So Jonas brought down the box trap that night. It was a long box, about as big as a cricket, with a tall, pointed back, which looked like a steeple; so Rollo called it the steeple trap. It was so made that if the squirrel should go in, and begin to nibble some corn, which they were going to put in there, it would make the cover come down and shut him in. They fixed the trap on the end of the log, and Jonas observed, as he sat on the log, that he could see the barn chamber window through a little opening among the trees. Of course he knew that from the barn chamber window he could see the trap, though it would be too far off to see it plain.
THE WAY TO LOSE A SQUIRREL
Early the next morning, James came over to learn whether they had caught the squirrel; and he and Rollo wanted Jonas to go down with them and see. Jonas said he could not go down then very well, but if he would go and ask his father to lend him his spy-glass, he could tell without going down.
Now Jonas had been a very faithful and obedient boy, ever since he came to live with Rollo’s father. He had some great faults when he first came, but he had cured himself of them, and he was now an excellent and trustworthy boy. It was a part of his business to take care of Rollo, and they always let him have what he asked for from the house, as they knew it was for some good purpose, and that it would be well taken care of. So when Rollo went in and asked for the spy-glass, and said that Jonas wanted it, they handed it down to him at once.
Jonas took the glass, and they all three went up into the barn chamber.
Jonas opened the glass, and held it up to his eye. The boys stood by looking on silently. At length, Jonas said,
“No, we have not caught him.”
“How do you know?” said the boys.
“O, I can see the trap, and it is not sprung.”
“Is not sprung?” said James, “what do you mean by sprung?”
“Shut. It is not shut. I can see it open, and of course the squirrel is not there.”
“O, he may be in,” said Rollo, “just nibbling the corn. Do let us go and see.”
Jonas smiled, and said he could not go then, but he would look through the spy-glass again towards noon. He then gave the glass to Rollo, and it was carried back safely into the house.
James soon after went home, and Rollo sat down in the parlor to his reading. Afterwards he came out, and went to building cities in a sandy corner of the garden. He was making Rome,—for his father had told him that Rome was built on seven hills, and he liked to make the seven hills in the sand. He made a long channel for an aqueduct, and went into the house to get a dipper of water to fill his aqueduct, when he met James coming again. So they went in, and got the spy-glass, and asked Jonas to go up and look again.
Jonas adjusted the glass, held it up to his eye, and looked some time in silence, and then said,—