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smile, coupled with his own instinct for mother-love, dissipated his shyness, and he ran forward eagerly. But as he was about to spring into her embrace, his angel-like vision drew back with a little cry:
"Rolleston, Rolleston, your hands! What have you been doing!"
The boy stopped, looking at his damp soiled palms. His lips trembled, and he turned a pitiful pleading gaze to his mother's face. The woman shook her fair head slowly.
"Take him back to his room and make him presentable, Rosine. Go with nurse like a good boy, Rolleston, and come back to mother when you are sweet and clean."
She turned again to the man, whose eyes showed quizzical little wrinkles which said plainly: "I fancied it would be like that." A moment later a shrill childish cry came from the pergola.
There was a swift patter of feet and a man's step, and they turned to see Rolleston fling himself into the arms of a tall dark figure which bent and gathered him tenderly into its arms. A dark bearded face and the little pale one met in a long kiss. Unseen they watched the father and son. The woman saw in the deep black eyes of her husband, who had fought his way up like a giant to reach her and to give her this splendor, the same starved look she had seen in the eyes of Rolleston. Her eyebrows showed annoyance. The husband looked over the head of the boy in his arms to the pair in the tea-garden. He smiled strainedly, but the light of his joy as a father died from his eyes. After a moment he lifted the tiny figure to his shoulder and strode back to the terrace, the nurse following respectfully.
The man in the tea-garden turned to the sea and drew a deep breath. A sudden doubt had entered his mind. The blood of a grandfather who had fought successfully to open a new, wild country, stirred faintly in his veins. He looked at the smooth turf, and clean boulders artistically spread upon the shore. He saw the marble-topped knoll, the great white villa, the painfully symmetrical trees, and the precise paths. Not a thing met his eye which had not been tainted by human hands, save the salt water. The ghastly artificiality of the
life swept over him. For an instant he wished that he could bring happiness back to the father and son he had just seen starving in the midst of this Paradise. A decision to attempt to do so hovered on the outskirts of a lethargic mentality. Then a soft shoulder touched his own. He looked down into a pair of exquisite blue eyes that looked up into his with smiling comprehension. In a moment he had forgotten everything. He bent over and kissed a pair of lips which had a deeper red than Nature intended a woman's lips to have.
Somewhere off on the terrace a man and a boy were telling each other stories of Hans and his wife Gretchen who lived with their children in the hut in the woods and fought bears and wolves.
C. L. Watkins.
-Darkness was fast falling over the storm-tossed sea, Huge waves were dashing themselves to spray against the massive foundation of Pollocks Rip Light. It was a bad night, in fact, it was the worst "Old Joe" had ever seen. That meant a good deal, for "Old Joe" had been Uncle Sam's trusty servant on the light for over thirty years. With unusual care he trimmed the big lamp, and polished its lenses that it might shed its warning flashes far out over the white-capped sea. He surveyed his work, then slowly descended the spiral staircase to the cozy round room below. Here was a savory smell of ham intermingled with fragrant coffee. Over the stove leaned the broad form of "Boy," the assistant keeper, whose love of the restless sea had brought him to this life of isolation. In the narrow confines of the round walls these two ate, slept and watched together, loving each other as father and son.
Soon supper was ready, and they seated themselves at opposite sides of the white oil-clothed table. In the center steamed the lately cooked dishes. Methodically they helped themselves. Words were few between them, so well did they understand each other. When the meal was half over "Old Joe" broke the silence. "Bad night this," said he. "Guess we'll both stand watch to-night." It was not a pleasant prospect to stay awake through those long dreary hours until morning should dawn, but neither flinched-it was their duty.
Supper finished, the two again mounted the winding staircase to the light. The room was smaller than the one they had just left, and without the stove there was a feeling of dampness. For some time they sat in stillness, trying to pierce the impenetrable curtain of blackness.
"Yer got her blazing for fair to-night, ain't yer, Joe," broke in the boy. Joe, puffing his old clay, leaned back in his chair. The rays from the lamp fell on his weather-worn face. Its bronze color was framed by grey beard and white hair. His clear blue eyes told of the big heart beneath his brass-buttoned coat. "Yep, bad night this," was his somewhat brief reply. Indeed it was a bad night. The wind shrieked like a mighty siren, hurling the spray violently against the windows. "Old Joe's" thoughts seemed far away over those black waters as he sat slowly puffing great clouds of smoke from his pipe.
"'Boy,'" said he, at length, "This sea's rough, mighty rough, but, yer know, sometimes it strikes me it ain't half so rough as the sea of life on shore."
"Mebbe that's right, too," muttered the lad, somewhat in doubt for a reply.
