Joan Of Arc





In a village in the green country of France, there once lived a girl

named Joan. She spent her days in sewing and spinning, and in minding

her father's sheep.



At that time there was a sad war in France, and the English had won many

battles. Joan was grieved to hear of the trouble of her country. She

thought of it night and day, and one night she dreamt that an angel

came, and told her to go and help the French prince.



When Joan told her friends of this dream, they laughed at her.



"How can a poor girl help the prince?" asked they.



"I do not know," replied Joan; "but I must go, for God has sent me." So

she went to the prince, and said: "Sir, my name is Joan. God has sent me

to help you to win the crown of France."



They gave Joan a suit of white armour, and a white horse, and set her at

the head of the army. She led the soldiers to fight, and the rough men

thought she was an angel, and fought so bravely that they won many

battles.



Then the prince was crowned King of France.



When this was done, Joan felt that her work was over. "I would that I

might go and keep sheep once more with my sisters and my brothers; they

would be so glad to see me," pleaded she. But the king would not let her

go. So Joan stayed; but her time of victory was past. Soon, she was

taken prisoner by the English, and cruelly burned to death. She died as

bravely as she had lived, and her name will never be forgotten.












AFLOAT WITH A TIGER.





A traveler in faraway India relates the following thrilling adventure

with a tiger: From the heavy rain which falls upon Indian mountains the

low-lying country is liable to such sudden floods that every year many

beasts, and even human beings, are drowned ere they can make their

escape to the higher grounds. On one occasion a terrible flood came up

so suddenly that I had to spend a day and night in an open canoe in

consequence, during which time I had good opportunities of seeing the

good and bad effects produced by them. I lived at the time in a mat

house, situated upon a hill which I supposed was quite above high-water

mark, but an old Mahometan gentleman having told me that, when he was a

little boy, he recollected the water once rising higher than the hill, I

took the precaution of keeping a canoe in a small ditch close at hand.



The rainy season began, and daily the river rose higher. One morning we

noticed that the mountain tops were covered with heavy banks of dark

clouds, though no rain fell out on the plain where we were; but we

noticed many animals, a leopard among others, sneak out of the high

grass and make for hilly ground. The most curious thing, however, was

the smart manner in which rats and even grasshoppers came scampering

away from the threatening danger. These latter came in such crowds

toward my bungalow that not only the fowls about the premises had a good

feed on them, but kites and crows began to swoop down in such numbers

that the air was filled with their cries and the noise of their rushing

wings.






While watching the immense destruction of these insects we were

startled by the outbreak of the thunderstorm high up on the mountains,

but far above the peals of thunder rose the terrible sound of rushing

water. Animals now came tearing out of the lowlands too terrified to

notice whither they went, so that I stood ready, gun in hand, in case

any of the dangerous kind should try to seek an asylum on my particular

hill; but with the exception of a huge wild boar, who had to be shot as

he charged up the slope, all took refuge elsewhere.



Soon the water burst through the river bank, spreading over the country,

sweeping down the tall grass jungle and surging and roaring round our

hill. Packing all that was valuable in small parcels, we gathered them

in a heap, hoping that the flood would subside ere it reached the

building. All round about large trees, uprooted by the terrible force of

the deluge, were swept along, several animals vainly trying to keep a

footing among their roots and branches. At last the water reached the

steps of the house; so, pulling our boat close up, we stepped in with

what we could save and hung to the wooden posts of the building, vainly

trusting that the worst had come; but it was not so, for we soon had to

leave go the post and pass the boat's rope round a tree. The water then

rushed in, the house toppled over, and it and its contents were swept

away by the flood.



In a short time the tree began to shake and bend, so we knew that it was

being uprooted; therefore, letting go the rope, we launched forth upon

the seething waste of waters and were whirled away. Onward we rushed

through masses of logs, branches, the remains of houses, and such like

wreck, having to be very careful that our frail vessel did not get upset

or crushed. Twice we made for the tops of hills that showed themselves

above water, but on approaching them we found that they had been taken

possession of by wild animals.



Here a tiger crouched on a branch of a tree, seemingly too much alarmed

at his perilous position to molest the half-dozen deer that crowded

timidly together right underneath his perch. Up above him the smaller

branches were stocked with monkeys, who looked very disconsolate at

their enforced imprisonment. As we swept past, the tiger raised his

head, gave a deep growl and showed his teeth, then crouched down again

as if fully aware of his helplessness, and we had too much to think of

ourselves to interfere with him.



Gaining the open country, the scene was one of desolation; but the

current was not so strong, so we turned round, seeing the flood was

going down, and by nightfall we had got back to where the house had

stood. Every vestige of the once pretty homestead had disappeared, with

sheep and cattle, though the fowls had managed to find a roost on the

topmost branches of some orange trees, which alone remained to mark the

spot.



As the moon rose, the mountaineers came down from the villages, and,

embarking on rafts and in canoes, went round the different hills,

shooting and spearing the animals that had swum there; and truly the

sight of such a hunting scene was an exciting one. Here a stout stag,

defending himself with his antlers as best he might against the

spearsmen, kept up a gallant fight till death.



The tiger we had seen in the morning took to swimming, and on being

wounded with a spear turned on the nearest canoe, upsetting the hunters

into the water, where a desperate encounter took place; but he was

eventually dispatched by a blow from an ax--not, however, before he had

clawed some of his pursuers most severely.



At daylight the water had entirely gone down, and a thick, muddy deposit

covered all the lowland, while an immense number of snakes, scorpions,

and other unpleasant creatures lay dead in all directions, upon which

and the drowned animals vultures, crows and kites were feeding.





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