xt7ttd9n3j36 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7ttd9n3j36/data/mets.xml Otis, James, 1848-1912. 1910  books b92-237-31299422 English Harper, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Mr. Stubbs's brother  : a sequel to "Toby Tyler", / by James Otis [pseud.] text Mr. Stubbs's brother  : a sequel to "Toby Tyler", / by James Otis [pseud.] 1910 2002 true xt7ttd9n3j36 section xt7ttd9n3j36 


















MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER

 





































































MIR. STUTBBS'S BROTHER MISBEHAVES HIMSELF

 



MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



A Sequel



to



"TO BY



TYLER"



BY JAM ES OTIS
    AUTHOR OF
  "TIM AND TIP," ETC.

    ILLUSTRATED



HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
    NEW YORK AND LONDON

 





































          MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER

COPYRIGHT, IS92, 1910, BY HARPER & BROTHERS

   C0'YRIGHT, 1910, BY JAMES OTIS KALER

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                  I-x

 


CONTENTS



THE SCHEME.

THE BLIND HORSE   .

ABNER BOLTON

THE PONY .

OLD BEN
THE GREAT EVENT

ATTRACTIONS FOR THE LIrrLE CIRC

THE DINNER PARTY .

AIR. STUBBS'S BROTHER
THE ACCIDENT

CHANGE OF PLANS.

A REHEARSAL .

THE RESULTS OF LONG TRAINING

RAISING THE TENT    . .

STEALING DUCKS.

A LOST MONKEY .

DRIVING A MONKEY .



COLLECTING THE ANIMALS

THE SHOW BROKE UP .
ABNER'S DEATH   . .



   1'AOE

  14
    4
  3I

  40
  54
 . 66

'us 78
 9I

. 105
I 1I9

. I3I

. '43
. 156

 I70
. 183

 197
. 208

. 218

. 231

. 237



CHAPTER
    I.

    II.

    III.

    IV.

    V.

    VI.

  VII.

  VIII.

  Ix.

  IX.

  xi.
  XIi.

  XIII.


  xv.

  xvI.

xvii.
xv"'i.
xix.

  xx.

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          ILLUSTRATIONS

MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER MISBEHAVES HIMSELF
                               Frontispiece
                                    FACING
                                    PAGE
PLANNING THE CIRCUS . . . . . . . 14


MR. AND MRS. TREAT EXHIBIT PIUVATELY  . 92



TOBY RESCUES THE CROWING HEN FROM MR.
STUBBs's BROTHER.



234

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MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER

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  MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER


              CHAPTER I
              THE SCHEME
 "ItiVHY, we could start a circus jest as
        easy as a wink, Toby, 'cause you
know all about one an' all you'd have to do
would be to tell us fellers what to do, an'
we'd 'tend to the rest."
  "Yes; but you see we hain't got a tent,
or hosses, or wagons, or nothin', aa' I don't
see how you could get a circus up that
way;" and the speaker hugged his knees
as he rocked himself to and fro in a musing
way on the rather sharp point of a large
rock, on which he had seated himself in
order to hear what his companions had to
say that was so important.
  "Will you come down with me to Bob

 
2    MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



Atwood's, an' see what he says about it"
  "Yes, I'll do that if you'll come out after-
wards for a game of I-spy 'round the
meeti n'-house."
  "All right; if we can find enough of the
other fellers, I will."
  Then the boys slipped down from the
rocks, found the cows, and drove them
home as the preface to their visit to Bob
Atwood's.
  The boy who was so anxious to start a
circus was a little fellow with such a won-
derful amount of remarkably red hair that
he was seldom called anything but Reddy,
although his name was known-by his par-
ents, at least-to be WValter Grant. His
companion was Toby Tyler, a boy who, a
year before, had thought it would be a very
pleasant thing to run away from his Uncle
Daniel and the town of Guilford in order
to be with a circus, and who, in ten weeks,
was only too glad to run back home as rap-
idly as possible.

