has the historic girl, Woo, of Hwang Ho," it will be useful to many of
sound of yon.
AUBURN, N. Y., 1886.
ST. PAUL, MINN. Dear St. NICHOLAS: Mamma says that I may send you a pict- My Dear ST. NICHOLAS: Although I have taken you for more ure of a little girl who has been raised on ST. NICHOLAS. We have than five years, I have only written once, and that was to Jack. So every one that ever was printed. The story that I always liked best to-day I thought I would write to you, and thank you for the enjoy. of all is “Dressing Mary Ann," in 1880, because Mamma made it ment you have afforded me. come true with my French doll, only her name is Cornelia. Ever so I like all your stories very much; but, like the other children, I many things in ST. NICHOLAS will come true if you only try. Not have my favorites. all things, though, for I might pound my Papa on the back all day, The story I like the best is “Donald and Dorothy," though it and I never could pound such a story out of him as Mr. Howells's is a rather late date to tell you so, little girl did out of hers. She's lucky. Mine only knows two stories. I think the Little Lord Fauntleroy" is lovely. But all your Mamma says that you don't like long letters, but she is sure you stories are so nice, it is pretty hard to choose the best. will like me, and I am sure I hope so.
St. Nicholas is always a welcome visitor, and Papa, Mamma, Your friend always, JULIE. and I read it eagerly.
I have seen several letters from Minneapolis, but not any from St. We thank Julie very sincerely for the pretty picture, which shows Paul. a face of so much animation that we cannot help feeling a little But now I must close, hoping to see this in your charming magaconcerned in behalf of ner Papa's back. Now, if Julie only could
zine, that is, if it is not too long. help that other little girl in her filial exercise, what might they not,
I remain, your loving reader, MAUDE C. by their combined exertion, get out of Mr. Howells, and so make the whole world of children happy!
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
WOODBURY, N. J. long, but it seems so to me. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I think that ST. NICHOLAS is one of the My home in Philadelphia is very pleasant, and I go to a lovely loveliest magazines ever published. “Little Lord Fauntleroy" is too school, where I study and have fun at the same time, you need not lovely for anything. I can hardly wait until next month Among think it is a kindergarten, for I am too big a girl for that, but the my lovely Christmas presents was a beautiful boy doll. I have the teachers and scholars are so nice that no one could help having a loveliest cat; he is very big, and he has a very superb tail. I have good time and wanting to study. always banged it, and so it is as big at one end as the other. His We go away to some seashore place every summer, and have name is Schnider Jefferson Rip Van Winkle. His name used to perfectly splendid times. We went to Mount Desert for two years, be “Romeo," but I did not like that, and so I call him “Schnider." and all liked it so much, for you know it has seashore and mounYour faithful reader, ALICE, tains, 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
BERRYVILLE, VA. such fun to go out in a bark canoe with a real Indian to paddle you, Dear St. Nicholas: I like you very much; we have taken you but it feels as if it would upset all the time. ever since you started, and I think you the nicest story-book I ever Last summer we went to Newport, where we are having a cottage read.
built to go to next year ; there they did not have canoes, but only I live in the Shenandoah Valley, with the Blue Ridge mountains row-boats and sail-boats. in sight, and not very far from Greenway Court. We can see Ashby
Your loving little friend, “Bee H. Jay." 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.
MEMPHIS, TENN. Your affectionate reader, J. A. W. 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 LONGDALE MINES, ALLEGHANY Co., VA. nice to write on. Dear St. NichoLAS: I have seen so many letters in your maga- I have three roosters and seven hens, and three of them have laid. zine from little girls, that I have concluded to write also. You must A lady gave me a hen and rooster. They are Plymouth Rocks, know your magazine is highly appreciated in our wild home, among and are very pretty, and for the first time, this morning he crowed, the iron-mountains of Virginia. It has been very, very cold here, and when I went out to the barn this morning I heard a rooster and as my little brother Willie and I have a cough, we have to stay crow, and I went to the barn door and saw my Plymouth Rock crow, indoors most of the time, and amuse ourselves with our pet kitten, and I went in the house and made Mamma guess, and she guessed and reading the dear ST. NICHOLAS. One of the little boys here has that he crowed, and I said " Yes!” Then I went upstairs and asked a fawn. It is a lovely pet, and so gentle and graceful. Willie and Mona, and she said “Was the rooster dead ?" and I said "No!” I are afraid to go far from the house, as there are so many bears then she said, “They are sick." and I said “No!” she said " I got around here. They are killed very frequently. I should like to see another one,” I said “No!” Then I said he had crowed, and Mona one, but at a distance. From your little friend, ALICE K was so pleased.
I went to Papa; he said that the roosters had been fighting. Dear ST. NICHOLAS; Shall I tell the little girls who play with “No!" And he could not guess, so I told him he had crowed. Miss paper dolls, how we make nice dresses for our dolls. We take the Etta, a lady that is living here, I asked also, and she said, "a hen prettiest colored head we can find in some fashion book, cut it off has laid an egg.".
