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Little Sky-High, or, The surprising doings of Washee-Washee-Wang / Hezekiah Butterworth. Butterworth, Hezekiah, 1839-1905. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-186-30607738 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Little Sky-High, or, The surprising doings of Washee-Washee-Wang / Hezekiah Butterworth. Butterworth, Hezekiah, 1839-1905. T.Y. Crowell, New York :  86 p. : ill. ; 19 cm. Coleman Added title-page, engraved. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04380.07 KUK) Printing Master B92-186. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. LITTLE SKY HIGH H EZ EKI AH B UT TB 1WORTH I"Zine to twelve" 5erics LITTLE DICK'S SON. Kate Gannett V.elIs MARCIA AND THE MAJOR, J. L. Harbour. THE CHILDREN OF THE VALLEY. Harriet Prescott Spofford. HOW DEXTER PAID HIS WAY. Kae Upson Clark. THE FLATIRON AND THE RED CLOAK. Abby Morton Diaz. IN THE POVERTY YEAR. Marian Douglas. LITTLE SKY-HIGH. Hezekiah Butterworth. THE LITTtLE CAVE-DWELLERS. Ella Farman Pratt. T2omas P2. Irowell Co. leu, pork, I - II I II I I This page in the original text is blank. T OPENED A GRSAT MOUTHI, AND SMCKE SEEMED TO ISSUE FROM IT." Fage 41. t. tzs It J w1 dy X it (U_________e 5Aorns e1 K Aabl TMM II. I i -r-ri This page in the original text is blank. LITTLE SKY-HIGH OR THE SUlRPRISIzG DOINGS OF 7ASHEE - W[SHEE- WA-NG BY HEZEKIAH BUTTERWORTH AUTHOI (F O IN THE DAYS OF JEFFERSON,' "THE.. BORDENTOVWN STORY-rELL IRS, 1 Li-ILE ARTHUR'S HISTORV OF RoME," 'TmE SCHOOL IiOutsE C)N THE COLUNIB[A " NEW YORK: THOMAS Y. CROWELL CO. PUBLISHERS COPYRPIGHT, 1MI1 BY T. Y. CROWELL. Co. Y-YPOGRAPHEY BY C. .J. PETERS SON. BOSTON, U. S. A. -NOTE. THE story of Sky-High is partly founded on a true incident of a young Chinese noble- man's education, and is written to illustrate the happy relations that might exist between the children of different countries, if each child treated all other good children like iw angs." 28 WXORCESTER STREET, BOSTON. March 22, 1901. This page in the original text is blank. CONTENTS. BELOW STAIRS . BEFORE T1lE AMANDIARIN II. .......... . . . . ........ 1,3 III. Lrcr's Cur, OF TEA . IN-. HOW Siv-IIoGii CALLED THE GI) VERNOR V. Sir- -HrGIi'S WONDEl-TALEl: VI. TIlE MANI DANPXRIN l PLATE . A VII. SiKY-I11GH'S KITE .:31 I 31) VIII. A WAN . 5 44 I. PAC- F. 20 26d 6 Lucy's JAl 4,KA STORY . . X. SKY-HIlm EASTER SUNDAY . ..... . . . 51 xi. SKy-H'1ai;'1 FIREWORKS . . . . . . . 55 xIi. A CHINESE SANTA CLAUS . .... . . . 62 xIII. A LEGE'JD oF TEA . .. . . 68 XIV. MRS. VAN I3TJREN'S CHRISTMrAS TALE . ........... 70 XV. IN THE Hot SE-BOY-S CARE . . NX NI. IN THE HIT] LE WANGs LAND . 76 82 CONTENTS. Ix. PAGE ........... . . . .. 48 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. I. BELOW STAIRS. THE children came home from school- Charles and Lucy. ", I have a surprise for you in the kitchen," said their mother, iMrs. Van Buren. "o No, take off your things first, then you may go down and see. Now don't laugh - a laugh that hurts any one's feelings is so unkind tip-toe too No, Charlie, one at a time; let Lucy go first." Lucy tip-toed with eyes full of wonder to the dark banister-stairs that led down to the quarters below. Her light feet were as still as a little mouse's in a cheese closet. Presently she came back with dancing eyes. " Oh, mother I where did you get him His eyes are like two almonds, and his braided hair dangles away dowvn almost to the floor, and there are black silk tassels on the end of it, and kitty is playing with them ; and when Norah caught my eye she lvent over double to laugh, but he 7 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. kept right on shelling peas. Charlie, come and see, le,- me go with Charlie, mother" Charlie followed Lucy, tip-toeing to the foot of the banister, where a platform-stair com- manded a view of the kitchen. It was a very nice kitchen, with gas, hot water and cold, ranges and gas-stoves, and two great cupboards with glass doors through which all sorts of beautiful serving-dishes shone. Green ivies filled the Avindow-cases, and gera- niums lined the window-sills. A fine old parrot fromn the Andes inhabited a large cage with an open door, hanging over the main window, where the wire netting let in the air from the apple boughs. Or! reaching the platform-stair, Charlie was as astonished as Lucv could wish. There sat a little Chinese boy, as it seemed, although at second glance he looked rather old for a boy. He wore blue clothes and was shell- ing peas. His glossy black " pigtail" reached down to the floor, and the kitten was trying to raise the end of it in her pretty white paws. As Lalcy had said, heavy black silk cords we e braided in with the hair, with handsome tassels. The parrot had come out of her cage, and was eying the boy and the kitten, plainly hcuping for mischief. Suddenly she caughlt Charlie's eye, and with a flap of her wings she creed out to him. "4 Ile's a quare one ! Now, isn't he " The bird had heard Irish Nora say this a 8 BELOW STAIRS. number of times during the day and had learned the words. Charlie could not help laughing out in response. With this encouragement Polly came down towards the door of the cage, and thrust her green and yellow head out into the roomn. - Now, isn't he, sure" cried she, in Nora's own voice. Nora. was sole ruler of this cheerful realm below stairs; the only other inhabitants of the kitchen were the parrot and the kitten, and now this Chinese boy. Nora's special wN-ork-room was a great pantry wvith a latticed -window. Near-by a wide door led out into at little garden of apple, pear, aiid cherry trees; the grarden had a grape- arbor too, which ran from the door to a roomy cabin. Here was every convenience for wash- ing and ironinog Nora was a portly woman, witlh a round face, laire forelhead, and a little nose which seemied to be always laughinigii(. She was a merry soul; and shte used to tell "1 the children," as Charles and Lucy were called, '" Liliptitian. stories," tales of the Fairy Schoolmiaster of Irish lore. The Chinese )oy cdid not look up to Polly as she gazed and exclaimned at liiiii, but shelled his peas. Presently, however, the prettv kitten w-il rled the industrious boy's pictail around in a circle until it pulled. Then he cast his almtiondc ev-es at lier, and addressed her in a tone lilke the clatter of rolling rocks. " Ok-oka-ok-a-a " 9 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. The kitten flew to the other side of the room, and NDra appeared from the pantry. When she saw the two children on the stairs, she put her hands on her sides and laughed with her nose. 1 We've, a quare one here, now, haven't we" said she. Polly stretched her lovely head out into the room fromr the cage, and flapped her wings, and swung toc and fro, and the kitten returned, whereupon the boy drew up his pigtail and tied it aroundl his neck like a necktie. " See, children," said Nora, pointing, "what your mother has brought home ! She says we must all. be good to him, and it's never hard I would be to any living crater. He came down from ithe sun, he says. What do you think his name is And you could never guess I It's Sky-High, which is to say, come-down-fromn-the- sun. A ad a man in a coach it was that brought him. Sire, I never came here in a coach, but on mv two square feet; he came from the con- sul's office - Misther Bradley's - and a ship it was that brought him there. Ah, but he's a qua-e kitchen-boy! ", but your mother, all with a heart as warm as pudding, she's going to educate him and if he does well, she's going to promote him up aloft, to take care of all the foine rooms, and furniture anrd things, and to wait upon the table, and tend the door for aught I know. She made me promise I would be remarkable good to him - but it don't do no harm for me to say that he's BELOWIT STAIRS. a quare one I he can't understand it - he speaks the language of the sun, all like the cracking of nuts, or the rattling of a loose thunder-storm over the shingles." " Sky-High " ventured little Lucy mischiev- ouslv. The Chinese boy looked up, with a quick blink of his eyes. "-At your service, madam," said he in very good English. Nora lifted her great arms. "And he does speak English Who knows but lie understood all I said, and what the parrot said too. Poll, you go into your cage 'At your service, miiadai ' And did you hear it, Lucy No errand-boy ever spoke in the loikes o' that before ! I'd think h'd been brought up among the quality. It maybe -he's a Fairy Shoemaker, spaking the queen's court-languaoe, and no errand-boy at all! A bell sounded up-stairs, and the two children ran back. " Oh, mother, never was there a boy like that! " said Charlie. "Well," said Mrs. Van Buren, ", you shall tell your father how you found little Sky-High -it will be a pretty after-supper story. I want you to think kindly of hii, for if lie does well lie is to stay with us a year." The children found their father in the dining- rooln; and as they kissed him they both cried, "Oh, oh!: 11 12 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. "XVhat is it nown asked Mr. Van Buren. What has happened to-day ,,Wait until after sup1per," said Mrs. Van d)uren: ", then thev shall tell vou of a curious event in the kitchen. There really is some- thing to tell,' she added, smiling. BEFORE THE MANDARIN! II. BEFORE THE MANDARIN! As Mr. Van Buren was a prudent, wise, and good-natured man, he left all the affairs of housekeeping to his wife. He had so seldom been -"below stairs " that he never had even nade the acquaintance of Polly, the lively bird of the kitchen. The kitten sometimes came up to visit him; on wvhich occasions she simply purred, and sank down to rest on his knee. After supper was over, Mr. Van Buren caught Lucy up. "And now what amusing thing is it that my little girl has to tell me - something new that Nora has told you of the Fairy Shoemaker" "There's really a wonderful thing down in the kitchen, father," said Lucy; " wonderfuller than anything in the Fairy Shoemaker tales." "And where did it come from " "Down from the sun, father, and Nora says it came in a coach! ' Mr. Van Buren turned to his wife. ,,It came from the Consul's," she said - "from Consul Bradley's." " Has Consul Bradley been here " he asked, 13 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. thinking some Chinese curio had been shipped ovcr. Consul B1radley was a Chinese consular agent, a man of considerable wealth, with a laige knowledge of the world, and a friend of the Van Buren family. " No," said Mrs. Van Buren, " but his coach- man has brought me a kitchen-boy." "; Well, that is rather wonderful! Is that what vou have down-stairs, Lucy " " That doesn't half tell it, father," cried Charlie. " Hle's a little Chineseman! " ";I was in the Consul's office this morning," went on Mrs. Van Buren, smiling at her hus- band's astonishment; " and the Consul said to me. 