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  • 1873
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“And the next thing was, because my father is so poor. He finds it hard work to support us all. The farm is small, and the land is poor. I want to help him if I can.”

“Very commendable, Harry,” said the doctor, kindly.

“You owe a debt of gratitude to your good father, who has not succeeded so well in life as he deserves.”

“That’s true, sir. He has always been a hard-working man.”

“If you start out with such a good object, I think you will succeed. Have you any plans at all, or any idea what you would like to do?”

“I thought I should like to work in a shoe shop, if I got a chance,” said Harry.

“You like that better than working on a farm, then?”

“Yes, sir, There isn’t much money to be earned by working on a farm. I had a chance to do that before I came away.”

“You mean working on your father’s land, I suppose?”

“No, Squire Green wanted to hire me.”

“What wages did he offer?”

“Two dollars a month, at first. Afterwards he got up to three.”

The doctor smiled.

“How could you decline such a magnificent offer?” he asked.

“I don’t think I should like boarding at the squire’s.”

“A dollar is twice as large at least in his eyes as in those of anyone else.”

By this time they had reached a place where a road turned at right angles.

“I am going down here, Harry,” said the doctor. “I should like to have you ride farther, but I suppose it would only be taking you out of your course.”

“Yes, doctor. I’d better get out.”

“I’ll tell your father I saw you.”

“Tell him I was in good spirits,” said Harry, earnestly. “Mother’ll be glad to know that.”

“I will certainly. Good-by!”

“Good-by, doctor. Thank you for the ride.”

“You are quite welcome to that, Harry.”

Harry followed with his eyes the doctor’s chaise. It seemed like severing the last link that bound him to his native village. He was very glad to have fallen in with the doctor, but it seemed all the more lonesome that he had left him.

Harry walked six miles farther, and then decided that it was time to rest again. He was not only somewhat fatigued, but decidedly hungry, although it was but eleven o’clock in the forenoon. However, it must be considered that he had walked eleven miles, and this was enough to give anyone an appetite.

He sat down again beside the road, and untying the handkerchief which contained his worldly possessions, he drew therefrom a large slice of bread and began to eat with evident relish. There was a slice of cold meat also, which he found tasted particularly good.

“I wonder whether they are thinking of me at home,” he said to himself.

They were thinking about him, and when an hour later the family gathered around the table, no one seemed to have much appetite. All looked sober, for all were thinking of the absent son and brother.

“I wish Harry was here,” said Jane, at length, giving voice to the general feeling.

“Poor boy,” sighed his mother. “I’m afraid he’ll have a hard time. I wish he had stayed at home, or even have gone to Squire Green’s to work. Then we could have seen him every day.”

“I should have pitied him more if he had gone there than I do now,” said his father. “Depend upon it, it; will be better for him in the end.”

“I hope so,” said his mother, dubiously.

“But you don’t feel sure? Well, time will show. We shall hear from him before long.”

We go back to Harry.

He rested for a couple of hours, sheltered from the sun by the foliage of the oak beneath which he had stretched himself. He whiled away the time by reading for the second time some parts of the “Life of Franklin,” which he had brought away in his bundle, with his few other possessions. It seemed even more interesting to him now that he, too, like Franklin, had started out in quest for fortune.

He resumed walking, but we will not dwell upon the details of his journey. At six o’clock he was twenty-five miles from home. He had not walked much in the afternoon when, all at once, he was alarmed by the darkening of the sky. It was evident that a storm was approaching. He looked about him for shelter from the shower, and a place where he could pass the night.



The clouds were darkening, and the shower was evidently not far off. It was a solitary place, and no houses were to be seen near by. But nearly a quarter of a mile back Harry caught sight of a small house, and jumping over the fence directed his steps toward it. Five minutes brought him to it. It was small, painted red, originally, but the color had mostly been washed away. It was not upon a public road, but there was a narrow lane leading to it from the highway. Probably it was occupied by a poor family, Harry thought. Still it would shelter him from the storm which had even now commenced.

He knocked at the door.

Immediately it was opened and a face peered out–the face of a man advanced in years. It was thin, wrinkled, and haggard. The thin white hair, uncombed, gave a wild appearance to the owner, who, in a thin, shrill voice, demanded, “Who are you?”

“My name is Harry Walton.”

“What do you want?”

“Shelter from the storm. It is going to rain.”

“Come in,” said the old man, and opening the door wider, he admitted our hero.

Harry found himself in a room very bare of furniture, but there was a log fire in the fireplace, and this looked comfortable and pleasant. He laid down his bundle, and drawing up a chair sat down by it, his host meanwhile watching him closely.

“Does he live alone, I wonder?” thought Harry.

He saw no other person about, and no traces of a woman’s presence. The floor looked as if it had not been swept for a month, and probably it had not.

The old man sat down opposite Harry, and stared at him, till our hero felt somewhat embarrassed and uncomfortable.

“Why don’t he say something?” thought Harry.

“He is a very queer old man.”

After a while his host spoke.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked.

“No,” said Harry, looking at him.

“You’ve heard of me often,” pursued the old man.

“I didn’t know it,” answered Harry, beginning to feel curious.

“In history,” added the other.

“In history?”


Harry began to look at him in increased surprise.

“Will you tell me your name, if it is not too much trouble,” he asked, politely.

“I gained the victory of New Orleans,” said the old man.

“I thought General Jackson did that,” said Harry.

“You’re right,” said the old man, complacently. “I am General Jackson.”

“But General Jackson is dead.”

“That’s a mistake,” said the old man, quietly. “That’s what they say in all the books, but it isn’t true.”

This was amusing, but it was also startling. Harry knew now that the old man was crazy, or at least a monomaniac, and, though he seemed harmless enough, it was of course possible that he might be dangerous. He was almost sorry that he had sought shelter here. Better have encountered the storm in its full fury than place himself in the power of a maniac. The rain was now falling in thick drops, and he decided at any rate to remain a while longer. He knew that it would not be well to dispute the old man, and resolved to humor his delusion.

“You were President once, I believe?” he asked.

“Yes,” said the old man; “and you won’t tell anybody, will you?”


“I mean to be again,” said the old man in a low voice, half in a whisper. “But you mustn’t say anything about it. They’d try to kill me, if they knew it.”

“Who would?”

“Mr. Henry Clay, and the rest of them.”

“Doesn’t Henry Clay want you to be President again?”

“Of course not. He wants to be President himself. That’s why I’m hiding. They don’t any of them know where I am. You won’t tell, will you?”


“You might meet Henry Clay, you know.”

Harry smiled to himself. It didn’t seem very likely that he would ever find himself in such distinguished company, for Henry Clay was at that time living, and a United States Senator.

“What made you come here, General Jackson?” he inquired.

The old man brightened, on being called by this name.

“Because it was quiet. They can’t find me here.”

“When do you expect to be President again?”

“Next year,” said the old man. “I’ve got it all arranged. My friends are to blow up the capitol, and I shall ride into Washington on a white horse. Do you want an office?”

