Hidden Treasure

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Excerpt

THE OLD HOMESTEAD

The late afternoon sun shone full upon a boy who was perched on the top of an old rail fence forming the dividing line between the farm that spread out before him and the one over which he had just passed.

It was early March. The keen wind as it whirled past him, whipping the branches of the tree together and carrying away clouds of dried leaves from behind the fence rows, penetrated the thin clothes he wore—but instead of making him shiver, it seemed only to add to his pleasure, for he removed his cap and ran his fingers through his damp hair.

The boy was slender and scarcely looked the eighteen years to which he laid claim. He had curly sandy hair, a freckled face and penetrating blue eyes. His clothes were new, but of rather poor material and ill- fitting, scarcely protecting him from the cutting wind. Because of his short legs and arms, his coat sleeves and trousers, cut for the average boy, were too long for him and were much wrinkled.

He had climbed the last and steepest hill lying between the town and his grandfather's farm—the ancestral home of the Williams family, which was now, for a time at least, to be his home. Since early morning he had bumped over the rough frozen roads between his home in a distant village and the county seat, which was situated some two miles to the west, and from which he had just walked.

He had expected to find his grandfather or his Uncle Joe waiting for him; in this he was disappointed, and as the sun was getting along toward mid-afternoon, he had picked up his worn suitcase and set off through the town by a route that he knew would bring him to a short- cut over the hills.

Despite the wind, he sat for some minutes, cap in hand, while he looked out over the familiar scenes. There was not one foot of ground in the one hundred and sixty acre farm that spread out fan-shape before him which was not familiar. Here he had spent many happy vacations in summers past. The last two years he had attended the State College, taking the course in agriculture, and had worked in a grocery store in the village during the summer vacations, but this work had been distasteful to him—he missed the freedom of outdoor life, especially the birds and animals so plentiful on the farm. So this year, as his father could not afford to have him complete the course, he had asked permission to go on a farm. His two years in the State College had opened his eyes to modern methods of farming and the use of Portland cement for farm buildings, and he wanted a chance to try them out.

His father had hesitated at first in giving his consent, not because he did not wish him to be in the open country, but because he felt, now that he had reached the age of eighteen, he should be able to earn money and direct his attention toward permanent employment, and he could not think of farming as a business with so many other opportunities at hand. A letter from his Uncle Joe, saying that he had purchased the old farm, and would like to have Bob help him with the work on his newly acquired property, had settled the matter, and, as his uncle was anxious to make an early start, he had left home at once....