'Wouldn't you like to have a neat, trim, tidy, honest, faithful, tender-hearted, polite boy to learn general work' I said to the Consul, ' Yes, that is the person that I have been need- ing for years.' He said, ' Would you have any prejudice against a little Chinese servant, if he were tLusty, after the general principles I have described ' I said to him, 'None whatever.' He continued: 'A Chinese lad from Manchuria has been sent to nme by a friend in the hong, and I am asked to find him a place to learn Anierie1in home-making ideas in one of the best families. Your family is that place-shall I send hi 1i ' So he came in the Consul's coach, as Lucl- said, and with him an immense trunk covered with Chinese brush-marks. He seems to be a little gentleman: and when I asked him his name lie said, 'The Consul told me to tell you 14 BEFORE THE MfANDARIN! to call me Sky-High' He doesn't speak except to make replies, but these are in very good English." "May I give my opinion " asked little Lucy. "Well, Lucy," said her mother, smiling, " what is your opinion " ", He looks like an emperor's son, or a manda- rin," said Lucy. " And what put such a thought into your head " asked her mother. "; The pictures on my Chinese fans," said Lucy promptly. Well," said Mrs. Van Buren, "if he does well, you shall treat him exactly as though he were the son of an emperor or a wang -he says that kings are called wangs in his land." "Then he would be a little wang," said Lucy. "I will make believe he is a little wang while he stays." So Sky-High became a little wang to Lucy; and a wonderful little wang he promised to be. At Mr. Van Buren's wish, little Sky-High was. sent for. The Chinese boy asked Charlie, who went down for him, that he might have time to change his dress so that he might suit- ably appear before "1 the mandarin in the parlor." (A "1 mandarin " in China is a kind of mayor or magistrate of rank more or less exalted.) Charlie came back with the kitchen-boy's message. " He says that he wants a little time to change his clothes so that he may suitably appear before the mandarin in the parlor." 15 LITTLE SKY-IHIGH. ; The mandarin in the parlor " exclaimed Mr Vaia Buren, in a burst of laughter. "My fatijer used to speak of mandarins -he traded ginseng for silks and teas at Canton in the days of the hongs - the open market or trading- places. That was a generation ago. There are no longer any store-houses for ginseng on the wharves of Boston. Yet my father made all his money in this way. ' The mandarin in the parlor.' Sky-High has a proper respect for superiors; I like the boy for that." By and by the sound of soft feet were heard at the folding-doors. " Come in, Sky-High," sai(l Ars.Van Buren. The little kitchen-boy appeared, and all eyes lighted up in wonder. lie wore a silk tunic fringed with what looked like gold. His stock- ings vwere white, and his shoes were spangled with silver. The bread sleeves of his tunic were richly embroidered-he seemed to wing himself in. A beautiful fan was in his hand, which he very slowly waved to and fro, as if following some custom. Mrs. Van Buren won- dered if servants in China came fanning them- selv-es wxhen summoned by their master. Sky- High bowed and bowed and bowed again, then moved with a gliding motion in front of Mr. Van Buren's chair, still bowing and bowing, and there he remained in an attentive bent atti- tude. The kitten leaped up from Mr. Van Buren's knee, then jumped down, plainly with an intention to play with the tempting pig- 16 BEFORE THE MANDARIN. tail - but Lucy sprang and captured the snowy little creature. "' So you are Sky-High " said Mr. Van Buren. " Well, a right neat and smart-looking boy you are ! " 11 The Mandarin of Milton! " said the glitter- inig little fellow, bending. "; My ancestors have heard of the mandarins of Boston and Milton, even in the days of Hoqua." "- Hoqua" Mr. Van Buren looked at the boy with interest, ", You know of Hoqua" " Who is Hoqua " asked Mrs. Van Buren. 1Ir. Van Buren turned to her. " I will tell you later." " Hoqua, madam," said Sky-High, bowing to his mistress, " was the great merchant mandarin of Canton in the time of the opening of that port to all countries." How did a Chinese servant know anything of Hoqua This was the question that puzzled Mr. Van Buren. "1 Sky-High, how many people have you in your country " he asked. "It is said four hundred million." "We have only seventy millions here, Sky- High." "I have been told," said Sky-High. "And who is ruler over all your people" asked Mr. Van Buren. "; The Celestial Emperor, the Son of Heaven, the Brother of the Sun and Moon, the Dweller in Rooms of Gold, the Light of Life, the Father of the Nations." 17 LITTLE SKY-HIGHG. "1You fill me with wonder, Sky-High. We have a plain President. Do your people die to make roow for more millions " "o My people value not to die, 0 Mandarin!" said the boy. "4 SuIh throngs of people - they all have souls, think you " A dark flush came upon little Sky-High's forehead. He opened his narrow black eyes upon tlis master. "1 Souls They have souls, 0 Ma,.ndarin ! Souls are all my people have for long." "o Where go their souls when your people die " "o To their ancestors' With them they live amorg the lotus blooms." ",We will excuse you now," said Mr. Van Bure l to Sky-High. "You have answered intelligently, according to your knowledge. The kitchen-boy bowed himself out without turning his back towards any one, describing many glit ering angles, and waving his fan. He looked like something vanishing, a bit of fire- work., going out. As he reached the stair, the little white cat sprang from Lucy's arms, and skipped swiftly after the curious inmate of the kitchen. The long, swinging braid was a temptation. The last glimpse Charles and Lucy had was of an embroidered sleeve as Sky-Hligh reached back- ward ad L caught the kitten to his shoulder, and bound her fast with his queue. 18 BEFORE THE MANDARIN! 19 Charlie clapped his hands. He thought there would be fun in the house. He knew he should like Sky-High. As they went up- stairs he said to Lucy, "The little Chinaman was a heathen, and father was a missionary." Mr. Van Buren heard him, and called him back. " The little Chinaman was a new book," said he, " and your father was reading. See that you treat the boy well." LITTLE SKY-HIGH. III. LUCY'S CUP OF TEA. MRt. 'BAN BUREN'S, home was on Milton Hill. It overlooked Boston and the harbor. The upper windows commanded a glorious v Rew in the morning. Before it glittered the sea with its white sails, and behind it rose the Blue Hills, with their green orchards and woods. The house leas colonial, with gables and cupola, and was surrounded by hour-glass elms, arbors, and evergreen trees. It had been built by Mr. Van Buren's father in the days of the China trade and of the primitive mandarin merchant, IHoqua. Mr. Van lBuren, a tea-merchant of Boston, rece.ved his goods through merchant vessels, and not through his own ships as his father had done. The next morning Mrs. Van Buren went down early into her kitchen to assign Sky-High his work. Nora, in a loud whisper that the birds in the apple-boughs might have heard, informed Mrs. Van Buren that the new Chinese servant wlas 4" no good as a sweeper," and asked what he did with his pigtail when he slept. " It must take 20 LUCY'S CUP OF TEA. hinm a good part of to-morrer to comb his hair, it is that longo," she said. " And wouldn't you better use hiin up-stairs for an errand-boy alto- gether now Sure, you wouldn't be after teach- ing him any cooking at all " Nora was an old servant and had many privileges of speech. MIrs. Van Buren smiled, and arranged that little Sky-High should wash and iron clothes in the cab)ini under the blooming trees, at the end of the arbor. i And if you learn well," said she, " I may let you tend the door, and wait upon the table, and( keep the rooms in order." ;; And then you will be up-stairs," said little Lucy, "1 where it is ver y pleasant." ;nXd now, Sky-Ilio-ii, tell me how it is that you can speak EaL slisll so well," said MIrs. Van Buren, as they stood in the cabin, where the prospect of solitude seetned to please the boy. A gleam of somnething like mischief appeared on little Sky-High's Lee. ",And, Madame de Mandarin," said he, " I speak French too. P'arlez-vots FPrana is, Made- moiselle Lucy" lie added rapidl x-, turning- to the little American girl. "Pardomie, Madame la MAandarin! "-Sky-High will not say ' Mandarin' any more, said 'Mrs. Van Buren. "ThMere are no mandarins in this country, and when Skv-hliglh is called into the rooms above he will wear his plain clothes, not spangled clothes. Now, wYh taught you English" 21 2. LITTLE SKY-HIGH. "My mr-aster, madam." "Say mistress, Sky-High." lMy master, mistress." "Where did you live in Manchuria" "In the house of a mandarin." "And who was your master" "The mandarin, mistress." "Do mandarins in China teach their servants to speak English " " Some mandarins do, your grace." 4" Do not say 'your grace,' Sky-High, but sim- ply mistress. Ladies have no titles .in America. Where is the city in which you lived " "J In Manchuria, on the coast, on the Crystal Sea.,' The kitten came running into the kitchen, and at once leaped on to the end of Sky-High's pigtail. The boy gave his pigtail a sudden whisk. "Pie-cat" asked he. "No, O " said MIrs. Van Buren in horror. ",We have no pie-cats in this country. Was there an English teacher in your house" Little Sky-High was winding his pigtail about his reek for safety. He saw Lucy giggling, and a laugh came into his own eyes. "P ardonne, mistress. We had an English trader at the hong -at the trade-house." "4Do they send servants to English teachers in China " ", When they are to grow up and deal with English business, mistress." L UC YS C UP OF TE A. "Did you meet English people at the hong" Yes, mistress." "Who were they" "I cannot name them. There were my lords and the admiral; and the American Consul he came, and the German Consul he came, and the American travelers they came, and Russian officers they came." "o How old are you, Sky-High " "s There have passed over me fifteen New- Year days, mistress." 11 Well, Sky-High," said his mistress, ";I am goinlg to give you this cabin under the trees, where you may do your washings and all your ironings. No one else shall come here to work. I have decided to have you begin to-morrow to bring up the breakfast." The next morning Sky-High performed his first service at the breakfast-table. He brought up the coffee while Mr. Van Buren was saying grace. He paused before the table. "1 Sleepy, sleepy! " lie exclaimed softly, " all sleepy!" Mrs. Van Buren put out her hand as a signal for him to wait. Sky-High did not understand, and the grace was concluded amid smiles. Sky-High wondered much what had made the family sleepy at that time of the day. They did not go to sleep at the breakfast-table in China. ,,rThe mistress and her people," said he to Nora, "; shut their eyes and go to sleep at the breakfast." "An' sure, it is quare you are yourself 23 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. They were praying. Don't you ever say prayers, Sky-High " "My cbuntry has printed prayers," said Sky- Hig'i wit lofty dignity. " You're a hathen people. HTere we call such as you a ' hathen Chinee,' and there was a Cali- fornan poet that wrote a whole piece about the likes of you. Children speak it at school. Here is the t )ast - carry it up! Lucy liked to see the little olive-colored "wang` moving about. One day at the table she requested him to 1)ring her a cup of tea. The little Chinaman well knew that Lucy and Cha.les were not permitted to have tea. He inquired whether lie should make it in the American or the Chinese way. " In the way you would for a wang," said Lucy. Sky-IHigh soon re-appeared, his tray bearing a pretty lit-le covered cup and a silver pitcher. " Whe-e is the tea " asked Lucv. "It is in the cup, like a wang's," said Sky- High He poured the hot water on the tea, and fra- grance filled the room. Lucy, with a glance asking her mother's leave, tasted the tea she bad roguishlv ordered. We do not have tea like this," she said; " is it tea " "Like a wang's," said Sky-High, blinking. W 'here did you get it " asked Lucy. Out of my tea-canister," said Sky-hligh. Little Lucy did not drink the tea, for little 24 LUCY'S CUP OF TEA. 25 Lucy had never drunk a cup of tea; but its fra- grance lingered about the house through the day, and set her wondering what else the little Chinaman's ilumeinse trunk might hold. It had been agreed between the Consul and Mrs. Van Buren that little Sky-High mioht talk with the family; and like her husband she found the Chinese boy i a new book." She asked him many a curious question about the " Flowery Kingdom," and one day she learned that " we never send our finest teas out of China." Yes ii we" said the wvashee-washee-wang, as the neigh or-boys called him. LITTLE SKY-HIGH, IV. 1ov0 SKY-HIGH CALLED THE GOVERNOR. CHEERFULLY, in his fine blue linens, the little Chinese house-boy worked in his cabin a portion of every day. The bluebirds came close to sing to him and so did the red-breasted robins. Irish Nora and the parrot became very civil, and he grew fond of Charlie and Lucy. Some of the boys on their way to and from school nade his only real annoyance. Sometimes when his smoothing-iron was moving silently under his loose-sleeved hand, or lie wvas hanging the snowy clothes on the lines, they would hide behind a tree or corner, and shy sticks at him calling. En washee-washee-wang !"' He bore it all in an Linselfish temper, until olie (lay a big lump of dirt fell upon one of little Lucy's daintz muslin frocks as he was ironing it. Then he said something that sounded like, " cockle- coclde-cockle," and closed all the doors and wininlows. At this crisis Charles and Lucy came to his side. They set wide again the doors and win- dows of the cabin under the green boughs, and promised him that they would forever be his 26 HOW SKY-HIGH CALLED THE GOVERNOR. 