“I don’t know but I should like one,” said Harry, amused.

“I’ll see what I can do for you,” said the old man, seriously. “I can’t put you in my Cabinet. That’s all arranged. If you would like to be Minister to England or to France, you can go.”

“I should like to go to France. Benjamin Franklin was Minister to France.”

“Do you know him?”

“No; but I have read his life.”

“I’ll put your name down in my book. What is it?”

“Harry Walton.”

The old man went to the table, on which was a common account book. He took a pen, and, with a serious look, made this entry:

“I promise to make Harry Walton Minister to France, as soon as I take my place in the White House.


“It’s all right now,” he said.

“Thank you, general. You are very kind,” said our hero.

“Were you ever a soldier?” asked his host.

“I never was.”

“I thought you might have been in the battle of New Orleans. Our men fought splendidly, sir.”

“I have no doubt of it.”

“You’ll read all about it in history. We fought behind cotton bales. It was glorious!”

“General,” said Harry, “if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take out my supper from this bundle.”

“No, no,” said the old man; “you must take supper with me.”

“I wonder whether he has anything fit to eat,” thought Harry. “Thank you,” he said aloud. “If you wish it.”

The old man had arisen, and, taking a teakettle, suspended it over the fire. A monomaniac though he was on the subject of his identity with General Jackson, he knew how to make tea. Presently he took from the cupboard a baker’s roll and some cold meat, and when the tea was ready, invited Harry to be seated at the table. Our hero did so willingly. He had lost his apprehensions, perceiving that his companion’s lunacy was of a very harmless character.

“What if mother could see me now!” he thought.

Still the rain poured down. It showed no signs of slackening. He saw that it would be necessary to remain where he was through the night.

“General, can you accommodate me till morning?” he asked.

“Certainly,” said the old man. “I shall be glad to have you stay here. Do you go to France to-morrow?”

“I have not received my appointment yet.”

“True, true; but it won’t be long. I will write your instructions to-night.”

“Very well.”

The supper was plain enough, but it was relished by our young traveler, whose long walk had stimulated a naturally good appetite.

“Eat heartily, my son,” said the old man. “A long journey is before you.”

After the meal was over, the old man began to write.

Harry surmised that it was his instructions. He paid little heed, but fixed his eyes upon the fire, listening to the rain that continued to beat against the window panes, and began to speculate about the future. Was he to be successful or not? He was not without solicitude, but he felt no small measure of hope. At nine o’clock he began to feel drowsy, and intimated as much to his host. The old man conducted him to an upper chamber, where there was a bed upon the floor.

“You can sleep there,” he said.

“Where do you sleep?” asked Harry.

“Down below; but I shall not go to bed till late. I must get ready your instructions.”

“Very well,” said Harry. “Good night.”

“Good night.”

“I am glad he is not in the room with me,” thought Harry. “I don’t think there is any danger, but it isn’t comfortable to be too near a crazy man.”



When Harry awoke the next morning, after a sound and refreshing sleep, the sun was shining brightly in at the window. He rubbed his eyes, and stared about him, not at first remembering where he was. But almost immediately recollection came to his aid, and he smiled as he thought of the eccentric old man whose guest he was. He leaped out of bed, and quickly dressing himself, went downstairs. The fire was burning, and breakfast was already on the table. It was precisely similar to the supper of the night previous. The old man sat at the fireside smoking a pipe.

“Good morning, general,” said Harry. “I am up late.”

“It is no matter. You have a long journey before you, and it is well to rest before starting.”

“Where does he think I am going?” thought our hero.

“Breakfast is ready,” said the old man, hospitably. “I can’t entertain you now as I could have done when I was President. You must come and see me at the White House next year.”

“I should like to.”

Harry ate a hearty breakfast. When it was over, he rose to go.

“I must be going, general,” he said. “Thank you for your kind entertainment. If you would allow me to pay you.”

“General Jackson does not keep an inn,” said the old man, with dignity. “You are his guest. I have your instructions ready.”

He opened a drawer in the table, and took a roll of foolscap, tied with a string.

“Put it in your bundle,” he said. “Let no one see it. Above all, don’t let it fall into the hands of Henry Clay, or my life will be in peril.”

Harry solemnly assured him that Henry Clay should never see it, and shaking the old man by the hand, made his way across the fields to the main road. Looking back from time to time, he saw the old man watching him from his place in the doorway, his eyes shaded by his hand.

“He is the strangest man I ever saw,” thought Harry. “Still he treated me kindly. I should like to find out some more about him.”

When he reached the road he saw, just in front of him, a boy of about his own age driving half a dozen cows before him.

“Perhaps he can tell me something about the old man.”

“Hello!” he cried, by way of salutation.

“Hello!” returned the country boy. “Where are you going?”

“I don’t know. Wherever I can find work,” answered our hero.

The boy laughed. “Dad finds enough for me to do. I don’t have to go after it. Haven’t you got a father?”


“Why don’t you work for him?”

“I want to work for pay.”

“On a farm?”

“No. I’ll work in a shoe shop if I get a chance or in a printing office.”

“Do you understand the shoe business?”

“No; but I can learn.”

“Where did you come from?”


“You didn’t come from there this morning?”

“No, I guess not, as it’s over twenty miles. Last night I stopped at General Jackson’s.”

The boy whistled.

“What, at the old crazy man’s that lives down here a piece?”


“What made you go there?”

“It began, to rain, and I had no other place to go.”

“What did he say?” asked the new boy with curiosity.

“Did he cut up?”

“Cut up? No, unless you mean the bread. He cut up that.”

“I mean, how did he act?”

“All right, except when he was talking about being General Jackson.”

“Did you sleep there?”


“I wouldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“I wouldn’t sleep in a crazy man’s house.”

“He wouldn’t hurt you.”

“I don’t know about that. He chases us boys often, and threatens to kill us.”

“You plague him, don’t you?”

“I guess we do. We call him ‘Old Crazy,’ and that makes him mad. He says Henry Clay puts us up to it–ho, ho, ho!”

“He thinks Clay is his enemy. He told me so.”

“What did you say?”

“Oh, I didn’t contradict him. I called him general. He treated me tip-top. He is going to make me Minister of France, when he is President again.”

“Maybe that was the best way to get along.”

“How long has he lived here? What made him crazy?”

“I don’t know. Folks say he was disappointed.”

“Did he ever see Jackson?”

“Yes; he fit at New Orleans under him.”

“Has he lived long around here?”

“Ever since I can remember. He gets a pension, I’ve heard father say. That’s what keeps him.”

Here the boy reached the pasture to which he was driving the cows, and Harry, bidding him “good-by,” went on his way. He felt fresh and vigorous, and walked ten miles before he felt the need of rest. When this distance was accomplished, he found himself in the center of a good-sized village. He felt hungry, and the provision which he brought from home was nearly gone. There was a grocery store close at hand, and he went in, thinking that he would find something to help his meal. On the counter he saw some rolls, and there was an open barrel of apples not far off.

