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According to schedule time, he should have reached Fredericksburg at daylight. As it was, he drove down the long street of the town at eleven o'clock A.M. He had to pass Peter Hildesmuller's house on his way to the postoffice. He stopped his team at the gate and called. But Frau Hildesmuller was watching for him. Out rushed the whole family of Hildesmullers.
Frau Hildesmuller, fat and flushed, inquired if he had a letter from Lena, and then Fritz raised his voice and told the tale of his adventure. He told the contents of the letter that the robber had made him read, and then Frau Hildesmuller broke into wild weeping. Her little Lena drown herself! Why had they sent her from home? What could be done? Perhaps it would be too late by the time they could send for her now. Peter Hildesmuller dropped his meerschaum on the walk and it shivered into pieces.
“Woman!” he roared at his wife, “why did you let that child go away? It is your fault if she comes home to us no more.”
Every one knew that it was Peter Hildesmuller's fault, so they paid no attention to his words.
A moment afterward a strange, faint voice was heard to call: “Mamma!” Frau Hildesmuller at first thought it was Lena's spirit calling, and then she rushed to the rear of Fritz's covered wagon, and, with a loud shriek of joy, caught up Lena herself, covering her pale little face with kisses and smothering her with hugs. Lena's eyes were heavy with the deep slumber of exhaustion, but she smiled and lay close to the one she had longed to see. There among the mail sacks, covered in a nest of strange blankets and comforters, she had lain asleep until awakened by the voices around her.
Fritz stared at her with eyes that bulged behind his spectacles.
“Gott in Himmel !” he shouted. “How did you get in
that wagon ? Am I going crazy as well as to be murdered and hanged by robbers this day?”
“You brought her to us, Fritz,” cried Herr Hildesmuller. “How can we ever thank you enough ?”
“Tell mamma how you came in Fritz's wagon,” said Frau Hildesmuller.
“I don't know,” said Lena. “But I know how I got away from the hotel. The Prince brought me.”
"By the Emperor's crown!” shouted Fritz, "we are all going crazy.”
"I always knew he would come,” said Lena, sitting down on her bundle of bedclothes on the sidewalk. “Last night he came with his armed knights and captured the ogre's castle. They broke the dishes and kicked down the doors. They pitched Mr. Maloney into a barrel of rain water and threw flour all over Mrs. Maloney. The workmen in the hotel jumped out of the windows and ran into the woods when the knights began firing their guns. They wakened me up and I peeped down the stair. And then the Prince
came up and wrapped me in the bedclothes and carried me out. He was so tall and strong and fine. His face was as rough as a scrubbing brush, and he talked soft and kind and smelled of schnapps. He took me on his horse before him and we rode away among the knights. He held me close and I went to sleep that way, and didn't wake up till I got home.”
“Rubbish !” cried Fritz Bergmann. “Fairy tales ! How did you come from the quarries to my wagon?”.
“The Prince brought me,” said Lena, confidently.
And to this day the good people of Fredericksburg haven't been able to make her give any other explanation.
confidently enchantment explanation clothes Is your interest in this story awakened at once? What one comfort did Lena have? How did it help her through the long days? Who was Grimm? Which of his stories do you think Lena had specially in mind? Why does the author talk so much about Grimm at the beginning of the story? What connection has Grimm with the title? How does Lena's letter affect you? What expressions arouse your sympathy? Is the letter childlike? How does Fritz show his love for the child? For the mules? Do the German expressions and the dialect of the outlaws add to the interest? Why was Lena so willing to be carried off by a stranger? Does Lena's father feel any shame for his conduct? Does the story end as you expected? Does it seem impossible? How would you feel if you happened to be a member of the jury to try those robbers?
SUGGESTIONS FOR ORAL AND WRITTEN ENGLISH
THEME SUBJECTS What fairy tales particularly had Lena been reading? Tell one, making it as interesting as possible. Can you recall any fairy tales
that ended differently from what you expected? An unexpected ending is one of the characteristics of O. Henry's stories. Select an incident for a climax and try to end the story in a manner that will completely surprise the reader. Be careful that your ending is not impossible. Tell your favorite fairy tale. Dramatize it as suggested on page 106 in a simple form for children. The Story of the Finding of Lena (by one of the robbers). The Hold-up (as told by Fritz).
How I Help at Home. Some Child Labor Laws in my State. The Best Way to Wash Dishes. The Advantages of a Lively Im Rural Delivery. agination.
In the Days of the Stagecoach. Some Disadvantages of a Lively Im- Autobiography of a Letter. agination.
The Parcel Post.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL READINGS
In Grimm's Fairy Tales: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snowdrop, Tom Thumb, The Seven Ravens, Rumpelstiltskin, The Youth Who Could Not Shudder, Hansel and Gretel.
THE OLD HUSBAND AND THE YOUNG WIFE 1
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was born in Dublin and educated at the famous English school of Harrow. He was successful both as a dramatist and as a statesman. His two plays, The Rivals (1775) and The School for Scandal (1777), are noted for their realistic portrayal of eighteenth-century life and customs. He died in 1816 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
From 1642, when the Puritans closed the theaters, until 1890, only three plays were written which are much read or acted to-day. The three are these two by Sheridan, and one by Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer (1773). See also:
Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 210, 262–264, 337.
Sir Peter Teazle. But here comes my helpmate! She appears in great good humor. How happy I should be if I could tease her into loving me, though but a little!
Enter LADY TEAZLE. Lady Teazle. Lud! Sir Peter, I hope you haven't been quarreling with Maria ? It is not using me well to be ill humored when I am not by.
Sir Peter. Ah, Lady Teazle, you might have the power to make me good humored at all times.
Lady Teazle. I am sure I wish I had; for I want you to be in a charming sweet temper at this moment. Do be good humored now, and let me have two hundred pounds, will you?
1 From The School for Scandal.