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New York is a place to have fun. San Francisco is great for a holiday, but Washington is wonderful for tourists, because there are so many famous and historical places to see.

The best known building is the White House, home of American Presidents since 1800. The President works here, in the "Oval Office", but the White House is also a family home. The wife of John Adams, the first President to live here, used to dry her wet clothes in the East Room; President Truman had a piano next to his desk; and President Kennedy's children used to play under his office windows.

Next on the tourist's list is the Capitol. The 535 members of Congress meet here to discuss the nation's business. It is easy to get lost in this huge building, full of paintings and statues.

From the Capitol there is a magnificent view down the grassy Mall, and across a pool of water to the Lincoln Memorial. It looks like a beautiful walk, but you need a good pair of shoes because it is, in fact, a long, long way.

Most people know about the government buildings of Washington, but there are also some important museums. You can see all kinds of things, the dresses of Presidents' wives, the original Declaration of Independence, the largest blue diamond in the world, and the biggest elephant on record (stuffed, of course!)

{Welcome to Great Britain and the USA by E. Laird.)


The United States' flag is called the "Stars and Stripes". It has thirteen red and white stripes and fifty white stars on a blue square. One star is for each state of the United States now, and the stripes are for the first thirteen states of the union.

There is a story that the first flag was a patchwork quilt made by a patriotic lady called Betsy Ross. The flag is also called the "Star-Spangled Banner", the name of the national anthem of the United States.

In the eighteenth century, America was a land of many flags. There were, for example, the ship of New Hampshire, the tree of Massachusetts and the anchor of Rhode Island. The Stars and Stripes first became the national flag after the Declaration of Independence, in 1776.

Americans enjoy their flag. They use the stars and stripes as a popular design on shirts, shoes, hats — anywhere and everywhere in fact. It is typical of American informality, and their love of bright, cheerful colours.

But Americans are patriotic too. Many of them think that America is the best, the first and the greatest nation in the world, and that their flag is the flag of freedom.

The Stars and Stripes stand by the President's desk. The flag hangs in every classroom in America, and every day school children salute it before the school day begins. And on July 4th, Independence Day, the Stars and Stripes are everywhere, on the streets, on houses, and in the big parades.

{Welcome to Great Britain and the USA by E. Laird.)


London has many large department stores, which sell everything: shoes and shirts, paper and perfume, fur coats and frying pans. The most expensive department store is Harrods in Knightsbridge. You can buy almost anything in Harrods, and you know you're getting the best. Twice a year, in January and July, Harrods has a "sale". Some things are almost half price, and there are thousands of bargains. But on the first days of the sale the shop is very crowded. Some people stand and wait all night so that they can be first in the shop when it opens.

The smartest and most expensive shops are in Knightsbridge, but more people come to Oxford Street, London's most popular shopping centre. Most of the hundreds of shops sell clothes or shoes. The street is more than a mile long. There are several big department stores in Oxford Street. The best known are Selfridges, John Lewis and D. H. Evans.

Oxford Street has the most shops, but in some ways King's Road in Chelsea is more fun. This is where fashionable young Londoners buy their clothes in the many small "boutiques".

You can buy what you like in the big shops, but the small markets have a lot to offer too. There are several big street markets in London, and many small ones. Some markets open only one day a week. Go to the Portobello Road on Saturday, or to Petticoat Lane on Sunday. Covent Garden market is open every day. Come here for antiques, old clothes, hand-made jewellery and many other rather special things.

(Welcome to Great Britain and the USA by E. Laird.)


British restaurants are not, unfortunately, famous for their good food. Too often, they offer only sausages and chips, fish and chips — chips with everything in fact! But there are some wonderful surprises in British cooking, especially the many delicious cakes and desserts, and the British certainly enjoy their food. There's a fantastic variety of restaurants of all nationalities in London.

Most British families only go to restaurants on special occasions, like birthdays, or wedding anniversaries. The restaurants best customers are businessmen, who meet in them to talk business in a relaxed atmosphere away from the telephone. They can eat what they like, because the company pays the bill! But when a boy and girl want to get to know each other better, they often go out to a restaurant together. After all, it's easier to talk in a quiet atmosphere, with soft music, wine and good food.

For visitors to London, eating out can be fun. Try Rules, in the West End! The traditional menu and decor are just like they were in Queen Victoria's day, a hundred years ago.

Or take a walk down the King's Road in Chelsea where there are dozens of small restaurants.

But if you want that special London feeling, go to the Ritz in Piccadilly for tea any afternoon at about half past four. Too expensive? Then try England's favourite food — fish and chips. Take it away and eat it where you like — in the park, on the bus, or while you walk down the street. That's what Londoners do!

{Welcome to Great Britain and the USA by E. Laird.)