"Boy,'" continued "Old Joe," with more than usual earnestness, “I never meant to tell you what I'm agoin' to now, nor nobody else. But somehow the thought of them vessels at sea to-night sort of runs through my head, and I jest can't help it. Back in the seventies I was young, 'Boy,' jest like you are now, 'ceptin' one way I wasn't jest the same as you, for the sea attracted you, but it didn't me. No, 'Boy,' I couldn't see nothin' in life 'cept her. 'Her' 's a short story— I loved an' she didn't. She married; I came here. I couldn't stand the world-it was no place for a poor cuss like me. Well, here I've stayed now nigh onto thirty years." He paused a minute to calculate. "Yes, jest about thirty, I guess; and do you know, 'Boy,' I've never seen her but once durin' all that time-never wanted to since that once.'
He hesitated, a mist stole over his blue eyes, then slowly he continued: "Separated and gone wrong on the sea of life was her short hist❜ry, and as I was a sittin' here, 'Boy,' I was jest wonderin' if me and you couldn't invent some kind of a land lighthouse to keep such as her offr'm the shoals."
G. H. Townsend.
The train was stopping several minutes to take in water,-ample time to survey the place. It was a com
mon little Mexican town like hundreds of others, two narrow, sun-baked streets crossing, with flat, one-story stucco shops on either side, spotted and crumbling away with age. The sun was at its highest, and glared dazzling bright down upon the white-walled buildings, the whitish dusty roads, and the light sandstone hills that hemmed in the town, a miniature world of its own. It was a Saint's Day, a day of rest, ever acceptable to the Mexican. Groups of men lounging about in the shade along the streets, puffing their pipes and laughing, designated the various saloons. Occasionally an exceptionally energetic fellow shambled by, his hands thrust in his pockets, his huge sombrero pulled down over his eyes, dragging a donkey with a towering load piled on its back. Women, peevish, and wrinkled with care, carrying great wicker baskets, crowded about the car crying their open-work stuffs and gaudy scarfs; while swarms of dirty little Mexican boys scrambled for "centavos" tossed them from the car windows.
Near by a band of workmen, grading on the track, were listlessly shoveling dirt and repeatedly mopping the perspiration from their brows. Two newcomers approached them so dilapidated in appearance as to compel attention; a a man who reeled along with drunken gait and a little girl wearily trudging at his side with a small bundle under her arm. He was swarthy and well-built as the peons generally are, but his worn face and dull eyes revealed a life of disappointment, discouragement and dissipation. The child had great hungry brown eyes and long black hair that hung in tangled masses about her face. She stood there beside him, her hands clasped behind her back, such a dreary, forlorn, little creature with her bruised bare feet and ragged green dress; while the cruel sun cast down its merciless rays on her uncovered head.
The stranger was walking with one of the workmen, evidently their foreman. He finally paused, gazing with an expression of inquiry, almost hope, at the frowning men, while the other carefully scrutinized him. The child waited patiently, her sad eyes raised with a look of yearning and appeal. Thus they stood side by side like prisoners at court
awaiting the word of the judge; the man ragged, unkempt, irresponsible and the hungry, tired little girl. Several loiterers, who had been sitting on a freight car idly kicking their heels, jumped down and drew around, eager for a novel sight. The foreman coldly examined the man before him as one might an animal on exhibition. He shook his head carelessly, motioned them to be gone and continued his work.
Slowly the stranger turned, grasped the child's hand, and staggered on up the endless road. She tucked the little bundle under her arm, probably her only possessions in the wide world, and slowly, wearily trudged on at his side through the blinding heat and dust.
The train shrieked, started noiselessly up, and was soon gliding over the rails, leaving the tiny city many miles behind. S. T. Ordway.
-"But I wanta go! I wanta go fishing! Do take me, Jack, I'll carry the basket."
"You're too little, Tommy, you'd frighten all the trout.
"No I wouldn't! Please take me. I want to catch a real live trout with speckles on him,” wailed the younger boy. But his brother passed through the gate unheeding.
Tommy picked up a stone and threw it at the retreating form. The beautiful June day was spoiled for him. Jack was just as mean
Towards evening the traitor returned and curiosity proved too strong for wrath. Tommy rushed up eagerly. "Hi! Did you catch any? Let's see'em!" he cried. His brother, who remembered the occurrence of the morning, was made generous by success.
"There was a perfect old whopper by the ford," he said, "but it just lay still, and wiggled its fins and sulked. It was as long as that," he made a gesture which showed that the trout was between one and four feet long, then continued benevolently: "I'll take you to-morrow; you can watch me catch him."
There was an unusually good supper that evening, but trout swam before Tommy's eyes. He could see his brother's rod