21 true friends and protectors. "It is time we began to treat him like a wang, as mother wished," said Lucy to Charlie. " The American boys throw dirt at me in the street," admitted little Sky-High, in a reluctant tone - he did not like to bear witness against anyone in this sunshiny world. ,,I will go out with you," said Charlie, "when you are sent out to do errands. I will stand between you and the dirt. The dirt comes out of their souls." "And I will watch around the corners and speak to themu," said Lucy. Sky-high's heart bounded at these pledges of friendship, and he leaped about in a way that made the parrot laugh - sometimes he had the parrot in his cabin, and taught it Chinese words. " The sun shines for all, the earth blossoms for all," lie said to the children; "it is only the heart that needs washee-washee and sinoothee- smoothee. Everything will be better by and by. I talk flowery talk, like home, out here among the birds, butterflies, and bees." (Nora said lie "1 jabbered " all day long in the cabin.) Mrs. Van Buren very soon promoted the care- ful little Chinaman to have all the care of the beautiful living rooms and the quaint old par- lors. He brought the flowers and admitted the visitors. He did his work in admirable taste. It shed a kind of good influence through the house, to see the little fellow in his fine linens LITTLE SKY-HIGHT. flitting around, so careful was he to keep all things in speckless order. The chief drawback was that he still used "flowery talk"; to him the world was a field of poetry, and he spoke in figures whenever he forgot himself. Mrs. Van Buren was still Madaim the Mandarin, and he called Lucy the "' Lotus of the Shining Sea." He received many reprimands for the use of these Oriental forms of speech; but found it hard to harness his thoughts to track-horses, especially after the June days began to fill the gardens with orioles and hurmming-birds and roses. "1 Why not let me talk after nature " little Sky-High used to beg. One day the governor of the State came to Nisit the Van Burens. Sky-High spoke of him as the Mandarin of the Golden Dome." Ile had several times been in Boston to see Consul Bradley, and knew the State House. If the evening Mrs. Van Buren gave him his morning orders. " You will call the gover- nor to-morrow at seven o'clock. You will knock on his door, and you must use plain language! You must not say, '0 Mandarin of the Golden Dome!' We do not use flowery terms of address ini this country. Mind, Sky-High, use plain language." The little Chinaman feared that he would be "flowery " in spite of all his care. So he con- sulte1 with Irish Nora in the blooming hours of the morning. :48 11W1 Nt'fY-fli.i1 CALLED THlE GOVERNVoR. 29 11 What shall I say when I knock on the gov- ernor's chamber-door " asked he earnestly. a What shall I say in the plain Ameriean lan- guage What shall you say Say, I Get up! "Is that all " asked he doubtfully. WVell, if you want to say more, say, I Get up ! The world is all growing and crowing- the roosters are crowing their heads off! '" Sky-Iligh wvent to the door of the governor s room and knockecd. There came a voice from within. , Well" G1 Get up I The world is all growing and crowiiig, - the roosters are crowiing their heads off." The Ad Mandarin of the Golden Dome " did not wait for a second summons, but got up even as Sky-High bad bidden him. It was a June morning, and lie found the world as he had been warned, ,all growing and crowing." "h Have you called the governor " asked Mrs. Van Buren, as she met Sky-Higch on the stairs. "Yes, my Lady of the Beautiful Morning." I)id you use plain language " "Sky- Mih used the American language." What did you say" r saidl, I Get up ! ' " "Oh, Sky-High, now I will have to apologize for you 11 We never use plain language to niandarirm iii China," said Sky-fligh. "d If we did, I whish, 30 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. whish,' and our heads would be off before we could tarn ! " The Mandarin of the Golden Dome came down from the chamber; and the Lady of the Beautiful Morning explained to him that her new boy had not yet mastered the arts of Ameri- can manners, although he intended to be correct when addressing his superiors. Ad I didn't notice anything whatever incor- rect," said the governor, who had hugely en- joyed 'the manner of his summons. "' He awoke me - what more was needed " JSKY-fI GI'S WONDER- TALE. V. SKY-HIGH'S VON-DER-TALE. "M\IY Lady of the Beautiful Morning" be- lieved in the education of story-telling; and she did not limit her stories wholly to tales with " morals," but told those that awakened the imagination. This she did for Lucy's sake and Charlie's, believing that all little people should pass through fairyland once in their lives. She used, like Queen Scheherazade of the Arabian Nights, to gather up stories that pic- tured places, habits, and manners of the people, to relate; and this year, when the garden began to flower, she had many such to tell und(er the trees. Sky-High was always a listener. I-le was always permitted to be with the family in the evening. He loved wonder-tales. They carried him off as on an " enchanted carpet." One evening Mrs. Van Buren said, i; I have a new idea. Sky-Iligh might tell Ifs some sto- ries. HIe speaks English well when he chooses. Sky-High, tell us some tale of your own country. You have wonder-tales in China." "' In the stories of my country animals talk," said Sky-High. 31 1,'LI'1'TLE, TJ Y-_ . I. "Telt us sollme of your st(eies in z which ani- mals talk-," said Lucy, clapping her hands. " An.mals always talk, everywhere," said Sky- High. ' "In China we interpret wvhat they say." The word " interpret " was rather a big one for lucy. B'uLt as Sky-Hligh was given to using unexpected wor(ls, the little girl was herself beginri-ng to indtulge ini a larger vocabulary. So Sky-iligh b)egan to relate an old Chinese household t-ory. TI'IE SELIF-RESPEcTIrvs(NG D oN'KEIY. There wa; once a P)onkev who had great respcet for himself, as many peoplde dlo. Such wear 'rood( eloilles. You mV Y know whtat a man thinks of himself hy the clothes be wears. We Chinese moralize in our stories as we (r,) along. Wle tell think--tales. One day 'the Self-respectingr Ionkey wevnt out into some green meadows near a wood, and was eatinr grass when a Tige: app)earedi on the verge of the meadow. Tlle Self-respecting0 lDonkey was very much surprised, huit did net lose his dignity. So he uttered a deep bray. " Br-a-a-.t!" The Tiger, in his turn, was very much surprised- for the f)onD'eV's voice seemed to penetrate the earth. But as soonl as lhe collected his wits he crouched as if to spring upon the Donkey and make a meal of him. The Self-respecting Dlonkey didl not run. Ile mnoved with a slow, firm, and kingly step toward the Tiger. Then lhe dropped his head again, in such a way that his ears looked like great proclamations of wisdom and power. - Br-a-a-a !" His voioe was truly terrible. The Tiger again quailed. 32 SKY- TGIPH' S 1 ONDER-TAL 33E. 01h, Beast of the Voice of the Thunder-winds," said he, thou canst dispute with me and the Lion the king- ship amiong aminials The D)onkey brayed again in a more terrible voice than l)efore. - If you vwill accoimpany me into the wood," said he, " thou shalt see all animals flee from us.', The TigYer felt complimented by an association with the animial who had( gained his voice from the thunder, and shortly they entere(l the w-ood. The animials all fled when they sawv them coming - not from the D)onkoe, bat fromi the Ti-er. Even the Raven (dared not speak, and the Lion slunk 1)ack aniono- the rocks; because a Tiger andel a Donkey, together, miolit more than eqrual his terrifyinr roar. See," said the I)oukev, '11 all natu're flees before us. Now walk behind miie, and I will show von the secret of mlly power." The 'rier stepl)(d behind; and the D)onkey very quickly, in a pretty short time, showN-ed himii tdie secret of his l)oiver. lie kicked the poor foolish Tio'er in the heal, breaklingr his nose, and stunnnin- him. Then leaving, himii in the path for dead, lie made goodl his esealpe. " AnY one can be great," said lhe, - if he knows how to use his powver!" Ile was a pbilosoplher. WhIien the p)oor Tiger came to his senses lie rul)bed his nose witli his p)aw, and be(gan to refleet on the lesson that lie should learn from his association with a I )onkey. Ile reflected long and well -and never said anything alout it to anyone. "In my country," added little Sky-High, "we think that whent one allows himself to get kicked by a donkey a lonig silence befits him - he can best show his wisdomii in that way. Do you not think so, 0 Mandarin Americans" t33 34 LITTLE SKY-HIGO. The 1i Mandarin Americans " quite 'agreed with the conclusion drawn by Sky-High. It was about this time that little Lucy began to wonder if Sky-High were not a wang indeed. No common young Chinese could possess so many kinds of wisdom. Ile was able to read to her the labels on tea-chests, and to explain the odd figures on the many fans that decorated her playroom. ",Howv do you know so much, Sky-High" she asked one day when he had told her the meaning of the pictures on an old Chinese por- celain in the upper hall. ", Many of the porcelains in our country are made to be read," he said. " All educated Chinese people can read porcelains. Al Ameri- can porcelain Ia.tS no story." '11E 'JAND J.A, 8I l PLATllE. VI. THE MIANDARIlN PLATE. A MONG the heirlooms to be found in the closets of many New Englaiid houses is a curious pattern of China plate. This plate is colored blue-and-white, and in the bowl of each is a picture. The picture represents a rural scene in China - a bridge on which are two young people, a man and a woman; a house, and a tree, and two birds of beautiful plumage flying away. Mrs. Van Buren had such a plate, and a platter with the same rural picture, on her dining-room wall. It was the delight of Lucy to have Sky-High explain to her the meaning of the pictures on the Chinese vases and on an ornamental Chinese umbrella which hung in the reception-room. One day when Sky-High was dusting in the dining-room, Lucy's eye fell on the blue-and- white plate with the picture of the bridge and birds. " Oh, Sky-High," said Lucy, "1 mother has a treasure here -a porcelain plate of your country, see! " Sky-Iligh looked up to the old porcelain. 