The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939


The Crimson Sweater.



"Candidates wanted for Hockey team. All those who have played or would like to play please attend the meeting in the Gym at 4 r. M. on Friday.

"J. S. Rogers, "T.H. Baton, "Roy Porter."

THIS notice appeared on the board in School Hall the last day of November, and when, four days later, the meeting was called to order by Jack Rogers there were some twenty-five fellows adorning the wooden benches in the locker room. A handful of the number had come for want of anything better to do, for it was a dismal, wet afternoon offering little encouragement to those whose tastes turned toward out-of-door pursuits. For once the line separating the "Burlenites" and the "Porterites" was not closely drawn, for there were not a few of the former present, their desire for a chance to play hockey overcoming their allegiance to Horace. Needless to say, however, neither Horace nor Otto was on hand.

"Somebody turn that switch," began Jack, "and give us some light. That's better. This meeting has been called by a few of us who want to get up a hockey team. I don't know much about hockey myself and so I'll let Porter do the talking. He started the thing, anyhow, and ought to have the fun of speechifying to you. But I'd like to say that, as you all know, Hammond has been playing hockey for five or six years and has challenged us almost every year to play her. If Hammond has a team we ought to have one, too. And if we have one maybe we can lick her at hockey just as we have at football." (Deafening applause.) "There is no reason why we shouldn't. Here, Roy, you tell them the rest."

Roy got up rather embarrassedly and faced the meeting.

Well all I've got to say is that hockey is a dandy game and we ought to have a team—if only to lick Hammond." (Renewed applause.) "It isn't a difficult game to learn if a fellow can skate half decently and it doesn't require much of an outlay. We've talked to Mr. Cobb and he has secured permission for the formation of a team. And he knows something about the game himself and will help us all he can. Our idea was to build a rink along the river about where the old ferry landing is. Doctor Emery says we can use what lumber there is in the landing and shed to build the rink with. And I think there'll be more than we need. Then we'd get a pump and pump water in from the river."

"Why not play on the river?" asked a boy.

Well, that was the idea in the first place, answered Roy, "but Mr. Cobb thought we'd better have a regular rink. It's hard to play without boundaries because your puck gets away from you and you have to chase it all around the shop. Then, too, Mr. Cobb says that half the time the ice would be too rough or too much broken up to allow of playing on it. We've figured it up and think the outside cost of the whole thing, rink, pump, goals and sticks won't be much over eighty dollars."

"How are you going to raise it?" asked one of the audience.

"That's what we've got to decide on," said Roy. "I suppose we couldn't get nearly that much by subscription?"

Several shook their heads, and,—

"I don't believe we could," said Chub. "But we might get half of it. If every fellow gave a dollar—"

"Seems to me," said the boy who had raised the question, "that the fellows who make the team ought to do the subscribing."

"I don't think so," said Jack. "If we made the football and baseball teams pay all their expenses I guess we wouldn't have them very
long. It ought to be worth a dollar to every fellow here to have a good hockey team."

"That's so," assented Chub.

"Well," went on Roy, "I wanted to hear what you'd say about it, but I didn't think we could get the money that way, not all of it, I mean. So I thought of another scheme. Why couldn't we get up an entertainment of some kind and charge admission. How would that do?"



"Fine and dandy!"

"Chub can sing 'The Old Ark's A-movin'"

"Cole can do his card stunts!"

"Cut it out, fellows," said Jack. "Let's get the matter settled; it's getting late."

So they got down to business again and Jack, Chub and Roy were formed into an Entertainment Committee. After that Roy took the floor again.

"How many of you fellows will come out for practice?" he asked. Practically every hand went up. "How many have played hockey?" Twelve hands. "All right. We'll divide into two teams, first and second, and as fast as the fellows on the second show that they can play well they'll be put on the first. We probably won't be able to begin work on the ice until after Christmas Recess. But as soon as we get some money we'll send for goals and sticks and pucks. Then we'll put one of the goals up here on the floor and practice shooting. Later we'll have another meeting, after practice has begun, and elect a captain and a manager. And as soon as we get the manager we'll send a challenge to Hammond. Now you fellows give your names to Chub Eaton before you go out, and watch for notices on the board in School Hall."

