“Peekabo!” she said, with a sweet sound of laughter. “O mamma, mamma!”
It was wonderful how quickly mamma recovered; and it was more wonderful still how ever Tot escaped sudden death, then and there, from suffocation. But, bless you! You need not worry, it was larks to Tot.
What a triumphal procession home it was. Tot, in her little night-dress sat in her mother’s lap, and told her adventures; and Will sat in the darkest corner and said not a word, but resolved that no story more fabulous than that of George Washington and his hatchet should ever again pass his lips. His lip quivered, as much as a boy’s lip is ever allowed, when Tot said:
“And I brought home a whole pottet full to cwack.”
“Never mind, to-night. Wait till to-morrow,” said mamma.
Tot went obediently to sleep, and woke in the morning to find beside her pillow, such lots of candy—her Sugar River candy she thought, all cracked and ready to eat.
“It tastes dus ’ike any tandy,” said Tot.
They didn’t tell her then, the illusion was so dear to her childish heart. But, when she was a little older, Tot laughed as long and as gleefully as anyone over the story of the little girl who went to Sugar River for sugar plums.
One event in the life of Jacob Lohr qualified him, in my opinion, to be mustered into the army of “Wide Awakes.” Let me tell the children the incident and see if they agree with me.
He was a native of the Mohawk Valley near Schenectady, New York, and when about twenty years old, with his young wife, Polly, emigrated to the wilds of Western Pennsylvania. This was more than seventy years ago, when the magnificent forests of that region afforded some of the finest hunting-grounds in America. Here Jacob began clearing a farm, built a log dwelling-house, planted corn and potatoes, and in a few years became a thriving pioneer.
But the pride of his forest farm was his pigs. He had built a strong pen of logs, with a heavy door, in order to protect them in the night from wild animals. It stood about five rods from the house, near the brook, just across which, and not thirty feet from the sty, was the edge of the dense natural forest.
During the day they were permitted to roam at large in the woods eating nuts, by which they fattened for the larder; but when night approached, they were called and zealously secured in the pen, a practice which soon taught the pigs the habit of early retiring. Gradually, however, Mr. Lohr’s punctuality in this matter abated, until one evening it had become fairly dark ere he went to shut them in. As he walked down the beaten path, a rustling in the adjacent bushes made him think that the pigs might still be out; and to satisfy himself on the point, he entered the pen and felt around, saying as he did so, “One two, three—all here.” Then as he turned to the door, he wondered what caused the rustling across the brook. But as he stooped to go out, his wonder was threateningly answered by a low growl from a dark crouching object, only two or three steps in front of him.