35 LITTLE SKTY-_IIITI. He had seen such a plate a thousand times; so often, in so many places, that Mrs. Van Buren1s had not drawn his eye. "It is a mandarin plate," he explained to Lucy. " It has a magic power; it brings good luck. My people keep those plates for good fortune." " A magic plate " Lucy was all curiosity, now. ' Tell me the story of the magic plate," she said. "Sit down and tell me. Who are the young people on the bridge Begin." " They are the same as the birds flying away. The birds and the young people are one." Lucy's interest in the magic plate grew. Sky-High promised to tell her its legend at some time when her mother should be present. Lucy went at once to her mother. "s Oh, mother, lee have a magic plate I' "We have Where" "' It is the blue-and-white one over the side- board." ",Oh! is that a magic plate That was your grandmother's plate. Old families used to value that kind of ware from China -I do not know why." (o Cmone with me, and take it down, for Sky- High knows the story of the picture." Mrs. Van Buren went in and took the plate down; and little Sky-High said, i It is the man- darin plate of our country. In the plate you cannot see the Good Spirit in the air, but it is there. This Good Spirit in the air chanlges TIlE IAXI)LAJN' S PLA TE. people into other forms when trouble comes, and they fly away." "13But what is the story " asked Lucy. "There was once a prince," said Sky-High, whose name was Chang. He. was a good prince; and there lie is - the young man in the plate. ",And Prince Chang, the Good, loved a l)eautiflul princess, as good as she was pretty; and there she is - the young woman in the plate. ", The prince and princess went to live on a beautiful isle, where was an orange-tree-see -and there was an old mandarin who lived near-see his house there-and he did not like the good prince and pretty princess when lie saw how happy they were on the Isle of the Oranio e-tree. So lie determined to separate them; and one day, when he was very full of dislike, he went towar(ls the bridge that led to the Beautiful Isle to catch them. But something very won- derful happened." " Oh, what did happen " said Lucy. 11 I can hardly wait to learn." Do The Good Spirit of the air saw the grim old mandarin stealing away toward the bridge to cross to the Beautiful Isle of the Orange-tree, and he changed the prince and princess into two birds and they flew away. See them flying there at the top of the plate ! " I will give you the plate," said 'Mrs. Van , 3 oS8 LITTLE SKY-IiIGiI. Burer. to Lucy; "for it was your grandmother's plate, andl her name was Lucy, and she would be glad, were she living, to have you delight in a leoend. like that. It is good to think that a loving Spirit hovers over us when evil draws near us -I like the parable of the plate. I thank y71in for the story, Sky-Iligh. Your country has good stories." '; The story of the mandarin plate, " said the little Chiinaman, , is also told in mily country in a more tragic way ; that the lovely girl is the mandcariu 's datiurlter, and that he slays the losers, al:d that it is their souls that are seen flyicg a.; y il the two birds. But it is the other story that our scholars like." SKY-NIGH 'S KITE. VII. SKY-11!(;[1'S KITE. CHARLES and Lucy wished to give Sky-Higoh a surprise. They had come into possession of a kite which had beeni described to them as marvelous, and they -ot their mother's permnis- Sion to take the little Chinamait to Franklin Park to see themn fly it for the first time. Franklin Park is not far front Milton Hill; an(l the street-cars eiadily carry thie crowds of children to the pleasure-g(rounds of the immneinse colmllmon of woods, fields, great roeks -,and elmns, and whole prairies of grass. It is (Itite free- the dwellers of close Boston an(l its bowery suburbs own the vast ptehaSllme-iace-the people could hardly have inore privileges there did each one hold( a (Leed of it. Little Sky-Hig-h thought this wonderful when it was explained to him. The Van Burens had ample grounds of their own, but lrs. Van Baren and the children liked to go to Franklin Partk. Mrs. Van Bniren. liked to sit in the great stone Emerson arbor on Schoolmaster's Hill, and watch the white flocks of English sheepl ,t wander to and fro and 39 LITTLE SKY-HIIGI. feed, guarded and guided by shepherd-dogs, and to gaze away in an idle reverie at the Blue Hills under the purple charm of distance. No oie jeered now when the Van Buren childreni appeared in the street with the little Chinaman. Nobody cried, "Rat-tail! " No- body cried, is Washee-washee-wang! " He often rode with them. in the carriage. People looked at him, to be sure, but only with interest -the fame of his accomplishments in the English language had gone abroad. It was a beautiful early summer day, the white daisies waving in the west wind. Cross- ing the field, from a little green hill the children prepatre to send up the new kite. Out of his narrow black eyes little Sky-High looked at it, as they took it from the package and sent it up. It seemed simply a frame-work, but presently the Amnerican flag rolled out in the sky, as though it hung alone, or had bloomed there. Sky-High beheld it with pleasure. Great was Americ a! He was contented to sit and watch it for hours, or as long as the children pleased. It was not until sunset that the starry kite was hauled down through the golden air, and Lucy and alharles prepared to return home. On the way the little serving-man said, " I have kite in my trunk. You let me fly it for you sonae day You come with me here" So another breezy day the Van Buren chil- dren came to the Park with Sky-High. Lucy 40 SKY-HIIGH'S KITE. danced al)out in the green world for very light- heartedniess. " You stay at the overlook," said Sky-High, pointing to the wild-flower embankment sur- rounded by burning azalias, "and I will show you how Chlinese boys fly kites." He had brougfht a thin package under his arim, and while Lucy and Charles waited at the enbmtaki-nent he ran like a thing of air out into the open field. It wvas a glorious June day; and the great elms with their fresh young foliage were glimn- mering thick in the fery sky, and like an emerald sea was the grass on thie field, where hundreds of children were playing ball and other gcines. Sky-High threw to the air a bundle of red with a few light angles and circles of bamnboo, and it began at once to rise and expalnd. It went up into the mnid--air, and fold after fold rolled out, and there r appeared a great drag(on. All the children on the field stopped in their play to look up at it. The sun turned the dracgon to) intense red. To all appearance a terrible monster had taken possession of the air! Suddenly the dragon wheeled about and went coiling along towards the overlook, Sky-Hligh following and guiding its course. When it was just overhead it opened a great mouth, and smoke seemed to issue fromn it. " Look out, little Lady of the Lotus," cried Sky-High merrily, "' or it inay swaillow you. 41 LITTLE SKY-HIGh. The little girl ran aside, but the dragon made no attempt to come down. When at a height some twenty feet above the earth it paused. Then suddenly, with a puff, it poured down a shower of flowers, butterflies, and gilded paper, like a gold shower. The air was full of them; they drifted here, there, and everywhere. All the children on the field ran to behold the won- der. Everybody shouted, and a great crowd of little peopie gathered around Sky-High to pick up tii. tissue flowers and butterflies. 112Ah," said the little Chinaman, "you ought to see litm do that in the nights when all he sends down turns into fire '" There, never had been seen a kite like Sky- High's before. But the Chinese have been masters of kite-flying for more than two thou- sand years. Amnong their national festivals they liaise a kite-flying day. Sky-Iligh often came there with his magic kite. 1o became a very popular boy in the Park. The B oston boys said - Hello ! " when they ineu him in his azure suit, quiet fun shining in is ees. Lucy and Charles walked by his side with pride. They introduced him to all of their friends who asked it, and everybody spoke of him. Ol Oh, he is such a gentleman, and so edu- cated Haven't you heard about him He came to learn how to do business and under- stand our American homnes. He will go back to, his country and teach sometime. No doubt SKY-HIGH'S KITE. 43 a working-boy can rise in China the same as in our land I" Lucy often begged her mother to let Sky- High wear his beautiful Chinese clothes to the Park -with his kite he would seem like a true enchanter I But Mrs. Van Buren strictly forbade. LITTLE SKY-lIGf. VIII. A WAN. ON-E (ay there was heard a tremendous explosion in the department of Sky-High. Mrs. Van Buren camne running down-stairs. Lucy foalowed her, all eyes and ears. Irish Nora met themn, running up-stairs. The kitten fled out, and jumped over the fence. The parrot was shrieking. Above Sky-Iligh's door, Mrs. Van Buren saw a strange black character on a big red paper. It was a square character and somewhat like a heavy " x " and also somewhat like a heavy I I." Sky-High stood calmly ironing inside his little house at the end of the grape-arbor. Nora followed her mistress to that abode of mystery. " It's dynamated we are to be sure!" said she "I shut my eyes and run, for I thought it was Sky-High that had gone off -but there he stood ironing! And there he stands now!" "Sky-lligh," said Mrs. Van Buren, " what was that sound I heard" " Crackers, mistress." 44s A IVAN. "We are only allowed to fire crackers on holidays. Why did you light crackers " "'To disperse the evil spirits, mistress, the d(ragons in the air, the imips. It is the way we serve them in China." ", There are no evil spirits here, Sky-High. What could have made you think that there were, Syv-I Iiohi "T'he cat - she is long bewitched after my queue. I fired the crackers to dis-power her- I saw her tail going over the fence! She is dis-possessed. She will not jump at Sky-High's queue any more. We shoot crackers in China when evil spirits come in the air. China is a spirit-land, mistress. Our air is filled with iright spirits and lark ones. When the cat begins to frisk its tail, we know there has come a company of evil spirits. The little cat's tail this mnorninog went snap-snap! "Oh, Sky-Ifigh ! there are no evil spirits in this blooming garden," said his mistress. " The little white cat is possessed by a playful spirit, psilrhaps. What is that strange figure in black on the red paper flag over the door " "That is the wvan, mistress." Aiid what is the wan, Sky-High" The mystic sign that warns off evil spirits." "Did I not say there are no evil spirits here" Here little Sky-High's eyes began to blink. Why did master put a horse-shoe over the stable-door " 4 a' LITTLE SKY-RIGH. Lucy looked up at her mother. And said Nora, - I would discharge that sassbox of a Chinese at once. ",Have you more crackers, Sky-High " "In my chest, mistress." "Keep them until the Fourth of July, Sky- High. At any time when you think there are evil spirits about, come up to me." " ay Sky-High let the wan fly over his door " ",Yes," said MIrs. Van Buren; " while the horse-shoe remains over the stable to keep witches out, you may let the wall stay. You have as much right to your superstitions as we to ours." Sky-High in a serene and beautiful spirit continued ironing. Nora went back to her pantry. "It's not I that liles the foreign boy under the roof," she said. "He'll be convertin' the mistress into a haythen I It'll not be long I'll be here!" Lucy sat down outside among the trees and birds and watched the wan waving gently in the wind. How neat Sky-High looked in his flowing dress of white and blue! She won- dered again if he were not indeed a waing' After a while she made up her mind to relate a Jataka story that night. The ctrious tales their little serving-man had told, he called Jataka legends - all of them parables to illustrate the teachings of the divine Buddha. (Also these tales bad accounts 46 A ITVAN. of mountains that were more than a million miles high, of trees that were a thousand miles tall, and of fishes that were thousands of miles long. ) These tales had enchlanted Lucy, though Charlie cared little for them -lie preferred to hear of kites anid other Chinese ganes. But Lucv seemned to catch their spirit. -And in the evening, when Sky-lfigh sat with theem under the trees or in the balconies, she