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CHAPTER I. THE ENCOUNTER ON THE BRIDGE. "Get out of the way, boy, or I'll ride over you!" "Wait a second, please, until I haul in this fish. He's such a beauty I don't wish to lose him." "Do you suppose I'm going to bother with your fish? Get out of the way, I say!" And the man, who sat astride of a coal-black horse, shook his hand threateningly. He was dressed in the uniform of a surgeon in the Confederate Army, and his face was dark and... more...

CHAPTER I WALTER SHERWOOD'S LETTER "Here's a letter for you, Doctor Mack," said the housekeeper, as she entered the plain room used as a library and sitting-room by her employer, Doctor Ezekiel Mack. "It's from Walter, I surmise." This was a favorite word with Miss Nancy Sprague, who, though a housekeeper, prided herself on having been a schoolmistress in her earlier days. "Indeed, Nancy. Let me see it. Walter is really getting attentive. His... more...

Chapter I Ben and His Aunt Five o'clock sounded from the church clock, and straightway the streets of Milltown were filled with men, women, and children issuing from the great brick factories huddled together at one end of the town. Among these, two boys waked in company, James Watson and Ben Bradford. They were very nearly of an age, James having just passed his fifteenth birthday, and Ben having nearly attained it. Both boys looked sober.... more...

CHAPTER I AROUND THE BREAKFAST TABLE "Well, wife," said Mr. Benjamin Stanton, as he sat down to a late breakfast, "I had a letter from Ohio yesterday." "From Ohio? Who should write you from Ohio? Anyone I know?" "My sister, Margaret, you remember, moved out there with her husband ten years ago." "Oh, it's from her, is it?" said Mrs. Stanton, indifferently. "No," said her husband with momentary gravity. "It's from a Dr. Kent, who attended... more...

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCING TOM, THE BOOTBLACK. "How do you feel this morning, Jacob?" asked a boy of fifteen, bending over an old man crouched in the corner of an upper room, in a poor tenement-house, distant less than a quarter of a mile from the New York City Hall. "Weak, Tom," whined the old man, in reply. "I—I ain't got much strength." "Would you like some breakfast?" "I—I don't know. Breakfast costs money." "Never you mind... more...


CHAPTER I. INTRODUCES THE CRUMPS. IT was drawing towards the close of the last day of the year. A few hours more, and 1836 would be no more. It was a cold day. There was no snow on the ground, but it was frozen into stiff ridges, making it uncomfortable to walk upon. The sun had been out all day, but there was little heat or comfort in its bright, but frosty beams. The winter is a hard season for the poor. It multiplies their necessities,... more...

CHAPTER I. THE YOUNG OUTLAW. "Boy, is this Canal Street?" The speaker was evidently from the country. He was a tall man, with prominent features, and a face seamed and wrinkled by the passage of nearly seventy years. He wore a rusty cloak, in the style of thirty years gone by, and his clothing generally was of a fashion seldom seen on Broadway. The boy addressed was leaning against a lamppost, with both hands in his pockets. His clothes were... more...

CHAPTER I. A CANDIDATE FOR THE POORHOUSE. "As for the boy," said Squire Pope, with his usual autocratic air, "I shall place him in the poorhouse." "But, Benjamin," said gentle Mrs. Pope, who had a kindly and sympathetic heart, "isn't that a little hard?" "Hard, Almira?" said the squire, arching his eyebrows. "I fail to comprehend your meaning." "You know Philip has been tenderly reared, and has always had a comfortable home—" "He will... more...

CHAPTER I. THE GOLD-SEEKERS. A dozen men, provided with rockers, were busily engaged in gathering and washing dirt, mingled with gold-dust, on the banks of a small stream in California. It was in the early days, and this party was but one of hundreds who were scattered over the new Eldorado, seeking for the shining metal which throughout the civilized world exercises a sway potent and irresistible. I have said there were a dozen men, but... more...

CHAPTER I. BEN'S INHERITANCE. "I've settled up your father's estate, Benjamin," said Job Stanton. "You'll find it all figgered out on this piece of paper. There was that two-acre piece up at Rockville brought seventy-five dollars, the medder fetched a hundred and fifty, the two cows—" "How much does it all come to, Uncle Job?" interrupted Ben, who was impatient of details. "Hadn't you better let me read off the items, nephew?" asked... more...