 
THE SCHEME



  During the first few months of his return,
very many brilliant offers had been made
Toby by his companions to induce him to
aid them in starting an amateur circus; but
he had refused to have anything to do with
the schemes, and for several reasons. Dur-
ing the ten weeks he had been away, he had
seen quite as much of a circus life as he
cared to see, without even such a mild dose
as would be this amateur show; and, again,
whenever he thought of the matter, the re-
membrance of the death of his monkey,
Mr. Stubbs, would come upon him so viv-
idly, and cause him so much sorrow,
that he resolutely put the matter from his
mind.
  Now, however, it had been a year since
the monkey was killed; school had closed
during the summer season; and he was
rather more disposed to listen to the re-
quests of his friends.
  On this particular night, Reddy Grant
had offered to go with him for the cows-



3

 
4    MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



an act of generosity which Toby accounted
for only on the theory that Reddy wanted
some of the strawberries which grew so
plentifully in Uncle Daniel's pasture. But
when they arrived there the strawberries
were neglected for the circus question, and
Toby then showed he was at least willing
to talk about it.
  There was no doubt that Bob Atwood
knew Reddy was going to try to induce
Toby to help start a circus, and Bob knew,
also, that Reddy and Toby would visit him,
although he appeared very much surprised
when he saw them coming up the hill to-
wards his house. He was at home, evi-
dently waiting for something, at an hour
when all the other boys were out playing;
and that, in itself, would have made Toby
suspicious if he had paid much attention to
the matter.
  Bob was perfectly willing to talk about
a circus-so willing that, almost before
Toby was aware of it, he was laying plans

 
THE SCHEME



with the others for such a show as could be
given with the material at hand.
  "You see we'd have to get a tent the first
thing," said Toby, as he seated himself on
the saw-horse as a sort of place of honor,
and proceeded to give his companions the
benefit of his experience in the circus line.
"I s'pose we could get along without a fat
woman, or a skeleton; but we'd have to
have the tent anyway, so's folks couldn't
look right in an' see the show for nothin'."
  Reddy had decided some time before how
that trifling matter could be arranged; and,
as he went industriously to work making
shavings out of a portion of a shingle, he
said:
  "I've got all that settled, Toby; an' when
you say you're willin' to go ahead an' fix
up the show, I'll be on hand with a tent
that'll make your eyes stick out over a foot."
  Bob nodded his head to show he was
convinced Reddy could do just as he had
promised; but Toby was anxious for more



5

 
6    MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



particulars, and insisted on knowing where
this very necessary portion of a circus was
coming from.
  "You see a tent is a big thing," he said
seriously; an' it would cost more money than
the fellers in this town could raise if they
should pick all the strawberries in Uncle
Dan'l's pasture."
  "Oh, I don't say as the tent Reddy's got
his eye on is a reg'lar one like a real circus
has," said Bob slowly and candidly, as he
began to draw on the side of the wood-shed
a picture of what he probably intended
should represent a horse; '"but he knows
how he can rig one up that'll be big enough,
an' look stavin'."
  'With this information Toby was obliged
to be satisfied; and with the view of learn-
ing more of the details, in case his com-
panions had arranged for them, he asked:
  "Wdhere you goin' to get the company-
the folks that ride, an' turn hand-springs,
an' all them things"

 
THE SCHEME



  "Ben Cushing can turn twice as many
hand-springs as any feller you ever saw,
an' he can walk on his hands twice round
the engine-house. I guess you couldn't find
many circuses that could beat him, an' he's
been practising in his barn all the chance
he could get for more'n a week."
  Without intending to do so, Bob had thus
let the secret out that the scheme had al-
ready been talked up before Toby was con-
sulted, and then there was no longer any
reason for concealment.
  "You see we thought we'd kinder get
things fixed," said Reddy quickly, anxious
to explain away the seeming deception he
had been guilty of, "an' we wouldn't say
anything to you till we knew whether we
could get one up or not"
  "An' we're goin' to ask three cents to
come in; an' lots of the fellers have prom-
ised to buy tickets if we'll let 'em do some
of the ridin', or else lead the hosses."
  "But how are you goin' to get any



7

 
8    MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



hosses" asked Toby, thoroughly surprised
at the way in which the scheme had already
been developed.
  "Reddy can get Jack Douglass's blind
one, an' we can train him so's he'll go
'round the ring all right; an' your Uncle
Dan'l will let you have his old white one
that's lame, if you ask him. I ain't sure
but I can get one of Chandler Merrill's
ponies," continued Bob, now so excited by
his subject that he left his picture while it
was yet a three-legged horse, and stood in
front of his friends; "an' if we could sell
tickets enough, we could hire one of Rube
Rowe's hosses for you to ride,"
  "An' Bob's goin' to be the clown, an' his
mother's goin' to make him a suit of clothes
out of one of his grandmother's curtains,"
added Reddy, as he snapped an imaginary
whip with so many unnecessary flourishes
that he tumbled over the saw-horse, thereby
mixing a large quantity of sawdust in his
brilliantly colored hair.