She said, “A hen has laid a horse- at half the shoulders, or a long neck, We then cut out all the * No! Neither guessed right but Mamma. She thought dresses, capes, cloaks, in the book, without heads, and then we have she had heard him crow.
a tiny bit of shoemaker's wax on the front of our doll's neck, or on Miss Etta gave me a Brahma hen, and I bought a Brahma rooster. the back of the dress; and so, all the dresses are easily stuck on, by He is young and can not crow. He is very tall and heavy, and I will the wax, and as quickly taken off. Bee's-wax will do, if you can weigh him. He runs round the yard and steps like a king.
not get the shoemaker's. One of the fashion reviews will contain He began to fight the Plymouth rooster and he got whipped bad, a fine wardrobe for your dolls. Yours truly,
B. 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
AN APRIL DAY. 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.
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 ** The Four M's," as we call ourselves, because al 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. 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.
WASHINGTON, D. C. 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 industrious 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. li 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.
NAVY YARD, BROOKLYN, N. Y. DEÁR 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 pleas- number, and we have all the volumes from number one to this time. ure of reading your pages for many years to come, for I certainly So I consider myself entitled to a little "say" on the "curve" ball never read such interesting stories.
question. I think the explanation given in your February number I think “Little Lord Fauntleroy" is just a splendid story, and as is wrong, though very plausible. The fact is that the ball, rotating for the “Brownies," I think they are quite a busy little people. All as the writer says, will curve the other way. but the “Dude;" he does n't mean to hurt himself working.
I am afraid if I write much more, you will not find
Р. Letter-box for December were read with great interest. I myself have acted as catcher to the first pitcher in Prince- In the above diagram, the ball “P" rotating as shown by the ton, who systematically curved his ball. I was in the second nine “ D,” and thrown in the direction "A,” will curve toof our class, and afterwards joined him in the first, to which he ward “B." was promoted for this specialty. The curve was too manifest to This diagram is in a horizontal plane. Of course, in a vertical be denied. Mr. Harvey says, "I have not been able to learn why plane, the ball falls less or more accordingly, as the “rise" or "drop" a ball curves.”
curve is pitched, but it never does really rise, though it may have It seems to me that there is a simple physical explanation, which that appearance. I suppose the ball might be made to rise if pitched I have attempted to show by the accompanying diagram. As the ball by a very strong and * limber-wristed" man. leaves the pitcher's hand, the air in front of the ball is compacted, I should like to have this subject cleared up and scientifically making the resistance in front of the ball greater than behind, and explained, as I have known how curving was accomplished for the direction of the ball's revolution upon its axis would determine eight or nine years, but never have seen anybody who could tell the direction of the curve, just as certainly as in the slow balls in why. cricket the bowler can vary the direction of the ball at will as it The direction of the ball's rotation, and the curve, are perfectly strikes the ground.
apparent to the pitcher, umpire, and catcher. If this theory be correct, then, If any one will take a light tennis ball and throw it, he will readily in figure 1, if the ball be "twist- see whích way it curves. ing" to the left, the ball would
One of your readers, FRED. N. FOLSOM. 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 We acknowledge with hearty thanks the receipt of pleasant letapply to the "drop" and "ris- ters from the young friends whose names here follow: Betty R. Smith, ing
This explanation Frank P. Kenney, Lulu L. Robinson, Eva Wilmarth, Bertha D., would account for the very re- Nellie M., May Stearns, Mabel G. Longley, C. C., B. L., Alice markable phenomenon, observed B. B., Millicent, Edith E. Andrews, Alice Frame, S. M. L., Lucy K., doubtless by your baseball read- Nora McCarthy, H. H. Rickards, “ Frisco,' Sadie Redington, ers, of a ball leaving the bat on a Maud Harrington, Scudder Coyle, Jennie Hicks, N. W. M., Carrie
dead level," and passing away E, and Cora L., M. T. Duncan, Evelyn Gardner, Rose and Jean,
over the head of the expectant F. E. S., Louise L. W., Dick Marcy, Carrie W. Van Sickle, P. A., 2.
fielder, not because he misjudged Eleanor N. Ritchie, Mary Winthrop, Bessie Cowen, Millie E. L.,
the distance, but because the Maggie E. Clarke, Mabel C. Hall, E. Kip, May Bridges, Johanna L., “climbing twist," which he could not reckon upon, deceived him. Rejoyce B. C., Mabella, Amelia, and Lora, Ruth, Nellie J. Could
Thomas M. Owen, Marion E. Hutchins, Bertha M. Crane, Camille
and Edith, G. T.'0., Margaret Baird, Irene T. Searle, Elsie M.
BROOKLYN, N. Y. South, Sarah P. L., Charlotte S. Stone, I. P. T., W. W. C., S. L., DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have not been one of your subscribers Laura Martin, W. H. Stuart, Laura V. N. Talmage. Eddie E for a number of years, but my brother and myself have bought every Crellin, and E. B. M.