The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972, December 11, 1904, Image 28

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Good Stories for Ckildren ky Walt McDougall
How Little Elsie Found Some Wonderful Eartk
Wkick Made Her Poor Old Grandfatner
Immensely Wealtky.
Tke Marvelous Spectacles Wkick a Kind Old
Wizard Put Wkere a Tender-Hearted
Little Girl Could Find Tkenl.
OLI Mr Herold was a florist, and
lie lived in a little houat that
waa hardly mora than hel,
at the end of a lon green
house filled with many plants of the
Cheaper eort. for he waa poor and had
no rich customers who could pay big
prices for choice flowera. He couldn't
Import plants that In far-away countries
re mere weeds, growing wild but beau
tiful in the waste places, and aell them
here as tropical exotica, as wealthy flor
ists 'an do; but Instead he raised ferns,
lephant plants, palms and simple flow
ers which the poor people bought and set
out In their gardens and porches in the
summer. But lo the winter he whs
often hard pressed for the means of
He seemed to be unfortunate, also.
,.Many a time when he had obtained a
rare plant and set It out in his green
house It withered and failed to prosper
s It should with such care as he gave
11 his flowers.
hsr a wax doll moat as big as a real baby
shw wept tsars of Joy. She had. no eyes
for anything slat, but Grandpa walked
up and down the greenhouse marveling
at ths wonders that showed everywhere.
Pretty soon be began to utter exclama
tions of prodigious astonishment, and
then she went to him, to discover that
things had happened that startled even
the lit i to girl who had visited the magic
There In ths corner where last night a
pair of old rubber Shoes had lain In
the myaterlous esrth now waa growing a
tall rubber plant which bore on Ita stalk
rubber shoes, erasers, rubber bands, bags,
gloves, balls, and, In fact, all sorts of
rubber articles. She rubbed her eyes
They bulged out as shs descried another
wonder. A little tree bearing chewing
gum stood In the shad of ths big rose
ush; snd beyond still a greater marvel.
or where an old dlacarded toothbruah
had been thrown arose, a buab bristling
with gleaming Ivory-handled brushes!
Could anything be mors astonishing?
it fffit ?& ssi -iti i i- i i wim i ssMnLHAr . i.
wv in tix'jw o&srooi i ii -saw, ssjsf? . i bxwdcb7a, i i. . t. 2&9ut r y in f
1 yfU&sifflMi TTTTrlIiM?: , ,
h. .,ti ISAVAXXTv.&varaOwBSAnBlaaQMI " I -r T I S ' I L r UimiWJV if SW I I ml 1 1
His little granddaughter Klsie often
wept over these fallurea watered them
with her tears, In fact and bemoaned
their loss a If they had been live pets,
for she had been reared lust like them
in the long, sunny greenhouse and had
known no other home.
But Elsls, at any rate, had not been a
failure, for shs was a sturdy, bonnle
plant, rosy and fresh as a dewy pansy
In the morning, and aha aang like a bird
all day, conaollng her old grandfather
for ths loss of many flowers; yet she
often was saddened when she thought
of his poverty and yearned to find a way
to relieve it so that he would not have
to toll so constantly and worry so cease
lessly. She blamed the aoll in the
"It may be ths soil," said Mr. Herold.
"I cannot tell. Tet I have testsd It
often, and It seems good. It's full of
"What's bacteria, and what good Is
li ? aaked EJsle.
"Bacteria are very tiny things, so
mall that It needs a mighty good micro
scope to see them, end they look like lit
Ue rods. They are alive, and they take
nitrogen, which Is a gas, from the air,
and leave it In the earth as nitric acid
for the plants to use as food. They are
tremendously useful little things, and
we have only known about them for a
few years; In fact, we don't know much
bout them yet
"Perhaps," mused Klsie, "we hsve got
ths wrong kind of back back what do
Uyou call cm?"
"Bacteria. Well, there seem to be sev
eral kinds, and mayo we've managed,
swlth the usual luck, to get a weak sort,"
treplied Grandpa Herold.
"Perhaps they are lasy !" said the girl,
"I will try to get s load of some other
.garth and Inoculate the soil here."
"Why, that sounds Uks vaccinating
ft!" cried Elsie.
It's exactly the same thing," said he.
"A soil containing other or better bac
teria will act Mist like yeast In a dough
nd spread all through It a new life. But
I hardly know where to get It, and I have
no money," he added, sadly.