 
THE SCHEME



  "An' Reddy's goin' to be ring-master,"
explained Bob, as he assisted his friend to
rise, and acted the part of Good Samaritan
by trying to get the sawdust from his hair
with a curry-comb. "Joe Robinson says
he'll sell tickets, an' 'tend the door, an' hold
the hoops for you to jump through."
  "Leander Leighton's goin' to be the band.
He's got a pair of clappers; an' Mers. Doak's
goin' to show him how to play on the ac-
cordion with one finger, so's he'll know how
to make an awful lot of noise," said Reddy,
as he gave up the task of extracting the saw-
dust, and devoted his entire attention to the
scheme.
  "An' we can have some animals," said
Bob, with the air of one who adds the
crowning glory to some brilliant work.
  Toby had been surprised at the resources
of the town for a circus, of which he had not
even dreamed; and at Bob's last remark he
left his saw-horse seat as if to enable him
to hear more distinctly.



9

 
Io   MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



  "Yes," continued Bob, "we can get a good
many of some kinds. Old Mrs. Simpson has
got a three-legged cat with four kittens, an'
Ben Cushing has got a hen that crows; an'
we can take my calf for a grizzly bear, an'
Jack Havener's two lambs for white bears.
I've caught six mice, an' I'll have more'n
a dozen before the show comes off; an'
Reddy's goin' to bring his cat that ain't got
any tail. Leander Leighton's goin' to bring
four of his rabbits an' make believe they're
wolves; an' Joe Robinson's goin' to catch
all the squirrels he can-we'll have the
largest for foxes, an' the smallest for hyenas;
an' Joe'll keep howlin' while he's tendin'
the door, so's to make 'em sound right."
  "Bob's sister's goin' to show him how to
sing a couple of songs, an' he's goin' to write
'em out on paper so's to have a book to sell,"
added Reddy, delighted at the surprise ex-
pressed in Toby's face. "Nahum   Baker
says if we have any kind of a show he'll
bring up some lemonade an' some pies to

 
THE SCHEME



sell, an' pass 'em 'round jest as they do in
a reg'lar circus."
  This last information was indeed surpris-
ing, for, inasmuch as Nahum Baker was a
man who had an apology for a fruit-store
near the wharves, it lent an air of realism to
the plan, this having a grown man connected
with them in the enterprise.
  "But he mustn't get any of the boys to
help him, an' then treat them as Job Lord
did me," said Toby earnestly, the scheme
having grown so in the half-hour that he
began to fear it might be too much like the
circus with which he had spent ten of the
longest and most dreary weeks he had ever
known.
  "I'll look out for that," said Bob confi-
dently. "If he tries any of them games
we'll make him leave, no matter how good
a trade he's doin'."
  "Now, where we goin' to have the
show" and from the way Toby asked the
question it was easily seen that he had de-



I I

 
1 2  MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



cided to accept the position of manager
which had been so delicately offered him.
  "That's jest what we ain't fixed about,"
said Bob, as if he blamed himself severely
for not having already attended to this por-
tion of the business. "You see, if your
Uncle Dan'l would let us have it up by his
barn that would be jest the place, an' I al-
most know he'd say yes if you asked him."
  "Do you s'pose it would be big enough
You know when there's a circus in town
everybody comes from all around to see
it, an' it wouldn't do to have a place where
they couldn't all get in," and Toby spoke
as if there could be no doubt as to the
crowds that would collect to see this won-
derful show of theirs.
  "It'll have to be big enough, if we use
the tent I'm goin' to get," said Reddy de-
cidedly; "for you see that won't be so awful
large, an' it would make it look kinder
small if we put it where the other circuses
put theirs."

