Charlotte M. Yonge. Little Lucy's Wonderful Globe

Produced by David Edwards, Emmy and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)




[Illustration: 'I'm looking at the great big globe that Uncle Joe said I might touch,' said Lucy.

Frontispiece; see page 14.]







'Young fingers idly roll

The mimic earth, or trace,

In picture bright of blue and gold,

The orbs that round the sky's deep fold

Each other circling chase.'-KEBLE.


New York




New edition September, 1906.



THERE was once a wonderful fortnight in little Lucy's life. One evening she went to bed very tired and cross and hot, and in the morning when she looked at her arms and legs they were all covered with red spots, rather pretty to look at, only they were dry and prickly.

Nurse was frightened when she looked at them. She turned all the little sisters out of the night nursery, covered Lucy up close, and ordered her not to stir, certainly not to go into her bath. Then there was a whispering and a running about, and Lucy was half alarmed, but more pleased at being so important, for she did not feel at all ill, and quite enjoyed the tea and toast that Nurse brought up to her. Just as she was beginning to think it rather tiresome to lie there with nothing to do, except to watch the flies buzzing about, there was a step on the stairs and up came the doctor. He was an old friend, very good-natured, and he made fun with Lucy about having turned into a spotted leopard, just like the cowry shell on Mrs. Bunker's mantelpiece. Indeed, he said he thought she was such a curiosity that Mrs. Bunker would come for her and set her up in the museum, and then he went away. Suppose, oh, suppose she did!

Mrs. Bunker, or Mother Bunch, as Lucy and her brothers and sisters called her, was housekeeper to their Uncle Joseph. He was really their great uncle, and they thought him any age you can imagine. They would not have been much surprised to hear that he had sailed with Christopher Columbus, though he was a strong, hale, active man, much less easily tired than their own papa. He had been a ship's surgeon in his younger days, and had sailed all over the world, and collected all sorts of curious things, besides which he was a very wise and learned man, and had made some great discovery. It was not America. Lucy knew that her elder brother understood what it was, but it was not worth troubling her head about, only somehow it made ships go safer, and so he had had a pension given him as a reward; and had come home and bought a house about a mile out of the town, and built up a high room to look at the stars from with his telescope, and another to try his experiments in, and a long one besides for his museum; yet, after all, he was not much there, for whenever there was anything wonderful to be seen, he always went off to look at it and; whenever there was a meeting of learned men-scientific men was the right word-they always wanted him to help them make speeches and show wonders. He was away now: he had gone away to wear a red cross on his arm, and help to take care of the wounded in the sad war between the French and Germans.

But he had left Mother Bunch behind him. Nobody knew exactly what was Mrs. Bunker's nation, indeed she could hardly be said to have had any, for she had been born at sea, and had been a sailor's wife; but whether she was mostly English, Dutch, or Danish, nobody knew and nobody cared. Her husband had been lost at sea, and Uncle Joseph had taken her to look after his house, and always said she was the only woman who had sense and discretion enough ever to go into his laboratory or dust his museum.

She was very kind and good-natured, and there was nothing that the children liked better than a walk to Uncle Joseph's, and, after a game at play in the garden, a tea-drinking with her-such quantities of sugar! such curious cakes made in the fashion of different countries! such funny preserves from all parts of the world! and more delightful to people who considered that looking and hearing was better sport than eating, and that the tongue is not only meant to taste with, such cupboards and drawers full of wonderful things, such stories about them! The lesser ones liked Mrs. Bunker's room better than Uncle Joseph's museum, where there were some big stuffed beasts with glaring eyes that frightened them, and they had to walk round with hands behind, that they might not touch anything, or else their uncle's voice was sure to call out gruffly, 'Paws off!'

Mrs. Bunker was not a bit like the smart housekeepers at other houses. To be sure, on Sundays she came out in a black silk gown with a little flounce at the bottom, a scarlet China crape shawl with a blue dragon upon it-his wings over her back, and a claw over each shoulder, so that whoever sat behind her in church was terribly distracted by trying to see the rest of him-and a very big yellow Tuscan bonnet, trimmed with sailor's blue ribbon; but in the week and about the house she wore a green stuff, with a brown holland apron and bib over it, quite straight all the way down, for she had no particular waist, and her hair, which was of a funny kind of flaxen grey, she bundled up and tied round, without any cap or anything else on her head. One of the little boys had once called her Mother Bunch, because of her stories; and the name fitted her so well that the whole family, and even her master, took it up.

Lucy was very fond of her; but when about an hour after the doctor's visit she was waked by a rustling and a lumbering on the stairs, and presently the door opened, and the second best big bonnet-the go-to-market bonnet with the turned ribbons-came into the room with Mother Bunch's face under it, and the good-natured voice told her she was to be carried to Uncle Joseph's and have oranges and tamarinds, she did begin to feel like the spotted cowry, to think about being set on the chimney-piece, to cry, and say she wanted Mamma.

The Nurse and Mother Bunch began to comfort her, and explain that the doctor thought she had the scarlatina; not at all badly; but that if any of the others caught it, nobody could guess how bad they would be; especially Mamma, who had just been ill; and so she was to be rolled up in her blankets, and put into a carriage, and taken to her uncle's; and there she would stay till she was not only well, but could safely come home without carrying infection about with her.

Lucy was a good little girl, and knew that she must bear it; so, though she could not help crying a little when she found she must not kiss any one, nay not even see them, and that nobody might go with her but Lonicera, her own washing doll, she made up her mind bravely; and she was a good deal cheered when Clare, the biggest and best of all the dolls, was sent in to her, with all her clothes, by Maude, her eldest sister, to be her companion,-it was such an honour and so very kind of Maude that it quite warmed the sad little heart.

So Lucy had her little scarlet flannel dressing gown on, and her shoes and stockings, and a wonderful old knitted hood with a tippet to it, and then she was rolled round and round in all her bed-clothes, and Mrs. Bunker took her up like a very big baby, not letting any one else touch her. How Mrs. Bunker got safe down all the stairs no

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