At that moment a very old man. In
ragged clothes, knocked at the glass
door, peering In at them eagerly and
hlverlng. Elsie ran and opened the door
Quickly, letting in a blast of cold air
that made her shiver also. The old man
rubbed his handa as he looked about him
nd In trembling tones aaked the child
(or something to eat.
"We have nothing but bread," she re
plied. "I will give you some of that,
but ws are nearly as poor as we. can
"Tou are wnrm In here, and that s a
great deal' ' said the old beggar, smiling
t her. "I am thankful to get bread, let
ras tell you, for I have eaten nothing for
nearly a week"
Elsie ran quickly for the bread, for she
feared that an old man who had eaten
nothing for nearly a week might tumble
over at any moment She had gone ones
without food for a whole day. and that
was terrible.. she thought; so what must
It feel like to starve rnr seven daya:
Now, when she brought it, the old man
te with some difficulty and not nearly
as eagerly starved man would, she
thought; but shs laid that to his age, and
shs could not help wondering that he
smiled so genially at her all the time.
The fact was that the old man waa a
great and wonderful wlsard, who spent
his tins discovering and rewarding kind
children, and he was so delighted at
finding this rosy-cheeked, merry lass
that he couldn't conceal his joy. When
he had disposed of a large piece of bread
with great difficulty, he said:
'"Now I will Journey on. but I thank
you for your eharlty, and 1 hope you will
be rewarded In some way."
"But." Interrupted Grandpa Herold.
"you can't travel on day like this:
The thermometer Is nearly down to aero
and the wind cuts like prunlng-knlfs!"
"Stay here." added Elale. "and be our
guest until It gets warmer."
"I would gladly do so, even If I had
to stsy until spring, but I must go on
my way!" ispondd the aged man, with
a broad smile. "I have Important busi
ness far away and must hasten!"
80 hs went sway, and Grandpa laid
himself down for his afternoon nap on
an old motheaten sofa near the stove.
Elsie went pottering about among the
flowera and plants, for they were to her
what chickens and lamba are to a little
girl on a farm, or dolls and kittens to a
child In a city house, as she had no toys
or plsythlngs of her own.
She turned up the soft earth, poking
about In It with her chubby Angers snd
peering down into It to see If she could
discover some of the mysterious bacteria
that feed the plant roots, and suddenly
her hand touched something hard and
cold Ths next moment she had dragged
out a pair of ancient Iron-bound specta
cles, rusted and covered with earth. Af
ter examining them curiously she
thought that perhaps Grandpa had lost
them long ago, and ahe then cleaned
them, polishing the Iron until It ahone,
after which she placed then on her nose,
where they wobbled dangerously.
l-ooklng across the street through the
old spectacles, at the familiar red house
opposite, she was startled to sea that
It was entirely changed, and Instead of
a rather ordinary, plain dwelling. It was
a marvel of architecture, for It seemed
to be sllve!
It was frowning and glaring across at
her out of Its two upper window a as If
angry, and then It seemed to open a
great wide mouth, where Its porch had
been, aa If about to swsllow the long
narrow greenhouse!
She shrank back In alarm, and her
eyes fell on the tall fence beside the
house, upon which waa pasted dosens of
brightly colored posters; snd. strange
to say, every figure In the pictures waa
alive and moving about on the fence!
"It must be them spectaclea!" cried
Elslcafter a moment of fright. "Thlnga
couldn't really act so, I know. Maybe
Aoj aaSBasMn
Pussy-Willows -with Living Pussies on Them.
It's those bad bacteria! They have cer
tainly done something to ths glass, but
whatever It Is I won't be scared, so
Then she looked more calmly over at
the strangely acting houses and posters,
which continued to mow and grimace
at her, and then shs saw that the statue
of General Lafayette (toss tiptoeing Its
way across the park straight toward her.
smiling most prodigiously ami stopping
now and then to bow politely to the
frowning houses on each side! They all
seemed about to awallow him If he came
nearer, which alarmed the llttUt girl;
but when oqe of the figures on a poater
sprang from the fence, linked arms with
the general and stepped out with him
In her direction, she began to be afraid
of something happening to herself.
She was about to call hay grandfather,
when she suddenly spied a little green
door In the greenhouse wall that she had
never seen before. In fact, ahe was
quite sure that it bad not been there a
moment before. It waa only large
enough to admit a child of her own
slae, and seemed aa If It had been made
on purpose to afford her an opportunity
of escaping the general and the figure In
red and black with htm.