That was the beginning of the Ferry Hill School Hockey Association, which still flourishes and has to its credit several notable victories. It was Roy's idea from the first. He had played hockey a good deal and had seen many of the college and school games, and he had been surprised to learn that Ferry Hill had never had a team. It was easy to enlist Chub in the project of forming a club, and not very difficult to interest Jack. Mr. Cobb had been quite enthusiastic but doubtful of success.

"They've tried to form a hockey team two or three times," he said, "and never did it. But I don't want to discourage you chaps. I've got permission from the Doctor, so you go right ahead. Try to get the whole school interested in it; that's the only way to do."

By the middle of December the old ferry house and landing had been demolished and the planks had been built into a three-foot barrier or fence enclosing a space sixty feet wide by one hundred and twenty feet long. All that remained was to flood the enclosed ground with water to the depth of four or five inches and allow it to freeze. A hand suction pump had been ordered from a dealer at Silver Cove, but there was delay and in the end it did not reach the school until two days before vacation. However, as December proved unusually mild, there was no harm done. Meanwhile the goals, pucks and sticks had arrived and practice at shooting and stick-handling was held five afternoons a week in the gymnasium. At the second meeting of the candidates the Entertainment Committee was able to report a plan for the entertainment. There was to be a minstrel show followed by a series of tableaux in the gymnasium the night before the beginning of Christmas Recess.

"Now," said Jack, who was explaining, "you chaps will have to get busy and interest every fellow you know in the affair. We want a good big crowd for the minstrels; we ought to have at least two dozen fellows. There will be another meeting here tomorrow night and I want each one of you to bring me the names of fellows who are willing to take part. And you must let me know what they can do, whether they can sing or recite or do sleight of hand tricks, you know. And now I want to propose that we make Harry Emery an associate member of the Club. You see, we realized that we wouldn't be able to do much in the way of costuming without her help, so we laid the matter before her. And she went right into it; suggested the tableaux feature and offered to take part herself." (Laughter from the audience.) "So I think she ought to be taken in."

" We ought to make Mr. Cobb and Mr. Buckman associate members, too," suggested Chub.

So Harry and the two instructors were duly
admitted, and the meeting went into the plans for the entertainment. Sid, one of the most enthusiastic members present, reminded every one that he could play the banjo, and Jack promised to let him do his worst. Roy was elected temporary captain and manager and Jack temporary treasurer. Then an assessment of fifty cents each was levied and Jack spent the best part of three days collecting the sums. He, Roy, Chub and two others had gone down into their pockets and advanced the money for the goals, sticks and pucks, and with Christmas Recess drawing near they were anxious to get some of it back. The rink was to be paid for in January and the pump on its arrival. It was going to be necessary to collect something over sixty dollars from the entertainment, and the committee was getting anxious. There was little time for rehearsal, and, with Horace and Otto doing all in their power to throw cold water on the scheme, Roy and his friends had plenty to worry them.

But Harry proved a brick. She went into it to the present exclusion of all else and made things hum. She talked it up everywhere she went with the result that the affair was extensively advertised before it was well on foot. Harry attended a girls' academy at Silver Cove, and she wasn't satisfied until every pupil there h ad faithfully promised to attend the entertainment. She also persuaded Mr. Buckman to take part, something that Jack and the others had failed at. Mr. Cobb had already consented to sing and do a monologue. Then Harry devised costumes and found them, levying on the wardrobes of most of her friends and acquaintances. And in spite of the fact that she and Chub and Jack and Roy met at least twice a day she still maintained her air of polite indifference toward the latter.