“What do you charge for your rolls?” he asked.

“Two cents.”

“I’ll take one. How do you sell your apples?”

“A cent apiece.”

“I’ll take two.”

Thus for four cents Harry made quite a substantial addition to his meal. As he left the store, and walked up the road, with the roll in his hand, eating an apple, he called to mind Benjamin Franklin’s entrance of Philadelphia with a roll under each arm.

“I hope I shall have as good luck as Franklin had,” he thought.

Walking slowly, he saw, on a small building which he I had just reached, the sign, “Post Office.”

“Perhaps the postmaster will know if anybody about here wants a boy,” Harry said to himself. “At any rate, it won’t do any harm to inquire.”

He entered, finding himself in a small room, with one part partitioned off as a repository for mail matter. He stepped up to a little window, and presently the postmaster, an elderly man, presented himself.

“What name,” he asked.

“I haven’t come for a letter,” said Harry.

“What do you want, then?” asked the official, but not roughly.

“Do you know of anyone that wants to hire a boy?”

“Who’s the boy?”

“I am. I want to get a chance to work.”

“What kind of work?”

“Any kind that’ll pay my board and a little over.”

“I don’t know of any place,” said the postmaster, after a little thought.

“Isn’t there any shoe shop where I could get in?”

“That reminds me–James Leavitt told me this morning that his boy was going to Boston to go into a store in a couple of months. He’s been pegging for his father and I guess they’ll have to get somebody in his place.”

Harry’s face brightened at this intelligence.

“That’s just the kind of place I’d like to get,” he said.

“Where does Mr. Leavitt live?”

“A quarter of a mile from here–over the bridge. You’ll know it well enough. It’s a cottage house, with a shoe shop in the backyard.”

“Thank you, sir,” said Harry. “I’ll go there and try my luck.”

“Wait a minute,” said the postmaster. “There’s a letter here for Mr. Leavitt. If you’re going there, you may as well carry it along. It’s from Boston. I shouldn’t wonder if it’s about the place Bob Leavitt wants.”

“I’ll take it with pleasure,” said Harry.

It occurred to him that it would be a good introduction for him, and pave the way for his application.

“I hope I may get a chance to work for this Mr. Leavitt,” he said to himself. “I like the looks of this village. I should like to live here for a while.”

He walked up the street, crossing the bridge referred to by the postmaster, and looked carefully on each side of him for the cottage and shop. At length he came to a place which answered the description, and entered the yard. As he neared the shop he heard a noise which indicated that work was going on inside. He opened the door, and entered.



Harry found himself in a room about twenty-five feet by twenty. The floor was covered with scraps of leather. Here stood a deep wooden box containing a case of shoes ready to send off. There was a stove in the center, in which, however, as it was a warm day, no fire was burning. There were three persons present. One, a man of middle age, was Mr. James Leavitt, the proprietor of the shop. His son Robert, about seventeen, worked at an adjoining bench. Tom Gavitt, a journeyman, a short, thick-set man of thirty, employed by Mr. Leavitt, was the third.

The three looked up as Harry entered the shop.

“I have a letter for Mr. Leavitt,” said our hero.

“That is my name,” said the eldest of the party.

Harry advanced, and placed it in his hands.

“Where did you get this letter?”

“At the post office.”

“I can’t call you by name. Do you live about here?”

“No, I came from Granton.”

No further questions were asked just then, as Mr. Leavitt, suspending work, opened the letter.

“It’s from your Uncle Benjamin,” he said, addressing Robert. “Let us see what he has to say.”

He read the letter in silence.

“What does he say, father?” asked Robert.

“He says he shall be ready to take you the first of September. That’s in six weeks–a little sooner than we calculated. I wish it were a little later, as work is brisk, and I may find it difficult to fill your place without paying more than I want to.”

“I guess you can pick up somebody,” said Robert, who was anxious to go to Boston as soon as possible.

“Won’t you hire me?” asked Harry, who felt that the time had come for him to announce his business.

Mr. Leavitt looked at him more attentively.

“Have you ever worked in a shop?”

“No, sir.”

“It will take you some time to learn pegging.”

“I’ll work for my board till I’ve learned.”

“But you won’t be able to do all I want at first.”

“Suppose I begin now,” said Harry, “and work for my board till your son goes away. By that time I can do considerable.”

“I don’t know but that’s a good idea,” said Mr. Leavitt. “What do you think, Bob?”

“Better take him, father,” said Robert, who felt that it would facilitate his own plans.

“How much would you want after you have learned?” asked the father.

“I don’t know; what would be a fair price,” said Harry.

“I’ll give you three dollars a week and board,” said Mr. Leavitt, after a little consideration–“that is, if I am satisfied with you.”

“I’ll come,” said Harry, promptly. He rapidly calculated that there would be about twenty weeks for which he would receive pay before the six months expired, at the end of which the cow must be paid for. This would give him sixty dollars, of which he thought he should be able to save forty to send or carry to his father.

“How did you happen to come to me?” asked Mr. Leavitt, with some curiosity.

“I heard at the post office that your son was going to the city to work, and I thought I could get in here.”

“Is your father living?”

“Yes, my father and mother both.”

“What business is he in?”

“He is a farmer; but his farm is small, and not very profitable.”

“So you thought you would leave home and try something else?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, we will try you at shoemaking. Robert, you can teach him what you know about pegging.”

“Come here,” said Robert. “What is your name?”

“Harry Walton.”

“How old are you?”


“Did you ever work much?”

“Yes, on a farm.”

“Do you think you’ll like shoemaking better?”

“I don’t know yet, but I think I shall. I like almost anything better than farming.”

“And I like almost anything better than pegging. I began when I was only twelve years old, and I’m sick of it.”

“What kind of store is it you are going into?”

“Dry goods. My uncle, Benjamin Streeter, mother’s brother, keeps a dry goods store on Washington street. It’ll be jolly living in the city.”

“I don’t know,” said Harry thoughtfully. “I think I like a village just as well.”

“What sort of a place is Granton, where you come from?”

“It’s a farming town. There isn’t any village at all.”

“There isn’t much going on here.”

“There’ll be more than in Granton. There’s nothing to do there but to work on a farm.”

“I shouldn’t like that myself; but the city’s the best of all”

“Can you make more money in a store than working in a shoe shop?”

“Not so much at first, but after you’ve got learned there’s better chances. There’s a clerk, that went from here ten years ago, that gets fifty dollars a week.”

“Does he?” asked Harry, to whose rustic inexperience this seemed like an immense salary. “I didn’t think any clerk ever got so much.”

“They get it often if they are smart,” said Robert.

Here he was wrong, however. Such cases are exceptional, and a city fry goods clerk, considering his higher rate of expense, is no better off than many country mechanics. But country boys are apt to form wrong ideas on this subject, and are in too great haste to forsake good country homes for long hours of toil behind a city counter, and a poor home in a dingy, third-class city boarding house. It is only in the wholesale houses, for the most part, that high salaries are paid, and then, of course, only to those who have shown superior energy and capacity. Of course some do achieve success and become rich; but of the tens of thousand who come from the country to seek clerkships, but a very small proportion rise above a small income.

