Teddy Bears




Bears in cage





teddy bear sitting



publisher's emblem



contents contents
I. The Teddy Bears Arrive 7
II. Which Introduces Sally 15
III. In Which the Teddy Bear Finds a Name 21
IV. Enter Bob 28
V. A Trip to the Farm 34
VI. Bedelia Amuses Herself 41
VII. A Valley So Sweet 49
VIII. Home Again 56
IX. The Teddy Bears Pay a Visit to Bob and do Some Other Things 63
X. John Takes a Tumble 71
XI. Peter Pan Gains a New Idea 78
XII. They Visit the Kitchen 85
XIII. Peter Pan Uses the Telephone 93
XIV. The Teddy Bears at the Cleaner’s 101
XV. A Ball in the Nursery 108
XVI. The Twins Abscond 115
XVII. Bedelia Takes a Sea Voyage 123
XVIII. Bedelia Becomes Literary 131
XIX. Hallowe’en 140
XX. The Dream Child 147


Teddy Bears title

The Teddy Bears Arrive.


THE crate in which the Teddy bears had journeyed from their birthplace in the factory to the big department store to which they were consigned had at last arrived at its final destination and was being unpacked, much to the delight of its occupants. For, as everybody who has ever travelled much knows, it is uncomfortable enough to journey packed so tightly in tissue paper and excelsior that one cannot move even as much as a whisker. But to make the whole trip standing on one’s head is infinitely worse. And this had really happened to several of the Teddy bears.

But at last all their troubles and discomforts had come to an end. Deft hands carefully unpacked them. Their coats were brushed until they shone, their limbs, which of necessity had become more or less cramped, were carefully straightened, and their heads tilted at the most approved angle.


Some of them were dressed in delightful worsted sweaters and peaked toboggan caps, each having a long tassel that hung over at the side. And there were also the cutest woolen leggings to match.

Others were arrayed in little cotton overalls and a few in the most fascinating pajamas.

Most of them, however, wore only their own furry coats. And very fine indeed they looked after all the brushing and grooming.

Their toilets having been completed, they were carried out to Dept. A, where all the toys were displayed. And Dept. A was indeed one of the most important sections of the whole store. It occupied the central portion directly in front of the big glass doors, and its wares were temptingly displayed in several of the great windows.

In one of these had been built a roomy cage with white enameled bars, just such a cage as one sees at the zoo, only much handsomer. And in this the Teddy bears were placed, each one posed in a most life like and natural manner and made to look as inviting as possible.

Some were arranged to climb up the bars. Others were playing with balls and two jolly little white fellows, as much alike as two peas, were swinging from a hanging trapeze.

By the time all this was completed it was very late indeed. All the lights were lowered except those in the windows, and they seemed to shine brighter than ever by contrast with the surrounding darkness.


The window dresser gave one or two final touches to his work and hurried off grumbling that he would be very, very late for supper. The other clerks had already disappeared, the night watchman arrived with his dinner pail and everything was left tight and trim until morning.

For a long time everything was very quiet indeed; for you must know that well-regulated toys never come to life until living creatures are fast asleep. For they can then pursue their pranks and gambols to very much better advantage. But presently a kind of long sigh ran through Dept. A and in another moment a perfect babel of sounds arose and swelled upon the air.

There was the mooing of cows, the bleating of woolly sheep, the crying of baby dolls, the choo-choo of iron steam cars.

Suddenly the French walking doll, who had never been known to walk a step in the daytime unless she was wound up with a key, made a frantic spring from her box on the highest shelf, and landing lightly on her toes came dancing and pirouetting down the centre aisle. Lightly swaying from side to side, now this way, now that, onward she came. And then bedlam broke loose. The big auto that had stood patiently all day right in front of the middle door started up a fearful tooting of its Gabriel horn and dashing madly and wildly down a side aisle came very near upsetting the big Noah’s Ark, from whose door the occupants were[10] streaming, led by Mr. Noah and his family. In one corner a whole regiment of leaden soldiers began to drill by companies.

“Company, Attention! Present Arms! Order Arms! Parade, Rest!”

The little lead captain’s voice rang out bravely. To be sure, it was somewhat husky, but then he might have somehow taken cold, for the weather was severe and Dept. A very badly heated at night.

It should have been a competitive drill, but after a little the lead soldiers became impatient. They all wished to manœuvre at once. It grew impossible to hear any of the commands, although the captain shouted until he was red in the face. The confusion was terrible. Now a great growling of lions and tigers and trumpeting of elephants arose from the shelf where the big menagerie stood.

In vain the keeper rushed about wielding his long whip. But who cares a snap for a keeper when he is made of wood and only about six inches high? Not the animals, not they.

They would have torn each other to pieces had not their attention been suddenly attracted by the ascension of a big fire balloon that had been left over from Fourth of July and forgotten.

The balloon did very well, considering, until it reached the ceiling, where it stuck and caught fire. Here indeed was a serious situation. The balloon flamed furiously and the paper dolls, who were located close[11] by, set up a terrible shrieking, which was promptly joined in by all the other toys.

toy firemen putting out hot air balloon fire in toy shop

Goodness only knows how the affair would have culminated, had not the iron hook and ladder company just then come dashing down the aisle, closely followed by the chemical engine and the lofty water tower.


It was the work of but a few seconds to set up the tall ladders, and every one of the fainting paper dolls was carried to a place of safety by the gallant cast-iron fire laddies.

To be sure, the paper dolls were many, many times taller than their brave rescuers, but then they were so light in weight that their greater height did not make the smallest particle of difference.

In the midst of all the hullabaloo the bears suddenly realized that they, too, were alive, and came swarming and scurrying out of their cage, which, fortunately for them, had been built without a top, tumbling over each other in their anxiety to be first in the scrimmage.

Their appearance tended somewhat to calm matters down, as all the other toys were anxious to meet the newcomers, and came crowding around, shaking hands in a very friendly way. All except the lead soldiers who were all in the guard house, having been ordered thither for insubordination.

The big woolly ram, with gilt horns, even went so far as to apologize for the absence of order, which indeed was putting it mildly. As for himself, he had remained quietly in his place, only giving vent occasionally to a vigorous “baa” in order to testify to his disapproval of the general rough house.

Indeed he was the oldest toy in the store, having been on exhibition for two successive Christmases, being too large and expensive to find a[13] purchaser readily; but was always accorded the most prominent position in the show case, as he proudly informed the largest of the bears. Whereupon the bears tossed their heads, wondering what was the matter with their own position.

Just then one of the paper dolls, a bride, was found to be in an hysterical condition. The poor thing had just discovered that all her beautiful trousseau had been destroyed in the conflagration.

nightwatchmen asleep on floor

Restoratives were applied at once and it was proposed to take up a collection among the toys for her benefit. But at that critical moment a sound, high and shrill, smote upon the ears of all. It was the crowing[14] of the mechanical cock whose duty it was to inform the others of the approaching dawn.

In an instant all was quiet and every one in his place. Only the toboggan cap of one of the bears, pulled off in the struggle, lay on the floor, where it was picked up next morning by the floorwalker, who arrived first on the scene, and who ever after regarded the night watchman with suspicion.

And the queerest part of the whole story is that the night watchman never heard a single sound during the whole performance.



Which Introduces Sally.


THE Teddy bears sold like hot cakes. Never before had any one toy called forth such a demand. And it really seemed as if every Christmas tree in the town was destined to be decorated with at least two or three of the quaint little brown creatures.

One afternoon a smart little electric car stopped in front of the big department store. Out of it stepped a fashionably gowned woman, and after her sprang out a plump little girl with round, rosy cheeks, a pair of round blue eyes and a little red mouth that she was in the habit of screwing up into a round O whenever she wanted a kiss, which was quite often.

Her brown velvet coat came down to the bottom of her pretty frock, and her big brown hat was trimmed with soft, fluffy plumes. Her bright hair was braided in two long tails and tied with soft, wide ribbons. Altogether she was such a comfortable roly-poly of a girl, that it really seemed as if she might roll off like a ball should anyone give her a push.


People looking after her smiled involuntarily, as she, herself smiling, disappeared through the revolving door of the shop.

Of course the Teddy bears claimed her immediate attention. She hung over their cage, uttering little exclamations of eagerness, and delight; and the conclusion of the whole affair was that mamma selected a whole family instead of just one Teddy bear as she had at first intended.

She ordered them to be wrapped at once and carried out to the auto, and her little daughter could scarcely wait until they reached home, so eager was she to play with her new treasures.

Arrived at the house, it did not take very long to unwrap the Teddy bears and set them up, all in a row, in the wide window seat of the nursery.

There was papa bear, round and jolly, mamma bear, plump and comely, a pair of twins, so much alike that you really could not tell one from the other, and a wee, baby bear, so dear and cunning that Sally could not refrain from giving it a frantic hug and a kiss.

When bedtime came she insisted on taking the papa bear to bed with her, having first comfortably tucked up all the rest of the family in one of her dolls’ cribs, much to the discomfiture of the doll to whom it belonged; for she was left neglected to sit up all night by herself in a corner of the sofa.


For a while everything was very quiet in the nursery. The night light burned dimly in its pretty vase of rosy crystal, showing Sally as she lay fast asleep and breathing softly, the braids of her bright hair lying loosely on the pillow, and one little plump hand holding fast the Teddy bear’s soft and somewhat resisting paw.

bears tucked in bed

But presently something under the bedclothes stirred at first gently, then more vigorously. A little moving heap edged its way out from under the sheets and blankets, and a queer little brown figure in pink striped pajamas shook itself free and stood up by Sally’s pillow. The papa bear was wide awake, ready for action and very anxious to explore his new surroundings.

Besides being very much awake, he was beginning to develop a rousing appetite, for of necessity he had been forced to fast since the night[18] previous, when he and his family had feasted royally at the candy counter in Schwartz’s.

Very cautiously he swung himself to the floor and trotted over to the crib that contained his family. They were all wide awake and all as hungry as hunters. Like the good provider that every father of a family should be, papa bear immediately set out on a voyage of discovery.

The nursery door was open, but the room beyond in which Dr. and Mrs. North slept was so dark and quiet that Mr. Bear resolved to confine his still-hunt to the nursery.

Round and round he trotted, sniffing at everything which looked as if it might be good to eat. Several times he was cruelly deceived and presented in turn to his rapacious family a fat, red tomato that proved to be stuffed with sawdust and full of little shining, sharp-pointed things, that he later found out were called pins; a beautiful red-cheeked pear that turned out to be made of wax, and a bunch of plump purple grapes that had, in the beginning, been destined to adorn nurse’s best bonnet, and were in consequence singularly dry and unappetizing.

Farther investigation, however, was rewarded by the discovery of a box of delicious champagne wafers, put away on the closet shelf for Sally’s especial delectation. Delighted with this find, the hungry bears[19] soon emptied the box, which Mrs. Bear immediately utilized as a seat for the baby cub.

Having thus satisfied his own appetite, and leaving his family comfortably chewing, papa bear now started forth on a tour of investigation. He had learned a thing or two during his stay in the department store, and one of them was that if a place is dark and you wish to light it up, the very easiest way to do so is to press a little button in the wall. So he trotted around the nursery, carefully looking along the wall for such a button. Before very long he found it, close to Sally’s bed and quite within his reach if he climbed up on the pillow, which he was not at all slow to do.

And then, in less time than it takes to tell it, his brown paw was fumbling with a button and in a second the room was flooded with brilliant light.

This so annoyed the night light that she flew into a temper and immediately went out, which, however, did not make the smallest difference as far as anybody else was concerned.

Mr. Teddy Bear was so overjoyed by the success of his experiment that he immediately began to dance a jig, and all the other Teddy bears promptly followed his example.

They were all feeling fine after their luscious meal, and no doubt also felt the need of some exercise, as they had been asleep for at least twenty-four hours.


Mrs. Bear had espied a doll’s piano and immediately sat down at it and commenced to play a waltz. Now a bear’s idea of waltz music is not just what boys and girls would consider very musical; besides which Mrs. Bear had never touched a piano before in all her life. However, her ear was tolerably correct and the result of her efforts was more than satisfactory to her admiring family.

By this time the rest of the toys were awake and the bears were delighted to discover several old friends from Schwartz’s.

Merrier and merrier grew the music and faster and faster waxed the dance, as all the toys immediately seized upon the nearest partners and whirled them off to trip the light fantastic.

A truly comical sight it was to see the baby bear waltzing with the French doll whose place in bed he had usurped, while the twins led off, one with a jolly round-eyed rag doll who had come all the way from London, as she proudly informed her partner, and the other with a wooden soldier, who had lost one leg and consequently hopped about in a most absurd manner; the twin, however, being far too polite to discard him for a more acceptable partner, kept on dancing until the wooden soldier was obliged to stop from sheer exhaustion.

Suddenly a sound from the bed caused everyone to look in that direction. And what did they see but Sally, wide awake and staring at them with eyes full of perplexity and amazement.


In Which the Teddy Bear Finds a Name.


IN A moment everything had become quiet. Sally sat up in bed rubbing her eyes and quite unable to believe the evidence of her own senses. For how could a rational little girl be expected to believe that a Teddy bear was really standing beside her bed, bowing to her politely and pausing, between bows, to take large bites out of a pink wafer that he held daintily in one paw?

“Good evening,” said he; and “Good evening,” quoth Sally, almost too much astonished to speak. Indeed she had to pinch herself quite hard in order to convince herself that she was really wide awake and not sound asleep and dreaming.

“Do not be surprised,” said the Teddy bear, and Sally smiled involuntarily at the pomposity of his manner. “The scene that you have just witnessed is not at all an unusual one. In fact, I, myself, am rather astonished that after all the years you have been playing with toys you never discovered the fact that they always waken at night. Anyway why shouldn’t they?” and then as Sally did not make any reply, being[22] far too much amazed to do so, he added somewhat irritably, “Why not? Why not?”

Sally in bed talking to bear standing beside bed

“Why not?” repeated Sally mechanically. She was beginning to realize that she was really awake and that the Teddy bear was really carrying on a conversation with her. And, moreover, that the Teddy bear had a very good opinion of himself, which made her extremely anxious not to offend him. There was a short silence, during which the Teddy bear finished his biscuit and, having daintily shaken a few stray crumbs from his fur, sat quietly regarding the little girl with his head tilted reflectively to one side and a rather inquiring expression in his bright black eyes. He looked so comical in his pink striped pajamas that she could not resist indulging in a smile, which, however, she quickly hid in the pillow, being dreadfully afraid that the queer little fellow would think she was making fun of him.

Sally looking out of her bed and many bears and dolls wandering around her room
“Good evening,” said he; and “Good evening,” quoth Sally.


Presently she said, rather timidly, “If you please, would you mind telling me how old you are?”

“According to your point of view,” replied the bear reflectively, “I am about one month, twelve days and fifteen hours old.” Here Sally interrupted him to remark that he was very well developed for his age, but the hear frowned so dreadfully that she quickly subsided again into the pillow.

“If you ask a fellow a question you should give him a chance to answer it,” he observed sulkily. And then, as Sally politely remarked that she hoped he would excuse her, he went on.

“According to my own point of view, which is undoubtedly the correct one, I have no age at all, and never shall have any.” Then, as Sally uttered a little exclamation of protest, he added hurriedly:

“Toys never grow up and so really never grow older. They never grow in any other way whatever, consequently why should they ever become any age at all? How perfectly absurd to suppose that they do!”

He ended with a contemptuous sniff, which so tickled his sharp black nose that he fell into a fit of sneezing that lasted for several minutes.

The child, rather alarmed, hastened to pat him on the back, and he finally emerged from the attack none the worse and remarked that probably some of the crumbs had gone the wrong way.


Sally, who all the time had been wondering if he were red in the face under his fur, longed to remark that the crumbs must have gone the wrong way with a vengeance if they had gone up his nose. However, she rather feared provoking the Teddy bear, and remarked, by way of continuing the conversation:

“Oh, of course, you don’t grow any bigger. That is because you are just stuffed. There isn’t anything in you to grow.”

Somehow the child found arguing with the Teddy bear rather difficult. And then he was so comical that in spite of his obstinacy it was impossible to be offended with him.

“No, thank fortune, we don’t grow any bigger,” retorted the Teddy bear, with some asperity. “Only live things, like yourself, for example, do that. Now supposing I were a real, live bear, what size would I be by this time? If you were a doll, you would not be obliged to grow up either. But as you are only a girl of course you will have to.”