ART FOR HEART'S SAKE (by Rude Goldberg)

"Here, take your juice," said Koppel, Mr. Ellsworth's servant and nurse.

"No," said Collis P. Ellsworth.

"But it's good for you, sir!"


"The doctor insists on it."


Koppel heard the front door bell and was glad lo leave the room. He found Doctor Caswell in the hall downstairs.

"I can't do a thing with him," he told the doctor." He doesn't want to take his juice. I can't persuade him to take his medicine. He doesn't want me to read to him. He hates TV. He doesn't like anything!"

Doctor Caswell took the information with his usual professional calm. This was not an ordinary case. The old gentleman was in pretty good health for a man of seventy. But it was necessary to keep him from buying things. His financial transactions always ended in failure, which was bad for his health.

"How are you this morning? Feeling better?" asked the doctor. "I hear you haven't been obeying my orders."

The doctor drew up a chair and sat down close to the old man. He had to do his duty. "I'd like to make a suggestion," he said quietly. He didn't want to argue with the old man.

Old Ellsworth looked at him over his glasses. The way Doctor Caswell said it made him suspicious. "What is it, more medicine, more automobile rides to keep me away from the office?" The old man asked with suspicion. "Not at all," said the doctor. "I've been thinking of something different. As a matter of fact I'd like to suggest that you should take up art. I don't mean seriously of course," said the doctor, "just try. You'll like it."

Much to his surprise the old man agreed. He only asked who was going to teach him drawing. "I've thought of that too," said the doctor "I know a student from an art school who can come round once a week. If you don't like it, after a little while you can throw him out." The person he had in mind and promised to bring over was a certain Frank Swain, eighteen years old and a capable student. Like most students he needed money. Doctor Caswell kept his promise.

LETTERS IN THE MAIL (by Erskine. Caldwell)

Almost everybody likes to receive letters. And perhaps nobody in Stillwater liked to get letters more than Ray Buffin. But unfortunately Ray received fewer letters in his box at the post-office than anybody else.

Guy Hodge and Ralph Barnhill were two young men in town who liked to play jokes on people. But they never meant anything bad. One afternoon they decided to play a joke on Ray Buffin. Their plan was to ask a girl in town to send Ray a love letter without signing it, and then tell everybody in the post-office to watch Ray read the letter: then somebody was to ask Ray if he had received a love letter from a girl. After that somebody was to snatch the letter out of his hand and read it aloud.

They bought blue writing paper and went round the corner to the office of the telephone company where Grace Brooks worked as a night telephone operator. Grace was pretty though not very young. She had begun working for the company many years ago, after she had finished school. She had remained unmarried all those years, and because she worked at night and slept in the daytime it was very difficult for her to find a husband.

At first, after Guy and Ralph had explained to her what they wanted to do and had asked her to write the letter to Ray, Grace refused to do it.

"Now, be a good girl, Grace, do us a favour and write the letter." Suddenly she turned away. She didn't want the young men to see her crying. She remembered the time she had got acquainted with Ray. Ray wanted to marry her. But she had just finished school then and had started to work for the telephone company: she was very young then and did not want to marry anybody. Time passed. During all those years she had seen him a few times but only a polite word had passed between them, and each time he looked sadder and sadder.

Finally she agreed to write the letter for Guy and Ralph and said that she would send it in the morning.

THE DOLL'S HOUSE (by Katherine Mansfield)

Days passed, and as more children saw the doll's house, the fame of it spread. It became the one subject of talk. The one question was, "Have you seen the Bumells' doll's house? Oh, isn't it lovely!" "Haven't you seen it? Oh, dear!"

Even the dinner hour was given up to talking about it. The little girls sat under the trees eating their lunch. While always, as near as they could get, sat the Kelveys, Else holding on to Lil, listening too.

"Mother," said Kezia, "can't I ask the Kelveys just once?"

"Certainly not, Kezia."

"But why not?"

"Run away, Kezia; you know quite well why not."

At last everybody had seen it except them. On that day they were all rather tired of the subject. It was the dinner hour. The children stood together under the trees, and suddenly, as they looked at the Kelveys eating out of their paper, always by themselves, always listening, they wanted to hurt them. Emmie Cole started the whisper.

"Lil Kelvey's going to be a servant when she grows up?'

"O-oh, how terrible!" said Isabel Burnell, looking Emmie in the eye.

Emmie swallowed in a very special way and looked at Isabel as she'd seen her mother do on those occasions.

"Its true —; it's true — it's true," she said.

Then Lena Logan's little eyes opened. "Shall I ask her?" she whispered.

"You're afraid to," said Jessie May.