often said, Now tell us a Jataka story! " But one night she had said instead, "4Now let mire tell yoa a Jatal3a story ! " The i(lea that LIcy had a Jataka story seemed to greatly amuse Sky High. But the tale itself set his black eyes shinini and blink- i2g. This had been Lucx s tdle: "Sky-Hich, I dreamed th at vou nwere a wang and had lived in a palace.' To-dIy she sat a lono' time in the arbor to coflpose the tale she wxouid tell in the evening whent they would be on the veranda, with Sky- 1iglrh on the stair at their feet. So in the evenig shle said, I have coim- posed another Jataka story. Woul0d on like to hear it, miother iWVoulld you, Sky-Higlh 47 LI TTLE SKY-1IIGIL Ix. LIUCY'S JA\TAKA STOR-Y. Now the little (hinlanian began his stories with w or(ds like these, for most Jataka stories so begi ii "O n)ce upon a tinie in the days of Buddha Atta in i;enares." To-night Lucy began her tale in nearly the same irtanner - the words sounded so fine. Once on a tiue, after the (lays of Budda- Atta, in Benares, there was a little Chinese boy who was born_ a wancg, wvlich is a king. And they cafiled him Wang High-Sky. " And lie lived in a palace, anid the stairs of the palac e were golden aMmber, and the windows were oi crystal, and all the knives and forks were nrade of pearl and silver. An.id they told little W-Vang High-Sky that there were countries beyond the water, also. Ald the little Wang lhigh-Sk-y said, 'Let me go anL see. There mnay be something I can learn in ocher lands. There may be queer peo- ple there -if so, I would never laugh at them. Let me go and see how they live "And they put him on board a dragon boat, 48 LUCY'S JATAKA STORitY. with lanterns of silver and pearls, and with sails of silk, and carried himi to the great hotel oi the water, that had conie fromn other lands, which was called a siip. For there truly were peolple beyond the w.ater. A\.nd little Waig l-lig]-Sky was a very bright boy. Ile had a diamnond in his brain. So lie found a pl)ee to live in an awfully good fainily, and in thwe family was a little girl named Lucy. ,, An(li he worked and wo-Lied and worked until he could do all thlints like the good family. "And one day lie thoughit lie would go home to his palace with stairs of golde,- amiber an(l win(lows of crystal. "And L-ucy thought she would like to see the peol)le in little Wang's country. -And Lucy's father and mother said they would take her to the country of little Wang when lie went back. "And she went to little Wang's country, and she found the trees there a hundred miles hig-l, and the fishes two hundred miles long, aild horses winged with gold as if just about to fly, and they staid and kept house in Wang High-Sky's palace two thounsand years. ";And she and her father and mother and brother were very joyful when they all came l)ack. And in their own country they found that every one had become rich and happy, and that 4 'J LITTLE SKY-i[IGIL people flew about li'ke birds, and that the sun shone in the night. And! " she added, ,isn't that a I)ataka story" Luey's tiother seemed much pleased, also astonished; but Sky-High said nothing for some tiue. I)o you think me a wanog " asked he, at list. I wish yo ou were- oh, how Charlie and I would danec about if vonu were ! I think the everyday ;0oys in China cannot be like you. And I dto rn )t think you ironie(l clothies in China. I wish y-ou 'erv a king's son " Awl what- if I wrere" 011 -I dont knowt , laughiedl little Lucy. Doiit wv-e treat you as well as if you were Xatiies and geintlemen treat ladies and gentlemen lilke wangs in America. I)on't w e, mother" I trust so. I trust our little Sky-High has foulnd It SO," answvered Lucy's mother. "-So v-iidfl ikv-cigh treat you were you to come to his ho l e," s:i.d the little Chlinam-an. But youl ha ve no home. `kv-Iligh," broke in Charlie. "1 You sai(d you lived with a man- darin. The little Chinaman, who had a beautiful fan in nis handl, for it- was a hot niht. made his mistress and her children a bow of inde- scribabL grace, and wents to his own quarters. 50 ;iKYOf -Jl (I' 1'6 S .N ' 'DAY. X. SKY-HIGH' S EASTER SUNDAY. THiEJ little Chinaman seemed to make no very great task of learning "the art of the American home." His small deft olive hand was more or less upon everything, from cellar to attic. I thiuk our house-boy knew how to keep a house beautiful, mother, before he came to our country," said Lucy one day. "Well, perhaps he wvas a wang," said her nother, " and d/id live in a palace! "o Doesn't AIr. Consul Bradley know about him, inother" Ciisul Bradley says Sky-High's father is a good manl, and that Sky-High is a good boy with a bright mind. Of course, Lucy, there are nice Chinese people and nice Chinese homes." Certainly the little house-boy was wonder- fully energetic. He was able to save every Thursday for himself, and always went into Boston on that day and, as Mrs. Van Buren learned, visited the consular office. One day Mrs. Van Buren asked, "WWhat do you do all day in town, Sky-High" 51 LI TTLE SKA'1-H0IIh. ,,I see] Boston, mistress." "Arid whlt is it you see The Aimerican stores, mistress, and the American little Kinder-schools, and tie Anmeri- can great college-schools, and the American railcar shops, and the American hotels, and the American markets, and the Americans, mistress." "A nd who goes with you on these visits, Sky-High " An attack of blinking seized little Sky-High. " he consul, he goes.' Mrs. Van B3uren drove into town next dav. While there she made a call upon the Chinese consular agent. Lucy was with her. Consul Bradley appeared to have little fresh inforina- tion to give. "'The boy's father is a good man,"l he said. "Like the vise fathers everywhere he craves knowledge for his son. I promised him Sky- High should see something of Boston, and I do for him all I can." Mother," said Lucy on the way home, " we mnight l-e Dicer to Sky-High. Listen! " Her mother listened to Lucy's plan, and gave permission. When Lacy got home she said to Sky-High, "We want you to go to church with us; and Charlie and I want you to go with us to our Sunday sclhool. There are Chinese Sunday schools in Boston, but we wish you to be in ours." 52 S'KY-lIIGII'S EAS TER SUNDAY. 53 Em I will have to wear my queue, and my flow- ing clothes, Lucy," said the boy. "But, Sky-hligh, you can braid your braid close, and wind it around your head, and put on your black tunic, and you shall sit in our pew. Besides, anyway, it would be proper for a per- son of China to wear his braid down his back after the custom of his country." " You speak as kindly as woul(l the daughter of a wang! " said Sky-High, with his beautiful bow of ceremony. On Sunday the little Chinaman dressed his hair becomingly and put on black clothes, with white ruffles. He sat in the Van Buren pew, beside Charlie. Hle listened to the organ like one entranced. It was Easter Day, and the house was full of the odor of lilies. The text for the service was these words of Jesus: - if Many man keep my sayiings he shall never see d(eath." The " Joss preacher," as he called the minis- ter, came and spoke to him, and invited him to go into the Sunday-school room. In the evening he mna(le Chinese tea, and served it in the library, and afterward sat with the family. Suddenly he said, " Mistress, what were the 'sayings ' of Jesus Sky-High wishes to live on forever." Mrs. Van Buren read the Beatitudes. "And wha t is the heaven, mistress" Sky-High," said Mrs. Van Buren, very 53 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. earnestly, to her little servant, Ad I scarcely know how to tell you what heaven is, only that we surely have a part in its building here by our Loving and our Helping here. You know how dear it is to be with those you love, you know how pleasant it is to meet again those you have helped. That is the law of the soul. God loves and helps us, and will rejoice in having us abide with him, and that will make us happy; and all whoml we have made better and happier here will help make our heaven for us. Heaven is the gladness of Loving and Helping as nearly as I know." That heaven - it is beautiful, mistress," said little Sky-High. In his own country, it had been pleasant music to hear the "' prayer- wheeis" go round in the temples, whirling the paper prayers fastened upon them, but the pleasure he felt at this moment was different. ,, I will help many, mistress," he said. ii Per- haps Sky-High will help the boys that pull his queue on the street when he goes errands to the stores. Sky-High will go with his mistress and her children other Sundays, if he may. Good- night, mistress ! " So ended the Easter Sunday of the little Chiinaman. 54 ,S VY-HIGH S FILU 1 IVOKS, 55 XI. SKY-HIGH' S FIREWORKS. ONE June evening, in the balcony, when Sky High inquired about American holidays, AIrs. Van Buren related to him the story of Washing- tun and of the American Indepeadence. She enlivened her narratives by Weems's story of the boy Washington anid the hatchet. " He never told a lie " asked Sky-ILigh. ",Was that so wonderful (Confucius, lie tell no lies; Sky-High, lie tell no lies." MXIrs. Van Buren described to him. Indepen- dence I)ay, and how it was celebrated. Sky- High asked many questions, and began to look forwarcl to the celebration. On the mornin(r of the Fourth the sun camie up red, and glimmered on the cool sea and dewy trees. To Sky-High the air sceneed to blossom with flags; the far State House domce rose like an orb of gold above the bunting that floated over the great forest of Boston. Common. Cannon rent the morning silence, and every- where there were crackers bursting. Even the milkmen fired themn as they went on their early way. 5 5 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. Sky-High danced about. "1 You have Crackei Day ! It is all same as Chiiia ! " lie said. Some of the Milton boys who had many bunches of file-crackers, good-naturedly thought they wvuld startle little Washee-washee-wang at his work. So they stole around a corner of the garden, where he was busy in his neat little cabin, and "1 lit " a whole bunch and threw it over the fence, at a point where all would "1 go off " right at his door, then threw after it two cannon crackers, whose fuses burned slowly. When the small crackers began to explode Sky-Hfigl, to whom the noise was like music, came and stood in the door and danced with delight. Lish. Norah heard the rattling explosions in the garlen, and ran out. " China! China! " shouted Sky-High. " Red crackers make the bad spirits fly I The garden all free from evil spirits all day." Just then both of the cannon crackers in the grass " went off," with a dleafening bang. NoralI jumped, and put her fat hands to her ears. But little Sky-High clapped his after the American fashion. His delight in the racket and in the smell of the gunpowder was so intense, that Charlie forebore to go out on the street, but staid in and fired his immense supply in front of the cabin. In the evening there were fireworks every- where, small and great. The children and Sky-ligph went up to a turret overlooking the 56 SKY-HIGH'S FIRE WORKS. 5 sea. The sky over the towns around Boston blazed. is I will show you something fine," suddenly said Sky-High, after he had gazed for some time. He went down and unlocked his great chest. He spoke to Mrs. Van 1Buren's friends on the verandah as he came back. "; Sky-High, he is going to fire a star! Look this side! He called to all as be " fired the star." The company saw a dark, swift object ascending. It was soon lost to sight, and then appeared a won- der - a new star high in the heavens, that burned a long time with a steady flame and grew. HoIw beautiful it was ! At last it began to descend. When near the earth it burst into a hund(red stars of seven colors. In all Boston there was no firework as wonderful as Sky- High's. The dlay after he began to inquire about the next Anmerican holiday. MIrs. Van Buren told him abe-it Thanksgiving Day. Then she told him of Christmas, and how the Christmas festival was kept. She re- lated the story of the birth of the Christ Child, and of the Bethlehem star, of the singing angels in the sky, of the Magi, and the manger; of the presents of gold and myrrh and nard. She told him how that now all people of "s good will" made presents to each other like the magi to the Christ Child. 