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for a few days. When that occurred, Dan and Joshua slept together, and would tell stories to each other long after the candle had been blown out-stories of which Joshua was almost always the hero. Joshua had one great difficulty to overcome when he first introduced the birds into his house; that difficulty was the yellow-haired cat, of which mention has already been made. With the usual amiability of her species, the domestic tigress, directly she set eyes upon the birds, determined to make a meal of them, and it required all Joshua's vigilance to prevent the slaughter of the innocents. But he was patient, and firm, and kind, and he so conquered the tigerish propensities of the cat towards the birds, that in a few weeks she began to tolerate them, and in a few weeks more to play with them and to allow them to play with her, and gradually grew so cordial with them that it might have been supposed she had kittened them by mistake.




If every farthing of the allowance of pocket-money which Joshua and Dan received from their respective parents had been carefully saved up, it would not have amounted to a very large sum in the course of the year. Insignificant, however, as was the allowance, it sufficed for their small wants, and was made to yield good interest in the way of social enjoyment. The lads did not keep separate accounts. What was Joshua's was Dan's, and what was Dan's was Joshua's. As there were no secret clasps in their minds concealing something which the other was not to share and enjoy, so there was no secret clasp in their money - box which debarred either from spending that which, strictly speaking, belonged to his friend. Dan was the treasurer; the treasury was the money-box which was to have been Golden Cloud's coffin. Dan’s allowance was twopence a week, which was often in arrears in consequence of his father being too fond of publichouses ; Joshua's allowance was fourpence a week, which he received very regularly. But each of their allowances was supplemented by contributions from independent sources. The motives which prompted these contributions were of a very different nature; as the following will explain :

* Something more for the money - box, Dan,' said Joshua, producing a fourpenny-piece, and dropping it into the box.

From the same party, Jo ?' asked Dan.

* From the same jolly old party, Dan. From the Old Sailor.'

• Is he nice ?

• The Old Sailor? You should see him, that's all.'

• You have been down to the waterside again, then ?'

· Yes.—Tuck-tuck-joey! This latter to the linnet, who came out to have a peep at Joshua, and who, directly it heard the greeting, responded with the sweetest peal of music that mortal ever listened to. When the linnet had finished its


song, the obtrusive and greedy blackbird, determined not to be outdone, and quite ignoring the fact that it had had a very good supper, ordered Polly to put the kettle on, in its most piercing notes..

• Did you go on the river, Jo ?' asked Dan.

* Yes. In a boat. Rowing. The Old Sailor says I am getting along famously.'

I should like to see the Old Sailor.'

'I wish you could; but he is such a strange old fellow! He doesn't care for the land. When I tell mother what I am making up my mind to be-what I shall have made up my mind then to be I will coax him to come to our house. I want him to talk to mother about the sea, for she is sure to cry and fret, and although the Old Sailor doesn't think that women are as good as men, he thinks mothers are better.'

Dan laughed a pleasant little laugh.
• That is queer,' he said.

• He knows all about you, and he asks me every day, “How is Dan ?” ?

'I am glad of that very glad.'

So am I. I have told him all about the birds, and how they love you. You would never guess what he said to-day about you.'

*Something very bad, I daresay,' said Dan,


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knowing very well, all the time, that it was something good, or Joshua would not tell him.

Something very bad. He said, “He must be a fine little chap”—meaning you, Dan—"or the birds wouldn't love him.”'

'Has he been all over the world, Jo ?'

* All over the world; and 0, Dan, he has seen such places !

'I tell you what we will do,' said Dan. To

morrow you shall buy a couple of young bull-
finches, and you shall find out some tune the Old
Sailor is fond of, and I will teach the bullfinches
to whistle it. Then you shall give the birds to
the Old Sailor, and say they are a present from
me and you.'

• That will be prime! He will be so pleased !
Have you ever heard him sing, Jo ?'

• Yes,' answered Joshua, laughing; 'I have heard him sing,


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