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better hustle down and extend a kindly welcome to 'em. They’ll need a guide if they come ashore.” Bert nodded, and hurried toward the landing, arriving just in time to see a canoe swing around in a quarter-circle and come alongside. In it were two of the girls who had been sitting on the piazza of Mrs. Spencer's cottage when the boys called for their first meal the day before.

“Excuse me for troubling you,” one of them said, blushing a bit. “We have lost a little Maltese kitten that we are very fond of. If you see it around anywhere, will you please catch it and return it to us? We are Mrs. Spencer's nieces, and are staying with her.” “Why—why—I think we have your cat up at the bungalow. We found it there a little while ago when we came back from our swim. Does it wear a red ribbon around its neck and a bell ?” “Oh, yes!” the girls cried together. “That must be Cjax.” “Ciax?” questioned Bert. The girls laughed at his evident surprise. “We have four kittens,” one of them explained, “and we named them Ajax, Bjax, CJax, and Djax.” “But how could you tell which was which P” Bert inquired. “I should think you would be calling Ajax Djax and Cyax Bjax.” “Oh, no They have different markings, and we can always tell them apart. It 's really funny, though, to hear people get them all mixed up when they talk about them.” “Won't you come ashore?” Bert asked, politely, suddenly remembering his duty as host. The girls looked at each other uncertainly. Then one of them said: “We 'd better go up and get Cjax, Dorothy. He may run away again if some one brings him down to us, and then, you know, we don't want to trouble any one when it 's not necessary.” Bert helped them to step up on the landing, then lifted the canoe out of the water, and placed it on the boards. The girls thanked him politely, and followed him along the path toward the bungalow. Bert was fervently hoping that the girls might not discover the manner in which CJax was delivered to the camp, but, alas! a long-drawn wail smote the air as the trio approached the bungalow, and the girls exclaimed sympathetically. A moment later, they discovered their pet in strange quarters. “That 's just the way we found it,” Bert explained, fearing that they might think the Beaver Campers guilty of cruelty to animals. “We thought it was a pet, and that some one would claim it soon. We were afraid it would run away if we let it out, so we thought it would be safer to keep it right in the crate.” Eliot appeared on the scene just then, carrying a hammer, and it was the work of but a moment to liberate the imprisoned kitten. “Poor Cjax" murmured the girl addressed as Dorothy. “I wonder who shut you up in that thing.” “Just what we 've been trying to puzzle out,” Bert assured her. Then he told the girls of the sign which had saluted their arrival, of the mysterious removal of their baggage, and of the inscription which adorned the crate. He did not add that Beaver Camp was reputed to be haunted, for he secretly hoped that this might not be the last visit of the girls, and feared that news of such sort would frighten them away from the place. The girls promised to let him know if they learned anything that might throw light on the case, and then said that they would have to hurry back in order to reach home before supper. All the boys except Ed and Charlie, who were preparing the evening meal, escorted them down


to the landing and helped them to embark. CJax did not like the looks of the water, and seemed determined to remain in Dorothy's arm. One cannot well hold a kitten and manage a paddle at the same time, however, so CJax was deposited on the bottom of the canoe, which was headed for home. He soon scrambled to his feet, clutched the side of the canoe, and looked over toward the boys, meowing vigorously. Bert waved his hand. “Good-by, CJax'" he cried. But really he was thinking less of the cat than of-of–other things. “Nice girls, those !” Jack commented. “I hope we 'll know them better before the summer 's over. I dare say they 'd make mighty good company if a fellow was well acquainted with them.” Walter nodded. “They 're not a bit stiff,” he added. “Just pleasant and polite, not silly or fresh.” “Those girls were placed in a pretty embarrassing position, when you come to think of it, coming ashore among a lot of strangers to rescue a cat. Yet they carried themselves well and did n't do anything foolish. You can see that they 're wellbred,” said Tom. All unconscious of these compliments, the girls continued on their homeward way, arriving safely at length, in time for Cjax to enjoy the evening meal in the felicitous feline fellowship of his brothers Ajax, Bjax, and Djax.

(To be continued.)



A BABY seed all dressed in brown,
Fell out of its cradle one day;

The West Wind took it with loving arms
And carried it far away.

He laid it down on a bed of leaves,
And hid it with blankets white;

And there it slept like a weary child,
Through the long, dark winter night.

It woke at last, when the springtime came,
And stretched its arms on high,

And it grew and grew through the livelong day,
Toward the sun and the clear, blue sky.

It drew its food from its Mother Earth,
And it drank the cooling shower,

Till the small, brown seed was changed at last
To a sweet, wild, wayside flower |

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(sEE PAGE 636.)



Author of “Historic Boyhoods,” “Historic Girlhoods," etc.


REAL snow came late that December, not the thin layer that sparkled on the grass, but deep drifts that almost hid the fences, and made the country about Westover House look very new and strange. Every morning, Roger woke up to find his bedroom windows covered with queer frost tracings, and, when he looked out, the trees had long icicle fingers, and their limbs shone as if they were made of glass. It was good to get into warm clothes and go down-stairs to a hot breakfast, and to stand in front of the blazing logs on the dining-room hearth. His tutor left Westover House the day before Christmas, and Roger drove over with him to the railroad station. He had a few last presents he

wanted to buy in the village, so he told John, the coachman, not to wait for him. He had on his fur coat and cap, and his fur-lined gloves, and, after he had made his purchases, he started home on foot. A few snowflakes were falling as he left the village, and the sun was a curious red-gold. With the eye of a weather-prophet, Roger predicted that a storm was coming. Then he dug his hands deep into his pockets and stepped on briskly. Soon the snow was falling faster, making a veil that hid almost everything but the road, and the sun had disappeared. “Bad weather to be abroad in, is n't it?" asked a voice at his elbow. Roger turned in surprise. Beside him strode a slender man, muffled up to his ears in a greatcoat, with a broad hat pulled far down upon his brow.

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