“I shall have a start,” Robert proceeded, “for I go into my uncle’s store. I am to board at his house, and get three dollars a week.”

“That’s what your father offers me,” said Harry.

“Yes; you’ll earn more after a while, and I can now; but I’d rather live in the city. There’s lots to see in the city–theaters, circuses, and all kinds of amusements.”

“You won’t have much money to spend on theaters,” said Harry, prudently.

“Not at first, but I’ll get raised soon.”

“I think I should try to save as much as I could.”

“Out of three dollars a week?”


“What can you save out of that?”

“I expect to save half of it, perhaps more.”

“I couldn’t do that. I want a little fun.”

“You see my father’s poor. I want to help him all I can.”

“That’s good advice for you, Bob,” said Mr. Leavitt.

“Save up money, and help me.”

Robert laughed.

“You’ll have to wait till I get bigger pay, he said.

“Your father’s better off than mine,” said Harry.

“Of course, if he don’t need it, that makes a difference.”

Here the sound of a bell was heard, proceeding from the house.

“Robert,” said his father “go in and tell your mother to put an extra seat at the table. She doesn’t know that we’ve got a new boarder.”

He took off his apron, and washed his hands. Tom Gavitt followed his example, but didn’t go into the house of his employer. He lived in a house of his own about five minutes’ walk distant, but left the shop at the same time. In a country village the general dinner hour is twelve o’clock–a very unfashionably early hour–but I presume any of my readers who had been at work from seven o’clock would have no difficulty in getting up a good appetite at noon.

Robert went in and informed his mother of the new boarder. It made no difference, for the table was always well supplied.

“This is Harry Walton, mother,” said Mr. Leavitt, “our new apprentice. He will take Bob’s place when he goes.”

“I am glad to see you,” said Mrs. Leavitt, hospitably.

“You may sit here, next to Robert.”

“What have you got for us to-day, mother?” asked her husband.

“A picked-up dinner. There’s some cold beef left over from yesterday, and I’ve made an apple pudding.”

“That’s good. We don’t want anything better.”

So Harry thought. Accustomed to the painful frugality of the table at home, he regarded this as a splendid dinner, and did full justice to it.

In the afternoon he resumed work in the shop under Robert’s guidance. He was in excellent spirits. He felt that he was very fortunate to have gained a place so soon, and determined to write home that same evening.



The summer passed quickly, and the time arrived for Robert Leavitt to go to the city. By this time Harry was well qualified to take his place. It had not been difficult, for he had only been required to peg, and that is learned in a short time. Harry, however, proved to be a quick workman, quicker, if anything, than Robert, though the latter had been accustomed to the work for several years. Mr. Leavitt was well satisfied with his new apprentice, and quite content to pay him the three dollars a week agreed upon. In fact, it diminished the amount of cash he was called upon to pay.

“Good-by, Harry,” said Robert, as he saw the coach coming up the road, to take him to the railroad station.

“Good-by, and good luck!” said Harry.

“When you come to the city, come and see me.”

“I don’t think I shall be going very soon. I can’t afford it.”

“You must save up your wages, and you’ll have enough soon.”

“I’ve got another use for my wages, Bob.”

“To buy cigars?”

“Harry shook his head. “I shall save it up to carry home.”

“Well, you must try to make my place good in the shop.”

“He can do that,” said Mr. Leavitt, slyly;” but there’s one place where he can’t equal you.”

“Where is that?”

“At the dinner table.”

“You’ve got me there, father,” said Bob, good-naturedly.” Well, good-by all, here’s the stage.”

In a minute more he was gone. Harry felt rather lonely, for he had grown used to working beside him. But his spirits rose as he reflected that the time had now come when he should be in receipt of an income. Three dollars a week made him feel rich in anticipation. He looked forward already with satisfaction to the time when he might go home with money enough to pay off his father’s debt to Squire Green. But he was not permitted to carry out his economical purpose without a struggle.

On Saturday evening, after he had received his week’s pay, Luke Harrison, who worked in a shop near by, met him at the post office.

“Come along, Harry,” he said. “Let us play a game of billiards.”

“You must excuse me,” said Harry.

“Oh, come along,” said Luke, taking him by the arm; “it’s only twenty-five cents,”

“I can’t afford it,”

“Can’t afford it! Now that’s nonsense. You just changed a two-dollar note for those postage stamps.”

“I know that; but I must save that money for another purpose.”

“What’s the use of being stingy, Harry? Try one game.”

“You can get somebody else to play with you, Luke.”

“Oh, hang it, if you care so much for a quarter, I’ll pay for the game myself. Only come and play.”

Harry shook his head.

“I don’t want to amuse myself at your expense.”

“You are a miser,” said Luke, angrily.

“You can call me so, if you like,” said Harry, firmly; “but that won’t make it so.”

“I don’t see how you can call yourself anything else, if you are so afraid to spend your money.”

“I have good reasons.”

“What are they?”

“I told you once that I had another use for the money.”

“To hoard away in an old stocking,” said Luke, sneering.

“You may say so, if you like,” said Harry, turning away.

He knew he was right, but it was disagreeable to be called a miser. He was too proud to justify himself to Luke, who spent all his money foolishly, though earning considerably larger wages than he.

There was one thing that Harry had not yet been able to do to any great extent, though it was something he had at heart. He had not forgotten his motto, “Live and Learn,” and now that he was in a fair way to make a living, he felt that he had made no advance in learning during the few weeks since he arrived in Glenville.

The day previous he had heard, for the first time, that there was a public library in another part of the town, which was open evenings. Though it was two miles distant, and he had been at work all day, he determined to walk up there and get a book. He felt that he was very ignorant, and that his advance in the world depended upon his improving all opportunities that might present themselves for extending his limited knowledge. This was evidently one.

After his unsatisfactory interview with Luke, he set out for the upper village, as it was called. Forty minutes’ walk brought him to the building in which the library was kept. An elderly man had charge of it–a Mr. Parmenter.

“Can I take out a book?” asked Harry.

“Do you live in town?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I don’t remember seeing you before. You don’t live in this village, do you?”

“No, sir. I live in the lower village.”

“What is your name?”

“Harry Walton.”

“I don’t remember any Walton family.”

“My father lives in Granton. I am working for Mr. James Leavitt.”

“I have no doubt this is quite correct, but I shall have to have Mr. Leavitt’s certificate to that effect, before I can put your name down, and trust you with books.”

“Then can’t I take any book to-night?” asked Harry, disappointed.

“I am afraid not.”

So it seemed his two-mile walk was for nothing. He must retrace his steps and come again Monday night.

He was turning away disappointed when Dr. Townley, of the lower village, who lived near Mr. Leavitt, entered the library.

