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W. A. G.'s Tale   By:

W. A. G.'s Tale by Margaret Turnbull

First Page:

W.A.G.'S TALE

EDITED BY

MARGARET TURNBULL

WITH ZOBZEE ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

CONTENTS

PREFACE BY AUTHOR

I. UNCLE BURT'S BILLY II. OUR HOUSE III. OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR IV. ON THE TOWPATH V. ON THE DELAWARE VI. GEORGE VII. LEFT ALONE VIII. AT TURNER'S IX. THE WHITE TENT

ILLUSTRATIONS

I STARTED TO GET BETTER AND WRITE THIS BOOK (p. 153) (colored) Frontispiece From a drawing by M.L. Kirk

A ZOBZEE

ON THE BRIDGE

HE JUMPED OUT AND TOOK A ROPE AND PULLED THE BOAT CLOSE

SHE WASHED AND I DRIED

HE TURNED AND WENT INTO THE WHITE STONE HOUSE, AND ALL THE CATS RAN AFTER HIM

HE SMOKED A PIPE, AND I PLAYED WITH ALL HIS TEDDY CATS

BRINGS HIM DOWN, PERSIMMONS AND ALL

SO I TOOK MY FISHING ROD AND FLICKED IT AT HIM

NEVER YOU MIND, BABY DEAR, COME ON

WHAT'S AN ABSENT MINDED BEGGAR?

HEY, ROBINSON CRUSOE, HERE'S YOUR MAN FRIDAY

HE HAD TO TAKE A CAN OPENER AND CUT AUNTY EDITH'S FOOT OUT

WE ALL WORKED WITH HOSE AND EVERYTHING

AUNTY MAY GOT A HATCHET AND MADE A CHOP AT THE SNAKE

I BELIEVED THEY HAD REALLY GONE AWAY, AND LEFT ME ALL ALONE

I TOLD HIM ALL ABOUT AUNTY MAY

SLID DOWN WITHOUT A BIT OF NOISE

I WOKE UP AND FOUND MYSELF LYING ON THE PORCH

AND IT WAS UNCLE BURT

W.A.G.'S TALE

PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR

I have been sick. Now I am better the Doctor makes me lie in bed because of all that Anti toxin he put in me, which weakens the heart. Anti toxin isn't a lady, it's a medicine for diphtheria. Aunty May is a lady. She reads me books and plays games with me. But I am tired of books written about nature, and animals, and Indians, and fairies, and I wished out loud that somebody would write a book about a boy, just like me. So to day Aunty May brought me a big, thick blank book with red covers, and with rings at the back to let me add more paper when I want to, and she told me to write my own story, a little every day.

[Illustration: "Zobzee"]

So that's what I am going to do, and illustrate it with "Zobzees." "Zobzees" are thin dancing people like this. I invented that name, and a country and a language for them, which only Aunty May and I know. But I am not going to write my book in that. I am going to print it, like other books, but draw "Zobzees" because they are easy; and if nobody else reads it except me and Uncle Burt when he comes home, it will be fun for us, anyway.

CHAPTER I

UNCLE BURT'S BILLY

My name is William Ainsworth Gordon, and my initials spell W.A.G. That is why Aunty May and I call this book "W.A.G.'S TALE." If it was about a dog it would be "Tail Wags." So it's true and a joke too.

I am ten years old and my father and mother are in Heaven, and I have only Uncle Burt to take care of me. Uncle Burt isn't my real uncle, but he was my father's chum when they were at West Point, and he promised father to take care of me. And he does, only he had to go to the Philippines with his soldiers; so his sister, Aunty Edith, is taking care of me until he comes back. Everybody else calls me William, but he calls me "Billy," so I am the one this chapter is named after.

Aunty May says I can begin with the very day Aunty Edith brought me down here. That was the day Uncle Burt went away to join his regiment, and everybody was sort of quiet, and even the big people cried a little. I cried a good deal, when nobody was looking, and when Uncle Burt caught me at it in the corner of the room, he didn't say a word, but just picked me up and held me so tight that one of his buttons got stamped on my cheek like a seal. He said he'd give way and cry, too, for it was good for the eyes, only his Colonel had expressly ordered him not to, saying he would leave all red eyed men home, which would be terrible for a soldier. So I begged him not to give way, and he said he wouldn't if I'd stop, because one fellow bawling makes it hard for the other fellow not to. So I stopped and we laughed a little, and then he showed the mark on my cheek to Aunty Edith, and said, "This shows that this young man belongs to me, so be careful of Uncle Burt's Billy and return him in good condition, for there will be a dreadful time if I find him chipped or broken, when I come back... Continue reading book >>




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