The little girl immediately thought of a dozen arguments in favor of growing up; but not wishing to put the bear in a bad humor she said quickly:

“I knew a boy once who talked just as you do. He never wanted to grow up and so he ran away and lived with the fairies. His name was Peter Pan. At least her name was.”


“Fairies! What are fairies?” exclaimed the bear. And then, before Sally had time to answer, demanded severely, “How can his name be her name?”

Now Sally was really a very sweet tempered little girl, but to be constantly contradicted and corrected by a stuffed Teddy bear was decidedly getting on her nerves. So she replied quite sharply, “Oh, you see it was a play, and the boy, Peter Pan, was really a girl. I think I should like to call you Peter Pan; that is if you haven’t any other name,” she added quickly.

“The name on my tag was Teddy, but it really doesn’t matter, as I have never been christened,” returned the Teddy bear. “Really Peter Pan is a pretty name, and decidedly more appropriate for me. Only I think the latter part of it rather reminds one of cake. And, by the way, couldn’t you hunt up some names for my wife and the cubs? You see we were all named Teddy—Teddy bears. But it seems rather mixed up, don’t you know, especially when there are so many of us.” Sally nodded acquiescently.

“To be sure, when you call for Teddy, you never know whether your wife or the baby cub will answer. Besides which, Teddy is not at all an appropriate name for a lady. And as for all being named alike, why, it is just like a lot of fractions reduced to a common denominator. It will never do in the world,” she said.


Now Peter Pan had not the remotest idea in the world as to what fractions or common denominators were, but unwilling to betray his ignorance he said nothing, while Sally finally discovered a way out of the difficulty by suggesting that they should consult her Pretty Name Dictionary, an idea which Peter Pan declared to be a fine one.

Finally it was decided that the twins should be called Tom and Jerry, the baby cub Little Breeches, as he wore a pair of the most fascinating blue overalls, and Mrs. Peter Pan Wendy, that being the name of the little girl in the Peter Pan play, provided, of course, that she had no preferences in any other direction.

By this time the grandfather’s clock in the lower hall began to strike three and as Sally was beginning to look very sleepy Peter Pan said good night. It was really good morning, so sliding from the bed he scampered off to inform his family of all that had happened. And he was just in the nick of time, for his wife was dying of curiosity and certainly could not have restrained herself for another moment from joining her husband and Sally and finding out what it was all about.

Sally cuddled down among her pillows and at once fell asleep; and as her thoughts trailed off to dreamland she seemed still to hear a querulous little voice drawling out rather peevishly, “Why not? Why not?” Meantime, the question of names was being discussed by the bear family. Mamma bear liked them all except the one intended for herself. She[27] said it was altogether too suggestive of a rising storm, an idea with which her husband felt obliged to concur. She was warmly in favor of Bedelia, and as there was no very good reason to object, Bedelia it was and so remained to the end of the chapter.



Enter Bob.


NEXT morning consternation reigned in the nursery, for nurse coming in early to light the wood fire, found the electric lights burning, everything overturned, and the whole place looking as if it had been visited by a cyclone.

All the toys were lying about wherever they had happened to drop when surprised in their antics by Sally’s sudden awakening. Nurse’s work basket lay overturned on the floor with all its contents spilled out and her favorite tomato pincushion piteously emptying forth its sawdust vitals through a yawning rent in its side.

A basket of waxen fruits, perpetrated by Sally’s grandmother in her youth, had been thrown down from the shelf, and all the beautiful peaches and pears and apples lay ruined on the carpet mixed with the fragments of the glass shade that had covered them.

Most deplorable of all, nurse’s best bonnet had been dragged from its box and the gorgeous bunch of grapes that adorned its brim had been torn off and lay crushed and mangled on the floor.


Everything bore the mark of rapacious little teeth. Therefore nurse’s theory favored rats, and mamma shuddered at the mere thought of such dreadful little creatures being so close to her darling.

Such a thing had never before occurred in the annals of the nursery. Nurse wept over her bonnet and Sally over the ruined fruit which had been one of her chief treasures. She hated, oh, how she hated those dreadful marauding rats, who had done such damage with their sharp little teeth. Supposing that they had attacked Peter Pan and his beloved family? The thought was too terrible for words. She immediately resolved that in the future, Rough House, the beautiful Scotch collie, should sleep in the nursery, a plan that mamma entirely approved.

Never for one moment did Sally suspect Peter Pan, sitting so calmly in the bosom of his family, of being the author of the tragedy.

She had taken off his pajamas and dressed him for the day in a smart white sweater with leggings to match, and a beautiful white toboggan cap with a pink tassel that hung down at one side. To be sure, the tendency of the tassel was rather to make things topheavy on its own particular side, so that the toboggan cap was somewhat inclined to tilt rakishly over one eye.

This, however, was arranged by Sally with many a loving pat, and she gathered him affectionately in her arms, fancying that a queer expression[30] flashed into his bright black eyes as she and the nurse discussed the feasibility of allowing Rough House to sleep in the nursery.

Sally sitting on a chaise holding a bear

Nurse had been very much disturbed by the fact that she had found the night light extinguished, although the little vessel in which the wick floated was nearly half full of oil.

Rats could never have done a thing like that, she said to herself, neither could they have turned on the electric lights, nor yet scattered all the toys about the nursery floor in the grotesque confusion in which they had been found. However, she kept her ideas to herself, for the subject of ghosts and fairies was a strictly forbidden one in the nursery.


Only Sally herself might have explained the matter of the electric lights, but she intuitively felt that for Peter Pan’s sake she must never, never mention anything that she had heard or seen without his permission; and somehow she felt pretty sure that this he would be rather unwilling to grant.

In point of fact the little girl was rather beginning to wonder if it had not all been a dream.

However, she did not allow the matter to trouble her gay little brain, and was the picture of delighted happiness when an hour later, accompanied by mamma and nurse, she stepped into the big motor car and rolled away down town to the shopping district, carrying Peter Pan, who wore an altogether angelic expression, and nobody in the world would ever have suspected that the demure rascal, although somewhat disturbed at the fuss caused by his escapade of the night before, was even then planning some new performance for the ensuing evening.

a bear sitting

This shopping trip was instituted chiefly for the benefit of nurse, who was delighted with the gift of a new bonnet that fairly bristled with grapes, while Sally was overjoyed with a beautiful set of library furniture for the doll’s house. After this the little girl was lifted to the loftiest pinnacle of enjoyment by luncheon at one of the fine cafés. Mamma allowed her to select the dishes she liked best, although nurse was rather inclined to shake her head over a combination of[32] oysters, chicken salad, eclairs and café parfait, she herself being more inclined for beefsteak and baked potato. But mamma laughingly declared that it would do no harm for once and Sally enjoyed the menu to its fullest extent, now and then pretending to feed the Teddy bear, who sat up stiffly in a chair by himself, with a biscuit between his paws. After the jolly luncheon another surprise was in store for Sally—a matinee of Buster Brown, over which the child was enraptured. But I regret to say that the play supplied Peter Pan’s already fertile brain with several ideas which he could very well have done without.

It was very close to dinner time when the very happy if very tired little girl trotted upstairs to the nursery hugging Peter Pan to her heart, and rather wondering to hear voices through the half closed door. Then as she entered a sort of whirlwind punctuated by kisses enveloped her, and after the first breathless moment she could only cry out, “Oh Bob! I’m so glad!” and sure enough Bob it was, come back somewhat unexpected from Florida, where he had gone to spend part of the winter with the two pretty aunties whose absence had made a great gap in Sally’s small social circle.

bears all gathered around Sally
The new Teddy Bears proved a great acquisition


They were all there, and all wanting to hug Sally at once and indeed the dinner bell was ringing before nurse was able to carry her off to be made fresh and pretty for the evening meal.

How good it was to see Bob’s dear brown face and to hear him telling of the fine times they had had down in the beautiful land where it is always summer. Sally could scarcely wait until dinner was ended and ate little herself, but she greatly enjoyed watching Bob while he satisfied the hearty appetite that rightfully belonged to a little man of twelve.

As soon as the meal was ended, the children hurried upstairs and Sally introduced her brother to Peter Pan and his family.

Bob thought the bears a great acquisition and then the two children, curled upon the hearth rug before the crackling and snapping grate fire, toasted marshmallows and popped chestnuts which they could not eat, but which, although they did not know it, were destined for the delectation of the Teddy bears later on.

For these rascals, as soon as the children had been tucked up in bed, came hopping and skipping with eagerness and greedily gobbled up the last crumb, and then held a council of war which resulted in a scheme that they were not, however, able to carry out at once, owing to other plans now being formulated by Papa Doctor.


A Trip to the Farm.


THE first sweet spring days had come, and even the grimy city began to put on an aspect of youth and newness.

In the parks tiny green shoots appeared on tree and bush, and dandelions showed their golden faces above the vivid green of freshly springing grass.

From her nursery window Sally interestedly watched the gradual advent of the new season as promulgated by the aspect of the back yard. Her little soul thirstily responded to the call of nature and a vague longing for woods and fields took possession of her heart.

Dr. North, watching keenly the little girl’s wistful face and feeling in his own soul the echo of the wonderful song that spring sings to all of us, after some consultation with mamma communicated to Sally a plan that fairly made her jump for joy. And it was that at the week’s end the family should pack up bag and baggage and depart for the farm, there to spend a few weeks.

To be sure it was rather early in the season, but mamma decided that house-cleaning and dress-making might for once take a back seat[35] At least that was the way Bob put it as he executed a joyful war dance around the nursery floor, being finally joined by Sally with a Teddy bear under each arm.

Surely no week ever seemed so long and no waiting so tedious. But at last it did really come to an end, the trunks departed in a big express wagon while the family made the trip to the depot in the motor car.

There was just time to catch the train and almost before they knew it Bob and Sally were waving good-bye to Papa Doctor while the big engine puffed and snorted, the bell rang, and then they were really off, flying away from the smoke and grime, the roar and bustle of the city streets to where green woods beckoned them, and dim blue hills, wreathed in the faint haze that lay upon them like a bridal veil, reflected the smile of God, which is the promise of all good things.

It was only a short ride of a couple of hours, through the beautiful Cuyahoga valley, and the children, delightedly familiar with the scenery, joyfully pointed out everything of special interest to Miss Palmer, their governess, who, having come from the East, could not of course be supposed to know anything about their dear valley. The big Indian mound which lay near the end of their trip called forth especial explanations, and Miss Palmer promised to read to them an exceptionally interesting volume on Indian mounds that was in the library at home.


Miss Palmer was, both the children firmly believed, the dearest and beet governess that ever children possessed and they listened with the greatest interest, not forgetting, however, to point out to her a place where the Cuyahoga (Crooked River), doubling upon itself, forms a peninsula and the town which sprang up there had been given the name Peninsula and is so called to this day.

The beautiful river, swollen by the spring freshets, rippled along over the rocks that sometimes formed tiny cascades in its bed, shaded by feathery pollard willows whose gray-green leaves were bursting from their pinkish sheaths.

Another point of great interest was the canal, along whose tow path President Garfield followed his mules as a lad. Miss Palmer knew a great deal about the martyred president and so interested were the children that they could scarcely believe the journey was at an end when the conductor called out the name of the place that was their destination. A big three-seated wagon was in waiting and when they were all piled comfortably aboard, including Peter Pan and Bedelia, whom nurse had carried while the rest of the Teddy bear family journeyed in a trunk, the fine gray farm horses started off at a trot along the uneven and rutty country road.

How sweet the breath of the spring was, how fresh and beautiful the landscape! The voice of the river rose like a tinkle of silvery bells[37] and Sally cried out in delight that she saw a blue jay. And indeed she did, for a pair of them rose, startled from their nest, and flew off to a neighboring tree, their azure wings flashing like jewels in the sunshine.

Sally standing on porch holding two bears paws talking to lady in doorway

The drive was all too short and the children were half regretful when the wagon drew up in front of the “Bungalow,” as Mrs. North had fancifully named the beautiful old farm house, which, with its gleaming white[38] paint and moss-green shingles, presented a most attractive picture against the soft spring landscape.

And now Mrs. Hale who, with her husband, had taken care of the farm ever since it had been the property of Dr. North, came bustling out, full of a hearty welcome. She was a round and rosy woman, with bright eyes and a jolly laugh that, when you heard it, made you want to laugh, too.

She held up her hands and laughed till she shook when introduced to Peter Pan and Bedelia, for the Teddy bear tribe had not yet penetrated to her part of the world. After that they all went in to luncheon, set forth in the big, square dining-room, a room that projected from one side of the house and three sides of which were composed of windows, from which one might look out for miles and miles over the beautiful wooded hills with the sparkling river running its glittering way between them.

The dining-room together with the broad, gallery-like verandahs that ran around the three sides of the house had been a modern innovation recently added and the verandahs had suggested to Mrs. North the quaint appellation of the “Bungalow.”

Mrs. North had spent a part of her girlhood in India, where her father had been an English officer, and had absorbed a good deal of the Oriental which showed in a love of warm, glowing colors and luxurious[39] surroundings. She was a very pretty woman, so girlish looking that she had more than once been taken for Bob’s elder sister.

Dr. North had expressed down from the city a quantity of beautiful piazza furniture and when the happy party came out of the dining-room after a meal that taxed even Bob’s capacity, they found a delightful resting place awaiting them. Fine mats of Japanese make covered the piazza floor and a gay red carpet draped the stone steps, for Papa Doctor had not forgotten his little daughter’s predilection for sitting upon them.

Handsome chairs and settees with one or two tables filled the spaces of the piazza, the settees heaped with pretty cushions, while two hammocks hung in opposite corners.

Mrs. North sank contentedly down in a big armchair that smelt delightfully like sweet grass, while Miss Palmer took a cozy corner in the settee opposite. Mrs. North adored her beautiful summer home, and the restfulness it offered was ever welcome after a strenuous winter in town.

As for the children, they of course saw no reason for wishing to rest, but tore off to find Mr. Hale and persuade him to devote the rest of the day to showing them over all the already familiar places; a thing which they found not at all difficult to do. And soon their delighted shouts rang merrily from the barn, where they succeeded in clambering up into the hay loft and very nearly lost Bedelia whom, with Peter Pan, they had carried up with them, by dropping her down[40] a chute into one of the mangers below. Here she was discovered with the occupant of the stall thoughtfully nosing her over and over and evidently thinking that someone had presented him with a very queer bunch of hay for dinner.

Bedelia, in addition to being badly scared, was also very much offended and considered that she had been handled shamefully. Besides being somewhat bruised, the horse had nipped her when trying to decide whether or not she was good to eat, and Bedelia felt quite sure that he had taken off a mouthful of her fur, which thought made her perfectly furious, and she longed to scratch and bite when finally rescued by the rather anxious Sally.

She immediately made up her mind to play all the pranks she could think of while at the farm, and the result of one scheme which she later carried out, was certainly of a nature to satisfy even a slighted Teddy bear, as we shall see later on.


Bedelia Amuses Herself.


HAPPY days succeeded each other with rapidity at the farm. Sally was enchanted with the poultry yard and spent much time fussing over the beautiful Cochin China and White Leghorn fowls. Already one enterprising hen had hatched a brood of dear little fluffy, yellow chicks and marched proudly around the yard clucking and scratching. Sally thought she had never seen such rapacious youngsters. They were always hungry, always peeping for more worms to eat. Sally longed to pick up the dear little fluffy balls and kiss and cuddle them. They reminded her of so many Easter penwipers running around on felt, although in her tender little heart she hoped that the Easter chicks were manufactured. It would have been such an act of cruelty to slaughter the darling baby chickabiddies for horrid old penwipers.

Mr. Hale, however, to whom Sally often confided her views, remarked, with a great want of sentiment, that it was really no worse than eating them later on. At which the little girl became very[42] thoughtful. She was indeed extremely fond of chicken dinners as demonstrated by Mrs. Hale.

