A CROWD WAS standing around in City Park, for a baby was missing. Patrol cars roaring around Branton Hills; many a woman hunting around through sympathy; kidnapping rumors flying around. His Honor was out of town; but on landing at our railroad station, and finding patrol cars drawn up at City Park, saw, in that crowd’s midst, a tiny girl, of about six, with a bunch of big shouting officials, asking:-

“Who took that baby?”

“Did you do it?”

“Which way did it go?”

“How long ago did you miss it?” “Say, kiddo!! Why don’t you talk?”

An adult brain can stand a lot of such shouting, but a baby’s is not in that class; so, totally dumb, and shaking with fright, this tot stood, thumb in mouth, and two big brown baby orbs just starting to grow moist, as His Honor, pushing in, said:-

“Wait a bit!!” and that bunch in uniform, knowing him, got up and Gadsby sat down on a rock, saying:-

“You can’t find out a thing from a young child by such hard, gruff ways. This tiny lady is almost in a slump. Now, just start this crowd moving. I know a bit about Youth.”

“That’s right,” said a big, husky patrolman. “If anybody living knows kids, it’s you, sir.”

So, as things got around to normal, His Honor, now sitting flat on City Park’s smooth lawn, said, jovially:-


A big gulping sob in a tiny bosom—didn’t gulp; and a grin ran around a small mouth, as our young lady said:-

“So many big cops! O-o-o! I got afraid !”

“I know, darling; but no big cops will shout at you now. I don’t shout at tiny girls, do I?”

“No, sir; but if folks do shout, I go all woozy.”

“Woozy? Woozy? Ha, ha! I’ll look that up in a big book. But what’s all this fuss about? Is it about a baby?”

A vigorous nodding of a bunch of brown curls.

“What? Fussing about a baby? A baby is too small to fuss about.”

“O-o-o-o! It isn’t!!”


“No, sir. I fuss about my dolly, an’ it’s not half so big as a baby.”

“That’s so. Girls do fuss about dolls. My girls did.”

“How many dolls has your girls got?”

“Ha, ha! Not any, now. My girls all got

grown up and big.”

During this calm, happy talk, a patrolman, coming up, said:-

“Shall I stick around, Your Honor? Any kidnapping facts?”

“I don’t know, just now. Wait around about an hour, and drop in again.”

So His Honor, Mayor of Branton Hills, and Childhood sat on that grassy lawn; a tiny tot making daisy chains, grass rings, and thrilling at Gadsby’s story of how a boy, known as Jack, had to climb a big, big tall stalk to kill an awfully ugly giant. Finally Gadsby said:-

“I thought you had a baby playing with you.”

“I did.”

“Huh, it isn’t playing now. Did it fly away?”

“Oho! No! A baby can’t fly!”

“No. That’s right. But how could a baby go away from you without your knowing it?”

“It didn’t. I did know it.”

Now, many may think that His Honor would thrill at this information; but Gadsby didn’t. So, “playing around” for a bit, His Honor finally said:—

“I wish I had a baby to play with, right now!”

“You can.”

“Can I? How?”

With a tiny hand on baby lips, our small lady said:-

“Go look in that lilac arbor; but go soft! I think it’s snoozing.”

And Gadsby, going to that arbor, got a frightful shock; for it was Lillian, Nancy’s baby! Not having known of this “kidnapping” as his family couldn’t find him by phoning, it was a shock; for His Honor was thinking of that young woman collapsing. So, upon that patrolman coming back, as told, Gadsby said:-

“Go and call up your station, quickly! Say that I want your Captain to notify my folks that Lillian is all right.”

“Good gosh, Your Honor!! Is this tot your grandchild?”

“Grandchild or no grandchild, you dash to that box!!”

And so, again, John Gadsby, Champion of Youth, had shown officialdom that a child’s brain and that of an adult vary as do a gigantic oak and its tiny acorn.



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Books with no spinal columns.