6, So will Sky-High make you presents on the 57 LITTLE SKY-IIIGh. Christ Child day, then,. He has good wvill. You havc treated him as though he were no ser- vant but a prince." Charlie and Lucy told him of the Christmas- tree, and the plays under the misletoe. Their inotner ordered misletoe from Florida every year, for Christmas decorations, from a planta- tion whhich their father owned near Tampa, a plantation of grape-fruit groves. She had a mist]e-th: ush among her caged birds, that always sang very sweetly when she hung it under the newly-gathered waxy misletoe. From -hat time on, the little Chinaman dreamed of Christmas. One day he said to Mr-3. Van Buren, "You will surely let Sky- High come up-stairs on the night of the Christ- mas-tree " 11 Yes, yes, you shall come up-stairs with us, and you shall hear the Christmas thrush sing under the misletoe." Sky-Higih's heart fluttered, not at what he hoped tc see, but at the thought of the presents that he hoped to make. Shortly before Christmas Mrs. Van Buren went to her little servant to pay him his wages, for he had accepted no payment as yet. "; Keep it all for me," he said, as usual; ,I will ask for it when I need it." Mrs. Van Buren was very much surprised. "Young people in this country," said she, " think they need a little money before Christmas day to buy presents." 58 SKY-HIGH'S FIREWORKS. "Sky-High needs none. He will make you presents on the Christ Child day. He has them now in his chest." Mrs. Van Buren could not but -wonder what the presents would be. Everything that Sky- High did had a surprise in it. All things that came out of the chest were of an astonishing character. " And I xvill serve you the tea that you have not yet t:lsted," added the little servant. " On the Christ Child night I will make in the cup the tea that came from the eyelashes of the Dharma. And afterwards I will tell you the story of the Dharma." Again, a day or two before the holiday of Good Will, Sky-High's mistress asked him to take his wages. " Keep it for me, mistress," said the boy as before. "Sky-High, he works for the good of his people." Mrs. Van Buren stood pondering the words. What meant the little Washee-washee-wang M1 Mistress," said the boy, busy folding the glossy napkins on the ironing table, "d the mnas- ter plans to make a voyage around the world with his family." I" Yes, Sky-High," said Mrs. Van Buren, "; that the children may see the world before they begin to study about it." "And you will come to my country, mistress" "Yes; wre hope to visit at least Hong Kong and Canton, Shanghai and Pekin." 59 LI TTLE SKY-fI GlI. " You will wish to see the home of Sky-High, mistress." " Yes, we would like to see you in your own country." "When will the master go" "Next. year, probably." "Sky-High will go home next year. Will you let him go with you, mistress He will serve you on the ships, and in Chill he will make your visit pleasant. He wvill interpret for you, and show you about, and introduce you about." Mrs. Van Buren was too kind to let her as- tonishment be seen by her little serving-man. She said that possibly it might be so arranged. As she went up-stairs she heard Nora exclaim- ing to herself in the pantry. "And he says he'll inthroduce the nmisthress about, and the misthress is narely as quare I" After supper Mrs. Van Buren related to her husband the singular interview she had had with their little Chinaimnan. Sky-High's kind offers seemed to amuse him for a long time. Am But as for the little fellow's wages," said he, " don't bother. I'll step in to the consul's, and deposit them with Bradley." When Sky-High found that he was serving to amuse his mistress's household, he turned silent. He worked, asking few questions, and listened to even the children without answering them. This disturbed Charlie and Lucy. 60 SKY-HIGIP 'S FIRE WORKS. 61 " See here, Sky-High, can't you take a joke " demanded Charlie. "Sky-High no joke with the mistress. Sky- High no inake a lie! " said the patient China- man; i Sky-High, his heart is hurt." LITTLE SKY-fIGH. XII. A CHINESE SANTA CLAUS. THE day before Christmas Lucy came to her mother with a request. "Just one thing, mother!I And it isn't more presents - the Good Will tree hangs full "W Well, then, what is it, Lucy " asked Mrs. Van Buren. Little Lucy laughed. "A Chinese Santa Claus, mnother! Think what a Santa Claus Sky-High would make in his flowing robes of black, yellow, and white all spriinkled over with silver and gold ! Nearly all the gifts are Chinese, you know - all but ours for him. Just remember how he looked hlst slimmer on Sunday afternoons when the birds flew down to admire him! " Yes, the birds seemed to have felt a curi- osity about the little Chinaman when he went out into the garden with the chil(lren after Sunday luncheon; for sometimes, on that day, he used to put on g(armients so splendid thlat he did not like to show himinself above statils r on the street, and thle birck came out of ;! 62 A CHINESE SANTA CLA US. trees to take a peep at him. One of these gar. ments was a frock of silk covered with golden dragons, lotus-flowers, and gilded fringes; and with it he wore a golden butterfly with jeweled wings on his rimless cap. Even Mr. Van Buren had wondered where a servant obtained such a glittering robe ! One day he described the wardrobe of his house-boy to the consul. " Is everything all right " he asked. The conIsul laughed. "You don't know China! " he said. " Probably the old Manchu- rian mandarin had a fancy for decking out the boy I" Nora's eyes used to double in size when she saw him in silk and gold and silver, with the jeweled butterfly waving above his narrow black eyes. "Theres not the loikes on this planet," she woull say. - I would think he'd stepped off a star and landed here ! Queen Victory never looked the aqual of that little hathen varmit l " It was aoree(d that Skv-flihli should be made the Santa Claus of the Christmas party. He prom e(d to appear in his dragon robe, though lie saiel it was never worn ili public excepting all vice-roval occasions. "Sky-High, did you ever see a vice-royal occasion " asked Lucy, wonderiing what the double word ncant. a Yes, any little Lady of the Lotus," alnswercd the house-boy. " nd once I was present on a 63 LITTLE SKY-H1IGH1. royal occasion in Pekin. The Son of Heaven appeared that day in all his splendor." " You waited on your mandarin " asked Lucy. "1 i attended upon my mandarin - yes" Little Sky-High burst forth into the forbidden "flowery language." "s It was in the Purple City. Barbarians cannot understand; but in our court, in the Inner City, in the ancient Purple City, we associate with the Sun and Moon and the Dragon that swallows the Sun. The Sa red Lotus is our flower, and at the feast the heavens are made to shine on us ! " Lucy's face shone too, just to hear the words of the mysterious little " Washee-washee-wang," - in fact she had been radiant ever since she had first thought of making a Santa Claus of him. She wondered how he would look to her mother's friends on Christ Child night, wearing his "1 celestial " robes. The children were to have their own tree on Christmas eve, at the church among the ever- greens and music, and Sky-High was to accom- pany them in his black clothes and white ruffles. The Christmas night tree was always at home, for Mrs. Van Buren and her friends. Little Lucy was to lead the Christmas night jollities, and only the Santa Claus himself knew what would follow the wave of the long Chi- nese wand which she carried. The guests gathered early - half a dozen ladies - for it was to be a story-telling evening. 64 A CHIINESE SAXTA CLAUS. 6 Promptly at the moment when Lucy waved for him, little Sky-High came into the parlors fanning slowly with his great ceremonial fan, as if entering some languid pagoda garden of his native land. Every guest leaned forward to gaze at the gorgeous stranger. His silk stockings were white, over black shoes with silver buckles and whitened soles. His robe sparkled gaily with the dragon and lotus, and the butterfly on his gold-banded cap shook its jeweled wings with every step. He wore a sash of gems which the family had not seen be- fore.' He moved before the company like a figure of sunshine. Little Lucy had come to his side. " I have the great felicity," she began -she had got the fine word from. Sky-High -" to have a celestial Santa Claus, a wang from China, to serve you the gifts from the Good Will tree." The glittering wang bowed to the four cor- ners of the earth, then to all, turning round and round in dazzling circles. No, Mrs. Van Buren's Christmas guests had never seen a Santa Claus like this one ! All eyes were wide with pleased wonder. ",Isn't he perfectly splendid " whispered Lucy, tripping over to the wife of the rector. ", He is indeed, dear," said the rector's wife; and added low, to her neighbor, "' Is it not their wonderful house-boy " No one was certain. And no one, excepting Lucy and the Santa Claus, knew what were the 65 LITTLE SKY-F1IGH. gift3 on the Good Will tree. Lucy and little Sky-High had bought them in Boston. All those for the guests were blue-and-white manda- rin plates, wrapped in squares of gay silk crape, and tied with a profusion of soft gold cord. As the packages were alike, the celestial Santa Claus could present them without mistakes. But there were some packages in red-and-gold crape still on the tree, not large ones - not magic plates, certainly. Tble Santa Claus unwrapped the three which he next took from the green branches. The preserts were amulets. When unfolded they revealed bells and gems; the bells looked like gold; the gems like pure pearls, opals, and crystals. One was a necklace for Mrs. Van Buren; one a bracelet for Lucy; and the other a charm for Charles. The amulets awakened a great surprise. The little golden bells burned with the red lusters of rublies, and tinkled as though they were dream-bells. T ihev keep evil spirits away," said Sky- High, with sparkling eyes. ",They ring warn- ings." Mrs. Van Buren rose and put one of tbh other packages in little Sky-High's hand. TIle wrappings revealed a four-fold case of gold, which some curious mechanism permitted to open into leaves, and stand as a tablet, or half- closed. Each leaf held a small and perfect por- trait --the four were of the little servinig-man's 66 A CHINESE SANTA CLA US. 67 mistress and her children and the master; and it is impossible to describe the blissful expres- sion in Sky-High's eyes when he first looked upon the familiar faces. And there was still another package. That one the little Chinaman had put on the Good Will tree for Nora. It was an English gold sovereign in a case tied with red ribbon. ";And may the Angel of Mercy spread her white wings over that hathen boy's pigtail! " said Nora, as she was given the gift. "I wish I had something for him. I will give him kind words now, and sure! " LITTLE zSKY-UllG'!. XIII. A LEGEND OF TEA. AT a wave of little Lucy's wand the shining, golden Santa Claus floated away as he came. When he next appeared-and it seemed but a mcment or two after -he bore a salver that was gorgeous to see. Upon it, sending up clouds of steam, was a wonderfully beautiful pitcher that his mistress never before had seen, encircled by some exquisite small black cups, inlaid and encrusted heavily with gold, each with a perforated cover. " Sky-High presents to his mistress, the Moon Lady of the Christ Child Night," the little fel- low said in his best flowery English, "rand to her friends, the Stars of the Midnight, the man- darin tea in the mandarin cups of his country- they wvill please to be accepted from the Santa Claus." From the pitcher he poured the bubbling water in the mandarin cups, when ali exquisite fragrance filled the rooms, as of apple-blossoms. While the guests sipped the priceless tea from the priceless cups, at the request of his mistress the little Chinaman related a Buddhist legend. 