Meantime Bob was absorbed in the Belgian hares and star guinea-pigs. Mr. Hale made a business of raising them and Dr. North had purchased a number of pairs, knowing how fond the children would become of them. Sally adored them all and soon divided with them her love for the chicks. These she could take up in her arms and cuddle and hug. They were all tame and would permit almost any amount of petting. One day Sally received a great surprise. She was hurrying down to the barns where the cows were kept, to be introduced to a newly arrived baby calf, when suddenly Peter Pan, whom she had securely tucked under her arm, twisted himself around and remarked, in his funny little growling voice, “I wish you wouldn’t squeeze me so tight. You really hurt me.”

Sally sat down suddenly on the grass just where she stood, she was so astonished. Of course she dropped the bear, who quickly gained his equilibrium and sat up on his haunches, rubbing first one elbow and then the other, with such a comical expression that the child burst out laughing. “I suppose you thought it was a dream,” said the Teddy bear rather severely. “Well, it wasn’t. But I have discovered something since then. In fact, since we have been down here in the country, I have found out that if I am very quiet and sleep at night I[43] can get busy in the daytime. I was talking to a crow the other night. He hopped in on the window sill after you had gone to sleep. He recommended me to try it and it works like a charm.” Here Peter Pan turned a complete somersault and looked so perfectly absurd in doing it that the child lay back and laughed until she was weak.

Sally watching Peter Pan turn a somersault

“The only thing that bothers me,” went on the Teddy bear, “is Bedelia. She will be in mischief all the time now. So many avenues of enterprise were closed to her at night.”


The little girl sat up and wiped the tears of laughter from her eyes. “What made you tell her?” she inquired.

“I didn’t,” retorted the bear. “She simply followed my example from force of habit. And now goodness knows what trouble she will stir up.”

“Why don’t you hibernate?” said the child reflectively. “She would follow your example and then I could waken you up and——.” Sally broke off suddenly. She had just caught a glimpse of a small brown figure skulking along in the shadow of the hollyhocks.

“There she is now,” she exclaimed. “I wonder what she can be up to.”

In another moment a great clucking and squawking was heard in the direction of the hen house. Sally quickly caught up Peter Pan and raced thither as fast as her legs could carry her.

And a comical scene it was that revealed itself to the little girl as she hastily swung open the door of the hen house, which already stood ajar. Firmly seated on the nest of the big White Leghorn hen was Bedelia, her ample proportions elaborately spread out over the eggs of the distracted biddy; nor would she be dislodged by all the frenzied pickings and cluckings of the outraged mother.

“Really, my dear, you are very unwise,” remarked Peter Pan to the triumphant Bedelia, with a solemn wink. “Suppose one of the hired men had discovered you?”


Sally, however, wasted no time in reasoning. She simply picked up the naughty Bedelia and hurried her off to the house, where she locked her securely in a big closet that opened from Miss Palmer’s bedroom.

It was a very roomy closet and there was a transom over the door which made it sufficiently light for Bedelia to see what she was doing. But there was nothing of interest except Miss Palmer’s trunk which was locked and consequently inaccessible.

Bedelia after nosing around for a few moments was just about to give up in despair, when suddenly she uttered a little shriek of joy. For she stumbled over something soft, and lo and behold! there were the twins and Little Breeches, sitting in a row far back against the wall, just where nurse had plumped them down when they were unpacked.

There they had remained alone and forgotten since their arrival.

Bedelia’s fertile brain did not take very long to evolve a method of escape now that she had discovered such valuable confederates in the shape of her cubs; and she proceeded to shake them vigorously, one after the other, which form of procedure left them very wide awake indeed.

Under her able direction they first climbed upon the trunk and then upon each other’s shoulders, making a sort of step-ladder, up which Bedelia quickly climbed, and slipping through the transom which happened to be open, took a flying leap right into the middle of Miss Palmer’s bed.


Having given vent to her displeasure by rumpling up the bed clothes and throwing the pillows on the floor, she trotted away without waiting to liberate the cubs, whom she left to cool their heels in the closet.

Downstairs she skipped and out on to the big verandah, and seeing that the coast was clear she took to her heels and sped as swiftly as her paws could carry her in the direction of the barn.

Sally’s voice floated toward her, laughing and chattering to Peter Pan as the two swayed backward and forward in the big swing under the apple tree, now white with its perfumed blossoms.

But Bedelia had very good reasons of her own for wishing to remain unseen, and forged ahead, keeping well in the shadow of the hollyhock hedge, and this time succeeded in escaping observation.

Swiftly she hastened to the stables and there, once inside in the cool half-twilight, paused and looked about her.

Most of the stalls were empty, but Doxey, the beautiful Shetland pony, lifted his head with its flowing double mane and regarded her with serious brown eyes.

But it was not Doxey to whom the meddlesome little bear now turned her attention, but to Dick, the woolly white Angora goat, whose stall was just next. In a moment she was swarming up on his back, pulling herself up by his thick coat and finally taking her[47] station on his back, when grasping his horns with her two front paws she issued a series of vigorous “get ups” that had the final effect of producing a series of gyrations which the ambitious equestrienne had not taken into her calculations.

Bear riding a sheep

Suddenly heading around, Dick made a break for the door and once outside proceeded to stand first on his hind and then on his fore legs, for, failing to send the queer thing on his back sliding down over his tail, he concluded that the next best thing was to start her slipping over his head.


But neither performance served to dislodge Bedelia. She stuck like a burr and all Dick’s frantic experiments in the matter of jumping and bucking proved futile.

Round and round they spun, Dick’s hind hoofs describing the circumference of a circle; until finally, with an indignant snort and fully determined to rid himself of his terrifying incumbrance, he flung himself full length on the turf and commenced to roll over and over. Now indeed did Bedelia prove the depth of her generalship. She had precious little time to consider how she should escape being flattened out like a pancake, but she mastered the situation by a sudden stroke of genius the like of which sometimes accompanies a desperate situation.

Suddenly she sprang into the air and continued to spring at intervals, Dick’s revolving body giving her for a second a precarious foothold as she descended, something after the fashion of a performing circus pony who turns a barrel with his hoofs. And so she kept on hopping up and down for her life while Dick continued to roll, horns and hoofs alternately twinkling in the air. And how long the ridiculous comedy would have gone on goodness only knows, had not Mike, the hired hand, just then appeared on the scene.


A Valley So Sweet.


Mrs. North had decided to drive to a place a few miles distant called the Falls, there to take supper and remain all night.

And Mike was on his way to the stables to hitch up, as he called it, when the amazing spectacle just described burst upon his astonished sight. At once he jumped to the conclusion that the goat was trying to make mince-meat of Sally’s beloved Teddy bear. And springing forward—he seized Dick by his horns, yanked him to his feet and drove him off to the stables. Then returning he picked up Bedelia, no longer pirouetting like a ballet girl, but suddenly grown mute and stiff, and carried her to the kitchen, where Mrs. Hale took her in charge.

The children were now in a flutter of excitement over the proposed trip to the Falls. Sally insisted on taking Peter Pan, and presently they were all comfortably stowed away in a springy country carriage, rolling along toward the Falls.

Mike, who had been born and brought up in that part of the country, made a most interesting courier and stopped now and then to[50] point out with his whip some place of especial interest, which he at once proceeded to describe in whimsical language all his own. For the Irish strain in his blood had gifted him with both wit and humor and there was very little of the comical side of things that Mike did not discover.

sitting teddy bear

But the climax of all interest was finally reached when Mike pointed out a gently swelling hill topped by a lofty oak, at the summit of which he declared was the grave of Cuyahoga, the great Indian chief, from whom the beautiful valley and laughing river both had been named.

Further on they struck the Indian trail along which the savages portaged their canoes from the Cuyahoga to the Tuscarawas rivers.

Miss Palmer, who was sentimental, drew forth a pencil and tablet, and proceeded pensively to jot down her poetic impressions, while Peter Pan whispered very slyly to Bob that his friend, the crow, whose name was Tim, had come along, although not invited. And sure enough there he was, roosting comfortably and unobserved on the tail-board of the wagon.

So the happy little party proceeded on their leisurely way through[51] the lovely country, beautiful with “the new green and the stress of spring,” until suddenly as they swung around a curve in the road, the great gorge of the Cuyahoga lay spread out before them in all its majestic grandeur.

Here through a great chasm rent in the walls of living rock by some mighty convulsions of Nature leaped the mystic river, clothed in her sheen of sparkling foam as a maid in her bridal veil. Dimpling and murmuring, it pursued its sparkling way over the rocks that lined its bed, murmuring in its shallows, thundering at last over the mighty Falls, and from thence tumbling into a sun kissed, mossy basin from which it wound away, a placid stream laughing and whispering into the blue distance.

The children had stood up to obtain a better view and Bob reverently removed his cap, seized by the same feeling that always moved him when he stood in church and saw the vested choir sweep up the aisle bearing at their head the great golden cross.

Miss Palmer fell to writing poetry more briskly than before and Tim, who was now perched comfortably on the back of the seat, leaned over and whispered to Peter Pan that it was a great place for worms.

To reach their destination was now a matter of but a few moments, and as the drive had not been long enough to tire them, the children, under the guidance of Mike, departed for a walk along the[52] river and a visit to the Old Maid’s Kitchen, a queer cave in the vicinity that took its name from a natural fireplace of rock which it contained.

Mrs. North went indoors to arrange for suitable rooms and Miss Palmer retired to a secluded corner of the piazza to polish up her verses to Cuyahoga. And so it happened that Peter Pan and Tim were left to their own devices, which opportunity they improved by promptly falling asleep. It was evident that they intended to get busy later on.

At supper time the children returned flushed and enthusiastic over the wonders that they had unearthed. They had investigated the Old Maid’s Kitchen and Bob thought it would be a bully place to eat luncheon on the following day. They had walked along the river bank and at a point a good deal further up had been ferried across by a little old man with a beard like Rip Van Winkle in a little old boat that was propelled by an endless chain. They had found trailing arbutus hiding away under last year’s leaves and red partridge berries and shy dog-tooth violets and Bob’s pockets were full of treasures of more or less doubtful value, but all dear to his quaint little soul.

And oh, how hungry they were, and what a supper they disposed of.

Children, bear and bird looking at Indians in distance in forest
After him followed his countless braves.

Tired as they were after their long ramble they begged Miss Palmer to read aloud her poem before they went to sleep. And after a[53] little coaxing, which was warmly joined in by Mrs. North, Miss Palmer produced her tablets and read aloud these lines.

He sleeps on the hillside’s grassy slope,
Who once was a king in the land;
And few can point out his lonely bed,
Unmarked save by Nature’s hand;
The blue waters ripple, the sweet valley smiles,
The valley that bears his name,
And serenely he rests, tho’ his unknown grave
Is unmarked by the laurels of fame.

Mrs. North was greatly pleased and surprised by the impromptu lines and both children declared their intention of learning them by heart, after which there were kisses all round and the little folks trotted serenely off to slumberland.

The house stood upon a high cliff overlooking the valley, its banks sloping sharply down to the water’s edge. And the children never knew how they came, hours after, to be scrambling down the steep path, hand in hand, with Peter Pan hurrying on in front and Tim, the crow, flapping and hopping alongside.

Silently they hastened on, impelled by an unspoken fear of being late, for what they knew not.

Presently they reached the foot of the hill and paused in the[54] shadow of the great trees that lined the fruitful banks of the river.

It was a gorgeous night. The full moon, pouring her silver light through a fretwork of leaf and twig overhead, wove patterns of fancy laces on the grass below. Not a leaf quivered. Not a breath stirred the sleeping vale of Cuyahoga.

Suddenly all the valley glowed as with a silver flame. And out of the heart of it rose a column of light, rainbow hued but pale as moonlight, indistinct as a moonlight mist.

Slowly it advanced through the silver flame, with a slightly swaying motion, rhythmical as the steps of an armed host. And then the children, watching spellbound, but not at all afraid, for it all seemed to be perfectly a matter of course, just as much so as it had become quite the thing to hear Peter Pan sit up and talk, began to distinguish shadowy forms, to hear strange music, and the dull throbbing of tom-toms.

Nearer swept the unknown company, headed by one of kindly bearing, clothed in blanket and fringed leggings, with moccasins embroidered with wampum and quills of porcupine, with eagle feathers in his hair and tomahawk at his belt, and after him followed his countless braves, stepping noiselessly, moving silently in the wake of the leader. So they passed and vanished and Bob knew that he had looked upon the great chief who for countless years had slept in the windy hilltop in the shadow of the lonely oak.


So, set in a frame of silver sheen, the vision faded into the moonlit mystery of the night.

Thus does the great Spirit of Love and Good open the eyes of innocence and purity to the infinite wonders of Nature, the visions of the night watches, the language of the dear dumb creatures, the voices that breathe from the souls of flowers. And the children awe-stricken but wholly unafraid, hand in hand, sought the homeward way.

At the threshold of Sally’s room they kissed and separated, Tim hopping along in Bob’s wake, and perching familiarly on the foot-board of his bed. And Bob’s last waking recollection was of the bird, standing sleepily on one claw, his eyes shut and his beak sunk in his feathers, while he croaked in a drowsy little note, “What a place for worms.”



Home Again.


EARLY next morning the family started back to the farm, leaving with regret the beautiful valley, to which they promised themselves they would certainly return at some future day.

Beautiful indeed was the homeward drive in the freshness of the morning, and when the Bungalow was reached the children found a most delightful surprise awaiting them. For there on the piazza was Papa Doctor, who had come down, unannounced, by an early train. Busy as he was, he declared that he could no longer exist without a peep at his family, and moreover announced his intention of carrying them all off home with him.

Indeed the little folk were so glad to see him that they raised no very serious objections to the home-going plan. So it fell out that after luncheon trunks were packed, and the whole party, including Tim in a large wicker cage, returned to town by a late afternoon train.

The children knew that Dr. North’s patients could not spare him,[57] and so uttered not a single word of disappointment at the rather abrupt termination of their outing.

The Teddy bears were greatly delighted to get home again. They had been hugely bored by the visit to the farm where there was not very much for them to do in the way of making mischief. Nor did they delay their plans for a single night, but that evening, as soon as everything was quiet in the nursery, Peter Pan proceeded to put into execution the scheme that he had concocted one afternoon, while being carried through the house in Sally’s arms, when he had been seized with a great curiosity to investigate the whole place. To be sure, Rough House was asleep by Sally’s bed, but Peter Pan moved cautiously, and silently marshalling his little family they crept out of the nursery and down the first flight of stairs. In the lower hall they paused to take breath and decide what to do next.

The big drawing-room was the nearest at hand and into this they scurried, somewhat awed by the thick darkness that was broken only by a few stray moonbeams drifting in through the lace curtains. Guided by these, Peter Pan at last found the inevitable button, and all the beauties of the fine, large room lay revealed to the admiring gaze of the Teddy bears.

There were beautiful gilt chairs with elegantly carved frames and backs and seats of tufted satin; elegant, spindle-legged tables inlaid[58] with pearl; curio cabinets that contained precious mementos of a recent trip abroad; beautiful paintings and one or two fine bits of statuary; and in one corner a grand piano upon which Bedelia instantly longed to lay her devastating paws. But tug as they might, their united efforts were inadequate to lift the heavy carved lid. So, much disappointed, they turned their attention to the curio cabinets.

These they found to be easy of access, as the keys had not been removed from the locks, and they were soon enjoying the costly trifles with which they were filled, and many of which they succeeded in breaking before they grew tired.

When at last they had exhausted the resources of the drawing-room, they all trailed into the library which lay just beyond and was separated from it by heavy silk portieres.

Here were rows upon rows of books behind glass doors, but there were keys in the locks and a library step-ladder was in evidence.

The whole family swarmed up the steps, dragging out the books and tumbling them over in their eager haste to find pictures. Only pictures of animals interested them. At last they discovered a set of Natural History and here they found representations of creatures that resembled themselves and with these they were greatly delighted.


So eager were they to get at them, each one wishing to have the same book at the same time, that they flung the volumes about, tearing the pages and soiling the rich bindings.

Bears messing up the library

One of the twins even tore off a piece and tasted it to try if it were good to eat, for by this time he was growing hungry. He regretted his meal later on, however, for it made him very ill indeed.

At length, wearied of examining the heavy books, they turned their attention to Dr. North’s desk, a splendid specimen of carved oak[60] and Spanish leather. Here they upset the ink, tore up whatever paper they could lay paws on and broke in two or three pieces a costly eastern dagger with which they attempted to pry open the drawers of the desk. Luckily, however, these were fast locked, and finding nothing else to engross their attention decided that it was time to look for something to eat. Peter Pan was very much disappointed at not finding anything of that description in the library, as only the day before he had heard Sally’s governess remark that she fairly devoured her books. And he had imagined that they would find a great feast awaiting them in the library.