 
THE SCHEME



  "Well, then, I s'pose we'll have to make
that do, an' we can have two or three shows
if there are too many to come in at one
time," said Toby in a satisfied way that
matters could be arranged so easily; and
then, with a big sigh, he added, "If only
Mr. Stubbs hadn't got killed, what a show
we could have! I never saw him ride; but
I know he could have done better than any
one else that ever tried it, if he wanted to,
an' if we had him we could have a reg'lar
circus without anybody else."
  Then the boys bewailed the untimely fate
of Mr. Stubbs, until they saw that Toby
was fast getting into a mood altogether too
sad for the proper transaction of circus busi-
ness, and Bob proposed that a visit be paid
Ben Cushing, for the purpose of having
him give them a private exhibition of his
skill, in order that Toby might see some
of the talent which was to help make their
circus a glorious success.



13

 
CHAPTER II



           THE BLIND HORSE
R  EDDY had laid his plans so well that
    all the intending partners were where
they could easily be found on this evening
when Toby's consent was to be won, and
Ben Cushing was no exception. On the
hard, uneven floor of his father's barn, with
all his clothes discarded save his trousers
and shirt, he was making such heroic ef-
forts in the way of practice, that while the
boys were yet some distance from the build-
ing they could hear the thud of Ben's head
or heels as he unexpectedly came in contact
with the floor.
  Wohen the three visitors stood at the door
and looked in, Ben professed to be unaware
of their presence, and began a series of
hand-springs that might have been won-
                   I4

 




































































PLANNING THE CIRCUS

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THE BLIND HORSE



derful, if he had not miscalculated the dis-
tance, and struck the side of the barn just
as he was getting well into the work.
  Then, having lost his opportunity of daz-
zling them by showing that even when he
was alone he could turn any number of
hand-springs simply in the way of exercise,
he suddenly became aware of their pres-
ence, and greeted his friends with the anx-
iously asked question as to what Toby had
decided to do about entering the circus
business.
  Bob and Reddy, instead of answering,
waited for Toby to speak; it was a good op-
portunity to have the important matter set-
tled definitely, and they listened anxiously
for his decision.
  "I'm goin' into it," said Toby after a
pause, during which it appeared as if he
were trying to make up his mind, " 'cause
it seems as if you had it almost done now.
You know when I got home last summer
I didn't ever want to hear of a circus or



I 5

 
i6   MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



see one, for I'd had about enough of them,
an' then I'd think of poor Mr. Stubbs, an'
that would make me feel awful bad. I
didn't think, either, that we could get up
such a good show; but now you fellers have
got so much done towards it, I think we'd
better go ahead-though I do wish Mr.
Stubbs was alive, an' we had a skeleton an'
a fat woman."
  Reddy Grant cheered very loudly as a
means of showing how delighted he was at
thus having finally enlisted Toby in the
scheme, and Bob, as proof of the high es-
teem in which all the projectors of the
enterprise held this famous circus-rider,
said:
  "Now you know all about circuses, Toby,
an, you shall be the chief boss of this one,
an' we'll do just what you say."
  Toby almost blushed as this great honor
was actually thrust upon him, and he
hardly knew what reply to make, when Ben
ceased his acrobatic exercises, and, with

 
THE BLIND HORSE



Bobby and Reddy, stood waiting for him to
give his orders.
  "I s'pose the first thing to do," he said at
length, "is to see if Jack Douglass is willin'
for us to have his hoss, an' then find out
what Uncle Dan'l says about it. If we
don't get the hoss, it won't be any use to
say anything to Uncle Dan'l."
  Reddy was so anxious to have matters
settled at once that he offered to go up to
Mr. Douglass's house then, if the others
would wait there for his return, which
proposition was at once accepted.
  Mr. Douglass was an old colored man
who lived fully half a mile from the vil-
lage; but Reddy's eagerness caused quick
travelling, and in a surprisingly short time
he was back breathless and happy. The
coveted horse was to be theirs for as long
a time as they wanted him, provided they
fed him well, and did not attempt to har-
ness him into a wagon.
  The owner of the sightless animal had



17

 
I 8 MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



expressed his doubts as to whether he would
ever make much of a circus-horse, owing
to his lack of sight and his extreme age;
but he argued that if, as was very probable,
the animal fell while being ridden, he
would hurt his rider quite as much as him-
self, and therefore the experiment would
not be tried so often as seriously to injure
the steed.
  It only remained to consult Uncle Daniel
on the matter, and of course that was to be
attended to by Toby. He would have
waited until a fitting opportunity presented
itself; but his companions insisted so
strongly, that he went home at once to have
the case decided.
  Uncle Daniel was seated bv the window
as usual, looking out over the distant hills
as if he were trying to peer in at the gates
of that city where so many loved ones
awaited him, and it was some moments be-
fore Toby could make him understand what
it was he was trying to say.