“My wife wants a book in exchange for this, Mr. Parmenter,” he said. “Have you got anything new in? Ah, Harry Walton, how came you here? Do you take books out of the library?”

“That’s is what I came up for, but the librarian says I must bring a line from Mr. Leavitt, telling who I am.”

“If Dr. Townley knows you, that is sufficient,” said the librarian.

“He is all right, Mr. Parmenter. He is a young neighbor of mine.”

“That is enough. He can select a book.”

Harry was quite relieved at this fortunate meeting, and after a little reflection selected the first volume of “Rollin’s Universal History,” a book better known to our fathers than the present generation.

“That’s a good, solid book, Harry,” said the doctor.

“Most of our young people select stories.”

“I like stories very much,” said Harry; “but I have only a little time to read, and I must try to learn something.”

“You are a sensible boy,” said the doctor, emphatically.

“I’m afraid there are few of our young people who take such wise views of what is best for them. Most care only for present enjoyment.”

“I have got my own way to make,” said Harry, “and I suppose that is what influences me. My father is poor and cannot help me, and I want to rise in the world.”

“You are going the right way to work. Do you intend to take out books often from the library?”

“Yes, sir.”

“It will be a long walk from the lower village.”

“I would walk farther rather than do without the books.”

“I can save you at any rate from walking back. My chaise is outside, and, if you will jump in, I will carry you home.”

“Thank you, doctor. I shall be very glad to ride.”

On the way, Dr. Townley said: “I have a few miscellaneous book in my medical library, which I will lend to you with pleasure, if you will come in. It may save you an occasional walk to the library.”

Harry thanked him, and not long afterwards availed himself of the considerate proposal. Dr Townley was liberally educated, and as far as his professional engagements would permit kept up with general literature. He gave Harry some valuable directions as to the books which it would benefit him to read, and more than once took him up on the road to the library.

Once a week regularly Harry wrote home. He knew that his letters would give pleasure to the family, and he never allowed anything to interfere with his duty.

His father wrote: “We are getting on about as usual. The cow does tolerably well, but is not as good as the one I lost. I have not yet succeeded in laying up anything toward paying for her. Somehow, whenever I have a few dollars laid aside Tom wants shoes, or your sister wants a dress, or some other expense swallows it up.”

Harry wrote in reply: “Don’t trouble yourself, father, about your debt to Squire Green. If I have steady work, and keep my health, I shall have enough to pay it by the time it comes due.”



At the end of six weeks from the date of Robert’s departure, Harry had been paid eighteen dollars. Of this sum he had spent but one dollar, and kept the balance in his pocketbook. He did not care to send it home until he had enough to meet Squire Green’s demand, knowing that his father would be able to meet his ordinary expenses. Chiefly through the reports of Luke Harrison he was acquiring the reputation of meanness, though, as we know, he was far from deserving it.

“See how the fellow dresses,” said Luke, contemptuously, to two of his companions one evening.” His clothes are shabby enough, and he hasn’t got an overcoat at all. He hoards his money, and is too stingy to buy one. See, there he comes, buttoned to the chin to keep warm, and I suppose he has more money in his pocketbook than the whole of us together. I wouldn’t be as mean as he is for a hundred dollars.”

“You’d rather get trusted for your clothes than do without them,” said Frank Heath, slyly; for he happened to know that Luke had run up a bill with the tailor, about which the latter was getting anxious.

“What if I do,” said Luke, sharply, “as long as I am going to pay for them?”

“Oh, nothing,” said Frank. “I didn’t say anything against it, did I? I suppose you are as able to owe the tailor as anyone.”

By this time, Harry had come up.

“Where are you going, Walton?” asked Luke. “You look cold.”

“Yes, it’s a cold day.”

“Left your overcoat at home, didn’t you?”

Harry colored. The fact was, he felt the need of an overcoat, but didn’t know how to manage getting one. At the lowest calculation, it would cost all the money he had saved up for one, and the purchase would defeat all his plans. The one he had worn at home during the previous winter was too small for him, and had been given to his brother.

“If I only could get through the winter without one,” he thought, “I should be all right.” But a New England winter is not to be braved with impunity, useless protected by adequate clothing. Luke’s sneer was therefore not without effect. But he answered, quietly: “I did not leave it at home, for I have none to leave.”

“I suppose you are bound to the tailor’s to order one.”

“What makes you think so?” asked Harry.

“You are not such a fool as to go without one when you have money in your pocket, are you?”

“You seem very curious about my private affairs,” said Harry, rather provoked.

“He’s only drumming up customers for the tailor,” said Frank Heath. “He gets a commission on all he brings.”

“That’s the way he pays his bill,” said Sam Anderson.

“Quit fooling, boys,” said Luke, irritated. “I ain’t a drummer. I pay my bills, like a gentleman.”

“By keeping the tailor waiting,” said Frank.

“Quit that!”

So attention was diverted from Harry by this opportune attack upon Luke, much to our hero’s relief. Nevertheless, he saw, that in order to preserve his health, he must have some outer garment, and in order the better to decide what to do, he concluded to step into the tailor’s, and inquire his prices.

The tailor, Merrill by name, had a shop over the dry goods store, and thither Harry directed his steps. There was one other person in the shop, a young fellow but little larger than Harry, though two years older, who was on a visit to an aunt in the neighborhood, but lived in Boston. He belonged to a rich family, and had command of considerable money. His name was Maurice Tudor. He had gone into the shop to leave a coat to be repaired.

“How are you, Walton?” he said, for he knew our hero slightly.

“Pretty well. Thank you.”

“It’s pretty cold for October.”

“Yes, unusually so.”

“Mr. Merrill,” said Harry, “I should like to inquire the price of an overcoat. I may want to order one by and by.”

“What sort of one do you want–pretty nice?”

“No, I can’t afford anything nice–something as cheap as possible.”

“This is the cheapest goods I have,” said the tailor, pointing to some coarse cloth near by.

“I can make you up a coat form that for eighteen dollars.”

“Eighteen dollars!” exclaimed Harry, in dismay. “Is that the cheapest you have?”

“The very cheapest.”

After a minute’s pause he added, “I might take off a dollar for cash. I’ve got enough of running up bills. There’s Luke Harrison owes me over thirty dollars, and I don’t believe he means to pay it al all.”

“If I buy, I shall pay cash,” said Harry, quietly.

“You can’t get anything cheaper than this.” said the tailor.

“Very likely not,” said Harry, soberly. “I’ll think about it, and let you know if I decide to take it.”

Maurice Tudor was a silent listener to this dialogue. He saw Harry’s sober expression, and he noticed the tone in which he repeated “eighteen dollars,” and he guessed the truth. He lingered after Harry went out, and said:

“That’s a good fellow.”

“Harry Walton?” repeated the tailor. “Yes, he’s worth a dozen Luke Harrisons.”

“Has he been in the village long?”

“No, not more than two or three months. He works for Mr. Leavitt.”

“He is rather poor, I suppose.”