When the morning of the day of the entertainment arrived affairs seemed in the wildest chaos and even Harry lost her head for a while. Some of the promised participators had backed down at the last moment, the principal soloist had a bad cold, the stage was still unbuilt, several of the costumes were yet wanting and Harris and Kirby, down for a duet and dance, weren't on speaking terms! And just as though all that wasn't enough to drive the committee distracted, Chub had appeared at breakfast with a long face and announced that he had forgotten to mail the poster to Hammond Academy. In support of the assertion he produced it, stamped and addressed. It had been lying in his pocket for three days. As Hammond with its seventy-odd students had been counted on to send quite a delegation, this was a hard blow. But Jack, with the cheerfulness of desperation, obtained permission to deliver the poster by messenger and sent Sid Welch across the river with it at nine o'clock.

That was certainly a day of troubles. Luckily there were few recitations for anyone. Jack and Chub spent most of the morning directing and aiding in the erection of the stage at the end of the gymnasium. The stage was a sectional affair which, when not in use, was stored in the furnace room. Unfortunately one section seemed to be missing, and putting the thing together was, as Chub said, like joining one of those geographical puzzles.

And presently he came back staggering under what looked like a length of board walk.

"Funny you fellows couldn't find this," he said disgustedly as he swung one end around against the wall and brought down six pairs of dumb-bells. "It was right in plain sight, they were using it for a carpenter's bench."

After that it was plain sailing until they came to the curtain. It was a beautiful thing, that curtain, fourteen feet wide and twelve feet long and bearing a picture of Niagara Falls in blue, green, purple and pink surrounded by a wreath of crimson cabbages—only they were supposed to be roses. Despite its beauty, work up and down it would not. Half-way up it began to arrange itself in artistic folds, apparently forgetting all about the wooden roller at the bottom. Once it came down unexpectedly on Chub's head, and Chub danced around and shook his fist at it and declared that he'd cut holes in it for two cents. No one offered to put up the two cents and so the curtain was saved. In the end Jack manufactured a new pulley-block and after that the foolish thing worked charmingly every other time.

"All we'll have to do," said Warren, disgustedly, "will be to make believe pull it up before we really mean to."


"Kind of disconcerting to the fellows on the stage," commented Jack, "but I guess that's what we'll have to do."

The drop curtain, showing a lovely sylvan glade in unwholesome shades of green, went up without trouble at the back of the stage, but the pieces at the sides, very frayed trees with impossible foliage, refused to stand up.

"We'll have to make props," said Chub. "I don't blame the old things for wanting to lie down; it makes me tired just to look at them."

But when, finally, the stage was set and the boys stood off at a respectful distance and examined it, it really looked very well. Chub admired the effect of distance and wondered where the path led to. Warren said he'd like to meet the man who had chiseled out the statue under the trees, and another fellow wanted to go bird-egging. Then they arranged the chairs and benches in rows. They had gathered chairs of every description from all over the school and the effect was finely democratic. Doctor Emery's leather arm chair hobnobbed socially with a plain pine chair from the dining hall and Mr. Buckman's favorite hour-glass chair appeared to be trying to make an impression on Harry's rattan rocker, the latter looking very dressy with its pink silk head-rest.

They went to dinner feeling rather more encouraged and found that Sid had returned with good tidings. Hammond had learned of the entertainment several days before and had been waiting eagerly for an invitation to attend. And every fellow was coming, declared Sid. Roy, who had taken a flying trip to the town for red and blue cheesecloth, reported excellent progress on the last of the costumes. And Post, who couldn't eat any dinner because he had been filling himself up all day with cough syrup and licorice lozenges, thought he might be able to sing, after all. The last rehearsal was at three o'clock, and after it was over Jack shook his head dismally.

"I never saw such a bum show in my life," he declared gloomily. "And talk about singing! Say, I wonder if we can bribe Post to stay away tonight?"

"Why, I thought everything went beautifully!" declared Harry. "You wait until tonight; they'll do a lot better."