 
THE BLIND HORSE



  "So ye didn't get circusin' enough last
summer" asked the old gentleman, when
at last he realized what it was the boy was
talking about.
  "Oh yes, I did!" replied Toby, quickly;
"but you see that was a real one, an' this
of ours is only a little make-believe for
three cents. We want to get you to let us
have the lot between the barn an' the road
to put our tent on, an' then lend us old
Whitey. We're goin' to have Jack Doug-
lass's hoss that's blind, an' we've got a three-
legged cat, an' one without any tail, an' lots
of things."
  "It's a kind of a cripples' circus, eh
Well, Toby boy, you can do as you want
to, an' you shall have old Whitey; but it
seems to me you'd better tie her lame leg
on, or she'll shake it off when you get to
makin' her cut up antics."
  Then Uncle Daniel returned to his rev-
erie, and the show was thus decided upon,
the projectors going again to view the tri-



I9

 
20 MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



angular piece of land so soon to be dec-
orated with their tents and circus belong-
ings.
  Each hour that passed after Toby had
decided, with Uncle Daniel's consent, to
go into the circus business made him more
eager to carry out the brilliant plan that
had been unfolded by Bob Atwood and
Reddy Grant, until his brain was in a per-
fect whirl when he went to bed that night.
He was sure he could ride as well as when
he was under Mr. Castle's rather severe
training, and he thought over and over
again how he would surprise every one who
knew him; but he did not stop to think that
there might be a difference between the
horse he had ridden in the circus and the
lame one of Uncle Daniel's, or the blind
one belonging to Mr. Douglass. He had
an idea that it all depended upon himself,
with very little reference to the animal, and
he was sure he had his lesson perfectly.
  Early as he got up the next morning, his

 
THE BLIND HORSE



partners in the enterprise were waiting for
him just around the corner of the barn,
where he found them as he went for the
cows, and they walked to the pasture with
him in order to discuss the matter.
  Ben Cushing was in light-marching and
acrobatic costume, worn for the occasion
in order to give a full exhibition of his
skill; and Reddy had been up so long that
he had had time to procure Mr. Douglass's
wonderful steed, which he had already led
to the pasture so that he could be experi-
mented upon.
  "I thought I'd get him up there," he said
to Toby, "so's you could try him; 'cause if
we don't get money enough to hire one of
Rube Rowe, you'll have to ride the blind
one or the lame one, an' you'd better find
out which you want. If you try him in
the pasture the fellers won't see you; but
if you did it down by your house, every
one of 'em would huddle 'round."
  Toby thought the general idea was a



2 1

 
22   MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



good one; but he was just a trifle uncertain
as to how the blind horse would get along
on such uneven ground. However, he said
nothing, lest his companions should think
he was afraid to make the attempt; and
when Ben and Bob proceeded to mark out
a ring, he advised them as to its size.
  The most level piece of ground that could
be found was selected as the place for the
trial, but several small mounds prevented
it from being all a circus-rider could ask
for.
  Bob volunteered to lead the horse around
the track several times, hoping he would
become so accustomed to it as to be able to
go by himself after a while; and Toby
made his preparations by laying his hat on
the ground with a stone on it, so that he
should be sure to find it when his rehearsal
was done.
  It was a warm job Bob had undertaken,
this leading the blind animal along the ill-
defined line that marked the limits of the

 
THE BLIND HORSE



ring, for the sun shone brightly, and there
were no friendly trees to lend a shelter; but
he paid no attention to his discomfort be-
cause of the fact that he was doing
something towards the enterprise which
was to bring them in both honor and
money.
  The poor old horse was the least inter-
ested of the party, and he stumbled around
the circle in an abused sort of way, as if
he considered it a piece of gross injustice
to force him on the weary round when the
grass was so plentiful and tender just under
his feet.
  Ben was busily engaged in lengthening
IMr. Douglass's rather weak and aged
bridle with a small piece of rope, and from
time to time he encouraged the ambitious
clown in his labor.
  "Keep it up, if it is hot!" he shouted;
"an' when we get him so's he can do it
alone, he'll be jest as good a circus-hoss as
anybody would want, for we can stuff him