“Yes. The boys call him mean; but Leavitt tells me he is saving up every cent to send to his father, who is a poor farmer.”

“That’s a good thing in him.”

“Yes, I wish I could afford to give him and overcoat. He needs one, but I suppose seventeen dollars will come rather hard on him to pay. If it was Luke Harrison, it wouldn’t trouble him much.”

“You mean he would get it on tick.”

“Yes, if he found anybody fool enough to trust him. I’ve done it as long as I’m going to. He won’t get a dollar more credit out of me till he pays his bill.”

“You’re perfectly right, there.”

“So I think. He earns a good deal more than Walton, but spends what he earns on billiards, drinks and cigars.”

“There he comes up the stairs, now.”

In fact, Luke with his two companions directly afterwards entered the shop.

“Merrill,” said he, “have you got in any new goods? I must have a new pair of pants.”

“Yes, I’ve got some new goods. There’s a piece open before you.”

“It’s a pretty thing, Merrill,” said Luke, struck by it; “what’s your price for a pair off of it?”

“Ten dollars.”

“Isn’t that rather steep?”

“No; the cloth is superior quality.”

“Well, darn the expense. I like it, and must have it. Just measure me, will you?”

“Are you ready to pay the account I have against you?”

“How much is it?”

The tailor referred to his books.

“Thirty-two dollars and fifty cents,” he answered.

“All right, Merrill. Wait till the pants are done, and I’ll pay the whole at once.”

“Ain’t my credit good?” blustered Luke.

“You can make it good,” said the tailor, significantly.

“I didn’t think you’d make such a fuss about a small bill.”

“I didn’t think you’d find is so difficult to pay a small bill,” returned the tailor.

Luke looked discomfited. He was silent a moment, and then changed his tactics.

“Come, Merrill,” he said, persuasively; “don’t be alarmed. I’m good for it, I guess. I haven’t got the money convenient to-day. I lent fifty dollars. I shall have it back next week and then I will pay you.”

“I am glad to hear it,” said Merrill.

“So just measure me and hurry up the pants.”

“I’m sorry but I can’t till you settle the bill.”

“Look here, has Walton been talking against me?”

“No; what makes you think so?”

“He don’t like me, because I twitted him with his meanness.”

“I don’t consider him mean.”

“Has he ever bought anything of you?”


“I knew it. He prefers to go ragged and save his money.”

“He’s too honorable to run up a bill without paying it.”

“Do you mean me?” demanded Luke, angrily.

“I hope not. I presume you intend to pay your bills.”

Luke Harrison left the shop. He saw that he exhausted his credit with Merrill. As to paying the bill, there was not much chance of that at present, as he had but one dollar and a half in his pocket.



“There’s a model for you,” said the tailor to Maurice Tudor. “He won’t pay his bills.”

“How did you come to trust him in the first place?”

“I didn’t know him then as well as I do now. I make it a practice to accommodate my customers by trusting them for a month or two, if they want it. But Luke Harrison isn’t one to be trusted.”

“I should say not.”

“If young Walton wants to get an overcoat on credit, I shan’t object. I judge something by looks, and I am sure he is honest.”

“Well, good night, Mr. Merrill. You’ll have my coat done soon?”

“Yes, Mr. Tudor. It shall be ready for you to-morrow.”

Maurice Tudor left the tailor’s shop, revolving a new idea which had just entered his mind. Now he remembered that he had at home and excellent overcoat which he had worn the previous winter, but which was now too small for him. He had no younger brother to wear it, nor in his circumstances was such economy necessary. As well as he could judge by observing Harry’s figure, it would be an excellent fit for him. Why should he not give it to him?

The opportunity came. On his way home he overtook our hero, plunged in thought. In fact, he was still occupied with the problem of the needed overcoat.

“Good evening, Harry,” said young Tudor.

“Good evening, Mr. Tudor,” answered Harry. “Are you going back to the city soon?”

“In the course of a week or two. Mr. Leavitt’s son is in a store in Boston, is he not?”

“Yes. I have taken his place in the shop.”

“By the way, I saw you in Merrill’s this evening.”

“Yes; I was pricing an overcoat.”

“I bought this one in Boston just before I came away. I have a very good one left from last winter but it is too small for me. It is of no use to me. If I thought you would accept it, I would offer it to you.”

Harry’s heart gave a joyful bound.

“Accept it!” he repeated. “Indeed I will and thank you for your great kindness.”

“Then I will write home at once to have it sent to me. I also have a suit which I have outgrown; if you wouldn’t be too proud to take it.”

“I am not so foolish. It will be a great favor.”

“I thought you would take it right,” said Maurice, well pleased. “I will also send for the suit. I will get my mother to forward them by express.”

“They will be as good as money to me,” said Harry; “and that is not very plenty with me.”

“Will you tell me something of your circumstances? Perhaps I may have it in my power to help you.”

Harry, assured of his friendly interest, did not hesitate to give him a full account of his plans in life, and especially of his desire to relieve his father of the burden of poverty. His straightforward narrative made a very favorable impression upon Maurice, who could not help reflecting: “How far superior this boy is to Luke Harrison and his tribe!”

“Thank you for telling me all this,” he said. “It was not from mere curiosity that I asked.”

“I am sure of that,” said Harry. “Thanks to your generosity, I shall present a much more respectable appearance, besides being made more comfortable.”

Three days later a large bundle was brought by the village expressman to Mr. Leavitt’s door.

“A bundle for you, Walton,” said the expressman, seeing Harry in the yard.

“What is there to pay?” he asked.

“Nothing. It was prepaid in the city?”

Harry took it up to his room and opened it eagerly. First came the promised overcoat. It was of very handsome French cloth, with a velvet collar, and rich silk facings, far higher in cost than any Mr. Merrill would have made for him. It fitted as if it had been made for him. Next came, not one, but two complete suits embracing coat, vest and pants. One of pepper-and-salt cloth, the other a dark blue. These, also, so similar was he in figure to Maurice, fitted him equally well. The clothes which he brought with from form Granton were not only of coarse material but were far from stylish in cut, whereas these garments had been made by a fashionable Boston tailor and set off his figure to much greater advantage.

“I wonder what Luke Harrison will say?” said our hero to himself, smiling, as he thought of the surprise of Luke at witnessing his transformation.

“I’ve a great mind to keep these on to-night,” he said.

“Perhaps I shall meet Luke. He won’t have anything more to say about my going without an overcoat.”

After supper Harry, arrayed in his best suit and wearing the overcoat, walked down tot he center of the village.

Luke was standing on the piazza of the tavern.

“Luke, see how Walton is dressed up!” exclaimed Frank Heath, who was the first to see our hero.

“Dressed up!” repeated Luke, who was rather shortsighted. “That would be a good joke.”

“He’s got a splendid overcoat,” continued Frank.

“Where’d he get it? Merrill hasn’t been making him one.”

“It’s none of Merrill’s work. It’s too stylish for him.”