However, it was finally decided to invade the dining-room and thither the hungry group proceeded without delay, leaving the library looking as if a whirlwind had swept through it.

Here they found everything in excellent order and the table laid for breakfast, which was contrary to all rules and regulations. But the new maid was lazy and found that she could sleep a little longer in the morning by laying the table the night before.

The Teddy bears immediately made a rush for the table, falling over each other in their eagerness to get to the chairs, into which they climbed, pulling the napkins out of the rings and confident that a fine meal was awaiting them. Great, therefore, was their dismay, when they were unable to discover the smallest evidence of anything to eat.


This was more amazing than their experience in the library. If people did not eat in the dining-rooms where on earth did they eat?

Bedelia could find no answer for this conundrum propounded by her husband with a tragic gesture. But she was far too hungry to be staggered by conundrums and started on a voyage of discovery, with the result that on the sideboard she espied a silver fruit dish filled with grapes and oranges and a plate filled with biscuits. The grapes they left severely alone as belonging religiously to nurse’s bonnet. But on the oranges and biscuits they feasted until well nigh ready to burst, and finally departed leaving a sorry mess behind them.

Of course they never for a moment thought of turning out the lights, but left them flaring in all the rooms they had visited.

After their hearty meal they were not quite as lively as they had been when hungry and were forced to conduct themselves in a more leisurely manner.

They now decided to mount to the top floor and look into things from the attic down.

bear sitting back to us

Cautiously they toiled up the first flight, for it was a much more difficult task to climb up than it was to hop down from step to step. And at the very top they were confronted by a sight that made them ready to stand on their heads for pure joy.


Now a Teddy bear is the most inquisitive of all created creatures and is usually quite ready to risk his neck in order to find out something that has piqued his curiosity. During all their stay in the house there was one room the door of which they had never seen open, although it was directly opposite Sally’s and they had been filled with the most burning curiosity and speculation as to what it might contain. Of course they could not understand that the room belonged to the dear little absent son, and was being kept closed up, having been swept and garnished, against his return.

However, the door, which so long remained a locked mystery, now stood wide open, inviting them, as it were, to enter. And you may be sure that they were anything but slow in availing themselves of the invitation. Into the room they tumbled pell mell, in their usual unseemly manner, each one trying to be first regardless of any respect for their elders. Only the baby cub, Little Breeches, who was beginning to feel tired, hung on to his mother’s hind leg and so was dragged into prominence without any effort at all on his own part.


The Teddy Bears Pay a Visit to Bob and Do Some Other Things.


BOB’S room was quiet and very dark, only, as in the rooms below, the white moonbeams drifted in through the lace curtains at the windows. Peter Pan nosed around until quite sure that the coast was clear, and then, for a moment, the Teddy bears stood still and looked about them, eager to start in on their mission of mischief, as usual.

It was a very pretty room, the hardwood floor covered with fine rugs and all the furniture of mission work. In one window stood a large aquarium filled with gold and silver fish, and in the center a tiny fountain threw up its fairy jet, keeping the water constantly pure and fresh. Of course this at once attracted the attention of the whole family. It was their first introduction to water and for a while they were satisfied to watch the beautiful fish as they darted hither and thither, no doubt very much surprised at seeing the room lighted at such an unseemly hour of the night.

The swimming proposition appealed strongly to the twins, and although they were eager to try it they were not quite sure, when[64] it came to the test, whether or no they would really like it. Therefore they decided to try it first on Little Breeches, and as he could not be persuaded to dive in willingly they pushed him in in spite of his frightened struggles. Over the edge he went with a mighty splash while the displaced water rose over the sides of the glass tank, carrying with it several of the gold fish and forming a big puddle on the floor.

bear being spanked


Down plunged Little Breeches to the bottom of the tank and rose immediately, choking and sputtering. He could easily have climbed out, but was far too badly scared even to try. So he shrieked lustily as soon as he found his breath, while the heartless twins stood by laughing and without attempting to offer any assistance.

Peter Pan and Bedelia all this time had been busy investigating Bob’s big closet in which they had found a store of queer articles the like of which they had never seen among Sally’s possessions. There were skates and baseball bats, boxing gloves and fencing foils, and various other strange articles, dear to the soul of a small boy, but inexplicable mysteries to Teddy bears.

Peter Pan and his wife, however, were called from their interesting still-hunt by the yells of the baby cub and now hastened to his rescue, and having dragged him out, a miserable little bunch of draggled fur, Bedelia proceeded to rub him dry, using as a towel Bob’s white silk blouse, that she found folded carefully on a chair with the rest of his belongings, while Peter Pan, having soundly smacked the twins, returned to his congenial task of turning out Bob’s closet.

The next thing that he discovered was a bag of marbles, and these he emptied out on the floor, where they rolled about in every direction. These the Teddy bears found very amusing and the whole family played with them for some time, until by degrees they were[66] all lost, rolling under the bureau or in dark corners where it was impossible to get at them.

In the closet they had found a great number of games, and these they now hauled out to the middle of the floor and proceeded to pull out of their respective boxes. And as they did not in the least know what to do with them left them all in a hopeless muddle, checkers, back-gammon, lotto and parcheesi, all mixed up in a condition that was a great deal more perplexing than a Chinese puzzle.

Having now pretty well exhausted the resources of Bob’s room, the Teddy bears resolved to carry their researches higher up, especially as it was growing rather late. They therefore departed, leaving confusion behind them, and climbed the two flights of stairs that led to the attic with as much caution as possible, for they were dreadfully afraid of being discovered by the servants. However, they passed all the doors of the bedrooms in safety and soon arrived at their destination, for once without any mishaps.

The attic was a fine large room, plastered and ceiled and occupying the entire upper floor. Here were arranged in fine order, for the attic was as well cared for as any part of the house, a number of trunks and chests, and any quantity of pieces of queer old furniture, long since fallen into disuse. Here was the cradle in which grandma had rocked Papa Doctor, as Sally and Bob lovingly called Dr. North[67], and into this Bedelia promptly plumped down the baby cub, for the poor little fellow was tired out, and he immediately fell fast asleep.

Here in one corner stood an old spinning-wheel, and the twins were greatly delighted upon finding that they could make the wheel go round, which they proceeded to do with vigor, snarling up and ruining all the fine flax that still remained on the distaff. Meanwhile Peter Pan and Bedelia had been examining various big packing trunks, the contents of which they were crazy to scrutinize, but they were all locked quite securely.

Finally, however, they discovered a big cedar chest that was not locked, although it was a feat of strength for the two to lift the heavy carved lid.

But after a sharp struggle they succeeded, and began joyfully to dive in, elbow deep, throwing out the contents in heaps on the floor.

Mrs. Peter Pan’s attention was quickly drawn to a number of little garments yellow with age; little tucked frocks, tiny embroidered sacques, wee silk stockings and tiny kid shoes all of a fashion long gone by.

Now Bedelia had for a long time considered that her children had been dreadfully slighted in the matter of dress. And she immediately pounced upon the tiny garments and proceeded to dress her offspring in them to her heart’s content.


And very absurd they looked with their little round ears sticking up out of white silk caps, and their brown paws protruding from little lace sleeves.

bears getting dressed in dresses

Now the twins were exactly alike and Sally, being unable to tell them apart, had adorned the one with a pink and the other with blue ribbon; but the perverse little creatures had changed them once, and therefore were more hopelessly mixed up than ever.


Sally, of course, never knew the difference, nor guessed that Jerry was Tom and Tom was Jerry ever after.

The bears spent a blissful hour romping around the attic, and pulling out the contents of every trunk and box that they found unfastened. The twins no doubt would have had more fun had they not been hampered with so much finery, but they strutted about before their admiring parents and managed to be very proud of themselves.

The whole family was now growing tired, for their amusements during the evening had been rather more strenuous than ordinary. Peter Pan was beginning to think that it was high time to descend and cuddle up beside Sally, for there he had been when she fell asleep, and there he must be when she awoke, when suddenly a sound from the street below fell upon their terrified ears, nearly paralyzing them with fright.

It was the sound of the Gabriel horn, tooting merrily and announcing the return of Dr. and Mrs. North.

The dismayed Teddy bears never once thought of remaining quietly where they were until papa and mamma had retired, and then descending to their own quarters. Their one idea was to get there before their absence could possibly be discovered.

With a mighty effort, and altogether too much rattled to pay any[70] heed to caution, they swung open the attic door, that banged violently against the wall with a report like a cannon. And then the whole family took to their heels and plunged madly and wildly down the attic stairs.



John Takes a Tumble.


THEY had forgotten all about John, the man-of-all-work, but as the flying wedge raced past his door it suddenly flew open and there on the threshold stood the old man. He had been awakened by the noise of the slamming attic door and very funny he looked in pajamas and pointed cotton nightcap.

Moreover he had not paused to forage for his teeth, that always reposed comfortably at night in a glass of water on his wash-stand.

In his pink pajamas and pointed nightcap, he somehow looked absurdly like Peter Pan. A long and lean Peter Pan. A Peter Pan without any teeth.

This unexpected apparition so terrified the twins, unable as they were to progress as swiftly as the rest on account of their fancy clothes, that after one demoralized glance at the ancient vision in the doorway, they uttered a dismal squawk and hurled themselves unceremoniously over the banisters and down the flight of stairs. Tumbling and rolling over one another and bouncing like two rubber balls, down and down they went, and finally disappeared in the open door of the nursery.


Neither did Bedelia stay to consider the order of her going. She fled in disorder, dragging along the tiny cub, who, too sleepy either to resist or to help himself, was whimpering shrilly.

Peter Pan himself brought up the rear, hopping along as nimbly as the rest of them, but with his ideas concerning pajamas disorganized forever.

Meanwhile the short-sighted old man on the upper landing knew not what to believe, nor what manner of animal he was gazing upon.

“God bless my soul, but they looked like Sally’s bears!” he exclaimed. In another moment the thought that possibly some trained monkeys had escaped from the zoo and somehow effected an entrance into the house flashed across his mind.

He advanced to the rail and peered over it in order to catch another glimpse of the queer little figures now in full retreat. But being very near-sighted and having, in his haste, forgotten his spectacles, he miscalculated the distance, and in another moment was turning somersaults down the stairs in the wake of the Teddy bears, until he finally landed at the bottom with a lugubrious thump which for the moment deprived him of consciousness, while Rough House, roused by the commotion, added his shrill barking to the general confusion.

Now from the lower hall rose voices of Papa Doctor and mamma in terrified inquiry, demanding to know what upon earth was the matter.


They were dreadfully astonished to find the house brilliantly lighted from top to bottom and ringing with all sorts of unaccountable noises.

man falling downstairs

As they received no reply they both rushed upstairs as fast as their feet could carry them only to find poor old John extended in an apparently lifeless condition on the landing, while in the nursery Sally, her head under the counterpane, was sobbing wildly, too much[74] terrified to do anything but clutch Peter Pan, which smooth rascal reposed beside her, the tip of his black nose sticking out perkily from beneath the coverlet.

The whistle of the night watchman was now heard advancing along the street and Papa Doctor made a dash downstairs to secure the man’s services. In a few moments he came hurrying along and between them all they got John back into bed and applied some restoratives that speedily brought him to his senses. But he at once began to talk so wildly of Teddy bears and organ grinders’ monkeys that Papa Doctor shook his head and gravely declared it his belief that some sudden shock must have turned the old man’s brain.

To be sure it might have been the fall, but as he could give no explanation of how he came to fall beyond his oft-repeated declaration that he had been chasing some queer animals that resembled Sally’s Teddy bears, the family gave up in despair and Papa Doctor concluded to remain for the rest of the night with his flighty patient.

John having been comfortably disposed of, the watchman proceeded to patrol the whole house, but discovered nothing, not even an unhooked window by means of which any marauder might have gained entrance.

The condition of things in the library clearly pointed to spite work, as none of the costly volumes had been carried away, nor had any of[75] the plate been removed from the dining-room. The destruction of the pretty curios from the cabinets in the parlor strengthened this theory. The miscreant, however, had covered his tracks so cleverly that not the smallest clue to his identity could be discovered.

Finally the baffled policeman retired from the scene, promising to send some detectives from the station in the morning. Lights were extinguished somewhat reluctantly and the family retired, with the uncomfortable feeling that the marauder might again pop in through any convenient keyhole to continue his depredations.

All this time Peter Pan had lain cuddled close to his little mistress, rather scared at the unlooked-for turn affairs had taken.

His mental processes were slow ones, but he was beginning to comprehend the fact that his nightly revels must, in the future, be conducted on a somewhat more orderly basis.

There was no telling what might be the result of a rigid investigation by the police.

Acting on this idea, he cautiously slid from bed and proceeded to divest the twins of their ill-gotten finery, in which they had serenely gone to sleep. This he rolled up and poked into the grate behind the wood and kindlings that were laid ready for lighting. This accomplished, he crept back into bed and was soon slumbering placidly, his cold black nose thrust into the rosy palm of his little mistress.


Next morning the house was filled with detectives from the Central Station, but the most careful investigations resulted in nothing whatever. And the officers were obliged to give up the case as another of the unsolved mysteries, and departed, leaving as a final bit of advice that all the doors in the house be locked when the family retired.

bear standing

Peter Pan, who all this time had been perched jauntily on the edge of the ruined library table, was not at all disconcerted by this edict. Being the very largest size of Teddy bear, it was quite possible for him to reach the locks of the doors without any trouble whatever.

However, he concluded that it would be best to lie low for awhile until the affair had blown over, with the result that the North family enjoyed a hard earned peace for some time.

Bedelia, however, was secretly furious, and being the more crafty of the two, resolved that she would not be governed, but would start an expedition of her own as soon as a favorable opportunity presented itself. This, however, was long in coming, as Peter Pan somehow scented danger in the wind. His suspicions had at first been aroused by Bedelia’s behavior when she discovered the loss of the pretty garments with which she had decked the twins. Indeed, upon his refusal[77] to tell what he had done with them, her conduct had been far from wifely, in that she smartly boxed his ears and had then promptly fallen into a fit of hysterics, to calm which had required the united efforts of all the toys in the nursery.

Following this she relapsed into a fit of the sulks, which made life unbearable for every one concerned; all the time revolving in her stubborn head the propriety of making another raid upon the chests in the attic.



Peter Pan Gains a New Idea.


ALL this time nurse had been revolving the occurrences of the two previous nights in her own mind without, however, arriving at any definite conclusion. She had not been long from the old country and was full of superstitious ideas about fairies and goblins. She had done a great deal of thinking and found much satisfaction in expounding her theories to Maggie, the housemaid.

“Sure, whatever it was, it’s bad enough that they destroyed me iligant bonnet,” she remarked, as the two girls lingered over their early luncheon. “But worse it is that poor John’s wits was nearly gone intirely.”

Maggie nodded, at the same time casting a furtive glance over her shoulder, as if she half expected to see the author of all the direful “goings on” walking in at the kitchen door.

“Sure and he’s all right now, but do ye’s think it was rats he saw?” she inquired, dropping another lump of sugar into her cup of tea.


two maids having tea

“There’s more nor rats,” replied nurse sententiously as she folded her napkin and picked up Peter Pan, who had been left perched on the window sill by Sally, who dearly loved to get down into the cosy kitchen, for she and cook were great friends. That very morning she had been allowed to bake a panful of the most delicious little cookies, under cook’s supervision, of course. She had quite forgotten Peter Pan in her delighted interest in this new and absorbing employment,[80] and had left him stranded, high and dry, on the window sill, when she hurried off upstairs to show to mamma the results of her domestic economy.

Now the Teddy bear was naturally very much offended that he had not been invited to taste the goodies at which he had been sniffing hungrily during their preparation; much more so that he had been left behind when Sally carried them away. Therefore he was now in anything but a pleasant frame of mind and felt very much inclined to bite nurse when she picked him up and carried him off to the nursery.

“Sure and there’s more nor rats,” she repeated half aloud as she ran up the back stairs with Peter Pan upside down under her arm. The bear certainly acquiesced most emphatically in this idea, but as it was not his time for being active he could only do so in his own mind.