At any rate Klsie didn't stop to pon
der over It or wonder how it came there;
she Instantly darted to It, and laid her
hand on the little glass knob at lta side
and it opened quite readily. She sprang
Into the welcome opening and promptly
closed the little green door behind her.
Instead of finding herself In a closet,
or else In the familiar vacant lot be
side the greenhouse, either of which
would have been natural, seeing that the
little dnor was In the grex-nbouse wall,
Elsie, to her vast amasement and utter
bewilderment. Instantly saw that she
was In an entirely strange place, the
like of which she had never dreamed of..
In the first place. Instead of a sharp
winter gale whistling shout her cms.
ths softest of summer breexes were
gently blowing, and Instead of a vacant
lot, disfigured by broken bricks, plies of
ashes, old tin cans, rusty iron bolts and
hits of paper, she beheld a marvelous
garden, where an array of wonderful
flowers of unknown species Confronted
her wherever shs turned, hedged In by
tall and beautiful trees loaded with all
manner of strange fruits.
Shs waa so astounded that for an In
stant she hesitated snd half turned to
step back Into the greenhouse, but the
thought of the smirking general stopped
her at once. At least, there was nothing
here within sight that war alive and
that could harm her, sRe reflected, and
If she saw anything more threatening
than a statue and a billboard picture shs
might retreat to the little green door to
grandpa at once.
Bo ahe advanced along a narrow path
of ths whitest pebbles, examining every
strange flower most carefully in order
to report each wonder to the old florist,
for she knew that he'd be much Inter
ested In all that she saw; but as shs
walked she very soon percslved that
every flower here, no matter how famil
iar It seemed at first glanrs. was widely
different from anything ever seeh in any
Here were soma enormous peonies,
flaming red and each bearing deep In Its
crimson bosom a tiny nest of birds; here
were sunflowers, the center of each a
clock with handa pointing but noise
lessly marking the hour: never a tick
disturbed the silence of that wondrous
gardsn; here were live cat-tslls waving
aloft, and pussy willows homing rows
of tiny sleepy kittens on every slender
branch; dogwood trees In bloom, upon
Which puppies of sll kinds were clus
tered thickly, waiting to be shaken down
by the next breexe; tiger lilies that had
real tiger s hesds. small but perfect, and
quite threatening, but fast to their
stems, for which Elsie was grateful.
There were the queerest combinations
of land and sea planta. starfish growing
on stalks, clams and oysters and craba
and lobsters on bushes like masses of
seaweed, tall grasses with tips spread
ing out and colored exactly like pea
cock's feathers, bushes hearing myriads
of tiny bells thst softly tinkled as she
brushed past, others with little blsck
and blue ducks' heads opening their
yellow beaks, but naver quacking;
beetles, quivering sloft In flashing, dax
sllng hues on the points of green spears;
fountain plants, undrenmed-of marvels,
that spouted streams of gleaming water
high In air; gigantic lilies, each hold
ing the tiniest wsx-llke doll thst really
seemed alive, In Ita white hollow, and
alphabet plsnts, the broad leaves of
which were covered with letters.
I could take a whole page In describ
ing the wonders that Elsie examined so
carefully, having completely forgotten
about the smirking general, but I have
not the space to do so. Think of ths
oddest thing you can imagine, and, de
pend upon It, sne saw Just that.
Shs had roved again and again from
end to end of ths magic garden, and I
think that there was not a plant grow
ing there that she hsd not carefully In
spected, when she suddenly thought that
hours must have passed sines shs en
tered it and, reflecting that her grandpa
must be worrying about her absence,
she hastily stsrted for the little green
But on the way hither shs remembered
what hs had said about getting some
different soil for ths greenhouse. What
better soil than this could be found,
thought clever Elsie, and without more
ado she knelt down and began to dig
up ths rich, black earth and throw It
Into her apron. Her hands' wers grimy
when shs had gathered all shs could
carry, but that did pot matter. It waa
all she oould do to totter to the door
with her burden, hut she managed to
open It without spilling more than a
handful of ths precious soil, snd drop
ping from off her nose the ancient Iron
spectaclea, which, strange to say, shs
hsd forgot! en all shout.
There stood Grandpa Herold. having
Just swakened from his nap, staring at
her perspiring face and soiled hsnds. but
when shs dropped her load of black
earth to the floor hs asksd:
"Why, where on esrth did you get
that 7"
"I I In tne vacant lot that la, I
'spose It was that lot. Anyway, It's
right outside through that little green
door," puffed the tired little girl, as
she looked st her grimy hands and
pointed tp the door: but when shs fol
lowed grandpa's surprised glance and
saw that ths green door hsd utterly
vanished, leaving nothing but ths white
washed wall. she. too. looked amazed
Nor wers the old Iron-bound spectscles
to be seen, fane hsd. very likely, dropped
them outside the door when shs opened
It. Grandpa smiled kindly and merrily.