By this time Harry had come within Luke’s range of vision. The latter surveyed him with astonishment and it must be confessed, with disappointment; for he had been fond of sneering at Harry’s clothes, and now the latter was far better dressed than himself.

“Where did you get that coat, Walton?” asked Luke, the instant Harry came up.

“Honestly,” said Harry, shortly.

“Have you got anything else new?”

Harry opened his coat and displayed the suit.

“Well, you are coming out, Walton, that’s a fact,” said Frank Heath. “That’s a splendid suit.”

“I thought you couldn’t afford to buy a coat,” said Luke.

“You see I’ve got one,” answered Harry.

“How much did it cost?”

“That’s a secret.”

Here he left Luke and Frank.

“Well, Luke, what do you say to that?” said Frank Heath.

Luke said nothing. He was astonished and unhappy. He had a fondness for dress and spent a good share of his earnings upon it, paying where he must, and getting credit besides where he could. But he had never had so stylish a suit as this and it depressed him.


Asking a favor

There was one other tailor in the village, James Hayden, and to him Luke Harrison determined to transfer his custom, hoping to be allowed to run up a bill with him. He did not like his style of cut as well as Merrill’s, but from the latter he was cut off unless he would pay the old bill, and this would be inconvenient.

He strolled into James Hayden’s shop and asked to look at some cloth for pants.

Hayden was a shrewd man and, knowing that Luke was a customer of his neighbor, suspected the reason of his transfer. However, he showed the cloth, and, a selection having been made, measured him.

“When will you have them done?” asked Luke.

“In three days.”

“I want them by that time sure.”

“Of course you pay cash.”

“Why,” said Luke, hesitating, “I suppose you won’t mind giving me a month’s credit.”

Mr. Hayden shook his head.

“I couldn’t do it. My goods are already paid for and I have to pay for the work. I must have cash.”

“Merrill always trusted me,” pleaded Luke.

“Then why did you leave him?”

“Why,” said Luke, a little taken aback, “he didn’t cut the last clothes exactly to suit me.”

“Didn’t suit you? I thought you young people preferred his cut to mine. I am old-fashioned. Hadn’t you better go back to Merrill?”

“I’ve got tired of him,” said Luke. “I’ll get a pair of pants of you, and see how I like them.”

“I’ll make them but I can’t trust.”

“All right. I’ll bring the money,” said Luke, who yet thought that he might get off by paying part down when he took the pants.

“The old fellow’s deuced disobliging,” said he o Frank Heath, when they got into the street.

“I don’t know as I blame him,” said Frank.

“I wish Merrill wasn’t so stiff about it. He’s terribly afraid of losing his bill.”

“That’s where he’s right,” said Frank, laughing. “I’d be the same if I were in his place.”

“Do you always pay your bills right off?” said Luke.

“Yes, I do. I don’t pretend to be a model boy. I’m afraid I keep bad company,” he continued, “but I don’t owe a cent to anybody except for board and that I pay up at the end of every week.”

Luke dropped the subject, not finding it to his taste.

On Saturday night he went round to the tailor’s.

“Have you got my pants done, Mr. Hayden?”

“Yes–here they are.”

“Let me see,” he said, “how much are they?”

“Nine dollars.”

“I’ll pay you three dollars to-night and the rest at the end of next week,” he said.

“Very well; then you may have them at the end of next week.”

“Why not now? They are done, ain’t they?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Hayden; “but not paid for.”

“Didn’t I tell you I’d pay three dollars now?”

“Our terms are cash down.”

“You ain’t afraid of me, are you?” blustered Luke.

“You understood when you ordered the pants that they were to be paid for when they were taken.”

“I hate to see people so afraid of losing their money.”

“Do you? Was that why you left Merrill?”

Luke colored. He suspected that the fact of his unpaid bill at the other tailor’s was known to Mr. Hayden.

“I’ve a great mind to leave them on your hands.”

“I prefer to keep them on my hands, rather than to let them go out of the shop without being paid for.”

“Frank,” said Luke, turning to his companion, “lend me five dollars, can’t you?”

“I’m the wrong fellow to ask,” said he; “I’ve got to pay my board and another bill to-night.”

“Oh, let your bills wait.”

“And lend you the money? Thank you, I ain’t so green. When should I get the money again?”

“Next week.”

“In a horn. No; I want to wear the pants to-morrow. I’m going out to ride.”

“I don’t see, unless you fork over the spondulies.”

“I can’t. I haven’t got enough money.”

“See Harry Walton.”

“I don’t believe he has got any. He bought a lot of clothes last week. They must have cost a pile.”

“Can’t help it. I saw him open his pocketbook last night and in it was a roll of bills.”

Turning to the tailor, Luke said: “Just lay aside the pants and I’ll come back for them pretty soon.”

Mr. Hayden smiled to himself.

“There’s nothing like fetching up these fellows with a round turn,” he said. “‘No money, no clothes’–that’s my motto. Merrill told me all about that little bill that sent Luke Harrison over here. He don’t run up any bill with me, if I know myself.”

Luke went round to the village store. Harry Walton usually spent a part of every evening in instructive reading and study; but after a hard day’s work he felt it necessary to pass an hour or so in the open air, so he came down to the center of center of the village.

“Hello, Walton!” said Luke, accosting him with unusual cordiality. “You are just the fellow I want to see.”

“Am I?” inquired Harry in surprise, for there was no particular friendship or intimacy between them.

“Yes; I’m going to ask a little favor of you–a mere trifle. Lend me five or ten dollars for a week. Five will do it, you can’t spare more.”

Harry shook his head.

“I can’t do that, Luke.”

“Why not? Haven’t you got as much?”

“Yes, I’ve got it.”

“Then why won’t you lend it to me?”

“I have little money and I can’t run any risk.”

“Do you think I won’t pay you back?”

“Why do you need to borrow of me? You get much higher wages than I do.”

“I want to pay a bill to-night. I didn’t think you’d be so unaccommodating.”

“I shouldn’t be willing to lend to anyone,” said Harry.

“The money isn’t mine. I am going to send it home.”

“A great sight you are!” sneered Luke. “I wanted to see just how mean you were. You’ve got the money in your pocket but you won’t lend it.”

This taunt did not particularly disturb Harry. There is a large class like Luke, who offended at being refused a loan, though quite aware that they are never likely to repay it. My young readers will be sure to meet specimens of this class, against whom the only protection is a very firm and decided “No.”


The Night scholars

Immediately after Thanksgiving Day, the winter schools commenced. That in the center district was kept by a student of Dartmouth college, who had leave of absence from the college authorities for twelve weeks, in order by teaching to earn something to help defray his college expenses. Leonard Morgan, now a junior, was a tall, strongly made young man of twenty-two, whose stalwart frame had not been reduced by his diligent study. There were several shoe shops in the village, each employing from one to three boys, varying in age from fifteen to nineteen. Why could he not form a private class, to meet in the evening, to be instructed in advanced arithmetic, or, if desired, in Latin and Greek? He broached the idea to Stephen Bates, the prudential committeeman.

