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CHAPTER I. ON THE ERIE ROAD. "Papers, magazines, all the popular novels! Can't I sell you something this morning?" Joshua Bascom turned as the train boy addressed him, and revealed an honest, sunburned face, lighted up with pleasurable excitement, for he was a farmer's son and was making his first visit to the city of New York. "I ain't much on story readin'," he said, "I tried to read a story book once, but I couldn't seem to get interested... more...

CHAPTER I A REVELATION A group of boys was assembled in an open field to the west of the public schoolhouse in the town of Crawford. Most of them held hats in their hands, while two, stationed sixty feet distant from each other, were "having catch." Tom Pinkerton, son of Deacon Pinkerton, had just returned from Brooklyn, and while there had witnessed a match game between two professional clubs. On his return he proposed that the boys of... more...

SIX MONTHS AFTER. "It's most time for Paul to come home," said Mrs. Hoffman. "I must be setting the table for supper." "I wonder how he will like my new picture," said Jimmy, a delicate boy of eight, whose refined features, thoughtful look, and high brow showed that his mind by no means shared the weakness of his body. Though only eight years of age he already manifested a remarkable taste and talent for drawing, in which he had acquired... more...

Chapter I.—The First Pair Of Shoes. From a small and rudely-built log-cabin a sturdy boy of four years issued, and looked earnestly across the clearing to the pathway that led through the surrounding forest. His bare feet pressed the soft grass, which spread like a carpet before the door. "What are you looking for, Jimmy?" asked his mother from within the humble dwelling. "I'm looking for Thomas," said Jimmy. "It's hardly time for him... more...

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...