"It was there, grandpa. I certainly
came right through It this very minute,"
Elsie declared "Maybe it was the spec
tscles that made me sea It, for now It's
"If you saw door there tt must have
bean something unususl that malls you
see It!" responded Grandpa, laughing at
hsr puzzled face. "I have been asleep,
and dreamed that all the houass here
abouts were laughing at me, and ao I
suppose you've beam asleep, too!"
"No. Indeed' I have been very busy,
and all that earth provea It!" protested
Elsie, snd then shs told her strange tale.
Grandpa tried hard to pooh-pooh it.
but the proof was in that pile of black
earth on the floor, and he couldn't pooh
pooh that.
"Well, we will try It. at any rate, and
ne whether It's magic soil or not," said
hs. "Ws will plsce it In different parts
pf the grsenhouse and wstch the result,
but I fear it will be our usual luck."
So the sstrlh was distributed between
the plants and Grandpa Herold prepared
to wait until spring for developments.
My. but wasn't hs the most surprised
florist on sarth to And that everything
had altered the very next morning! All
the planta had shot up to the glass roof,
and already wars bearing flowers of a
size and beauty that amaasd him. Elsls
was not bit surprised, but calmly sur
veyed everything, snd said:
"There, I said It must havs some of
those funny bugs In It."
"Why. our fortune Is made," shouted
Grandpa, hopping about In boyish glee
and whirling his cans over his head so
excitedly that hs broke a 10-cent pans of
glaaa. "Those flowers will bring a dol-
sr apiece' 1 11 cut a Dig Duncn ana tags
them uptown at once, and well have
bescsteek for dinner tonight!"
When h came home with a pocket book
filled with money Elsls smiled, but when
hs opsnsd a large packags and showed
No wonder Grandpa Herold had beer
stsrtled Into outcries.
But a atep revealed other surprises.
Everywhere In the greenhouse where ths
magic aoll happened to fall upon any
sort of article It had sprouted. Here
waa a tree full of shining trowsls. there
one filled with little tin palls, over yon
der a vine bearing silk purses exactly
like the one that Elale had carried until
It wore out, but all brand new. Near
the door Grandpa's old battered silk hat
had sprouted a tall hat plant, loaded
down with hats of ths latest style, snd
there, where the aged, feeble beggar had
laid down the bread he did not eat.
rose a tree whose branches bore fresh
loaves of Vienna bread and quickly El
sie turned to see if there waa a butter
plant handy.
Aftar everything had been Inspected
and their wonder turned Into a conald
eratlon of what wealth would flow from
these marvels., ao that Klsie might now
wear warm clothing and go. to school,
and Grandpa might now smoke good 10
cent cigars, they began to experiment
further by planting all sorts of things
In the black soil, and they went to bed
filled with eager expectation.
On the morrow Elsls woks esrly, but
Grandpa was ahead of her, speechless
from smssement. Firecrackers arid tor
pedoes, old ones from last Fourth, had
sprouted Into trees; buttons had grown
overnight Into button-bearing shrubs
with every Imaginable kind of button on
them. Shoes, coats, neckties, coffee pots,
plates snd lamps grew there! Handker
chiefs by ths dossn, and aprons, collsrs
and cuffs; a ssusage tree stood beside a
palm and an gg bush next to a fern.
Everything they had planted had
bloomed and fruited ovsr nlghtl
And the most amastng and eccentric
things happened, for these magic trees
grew the most unexpected marvel. For
instance, an old horseshoe produced a
splendid pair of horses, dog collsrs
(-sprouted into beautiful dogs; labels
from cans, bottles or boxes wers tne
sards of plants producing the very things
named on the labels, and, after awhile,
they found that they merely had to write
the name of a thing on a piece of pa
per to have It growing splendidly next
So, as Grandpa hsd predicted, they
became very1 wealthy, but they are still
aa simple, unpretending snd kindly ss
ever, snd every boy and girl can shore
with thsm in ths blessings that come
from this magic earth, which even now
they do not know was the reward of
their kindness to that poor, shivering
old beggsr, who was ths mighty ma
gician. Jlmgar Dnerram Bdell of Alaha
bad, Persia.
