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The Editor requests that all inquiries and replies intended for insertion in LITTLE FOLKS have the words "Questions and Answers" written on the left-hand top corner of the envelope containing them.]
PRIZE COMPETITIONS, &C.
MARY DUTTON, NELLIE, J. M. B.-[Competition V. is for the Senior Division only-that is, for Competitors of the age of fourteen and under seventeen. The dolls in Competition VII. are to be made of wool.-ED.]
SUNFLOWER, MABEL F. POWELL, J. H. PENN, LUCY WINKLE-[See the answers to A. WELLER and RED RIDING HOOD on page 255 and the notice printed on page 184 of the present volume of LITTLE FOLKS.-ED.]
MAID OF ATHENS writes in reply to E. W. DICKENSON'S question that the following lines are translated from Dante : "I slept and dreamt that life was beauty; I woke and found that life was duty."
NETTLE writes in answer to DUB-DUBBY'S question that Byron is the author of the verse commencing
"Lo dusky masses steal in dubious sight."
GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS.
C. E. F. asks if any reader of LITTLE FOLKS can say how cricket-bats can be best preserved from cracking.
In answer to GRETCHEN and HERMY'S inquiry as to how to crochet a Tam-o-shanter cap, LILLIE TUKE sends the following:-" Make three chain stitches of any coloured wool, join it in a circle by single crochet, now go round it, putting two single crochet stitches into every loop till you have sixteen loops; then put two stitches into every other loop till there are thirty-two loops round the work; then do two stitches into every third loop till you get forty-eight stitches round the work; now crochet twelve single stitches into the next twelve loops and two into the thirteenth loop; repeat this till you get eighty stitches: this makes the crown. For the edge crochet five rounds without increasing any more, then decrease by crocheting into next twelve loops, and miss the thirteenth, repeating till you have only forty-two loops; then do seven rounds plain crochet without missing any. Make a tuft of the wool for the centre of the crown, fastening it there securely, then cut the wool and comb it out. This cap fits a pretty good-sized doll." Answers also received from HONEYSUCKLE, D. MOORE, M. LAWRIE.
E. M. F. writes in answer to MADELINE BOUTRY, who asks how to make butter-scotch :-"Boil a quarter of a pound of white sugar and two ounces of butter together over a quick fire. Stir it with a wooden spoon till it becomes a light brown colour; then pour it out upon a buttered
plate. Before it is quite cold and hard, cut it with a knife into small tablets. A tea-spoonful of common vinegar will improve the flavour if mixed in when boiling."
LALLA ROOKH writes in answer to EDMUND concerning the Eolian harp, that it is very easily constructed. "Provide a long narrow box of thin deal (the length of the window it has to fit), five inches broad and about two inches deep, with a circle in the upper side pierced with small holes about an inch and a half in diameter. Along this upper side of the box are seven, ten, or more strings of wire, or very fine gut, stretched over bridges at each end, and screwed up or relaxed with screw-pins. If this instrument be placed in a current of air, as at a window with the sash just raised, there will be produced a kind of wild, melancholy music, extremely charming to hear. It is necessary to add that the box must be perfectly air-tight." Answers also received from JESSIE and J. E. JONES.
DIOGENES writes, in answer to TRUIE, that the way to paint on terra-cotta is to first draw the design in Chinese white, then coat it with thick white paint, till you can see none of the terra-cotta through, then begin to paint it with the colours. When it is finished varnish just the flowers and leaves with crystal varnish. Answers also received from THE MAN IN THE MOON, POPPIE, FLORENCE, MICHAELMAS DAISY, BLANCHE GIBSON, DAISY, BESSIE DUFFETT, E. A. D., HELEN, ANNIE B. YOUNG, PEARL, A HIGH ART MAIDEN, BEATRICE, LADY ROWENA, FLORENCE OF ST. JOHN'S, VENUS, MAUDIE, B. B. MARY, A MODEST DAISY, ALICE, ADAIR M. PRIOR, MAUDE WHITAKER, JENNIE, PADDY, IMPREY, AJIDAUMS, M. H. S., NORA, KATIE, and L'ECLAIRE.
TEENY-TINY asks if any one can tell her a quick and easy method of polishing pebbles.
NATURAL HISTORY. (With Answers by the Editor of the "Live Stock Journal and Fanciers' Gazette.")
SUSAN OUSELEY says she has two canaries, a green one and a yellow one. The yellow one never sings, but sometimes gives a hoarse chirp, and when he stands still he puffs himself out and pants as if he had asthma. She asks what is the matter with him?-[The bird probably has asthma, which is very common in canaries. It is rather a hopeless malady. It is a good deal caused by hanging cages up in windows.]
CUCKOO would like to know if any little folks could inform respecting the proper management of white rats.-[The best staple food is bread and milk squeezed rather dry, with some wheat or barley, or dry bits of crust. They must also have water, and a few shreds of meat do them good. Cheese and bacon are wholesome enough, but make them smell. The chief other thing is to keep them clean.]
PICTURE WANTING WORDS.
