SELLING TIMOTHY TITUS
Copyright by "The Youth's Companion."
 "DEAR me," said mother, "I can't think of having four
cats in the house all winter."
"I should say you couldn't," laughed father; "you will
have to give them away."
But there was the old kitty—father himself couldn't
think of giving her away. She had been in the house
ever since it was built, and there was not a better
mouser anywhere. Then there were Toots and Jingle—it
did seem a pity to part them, mother could but admit to
They were black and white, and so near alike that you
couldn't tell them apart unless you looked at their
noses. Toots's nose was black, and Jingle's nose was
And then there was Timothy Titus. He was black and
white, too, but a good deal more white than black.
"He is an odd one," laughed mother. "We might give him
But Caroline made a grieved lip, and caught up Timothy
Titus. "O-oh," said she, cuddling him close to her
neck; "he is so cunning and sweet, mother, I can't bear
to part with him."
By and by, when the kittens were taking their
after-dinner nap by the fire, in came Mr. Davis. Mr.
Davis lived on the other side of the river and peddled
apples. He looked down at the little furry heap, and
laughed. "Seems to me you have more than your share of
cats," said he. "We haven't got any."
"Caroline may give you one of hers," said mother.
 Caroline looked down at her shoes. Mr. Davis
could tell which way the wind blew.
"Suppose we make a trade," he said to Caroline. "I'll
give you a peck of sweet apples for one of these," and
he picked up Timothy Titus.
Caroline looked up. A peck of sweet apples did not
grow on every bush. Besides, maybe four cats were too
"I—I will, if mother will let me keep Toots and
Jingle," she said.
Mother laughed; she did not like to promise. "We will
see about it," she said; "three cats are less than
So Mr. Davis measured out a peck of sweet apples, and
gave them to Caroline. And Caroline hugged and kissed
and cried over Timothy Titus, and gave him to Mr.
Davis, who put him in a basket and tied a bag over him.
"I guess he'll be all right," said Mr. Davis. "Good
day," and away rumbled the apple cart.
But as soon as the apple cart was out of sight,
Caroline began to mourn. She stood at the window with
a very doleful face, looking across the river at Mr.
Davis's big, white house. The sky had all at once
grown cloudy, and the wind began to blow. And, as if
to make a bad matter worse, Toots woke up and flew
around the room in a fit.
"It is all because he knows that Timothy Titus is
gone," sobbed Caroline, running to hide her head in
her mother's lap. "How would I feel if Teddy were given
away, where I'd never see him any more? And the apples
are bitterish, too, and I don't like them. Oh, dear!"
But mother said that perhaps Timothy Titus would
 come home again. "I've heard of such things," she
said. And then she told Caroline a story about a cat
who traveled forty miles back to her old home.
"But I don't believe Timothy Titus can," sighed
Caroline, but brightening up a little, "because he's
over the river, and there isn't any bridge—only the
ferry-boat. I 'most know he can't."
"Oh, stranger things than that have happened," said
But she was as surprised as Caroline was the next
morning. When the kitchen door was opened—what do you
think? In walked Timothy Titus, as large as life, if
he were a little bit draggled as to his fur and muddy
around his paws!
"Hello!" said father.
"Well, well!" said mother. "Why, Timothy Titus!"
Just at that minute Caroline came running out in her
nightgown. She gave one look, and then she snatched
Timothy Titus up in her arms.
"Oh, oh!" she screamed, too full of joy to do anything
else for a minute. "Oh, you darling cat! How did he
get here, mother?"
"I am sure I can't tell," said mother.
Neither could any one else, unless it was the ferryman,
who, when father questioned him, said he did think he
remembered seeing a little black and white cat sitting
under the seat the night before. But he wasn't sure of
it, and so Caroline couldn't be.
"Well, Timothy Titus has come back," she said, "and he
is going to stay, isn't he, mother?" We can give Mr.
Davis back his apples."
But Mr. Davis said a trade was a trade, and he wasn't
going to take back the apples. And Timothy Titus