Peter Pan’s visit to the kitchen had put an entirely new idea into his bearish head. He had never been down there before and now discovered, for the first time, from whence came all the delectable dishes that appeared on the dining-room table. It had become a decidedly difficult matter to forage for his good sized family, as there were few edibles to be found above stairs. To be sure, nurse liked a bit of a lunch before she went to bed, and Sally usually had a glass of warm milk on retiring. But the scraps and leavings from these repasts[81] were slender, and their disappearance had so emphasized the theory of rats that a couple of ominous looking traps had been baited with toasted cheese and set in the nursery.

Peter Pan was dreadfully afraid of being caught in one of them and for some time gave them a wide berth. The cheese, however, smelt deliciously, and at last the desire to possess the toothsome morsels so far overcame his fear that he attempted to poke it out with nurse’s big shears, purloined for the purpose from her work basket. But he had only succeeded in springing the trap, without securing the cheese, while the scissors were caught and held firmly in spite of all the Teddy bear’s efforts to dislodge them.

This being discovered in the morning, it added another mystery to the already long list of queer “doin’s,” as nurse called them.

Only Rough House was beginning to have an idea or two in his doggish head, mere suspicions that he could not have been able to communicate to any one except to Rags, the little fox terrier, even had he been able to confirm them.

Rough House and Rags both disliked Peter Pan cordially, as they had always, heretofore, been Sally’s prime favorites, and were now feeling rather neglected since the advent of the Teddy bears.

And indeed Peter Pan returned their sentiments with interest[82] partly because he was dreadfully afraid of both dogs and partly because he considered that Rough House poked his sharp nose into a great deal of business that was anything but his own, and was therefore to be proportionately feared.

bear using scissor to pry open a trap

Rough House was scarcely out of the puppy stage and the Teddy bear had often trembled for himself and his family, chiefly, I am afraid, for his own hide, as he watched the big fellow running off to his lair under the head of Sally’s bed and close up against the wall, an almost impregnable fastness where it was practically impossible to get at him, carrying in his mouth various belongings of Sally’s which he proceeded to tear and rend in a leisurely manner.

Of course Peter Pan could not understand that it was quite as much the ache and pain of the rapidly arriving second teeth which caused a desire to bite on something or anything, as a craving for destructiveness, which caused all these reprehensible proceedings.

The results, however, were just as disheartening, the dog having even levied on the doll’s house and chewed up a bedstead and the beautiful celluloid infant who happened to be reposing in it. So nurse[83] now draped the open front of the house each night with a sheet, and Rough House’s depredations in that direction ceased perforce.

Once, indeed, Maggie had essayed to poke him out of his stronghold under the bed with her broom, when he was tearing up Sally’s beloved little red bedroom slippers. But the dog, unheeding Maggie’s weapon of offense, had merely turned his head and looked over his shoulder, baring every one of his white fangs in such an unearthly grin that Maggie fled in disorder and Sally’s footgear was left to its tragic fate.

Sally was so much annoyed by the loss of her favorite slippers that she resolved to punish the dog by tying the small remnant of them around his neck, where they remained, flapping, until they fell to pieces. Whereupon Rough House fell upon the fragments with avidity and the last state of his vandalism was worse than the first.

Two weeks had elapsed since the adventures of the Teddy bears in the attic. Peace had descended on the troubled household and every thing was jogging along comfortably and quietly.

But just at this stage of the game Peter Pan made up his mind that it was time to visit the kitchen, as his family, especially Bedelia, who had grown more surly than ever, were complaining bitterly of short rations. His only fear was of Rough House, who slept in the nursery. The dog had been on the alert ever since Peter Pan’s last[84] escapade with the rat trap, but as nothing in particular had happened since then, was now somewhat relaxing his vigilance.

On this particular night, the whole family being wolfishly hungry, Bedelia declared that they should wait no longer, and Peter Pan consented, although not without some misgivings, to lead a raid on the kitchen.



They Visit the Kitchen.


VERY cautiously they set forth, Peter Pan conducting, while Bedelia brought up the rear in order to safeguard the small fry from any possible attack in either direction.

Silently the little procession crept from the nursery and hopping and sliding down the stairs swiftly advanced upon the lower regions. In the kitchen hall they broke ranks.

The kitchen was a big, bright room, beautifully kept and as clean as wax. Indeed, cook was in the habit of saying that you could eat off the floor, which was undoubtedly true provided you did not prefer a table and chair.

Everything fairly shone with cleanliness and was as bright as sapolio and elbow grease could make it.

A great pan of bread had been put to rise on a table near the range and this the hungry bears sampled first, upsetting the pan and pushing their paws and noses into the dough in their impatience to taste it. However, they did not like it at all, as it was much too raw and sticky, and not at all unlike the library paste on Sally’s school[86] room desk, which Peter Pan had once upset in order to taste it and from which he had retired in disgust. So they left it strewn all about the newly scrubbed floor, and started on a voyage of discovery in the pantries. Here indeed were goodies galore, plump pies and a luscious jelly cake glistening with white frosting; shining glasses of jelly and jam, jars upon jars of preserves, pickles and catsup of every description.

bears making mess in kitchen


“Putting up” was cook’s especial delight and this year she had certainly done herself proud.

You may be sure it did not take the Teddy bears long to fall upon such an alluring feast, or rather to fall into it, which they did head first, scooping up the dainties with their paws and gorging themselves like little pigs, spoiling what they could not eat out of sheer wantonness, and finally finishing off with a quantity of luscious honey for which they really had not a sufficient capacity after the miscellaneous collection of sweets that they had already devoured.

They now found themselves very thirsty indeed, and recollected that Sally was extremely fond of a good smelling stuff that she called cider.

They at once resolved to have some, and having rummaged all over the now disorderly kitchen without finding any, decided to continue their researches in the cellar.

Therefore in a few moments the whole crew were scrambling down the cellar steps, Peter Pan lighting the way with a candle, which, with plenty of matches, he had found on one of the closet shelves. The matches were a new proposition to him, and it required several attempts and a quantity of wasted matches before the candle was properly lighted. Peter Pan’s only idea of artificial lighting was indissolubly connected with a button in the wall. But as he had[88] frequently seen cook take along a candle when she was going down cellar he felt that it would be highly improper to descend thither without one.

Teddy bears have no powers of deduction as their brains consist solely of raveled silk and tissue paper. Consequently they never draw inferences, a very lucky thing in the case of Peter Pan.

The cellar stairs were quite different from any that the bears had tried before, being open at the back of the steps. When about half way down one of the twins slipped through and fell to the floor below with a resounding thump.

Immediately he set up a fearful shrieking, not because he was hurt in the least, but because he was dreadfully afraid that the rest of the family would get to the cider before he did.

Now Peter Pan was, as a rule, an extremely indulgent parent, but of late it had commenced to dawn upon his inner consciousness that his offspring were being fearfully spoiled.

Therefore, quickly hopping down the remaining steps he grabbed up the squalling Jerry and administered a sound spanking, which so took the little bear by surprise that he stopped abruptly in the middle of a fearful shriek and at once became as still as a mouse.

After this slight interruption, the bears proceeded to institute a vigorous search for the cider. At first they struck the vinegar barrel[89] from which they retired in dismay, the very odor of the acid stuff giving the baby bear an attack of colic. But their next experiment proved more successful and soon they were filling themselves with the sweet liquid. When they could hold no more they all sat down rather tipsily on the bottom step, not quite sure what they wanted to do next. Of course they had not thought to turn off the faucet of the cider barrel, and the little amber stream continued to run steadily, slowly spreading over the floor, where it presently formed a shining lake in which the flickering light of the candle cast some grotesque and ever changing reflections.

bears sitting on outside steps


Just about this time the swift patter of furry paws sounded on the kitchen floor and were heard rapidly approaching the cellar door. Immediately the frightened bears knew what had happened. Rough House had awakened, in a really very inconsiderate manner, and missing the bear family had hurried downstairs to do a little detective work on his own account.

Instantly Peter Pan blew out the candle and the whole family scurried away in the pitch black darkness, wading knee deep through the lake of cider, and finally taking refuge in the coal bin.

Meanwhile Rough House was not a little astonished to find such a state of affairs in cook’s orderly domain. He sniffed around cautiously and so quick were his movements that his sharp brown eyes caught a glimpse of the flickering candle gleam below stairs before Peter Pan had time to extinguish it.

At once he conjectured that the Teddy bears had been the authors of all the mischief; and filled with an impish desire to get even with the creatures of whom he had grown so jealous, he quickly sprang behind the door and charging upon it with lowered head had the joy of seeing it swing securely shut, leaving his enemies close prisoners in the darkness and silence below stairs.

bear sitting in window sill wearing sweater and hat

Rough House had been trained never to help himself to anything to eat unless it was first offered to him. But he could not refrain[91] from licking up a few tempting, sugary crumbs, and little scraps of cake that the bears had left scattered about the floor. Then after pushing at the door with his nose to make sure that all was hard and fast he trotted upstairs, wagging his tail with much satisfaction and laid himself down across the foot of Sally’s bed, where he was soon fast asleep; keeping one eye open, however, as he usually did, in order to be able to head off the bears should they by any manner of means succeed in escaping from their confinement.

Meanwhile in their dreary prison in the cellar the Teddy bears huddled together, trembling for their lives in the inky darkness. Even Peter Pan had lost all his impudence, for every moment he expected to hear the cellar door open and Rough House come[92] loping down the steps. He shuddered as he remembered the fate of other toys that he had seen carried away in the dog’s powerful jaws, a fate that was perhaps now in store for him and his.

After a wait that seemed interminable, being somewhat encouraged by the fact that nothing untoward had happened, although momentarily expected, he summoned sufficient courage to grope his way to the bottom of the steps, and after a period of breathless listening, to their very top.

All was silence in the kitchen. The dog had evidently departed. But push as he might he could not budge the tightly latched door.

Disheartened by the failure of his repeated efforts, he crept back to the miserable little group in the coal bin.

There was nothing for it but to await whatever developments the morning might bring forth. And huddled together they fell asleep, a sadder if not a wiser family of Teddy bears.



Peter Pan Uses the Telephone.


VERY early next morning Sally was wakened by Rough House, who was standing up on his hind legs beside her bed, licking her face and occasionally uttering a short, sharp bark.

As soon as he saw that she was wide awake he ran toward the door and then back to the bed, pulling at Sally’s nightgown, and plainly begging her to follow him.

Sally jumped out of bed at once, hastily stuck her little pink toes into her red bedroom slippers, a new pair, kept carefully in a convenient hidie-hole where the dog’s greatest ingenuity could never discover them, and threw over her nightie a dainty silk kimono on which were embroidered a succession of smiling Japanese ladies, each one sitting under a cherry tree in full bloom and holding over her head a wonderful Japanese umbrella, which seemed to be entirely unnecessary in view of the shade that must have been cast by the cherry tree. It was, moreover, faced with pink satin, and was quite the most delightful article in Sally’s wardrobe.

The little girl hastily followed the dog, who had started downstairs,[94] pausing now and then to look back and make sure that Sally was following.

Down the stairs they hastened and as they reached the lower flight sounds of woe were wafted to them from the kitchen. Thither they hastened to find cook crying and wringing her hands over the dreadful outlook.

Dog with front paws on bed by Sally

Immediately Sally thought of Marius at the ruins of Carthage, and Herculaneum and Pompeii, stories that she had learned from her governess; but she forbore to mention them, as cook was not exactly in a frame of mind just then to absorb ancient history.

The little girl longed to rush forward and comfort her friend[95] whom she had remembered from babyhood. But the kitchen floor was in such a fearfully sticky mess with jam and pickles and scraps of cake and pie that she could only hover on the outskirts, calling out her condolences to cook, who for once in her life failed to pay the smallest attention to her little favorite.

Just then John, the man who did all the chores about the house, came stumping up the cellar stairs. He had gone down to attend to the furnace, but had found something in the coal bin that sent him straight back again as fast as his rheumatic leg would allow.

He now appeared in the doorway with his arms full of Peter Pan and his family, all of which he proceeded to solemnly deposit in the middle of the floor. And a more demoralized, disreputable looking bunch one could never conceive or imagine.

Sticky with the cider in which they had wallowed and covered with a fine layer of coal dust acquired in the quarters in which they had passed the night, they presented an appalling vision, and poor Sally lifted up her voice and wept in unison with cook.

Just then Rough House appeared at the kitchen door, having made a trip upstairs and succeeded in arousing papa, mamma and nurse, who now came hurrying down half-dressed. And Sally was forthwith borne off to the nursery, where she was coddled and comforted and dressed by the crackling wood fire.


Mamma condoled with cook and papa decided that a private detective should henceforth look after the house during the night.

Rough House was the last one to leave for the upper regions and as he followed mamma upstairs he cocked his eye knowingly at Peter Pan, sitting disconsolately in the midst of his crocked and begrimed family. That besmeared worthy glared sullenly back without being able to hurl defiance at his enemy in any more emphatic manner.

Breakfast was late that morning and very scrappy, but nobody cared for anything much, so much troubled were they all over the affair in the kitchen. And after the doleful meal was concluded papa departed to find Pinkerton and mamma and Sally drove down town carrying the Teddy Bears to the cleaners, where, owing to their dreadful condition, they were obliged to remain for at least a couple of weeks.

It is needless to say that during their absence everything progressed smoothly and the man from Pinkerton’s found himself, like Othello, with his occupation gone. And when they finally returned fresh and fine and several shades lighter from the cleaning process, they were greeted with rapture by their little mistress.

Only the dogs were sorry to see them return. If ever a dog mourned his inability to talk, that dog was Rough House as he watched Sally while she hugged and kissed the returned prodigals.


The dog had always been Peter Pan’s especial detestation, and now his hatred was increased immeasurably. From his coign of vantage on Sally’s knee he watched the dog sulkily, as he lay at the little girl’s feet, his beautiful red coat glistening like satin in the winter sunshine and his sharp, black nose between his two paws, apparently asleep, but in reality watching everything through half-closed eyelids.

bear standing on chair to reach and talk on telephone

Peter Pan had added considerably to his already varied store of knowledge during his stay at the cleaning establishment, and had learned, for one thing, that a telephone is a very handy thing to have in the house. He had seen the employees at the cleaners use it frequently and was fairly itching to get his mischief making paws on the receiver of the extension phone that hung up in the nursery.

Mrs. Peter Pan had been carrying on worse than ever, and sulked most of the time, for she had grown very lonely and did not get on at all well with the rest of the toys in the nursery. She boxed the cubs and snapped at her husband and altogether made life so unbearable that after deep and prolonged meditation Peter Pan concocted a scheme which he now only awaited a favorable opportunity to put into execution.

His chance came on a certain night, when, the dogs having gone to the farm for a few days, the coast in the nursery was quite clear.


Dragging a chair to the telephone he joyfully mounted upon it and pulled down the receiver. In another moment the night watchman at Schwartz’s was more than astonished to be called to the phone and to hear a queer little growling voice send in a large order for Teddy bears to be delivered the first thing next morning at the North residence.

bear carrying bowl of hot porridge

The order was so large that it completely cleaned up the stock of Teddy bears, which were duly packed, and at an early hour a big delivery wagon drew up in front of Sally’s home,[99] and out of it the driver lifted a huge box, which he proceeded to deposit in the front hall.

Mamma was not at home, having gone to aunty’s for luncheon, but Sally immediately sent for John, who opened the box at once. When what should tumble out but a whole multitude of Teddy bears, of all sizes, colors and descriptions?

Sally was rendered quite speechless with delight and astonishment. And when mamma arrived at home, late in the afternoon, she was more than surprised to find her little daughter sitting on the nursery floor literally surrounded by Teddy bears, that swarmed all over the nursery and overflowed into her own room beyond.

In the midst of them and wearing a most delighted expression sat Bedelia, no longer sulky but literally beaming and appearing the very jolliest of bears.


Immediately there was a good deal of telephoning, first to papa and then to Schwartz’s; the latter, when they learned of the practical joke that had been perpetrated, readily agreed to take back the Teddy bears.

Sally was of course dreadfully disappointed, and although she could not refrain from a few tears that reddened her poor little nose, she was, on the whole, so sweet about it that papa allowed her to select several bears which were kept in the nursery when the rest of the tribe journeyed away in the big delivery wagon.