A Guinea Book and an Officer's Medal of the LITTLE FOLKS Legion of Honour will be given for the best short and original Story having special reference to the Picture below. A smaller Book and an Officer's Medal will be given in addition for the best Story (on the same subject) relatively to the age of the Competitor; so that no Competitor is too young to try for this second Prize. To avoid any possibility of mistake, and for the guidance of new Competitors, the ful! Regulations are given
1. Each Story must be limited to 500 words in length, and should be written on one side of the paper only.
2. All Stories must be certified as strictly original by a Minister, Teacher, Parent, or other responsible person.
3. All Competitors must be under the age of 16 years.
4. All Stories from Competitors residing in Great Britain and Ireland must reach the Editor on or before the 10th of May next; in the case of Stories sent from the English Colonies or from Foreign Countries, an extension of time to the 15th of May will be allowed.
5. In addition to the Two Prizes and Officers' Medals, some of the most deserving Competitors will be included in a special List of Honour, and will be awarded Members' Medals of the LITTLE FOLKS Legion of Honour.
6. Competitors are requested to note that each envelope containing a Story having reference to this Picture should have the words "Picture Wanting Words" written on the left-hand top corner of it.
BURKE'S NIECES. By the Author of " May Cunningham's Trial," Two Fourpenny Bits," "Paws and Claws," &c.
CHAPTER XI.-IN LONDON,
OSE was nowhere to be found.”
Those were the last words of the last chapter. But we must go back a little to understand how it was that Rose returned home sooner than was expected, and so learned the truth about herself and Aileen in this very sudden painful way, instead of having
it broken to her gently and tenderly, as it would otherwise bave been, by Uncle Archie.
For there was not the faintest spark of disloyalty in Uncle Archie's kind heart towards his own Rose when he drew Aileen towards him, and, kissing her, said, “Why, you, then, are my niece.” He might have had a hundred nieces, and Rose might have been a hundred times less his niece than she was (if that were possible ; but it is only a mode of expression, you know), and it would not have made one jot's difference in his love for her. He loved Rose as if she had been his own child, and that he would always continue to do; but he never would love Aileen as well as Rose, though he was very fond of Aileen, just because it had turned out that Aileen was his niece, and Rose was not.
When Rose had had her dancing lesson, the young people went into the large schoolroom upstairs to amuse themselves, but the youngest daughter of the house, Dora O'Grady, sweet little four-year-old darling, was ill and ailing. She had been poorly for some days, but much had not been thought of it. Rose was very fond of children younger than herself, and to wee Dora, big Rose, with her golden curls, blue eyes, complexion of milk and roses, and gay gracious ways, was as a fairy princess, to whom she always came to be petted, and to admire her who petted her. So Rose took wee Dora on her lap, and put her weary head on her shoulder, and told her a story about three bears, and mimicked the voices of the
big bear and the middling-sized bear and the little bear, who squeaked so very much, till she suc. ceeded in winning a smile from Dora's red parched lips.
Rose, stooping over the child, pulled down her frock to kiss her soft fat neck.
“Oh, Miss Green!” she cried to the governess, who was in the room,“what is the matter with Dora? She is as hot as fire, and rosy all over, I do believe ;” and she pulled the frock yet lower as she spoke, and then, indeed, it was plain enough that Dora O'Grady's skin had turned from white to a bright red colour.
Miss Green took the little girl hastily froin Rose, and carried her out of the room without another word, and the next thing that happened was that a doctor was sent for ; and the next, that he declared wee Dora had scarlet fever, and she must be put to bed in a room by herself. None of her brothers or sisters must go near her, and all the other children in the house must be sent away to their homes as quickly as possible.
And it was thus, you see, that our Rosé returned to Fitzwilliam Place hours before she was expected, and running upstairs at once to the drawing-room, paused on the landing place, surprised to see a strange gentleman there, and so witnessed the meeting between Aileen and her father, and heard Uncle Archie declare that Aileen, not Rose, was his niece.
At those words she rushed away into her own room. She felt as if her heart were breaking, and that she should have died if she had remained there a minute longer.
She walked up and down her room, crying out aloud, “What shall I do? what shall I do ?” and wringing her hands and stamping her feet in the agony of her grief. “No one heard her ; no one came near her ; no one thought of her, or cared for her,” she exclaimed in her anguish, and then she crouched down on the floor in a heap, and tried to understand what had happened, and what it meant, and who she was, and who Aileen was.
Aileen was Miss Burke, Aileen was Uncle Archie's niece, and she was nobody. How could she live at all if that were the case? What good was her life to her? And yet she could not die because of it ; she might not die till she was an old, old woman. She might live fifty, or sixty, or seventy years with this breaking heart of hers, and the agony always in it.