68 A LEGEND OF TEA. TILE DHIAIAMArS EYELASHES. More than four hundred and a thousand years agro, 0 Madame my Mistress, the great Dharma came to China to teach the people. Ile ate only fruits, and lhe slelpt lbut little; lhe gave his time almost entirely to miieditation. '1'lie I)Dhara ate less and less, and slelt less and less, and all thiings were b)eginngi to appear e1ar to) him within, when. a drowsiness came over Min, and it increased (lay by( day. O(ie day his eyelashes becamie too heavy for his eyes; they hung like little weights on his eyes, and he fell asleep. Ile awoke after a lonr, time. The inner liglht had gone. lIe felt that he had committeed a great sin. - It is you, mny little ey-elaslhes," lhe said, - that weighed me (down, and. I wvill punish you. I will cut you off." Then the great Dharmia cut off the little black eye- lashes, aand strewed them uipon the ground. As he dlid so lhe had the inward lighlt again. lie meditated. As lie did so the little eyelashes on the ground turned into wee shrubs, and be(ran to grow. They were tea. The l)harma ate the teat. The shrub filled his heart with joy and gladness. So tea came into the world. Drink it - it will fill your heart with joy and gladness. The Rector's wife gave the Santa Claus a seat by her side that he might share with the company the pleasure of the Good Will story his mistress was next to relate; and little Lucy, too, and Charlie came and sat near-by, for they loved their mother's stories, and could always understand them. 69 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. XIV. MRS. VAN BUREN'S CHRISTMAS TALE. THE most beautiful story Mrsl Van Buren had found in her search during the year for a tale to tell her friends around the Good Will tree was one in the German tongue. She had translated it during the summer, and now called it by a title of her own as she told it. RED MANTLE, TIHE HOUSE SPIRIT. There was a German pedler who traveled from city to city b)V the name of Berthold. lie grew in wealth, and :4t ast carried portmaiteaus of jewels of great value. Ile usually traveled only in the daytime, and so as to arrive early in the evening at the town inns betvween the Hartz Mountains and the Rhine. But on one journey he was b)elated. lie found him- self in an unknown way in a great fir forest, where the dark pines shut out the lamps of the stars. Ile 1)egan to fear, for the forests were reputed to be infested with robbers, when suddenly a peculiar light appeared. It was a fire that fumed with a steady fIlame; he perceived it was a charcoal pit. The oiliers are honest people, he reasoned; and with a lfght step lie approached the pit. Near-lv was a long house, two stories high, and the lower windows were bright with the candles and fire within. 70 AIRS. VAN BUREN'S CHRISTMIAS TALE. 71 He approached the house, and knocked upon the door. The door was opened cautiously by a middle-aged woman, with a bent form and beautiful, but troubled face. " What would thee have, stran(rer" " Food and lodging, madam."1 "That can never be -not here, not here. It dis- tresses me to say it, but it would not be for your com- fort to tarry here." " But I am belated, and have lost my way. I must "onie in." I will call mny husband. Herman, come here! " She stepped aside, when an elderly man appeared, holdinr a light shaded by his hand, and followed by a group of children. "I I am a belated traveler," said he to Herman, the collier, " and I have lost my way. I see that you are an honest man, and I may tell you that I have merehan- dise of value, and so it is not safe for me to go on. Give nie a shelter and a mneal, and I will pay for all." It is loath I am to turn away a stranger, but this is no place for a traveler. The house is haunted, yet it will not be so always, I hope; but it is so nocw." "But, good man, I am not afraid." "You do not know, stran-er." "But I can sleep where you can, and where this good womain can live with her innocent children." " You don't know," said the woman. - You don't know." " But I must rest here. There may be thieves with- out, wolves. There cannot be worse things within. I must comne in, and I will." Berthold forced his way into the house, and sat down near the fire, layving his portmanteau near him. The familv wvere silent, and looked distressed. But the woman set before him a imneal. Let us sing," said the collier at last. Ile turned to a table where were musical glasses, 72 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. and began to play. How sweet and delicate, like an angel's stuain, the music was! Then he began to sing with his family: "Now the woods are all sleeping, 0 guard us, we pray! " The merchant thoufght that he had never listened to anything so beautiful. After tie old German song, Herman said: "Let us prav ---will Vou kneel with us, traveler You may have need of our prayers, for you have come in to uw at your peril." Much astonished at these words, the merchant knelt down beside his portmanteau. The collier began to pray, when there was a light sound at tle storm-door, ani a draft of wind stirred the ashes. The merchant turned his face towards the door. A strange sight met his gaze, such as he had never seen before. A little dwarf stood there with eyes like coal and with a red mantle. He moved the door to and fro. His eyes gleamed. He looked like a burning image. At last, swaying the door, he gave the mer. chant an evil glance that seemed to burn out his very soul, and was gone. The prayer ended, and the family rose from their knees. - I will now show you to your chamber," said the collier; - but before we go up, listen to me. If you do not think one evil thought or speak one evil word during the night, no harm will befall you. Promise me now that you will not think one evil thought or speak one evil word, whatever may befall you." "I promise you, good people, that I will try not to think one evil thought or to speak one evil word, what- soever may befall me." "Anti you must not ,give way to anger; if you do, anger is fire, and he wvin grow!" said the collier. T"he cofler led the merchant up the stairs to his room and left him there, saying, " Remember." MRS. VAN BURENN'S CHIRISTMAS TALE. 73 The moon shone into the room. The Swiss cuckoo clock struck ten-eleven-twelve. The merchant could not sleep. He was haunted by the fiery eves that he had seen at the storm-door. Suddenly the door of his own chamber opened, and a red light filled the roomn. The same dwarf with the red mantle had entered the chamber and was approach- ing the bed. The merchant had laid his portmanteau of jewels upon the foot of the bed, with the straps hanging over the bedside. He put his foot down under the clothes so as to touch the case. The light grew briglhter, and advanced nearer. Now the dwarf stood full in view, his eyes flashing, and his feet moving as eautiouslv, his head now and then turned aside, and his hands lifting the red mantle. lie canie to the foot of the bed, and stood there for a time. The merchant grew impatient, and felt his anger rising. The dwarf turned away his flaming eyes from him and began to handle the straps of the portmanteau of jewels. The merchant's anger at the annoyance grew, and became uncontrollable. "Avaunt! " cried he with terrible oath, leaping from the bed. The dwarf stood before him and began to grow. He shot up at last into a flame, and stretched out his arms. He was a giant. Help! help! " cried the merchant. There was a sound in the rooms below. The red giant reeled through the door and down the stairs and out into the night. The collier came running up the stairs. "What, what," he demanded, " have you been doing to our House Spirit " " To your I louse Spirit P" "eYes, he has just gone out; lie is a giant again!" The good wife was following her husband, and wailing. 74 LITTLE SKY-HIGH. Now we will have to live him down again; oh, woe, woe; this is an evil night; we will have to live him down again." " Stranger," said the collier, " these things may seem strange to you, but when we came here our lives were haunted by the red giant that has gone out into the wood. We knew not what to do, but we sent for the old pastor, and he said: 'Good forester, vou can live hinm down. Think only rood thoughlts, speak only good words, do only good deeds, and he will become smaller and smaller, less and less. Harbor no evil- minded Person in your house You may one day live hirt out of sight, and change him into an angel.' We had almost lived him down! " But what was he P " asked the merchant. " He was our Visible Temptation." I-a the morning the merchant hurried away. Ten years passed. 'lThe morehant (c hnced to travel through the same forest again. Night was coming on, and he recalled the collier's house. He went to it again, lie knocked and an old man met him at the door. " Thou art welcome," said the old man. " We are not forgetful to entertain strangers. What wouldst thou " " Supper and lodging," said the merchant. - They shall be yours. We offer hospitality to all." H3 was Herman, the collier. I-le did not recognize the merchant. The old woman - for she was now gray - set before him an ample supper. The children had grown to be young men and women. The (cuekoo clock struck the hour of nine. The (ollier altered the musical -lasses. -Will vou join with us in singing" asked he of the travcler. The family sang as before the old Germaa hymn _N;,w the woodi are all sleeping. Guard us we pray." MRS. VAN BUREN'S CHRISTMAS TALE. 75 " Let us Pray now," said the collier. They knelt; the merchant by his portmanteau as before. He watched the storm-door. It did not open. But lie became conscious of lioht overhead. He looked up. A star was forminor there. Then a face of light on whose forehead gleamed the star. Then wings of pure light were outstretched above the family. "Amen," said the collier. The light over himi vanished. The collier's famnilv had lived down the demon, an(l cllamgedl him into an angel. The Christmastide passed, but for days after- ward the story of the forest family that lived down all the evil in them and turned it into an angel, haunted the mind of little Sky-High. " I will tell that story, mistress," he said one day, "1 at the Feasts in my Country of the Crystal Sea." " And to whom will you tell it, Sky-High " asked airs. Van Buren. ", The Mandarin of the Ciystal Sea is not deaf, mistress. Sky-High will tell it to him." 76LITTLE SKY-fIGIh. XV. IN THE HOUSE-BOY'S CARE. Lucy and Charles were full of joy when it was fully decided that they were to be taken on a voyage around the world. They spent whole evenings with Sky-High, tracing the route on the maps and globes. They would go by the way of San Francisco or Vancouver, and thence to Canton. They were to visit Sky-High's land firs,, of all. " They're all gone mad sureI" said Nora; " and that bov'll never send 'em back! " Mr. Van Buren wished to learn something of the Chinese language as spoken, and was willing to study an hour every evening with the house- boy, and Lucy and Charles picked up the funny choking phrases as fast as their father. Mr. Van Buren said that Manchuria, the land of the conquering Tartars, was likely to play a notable part in the history of the future in con- nection with the great Siberian railway; and the whole family began to take an interest in the historv and condition of that vast province on the Anieer, where little Sky-High had lived. 