But hs knows how It all tumsd out as
well as I, and he smiles whenever he
thinks of Elsls's amasement. for he was
peeping Into the greenhouss all ths
From the Chicago Pally News.
I AL.KING about ths race prob
lem, saia me ojun run
man conductor, though no
hud been talking about
it. "I had a colored porter on my run
down through Ihe south one year sgo
who waa a wonder "
"I think I muat have met him. said
the clgsr salesman. "On my last trip
south the porter took half a dollar from
me to bay a box of cigarettes at a way
station, brought back It cents change,
and eved me until I gavs It to him H
charged cents a pint for bottled beer,
and wanted a dime every time he walked
Sir ass ths buffet ear wilk a fresh bottle
"No. that waa not the same porter."
said the retired Pullman conductor, "al
though Tom, my porter, had his own pe
culiar abllltlea In that line, too. We were
sailing along through- lower Mississippi
after midnight one night, and Tom was
sitting In the washroom, shining the
shoes of the passengers. He hsd bud
feet, and had taken off- his own shoes.
"All of a sudden the train slopped at
an unaccustomed place, and If told Tom
to Jump nut and see what was the mat
tar. It hsd been raining heavily, and he
looked nut dubiously at the mudd
ground snd then looked down at his
stockinged fact.
" It dona look pretty bad out yondnh.
boss.' Tom says, but I'll go out sf you
wanta me to.'
"With that he picked up a big pair of
shoes belonging to a paaaenger. slipped
them on and Jumped Into the darkneaa.
In a few minutes the train started up
and I forgot all about Tom.
"I suppose you pltrhed lo snd shined
the rest of the shoes for him." suggested
the rlgar salesman.
"No; but In a few minutes sfter we
stsrted he csme clumping In to where I
was, looking worried.
" Hay, Wis: I'm In sn awful box.' he
says, an' 1 doan' know what to do 'bout
" 'What's the matter, Tomr I asked.
" Well, sab,' hs says, 'whon I ivmpsd
off back thsah J done put on big pair
of shoes belongtn to lower (, an' when
shs started up I made a quick run an'
one 0' them shoes dons stuck In de mud.'
"He held out ths remaining shoe and
looked at it ruefully.
" What do you s pose I better dor he
" 'Why, there's only one thing to do." I
said: 'shine up the other shoe In good
shape, put It under the berth and bluff It
out in the morning. Tell him you don't
know anything about his shoe.'
" 'That sounds good,' says Tom. TB
do t"
"The next morning here was a fearful
row when lower got up. Hs waa a big,
btoadjsUouiacred JlUslaslppUo, and hs
got his finger on the push-button In a
hurry. Tom pretended not to hear the
bell, but pretty soon the big fellow cams
stamping out.
" 'Hey!' he says. In s voice that nearly
turned Tom white, 'did you shins the
shoes in lower 6 last night T
- 'T-y-yessah! Yessah" Tom saya. 1
done shined all the shoes In the cah. I
mtist have shined 'em.'
" 'Well, ons of 'em's gone,' the big fel
low says, 'snd I want you to find It.'
"Tom never batted sn eye, but went In
snd turned the car upalde down. He
turned the bedding nut of all the berths,
swept the car and looked In the upper
bertha. No shoe.
" 'Seems to be gone, boss,' he said, at
"The Mlsslsslpplan fixed blm with a
cold eye.
" 'Have you sny Idea how that shoe
could get out of here?' he demanded.
" 'Well, aah.' says Tom, 'they waa two
ladles got off at Wster Vslley. 'bout I
o'clock this mohnln', an' they both had
these here long, trallln' skirts on. Now,
I often heard how they could sweep a
shoe out of s car that a-way.'
" 'I guesa that's what happened to
mine,' the hlg fellow says, "hut I've got
to get off at Harrodsburg to meet my
mother. Now. here's $1. When we
top to change engines at Barr Junction
you duck up to the town and get me
pair of wide number twelves. Don't lose
any time, not.'
'Tom chased up and got the shoes and
they fitted all right, and the Mlasls
sippisn gavs him a quartsr for going.
When the big fellow waa gone at Har
rodsburg I cornered my porter.
" 'Weil, you got out of that scrape
pretty lucky,' I said to him.
'"Luckyr hs says. 'Why. man good
ness, man. you don't know half of ft."
Them were dollah an a half shoes I done
bought him.' "
A Hsr la born dot vay, but der gas bill
ackvlrsa der habit