“I don’t know,” said Mr. Bates, “what our boys will think of it. I’ve got a boy that I’ll send, but whether you’ll get enough to make it pay I don’t know.”

“I suppose I can have the schoolhouse, Mr. Bates?”

“Yes, there won’t be no objection. Won’t it be too much for you after teachin’ in the daytime?”

“It would take a good deal to break me down.”

“Then you’d better draw up a notice and put it up in the store and tavern,” suggested the committeeman.

In accordance with this advice, the young teacher posted up in the two places the following notice:


“I propose to start an evening school for those who are occupied during the day, and unable to attend the district school. Instruction will be given in such English branches as may be desired, and also in Latin and Greek, if any are desirous of pursuing a classical course. The school will commence next Monday evening at the schoolhouse, beginning at seven o’clock. Terms: Seventy cents a week, or five dollars for the term of ten weeks.


“Are you going to join the class, Walton?” asked Frank Heath.

“Yes,” said Harry, promptly.

“Where’ll you get the money?” asked Luke Harrison, in a jeering tone.

“I shan’t have to go far for it.”

“I don’t see how you can spend so much money.”

“I am willing to spend money when I can get my money’s worth,” said our hero. “Are you going?”

“To school? No, I guess not. I’ve got through my schooling.”

“You don’t know enough to hurt you, do you, Luke?” inquired Frank Heath, slyly.

“Nor I don’t want to. I know enough to get along.”

“I don’t and never expect to,” said Harry.

“Do you mean to go to school when you’re a gray-headed old veteran?” asked Frank, jocosely.

“I may not go to school then but I shan’t give up learning then,” said Harry, smiling. “One can learn without going to school. But while I’m young, I mean to go to school as much as I can.”

“I guess you’re right,” said Frank; “I’d go myself, only I’m too lazy. It’s hard on a feller to worry his brain with study after he’s been at work all day. I don’t believe I was cut out for a great scholar.”

“I don’t believe you were, Frank,” said Joe Bates.

“You always used to stand pretty well down toward the foot of the class when you went to school.”

“A feller can’t be smart as well as handsome. As long as I’m good-looking, I won’t complain because I wasn’t born with the genius of a Bates.”

“Thank you for the compliment, Frank, though I suppose it means that I am homely. I haven’t got any genius or education to spare.”

When Monday evening arrived ten pupils presented themselves, of whom six were boys, or young men, and four were girls. Leonard Morgan felt encouraged. A class of ten, though paying but five dollars each, would give him fifty dollars, which would be quite an acceptable addition to his scanty means.

“I am glad to see so many,” he said. “I think our evening class will be a success. I will take your names and ascertain what studies you wish to pursue.”

When he came to Harry; he asked, “What do you propose to study?”

“I should like to take up algebra and Latin, if you are willing,” answered our hero.

“Have you studied either at all?”

“No, sir; I have not had an opportunity.”

“How far have you been in arithmetic?”

“Through the square and cube root?”

“If you have been so far, you will have no difficulty with algebra. As to Latin, one of the girls wishes to take up that and I will put you in the class with her.”

It will be seen that Harry was growing ambitious. He didn’t expect to go to college, though nothing would have pleased him better; but he felt that some knowledge of a foreign language could do him no harm. Franklin, whom he had taken as his great exemplar, didn’t go to college; yet he made himself one of the foremost scientific men of the age and acquired enduring reputation, not only as a statesman and a patriot, but chiefly as a philosopher.

A little later, Leonard Morgan came round to the desk at which Harry was sitting.

“I brought a Latin grammar with me,” he said, “thinking it probable some one might like to begin that language. You can use it until yours comes.”

“Thank you,” said Harry; and he eagerly took the book, and asked to have a lesson set, which was done.

“I can get more than that,” he said.

“How much more?”

“Twice as much.”

Still later he recited the double lesson, and so correctly that the teacher’s attention was drawn to him.

“That’s a smart boy,” he said. “I mean to take pains with him. What a pity he can’t go to college!”



Harry learned rapidly. At the end of four weeks he had completed the Latin grammar, or that part of it which his teacher, thought necessary for a beginner to be familiar with, and commenced translating the easy sentences in “Andrews’ Latin Reader.”

“You are getting on famously, Harry,” said his teacher. “I never had a scholar who advanced so.”

“I wish I knew as much as you.”

“Don’t give me too much credit. When I compare myself with our professors, I feel dissatisfied.”

“But you know so much more than I do,” said Harry.

“I ought to; I am seven years older.”

“What are you going to study, Mr. Morgan?”

“I intend to study law.”

“I should like to be an editor,” said Harry; “but I don’t see much prospect of it.”

“Why not?”

“An editor must know a good deal.”

“There are some who don’t,” said Leonard Morgan, with a smile. “However, you would like to do credit to the profession and it is certainly in these modern days a very important profession.”

“How can I prepare myself?”

“By doing your best to acquire a good education; not only by study but by reading extensively. An editor should be a man of large information. Have you ever practiced writing compositions?”

“A little; not much.”

“If you get time to write anything, and will submit it to me, I will point out such faults as I may notice.”

“I should like to do that,” said Harry, promptly.

“What subject shall I take?”

“You may choose your own subject. Don’t be too ambitious but select something upon which you have some ideas of your own.”

“Suppose I take my motto? ‘Live and learn.'”

“Do so, by all means. That is a subject upon which you may fairly be said to have some ideas of your own.”

In due time Harry presented a composition on this subject. The thoughts were good, but, as might be expected, the expression was somewhat crude, and of course the teacher found errors to correct and suggestions to make. These Harry eagerly welcomed and voluntarily proposed to rewrite the composition. The result was a very much improved draft. He sent a copy home and received in reply a letter from his father, expressing surprise and gratification at the excellence of his essay.

“I am glad, Harry,” the letter concluded, “that you have formed just views of the importance of learning. I have never ceased to regret that my own opportunities for education were so limited and that my time has been so much absorbed by the effort to make a living, that I have been able to do so little toward supplying my deficiencies. Even in a pecuniary way an education will open to you a more prosperous career, and lead, I hope, to competence, instead of the narrow poverty which has been my lot. I will not complain of my own want of success, if I can see my children prosper.”

But while intent upon cultivating his mind, Harry had not lost sight of the great object which had sent him from home to seek employment among strangers. He had undertaken to meet the note which his father had given Squire Green in payment for the cow. By the first of December he had saved up thirty-three dollars toward this object. By the middle of January the note would come due.

Of course he had not saved so much without the strictest economy, and by denying himself pleasures which were entirely proper. For instance, he was waited upon by Luke Harrison on the first day of December, and asked to join in a grand sleighing excursion to a town ten miles distant, where it was proposed to take supper, and, after a social time, return late in the evening.

“I would like to go,” said Harry, who was strongly, tempted, for he was by no means averse to pleasure; “but I am afraid I cannot. How much will it cost?”