The Last of the Peterkins eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Last of the Peterkins.

This is our last news from Spinville.

It is more than a month since the Spinville stage set out on its weekly trip for that place.  It was an old stage; the horses were old, the harness was old, the driver was old.  It is not then to be wondered at that in crossing the bridge on the old road, which is so little travelled that it is never kept in repair, the old wheel was caught in a chink between the boards, the old coach tumbled over, the driver was thrown from his seat and broke his leg, the horses fell on their knees, and the whole concern was made a complete wreck.

Now, the stage-driver was the owner of the old coach and team.  He had always said the thing did not pay; he would give it all up.  Indeed, he only had driven to Spinville once a week to see the folks himself.  Nobody ever went there, and nobody ever came away, except once a year Mr. Jones, and he had a team of his own.  So there is no communication with Spinville.  That a jaguar is loose is the latest news.



Carrie Fraser was a great trouble to her mother, because she was always wishing for something she had not got.

“The other girls always have things that I don’t,” she complained to her mother.  Her mother tried to explain to Carrie that she had a great many things the other girls didn’t have.

“But they are not always wishing for my things, just as I wish for theirs.”

“That is because they are not such ‘teasers’ as you are,” her mother would reply.  “You do not hear them from morning till night teasing for things they have not got.”

Another thing in Carrie troubled her mother very much.  She used a great many extravagant phrases.  She was not satisfied with saying even “perfectly lovely,” “splendid,” “excruciatingly jolly.”  Her mother might have permitted these terms, and was used to hearing the other girls use them; but Carrie got hold of the strangest expressions and phrases, I am afraid to put them into this story; for every boy and girl is perhaps already too familiar with such, and I might only spread the use of them.

I will mention that “bang-up” and “bumptious,” and that class of expressions were her favorites, and the best-educated boy or girl will be able to imagine the rest.  This story will show how a careless use of words brought Carrie to grief, and taught her a severe lesson.

One day, as usual, she had been complaining, and wishing she could have everything she wanted.  Her mother said:  “You remember the old story of the old couple who had their three wishes granted, and how they never got any good from it.”

“But that was because they acted like such geese,” exclaimed Carrie.  “I could never have been so elephantinely idiotic!  First, they wasted one wish, for a black pudding.”

“That is a sausage,” said her mother.

“Yes, they asked for a common, every-day sausage to come down the chimney; then they got into a fight, and wished it would settle on one of their noses; and then they had to waste their last wish, by wishing it off again!  It is too bad to have such luck come to such out-and-out idiots.”

Project Gutenberg
The Last of the Peterkins from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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