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Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

'Twas moonset at starting ; but while we drew near
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be ;
And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,
So, Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is time !”

At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare thro’ the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray:

And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
And one eye's black intelligence, — ever that glance
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping OIl.

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, “Stay spur !
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
We'll remember at Aix” — for one heard the quick wheeze
Of her chest, saw the stretch'd neck and staggering knees,
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shudder'd and sank.

So, we were left galloping, Joris and I,
Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laugh’d a pitiless laugh,
'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
And “Gallop,” gasped Joris, “for Aix is in sight !

“How they'll greet us !” – and all in a moment his roan
Roll'd neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, lean'd, patted his ear,
Call'd my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer;
Clapp'd my hands, laugh’d and sang, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland gallop’d and stood.

And all I remember is, friends flocking round
As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I pour’d down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which, the burgesses voted by common consent,
Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.

XXVI. Write a brief telegram. Give an important message in

ten words or less. Expand this message in a letter to follow the telegram. It should deal with an event.

XXVII. Invent an apologue, that is, a simple narrative whose

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chief object is to teach a moral. Tell what would be lost if the moral were omitted. Perhaps the following titles would be suggestive: —

. What the mouse said to Tabby.
. What the horse said to the driver.
. The bird and the hunter.
. The broom's complaint.
. The fox and the rover.

XXVIII. The three stanzas of the following poem are three sepa

rate but consecutive pictures, all depicting events that happen outside of the poem. Outline and write a narration dealing with these events : —

THE THREE FISHERs
Charles Kingsley

Three fishers went sailing out into the West,
Out into the West as the sun went down;
Each thought on the woman who lov’d him the best;
And the children stood watching them out of the town :
For men must work, and women must weep,
And there's little to earn, and many to keep,
Though the harbor bar be moaning.

Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower,
And they trimm'd the lamps as the sun went down;
They look’d at the squall, and they look'd at the shower,
And the night rack came rolling up ragged and brown l
But men must work, and women must weep,
Though storms be sudden, and waters deep,
And the harbor bar be moaning.

Three corpses lay out on the shining sands
In the morning gleam as the tide went down,
And the women are weeping and wringing their hands
For those who will never come back to the town;
For men must work, and women must weep,
And the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep —
And good-by to the bar and its moaning.

XXIX. Imagine yourself a newspaper reporter. Plan material for an article upon an ordinary incident of the day; upon an extraordinary incident.

XXX. Compose narratives of real incidents for a newspaper which might be published daily by your school.

CHAPTER XI
THE STORY
WHAT MAKES A STORY

The Plot. — It is hard to say just when a simple narrative becomes a story, but it is not so difficult to tell what makes a story. A story is a narrative with a plot. Hence, in order to understand what a story is, we must first know what makes a plot. A plot has three parts: a cause, a result, and a series of happenings that connects the two. For example, suppose that you should find a piece of parchment covered with mysterious symbols, suppose that you should work out the symbols, and, discovering that they referred to hidden treasure, should search for that treasure, and suppose that you should find it. There, in a simple form, is a cause, a series of happenings, and the result to which they led ; in short, a plot. The story would follow if you should elaborate this plot by adding the personality of the actors, the description of the scenes, and all the details of action which would accompany such a plot if it should work itself out in real life. You will find it made into a story in Poe's Gold-Bug.

A story, then, is a narrative where a certain cause leads up to a certain result. Unless this connection is clear, your story will be said to “lack plot.” If the connection is artificial, improbable, or unnatural, your story will be said to be melodramatic, or unconvincing. If it is too obvious, the plot will give itself away from the first and be scarcely worth

telling. If the connection between cause and effect is clumsily made, the story will be said to be badly told. If it is commonplace, hackneyed, or too familiar, those are the names which will be applied to your tale. Before you begin to write a story, be sure that you have a good plot.

EXERCISES

I. a. Write out, in a sentence or two for each, the plots of five

short stories that you have recently read.

b. Point out orally, or in writing, the cause, and the result in each plot. Does the series of events in every instance provide a good connection between the two 2

II. Criticize the following plots : —

1. George Darby, sixteen years old, is stranded in Chicago without a cent in his pockets. A passing automobile strikes him and hurls him into a disused areaway. He is unhurt, and as he struggles to free himself from the old boxes and tin cans into which he has been thrown, his hand closes upon a pocketbook which contains a thousand dollars.

2. A young girl goes aboard a transatlantic steamer at New York to say good-by to a school friend. The steamer sails with her aboard, but the pilot promises to take her ashore. She goes through an agony of apprehension on the voyage through the Narrows. When they approach the open ocean, she breaks down and sobs, in spite of the assurances of the captain that she will be landed safely. The pilot finally puts her ashore.

FINDING A STORY AND MAKING A PLOT

Life the Source of Stories. – You should make your own plot if your story is to have any originality, but for the materials of this plot you must go to the ultimate source of all stories, life. Unless your tale is lifelike, unless it reflects life, both plot and narrative will be valueless. Therefore

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