"The chorus work was all right," said Chub. "And the tableaux were simply swell. I do wish, though, that Bacon wouldn't look as though he was going to die every minute!"

"But those jokes!" groaned Jack.

"Oh, never mind; I've heard lots of worse ones," answered Roy cheerfully.

"Not outside of a Sunday newspaper supplement, I'll wager," said Jack. That one about Mr. Cobb and Miss Webb, and falling in love with her the first time he 'spider' is the limit. I heard that when I was three years old!"

"That's all right, folks like 'em old at a minstrel show," answered Chub. "Old wine to drink, old books to read, old jokes to—"

"To cry over," prompted Jack. "All right. No use in cutting up rough now. We'll have to make the best of a bad show. Just so long as Harris and Kirby don't start to using their fists on each other during their turn I suppose I can't kick."

"Well, let 's go to supper," said Roy.



Entertainment for the Benefit of the Ferry Hill School Hockey Association in the Gymnasium, Wednesday Evening, December 22.


Part I.



The World-Famous Aggregation of Senegambian Entertainers known as the Darktown Minstrels, just returned from their Triumphant Tour of Europe, Asia, Africa and New Jersey, where they delighted Royalty and barely escaped with their Lives!


Interlocutor.........MR. ROGERS
Disturbers-of-the-Peace,..MESSRS. COBB, BUCKMAN,
Solos (the audience permitting) by MESSRS. COBB, POST,
Duets (at any cost) by MESSRS. BUCKMAN AND COBB,
Monologues by.......... MR. COBB
Imitations by......... MR. EATON

[illustration - "They had gathered chairs of every description from all over the house."]

To be followed by the First Appearance in this part of the Country of Professor Carlos Cole, Prince of Prestidigitators, in Astounding Card Tricks, Marvelous Feats of Sleight of Hand and Appalling Wonders of White and Black Magic never before seen on any Stage and not likely to be again! (The Management will not be responsible for the Return of such Articles.)

The Whole to Terminate in a Beautiful and Fantastic Revelry of Song and Mirth entitled:

"Christmas Eve on the Plantation!"



OVERTURE: Medley of College Airs".. ORCHESTRA


1. Yale........... MR. BACON
2. Harvard.......... MR. PORTER
3. Princeton......... MR. EATON
4. Cornell.......... MR. WARREN
5. Columbia......... MR. GALLUP
6. Dartmouth......... MR. FORREST
7. Vassar.......... MISS EMERY


SONG: "The School on the Hill."

The Audience will please join in the singing.

Stage Manager........ MR. ROGERS
Assistant Stage Manager..... MR. EATON
Property Man......... MR. PORTER
Electrician......... MR. PRYOR
Prompter.......... MR. THAYER
Wardrobe Lady........ MISS EMERY

Automobiles and launches may be ordered for 10:45. There's no harm in ordering.

The Audience is earnestly requested not to throw garden truck of hennery produce. Bricks may be obtained from the Gentlemanly Ushers.

Persons unable to resist weeping at the jokes will please step outside. Rain checks may be had at the door.


The public acted very considerately that evening. Whether the report had got around that Ferry Hill needed sixty dollars for her hockey team I can't say, but it's a fact that when the curtain went up—only twenty minutes late! —there were exactly one hundred and twenty-eight persons in the gymnasium who had paid for admission, and as the price was fifty cents apiece the one hundred and twenty eight persons meant just sixty-four dollars in the cigar box on the table by the door! Hammond turned out in force, almost sixty of her boys attending; Miss Cutler's School for Young Ladies was well represented by twenty-two of Harry's schoolmates under the protection of Miss Letitia Cutler herself; the village contributed generously; while as for Ferry Hill, every youth not holding an official position of some sort— and there were few that didn't—was on hand, even Horace and Otto being unable lo resist the promises of the programme, while the culinary and dormitory force, as well as John the gardener and general factotum, were huddled about the door. Down in the second row sat Doctor and Mrs. Emery and some friends from the village. Walker and Fernald made most presentable ushers, and, as their duties consisted principally of supplying programmes and answering questions, they did finely.