The Teddy Bears at the Cleaner’s.


THERE had been more than one reason for the detention of the Teddy bears so long at the cleaner’s. To be sure, they were very much soiled indeed, but something else fell out which protracted their stay during the second week.

Peter Pan and his family did not at all enjoy the cleaning process, in which it seemed that they were literally handled without gloves, but from which they emerged in a spotless condition. They were then carried late one afternoon to a large store room, and set up on a shelf to await transportation home.

As it was a very large establishment two night watchmen were employed, and from their elevated position the bears eyed hungrily the baskets in which they had brought their midnight lunch, and which they had placed on a small table near by.

The night dragged slowly and the watchmen consumed a couple of hours in playing cribbage. After they had grown tired of the game, as it was still too early to eat, one of them proposed that they make the rounds of the building and then sit down together to their lunch.


As soon as they were out of sight and hearing, the bears scrambled down from their shelf and made haste to investigate the contents of the lunch baskets.

They contained a rather slim meal for five, besides which some of the food was of a description that caused the pampered family to turn up their sharp noses. They afterward learned that it was called pork and sauerkraut, a mixture that the new made-in-Germany bears would no doubt have appreciated.

spilling out the picnic baskets

Peter Pan, however, dumped the contents of the basket out on the floor, upsetting and breaking a bottle of milk, that ran all over the floor and added a liquid element to the sour mess. He then opened the other basket, in which he discovered sandwiches, fried cakes and a triangle of pumpkin pie.

Upon these viands they feasted until not a crumb remained and then turned their attention to the pack of cards with which the watchmen[103] had been playing cribbage. The board and little ivory pins also proved very amusing.

Peter Pan had watched the game closely and it did not take him very long to learn it. So he now set about teaching it to Bedelia. However, they soon found the cards very awkward to handle, as they were far too large for Teddy bears in proportion; besides which the little pins were forever falling on the floor and getting lost.

So the pair soon gave it up and handed the cards over to the little bears who seized upon them with the greatest avidity and examined them curiously. They then fell to building houses with the bits of pasteboard, which, as all houses of cards usually do, soon came tumbling down in confusion.

As the little bears were not particularly gentle in handling their playthings they were soon torn and defaced and were thrown in a soiled heap on the floor, while the cubs ran after their parents, who had now started out on a voyage of discovery.

On the floor above, level with the street, was the room in which all the cleansed articles were displayed in glass cases and in the large show window. Peter Pan was afraid of being seen from outside, so with some difficulty he managed to drag down the shades. He understood how to do that very well indeed.


So far their journey had been illuminated by the use of matches, which Peter Pan had brought with him along with the watchman’s pipe and a bag of Bull Durham. A trail of burned matches thrown down when they had burned out marked their passage from below stairs. Now that the coast seemed to be clear the electric light was brought into play and the bears proceeded to investigate everywhere, leaving ruin and devastation in their wake.

Fine furs and delicate laces were mauled and trampled; dainty evening gowns were pulled about and covered with little sticky paw marks. Mrs. Peter Pan possessed herself of an exquisite pink feather boa in which she capered madly about, having wrapped the boa several times around her body while the long ends trailed upon the floor.

Meanwhile the cubs were not losing any time, but were making merry among the kid gloves, pulling them up on their paws and soiling and splitting every pair that they touched.

Peter Pan had been satisfied with a cursory survey of the pretty articles on exhibition, for he soon found that they did not interest him very much. So he soon turned his attention to the watchman’s pipe which he had all the time been carrying about with him.

It was no difficult matter to fill and light it and the bear threw[105] himself luxuriously on a pile of filmy laces and proceeded to smoke to his heart’s content.

Now Peter Pan had never heard anything concerning the effects of the first attempt at smoking. Therefore he was much surprised at the queer sensations which after a few moments he began to experience, without in the least comprehending the source from whence they came. For the pipe was about five times as large in proportion to Peter Pan as it was to its original owner. And of course its effects were in the same ratio.

Peter Pan began to realize a fearsome sensation at the pit of his round stomach, the purport of which very soon became only too evident. The floor seemed to rock beneath him, and when he essayed to walk, it made as if to rise up and hit him on the head. It curved in billows and tipped itself up at a fearful angle, as if offering him a challenge.

Who had ever before seen the floor of an ordinary shop, or indeed, any floor at all, behave in such an utterly absurd and unaccountable manner?

Peter Pan would have wondered had he not been too ill to wonder at anything. His head was splitting and a flame of thirst devoured his parched tongue.

In his misery, the cause of which he did not in the least[106] understand, he let fall the pipe, a spark from which fell upon the web-like lace and in a moment the whole pile was in a blaze.

Now Peter Pan knew what a fire meant, for he had seen one once before, and although he was about as ill as a bear could well be, he took to his unsteady heels, calling loudly to his family to follow him, and together they plunged down the stairs, seeking safety in the lower regions.

Hastily they climbed to their original shelf, and not a moment too soon, for the torpor which enveloped them all day was beginning to steal upon them, and mercifully to dull the pangs that gripped their mischievous ringleader.

Now the watchmen, who had seen the light of the rapidly increasing blaze, came racing to the scene of action. The fluids used in cleansing fed the flames, that now were burning fiercely; an alarm was turned in and by the time the fire department arrived they found all that they could attend to.

Nearly everything in the store was destroyed, and such articles as were saved were so soiled and begrimed by the water and smoke that it was found necessary to clean them over again, much to the disgust and dismay of the Teddy bears. And right glad they were when at last they were swathed in wrappings of[107] tissue paper, packed in a big box and expressed home to Papa Doctor’s house.

Here Bedelia immediately set her wits to work to plan new mischief for the amusement of the nursery and her own delectation, the result of this scheming being a grand ball, which took place at no very late date.



A Ball in the Nursery.


THE new Teddy bears proved a great acquisition to the society of the nursery. They were fine, plump specimens, and were all tagged “made in Germany,” a fact which marked them with especial distinction. Their manners were polished in the extreme and they at once became prime favorites. One of them, a particularly fine looking fellow, was labeled “the Kaiser,” and his round and sleek little frau so captured Bedelia’s fancy that she immediately devoted herself to the new acquaintances to the exclusion of everything else, even to Peter Pan and the cubs.

Peter Pan was anything but pleased at this turn of events, and began to fear that he had bitten off more than he could chew in sending for the strange bears. It was now his turn to sulk, and he behaved with such outrageous rudeness that the Kaiser took offence and matters began to assume a threatening aspect.

Bedelia was herself a delighted spectator of the trouble that she had stirred up, watching the trend of affairs with impish glee and redoubling her attentions in proportion as she saw it annoyed her husband.


Thus matters stood when the toys determined to give a grand reception and ball in honor of the newcomers, and elegant, engraved invitations were issued by an executive committee.

This was not a difficult thing to achieve, as Bedelia had purloined the same from mamma’s desk.

To be sure they had been neither filled out nor directed, as none of the toys could write, but neither could they read; the invitations were handed around merely as a matter of form, for every toy in the nursery knew the time and place of the wonderful event.

Such a brilliant affair had never before taken place, and society was all agog and in a flutter of excitement.

The committee was at first somewhat puzzled as to how they should secure adequate refreshments, as, in the light of recent events, a raid on the kitchen was out of the question. But Bedelia again came to the rescue, and by the aid of the telephone ordered such a gorgeous supper that the caterer who had served the North family for years concluded that some grand society function was afoot.

All this time Peter Pan was growing sulkier and sulkier, and his attitude had become more threatening. He had even been overheard to vow that he would not attend the ball.

All the rest of the toys felt extremely anxious as to the outcome of affairs. Many of them sided with Peter Pan, for he had always[110] been friendly and courteous with everyone, while his wife had kept, to herself. And her accession of friendship with the newcomers had only tended to aggravate society at large.

The Kaiser and his plump and pretty wife, however, had become extremely popular, and owned a goodly following. So public opinion appeared to be about evenly divided.

It seemed a great shame that such a radical split should have taken place in a society that heretofore had always moved in perfect unison.

The twins had been looking forward to the coming festivities with the liveliest anticipations, but on the very day before the ball their father, having been offended at them for some infringement of rules, declared that they should not set foot in the ball-room. Bedelia immediately vowed that they should, and so matters stood on the evening of the ball.

All the dolls were rigged out in their best attire, and Bedelia had borrowed a beautiful pink silk dècolletè gown from one of them who was fortunate enough to own several.

To be sure, it was rather a tight fit and two buttons indignantly burst off the back of the waist when they discovered who it was that was putting it on. A pin or two, however, made good the deficiency, and Bedelia really looked very charming in the glistening pink silk with a wreath of tiny pink rosebuds twined around her ears. She felt entirely[111] satisfied as she surveyed herself in the mirror on Sally’s bureau, to the top of which she had climbed in order to get a full view of herself, and quite forgot all about the anxious twins who, decorated with two of Sally’s newest blue hair-ribbons, hovered nervously in the background awaiting developments.

Soon the music struck up and the Kaiser and Bedelia proceeded to lead the grand march around the nursery.

a promende of bears

To be sure the music was not very grand, for the doll’s piano was the sole instrument available and the only personage who could be persuaded to perform upon it was an ancient china doll, who had lost both feet, the result of having been dropped in the wash basin by Sally, and consequently was unable to do any dancing. However, the hearty good-will of the guests and their vigorous execution of the various dances on the program quite made up for all deficiencies in other directions.


At first the twins hid themselves behind the door and contented themselves with simply watching the opening exercises, although they fairly itched to be on the floor, but as the tail end of the grand march swung past them, they resolved to do or die and, boldly emerging from the hiding-place, fell into line and went capering along after the rest of the crowd, taking care, however, to keep a sharp lookout for their father, who apparently had so far failed to observe their presence.

Peter Pan, in fact, was having the time of his life, marching with an extremely pretty and vivacious stuffed guinea pig, and had already commenced to pay her such marked attention that Bedelia was observed to cast a number of uneasy glances in their direction. That two should play at her own little game was not at all a part of her program.

Peter Pan had evidently forgotten her existence; while as for the Kaiser, he never noticed him at all, save once, to salute him with a rude and irreligious gesture as they were dancing vis-à-vis. The meaning of this was as Greek to the imported bear, and as nobody cared to enlighten him on the subject the affair came to nothing.

The twins had meanwhile been dancing together, as no other partners seemed available. They might have gotten through the evening without especial notice from anyone had not Tom, after the first three dances, refused to dance lady any longer, while selfish Jerry insisted[113] on keeping the gentleman’s part. Words soon came to blows, and in a moment the dancing ceased and everyone came hurrying up to ascertain the cause of the disturbance.

Immediately Peter Pan was in the middle of the fray, and collaring his offspring, one in each paw, he yanked them off to the dogs’ lair under Sally’s bed, where he presently left them, a considerably less impudent pair of cubs.

As Rough House was still away at the farm, there was nothing to fear from his dreadful jaws. Joined by a common trouble and each one equally anxious to get even with his father, they had now quite forgotten their differences, and held a most emphatically worded conference under the bed, at last deciding that they would run away and so square accounts with their unfeeling parent.

It was now high time to serve supper, and the committee on refreshments descended to the kitchen, only to find nothing at all that resembled freezers of ice-cream and boxes of cake and sandwiches.

They had not counted on the fact that everything would be received at the door by cook, but such had been the case, and she had declined to receive them in language more emphatic than that usually employed in polite society. That there was no party at that house she had vigorously maintained, and the driver had retreated in some perplexity, carrying along the goodies.


Loud were the exclamations of disappointment, as the hungry toys crowded around the dismayed and disheartened committee, and in the general confusion the twins crept noiselessly out from under the bed and slipped into the dark hall. They had learned by this time that to slide down the banisters is really the swiftest method of locomotion, and they quickly availed themselves of this speedy method and went skimming fleetly away to the lower regions.



The Twins Abscond.


DELIGHTED with their new found shoot-the-chutes, the twins hastily climbed the stairs to try it again and yet again, finally rolling off the banisters and landing on the soft fur rug at the foot of the stairs, breathless and too tired to try even one more climb.

Squatting together in the dim light from the hall lamp that was always left burning all night, they suddenly remembered that they had started to run away and immediately began to discuss the question of ways and means.

Papa Doctor’s big, fur-lined coat, that he always wore when going out to night calls during the severe weather, hung on the hat rack, and the cubs knew that its side-pockets were huge and that a Teddy bear might easily find refuge therein.

While they were deliberating whether or no to seize this method of escape from the house, their decision was hastened by the sound of the telephone ringing furiously.

It was a call for Papa Doctor and in a moment he was[116] heard hurrying about in the room overhead as he sprang into his clothes.

The cubs hesitated no longer, but swarming up the sides of the greatcoat they dove one into each pocket, and lay there quaking with fright as Papa Doctor came running downstairs, hastily struggled into his coat, pulled his sealskin cap down over his ears and hurried away, pulling on his gloves as he went.

bear standing facing us

Whither lay his route the cubs, of course, were unable to divine. They rode for some distance in a street car and then there was a short walk, a run up a flight of steps and Papa Doctor was ringing the bell at the door of a cheap apartment house, a fact which the cubs discovered by poking their heads one out of each pocket. They grinned at the thought of how astonished the doctor would be could he know what he was carrying along with his pills and powders. But they quickly subsided as the front door swung open all by itself, a habit that the front doors of flat houses usually follow, and the doctor ran quickly upstairs, up and up and up five flights to the very top.

bear standing turned slightly left

Here a light streamed into the hall from an open door and an anxious, white-faced woman ran to meet him. And while he divested himself of his heavy outer garments and[117] went to work over a dangerous attack of croup, the twins slid warily each out of his respective pocket and slipped, trembling, to their usual refuge under the bed.

Finally, after an hour’s hard work, the little patient was left in a satisfactory condition, Dr. North promising to return early next morning, and after a little, all preparations for the night were concluded and quiet reigned in the little flat.

For a while the cubs remained quietly where they were, but as they were not accustomed to sleeping on the hard floor they speedily concluded to seek for a softer spot.

They knew that their father always slept in Sally’s bed, so without any more ado, as all was now dark and still, they climbed up on the bed, rooted their way underneath the bedclothes and were soon snugly and soundly fast asleep.

It was such a poor, plain tiny room into which the jolly, smiling face of the round red sun peeped the next morning, but his face grew several shades less jolly and his smile a trifle less broad as he noted the thin little face on the pillow and the outline of the poor little twisted limb lying stiffly under the spotless bedclothes.

Jimmy-boy sighed and stirred feebly, wakening slowly, weak and worn out after the terrible struggle of the night before.

Presently his eyes opened and the very first thing they fell upon[118] was two pairs of round, golden-brown ears sticking up out of the bedclothes.

The little fellow raised himself slowly on his elbow, and his thin little hand crept forth uncertainly and slowly drew first one cub and then the other from beneath the quilt.

Delight and amazement contended on his wistful little face and he called for his mother in a tone that brought her running from the wee kitchen where since daybreak she had been busily working at the fine sewing that kept Jimmy-boy and herself out of the poor-house.

Together they admired and speculated over the cubs, theorizing over their strange advent and finally deciding that Dr. North must have surreptitiously smuggled them in as a new kind of medicine for his little patient.

But when Dr. North arrived, some time later, he disclaimed all knowledge of the twins. The city was full of Teddy bears, and all the little chaps looked alike to him, and it never in the world occurred to him that they could be the property of his small daughter. Their coming remained wrapped in mystery that caused Mrs. Gray no little uneasiness. However, as Jimmy-boy was feeling much better and Dr. North decided that there would probably be no return of last night’s paroxysm, she resigned herself to the pleasure of seeing her frail little[119] son enjoying his play with the jolly-looking bears, hoping devoutly they would not disappear as mysteriously as they had arrived.

She sat beside his bed, her slender hands busy with her sewing, while her soft brown eyes smiled approval on the happiness of her boy.

Jimmy-boy was eight years old, but he had never walked. That he never would walk had been the verdict of several physicians, but Dr. North, who was deeply interested in the case, was beginning to fancy that he saw a tiny ray of light, so very faint, however, that he forbore to express his idea even to Jimmy-boy’s mother.

two bears with Jimmy-boy in bed

All that day the twins sat stiffly upon Jimmy-boy’s bed, while his active little brain invented queer games in which his imagination made them take an active part; while he talked aloud, first for one and then for the other in a queer little growling voice, which he varied from time to time accordingly as it represented one cub or the other.