"I'm not frightened," said Lena. Suddenly she gave a little cry and danced in front of the other girls. "Watch! Watch me! Watch me now!" said Lena. And slowly, dragging one foot, laughing behind her hand, Lena went over to the Kelveys.

Lil looked up from her dinner. She wrapped the rest quickly away. Else stopped eating. What was coming now?

"Is it true you're going to be a servant when you grow up, Lil Kelvey?" cried Lena at the top of her voice.

Dead silence. But instead of answering, Lil only gave her foolish smile. She didn't seem to object to the question at all. What a disappointment for Lena. The girls began to laugh. , Lena couldn't bear that. She went forward. "Your father's in prison!" she cried hatefully.

This was such a wonderful thing to have said that the little girls rushed away together, deeply, deeply excited, wild with joy. Someone found a long rope and they began playing with it. And never did they play so happily as on that morning.


Mr Maydig, a thin, excitable man with a long neck, was pleased when the young man asked to speak to him. He took him to his study, gave him a comfortable seat, and standing in front of a good fire asked Mr Fotheringay to state his business.

At first Mr Fotheringay found some difficulty in opening the subject. "You will hardly believe me, Mr Maydig —" and so on for some time. He tried a question at last, and asked Mr Maydig his opinion of miracles.

"You don't believe, I suppose," said Fotheringay, "that some common sort of person — like myself, for example — might have something strange inside him that made him able to do things by willpower."

"It's possible," said Mr Maydig. "Something of that sort, perhaps, is possible."

"If I may try with something here, I think I can show you by a sort of experiment," said Mr Fotheringay. "Now that tobacco pot on the table, for example. I want to know whether this is a miracle or not. Just half a minute, Mr Maydig, please."

He pointed to the tobacco pot and said, "Be a bowl of flowers."

The tobacco pot did as it was ordered.

Mr Maydig jumped violently at the change, and stood looking from Fotheringay to the flowers. He said nothing. Presently he leant over the table and smelt the flowers; they were fresh and very fine. Then he looked at Fotheringay again.

"How did you do that?" he asked.

Mr Fotheringay said, "I just told it — and there it is. Is that a miracle, or what is it? And what do you think is the matter with me? That's what I want to ask."

"It's a most extraordinary thing."

"And last week I didn't know that I could do things like that. It came quite suddenly. It's something strange about my will, I suppose, and that's all I can understand."

"Is that — the only thing? Could you do other things besides that?"

"Oh, yes!" said Mr Fotheringay. "Just anything." He thought a little, "Listen!" He pointed. "Change into a bowl of fish. You see that, Mr Maydig?"

"It's astonishing. I can't believe it. You are either a most extraordinary... But no —"

"I could change it into anything," said Mr Fotheringay. "Listen! Be a bird, will you?"

In another moment a blue bird was flying round the room and making Mr Maydig bend his head every time it came near him. "Stop there, will you?" said Mr Fotheringay; and the bird hung still in the air. "I could change it back to a bowl of flowers," he said, and after placing the bird on the table he worked that miracle. "I expect you will want your pipe soon," he said, and brought back the tobacco pot.

Mr Maydig had watched all these later changes with small cries, but no words. Carefully he picked up the tobacco pot, examined it, and put it back on the table. "Welll" was the only expression of his feelings.


One morning, as he was on his way to Holland Park, where the Mertons lived, he went in to see a great friend of his, Alan Trevor. Trevor was a painter. Indeed, few people are not nowadays. But he was also an artist, and artists are rather rare. Personally he was a strange, rough fellow, with a spotted face and red, rough beard. However, when he took up the brush he was a real master, and his pictures were eagerly sought after. He had been very much attracted by Hughie at first, it must be admitted, entirely because of his personal charm. "The only people a painter should know," he used to say, "are people who are beautiful, people who are an artistic pleasure to look at, and restful to talk to. Men who are well-dressed and women who are lovely rule the world — at least they should do so." However, after he got to know Hughie better, he liked him quite as much for his bright, cheerful spirits, and his generous, careless nature, and had asked him to come to see him whenever he liked.

When Hughie came in he found Trevor putting the finishing touches to a wonderful life-size picture of a beggar-man. The beggar himself was standing on a raised part of the floor like a stage in a corner of the room. He was a dried-up old man with a lined face and a sad expression. Over his shoulder was thrown a rough brown coat, all torn and full of holes; his thick boots were old and mended, and with one hand he leant on a rough stick, while with the other he held out his ancient hat for money.

,"What an astonishing model!" whispered Hughie, as he shook hands with his friend.

"An astonishing model!" shouted Trevor at the top of his voice; "I should think so! Such beggars are not met with every day. Good heavens! What a picture Rembrandt would have made of him!"

"Poor old fellow!" said Hughie, "how miserable he looks! But I suppose, to you painters, his face is valuable."


