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BUDGE'S VERSION OF THE FLOOD.-J. HABBERTON.
A CHAPTER FROM “HELEN'S BABIES." That afternoon I devoted to making a bouquet for Miss Mayton, and a most delightful occupation I found it. It was no iorist's bouquet, composed of only a few kinds of flowers, wired upon sticks, and arranged according to geometric pattern. I used many a rare flower, too shy of bloom to recommend itself to florists; I combined tints almost as numerous as the flowers were, and perfumes to which city bouquets are utter strangers.
At length it was finished, but my delight suddenly became clouded by the dreadful thought,“ What will people say ?” Ah! I had it. I had seen in one of the library-drawers a small pasteboard box, shaped like a bandbox; doubtless thai would hold it. J found the box; it was of just the size I needed. I dropped my card into the bottom-no danger of a lady not finding the card accompanying a gift of flowers-neatly fitted the bouquet in the center of the box, and went in search of Mike. He winked cheeringly as I explained the nature of his errand, and he whispered:
“I'll do it as clane as a whistle, yer honor. Mistress Clarkson's cook an mesilf understhand each other, an' I'm used to goin' up the back way. Niver a man can see but the angels, an' they won't tell.”
“Very well, Mike; here's a dollar for you; you'll find the box on the hat-rack, in the hall."
Toddie disappeared somewhere, after supper, and came back very disconsolate.
“Can't find my dolly's k’adle,” he whined.
“Never mind, old pet,” said I, soothingly. “Uncle will ride you on his foot.”
“But I want my dolly's k'adle," said he, piteously rolling out his lower lip.
"Don't you want me to tell you a story ?”
For a moment Toddie's face indicated a terrible internal conflict between old Adam and mother Eve; but curiosity finally overpowered natural depravity, and Toddie murmured:
* 'Bout Nawndeark.”
“Well,” said I, hastily refreshing my memory by picking up the Bible—for Helen, like most people, is pretty sure to forget to pack her Bible when she runs away from home for a few days—“well, once it rained forty days and nights, and everybody was drowned from the face of the earth excepting Noah, a righteous man, who was saved with all his family, in an ark which the Lord commanded him to build.”
“ Uncle Harry,” said Budge, after contemplating me with open eyes and mouth for at least two minutes after I had finished, “ do you think that's Noah ?”
“Certainly, Budge; here's the whole story in the Bible."
"Well, I don't think it's Noah one single bit,” said he, with increasing emphasis.
" I'm beginning to think we read different Bibles, Budge; but let's hear your version.”
“Huh?” “Tell me about Noah, if you know so much about him.”
“I will, if you want me to. Once the Lord felt so uncomfortable cos folks was bad that he was sorry he ever made anybody, or any world or anything. But Noah wasn't bad; the Lord liked him first-rate, so he told Noah to build a big ark, and then the Lord would make it rain so everybody should be drownded but Noah an' his little boys an’ girls, an' doggies an’ pussies an' mamma-cows an’ little-boy-cows an’ little-girl-cows an’hosses an' everything; they'd go in the ark an' wouldn't get wetted a bit when it rained. An' Noah took lots of things to eat in the ark-cookies an' milk an' oatmeal an' strawberries an' porgies an'-oh, yes, plumpuddings an' pumpkin-pies. But Noah didn't want everybody to get drownded, so he talked to folks an' said, “It's goin' to rain awful pretty soon; you'd better be good, an' then the Lord'll let you come into my ark.' An' they jus' said, “Oh! if it rains we'll go in the house till it stops;' an' other folks said, “We ain't afraid of rain; we've got an umbrella' An' some more said they wasn't goin' to be afraid of just a rain. But it did rain though, an' folks went in their houses, an' the water came in, an' they went upstairs, an' the water came up there, an' they got on the tops of the houses, an' up in big trees, an' up in mountains, an' the water went after 'em everywhere an' drownded everybody, only just except Noah an' the people in the ark. An' it rained forty days an' nights, an' then it stopped, an' Noah got out of the ark, an' he an' his little boys an' girls went wherever they wanted to, an' everything in the world was all theirs; there wasn't anybody to tell 'em to go home, nor no kindergarten schools to go to, nor no bad boys to fight 'em, nor nothin’. Now tell us 'nother story.”
"An'I want my dolly's k’adle. Ocken Hawwy, I wants my dolly's k'adle, tause my dolly's in it, an' I wan to shee her, interrupted Toddie.
Just then came a knock at the door. “Come in !" ) shouted.
In stepped Mike, with an air of the greatest secrecy. handed me a letter and the identical box in which I had sent the flowers to Miss Mayton. What could it mean? I hastily opened the envelope, and at the same time Toddie sbrieked:
“Oh, darsh my dolly's k’adle—dare tizh !” snatched and opened the box, and displayed-his doll! My heart sickened, and did not regain its strength during the perusal of the following note:
“Miss Mayton herewith returns to Mr. Burton the package which just arrived, with his card. She recognizes the contents as a portion of the apparent property of one of Mr. Burton's nephews, but is unable to understand why it should havo been sent to her. “JUNE 20, 1875."
"Toddie,” I roared, as my younger nephew caressed his loathsome doll, and murmured endearing words to it,“ where did you get that box ?"'.
“On the hat-wack,” replied the youth, with perfect fearlessness. “I keeps it in ze book-case djawer, an' somebody took it ’way an' put nasty ole flowers in it."
“Where are those flowers ?" I demanded.
Toddie looked up with considerable surprise, but promptly replied:
"I froed 'em away-don't want no ole flowers in my dolly's k’adle. That's ze way she wocks-see?"
THE GRATEFUL PREACHER.-John G. SAXE. A strolling preacher, “once upon a time,”
Addressed a congregation rather slim In numbers, yet his subject was sublime
('Twas “Charity"); sonorous was the hymn; Fervent the prayer; and though the house was small,
He pounded lustily the Sacred Word,
As one who meant the Gospel should be heard.
Among the pews for customary pence, But soon returns as empty as it went!
Whereat-low bowing to the audienceHe said, “My preaching is not all in vain; Thank God! I've got my beaver back again !"
AN HONEST RUM-SELLER'S ADVERTISEMENT.
A. McWight. All hail, friends and neighbors, I've opened a shop, At which I invite you, politely, to stop! I keep liquid fire to sell to you all, I therefore beseech you to give me a call! I've purchased indulgence from Court, and begin Dealing out to my neighbors rum, brandy, and gin. I expect to make paupers for you to support, And to help on the business your custom I court. I'll also make drunkards and beggars likewise, But then I am honest and need no disguise. I shall deal in foul spirits, and hope to excite Men to rob and to murder, by day and by night. I shall drive away comfort, expenses augment, ( shall stir up contention, on this I'm intent. At a very short notice and for a small sum, By the wonderful magic of brandy and rum, I will fill your asylums and poor-houses too; To your prisons and scaffolds I'll send not a few. I will sell you, kind neighbors, if you will but call, A drink that will poison and ruin you all; Make accidents frequent, diseases increase, Or those in existence more fatal at least. The goods I shall deal in will take away life, Deprive some of reason; fill the country with strife;
Make widows and orphans; of fathers make fiends ;-
SIM'S LITTLE GIRL.-MARY HARTWELL. Come out here, George Burks. Put that glass down--can't wait a minute. Business particular-concerns the Company.
I don't often meddle in other folks' business, do I? Whep