76 IN THE H1OUSE-B0Y'S CARE. Mrs. Van Buren read aloud to them all the story of Kubla Khan and of Tamerlane, and of Marco Polo, the great traveler, and about the Mongols, the Buddhist missionaries, the Great Wall, the long periods of peace and temple build- ing. They studied the maxims of Confucius and the accounts of modern missionaries. For Charles and Lucy to hear these stories of the country that had given the world fire-crack- ers and silk, and was, moreover, the land of their dear little Sky-High, was like listening to the " Arabian Nights." The winter passed away quickly, delightful with their preparations for the great journey. "o You said that you had lived with the man- darin of MIanchuria, I think," remarked Mr. Van Buren to Sky-High one evening. "s With a mandarin in Manchuria, master," corrected Sky-High. " There are many man- darins in Manchuria. Manchuria is a large country." ";Are there more people than in Boston" asked Charlie. ", I do not know how many there are in Boston - there are fifteen million in the prov- ince of Manchuria." I)id the mandarin live in great, wonderful, gorgeous splendor " asked Lucy. Sky-High's eyes opened with a gleam. " His gifts are gold," he said. i His dragons have teeth of gold. The monoliths in his garden are one thousand, it may be two thousand years old 77 LITTLE SKiTY-11TI. At the Feast of Lanterns he covers the sky over his palace with fire. You should see his gardens and the gables of his houses! It takes some minutes to speak his whole name." s" I wish I could look upon a man like that!" said Charlie. -LI hope we shall see that man- darin when we go to China." "' That will be easy," said Sky-High. The family sailed away from the Pacific coast in the spring. Mr. and Mrs. Van lluren really felt very glad to have such an intelligent ser- vant as Sky-High for their visit to the Chinese provinces, even though they were to leave him behind at his home. When they arrived at hong Kong there was a surprise. Some officials ait the port appeared to recognize Sky-High, and brought to him an im- portant-looking mail which he received with a sudden dignity. He also was paid attentions from notable Chinese people, such as servants would not seem likely to meet. Mr. Van Buren finally explained it to himself. 1He carried letters to many consuls and comnmer- .ial houses. Sky-High was noticed because he wa.s in his service. ", In such countries," said Mlr. Van Buren, "1 customs are different from ours." Certain high Chinamen in the hongs - the trade-houses - bowed low in a most respectful way to Sky-High, their manner very noticeable. Whenever Lucy and Charles accompanied him 78 I-NI THE HOUSE-BOY'S CARHE. they were offered Chinese sweetmeats or novel toys of ivory and jade. " The people are very kind and polite to you," said Mr. Van Buren to Sky-High, one day. "1 You are fortunate to come back in our service. Our family has traded with China for three generations; I suppose we are known nearly everywhere." "s I am fortunate, master," said the little Chinaman. They prepared to go on to Canton. Sky-High arranged the journey, and explained the details to Mr. Van Buren. He had an air of taking the family under his protection, and seemed to be wholly familiar with the way along the boat- lined waters. "XWe are to stop just before we reach the city, ' he said to Mr. Van Buren, " to meet a mandarin of Manichluria of the Crystal Sea. He is visiting at the summer palace of a grand mandarin of Canton. A barge will come out to meet us. There will be fireworks. I have arranged it all. Besides these two there will be also a mandarin from the Yellow River." M1 I Meet us! I have arranged it all!' What does our little house-boy mean " thought Mr. Van Biuren. He called Sky-High, and asked him to explain his strange words. "I have arranged it all," said Sky-High sim- ply. "1 A barge will meet you, and take you to this summer palace. There will be fireworks for the sake of Charles and Lucy; the heavens LITTLE SKY-HITGIL. will blaze. The mandarins have heard of your family. They wish to receive you and to please the children of the mandarin of Boston." Lucy danced at these hospitable words. She had treated little Sky-High like a wang. She had dreamed that he was a wang. Perhaps - well, little Lucy found it thrilling to feel that almost anything splendid might happen! But Mr. Van Buren had no idea that his fancily had become of importance to the gran- dees of China, although it was true that his father and grandfather had traded in the coun- try and had extensive correspondence with the hongs. " Sky-High," said he, "you must be simply amusing yourself A grand mandarin would not order fireworks for Charles and Lucy. What mandarin is he " " Of the Crystal province. He has heard of you; he wishes to honor you as a noble American and the friend of his people." Mr. Van Buren wondered if his wife's little house-boy had gone insane. le spoke with im- patience. "Let us not be fooling ourselves with this business any longer! " " I have never deceived you, master," said the little serving-man. " I am as the great George Washington in his youth. The mandarin of the province of the Crystal Sea holds you in high esteem, and he wishes to entertain the children." Mr. Van Buren inquired at the American consular office concerning this "1 Mandarin of the province of the Crystal Sea." The consul 80 IN THE HOUSE-BOY'S CARE. 81 informed him, with a smile, that the mandarin in question was especially rich and powerful, that lie took an interest in American manners and customs, and often entertained Americans who had been kind to his people in America as well as merchants who had dealt honorably \vith the Chinese. Still, Mr. Van Buren could not understand how a great and high-born mandarin should be in communication with his servant. Here little Lucy spoke up. " Papa, I know it is all so! Our Sky-High has never told a lie. Even General George Washington would have liked him." Z2 LITTLE SKY-1IJGLE. XVI IN THE LITTLE WANG'S LAND. THE family set out for Canton under the direction of their little servant, whose heart seemed full of anticipation aiid delight. The boat stopped when some distance still fromn the city. A gilded barge with a dragon's head and silken curtains lhad come to meet them. Not far away they saw a landing, with boats and people. " You are to wait for me here," said little Sky-High, as he went aboard the barge. lo I will return soon." Gongs sounded, banners waved, as the gilded boat made its way through the river craft. Mr. Van Buren could see a row of sedan chairs standing upon the landing, gorgeous in gilded frames and silk curtains, with bearers and ser- vants in rich costumes. Presently, among these people they saw their little Sky-Iligh approach a tall man, who seemed to be a master of cere- monies, when the gongs were again beaten. "Well, this is growing somi-ewhat remark- able !" said Mr. Van Buren. , Yes, even if the bty is returning from America with Anieri- 8 _) IN TIlE Li TTLE WANG 'S LAND. cans whose name is noted in the commerce of the country! " Sky-High returned; the family went aboard the cushioned boat, and at the landing were assisted into the sedans, and carried up the water-steps into a high garden, with pavilions, and then on to other gardens away from the river. Golden gables shone above the trees. The hedges were full of blooms and bees, and lovely birds went flashing by. The trees were hung with red lanterns that seemed as light as air; and there were dragon kites in the sky. It was like an ethereal paradise, even to the now silent Boston merchant. A vista opened, showing a house where guards in brilliant Chinese uniforms stood at the door. Then again gongs sounded. Three mandarins in robes of silk, their but- tons of rank glittering in their caps, caine down the wide pathway, as though to meet the visi- tors, before whose chairs little Sky-High walked. One of them, a stately man, nearly seven feet high, suddenly spread out his arms; whereupon Sky-High rushed forward, prostrated himself, and was almost wrapped from sight, as he was lifted in the immense sleeves of silk and gold. Mr. Van Buren was now truly filled with amazement. Little Sky-High's mistress was terrified. The children didn't know exactly what to think, sitting together in their sedan, only that they were glad to see the tall mandarin enfold their own dear Sky-High in his flowing 83 LITTLE SKY-IIIGIL. silk robes! Little Lucy was half crying. ,I bebleve, I do believe, that he was a wang all the time! " she at last said to Charlie. 1 he palace was wonderful. Strange lamps hung over them as they passed in. There were beautiful couches and chairs, with gilded arms and silken cushions. The walls were set with carvings and perforated work. Here hung bars of musical bells; there stood great jars and vase s; everywhere were fantastic furnishings of silks and costly metals. Feathery green bam- boos grew in dragon pots. In the corners stood grotesque figures in armor. The lamps in their golden lattices burst into soft flame. " Unaccountable!" said Mr. Van Buren to himself. "1 Sky-High would hardly be better welcomed were he the wang that Lucy dreamed him to be! " "Mandarin at Boston," said the tall China- man, with an obeisance the like of which was never made in western lands, "1 welcome to our country; you have been good, indeed, to this boy-- the Light of my Eyes, the Heart of my heart! Madam of this illustrious mandarin, never will I forget you, nor "-turning to the two half-frightened children - nor you, my little Prince and Princess of the Golden Dome beyond the seas! All shall always be well for you all in our country! " The tall Chinaman spoke in "1 flowery En- glisii," easily; but the American fainily knew 84 IN THE LITTLE WA 2G'S LAND. not what to say, nor how to answer, and they bowed in silence and Lucy said to herself, "The little wang knew what to do in my country, but I do not know what to do in his!" A little later Mrs. Van Buren, beckoning him to her side as though she were in her own house, said to Sky-High, in lowered tones, ", Is this tall mandarin the mandarin in Manchuria that was your master before you came to America " Little Sky-High bowed, with a sudden blink of his almond eyes. " Mistress," said he, "1 he was the mandarin who sent me to America, in care of the consul, that I might know of the American home-life. He wishes me to learn everything that will be of good to me and my country when I am a man "- ", Is he any kinsman of yours" interrupted his mistress. "Yes, my noble madam." "Pray, what relation may he be to you " Mrs. Van Buren asked, a strange sensation rushing over her. Lucy and Charles stood near, drinking in every word. "' The prince is my father, mistress," answered little Sky-High. The two children, standing in the shelter of a carven screen, clapped their hands in the Ameri- can fashion. Lucy cried out, though softly, " Oh, Sky-High, we are so glad, so glad! You are a wang! You were a wang all the time ! " 86 LI8ITTLE SKY-hIIGh. "Even as you treated me, always, my little Lady of the Lotus! " answered Sky-High, bow- ing before the children and their mother in the manner of his gorgeous father. That night there was a feast in the summer palace of the Canton mandarin in honor of the return of the little prince, and the visit of his great American friend, the mandarin of Boston. Over the tea of Dharma the mandarins related Chinese tales for the entertainment of the illus- trious American. The little prince told the story of the German collier family who changed a haunting evil into a guardian angel. And the prince, his father, said, i That must be a true tale, for it is as it would be with men and Spirits in China. The wisdom of Buddlha is in the story." The next day, in the pavilion by the lake of the rosy nelumbiums, where she sat with her mother, and the wonderful Chinese ladies and ohildren, little Lucy said to Sky-High. 1I al- ways treated you like a wang, didn't I " "And we will treat you here as a viceroy woulH treat another viceroy's little girl," said Sky-High - whose real name was Ching - the Prince Ching. 86