On the Thursday evening the drawing was finished. Not a word had been said about it in Aaron's presence, and he had gone on working in silence. "There," said he, late on Thursday evening, "I don't think that it will be any better if I go on for another hour. There, Miss Susan; there's another bridge. I hope that it will neither burst with the cold nor be destroyed by fire," and he sent it across the table with his fingers.

Susan's face was red when she smiled and took it up. "Oh, it is beautiful," she said. "Isn't it beautifully done, mother?" and then all the three got up to look at it, and all admitted that it was excellently done.

"And I am sure we thank you very much," said Susan after a pause.

"Oh, it's nothing," said he, not quite liking the word 'we'.

On the following day he returned from his work to Saratoga about noon. He had never done this before, and therefore no one expected that he would be seen in the house before the evening. On this occasion, however, he went straight there, and by chance both the widow and her elder daughter were out. Susan was there alone in charge of the house.

He walked in and opened the sitting-room door. There she sat, with her work forgotten on the table behind her, and the picture, Aaron's drawing, on her knees. She was looking at it closely as he entered, thinking in her young heart that it possessed all the beauties that a picture could possess.

"Oh, Mr Dunn," she said, getting up and holding the picture behind her dress.

"Miss Susan, I have come here to tell your mother that I must start for New York this afternoon and be there for six weeks, or perhaps longer."

"Mother is out," said she: "I'm so sorry."

"Is she?" said Aaron.

"And Hetta too. Dear me! And you will want dinner. I'll go and see about it."

Aaron began to swear that he could not possibly eat any dinner. He had had one dinner, and he was going to have another — anything to keep her from going.

"But you must have something, Mr Dunn," and she walked towards the door.

But he put his back to it. "Miss Susan, " said he, "I've been here nearly two months."

"Yes, sir, I believe you have," she replied, shaking in her shoes and not knowing which way to look.

"And I hope we have been good friends."

"Yes, sir," said Susan, hardly knowing what she was saying.

"I'm going away now, and it seems to be such a long time before I'll come back."

"Will it, sir?"

"Six weeks, Miss Susan!" and then he paused, looking into her eyes, to see what he could read there. She leant against the table, pulling to pieces a bit of cloth which she held in her hand; but her eyes were turned to the ground, and he could hardly see them.

"Miss Susan," he continued, "this is as good a time to speak as any other." He too was looking towards the ground, and clearly did not know what to do with his hands. "The truth is just this. I — I love you dearly, with all my heart. I never saw anyone I ever thought so beautiful, so nice, so good; — and what's more, I never shall. I'm not very good at saying things like this, I know; but I couldn't go away from Saratoga for six weeks and not tell you." And then he stopped. He did not ask for any love in return. He simply declared his feelings, leaning against the door.

LORD MOUNTDRAGO (by W. Somerset Maugham)

It was a quarter to six. Dr Audlin could remember no case which was stranger than that of Lord Mountdrago. For one thing it was strange because Lord Mountdrago was a clever and famous man. He was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when still under forty years of age; now after three years in office, he had seen success. It was generally agreed that he was the cleverest man in his party. There was nothing to prevent Lord Mountdrago from continuing as Secretary for Foreign Affairs in many later governments.

Lord Mountdrago had many good qualities. He was clever and worked hard. He had travelled widely and spoke several languages well. He knew a great deal about other countries. He had courage and determination. He was a good speaker. He was a tall, goodlooking man, but perhaps rather too fat. At the age of twenty-four he had married a girl of eighteen whose father was a duke and whose American mother was very rich, so that he had a good position and wealth. He had two sons. He had, indeed, a great deal to make him a popular and successful man. He had, unfortunately, great faults.

He was very proud. For three hundred years the Lords Mountdrago had held the title and had married into the noblest families of England. Therefore he had no need to be proud of the title, but he was. He never missed an opportunity of telling others about it. He had beautiful manners when he wanted to show them, but he did this only with people whom he considered his equals. He was rude to his servants and his secretaries. The lower officials in the government offices feared and hated him. He knew that he was a great deal cleverer than most of the persons he worked with, and never hesitated to tell them so. He had no patience with the weaknesses of human nature. He felt himself born to command and was angry when people expected him to listen to their arguments or wished to hear the reasons for his decisions. He was terribly selfish. He had many enemies and thought of them with scorn. He knew no one who deserved his help or his pity. He had no friends. He was unpopular with his party because he was so proud; but he loved his country so much and managed affairs so well that they had to bear his pride. It was possible to do this because sometimes he could be quite charming. He could tell a good story; he could be natural and sensible. He could be the best company in the world, and you could forget that he had insulted you the day before and was quite able to insult you again.

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