At last he fell asleep with the twins clasped close to him, having[120] passed a happier day than any that he could remember in many a long year.

As soon as it was quite safe to do so, the cubs wriggled out of the child’s embrace and started out to investigate their new surroundings and, above all, to find, if possible, something to put into their clamoring little stomachs.

It did not take very long to go over the territory included in two small rooms. Mrs. Gray slept beside Jimmy-boy’s bed in an astounding arrangement that shut up in the daytime and imposed itself upon a credulous public as a shabby chest of drawers, which the cubs regarded with unqualified amazement, as they had never before beheld such a contrivance. They could see no good reason why the thing did not shut up and flatten out its occupant and indeed rather expected to see that event take place at any moment.

Teddy bears, however, never lose any time in speculation, and the cubs turned their attention to the kitchen, being very much disgusted that the only available light consisted of an oil lamp, an article which, like the folding-bed, they had never before encountered, and of which they were proportionately afraid.

With the aid of a box of matches, however, they raided the larder, a very slender one, indeed, but they discovered a couple of fresh eggs intended for Jimmy-boy’s breakfast, and a bottle of rather blue-looking[121] milk. The eggs they sucked greedily, and after drinking all the milk they wished for, upset the remainder on the floor.

They were greatly disgusted at being obliged to put up with such short rations, and resolved as soon as practicable to leave a place where they could find so very little that was congenial.

bear sitting eating

They had about concluded to go to bed, when suddenly without the slightest warning and like a bolt from a clear sky, something happened that very nearly put an end to their careers for good and all.

Suddenly out of the darkness, apparently from nowhere at all, sprang a huge gray cat, eyes flaming and tail high in air, that leaped upon the terrified cubs, and seizing Jerry by the back of the neck, shook him as he often had shaken a rat.

Billy, the big coon-cat who was Jimmy-boy’s dear friend and playmate, had been down in the cellar for several days enjoying a protracted mouse hunt, and now, returning by devious ways best known to himself, had surprised the marauders at the very height of their evil doing.


He was too full of fresh game to care anything about eating these queer looking animals, besides which the flavor of Jerry’s neck was anything but appetizing. But the lust of killing was in his blood, and he shook him fiercely, wondering greatly at the toughness of the creature, who was so much harder to dispatch than a rat.

Oh, how Jerry screamed! Surely never before did Teddy bear raise such a fearful racket. Luckily for him, Mrs. Gray was awakened by the noise and now came running out of the bedroom, just in time to prevent Jerry’s complete undoing.

“Dear old Billy! You thought you were doing your duty,” she exclaimed, stroking the big fellow, who was purring and rubbing against her, very proud indeed of what he had done, but on the whole somewhat piqued that he had not been permitted to complete the good work.

As for Jerry, the chief damages that he had suffered seemed to be done to Sally’s blue hair-ribbon, that still adorned his neck.

Both he and Tom were extremely glad to be deposited in a place of safety high on the mantel shelf, there to remain until Jimmy-boy called for them in the morning.


Bedelia Takes a Sea Voyage.


THE absence of the twins caused a good deal of consternation in the nursery, and although Peter Pan had searched the house from attic to cellar on the night of their disappearance, he had, of course, discovered nothing. He now knew enough to turn out the lights, and so returned to the nursery, leaving no tracks behind him. Bedelia was frantic over the loss of her cubs. She stormed in private and went into hysterics in public, applying to her husband a series of appellations that were anything but conjugal. Moreover, she accused him of driving away her children by his cruelty, a charge which he could not truthfully refute.

In short, a lioness bereft of her cubs was as water to wine compared to Bedelia deprived of hers.

Peter Pan was driven almost to the verge of lunacy, not because he had any especial affection for either the cubs or Bedelia, but because his wife was managing to make things so very uncomfortable for him.

Naturally everybody sympathized with her attitude in regard to[124] her children and Peter Pan began to discover that society was giving him the cold shoulder.

There was really no foundation for his ridiculous jealousy. His wife had a perfect right to make friends where she chose just the same as he did. This was the general verdict.

Peter Pan, who by this time was really very miserable, redoubled his efforts in searching and researching the house, but as his attempts at discovery met with no results whatever he was forced to discontinue them, hoping that chance which seemed to have spirited away the cubs would some day return them in an equally mysterious manner.

Meanwhile Bedelia pined and fretted incessantly. She refused to eat and grew thin and yellow. The loss of her appetite, which had always been a most robust one, was indeed an alarming symptom. And what to do to improve matters remained for some time a problem.

Finally an idea, a big, brilliant idea, dawned upon the Teddy bear’s mind, and he proceeded at once joyfully to put it into execution.

The North family had been discussing, in Peter Pan’s hearing, the probability of a trip to Europe the following summer, and the Teddy bear decided at once that a sea voyage would go far toward restoring Bedelia’s mental and physical balance.


To be sure, the only sheet of water available was the bath tub and the only craft in the nursery the Noah’s ark. This latter Mr. Noah was willing and even eager to lend, while Bedelia herself hailed the plan with delight and immediately forgot her grouchiness in her excitement over the proposed trip.

But upon taking measurements it was discovered that Bedelia was almost, if not quite, as large as the proposed pleasure craft. This difficulty was gotten out of the way, however, by Mrs. Noah, who suggested that the voyager should sit firmly on top of the ark, drawing up her hind paws so that they should not trail in the water. This plan was hailed with joy by all, especially by Bedelia, who had, for the moment, greatly feared that her excursion was on the eve of a miserable failure.

The bath-room was a fine large room with tiled floor and walls and equipped with every modern convenience for bathing.

The great marble bath itself was sunk in the floor and one descended into it by means of several steps. Thither Peter Pan and a score of assistants dragged the creaking ark, while others turned on the cold water and attended to minor details. Finally Bedelia herself arrived, supported by Mrs. Noah and looking pale and interesting in a tourist hat and veil, the loan of which had been offered by one of the dolls.


The ark was ready, anchored at the foot of the steps. It had been decorated with a number of tiny flags and looked superb as it rocked on the restless waves of the bath tub, as if impatient to be gone.

There now arose some difficulty in getting the passenger aboard, for the ark tipped absurdly whenever she essayed to step upon the gang plank, which had been improvised from a couple of long handled bath brushes. The difficulty was finally overcome by the rubber Brownies, who swam gallantly out and clung to the opposite side of the ark, thus nicely balancing things. Bedelia was then assisted to her seat on the roof, in which lofty position she appeared rather as if riding cross-saddle.

But now arose another unforeseen obstacle. The boat, when pushed off by a dozen pairs of willing hands, refused to go. And there was really nothing very odd in this, as it contained no motive power of any description whatever. To be sure, its usual method of locomotion was to be dragged about the nursery floor with a string, where it traveled smoothly enough on its little wooden wheels.

Finally the big papier-mache alligator that Bob had brought from Florida threw himself into the breach, and gallantly offered to tow the boat, an offer that was joyfully accepted.

Bedelia, who by this time was in tears, plucked up her spirits, and after some little delay, caused by the necessary search for a piece of[127] string, the ark moved majestically off, while Bedelia gaily waved her handkerchief from her airy perch.

bear sitting on roof of ark in water while other bears watch

Twice did they circle grandly around the bath, Bedelia calling out to the admiring crowd which lined the shore that she was already experiencing much benefit from the cool breezes. But as they started for a third trip the baby cub, animated, no doubt, by the Imp of the Perverse, leaning far out over the water as if to wave to her mother suddenly smote the alligator full in the neck with a large cake of Turkish bath soap which she had purloined from the near-by wash stand.


Now the alligator was without a doubt a fine fellow, but he had never been intended to stand such a soaking as he was now getting. As the fearsome missile, hard as Pharaoh’s heart, took him in his tenderest spot, silently, and without a quiver, his head separated from his body and sank gently but firmly to the bottom.

The ark, thus suddenly arrested in its course, spun around and tilted over crazily, sending poor Bedelia flying off at a tangent.

At this awful exhibition a dreadful cry went up from the horrified crowd that lined the banks. The next moment Bedelia was seen waddling toward the shore and crying lustily to be pulled out. To be sure, the water was not deep enough to drown her and she could easily enough have scrambled up the steps had she not been too thoroughly terrified to attempt to help herself, and she was naturally very wet and draggled, when hauled out with some difficulty by her almost demented better half.

The poor alligator, now reduced to a shapeless pulp, floated idly on top of the water, while his beautifully varnished complexion slowly soaked off and stained the tide in every direction. It was indeed a piteous spectacle. As it was impossible to do anything with him at so late an hour, it was decided to leave him where he was for the night, and on the following evening to fish him out and give him a grand funeral. These most laudable intentions were, however, foiled by Betty,[129] the housemaid, who coming in early to clean the bath-room, discovered the remains of the departed and promptly deposited them in the kitchen coal scuttle, whence they were ingloriously cremated by cook the very next time she put coal on the fire.

Meanwhile Bedelia had been dried and put to bed. Her plush coat had suffered considerably from the wetting and she was in a decidedly hysterical condition. Therefore, the canary bird who could hop around in his cage and sing after being wound up, made a flying trip to the library to consult Dr. Owl, who sat all the time perched on the helmet of Minerva over one of the book cases.

bear standing

The Doctor never made outside cases, as he found it quite impossible to fly while hampered with such an incumbrance as the head of Minerva, to which an unkind fate had firmly attached him.

Dr. Owl listened to the canary bird’s message with a very wise expression, after which he closed his eyes, ruffled up his feathers and to all intents and purposes went to sleep. Only he could not stand on one foot as owls usually do at such a time as both of his claws were solidly annexed to Minerva’s helmet.

Presently the canary bird grew impatient and as he was still[130] more than half wound up began to sing at the top of his voice. This had an immediate effect, for Dr. Owl promptly sat up and inquired sweetly if the canary bird had supposed him to be asleep. And before the bird had time to answer that it looked very much like it, had hastily added that in moments of deep meditation over complicated cases he always closed his eyes. He then selected a prescription, picking it out at random from a little basket at his side and remarking as he did so, “It really doesn’t matter in the least which one you take, you know. There isn’t the smallest chance in the world of your ever getting it put up. Fifty dollars, please.” The canary having come without his pocketbook, he had been in such haste, requested that it be charged to Peter Pan, Esq., Left Window Seat, The Nursery. After which he bowed very politely and flew away with the precious and rather costly bit of paper in his beak, and reached the nursery in a somewhat anxious frame of mind, as he felt himself rapidly running down and feared that he would not have time enough to get to his cage before giving out altogether.



Bedelia Becomes Literary.


HE found Bedelia fast asleep and apparently in small need of a sedative, and, leaving the prescription on her pillow, retired to his perch in a rather disgusted frame of mind. And none too soon, for immediately the wheels inside him ceased to go around and he became dead to the world until someone should come along with a key.

Not until next morning was it discovered the baby cub was missing. Terrified by the dire result of his heartless prank, and apprehensive of condign punishment, he had flown no one knew whither, and truth to tell, nobody appeared to care a nickel, but all declared that the room of such an ill-behaved little animal was indeed preferable to his company.

For the alligator had been greatly liked and his untimely and wholly unnecessary taking off was mourned by a large circle of sorrowing friends.

To be sure, he had always from the very first insisted upon passing himself off as the real thing, and would have been mortally[132] offended had anyone intimated that he was not a stuffed alligator. “When I was really alive,” and “before I came to be stuffed” had been favorite prefaces to some of his rather long-winded stories concerning his former life in Florida.

But as the guinea pig remarked, one meets with so many shams in society that it really doesn’t pay to be too censorious, even if one does know alligator hide from papier-mache.

Meanwhile Bedelia, stiff and sore from her ducking was not nearly as sore and stiff as she made herself out to be. The loss of Little Breeches had rendered her even more furious than had the disappearance of the twins. Only in this case she was unable to vent her feelings on the head of her husband, for which he sincerely thanked his lucky stars. As long as Bedelia posed as an invalid, he did his best to be kind and gentle, but it was hard work, for his wife was certainly past-master in the art of being provoking.

Suddenly seized with a new idea, she declared that she was going into a decline and took to composing poetry in imitation of Miss Palmer, to whose verses she had often listened while sitting up stiff and straight and apparently deaf and dumb in the nursery.

As neither Peter Pan nor Bedelia could write, the embryo poetess had no means whatever of recording her literary ventures and was obliged to depend upon her memory for the reproduction of her ideas.[133] And as she not infrequently forgot the most telling points, the result was often disastrous. Her newly discovered gift was, of course, no secret to the society of the nursery and all were anxious to hear some of the verses which Bedelia had, thus far, kept entirely to herself. It was quite evident to any casual observer that Bedelia had become possessed of the divine afflatus. She would sit for hours at a time gazing mournfully into space, looking at one spot until, as Tim the crow vowed, she very nearly looked a hole through it. “Bedelia-sit-by-the-hour” he christened her, being something of a wit himself, although he was too well-mannered ever to thrust the fact on anyone else.

bear on platform addressing crowd of bears in audience

At length curiosity became unbearable, and the stuffed guinea pig who was looked upon as a person of culture, was deputed to request that Bedelia would give a reading of her own compositions. To which[134] proposition she readily, not to say delightedly, consented, and it was at once arranged that the affair should take place that evening in the nursery, of course.

A platform, consisting of two collar boxes, was erected on the edge of the window sill where all might hear and see; and at the appointed hour every seat was taken, to say nothing of those who were obliged to stand.

The fair author was somewhat late, but after some delay the wooden soldier, who had been appointed manager of the entertainment, announced that it would commence. And Bedelia, bowing languidly, recited the following:

The Alligator, lo, is dead!
Bereft of his head,
His life breath sped,
And to another sphere his spirit fled.

This was received with great applause, only one rude and irreligious listener arose in the background and demanded to know where the epitaph was to be inscribed, adding that the remains of the departed, as they all very well knew, had been deposited in the kitchen coal scuttle.

Could an epitaph be recorded on a coal hod?


This unkind inquiry, while rather acting as a wet blanket, raised a storm of discussion which was finally quelled by Tim, who remarked that it was not absolutely necessary to inscribe it anywhere. He also suggested that the P. M. (papier mache) be changed to R. T., as the alligator had always considered himself the Real Thing.

The vexed question having been amicably disposed of, the artist of the evening proceeded to the second number on the program, which was entitled

The rain was very wet indeed,
The trees were standing still;
The river was running the usual way,
For it never could travel up hill.

“Of course it couldn’t,” remarked the guinea pig. “Why should it? And how about the trees? One never sees them running around. And why shouldn’t the rain be wet? Did one ever hear of dry rain except the Raines law?”

As these remarks were uttered in a loud voice, they were perfectly audible to all the audience. Immediately a hubbub of criticisms, pro and con, arose, in the midst of which the two collar boxes that constituted the platform became so energetic that they suddenly parted company, precipitating Bedelia to the ground.

In the confusion that followed it would be but reasonable to conclude[136] that the entertainment was ended. Peter Pan lugged off his wife, after having applied a smelling bottle in the usual place, and the cause of all the disaster marched off to bed singing at the top of its shrill voice:

“See them in the windows,
See them everywhere;
Shapeless little creatures
Called the Teddy bears.”

This verse, which had been picked up from a local paper, was immediately adopted by the faction unfriendly to Bedelia, and for a time her life was made miserable by hearing it on every side. For it must be confessed that Bedelia was particularly proud of her figure, and to be called shapeless was more than her strength could well bear.

Sally in warm coat and fluffy hat

The crisp days of Autumn had come and already Bob was talking of nutting parties. The spirit of Hallowe’en was in the air and the brisk weather sent roses to Sally’s cheeks and a frosty sparkle to her dancing eyes. Bob remarked that the tip of her little nose resembled a bachelor’s button. But Sally took all his teasing good naturedly in the spirit in which it was sent.

Dr. North’s residence was situated well uptown in the Forest City[137] and almost directly opposite stood a small park, presented by one of the wealthy residents in memory of a little daughter who had died in years long gone by. “Grace Park” was one of Sally’s favorite haunts and here she spent many delightful hours feeding the pigeons, the guinea hens and the gray squirrels.