I'm not going to attempt a description of the first part of that entertainment. In the first place it was beyond description, far too stupendous and awe-inspiring for my pen to do justice to. From the time the curtain arose—as correctly as though it had never misbehaved!—revealing the World Famous Aggregation of Senegambian Entertainers until— well, until it fell hurriedly two hours later, everything went beautifully. Of course there were little misadventures, but such are expected and only add to the hilarity of an amateur show. When Chub's tambourine flew whirling out of his hand and fell into Mrs. Emery's lap it seemed an excellent joke. When Warren fell over a chair and landed on all fours in front of the descending curtain everybody applauded uproariously. When, in the plantation sketch, the roof of the log-cabin fell in because Post had thoughtlessly leaned against the door-frame, and Sid, in the role of Aunt Dinah, floundered terrifiedly out through the window with a spirited rending of feminine garments the audience rocked in merriment.

The orchestra, a Silver Cove combination of piano, flute and violin, did wonderfully considering the fact that it had attended but one rehearsal. The solos, especially Mr. Cobb's and Tom Forrest's, were cordially received. Harris and Kirby buried the hatchet temporarily and got through "Shine, Silv'ry Star" most brilliantly and had to give an encore. Mr. Cobb and Mr. Buckman did a ludicrous negro song which brought the house down, though not in the same way as Post had. The chorus work was good and the jokes took just as well as though they had been all fresh and new. Some few of them were. When Post asked Rogers if he knew what the principal article of diet was at the school across the river, and when he was finally prevailed on to dispel the interlocutor's ignorance and replied "Hammond eggs," the visitors from Hammond shrieked their appreciation. When Harris explained that Ferry Hill was the brightest school in the country because the students had their wits sharpened by Emery, the Doctor chuckled most appreciatively. Even the punning joke to which Jack Rogers had taken exception and which related the matrimonial adventures of Mr. Cobb and a fictitious Miss Webb went well.

Chub's imitations were distinctly clever, that of Mr. Buckman coaching the crew throwing the Ferry Hill portion of the assemblage at least into convulsions. Sid "did his worst," according to promise, and made a hit more by his earnest desire to please than by any musical results obtained from his banjo. Mr. Cobb's monologues were screamingly funny and he had hard work getting away from the audience. Professor Carlos Cole, better known as Charlie Cole of the Middle Class, didn't quite make good all the promises of the programme, but executed some clever tricks of palming and even managed, with some difficulty, to extract one of Harry's pigeons out of an empty bottle— with the aid of a voluminous handkerchief which fluttered suspiciously when produced. The sketch entitled "Christmas Eve on the Plantation" went better than anyone dared hope, principally, perhaps, for the reason that about everybody forgot his lines and did what and how he pleased. The first half came to a triumphant end with the entire company of entertainers filling the little stage and vigorously proclaiming that they were "going to live, anyhow, until they died."

During the intermission black-faced youths emerged from the dressing-room under the balcony and visited friends in the audience and the orchestra performed its "Medley of College Airs." The programme's announcement of College Tableaux had whetted the audience's curiosity, and when the hall was darkened, the bell tinkled and the curtain— still on its good behavior— rolled noiselessly up there was a general craning forward of heads.

The painted back drop had given way to a curtain of white cloth. In front of it stood a large oblong frame of wood covered with gilt paper. Behind the latter, like a picture in its frame, stood Bacon on a little white-draped dais, impersonating a Yale oarsman. His costume was a blue sleeveless jersey with a while Y stitched on it, white trunks, turned-down socks and rowing shoes. In his right hand he supported an oar with a blue blade. A gas pipe had been run around the inner side of the frame and the dozens of little jets threw a brilliant light on the motionless figure. The applause
was instant and hearty. Bacon kept the pose for a minute while the orchestra played "Boola," and then the curtain fell again. Presently it went up to reveal Roy in his crimson sweater, moleskin trousers, crimson stockings and tan shoes. A white H adorned the front of the sweater and under his arm was a football. Again the applause, quite as hearty as before, [illustration - "Chub's tambourine flew whirling out of his hands and fell into Mrs. Emery's lap."] while the strains of "Up the Street" came from the orchestra.

