The Rudder Grangers Abroad and Other Stories HTML version

Pomona's Daughter
In the pretty walk, bordered by bright flowers and low, overhanging shrubbery, which
lies back of the Albert Memorial, in Kensington Gardens, London, Jonas sat on a green
bench, with his baby on his knee. A few nurses were pushing baby-carriages about in
different parts of the walk, and there were children playing not far away. It was drawing
toward the close of the afternoon, and Jonas was thinking it was nearly time to go home,
when Pomona came running to him from the gorgeous monument, which she had been
carefully inspecting.
"Jone," she cried, "do you know I've been lookin' at all them great men that's standin'
round the bottom of the monnyment, an' though there's over a hundred of 'em, I'm sure, I
can't find a American among 'em! There's poets, an' artists, an' leadin' men, scraped up
from all parts, an' not one of our illustrious dead. What d'ye think of that?"
"I can't believe it," said Jonas. "If we go home with a tale like that we'll hear the
recruiting-drum from Newark to Texas, and, ten to one, I'll be drafted."
"You needn't be makin' fun," said Pomona; "you come an' see for yourself. Perhaps you
kin' find jus' one American, an' then I'll go home satisfied."
"All right," said Jonas.
And, putting the child on the bench, he told her he'd be back in a minute, and hurried
after Pomona, to give a hasty look for the desired American.
Corinne, the offspring of Jonas and Pomona, had some peculiarities. One of these was
that she was accustomed to stay where she was put. Ever since she had been old enough
to be carried about, she had been carried about by one parent or the other; and, as it was
frequently necessary to set her down, she had learned to sit and wait until she was taken
up again. She was now nearly two years old, very strong and active, and of an intellect
which had already begun to tower. She could walk very well, but Jonas took such delight
in carrying her that he seldom appeared to recognize her ability to use her legs. She could
also talk, but how much her parents did not know. She was a taciturn child, and preferred
to keep her thoughts to herself, and, although she sometimes astonished us all by
imitating remarks she had heard, she frequently declined to repeat the simplest words that
had been taught her.
Corinne remained on the bench about a minute after her father had left her, and then,
contrary to her usual custom, she determined to leave the place where she had been put.
Turning over on her stomach, after the manner of babies, she lowered her feet to the
ground. Having obtained a foothold, she turned herself about and proceeded, with sturdy
steps, to a baby-carriage near by which had attracted her attention. This carriage, which
was unattended, contained a baby, somewhat smaller and younger than Corinne, who sat
up and gazed with youthful interest at the visitor who stood by the side of her vehicle.