To be sure, she was not very fond of the guinea hens, although she rather enjoyed them when roasted. They were ugly, awkward creatures, and made such a horrible clacking noise. And the pigeons were no rarity; Bob had a whole coop full of them. But the squirrels were dear, cosy, furry, gray creatures, with their fluffy, feathery tails and their sharp bright eyes, and little paws clasped across their breasts as they sat up on their haunches, snuffing the air. So tame they were, for nobody thought of molesting them, that they were ready to spring on Sally’s knee at the mere sight of a nut and take the morsel from her hand.

How still the child sat while her furry friend cracked nut after nut, picking out the kernels and devouring them with relish. And then, when he could eat no more, scampering off to bury the rest of his plunder, first carefully biting off the blossom end in order that it might not germinate when covered up in the ground.

The child thought the wisdom of the furry folk very wonderful[138] indeed and wondered if the little fellows ever found the hiding places of their treasures in after days.

Chip, as Sally had named her favorite squirrel, was so tame that he often followed her out of the park and across the street to the kitchen door, which he was not slow to enter, for well he knew that cook kept a generous store of nuts in the pantry for his especial benefit.

Sally sitting under tree in park with squirrel on her knee

On one beautiful afternoon Sally was sitting on her favorite bench in the Park under a spreading maple, whose gorgeous foliage of crimson and fine gold cast strange moving shadows on the grass as the west wind gently swayed the branches.

Perched on her knees was Chip, busily engaged in demolishing a fine walnut. Having finished it and thrown away the shell, he sat up gravely with his little paws crossed on his breast, as is the fashion with squirrels at attention, and gently closed his eyes while Sally softly stroked his soft fur and scratched his round ears, a process which he enjoyed luxuriously.


After a few moments he opened his bright eyes and looking up into the child’s face remarked: “Sally, do you know what night this is going to be?”

“Hallowe’en,” responded Sally promptly. “And Bob and I are going to have jack-o’-lanterns, and duck for apples and have lots of fun.”

“So will we see lots of fun,” replied Chip with an important air. Sally fancied there was something significant in his glance. But as it was growing late she gently placed him on the bench and trotted home, while Chip frisked away to his cosy little cottage in the branches of the maple tree.

At the front door of the house the child met Peter Pan. He hurried toward her, evidently bursting with suppressed excitement.





“THE twins have come back and we have found Little Breeches,” he cried joyfully, fairly hopping up and down with excitement. And sure enough, there were the twins, having returned that very morning even as they went, in Papa Doctor’s big pockets. Disgusted with life in a sphere that gave them such small scope for the exercise of their talents, they had seized upon an opportunity to leave Mrs. Gray’s, and right glad they were to be at home again and in the bosom of a family that received them with frantic rejoicings. Had Teddy bears been fond of veal, no doubt an unlimited supply could have been provided, for surely never were returned prodigals received with such acclaim.

Sally almost wept for joy while she listened to Peter Pan’s voluble explanations.

Jimmy-boy had so far improved under Dr. North’s treatment that for some time he had gone about on crutches and latterly had been able to take a few steps alone. Dr. North had decided to send him and his mother to the farm for a few weeks, or until the end of Indian[141] Summer, where plenty of good food and the pure country air would lend great assistance toward the little fellow’s recovery. The cubs had found nothing at all to their liking in the tiny flat, where there was practically nothing to do, nothing to eat and a continual menace to their life and liberty from Billy, the Coon Cat. Consequently they had sought and found an opportunity of escape. Opportunity is often easy of access if one only goes about it the right way. And the twins after several anxious days found their occasion for escape.

Little Breeches had been discovered in the soiled clothes hamper, where nobody had thought for a moment of searching and from which he had finally ventured forth heartily disgusted with his marooned condition. Joy unconfined reigned in the nursery and Sally declared that she had never been so glad over anything in her whole life.

Having gloated over the delighted spectacle of the reunited Teddy bear family in each other’s arms, she quickly ran to find Bob in order to inform him of the splendid news. Bob was equally pleased over the fortunate turn that affairs had taken. And then the two children, having made ready for the Hallowe’en festivities that were to take place after dinner, sat quietly down and enjoyed afternoon tea which was presently served by nurse before the crackling fire in the nursery.

Afternoon tea was not an habitual function, but was rather a movable feast, served in the nursery whenever especially desired by the little[142] folk. To-day it was set out on a delightful little round table drawn close to the fire of cannel coal that snapped and cracked cheerfully, and furnished forth with all the delicious china of wonderful Dutch designs that mamma had brought home on her last trip to London. From such china, she had explained, do the little English children sip the afternoon tea, that is with them such an important function.

Dearly Sally loved to drink from the oddly shaped cups, watching anxiously as the warm liquid descended for the gradual appearance of the fanciful little figures that lined the inside as well as the outside with a quaint fresco.

It was so delightful to see first the top of the big, stiffly starched white linen headdresses, and then, after a rather meditative swallow, the wide flat linen collar, and then after a succession of rather hasty swallows, for things were getting too interesting to linger, the funny short blouses, the big white aprons and balloon-like skirts. And down near the bottom where it was nearly time to find the whole spoonful of sugar, nicely melted and most delectable by now, the queer, clumsy wooden shoes. Sally wondered how they felt and if one could really dance in them as these pictured girls were dancing, holding up their voluminous skirts and showing the stiff white petticoats underneath.

There were queer, wooden-looking boys, too, dancing as partners to the girls, in high, brimless black hats, very short waisted blouses and[143] very full trousers gathered in at the ankle, and the wooden shoes, of course. And such a conglomeration of colors, red, purple, blue, pink and orange, and under their feet the very greenest of grass, while for a background a thin strip of pale blue river meandered serenely through the picture and beyond it a hazy purple perspective, the chief features of which appeared to be wind mills. An intensely blue sky streaked with primrose completed the picture.

bear sitting holding ball

Sally considered the whole as the most exquisite bit of coloring she had ever seen. Now she was seated luxuriously finishing her second relay of tea, having twice enjoyed the unfolding of the fascinating panorama within the cups. Opposite her was Bob, while on either side sat Rags and Rough House, who were always honored guests at these impromptu functions, licking their chops over their savory share in the feast. Tim, as a rule, also joined in the festivities, being very fond of crisp biscuit, but this afternoon he had taken himself off for reasons all his own, and as he often made little trips to the park where he greatly enjoyed roosting on some convenient bough and chatting with Chip nobody felt any anxiety on the ground of his non-appearance.

Presently when tea was finished and nurse came to take away the[144] tray, the children hastened downstairs to put the finishing touches to their preparations for the evening’s fun.

In the kitchen they found awaiting them a row of big pumpkins, and out of each one Bob had fashioned a jack-o’-lantern with great glaring eyes and a mouth full of grinning teeth. Hideous they were as the candles were lit and placed inside each one.

Every year Sally went through the same ceremony and every year she felt in duty bound, and as a tribute to Bob’s genius, to shriek and cling to cook, as the whole goblin crew stood glaring and blinking, calling forth a chorus of indignant protests from the dogs, who considered that they had borne a great deal and indeed quite too much from the Teddy bears, without having such monsters added to the family circle.

Dinner was a rather unceremonious meal that night, for everyone was anxious to be through with it and cook was given scarcely time to dispose of the dishes before an hilarious throng, reinforced by a number of the near neighbors, invaded the kitchen.

Lights were extinguished and for a few moments the lighted jack-o’-lanterns glared and glowered in supreme control. At this Rough House set up such an unearthly wailing, which nurse declared made her flesh creep, that darkness was made light and the merry crowd proceeded to enjoy the rousing games for which Hallowe’en is always[145] famous. Diving for apples in a tub of water and for a key in a pan full of flour; trying to seize in one’s teeth a lump of sugar twirling on a string hung from the chandelier; popping chestnuts and finally, with lights lowered to a mysterious solemnity, watching the gyrations of two uncanny little white figures that danced a weird kind of can-can in the most lifelike manner imaginable, and later proved to be little dolls deftly fashioned by knotting two of Papa Doctor’s big hand-kerchiefs into shape, and manipulated by means of strings tied around their necks and then thrown over an arm of the chandelier. The entertainment wound up with such good things to eat as are popularly supposed to belong to Hallowe’en, and the Virginia reel, for which purpose the gay party adjourned to the parlor where Miss Palmer good-naturedly offered to play for the dancing, and finally to the dining-room, where the tempting feast was set forth.

bears considering bobbing for apples

It was quite ten o’clock when Sally jumped into bed, a very tired[146] little girl. There had been one drawback to the pleasure of the evening. Tim had not come home and the child could not help feeling anxious, as he had never before remained away after dark. Sally reproached herself for not having gone out to look for him before dinner. However, she resolved to sleep with one eye open, in order to hear if Tim should make any attempt to get in at the window, and in a few moments was safely in dreamland.



The Dream Child.


HOW long Sally slept she did not know when she was aroused by the sharp tapping of a beak against the window pane. She sprang up, half asleep, but only too glad to hear the sound for which she had been listening even in her dreams.

Hastily she threw open the window and in fluttered Tim, so full of excitement that his very tail-feathers seemed to bristle with it. In his queer little hoarse croak he implored Sally to lose no time in dressing, as Chip, the squirrel, had sent a message to the effect that he wished her and Bob to join him in the park at once. Now, considering that it was getting well on toward midnight, the average child would have been rather astonished to receive such an invitation. But Bob and Sally, accustomed as they were to the call of the wild in a modified scale, hastily dressed, being, I am afraid, none too particular concerning the arrangement of hooks and buttons.

Peter Pan, who was, as usual, ready for action, whispered to Sally not to waken Bedelia. “She will be no end of a nuisance,” quoth the Teddy bear. So she was left reposing among her cubs while the rest[148] of the party, escorted by Tim, crept cautiously downstairs and out at the front door, which they placed off the latch in order to insure their safe return.

Across the street and into the park they hurried, Tim hopping and flapping along in front. At the entrance they dimly distinguished a tiny gray figure, sitting up with its little paws crossed on its breast and its great, fluffy tail curled up, feather-like, over its back. It was Chip, eagerly awaiting their advent. He ran joyfully to meet his guests, and explained, as they hurried along, that he was sure they would enjoy the festivities soon to follow, and that he had obtained an invitation for them from the old horned owl, who was to be master of ceremonies.

They had now left the beaten path and were wading ankle deep through the dead leaves that rustled crisply under their feet. A faint, gray mist lay like a veil over the park, while low in the sky hung the crescent moon, seemingly caught and held in her place by the forked and naked branch of a tall poplar tree. Its silver beams sifted down through the pale mist, which glittered as if spangled with thousands of diamonds.

Presently the mist seemed to concentrate itself in one glimmering shape, which came gliding lightly forward toward the children with a softly rhythmic motion and apparently without touching the ground[149] In another moment Sally discerned the figure of a little girl who appeared to be about her own age, but of so fair and frail a mold that the very moonbeams themselves seemed to penetrate through the transparency of her ethereal body. Her long, fair hair floated loosely over her shoulders and her little hands were filled with dazzling white flowers, which she pressed softly against her bosom.

Softly she floated to where the children stood, and laid her transparent little hand, whose touch was as cool and light as that of a snowflake, in Sally’s sturdy little brown palm.

“Dear children,” she exclaimed, in a voice whose faint sweetness sounded like the recollection of a chime of silver bells, “I am the guardian spirit of this place, to which I bid you welcome, the little girl for whom it was named, and who, years ago, passed into the world of spirits. These flowers I took with me, and the good God has made them immortal. They cannot wither. Nothing withers or dies in the world where I live now.”

She ceased speaking and a lovely smile irradiated her innocent little face.

Sally suddenly felt a great love spring up in her heart for this dear dream-child, so unlike any companion that she had ever before met. She longed to return the pressure of the tender little hand, but it was already gone and the child was floating fairy-like ahead of them, ever[150] and anon turning toward them with her lovely smile as if beckoning them to follow.

They were now entering a part of the park where the trees stood thickest, forming a sort of grove, in the centre of which lay an open space. A bat drifted by on velvety wings with eyes that glared in the darkness, and the great horned owl himself presently came flying along, flapping close to the ground, and, sad to contemplate, even on such an important occasion as this was evidently engaged in a still-hunt for mice. Sally could not help wondering if he ever made an error and mistook the squirrels for lawful prey. It seemed not, as they were all so very friendly together.

A wavering but ruddy glow now began to shine through the trees while a weird melody was wafted to their ears and as the children hurried through the last rows of pine and fir, they came upon a veritable fairy ring. In the centre of the clearing a great fire of pine boughs burned merrily, while round about it danced and capered a motley crew, the like of which it has seldom fallen to mortal eyes to gaze upon.

fairies, pixies, wizard, frogs in hats, bear, raven and an owl
Round the fire danced a motley crew.

Round-eyed Brownies, goblins gaunt and gray; the dainty dryads, spirits of the hoary trees; a company of little old women in red cloaks and black, pointed hats, who rode upon brooms, but whose bright eyes and kindly old faces belied everything that Sally had ever heard concerning witches. They resembled more a company of little old ladies[151] out on a still-hunt for afternoon tea. The dream-child, however, drew away from the firelight with a visible shudder, and took refuge behind a large fir tree, and the children immediately followed her. Sally now saw for the first time that a delicate pair of wings, beautifully irridescent, sprang from her shoulders and lay, drooping, to her waist.

Peter Pan and Tim, however, were in no way minded to hide their shining lights behind the proverbial bushel, and before many moments had joined the dancers around the crackling fire. Round and round they went, while their weird song rose and swelled upon the air.

At the upper end of the fairy glen had been erected a lofty throne of pine and fir boughs, and upon this was solemnly perched the horned owl, who, as master of ceremonies, was seated in lordly state, and did not, of course, join the promiscuous revels. On either side of the throne stood his marshals, two huge, speckled hoptoads, crowned with big hats which consisted of enormous mushrooms, which flopped ridiculously whenever their wearers moved. Sally, whose busy brain was forever drawing parallels, was irresistibly reminded of the big picture hats that she had once seen worn by the bridesmaids at a wedding to which she had gone under the wing of mamma, Auntie Edith having been one of the bridesmaids. The whole thing struck her so funny that she began to giggle, and in another moment, despite Bob’s warning frown, she found herself shaking with silent laughter.


“Oh, how I wish we had brought Bedelia! She would certainly have written some poetry,” she gasped to Bob, who shook his head in a vain endeavor to keep her quiet. Just then the clock commenced to strike the hour of midnight, and Sally, no longer able to contain herself, burst into a ringing laugh, that was repeated, with a chorus of fearful echoes, from every near-by rock and tree.

In the twinkling of an eye, out went the fire and the whole merry swarm of dancers rose silently in the air, as if on wings, and hovering above the tree tops like a faint, gray cloud, slowly dispersed and vanished.

Only the horned owl, who had fallen fast asleep, remained majestically on his throne, and having thrice performed a lowly obeisance without receiving the smallest sign of recognition beyond a sound that was suspiciously like a snore, the two marshals, in a highly indignant frame of mind, hopped nimbly away and were lost in the darkness, their big hats flopping wildly as they went.

And now a sweet voice from above their heads sounded faintly, “Good-bye, dear Sally! Good-bye, dear Bob.” The dream-child, rising slowly on her glittering wings, was waving them farewell with one hand, while with the other she gathered to her breast the gleaming white flowers.

Her bright hair, blown back and floating behind her, formed a shimmering[153] frame for her delicate face. So for the last time they beheld her, as she disappeared, a glistening speck against the deep blue of the midnight sky.

Sally and bears standing in window

Peter Pan was yawning in a manner which indicated a desire for bed, and hunting up Tim, whom they discovered vigorously digging for worms, they hastened home, leaving the owl still fast asleep on his throne.

In five minutes they were in the land of Nod, their remarkable adventure already quite forgotten.

When Sally awoke next morning she found pinned to her pillow a[154] slip of paper on which were penciled in an unfamiliar handwriting the following lines:

A mighty toad as marshal sat,
A speckled hoptoad, brown and fat,
He wore a mushroom for a hat.
And when he hopped the mushroom flopped;
It flopped, and flopped, and flopped and flopped;
I don’t believe it ever stopped.

The author and sender of these mysterious lines has never been discovered. They certainly did not arrive by the penny post.


Transcriber’s Note: Page 147, “botton” changed to “bottom” (near the bottom)