Chub, who came next, represented a Princeton baseball player, striped stockings on his sturdy legs, grey shirt over his black jersey, a grey cap set rakishly over his smiling face and a mask and ball under his arm. The applause seemed to be more a tribute to Chub, the captain of the Ferry Hill Nine, than to the picture he made or the college he represented. After tne music of "Old Nassau" had ceased the curtain fell once more. Then followed Warren as a Cornell oarsman, Gallup as a Columbia tennis player and Tom Forrest, with a sixteen-pound hammer behind him, poised for a throw. Forrest wore Dartmouth's colors and made an unmistakable hit.

But the audience was agog for the next picture. Harry had devised the tableaux and had insisted upon being allowed to appear as Vassar. And although to Jack and Chub and Roy a girls' college had seemed out of place on the programme, yet they were too grateful to Harry for her assistance to think of refusing her. And when the curtain rolled up tor the last time they were all very glad they hadn't. For Harry was the success of the evening.

She was standing two-thirds-face to the audience, a black mortar board cap on her head, a flowing black gown reaching to her feet and a book under her arm. The pose was grace itself. But the crowning glory of the picture was Harry's hair. She had coiled it at the back of her little head, therein adding several years to her apparent age, and the intense light of the sizzing gas-jets made it glow and shimmer like red gold. A very bright, happy and demure-looking Vassar student she made, and a pretty one, too. Roy, watching from the wings, could hardly believe that the smiling, grown-up young lady in front of him was the red-haired little minx who had "sassed " him so sharply in the stable yard that first day of their acquaintance.

The applause grew and grew; at the back of the hall John, the gardener, had forgotten his awe of the surroundings and was "hurrahing" loudly, egged on by the admiring women servants. And then suddenly the applause gave place to cries of alarm. Persons in the front row sprang to their feet. Those behind them pushed back their chairs and, without knowing the cause, became imbued with the panic of those in front. Some one cried "fire!" and instantly the place was in an uproar.

But those in the wings had seen as quickly as those in the audience and it was Roy who dashed across the stage, picked Harry bodily from the dais, laid her down and crushed the flames out of her black gown with his hands before any of the others near by had recovered from their momentary panic. Harry, white-faced but silent through it all, was helped
unharmed to her feet and the curtain came down with a rush. It had been "a narrow squeeze," [illustration - "It was Roy who dashed across the stage."] as Chub excitedly termed it, but, save for a fright, Harry was none the worse for the happening. But the same could not be said for her black gown. It had fluttered against one of the gas-jets, caught fire and had been burned away for a space of several feet up one side. Doctor and Mrs. Emery joined Roy, Mr. Cobb and Jack as they conducted Harry to the dressing-room and they were both embarrassingly profuse in their praise of Roy's presence of mind. The Doctor insisted on shaking hands, and it was then that the discovery was made that while the rescued had escaped injury the rescuer had not. Both of Roy's hands were pretty badly scorched, although Roy tried to convince them that they were not. Mr. Cobb sent for oil and bandages and Harry, in order to reassure the audience, was led before the curtain, where she received applause more hearty than ever. The incident had effectually ended the evening's performance and the singing of the school song was omitted. When Harry came back to the dressing-room, still pale and rather sober, she walked over to Roy who, was seated awaiting the "first aid to the injured," and, as she could not grasp his scorched hands, she impulsively leaned over and kissed his cheek. "Please, Roy," she whispered, "thank you very, very much! I shan't forget it. You were so good, so generous. And— and I'm sorry I was so low-down mean!"

(To be continued.)