23

 
MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



with hay an' grass till he's fat," and Ben
looked at the clearly defined ribs in a criti-
cal way, as if trying to decide how much
food would be necessary to cover them with
flesh.
  "Oh, I can keep on as long as the hoss
can," said Bob, as he wiped the perspira-
tion from his face with one hand, and clung
firmly to the forelock of the animal with
the other; "but we've been round here as
many as six times already, an' he don't
seem to know the way any better than when
we started."
  "Oh yes, he does," cried Reddy, who was
practising for his duties as ring-master,
anxious that his education should advance
as fast as the horse's did; "he's got so he
knows enough to turn out for that second
knoll, though he does stumble a little over
the first one."
  By this time Ben had the bridle adjusted
to suit him, Toby was ready to make his
first attempt at riding since he left the cir-



24

 
THE BLIND HORSE



cus, and the more serious work was begun.
  Ben bridled the horse after some diffi-
culty, Reddy drew out from its hiding-
place a whip made by tying a piece of cod-
line to an alder branch, and Toby was about
to mount, when Joe Robinson came in sight.
  He had been running at full speed, and
was nearly breathless; but he managed to
cry out so that he could be understood after
considerable difficulty:
  "Hold on! don't go to ridin' till after we
get some hoops for you to jump through."
  "I guess I won't try any jumpin' till after
I see how he goes," said Toby as he looked
rather doubtfully first at the horse's weak
legs, and then at his sharp back; "besides,
we can't use the hoops till he gets more used
to the ring."
  Joe threw himself on the ground as if
he felt quite as much aggrieved because he
was thus left out of the programme as the
horse apparently did because he was in it,
and Bob consoled him by explaining that



2 5

 
26 MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



he had no reason to feel slighted, since he,
who, as the clown, was to be the life of the
entertainment, could take no other part in
these preparatory steps than to lead a blind
horse around a still blinder ring.
  "Hold him while I get on," said Toby
as he clutched the mane and a portion of
the prominent backbone, drawing himself
up at some risk of upsetting the rather
shaky steed.
  But there was no necessity of his giving
this order, for, although four boys sprang
to do his bidding, the weary horse remained
as motionless as a statue, save for his hard
breathing which proclaimed the fact that
the "heaves" had long since singled him
out as a victim.
  Toby succeeded in getting on the ani-
mal's back after some exertion; but he
found standing there an entirely different
matter from standing on the broad saddles
that were used in the circus, and the boy
and the horse made a shaky-looking pair.

 
THE BLIND HORSE



  "Shall I start him" asked Bob, while
Reddy stood as near the centre of the ring
as he could get, prepared to snap his cod-
line whip at the first signal.
  Toby hesitated a moment; he knew that
to attempt to stand upon, or on either side
of, that prominent backbone, after its owner
was in motion, would be simply to invite
his own downfall; and he said, as he seated
himself carefully astride the bone:
  "Let him walk around once till I see how
he goes."
  Reddy cracked his whip without produc-
ing any effect upon the patient steed, but,
after much coaxing, Bob succeeded in start-
ing him again, while Toby bounced up and
down much like a kernel of corn on a grid-
dle, such a decided motion did the horse
have.
  "He won't ever do for a ridin' hoss,"
said Toby with much difficulty, when he
was half-way around the circle, "'cause
you see his bones is so sharp that he feels



27

 
28 MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



as if he was comin' to pieces every time he
steps."
  "Jest get him to trottin' once, an' then
you can tell what he's good for," suggested
Reddy, anxious to try the effect of his
whip; and, without waiting for the rider's
permission, he lashed the unfortunate ani-
mal with the cod-line until he succeeded
in rousing him thoroughly.
  It was in vain Toby begged him to stop,
and Bob shouted that such a course was not
the proper one for a ring-master to pursue.
Reddy was determined the rider should
have an opportunity of trying the horse un-
der full speed, and the result was that the
animal broke loose from Bob's guiding
hand, rushing out of the imaginary ring
into the centre of the pasture at a rate of
speed that would have surprised and fright-
ened Mr. Douglass had he been there to
see it.
  Shaken first up, then down, and from one
side to the other, Toby stretched himself