Poor Rose! she did not know how time
soothes and subdues sorrow; she really thought she should feel for ever the same violent misery that she did in this first moment after the wound had been inflicted. She did not know that wounds of the heart heal in the same manner with time that wounds of the body heal, and crouching there on the floor, she asked herself again and again, “What could she do ? "
She was not Miss Burke—she was nobody. She was an alien, an outcast ; she had not a relation in the whole wide world who knew her, or whom she knew, and if she ever found relations they might be beggars-the lowest of the low, the vilest of the vile. So she reasoned without reason, poor child, in her wretchedness, beholding neither comfort nor hope anywhere. She was not Miss Burke ; Uncle Archie was not her uncle; and, as if that were not horrible enough, to make it even worse, he was Aileen's. He belonged to Aileen, and Aileen to him. She had seen it with her own eyes—she had heard it with her own ears when he drew Aileen to him and kissed her, and said, “Then you are my niece," with an emphasis on the you which Rose thought she never should forget as long as she lived, for in that emphasis it seemed to her that she read her own doom.
Poor Rose ! if she had remembered her old pride and jealousy and arrogance, she might have felt with Cain, “ my punishment is greater than I can bear;" but as she had never been aware of these faults in herself, of course she did not think of them now, or reflect that even if this were not a punishment for them, it came, at any rate, as a salutary discipline, intended to lead her to perceive and correct them.
She did not think of the faults, only of the misfortunes. She considered herself as the most miserable creature in the whole world ; but it never occurred to her to pray either for comfort or for help. She was just given up to her wretchedness, and the thought of prayer was far from her.
Poor Rose ! if she had only known the strength prayer would have brought her, the soothing calm which it would have diffused through her heart—if she had only known it! but she did not.
How was she ever to meet Uncle Archie----uncle no more—and Aileen, who had usurped her place? How was she ever to meet them again, and this dreadful stranger ?-this man who ought to have died ages ago-this man whom she had always thought of as her dead father, and who had suddenly appeared to be a living father to Aileen. She told herself that she could not meet them, and then she told herself that she would not. And as she said that, a sudden thought, like a flash of light, came to her—she would run away!
She had no place here-this was not her home;
Uncle Archie was not her uncle-Aileen was his niece. Aileen was Miss Burke, Aileen was her father's daughter, Aileen was everything; she was nothing-nobody. She had not even a name, much less a home. She could not bear it-she could not meet them-she would run away!
She changed her dress hastily. She was glad to be doing something ; actions made her feel her misery a little less unbearable. She put on a dark serge frock and jacket, and a black straw hat. She had plenty of money. Uncle Archie had given her money the day before with which to buy several dresses and other things. He was in the habit of giving the girls money themselves, and to let them go shopping with Miss Smyly, and choose what they wanted, trusting to her not to allow them to do anything foolish or out-of-the-way. And there was always a great shopping expedition of this kind during Aileen's holidays, when she bought everything she would require before returning to school ; and Rose liked to make her principal purchases for the next half-year at the same timeso she had actually ten pounds in her possession at that moment. This money, she felt, was her own, as Aileen had received the same; "and I am Aileen now," she bitterly thought.
She put just what clothes and things she could not do without into a little travelling-bag-a change of linen, brushes and combs, and a tiny New Testament Uncle Archie had given her, and in which it was her custom to read a few verses every night before she went to bed—and then, no one suspecting she was in the house at all, but believing her to be safe at Mrs. O'Grady's in Harcourt Street, she found no difficulty in slipping downstairs and out at the hall door unnoticed and unheard.
Meantime, can you not imagine the confusion and distress in the house when it was discovered that Rose was missing ? Rose, the cherished and beloved, on whose presence everything depended though, poor naughty girl, she could not understand how this was the case now.
If even an unloved member of a family—if so sad a thing as a member of a family being unloved can be—were suddenly lost, disappeared, and no one knew where he or she was, there would be infinite trouble and sorrow. But Rose's loss was something stupendous-something too dreadful to be understood or credited.
Larry returned, as we have said, with the intelligence that she had left Mrs. O'Grady's hours before with the Misses Lynch, who lived on the other side of Fitzwilliam Place, a little lower down than No. The house was then searched from the top to the bottom, and from the bottom to the top.
Then Uncle Archie ran across to Mr. Lynch's,
and learned there that Rose and his daughters had story of what she had discovered in their
case, though they missed them at once, till they
locked it up in the drawer of her desk.” Very wearily he dragged himself home, feeling “ Let us see if it is there." ten years older than he had in the morning, and Aileen sprang from her bed, thrust her into as tired as if he had walked forty miles.
slippers, and, wrapping a dressing-gown round her, Aileen, of course, had not gone to bed—there accompanied him into the next room-Rose's room was no use in her doing so, as she could not have -where Rose's bed stood unoccupied, the smooth slept, and she waited with intense anxiety for the unruffled quilt stretched over it. Would Rose ever return of the gentlemen, with an unreasonable hope sleep in it again ? With trembling fingers she —which she knew to be unreasonable—that they pointed to the desk. It was not locked, it was would bring some word of Rose home with them. open : it had been left open, and the keys in the She met them in the passage, and when she found lock, so that there was an air of hurry about it ; and they had heard nothing—“ What should we hear?” in the drawer, which was open also, there was no Uncle Archie asked, rather crossly. “We went to puræ. speak, not to hear”-she eagerly told them her What did it mean? Who had taken it? She