 
THE BLIND HORSE



out at full length, clasping the horse around
the neck as the patched bridle broke, and
shouting "Whoa!" at the full strength of
his lungs.
  After running fully fifty yards, until it
seemed to Toby that his head and his body
had been pounded into one, the horse
stopped, leaned one heel up against the
other, and stood as if dreamily asking
whether they wanted any more circus out
of him.
  "Couldn't anybody ride him, he jolts so,"
said Toby to his partners, as they came run-
ning up to where he stood trying to find
out whether or not his tongue was bleed-
ing, and fearing it was, because his teeth
had been pounded down on it so hard two
or three times. "You see, in the circus
they had big, wide saddles, an' the hosses
didn't go anything like him."
  "Well, we can fix a saddle,'' said Bob,
thoughtfully; "but I don't know as we
could do anything to the hoss."



29

 
MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



30



  "Perhaps old Whitey'll go better, 'cause
she's lame," suggested Reddy, feeling that
considerable credit was due him for having
made it possible to test the animal's quali-
ties in so short a time.
  "I wouldn't wonder if this one would be
all right when he gets a saddle on an' is
trained," said Joe, and then he added,
quickly, "I hain't got anything more to do
to-day, an' I'll stay up here an' train him."
  The partners were only too glad to ac-
cept this offer; and while Joe led the horse
back to the supposed ring, Ben gave a par-
tial exhibition of his acrobatic feats, omit-
ting the most difficult, owing to the uneven
surface of the land.
  Then the partners retired to the shade
of some alder bushes, where they could
fight mosquitoes and talk over their plans
at the same time, while Joe was perspiring
in his self-imposed task of educating the
blind horse.

 
CHAPTER III



             ABNER BOLTON
  461N" OW  I'll see about makin' the sad-
     dle," said Bob, " 'cause I've seen
'em a good many times in a circus, an' I
know jest how they're made. While I'm
doin' that you fellers must be fixin' 'bout
who else we'll have in the show. Leander
Leighton will come up here to-morrow,
so's we can hear how he plays, an' we must
have everything fixed by then."
  "Why didn't he come to-day" asked
Ben, thinking that all the members of the
firm should have been present at this first
rehearsal.
  "Well, you see, he had to split some
wood, an' he had to take care of the baby.
I offered to help him with the wood; but
he said he couldn't get away any quicker
                   31

 
32 MR. STUBBS'S BROTHER



if I did, for just as soon as the baby saw
another feller waitin' 'round, she'd yell so
awful hard he'd have to stay in all day."
  This explanation as to the absence of the
band appeared to be perfectly satisfactory
to those present, and they began to discuss
the merits of certain of their companions
in order to decide upon the proper ones to
enlist as members, since the number of
their performers was not so large as they
thought it should be in a show where an
admission fee of three cents was to be
charged.
  Just as they were getting well into their
discussion, and, of course, speaking of such
matters as managers should keep a pro-
found secret from the public, Bob cried
out:
  "There comes Abner Bolton! He's al-
ways runnin' 'round where he hain't
wanted; an' I wonder how he come to know
we was here I'll send him off mighty
quick now, you see."

 
ABNER BOLTON



  The boy who had disturbed Bob so
greatly was so near when he was first dis-
covered that by the time the threat had
been uttered he was close upon them. He
was a small boy, not more than eight years
old, and hardly as large as a boy of six
should be; he walked on crutches because
of his deformed legs, which hung withered
and useless, barely capable of supporting
his slight weight.
  "Now, what do you want" asked Bob,
in an angry tone.
  "I don't want anything," was the mild
reply, as the cripple halted just outside the
shade, as if not daring to come any farther
until invited. "I heard you was goin' to
get up a circus, an' I thought perhaps you'd
let me watch you, 'cause I wouldn't bother
you any."
  "You would bother us, an' you can't stay
'round here, for we hain't goin' to have
anybody watchin' us. You may come to
the show if you can get three cents."



33

 
34   MI R. STUBBS'S BROTHER



  "I don't s'pose I could do that," said the
boy, looking longingly towards the shade,
but still standing in the sun. "I don't have
any chance to get money, an' I do wish you
boys would let me stay where you are, for
it's so awful lonesome out to the poor-farm,
an' I can't run around as you can."
  "Well, you can't stay here, an' the sooner
you go back to the village the better we'll
like